It is often easy to worship God when it’s convenient, and to praise Him when we’re happy. But this is the most shallow praise and worship ever. God doesn’t fall for it.
If a friend is willing to skip a party they wanted to go to in order to visit you in the hospital it’s going to mean a lot more than if they came because they didn’t have anything better to do. If they give you a compliment despite the fact that they’re exhausted and have just got off a twelve hour shift at work, their words will be quite more treasured than if they just felt obligated to say something nice.
Now, if they came to see you because the party was canceled, their visit would be much less meaningful. If they take your friendship for granted and never have anything loving to say it’s not much of a friendship.
We serve a jealous God. And God knows it’s exactly what we need.
There’s a special kind of peace and joy that comes when we serve, praise, and worship when we don’t feel like it. It’s not always right away, but it pays off. Worshiping and praising God at our weak points makes us stronger. Seeking Him when we feel like we’re too tired to think straight causes us to rely on His Holy Spirit.
Be willing to serve when you feel you can hardly stand. Praise Him even through storms. Worship Him even when it seems like it’s been the roughest day of your life.
Don’t give God the time that’s convenient for you. Don’t give Him the leftovers.
My Father searches for me;
He saves me from the enemy’s hand.
He holds me in His arms;
I do not go hungry.
He leads me through every valley,
And is my light when the evening comes.
When I begin to stray He calls my name;
He brings me back to a safe place.
In His full protection, worry does not exist;
Where His Spirit surrounds me, thieves do not break in.
“Every dream, no matter how big, starts out as a seed. And like a seed, it often goes underground for a season. That’s when we get discouraged because we don’t see any physical evidence of the dream’s progress. But it has to take root before it can bear fruit.”
As this year has been quite a challenging one, this quote from “Chase the Lion” (and the book itself) has really hit home. Picturing a seed breaking open in order for what is inside it to take root and grow—meanwhile seeing no fruit of any progress—really seemed like an accurate description of me.
The most important thing in these situations is to be where we are supposed to be. To be in good soil where we will get strong roots—to be where God wants us to be.
A lot of times at these points in our lives it seems like we are distant from God, in the dark and unable to see the “Son”. But still, He is there. As long as His Spirit is “raining” down upon us, if we continuously seek Him eventually we will break through the soil. We will see Him and His light will cause us to flourish.
How we react to being planted is so critical. Choosing to take root in where we’ve been planted will often affect our lives long-term a lot more than we realize.
Slowly, I am learning. Though it may be hard, I know it will be worth it.
Hold me close to You, Lord;
Oh, how I need You!
You bring peace to my soul;
You allow my tears to fall on Your shoulders.
You hear my every word and know my every thought,
Yet still You love me.
You bear my every burden;
You walk with me on every journey.
My God will form me by His own hands;
He will shape me as He sees fit.
He takes what is broken and makes it new;
By His own Spirit His vessels shall be filled to overflowing.
How great is our God who is Lord over all!
You cannot count the number of His days;
His time cannot be written down.
His arms stretch far out;
His height and width cannot be measured.
At the sound of His voice mountains tremble;
At His command storms will rest.
All of mankind shall bow at His feet;
His children will rejoice and be glad!
Draw me nearer to You, oh Lord;
Bring me within Your presence.
Let fear fall far from me;
May I stand with faith as my guard.
Fill me with Your Spirit, Lord;
Surround me with Your love.
By You I will be made strong;
By Your purpose I will move forward.
As I woke up this morning feeling rather constricted to my hospital bed and I was feeling quite weak, I pictured a beautiful flock of birds flying by. As they flew by, I was left behind with injured wings unable to fly. Oh, how I wanted to fly!
After a while of waiting and preparing, I was healed. After some time of some more preparing and learning, I was flying, and boy did I fly! Not only was I soaring through the sky, but hundreds, if not thousands, followed behind.
God had prepared me. The process of being prepared was painful and hard but it was worth it.
Exalt the Most High over all the earth;
Praise the Holy One whose love endures forever!
His foundations do not crumble;
His throne will forever stand.
He brought Himself down so that our cost can be paid;
He took pain upon Himself so that we can be set free.
He alone is worthy of our worship;
On our knees we bow before Him.
Never can we repay Him for what He has done;
The victory He gives we will never deserve.
Yet still He invites us in;
He calls us to accept His love.
To the broken and hurting He offers a place at His table;
He serves and gives gifts to each one.
There is no other god or friend such as this;
No, not one can be accounted for!
Hear my cry, oh Lord;
Give ear to my plea!
Pain has taken hold of me;
I have fallen into the grasp of affliction.
The enemy laughs at me;
He brings disgrace upon me.
Take me from this darkness, Lord;
Relieve me from the enemy’s hold.
Loose the chains from around my ankles;
Walk me towards Your perfect Way.
Your light overcomes the enemy’s darkness;
His chains cannot withhold Your strength.
Your endurance far outlives the pain of the evil one;
Your patience overcomes the ways of the wicked.
Forever the Lord shall reign over all;
Indeed, His Kingdom shall have no end!
In the arms of the Lord I find myself;
In His Way I am made complete.
He knows every part of my being;
My calling is His masterpiece.
Where He leads me, I will go;
Where He goes, I will follow.
All the days of my life I will worship Him;
Unto the Lord all my years have been devoted.
One of the things I’m having to constantly remind myself is that God is never late. So many times I think I’ve figured out where God is leading me when suddenly it becomes impossible or quite delayed. My instinct reaction is frustration, confusion, and disappointment.
This is where it gets hard. It’s where we can’t rely on our own understanding. It’s where our faith, trust, and patience are tested. It’s where we need to be surrendering ourselves to Christ, allowing Him to shape our lives however He sees fit.
Slowly, I am learning. Learning that if I can’t do it, either it’s not God’s will for me to do it at all, or it’s just not time.
We need to realize that if we are allowing things like worry, anger, and doubt to reign in our lives we are giving Satan control and missing opportunities of a lifetime that God has in store for us! What good is that?
Instead of worrying, let’s put our faith in the One who gave His life for us. Instead of becoming angry because things aren’t working out like we expected, let’s put our trust in our Author. Instead of becoming frustrated with the timing of everything, let’s rely on the Creator of time.
Let’s remember: God is never late.
You, my Father, bring to me what is good;
You keep me in a safe place.
You know the way that is right;
Night and day You guide me.
When my feet start another path,
You bring me back by Your correction.
When my legs start to fail me,
You lift me up and set my legs straight.
Your love, oh Lord, provides direction;
Your wisdom sets me on the perfect way.