Wednesday, September 30, 2009

It's worth it!

When I first started to try to get published, I remember the night that I got my first turndown. I had gotten two in the same night. I was a crying wreck. Dan did his best to console me. I had never planned on the turndowns. I just figured that when you were doing what God called you to do it would work, and it would be easy. My naiveté makes me laugh now. I remember Dan’s words though. He said to me that one day I’ll be able to appreciate it so much more because of all I had to do in order to get to the place God had for me. Going through the process is hard. However, I believe that it will all be worth it! God called you to be in that place, and the struggle is worth it!

In the movie “An Officer and A Gentleman”, there is this scene where the commanding officer is trying to get Richard Gere’s character to give up. He puts him through this very difficult weekend and finally Richard Gere looks at him and says, “I can’t quit because I’ve got no place else to go.” I’ve thought about that scene often in my walk to push forward in what I know God has called me to. I’m not at all trying to say that God is trying to get you to quit because that is not his character. He wants you to fulfill you’re call. However, through situations, circumstances, and the enemy it can feel like that may be your only alternative.

The disciples went through a very similar situation. Many people were walking away from Jesus. John 6: 66-68 says, “From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. “You do not want to leave too, do you?" Jesus asked the Twelve. Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” Peter says pretty much the exact same thing as Richard Gere did in the movie. He’s saying, “We can’t quit where else would we go?”

You’ll find in your walk with the Lord that thought quitting may sound tempting when you really think about it, you can’t. You’ve seen too much in the kingdom, you know too much. If you give up now you’d just end up miserable. Being outside of God’s plans and purposes makes you miserable. It’s not worth it to give up. It may seem tempting, but that’s just the deception talking.

2 Corinthians 12:9 says, “And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” God has given you all the abilities you need to fulfill the call upon your life. His grace and ability inside of you is enough for you. You can do this!

You have to stop thinking of your alternatives. Pastor Arthur used to always say there is no Plan B in the kingdom of God. What he meant by that was that you can’t focus on the ‘what if’s’. You can’t keep thinking “worst case scenario”. However, you must push forward in what you know God has said and what He is doing. You must earnestly seek after Him.

You will find yourself on the other side of this situation one day and will see that all you’re laboring and all your fight has been worth it. You will find yourself rejoicing and so grateful that you didn’t give up when you were tempted. I always say that one day I want to be able to face God on Judgment Day and be able to tell him. I did everything I could to see His will fulfilled on this earth. I promise you this, the fight, the tears, it’s all worth it! God sees your heart. God sees the things you’ve done behind the scenes. I promise you, it’s worth it!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Shaking means, It's Harvest Time!

As a kid growing up in Ohio, I grew up with an apple orchard not far from my house. Having an apple orchard around that region was common for we all knew that was where “Johnny Appleseed” once labored. Who surprisingly most people do not know, is that he did more than just plant apple trees, he was a missionary. Every year at this apple orchard, they would have an apple festival. Because I knew the owner’s, for two years I worked at this apple festival. What did I do you ask? Well I dressed up in a giant foam apple costume and got to dance around as I shake people’s hands. You would think dressing up like a giant fruit of a loom character as a young girl in high school among my peers would be traumatic, but it was a fun day job. I have always loved harvest time. Being able to see a harvest come in, and know all the labor and toil was worth it is a beautiful site.

Jeff Ferguson (Voice of Freedom Ministries) taught an excellent message at Freedom Life last week about God shaking the church, and I have been thinking a lot about that message as it relates to apple trees. God is taking the church at large through a season of time where it feels as if we have all been shaken. I can speak personally, where I feel that this year has been some of the best times so far and some of my hardest. I believe that there is a shaking going on the church at large.

Why do people shake apple trees? Well, most of the time it is because they want the fruit that is on those trees. Did you know that is how you know if an apple is ripe or not. If it comes off the tree easily then it is ripe. Yes, sometimes rotten ones are in there too, but if a tree is shaken that means it is being harvested. Yup, both the good and bad are harvested together.

As a believer, we are like trees and we have fruit. Galatians 5:22 (NIV)
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self control.” The Bible says in Matthew 7:16 (NIV) “By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles?” Meaning if you are a good tree in the kingdom, you will produce good fruit and if you are not so good, your fruit may stink.

I believe that we are in a shaking season in the church as a whole. I believe many are growing weary in that shaking, but cheer up. When it is shaking time . . . That means harvest time is here.Galatians 6:9 (NIV) says, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

God is going to look at your fruit, and be able to tell if you are ready for the next season or not. What will your fruit tell Him? Is it rotten, or is it full of life? Matthew 29-30 says" 'No,' he answered, 'because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.' "

Be encouraged today. God knows what you have been doing behind the scenes that no one else knows. God has seen your tears and He knows your heart. Be encouraged that he will bring you a harvest for which you have labored. Be encouraged today because harvest is happening sooner than you realize.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

It is time to pack your bags!!

The summer after high school, I went to a leadership camp retreat with Lutheran Outdoor Ministries in Ohio, and then later in the summer was hired to be a fill-in camp counselor for a week. I had known for several weeks prior that I was going to be doing this week for them, but the days kept going by and it seemed as if they would never call. It was frustrating for me because I am not a patient person in the natural realm. I began to question if I was even supposed to go. A few days before I was to leave they still had not called me, and I felt the Lord tell me to go and pack my bags. Huh? “That’s silly,” I replied, “they haven’t called me yet and told me they’d hired me.” However, I felt the Holy Spirit was adamant. He wanted me to pack and to pack before they called for me. So I did. Feeling like an idiot, I packed my bags. They called me the next day. This is the reason for years I kept a packed suitcase in my closet “just in case” I was ever called out to minister I would be ready. I did that for years until a friend of mine reminded me that if I did it for me now I had to do it for my whole family and eventually I got out of the habit of doing it. But I believe in packing your bags in faith. You have to be ready when God calls you to go.

Too often in the body of Christ, we are standing on the promises of God, because we know He has said something to us that we are to do, or to be, or to have. What happens is then we do not take steps of faith to see that thing happen. James 2:26 says, “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” You have to act on the things God has in your heart for you to do. For example if he has called, you to be a doctor then you had better get your behind in school. Just setting and declaring that you are a doctor from your house is not faith. You have a part to do. You have to take action. For years, I knew God wanted me to write my first book before I did. I struggled with it. But I had to physically set down and do it. That is not to puff me up. I know it has been God, but it is to say you have to do your part.

Hebrews 11:6 says, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” God loves it when you do things in faith. It gets him excited! He says there is my child who trusts me. I want to point out here that faith is not manipulation. We cannot do things to try to manipulate God to get him to do something. He moves in His timing.

He loves it when you get ready! He loves it when you do things out of faith. When you pack your bags before you have the job, it gets Him excited! A few nights ago, I began to think about this blog while trying to go to sleep and I got so excited I had a hard time sleeping. I feel that many of you including myself are in that place right now. Get your bags packed! God is about to do something big in your life and you need to be fully convinced of that fact. Some of you are going to grab a hold of this message and it is going to change you. You are going to know that you know that this word is for you. It is time people to “pack your bags” and get ready for a miracle. What I mean by that is begin to expect for something to change. Do whatever the Holy Spirit tells you to and get ready. Suddenlies may appear to be suddenlies in the natural but in the spiritual realm they take years to set up. The suddenlies are going to happen in some of your lives. Get ready for it!


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Did you open the door to find your porch icy?

If you talk to anyone that grew up in the North you’ll hear stories of snow days. Snow days were when it was too icy and snowy for the buses to run and they have to cancel school for the day. I have fond memories of setting around the radio as a kid as the announcer would announce them, and cheering on my school’s name when I heard it or crying in defeat if I didn’t. It was always up to the superintendent of the school system to make the call weither school would be cancelled or not. I remember one particular year that a guy and I were talking at school. He confessed to me that a bunch of boys had gone out to the superintendent’s house one cold night and took buckets of water and threw the water all over his steps. The water froze in sheets on his porch. The guy told me that the next morning had been below freezing but all in all it had been a nice day, and school was cancelled. He laughed as he told me this story. It was quite the boyhood prank, but it had worked because we didn’t have school the next day. As we’d all guessed the superintendent probably stepped out on the porch the next morning realized his front steps were frozen over and decided that it wasn’t worth trying to get the buses out.

I was thinking about this story the other day and began to think a lot about deception. Deception is practice of misleading somebody: the practice of deliberately making somebody believe things that are not true, or something intended to mislead somebody: an act, trick, or device intended to deceive or mislead somebody.

You see the devil has no authority. People often times think that the devil is so powerful. Nope, he’s not. His only authority is to deceive people. He’s trying to trick them. In Genesis 3:13 it talks about the serpent deceiving Eve. 1 Peter 5:8 says “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” The devil is LIKE a lion. . . He’s not a lion. He’s trying to trick you. He’s trying to deceive you into believing he’s all powerful, but he’s not!

Pastor Greg has been talking a lot about the wiles of the devil recently. Ephesians 6:11 says, “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” That the devil sets up tricks and deceits for us. That are well thought out.

What happens here is that too often as believers we see this wile or trick the devil is trying to throw at us and we believe it. We’re like the superintendent of the school we open the door see the wile. We might step out, but all in all we turn the other direction. We believe the deceit instead of continuing to move forward. What we need to realize is that if we would choose to believe the truth. If we would choose to guard our hearts from deceit we could walk off that porch of the wiles of the devil and realize that on the other side of this thing God has a beautiful day planned for us.

Is there anything in your life that you looked at and ran? Are you believing in a deceit from the devil or the truth of God almighty? James 1:16 says, “Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.”

We must be on our guard to deception. We must stay diligent. We must stay firmly in the truth of the Bible and the rock of Christ Jesus. We must realize that deceit is a lie, and what Jesus said is the truth.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Dig Deeper, Push Harder!

A few years ago my mom and my niece came down for a visit. We all went out to Weikwa Springs which is one of my favorite places. It’s a natural spring that reminds me so much of old Florida before commercialism took over. You drive back into a very wooded area to find an oasis. It would have been a place where native Americans would have visited for centuries. The water is so clear and refreshing that you can see straight to the bottom. On one side they have built it where people can go swimming. There is an animal gate so all the natural wildlife can’t come in and nibble at your toes. On the other side the part of the spring where you can rent canoes and go boating out on the water. On this side you will see all animals natural to the Florida wildlife.

It was decided on that particular day that I would take my oldest daughter who was six at the time and my niece who was thirteen out on the canoe for a nice boat ride. As I sat in the back of the boat to steer I got a little nervous. The sight was beautiful but if you know me you know I harbor a fear of alligators. Living in Florida has made me learn to be okay as long as they are far away, but going canoeing in Weikiwa Springs it’s common to see them, and hear them. You have to accept the fact your boating in waters that have them all over. This being the first time I’d done this without my husband around I was a bit scared but trying to be the brave adult in the boat. I put on a happy face and insisted we’d be okay. It was a beautiful day. The sun shone through the trees leaving it’s pattern on the water. We could see the turtles under the water and out sunbathing. I was avoiding the fact I’d already seen an alligator and hoped the girls didn’t start to get scared. About the time we decided to turn around the weather took a bad turn. The wind had picked up and was now going against us. It was starting to rain, and we got caught on a log. I started to freak out. I was trying to mask it out of my concern for the sake of my daughter and niece. I was not about to jump in that water and get us unstuck. I knew some people would do that but there were gators in that water! When I finally got us over the log the wind was picking up even harder. My niece was trying to row, but it seemed that we started to go in circles. She was trying to paddle one way and myself the other. The wind seemed relentless. Internally I started to panic. Let’s rewind here: I’m in gator infested waters, I have a 13 and a 6 year old in my boat whom I’m responsible for, and the boat isn’t moving no matter how hard I try to paddle. I started to pray. I could remember a sermon once Pastor Greg gave once years ago at Freedom that has always stayed with me about how we were created in God’s image so we can declare that we have characteristics of God. I was paddling going, “I have the strength of God. I am like Samson. I can do this.” Eventually my niece and I worked ourselves into a rhythm and got ourselves back to shore. The scene had concerned me more than I let on.

Later when I was talking to my dad on the phone, I guess I assumed I’d get some kind of sympathy. However my dad has been through an amazing amount in his life: survived being a grunt soldier for months in Vietnam, learned how to walk again when a tumor was removed from his spinal cord, survived two heart attacks and a stroke, and a bout of pancreitites. My dad is a survivor! He listened to my story and then responded with such a phrase that will forever stick with me. He said, “Well kid, sometimes you have to dig deeper and push harder.”

The Bible talks a lot about enduring and pressing on toward the goal. Matthew 24:13 (NKJ) says, “But he who endures to the end shall be saved“. Philippians 3:12(NKJ) says, “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.” 1 Peter 5:8 (The Message) says, “Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The Devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping. Keep your guard up. You're not the only ones plunged into these hard times. It's the same with Christians all over the world. So keep a firm grip on the faith. The suffering won't last forever. It won't be long before this generous God who has great plans for us in Christ—eternal and glorious plans they are!—will have you put together and on your feet for good. He gets the last word; yes, he does.”

Situations in life will occur that you can easily get you so worn down that you can want to give up. My dad always says that you can “lie down and die or get up and fight.” His raw grit and determination has always been an inspiration to me over the years. There have been many times in my life where I can hear him say, “Ann it’s time to dig deeper and push harder.”

God wants you to fulfill the call of God in your life, but sometimes you got to dig deeper and push harder to keep going. Sometimes you have to be that determined that you will not give up. When I was out in that canoe I had the same options. I had to determine that I was going to get my niece and daughter to the other side.

You have to choose to keep pushing forward because it’s worth it. Hebrews 11:6
says, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” God sees your fight and your determination. It takes faith in what He has promised you to keep pressing forward but I promise you that you will get on the other side of this thing one day. Don’t give up! You’ve come too far now! It’s time to “dig deeper and push forward!”

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Are you shooting with your eyes closed?

While we were visiting my mom and dad several weeks ago I was convinced to target shoot with both my dad and grandpa. Now this is not the first time I did this but it’s the first time as an adult I did. I’m certainly not opposed to gun rights, I believe their a constitutional one, however for myself I was not comfortable doing this. It was just too much power, and it freaked me out a bit. I was a lousy shot, because I’d get so nervous that secretly I closed my eyes every time I fired. The only time I ever actually made my target was when I used the gun with the laser pointer. This experience got me thinking. I think many people do the exact same thing in life. Their trying to go forward in their life, but have their eyes closed and they don’t know where their aiming.

God has such special plans for your life. Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) says, “For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” I believe that He has uniquely designed you and made you for a reason and a purpose. This can be a challenge in people’s lives, and it can seem like it can bring questions bigger than people know how to answer. So many individuals either don’t realize that, or their so frustrated about that purpose it’s like their walking around with their eyes closed and wondering why their not hitting their mark. But I have great news for you. You don’t have to know everything. God does. You just have to allow Him to point you in the right direction. You have to be obedient to be fired in that direction.

Those that know me know I love to talk about the prophetic. But really all prophecy is, is that you hear the voice of God. Weither it’s for your life or someone else’s John 10:4 (NKJV) says, “And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice” If your one of His kids, you can hear his voice. Rarely is it audible, but He knows how to talk to you so you’ll listen.

If you don’t know where God is aiming you in life, why don’t you ask Him? Earnestly desire His will! You have to realize though, that 1 Corinthians 13:9 (NKJV) says, “For we know in part and we prophesy in part.” Meaning? God doesn’t always reveal every thing to you at once, but He will give you what you need right now.

Philippians 3:12-14 (NIV) says, “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

How can you press on if your eyes are closed? Earnestly seek the Lord as to what your target is. I encourage you no matter what it sounds like to your head go forward. Get Godly council on the matter. Realize that there is a process to get to your destiny and commit yourself to stick with it. Many times people start to head towards the target and then change their mind in mid air. That’s just as senseless. You’re still not going to hit your target that way. You must commit to yourself, and in your life that you’ll go forward to hit your mark, no matter how long it takes, or how much it may not make sense to your head. But I assure you God knows what He’s doing when He goes to fire you at the target. Are you going to trust Him enough to open up your eyes, and hit your mark?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

I jumped for the phone, hit my foot on the dresser, and broke the side of my foot.

When I was in middle school, late one night I was diving for the phone hit my foot on the dresser and broke the side of my foot. If you haven’t figured it out by now they knew me by name as a kid in the orthopedic doctor’s office. When I did this my friends at the time laughed so hard about what I had done they kept repeating to me that I’d jumped for the bed and hit my foot on the phone. Yes that is funny. But when I got to the doctor’s office to explain to them how I broke my foot I repeated to the doctor the exact thing my friends had kept saying. My words got all twisted up.

Now I’m not saying those people are bad. That’s not my point. My point is that you need to be careful whose words you allow in your thinking. The Bible says, in 1 Corinthians 15:33 (NIV) Do not be misled: "Bad company corrupts good character." Meaning when you hang around someone long enough sometimes you start acting like them. Are the people your opening your life too ones you want to emulate?

If you read about Joseph in the book of Genesis you will learn about how God called Joseph through dreams at a very early age. Joseph opened his mouth up about these dreams a little too much. His brothers did not have a revelation of the things to come and they hated Joseph for the favor of God on his life. Who you allow in your inner circle will greatly affect you. Joseph made the mistake of sharing his dreams with everyone and inevitably it’s what angered his brothers to sell him into slavery.

You have to be careful about what you say to whom and how you say it. Sometimes God can give you some far out there thoughts and destinies and well meaning people can discourage you. I remember when I was sure I had to write my first book the concept of it seemed crazy to me. Writers were always people I thought were cool, but I was sure I was not one. I remember getting made fun of for not being able to write a proper sentence. There were several individuals that I talked to, and everyone minus my mother thought I was nuts. Finally out of desperation one day I made an appointment with Dr. Watson at Marion Christian Center. His encouragement has always been a help to me. He simply said to me, “If this is what God wants you to do then you can do it.” At the time when I felt support from few others his words helped me believe in the Jesus in myself. Today I finished my eight book, among a whole list of other stuff. Though I’m still working on the publishing part, one day God will do it because He hasn’t brought me this far to fail me now. I’m not saying all this to puff myself up. I know that it has been God all along. What is in your destiny that you have made into a mountain?

I want to encourage you today. Get around people who believe in you. Get around those that will encourage you to reach for the God given dreams and destiny on your life. Stop lending your ears to negativity. Negativity tells you that you’ll never go forward in life. But that is not the truth. Dare to believe God at what He told you. Matthew 19:26 (NKJV) says, “But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

I’ll end this blog by copying the lyrics of one of my all time favorite songs (which I always joke is my theme song)

Dare to Believe by Ray Boltz,

You're standing at a mountain
That you know you cannot climb
Your enemy’s approaching
You hear him coming from behind
There is trouble all around you
There's no place to run away
But there's a voice
That's deep inside you
Saying it's time to stand in faith

I dare to believe
That miracles happen,
That mountains still move,
And demons must flee
For the God that we serve
He is much more than able
So don't be afraid
Stand up and say,
I dare to believe

There's a miracle inside you
It's just a mustard seed

of faith
But by the mighty hand of God now
You know that tiny seed was placed
And though this world
May try to crush you
It can never keep you down
Soon the life of God inside you
Will come breaking through the ground


No matter what the doubters tell you
No matter what the devil says
No matter what anybody,
Anybody else does
You just keep trusting Jesus
You'll see and won't be long
God is right and the doubters are wrong
Just say,


No don't be afraid
Just stand up and say,
I dare to believe
No don't be afraid
Just stand up and say,
I dare to believe


Sunday, September 6, 2009

But, I've been waiting at the top of the stairs for a REALLY long time!

We had this Christmas morning tradition at our house growing up. My mom and dad have a two story house and my sister and my bedroom was on the 2nd floor. On Christmas mornings we were not allowed to come down the stairs until my mom and dad had everything ready for us. My dad on Christmas morning often would have to snow plow the driveway. So until that was done we couldn’t come down the stairs. But my dad wouldn’t stop at just our driveway. He would often plow our next door neighbors and the next door neighbors. I can remember staring out the window in heated frustration, “Didn’t he understand it was Christmas morning?” He’ll tell you today he did this because the neighbors were elderly ladies who needed the help. That is true, but secretly I think he was just trying to mess with us. Our Christmas couldn’t start until he was ready. My mom and dad have pictures that will show the passage of time, year in and year out of my sister and I waiting at the top of the stairs.

Often times in your walk with God you can feel as if you’ve been waiting at the top of those stairs for a really long time. Especially in prophetic church because you may see bits and pieces of Christmas morning waiting for you, God might have even told you what some of your presents are, and until you get the okay you can’t come down the stairs.

Many of you who know me personally know that I’ve said numerous times that I’ve come to the conclusion that there is a reason patience is a fruit of the spirit. It’s because it doesn’t occur naturally, but it’s a supernatural work. There is also a reason why it’s called long suffering.

Romans 5:3 says, “There's more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we're hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we're never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can't round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!”

Patience teaches you, matures you, and gets you firmly planted on the rock of Christ Jesus. I think many people in the body of Christ feel that God is kind like my dad. That really God is just messing with you and picking on you as to why these things in your life haven’t happened yet. But that’s not God. God is just as excited as you are to tell you to come on down those steps and enjoy in the Christmas morning that He has planned for your life.

When things don’t happen in the timing you think they should, many issues could be going on. One, God needs to get you ready. As much as I cried and complained about God not releasing me into some things years ago I understand now why he didn’t. I wasn’t ready. I had to grow up. Did you know it was never God’s intention to make the Israelites roam around in the wilderness for 40 years. It was His will to get them right into the promise land. It was their disobedience and distrust in the Lord that got them to wander (Read Exodus). Two it can also just not be time. Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:” I honestly believe that God has such specific plans that it has to be His timing. Sometimes we are so busy thinking that all these other issues could and can be going on, but really it just could be a matter of timing.

Be at peace today. Know that God has such special plans for you. He will tell you to come down those stairs and enjoy your Christmas morning soon. I know the waiting is hard. I know that some days it can feel as if your banging your head against a wall. But God doesn’t want you frustrated. He wants you in peace, patience, gentleness and self control (Galatians 5:22). A thought occurred to me the other day. I had a frustrating few hours and I started to think if I got released into something would I feel like an idiot about the pity party I was throwing? The answer is Yes, I would.

It all comes down to trusting in Him people. Do you trust him that the Christmas present you’ve been waiting for is really at the bottom of those stairs. Because if you really know that you know it’s there you can be at peace and know God’s got everything under control. Trust Him. He’s a good daddy. Soon He will call out to you and say, “It’s Christmas morning, and I’ve been waiting for you to come down the stairs and enjoy it so get your behind down here, and let’s go!”

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Are you playing Tug-o-War with God?

I have always been a very determined individual. I’ll confess at times I’m even down right stubborn. I remember one particular instance when I was in the third grade. My dad, who at the time was so strong I remember him doing curls with his biceps while I sat on his hand, was playing with the dog with a belt. I honestly don’t remember at the time what started the fight, but somehow I had gotten on the other end of that belt and we were playing tug-o-war back and forth. Dad wanted me to let it go. I wasn’t going to yield. This went back a forth a few minutes and to get me to let it go. He twisted his arm to pull the belt around. Most kids would have let go at this point, but not me. I held onto that belt, and what resulted was me breaking my wrist. For years my dad felt bad for that, but it wasn’t my dad’s fault. It was me for not letting go when I should have.

Often times, myself included, we do the exact thing to God. He is trying to get us to let go of certain things in our lives and we hold on. We fight to keep what we think we need with everything in us, and truthfully God is probably seeing us down the road hurting because we didn’t let it go when it was time. He’s trying to push us forward and instead of following where he leads we’re fighting back. We’re playing tug-o-war with Him, when really we should be allowing for Him to lead us.

John 10:4 says, “And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.”

Are we following him today, or fighting against Him? I spent years saying I couldn’t do the very things I knew God called me to. I spent years striving to hold onto things in life I thought I needed. But I had to finally let go, and let God do what He had to do in me.

Jeremiah 1:5 says,“ Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” God has so many things He wants to accomplish in your life. He knows all the giftings and abilities He’s put inside of you. It is for such a distinct purpose He has for you. But if you keep playing Tug-o-War with him, how are you ever going to allow Him to lead you there.

Quit fighting with Him. Let go, and let Him do what He has to do in you. I’m not going to go about saying I’m perfect in this area. There are days I still want to pick that belt up and begin my battle again. But deep down I remember it’s not pretty if I keep trying to do it myself. God is crying out to you today to allow Him to lead your live. Being a yielded vessel can be scary at times, but you have to trust the One leading you. Do you really trust Him today, or are you just saying you do?

Psalm 18:30 says, “As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the LORD is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him.”

Trust in Him today. For He loves you, and He knows what is best for you!