God can do what He says He can do.
I am who God says I am.
I can do all things through Christ
God’s word is alive and active in me.
Oh Lord, may I have ears to hear You, be sensitive to Your leading, and may my heart, mind and will be quick to obey Your Word.
"For this people's heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them." - Matthew 13:15
As I start again the Beth Moore study Believing God…I’m finding that I’m going to be challenging some strong holds of doubt and unbelief in my life. Some of the ugly places…the things that I don’t think that I should have as a Christian.
There are times I wonder if I’m an aberration in the body of Christ? Am I the only one who struggles with doubt and unbelief?
Thinks like struggling with prayer. Do my prayers make a difference…or am I just wasting God’s time? After all…His will is going to happen anyway…shouldn’t I just submit instead?
No I shouldn’t surrender to the enemy’s lies that my prayers don’t matter. That’s what the person who most hates me in the whole entire world wants me to believe. He doesn’t want me to see and know that God loves me, cares about me and wants me to come to Him in faith, believing that He is good and entrusting Him with my concerns…and even the desires of my heart.
Satan wants me to doubt God. Doubt His goodness and doubt His character. He wants me to remain ignorant of God’s word. Or if I know what He says…to at least not believe it. Not believe that it applies to me personally. That what God promises in His word to His people…applies to me Susan.
When I don’t believe in a good God…one who loves me…it makes it harder to take my requests to Him in prayer. Why would I trust something that is most precious to me…to Someone who doesn’t loves me?
Satan likes to remind me daily…hourly…of how God has failed me…delayed…just plain not answered the prayer that is most important to me. He takes me on a tour of my life…to see how God has failed me. How He has turned His back on me…and just doesn’t care. He doesn’t love me…and I’m not worth it. That is the path of doubt and unbelief that the enemy likes to take me down.
While doing my first day’s homework…God reminded me that believing Him is work…it takes effort. It’s a choice I need to make daily…hourly…minute by minute. It takes no effort to believe the lies I’m being fed by Satan. But it takes effort to know God’s and His Word…to raise my shield of faith. It’s is work and takes faith to believe God…even when the evidence around me would say otherwise.
Now if I’m believing God…I will instead say that God’s delay in answering my prayer in giving me the desires of my heart…is because He is in the process of growing and preparing me…and working on the man whom I will marry. That God has a perfect timing and plan for me that He put in place from before the foundations of the world. That He is able to make a marriage which seems late in coming…perfect in His time. That it will be rich and full…and well worth the wait. That I will one day say…now I understand why You waited God.
Believing God is work…and I have an enemy who wants me to doubt God. He can not steal away my salvation…but he can make my life so miserable that I don’t even want to live anymore. Why would I allow him that victory?
But I can see most clearly that I don’t have the power and ability to have the faith I need on my own. If I’m going to get through this study…if I’m going to believe God, trust Him, take my requests to Him…and in confidence know that He will answer according to His perfect plan and timing…then He will have to give me the faith to believe.
So God…that is my first prayer…please give me the faith to believe You. I can’t do it on my own. So if You want me to believe…have faith…a powerful faith that brings down strongholds and exposes the lies of the enemy…then You will have to give it to me…fill me with faith. As Your word says…I can come confidently before Your throne with my requests…because I come to You in Christ Jesus my Lord.
Faith please…please give me the faith to believe God.
This last week I had an “ah ha” moment. Previously I’d written about how challenging it can be to be around folks who are negative or complaining a great deal of the time. It can be draining…and makes it hard for me to keep my focus on the positive side of life.
But when I had a recent encounter…I came away with two lessons for me to take away.
When someone is constantly complaining about their life…they must be very unhappy. Unhappy with their lives, their circumstances and even themselves. Now I can listen and try to be an encourager when someone is downcast. But when it’s more than a season of difficulty in a person’s life…that is more challenging to be around or listen to. It may be their personality or the way they view life…rather than a difficult season.
This time I had ears to listen…and what God impressed up me is that I truly need to be in prayer for them. Prayer about the difficulties and challenges that they are facing…and also that God would move in their heart and that peace and joy would prevail in their life. Of prime importance is prayer for their salvation if they don’t yet know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
So when all I hear are complaints….and it’s difficult to hear it another moment longer that’s my reminder that I need to pray for them. It can be a quick moment of prayer right then and there…or daily prayers for them.
Secondly…hearing a person with a negative critical spirit serves as a reminder to me that I need to be thankful and express my gratitude to God for the many gifts He has given me in my life. Things as ordinary as a job or an apartment…often get overlooked because they are so ordinary and everyday. It’s easy to give thanks for the big things in my life. But it’s the little things that make up my everyday life that are so easy to take for granted. When they are absent…then by golly I quickly become aware how important the ordinary, everyday, practical gifts of life are.
So thank You God…thank You for giving me ears to hear. Please give me an obedient heart so that I might act upon that which You have revealed. And God…please help me to take time each day…to look, reflect and record those insights that You have given me. If for no other reason…so that I will remember and grow.
Some folks are very disciplined. They make a resolution…and by golly they keep it…no matter what. Then there are a lot of folks that desire to make change or self improvements. They start out with good intentions…but if by the end of January…they are still maintaining that commitment…it’s an unusual year. There are few folks out there that seemingly make no effort at self improvement whatsoever…and overwhelmingly succeed by staying the same year after year.
But this year…God laid it on my heart the desire
to read through the Bible in a year. Even for one who attends church weekly and is involved in Bible study…I find this commitment a little intimidating. It means that for the next year…I will need to plan and carve out time each day to fulfill this resolution. My days, like so many, are already filled to the brim and overflowing. Getting five hours sleep a night feels like a luxury. But mostly…I hate to fail.
Even with all the possibility of failure…or knowing that I may not live up to this commitment…I believe that reading through the Bible is important. So many people that I greatly admire are rooted and grounded in the Word of God. It’s central in their life. It’s transformed their lives and defined their character. God has been able to use them in a mighty way to make a difference for the
What am I hoping to gain from this adventure?
So with some reservations that I might fail…I’ve decided to read through the Bible in 2007.
As if to confirm in my own mind that this is what God would have me do…one of the first callers on Dennis Prager’s radio show on New Years day…was a caller named Susan. This will be her eighth year in reading through the Bible. Dennis was encouraging callers by saying that it is important to make a resolution. Ideally in the areas of Health, Happiness and Character. He maintains that it is better to start and fail that to not try at all. Just firm up my commitment…I called the Dennis Prager radio show while I was on my morning walk. I was able to get on the show and share my resolution. I was inspired by the earlier caller named Susan and comforted by Dennis’ assurance that it’s better to at least make an attempt then do nothing at all.
I’m also hoping that God will use the daily feeding of His Word in my newest venture “Susan’s God Stops”. What I’m hoping is that this will be a daily blog. With short entries recording God’s work and those times where I can plainly see God’s hand in my life. Perhaps as I record it daily…I will be more sensitive to, see and hear God in a more personal way in my life.
Today’s God Stop…was God making it clear that He desires for me to read through the Bible this year.