Friday, June 28, 2013

come to your senses

One of my step sons told me how he almost had to take the rap for losing a piece of his younger brother's toy and potentially having to pay for a new toy.  Apparently his younger brother did not readily admit to what really transpired about how the piece got lost.  The older brother told me, "After a half a day he 'came to his senses' and told my Mom that he was the one who lost the piece." 

What comes to your mind when you hear someone has come to their senses, or has been brought to their senses?  It means that they have stopped being foolish and are being sensible again.

We can see this in the familiar story of the son who squandered all of his inheritance and found himself with absolutely nothing. 

The young man became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him. But no one gave him anything. 

When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger!  Luke 15:16-17 NLT
What made him come to his senses?  Something must have driven him back to his rightful state of mind.  I believe it was the remembrance he had (could trust in) of where he had come from.  There was a hope of something better.  He realized his bad choices landed him in this mess, but he didn't have to choose to continue this way.     

As with my step son, as well as from the story of the prodigal son, both became aware of their actions and understood there was something better then the consequences that await them.

Reading the Word of God absolutely brings us to our senses!  And...U-turns are acceptable!

God's Word is living and powerful.  It is sharper than a sword that cuts both ways.  It cuts straight into where the soul and spirit meet and divides them.  It cuts into the joints and bones.  It tells what the heart is thinking about and what it wants to do.  Hebrews 4:12 NLV

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Two minds

What does it mean to be double (two) minded? It means having two desires and not being able or willing to let one go, causing you to go back and forth between two decisions.

In the book of James, double-minded is used to describe someone who is divided in his interests, wavering, uncertain, two-faced or half-hearted.  
If any of you is deficient in wisdom, let him ask of the giving God [who gives] to everyone liberally and ungrudgingly, without reproaching or faultfinding, and it will be given him.
Only it must be in faith that he asks with no wavering (no hesitating, no doubting).  For the one who wavers (hesitates, doubts) is like the billowing surge out at sea that is blown hither and thither and tossed by the wind.
For truly, let not such a person imagine that he will receive anything [he asks for] from the Lord, [For being as he is] a man of two minds (hesitating, dubious, irresolute), [he is] unstable and unreliable and uncertain about everything [he thinks, feels, decides]. James 1:5-8 AMP

The double-minded person is restless and confused in his thoughts, actions and behavior. This person is actually in conflict with himself. It is impossible to put confidence in His promises with such a conflict taking place on the inside.  This person has difficulty trusting God at His word for any particular matter they are facing.

How about being unstable?  Can you visualize the drunken man who cannot walk a straight line and sways from one side to the other. Because of his instability, he cannot make a definitive decision as to the direction he plans to go.  What happens?  Not much at all as he is unable to plan his way and gets nowhere.  

Think about this.  To be double-minded is to be both certain and doubting at the same time! Sounds crazy on paper, but true.  A part of your mind is sure of something, while the other part doubts. 

I have found myself in this state of double-mindedness more times than I like, and still do! Hopefully, I'm growing and learning that there are ways out of indecision.  One way I have found that unlocks the uncertainty of my mind is to focus on the Word that brings clarity of mind.  

I'd love to hear what you have learned through your times of not being unable to make a decision.  I know it would be helpful to all of us!

I find a rest of my mind in aligning myself - a drawing back, or drawing close to, the place where everything seems right again.

So submit yourselves to the one true God and fight against the devil and his schemes. If you do, he will run away in failure. Come close to the one true God, and He will draw close to you. Wash your hands; you have dirtied them in sin. Cleanse your heart, because your mind is split down the middle, your love for God on one side and selfish pursuits on the other.  James 4:7-8 Voice

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Do you have what it takes?

Are you a person of endurance?  What does it take to endure? 

Endurance brings an image to mind of winning and shining!  I think of the exhilarating feeling, a high sense of finishing a race & the heightened feeling of accomplishment.   

Side note to what I'm talking about here.  Can I tell you that I am smiling over the fact that my husband told me that he is memorizing 1 Corinthians 13 (known as the love chapter).  It is quite endearing to me to sit with the Bible on my lap, listening to my husband recite the scrippys to me, that is never-changing about love.  As I listen to him speak, I cannot seem to get past this scrippy: 

Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.  1 Corinthians 13:6 NLT

The word endure has been jumping out at me for the last week.  

Endurance, to me, is that of the triathlete - someone who has given up many hours to train, given up sleep & relationships (temporarily) to accomplish the goal - to finish the race they have committed to do. We applaud those who have so disciplined/conditioned themselves to fulfill such a goal. 

While thinking on the training of the triathlete, I got an eye-opening thought of a far greater illustration of endurance.

For the joy that was set before Him (Jesus) endured the cross.           Hebrews 12:2 NKJV

This is the ultimate show of endurance.  Because of His great love for us, He endured the suffering of the cross.  It was all for us so that we could regain our rightful relationship with Him.  Talk about endurance!    

While I am slightly jealous (for lack of my own self-disciple) of the endurance of the triathlete,  I will say, I am far more intrigued and wowed by the self-sacrifice of Jesus, for the sake of others.   ENDURANCE perfected. 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

At your wits end?

Psalm 107 could seem quite gloomy with such phrases likes 'they wandered in the wilderness,' 'they sat in darkness,' 'they reeled to and fro,' but don't be disheartened, there is something more wonderful here!

They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits' end. Then they cry out to the Lord in their trouble, and He brings them out of their distresses.  He calms the storm, so that its waves are still. Then they are glad because they are quiet; so He guides them to their desired haven.  Psalm 107:27-30 NKJV

I love when I find phrases in the Bible I've heard others say, but didn't know where they originated.  Do you wonder where people get these phrases too?  
I was quite excited to stumble across the phrase 'at their wits end.'   Not sure if you know this, but nothing is new under the sun, and this truth is right there for the grabbings, to understand what to do in this particular situation. God never left us to work it out alone.  He provided the guide, His word, for us.  

Today, are you at your wits end?  Are you frustrated and uncertain as to what the next step is for your life?  A person in this condition (at their wits end) should not be surprised that they are in a position that almost renders them useless to progress forward. 

Do you see what the psalm says?  They are at the end of the line, they have had enough and have nowhere else to go.  THEN....almost like it dawned on them and they thought, "I can't do this on my own!  Help God!"  He never moves from His position to be with us, but we are the ones who move away because of our own self-sufficiency.  They (you) cry for help, determined, and He is there in that very moment.  He calms the storm you are experiencing.  He speaks, "quite, and says, "peace!"  And the turmoil comes under His control, not your control, and He brings you to a place of calmness, a place where you can think clear thoughts.

Seek the help of the One who made you and let Him calm the storm of your life.  He wants you to realize you cannot do it alone.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

"God knows my heart"

To some degree, I'll admit that I can agree with the person who makes this comment.  He does know your heart and is pleased with any man who will honor Him and do what is right.

Peter fairly exploded with his good news:  "It's God's own truth, nothing could be plainer:  God plays no favorites!  It makes no difference who you are or where you're from - if you want  God and are ready to do as He says, the door is open.  Acts 10:35 Message

In another version, this scrippy says that God is no respecter of persons, which means He isn't influenced by social standing, importance, power, wealth, etc.  

This is clearly seen in the story about Samuel meeting with Jesse to anoint one of his sons as king.  Jesse had seven of his sons come before Samuel, as one would be made king.  Take note though that Jesse had eight sons, yet only seven pass before Samuel to be looked over as possible king. 

Samuel took one look at Eliab and thought, “Surely this is the Lord’s anointed!”  

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height...The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them.  People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 

Then Jesse told his son Abinadab to step forward and walk in front of Samuel. But Samuel said, “This is not the one the Lord has chosen.” 

Next Jesse summoned Shimea, but Samuel said, “Neither is this the one the Lord has chosen."  

In the same way all seven of Jesse’s sons were presented to Samuel. But Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen any of these.”  Then Samuel asked, “Are these all the sons you have?”

“There is still the youngest,” Jesse replied. “But he’s out in the fields watching the sheep and goats.”

“Send for him at once,” Samuel said. “We will not sit down to eat until he arrives."  

And the Lord said, “This is the one; anoint him.”  1 Samuel 6:-12

God knows just where you are geographically.  More importantly, "God knows your heart" and if you're one who desires to follow Him, you will not go unnoticed for what He has intended for you!