When I’m in the Valley, He Points To The Mountain Top

I went through one of the darkest most difficult times in my life over a decade ago. I was deep in the Valley, suffering grief, loss, and  financial hardships. I literally could not see my way out: no light at the end of the tunnel. My ship was sinking, and I was desperate!

What I learned was….I was desperate for God! Desperate times call for desperate measures, so I got on my face before my loving and compassionate Father. He held my hand through every challenge; through every pain; through every shed tear; through every fear; through every attack; through my grief, anger, resentment,un-forgiveness, and isolation. He held my hand while I experienced every hard emotion of my rock bottom.

He taught me how to pray; how to find contentment and joy in the smallest of things. He taught me how to read His Word, and the Holy Spirit gave me understanding. He would encourage me every day to not give up. His grace taught me how to brush myself off as I made mistake after mistake. He taught me how to forgive, how to love Him, others and myself.  NO, my situation did not change right away, but my outlook did. He turned my focus from the valley toward the mountain where He was taking me.

“But You, O Lord, are a shield for me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.” Psalm 3:3

God held my hand in the valley, all the while lifting my head toward the mountain top. I want to encourage you today.  If you are walking in the valley, you are not alone! Your Father is with you! I can assure you that this” valley season” will not last. Hold fast to hope! Hope fast to your faith! There is a mountain top waiting with your name on it!!!

“God Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. I will not,  I will not, I will not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let you down relax My hold on you! Assuredly not!” Hebrews 13:5 ampc

“Be strong. Take courage. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t give them a second thought because God, your God, is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you.” Deuteronomy 31:6 msg

Searching For Answers

There will be some things we will never understand; things that leave us puzzled and scratching our heads.  There will be events that occur in your life, and you will not comprehend their purpose. Tragedy so tremendous befalls some, and we just don’t understand. We are left with an overwhelming WHY that bubbles up like a broken record.

Sometimes, the “thing” is so tragic, packing a devastating blow and crushing grief. We may turn our WHYS toward God, and our anguish turns to anger as we try to make sense of what DOESN’T make sense.

Job found himself in these very shoes after he suffered the loss of family, livelihood,  and his own personal health. He too asked WHY.

Job even came to the “conclusion that that righteous have no advantage more than the wicked.” (Job 35:16 ampc)

This is exactly the mindset Satan wants us to have when something bad happens. He wants us to be confused; to doubt our Christianity and doubt God; to draw the wrong conclusions; give up and turn away from God.

God never tells Job why, instead He reminds Job of who HE is; reminds Job that HE planned creation…. that He keeps it in order, and that it continues because He tells it to. He reminds Job that HE was the very foundation of the world! His response brings Job back to the  basics of faith…….to simply trust God’s plan even in the valley. King  David had also suffered great loss and hurt in life, yet he says this of the Lord in Psalm 23….. Even though I walk through the valley, I know You are with me and You will comfort me.

Don’t get confused and perhaps draw wrong conclusions like Job did, by chasing down the wrong answers. The answer to Job’s question was Jesus!  And He is with you even in the valley!

Job had begun to look toward himself for answers, but God tells us in Proverbs 3 to “trust God from the bottom on your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; He’s the one who will keep you on track.”

HE IS THE ANSWER!!

Releasing Faith & Power; Praying Scriptures

There is nothing more powerful than praying out scriptures. I’ve been praying this prayer- these scriptures- below, and I wanted to share it with you. Change the pronouns to fit your dear loved one, and even pray this over yourself; and stand back and see the glory of God’s Word fulfilled!

God will direct and order __________________’s steps. (Proverbs 16:9, Psalm 37:23) And even though she has many plans, the Lord’s plans for her will prevail!  (Proverbs 19:21) Not only are His plans for her are good, (Jeremiah 29:11)  but when the time is right, God Himself will make it happen. (Isaiah 60:22)  With Love in His eyes, He will teach her, and give her instructions.  (Psalm 32:8) The Lord is her Shepherd, (Psalm 23:1) and He will continually guide her and will satisfy every need! (Isaiah 58:11) Her times are in His hands! (Psalm 31:15)

In faith, I declare this in the name of Jesus because I believe that God’s Word is full of power, and is alive and active for me and my family today!!

 

Decisions, Decisions!

My co-worker asked me to her home one day after work. We both hop in my car, but only one of us knows where we are going, and it isn’t me. Yet, I’m the one behind the wheel. Without her telling me every turn to make, I would have been lost and the destination would not be reached.

So it is in our everyday Christian walk. We are behind the drivers wheel but the Holy Spirit gives us directions.

“Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say, “This is the way you should go, whether to the right or to the left.” Isaiah 31:21 nlt

Imagine what might have happened if……I ignored my co-worker’s directions, or I cut the radio up so loud I drowned her out? What if I thought she was just offering me “suggestions,” and that I had a much better route?

These questions make us all think about how we respond to, and interact with the Holy Spirit. What is He telling us, and will we listen?

He has a purpose for our lives, and a destination in mind. Trust in His Word…..”Your own ears will hear Him….” He will NOT steer us in the wrong direction.

Not Forgotten

“Praise be to God who has not rejected my prayer or withheld His love from me” Psalm 66:20

I used to love to try out new recipes. Ya know, from scratch: the ones that don’t come in a box.  I would be excited to shop for every ingredient; thrilled to make sure my kitchen was clean and prepped; and then I’d make sure my day was dedicated to the big task ahead. I’m all in….fully invested. Before long, the kitchen is messy again, and I begin to wonder if this was such a good idea after all, not to mention my growing concern about how this new dish will turn out. Or worse, what if I neglect to turn the timer on and I forget it’s in the oven?

Sometimes we approach our prayers like this! We toil and labor over prayer and we don’t get desired results, or we simply forget about it.

Prayers can be like meals: some are done in 15 minutes, some are take hours in a slow cooker. You may even think God is the one who has forgotten about your petitions! He has not!

Isaiah 49:15 “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though SHE may forget, I WILL NOT FORGET YOU!”

Wow that is powerful!! Not only that, but He keeps all of His promises (2 Chronicles 6:14)! Whatever He has spoken WILL come to pass! No Word from the Lord will ever fail (Luke 1:37)!  He cannot tell a lie (Hebrews 6:18)! And He has not rejected your prayers (Psalm 66:20)!

God has not forgotten you or your prayers! So cling to the promises in His Word; cling the Words the Holy Spirit has spoken to you about your circumstances; These Words from God will come to pass, it’s only a matter of time.

Long after we’ve forgotten, God has NOT forgotten!
Rest assured that when the time is right, you will see the evidence of God’s faithfulness!!!

Isaiah 60:22 “When the time is right, I the Lord will make it happen.”

Now What?

Sometimes, we think we’ve arrived! We’ve reached the summit, and think that’s it! I’ve made it. Maybe we have a spiritual “rags to riches” story, and that makes us feel that we’ve gone as far as we can go with God. Having come so far can often make one feel they can go no further. So the question begs, now what?

Just as there are depths of the Ocean that man has not explored, there are spiritual depths in which man has yet to go. God CAN and WILL take us deeper. Trust Him to take you into the deep waters, and soak in new depths of things that only god can reveal. The more you seek Him, the more you find Him.

Click this link Into The Deep and learn more about going deeper

At Least

My 23 year son was very excited about his new job. Although he has very little experience in the field, he was hired with an HVAC company where he will be trained and have support for going returning to school to receive certification. What a great opportunity!! Things are looking up.  He hops in the 28 year old Honda Accord to make the hour and 15 minute commute (one way) to begin his two week training. On the way home one night, this faithful and trusty old vehicle blew its clutch a day or two into the new job training. Training that is required in order for him to keep this promising new job. This might be a great excuse for your boss when you’ve been on the job 2 years but NOT 2 days!

The quoted repair price exceeded the value of the car. So that’s out! My husband and I didn’t have an extra vehicle for him to borrow. So that’s out. I mean a solution had to be found in ONE weekend!!! No pressure! In an effort to make the best of a bad situation, I say, “well ‘at least’ he made it home, and we didn’t have to pay for a tow truck.”

“At least.” It’s a term used by many to accept an unpleasant reality…..a search to pick out the microscopic slice of positive in a large soup pot of negativity. Most of the time, we top off statements like this with a tone of finality, and a side of regretful expression. It’s a quick dish that is best not served at all, for it implies the larger portion of meal is hard to swallow. We chase it all down with a glass of “Now what?”

Don’t misunderstand me, picking out the positive is a good thing, but NOT having an “at least” mentality when it comes to spiritual matters….not when it comes to believing God for a miracle.

We don’t serve an “at least” kind of God….yet we often approach His throne expecting the minimum, if anything at all.

God told us to approach His throne with boldness! (Hebrews 4:16 & Ephesians 3:12)
God told us to make our requests known to Him! (Philippians 4:6)
And He tells us something else we need to know through this story in Mark chapter 9.

A father desperately wanted his son to be healed. Since his birth, the boy had been afflicted physically. His father describes it like this, “he has a dumb spirit. And wherever it lays hold of him so as to make him its own, it dashes him down and convulses him, and he foams at the mouth and grinds his teeth, and he falls into a motionless stupor and is wasting away. And it has often thrown him both into fire and into water, intending to kill him.”

If you were this boys daddy, what would you ask Jesus to do?

This desperate dad asks Jesus for the bare minimum…he asks if Jesus can even do anything at all. In other words, ‘whatever you can do will be better than nothing at all.’

How did Jesus respond to dad’s plea for the minimum? Jesus did not ridicule this anxious dad. Instead he gave Him the one ingredient he needed to receive his miracle by 100%

The ingredient: simply BELIEVE!!

Jesus tells him that ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE TO HIM WHO BELIEVES!!! (Mark 9:23)! All of it!! Not just the minimum. Not a part, but the WHOLE! This dad, recognizing that he might be a tablespoon shy of belief, he asked Jesus to help him to believe. Jesus did not make this difficult, nor did he condemn this man. His sick son was delivered and healed and made whole! 100%

Let’s kick “at least” to the curb when we talk to God!  Don’t settle for less! He is a God of MORE than enough! ALL things are possible to him who believes. And if you struggle with believing, no worries: He will help your unbelief just like he did that father, and He won’t be angry with you about it either. Our God is a good God, and He’s waiting to show you the maximum, not the minimum.