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Make It Plain

I have a confession to make. I have a problem with procrastinating. In fact writing this post took me longer than it should because of this problem. And while this may not seem like a big deal in the grand scheme of things it actually is a big deal. Procrastination by definition is the act of delaying or postponing something. Putting off or not being able to make decisions, in my opinion, is a symptom of something greater.

When we don’t see what our future could be we put off doing what we should be doing. How often do we spend time playing a game on our phone instead of cleaning the house? Or stand around talking to co-workers instead of getting your work done? Or hanging out with friends instead of studying? None of these things in moderation are bad but what most often happens is that they tend to draw our attention away from the important items in our life and if they become too important they will stagnate us and leave us stranded. This lack of vision is what kept most of the Israelite’s from reaching the promised land.

Moses sent 12 men – one from each of the tribes – to scope out the land. All but two of them came back saying that the giants in the land were too numerous for them to overtake. They didn’t believe the vision that God had already given them. Sound familiar? We get so focused on what we see we forget the dreams God has placed in our hearts. And why do we forget? Because we never take the time to write out what God has promised us.

God told Habakkuk in the second chapter to write the vision and make it plain as a direct response to questions posed to God by Habakkuk. Habakkuk wanted to know why God wasn’t hearing him. God’s direct response to that question was to have Habakkuk write down the vision He was about to give him. God followed that up by telling him that the vision wasn’t going to come to fruition right away.  How many times have we asked God the purpose of our lives only for Him to say “here is your vision, write it down, but wait.”

Remember the movie you wanted to write? Remember the house you dreamed of having? Remember the relationship you wanted restored? God gives us visions not to taunt us but to show us His glory. And then in His wisdom He doesn’t allow them to manifest to remind us that He is God and that He is in control of all things. But that doesn’t mean we need to let go of our vision. That vision should be used as fuel during the times when it seems that nothing is happening. When we are doing the mundane ordinary things of life…changing diapers, washing clothes, cooking dinner.

Just as a seed needs time to grow those times of ordinary are used to cultivate the vision and prepare us for the time of harvest. Once we realize what that ordinary time of life if for we can do what Habakkuk did…Pray and Praise God.

So think about the vision you’ve been given. Have you taken the time to write it down and make it plain?

Then the Lord answered me and said “Write the vision and engrave it plainly on [clay] tablets. So that the one who reads it will run. For the vision is yet for an appointed [future] time; It hurries toward the goal [of fulfillment]; it will not fail. Even though it delays, wait [patiently] for it, Because it will certainly come; it will not delay.” (Habakkuk 2: 2-3 AMP)

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Stay The Course

A few weeks ago I was talking to a friend about changes in how her kids are taught math. She was saying that the changes were due to people trying to find the next bit thing to which I asked “what if the next big thing is the thing you’re already doing?” We were talking about math but it got me thinking about our walk with God.

We are so concerned about being seen. Having a platform. Writing that next book. Speaking at the latest conference. Developing the hottest podcast. Attending whatever workshop that will tell us how to have a deeper relationship with God. All those things are good but we forget to do the one thing that has stood the test of time. The thing we did when we first gave our hearts to Jesus… pray and read His word.

I’ve fallen for the trap and looked for the external instead of going back to basics. The basics that have lasted for hundreds of years. The basics that worked for Jesus. Jesus was constantly talking to His father and referencing the scriptures in His teaching.

Jesus knew that the only way to handle the things we go through is to stay close to God. As the word says heaven and earth will pass away but His word will stand. Other resources are here to help us but they should never replace the one true resource we have…God’s word.

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Bumper

On my way to work one day I saw the following words on a license plate cover “Are you following Jesus this close?” The point of the license plate was two-fold. One was to get you to move back and the other was to get you thinking about your relationship with Jesus. So that’s what I did, I moved back and I started thinking about Jesus.

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I began thinking about how much time I was spending with God. Am I giving Him my undivided attention? Am I seeking to know Him better? Am I living my life in a way that shows how His spirit is moving in me? Am I kind to His people? Am I living a life of peace? Am I faithfully trusting in God?

Or am I walking around angry all the time? Am I looking down on others? Am I judging more than seeking to understand? Am I saying that I’m a Christian but living like I’ve never even heard of John 3:16?

We tend to take on the traits of people in our family. We may laugh like our mother, or have the same hair texture as our brother. As Christians we are part of Gods family and we should be reflecting Christ’s character. But how can we do that if we don’t even know what traits make up His character? If we don’t take the time to learn of Him.

I probably won’t see that car again but I can guarantee you it has made it’s mark. Thanks to that car this question will forever be in my mind and heart…Do I follow Jesus as closely as I should?

What about you?

 

Romans 8

I find it interesting that this chapter starts out telling us that we are not condemned and ends by telling us that nothing shall separate us from God.

Because of how good God is we won’t face eternal consequences for our sins. As long as we believe in Jesus we get the benefits of His sacrifice on the cross. This chapter also tells us that through His death on the cross we will have eternal live. That His spirit testifies within us because we are His children.

What we suffer and endure here on earth will be short lived compared to what we have waiting for us in heaven. We stumble & fall and make mistakes and we think God can’t and doesn’t want to use use. And, think about it…how could He? Our stories might include adultery or fornication. Drinking to excess. Getting high to forget past mistakes. But God says He can and truly desires to use us.

Why? Because nothing we do can or anything on earth or in heaven can take us away from God’s love.

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. (Romans 8:1)

For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)

affection board broken broken hearted

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