Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8
Preachers often use this verse because it sounds dramatic and has an impact but it’s so important to put it in context. 1 Peter was written to Christians in the early Church (new believers) who were facing trials. In this chapter he is addressing the younger generation in the church to stay humble. He was reminding them to not think they had all the answers and he was encouraging them to keep their faith and look to God for restoration, security and strength.
Here's the deal friends, trials are going to come. The Bible says so. God works them for good using them to come into deeper relationship with you and to build you up to help others when you come out the other side. Satan uses them to plant doubt.
You see, if Satan can convince you that there isn’t really a God (lie), if he can make you believe that even after you became a believer that your problems are still the same-if not worse (his attack), and that you are better off without believing in a God because it doesn’t improve your life anyway (lie). Then he wins. Satan steals your faith.
Believing requires endurance. Following Jesus requires faith. When we believe we no longer say this problem is too hard but we say I have a God who is bigger than this problem. We no longer say I can’t do this but rather pray to the one true God that can give us peace and hope. We no longer seek to be served up a “perfect life” but rather seek to serve. We stop seeing people as problems and start seeing them as unique individuals loved by Jesus. Our prayer then becomes for God to help us love others.
I am so excited to do this FREE workshop series to help those with Faith Based platforms to reach the masses with the good news of Jesus! In this workshop you will learn:
We all have that one thing that we keep praying for that will make our lives better. What is your "that"?
Whatever your "that" is I want to give you a word of wisdom and encouragement that God placed on my heart today.
Stop praying for "that"! Start praying for the result of getting "that". CLICK TO TWEET
Let me explain. When you are praying for something it is because you are seeking some sort of relief. If you get "that" thing you pray for how will it change your life? Will it:
Can I let you in on a little secret? You can find all those things in God-even if you never get the "thing". And the truth is if you are placing that thing filling your needs above God filling your needs, you just may be prolonging your blessing.
ALL GOOD THINGS COME FROM GOD. So seek Him first. Stop praying for your "thing" and start praying for fulfillment in Jesus. Stop praying for your "thing" and pray for peace of mind and daily bread. Pray for comfort and hope and a joyful spirit. Pray for God to reveal himself to you in new ways. Pray for Him to help you be content in all situations, and not just content but joyful. Pray for opportunities to point people back to Him. Start and end everyday in His presence.
Posture yourself for the blessing. TWEET THIS
Don't you think God wants to bless you? Make Him your "thing" and the rest will follow. Perhaps once you find fulfillment in Him you "thing" won't be so important after all. Perhaps, He wants to bless you with abundantly more than you even ask.
Do you know what Satan's greatest weapon is? What is the number one thing that leads people astray from God? Distraction.
Distractions rob us of so much. They keep us busy robbing us of time and relationships. They keep us striving for more robbing us of contentment. They wear us out and rob us of our joy. But perhaps the most important asset distraction steals from us is focus.
When we fail to focus we take our eyes of God and we end up like Peter, sinking towards the bottom of the sea. Let's visit one of my favorite illustrations in the Bible. (All of the Bible is my favorite so you will hear that a lot.)
Read through text and then I will help you break it down and share a modern context and application from my own life this week.
So Jesus is doing what Jesus does. The impossible. Not only is He doing the impossible but He is doing it to build the faith of His disciples. Miracles are the business of God, and this walking on water was pretty exciting business, Peter wanted in on it.
Jesus, being Jesus, was like, "Here take it. Everything I have is yours. Come walk on the water with me." He does everything to make it possible for Peter. Peter just has to step out in trust.
And He steps out and it's amazing. He is really walking on water! But then he looks around and sees all the reasons why he shouldn't be walking on water. The winds are blowing mightily, the waves are crashing, and well...it's water. People don't walk on water.
With each negative thought Peter sinks into the water until he has to cry out to Jesus to save him. I can just picture Jesus shaking his head slowly, wanting so badly for Peter to take hold of the miracle. Then he says, Peter "why did you doubt?" In essence He was saying. "Peter I did all the hard stuff. I produced the miracle and all you had to do to take hold was believe and put one foot in front of the other.”
AND NOW FOR A COMPLETELY CONVICTED CONFESSION FROM YOURS TRULY.
Three weeks ago I started this site. It was a long time coming but the timing was affirmed by God. I knew it was right. At that same point in time I was working on a big project for a ministry that is transforming lives. I am collecting stories of life transformation to tell through video, social media and other outlets. These stories will play a role in the redemption of others. Then my son chocked on a toy at daycare and was rushed to surgery. I was distracted, rightfully so.
The last week was spent trying to come to terms with what happened and the fact I was not there for my precious 2-year-old boy, and then looking for a new preschool for him and trying to keep up with work as I care for him at home in the meantime. Suddenly my life is full of distractions. Suddenly I am just like Peter standing on the edge of a miracle, the miracle of God using me to build His kingdom, and I am just like Peter, doubting.
Maybe I should not write.
Maybe I should stay home and not work.
Maybe I took on too much.
But here is the thing. God gifted me with a love of words and a passion to preach His Word. He told me to step on the water and start this blog so who am I to cower and say that the distractions are too much to keep going? God orchestrated my employment and even the childcare that my son was in. Who am I to say his plan was not right or that the road is too hard? Who am I to make excuses of why I can't use the gifts God has given me in the way He asks me to use them just because the waters get rocky sometimes?
And that, friends, is how distractions steal your focus. That is how Satan makes sure that you don't use your gifts to bless others. So we have to push in and encourage each other.
We have to have the faith to stay focused on the gifts God has given us and to doing the good work He has set before us. TWEET THIS
Pin these images to read for inspiration in the future.
I love it when you interact with me on social!
On Wednesday I got the text a mother never wants to see. “Our son choked on a toy and is headed into surgery at the emergency room.”
People have often asked me how I stay so calm during situations of crisis. One reason is because God prepares me for every little moment. Remember how last weekend I launched my new blog? (This one you are reading now.) Turns out God was preparing me for a crisis that was about to happen in my life.
In my last blog I highlighted how Esther, when faced with a crisis, first prayed and gathered everyone she knew to pray too. So when my sweet two-year-old baby boy was in the hospital going under anesthesia to have a toy removed from his throat, and I was fifteen minutes away, I knew what to do. God had prepared me.
I called on my people to pray.
And pray they did. While I panicked that I was not by my son’s side to comfort him as I raced to the hospital, not for a minute did I think he wouldn’t make it. I knew God had him. I knew He would protect him. How could I not believe that God was in this moment after he had been so kind to prepare me for it?
In my last post I wrote about how Esther said to the Jews that if they would pray she would go before the King, and if she perished she would perish. I noted her bravery and trust. But maybe I gave her too much credit.
Maybe she was just blessed with a super natural faith to know everything would be OK. That the great protector was on her side. Perhaps she was chosen for such a time as this because of her mighty faith in God. Perhaps she was chosen because she would help others to increase their faith by simply practicing hers. Maybe we all have the power to do that.
I wonder how much more we all could do if we had faith that was mighty and pure and if our first action to any situation was to pray. It makes me curious enough to make a more intentional practice of doing just that.
P.S. The toy was successfully removed from my little boy, a little tykes bolt that was way too large for swallowing to begin with. After a night at the hospital for observation and a trip back to the ER for a fever scare, chest x-rays showed a fully healed boy who swallowed a toy that happened to have a hole in the middle-which saved his life. God is faithful. So faithful.
I'm just a girl, standing before my God, knowing that He loves me and wanting others to know that love too.