Stuck in “ASSUME” mode

Flowering Cactus

How stressful that email was! I didn’t understand the cryptic words or message and my initial reaction was dread. The thorns of those cactus were prickling my spirit! I felt as if I was being called into the principal’s office and we know that can never be good. I could not imagine one reason I would get a communication so vague with such a seemingly dark shadow attached. I was instantly in stress mode!

As I have lived a lot of life and learned a lot of “life’s lessons”, I knew right away I was assuming… and the worst, at that. So I did some self talk and tried to find logic in the mists of my mind. No good! So I finally did what was the best thing and I shut off my mind and prayed. I laid my concerns at the feet of the Lord.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God, and the peace of God which passes all understanding, will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 ESV

I soon realized I not only needed to be quiet before Him as I gave Him all my “what-ifs” but I needed to be quiet so He could speak to me. I do believe we can hear from our Lord when we ask to hear His voice. I felt Him urge my spirit, ‘Leave this with me.’ Immediately I felt my anxieties begin to ease and the wicked voices that made me imagine the worst, begin to quiet.

Within minutes of this happening I received a call from a dear friend who is also a strong believer in Jesus and I shared my experience with her. We prayed together and, not an hour later, I heard from someone who was able to clarify the cryptic message and yes, I HAD assumed something totally unrelated to reality.

I share this because this kind of challenge has happened so often in my life. Before I trusted Christ as my Savior I was doing life on my own. Something would happen and I would fall into that dark pit believing the worst and be stuck there until reality showed up. As I’ve lived life as a believer in Jesus, I’ve learned not to do that! But sometimes~ well, sometimes we just forget and get caught.

ASK HIM. ASK HIM to breathe His peace over You, to take your concerns and to manage them for you. I trust these words will encourage you when you get stuck in “assume mode”

“It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8.

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16

…and one of my favorite “go-to” verses is – “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and he will direct your paths.”  Prov 3:5, 6

When we go it alone, we mess ourselves up, Lord. We need You. Without You we flounder and often find ourselves our own worst enemy. Help ME to remember this lesson today. I pray, in Jesus’ powerful name. AMEN!

Just Who’s Running this Show, Anyway?!

No, this isn’t a political post, thank goodness! But I absolutely feel it is thought provoking and I take no credit for the inspiration. I was reading Anne Graham Lotz, “Jesus in Me” this morning. In her chapter entitled, He Equips Us, Anne shared her personal story of how the Lord has worked in her life. I truly encourage everyone to read her book. She is authentic and honest. I found many deep and moving points of inspiration in what I was reading, so I chose to spin off what I read today. I will share a small bit of my own story but with her same emphasis

An important piece of the answer to who is running this show is the never ending battle between good and evil. Satan’s forces are very apparent especially lately. So unfortunately we have to deal with the ongoing war here on earth between Satan and man influenced by the battles in “heavenly places.” The Bible says in Ephesians 6:12: For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

But over all of this and ultimately in control of the great cosmic wars of Heaven’s armies is GOD So the question is are we going to TRUST HIM or flail along trying to do this on our own; are we going to BELIEVE HIM or work with what we think we know to be true about ourselves and the world, thus limiting what He can do through us even in our fears and frailty

Many years ago my life was difficult and very different than it is now. When I first began “reinventing myself” in the new season of my life, I would pray asking God to tell me what to do. He seemed quiet. I got no sense He was going to tell me anything! However even in my sadness and loneliness, I did have incredible peace and I realized He was giving me “just enough light for the step I was on”. As time passed I learned to lean hard in prayer, to trust, and to listen for nudges from the Lord.

As Anne pointed out in her book, where we are inadequate, God is Sufficient. One of the biggest life lessons I have learned is who exactly is running the show: and it is our Heavenly Father and Lord, Jesus Christ. Several momentous life experiences came about when I listened to His still small voice whispering and nudging me in an unfamiliar direction. MY voice would say, are you kidding? His voice would sometimes be powerfully silent and sometimes would give me clear insight. I hear You, Lord. I will trust You and leave the outcome to You. And He has never failed me.

For much of my life I thought I would never be able to retire. I certainly never had a clue I would one day be at a point where I had painted well over 300 watercolors, would have a website, or would write a blog! Yet each of these circumstances were led by inspiration from the Holy Spirit who guides, directs, intercedes on our behalf and is the still, small voice we hear when we ASK Jesus to come into our lives. Coming into means bringing His spirit of forgiveness, grace, mercy and love into our everyday life – just to name a few. And when He is there with us, He changes us, empowers and comforts us. He is able to guide and direct our lives.

I am GRATEFUL for God’s incredible gift of faith to me and His gift of Himself to the world. All He asks is that we would receive His gift. Let Him run your show. Let Him guide the course of your life.

Trust the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all you do acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths. Prov 3:5, 6.

There is much in our world that is alarming, creating turmoil and devastation. Jesus said, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

So sit, breathe and talk to Him! Give Him your worries, fears and anxiety. Lay your concerns about your paths and the forks in your road at His feet. His still quiet voice will help you to make those difficult decisions one small step at a time. And He will help all of us to manage as we navigate what has become a very different and stressful world.

Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. Psalms 46:10

Glory of the Skies