Fire Down In My Soul

“…and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:20 NIV

This is a very comforting verse. But it is sometimes quoted as just the last sentence alone. But by doing that we are missing so much. It starts mid sentence with and. It tells us to be sure to put both sentences together. It’s important to know that when we obey everything he commands us, or strive to, that then he will be with us ALWAYS. Through the good, the bad, and everything in between. It’s easy to think we are alone in the hard times. But he tells us that he will NEVER leave us ever. He is right beside you, or maybe he’s carrying you through it. When I am faced with trials I have learned to make a fist. It reminds me that he is holding my hand. Together we are unstoppable and WILL prevail. I have been doing everything I can lately to feel his presence. It has become so important that I cry out for more of it. Going to church on Sunday’s and hanging out with good Christian friends, listening to excellent praise and worship music, and great words spoken by our church leadership is great. But when I come home to my little room all alone I want to feel that joy still. I hunger and thirst for righteousness and a song we sang comes back to me, Set a fire down in my soul, that I can’t contain and I can’t control. These are great words and I have cried out for this in my own life for a while. But any time you ask for more you have to be willing to take a step forward to seeing it happen. I love to listen to praise music. The words are so powerful. It’s exciting to sing words that you feel so strongly. I am not a songwriter but it seems like I could have said them. I wish I had. I love to watch good Christian movies, read good Christian books, devotionals and my Bible. All of these things can bring me into his presence when I am alone. I can pop my earbuds in and turn the music up while I’m playing games or doing a puzzle but I hear the words and I can’t help but sing along with passion. Like right now I am listening and ‘How I Need You ‘ is on. My heart just can’t help but join in. Some of the greatest times in his presence are right here in my room all alone. But never alone. I have a missionary from my church who is in prison in India and we have been praying for his release. This morning it hit me. The reason why the Apostle Paul could have so much peace while he was in chains, was because he knew what I have found. You can be lifted up where ever you are when you are in his presence. Even if you have no radio you can sing ‘Jesus Loves Me’ and praise till you are filled with his love. It doesn’t take money or things to attain. Just a fire down in your soul that just won’t quit.

Do you want that fire?

Be Still

“He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10 NIV

If you are following the Lord there are times you need his input. The most important place to be is in his presence. So many times when I go through changes and trials I just need to know that he is there. He is always with us but I can deal with anything when I feel he is with me. Life can get busy and complicated and at times I know he is saying, be still.

A couple of years ago I had to have a planned surgery. It was just supposed to be a couple of days but I had a bad reaction to the anesthesia and I got really sick. It was touch and go and I ended up in the hospital for two weeks. When I got home I was very week so I spent a lot of time in bed resting. It also was a very dry time because I was too weak to pray and read my Bible.

I was just sleeping so much. I don’t really remember a lot of it. What I do remember is the enemy attacking my mind and trying to convince me that I was dying and even God couldn’t help me. I was on my own. Well that is not true but at the time he had the upper hand and it was tough.

I was in and out of it and really just wanted to sleep and not feel anything. When I started feeling better I managed to start praying and reading a little of my Bible . I had missed that sooo much. The words brought so much peace to my soul. But I really just liked to lay there and feel him reminding me of his love for me. Verses came to mind. Telling me how much he loves me and how much I can do for him.

When I got back home after what seemed like a month. I still slept in till 10 or 11 am every day but always spent the last hour or two in prayer over everything that mattered to me. I would just lay there listening for a while and resting, but I really started to like these times with God. When we are busy crying out to God. Whether well are trying to get him to give us just what we want or disagreeing about how to handle an area of our lives, God can’t get a word in sometimes.

We need to just be quiet. Time to hear just what he has for us. He is the supreme and mighty God of all the earth. He knows all. What he has to say is very very important. It may be as simple as, “trust me”. We usually want more info but we don’t always get it. Those two words remind us just who he is. He has told me in his word that what he wants, he gets. Nothing is impossible for him. He also promises to work everything for my best.

I know he’s got my back. I know he is very trustful. Sometimes he will give me a verse and my mind will dwell on it. So many positive thoughts will run through my mind and get me excited. Something to write about. He might remind me of things I need to do that day. Something I can do to help in a certain situation. Something I may have been worrying about.

Last week he said get your earphones out. I put them in when I got up and turned some music I had been listening to before on. While I was playing games I began listening to the words and ended up praising and worshiping for a while as the words sunk in. It was a great time really uplifting to me. Awesome morning. Thanks God.

He can encourage so much in such simple ways but we have to give him time in our busy schedules to just “be still”. It’s hard to just sit there. My mind has a tendency to wander but he still speaks when I’m not speaking. These times are becoming more and more special every day. At times I can’t sleep in the night and I will get my praying over so I can just rest in his presence.

The more you do it the more enjoyable it becomes. Do you remember how much it meant to just hit the snooze button when you just wanted a few more minutes before work? Well that few more minutes with him in the morning is a hundredfold better.

Will you take time today to let him talk to you?

If My People

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV

I have quoted this verse many times. But I never really understood the verse till I heard someone teach on it. It meant so much more to me when I saw what each word was saying to me and I just had to share it. I hope it can bring some light to you too.

‘If my people ,’ this at one time meant the Jewish people. They were known as God’s people. He had special things for them his special people. The promised land was a good and rich land where they would be free to worship God the way he wanted. Because they were his people they should want to spend time with him. Especially after all they saw him do for them. And in such mighty and awesome ways.

‘ who were called by my name,’ these were not just any people. These people had a calling on their lives. God doesn’t just call everyone. There are some that will never accept God. No matter what he does or who he is there is evil in this world that will always be there. He is not going to spend much time on those who will never change. He has too many who he Can reach that he wants to reach. They are a priority. He doesn’t expect the last group to pray. They are too proud they don’t need nor do they want any help.

‘ will humble themselves and pray,’ get our minds off ourselves and back on the God of the universe. The one who made us and knows us. He knows what we need and what’s best for us. If we will just turn back to him.

‘ and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways,’ we are an imperfect people. On our own we can do no good thing. But we are called by him. He wants to help us. He wants us to seek him and his ways. To help others and to see that their needs are met.

‘then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin,’ to make an effort to sin no more. To obey his laws. If we make that effort then he will forgive all of our sins. See us as righteous before him. The people he died for and greatly loves.

‘and I will heal their land.’ This nation was at one time founded on the principles of God. We were a very blessed country. He did so much for us but the sin of his people has brought us down. We are no longer that great and Godly country. Pride has taken over and we have rejected our first love. Younger generations have rejected the God of their parents. Serving themselves above all. They no longer need God. But our land is in trouble. So much violence and sin. We need to wake up.

Do you want to see our land be great again?

Master Creator

“Since the creation of the world Gods invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what is made, so that people are without excuse.” Romans 1:20 NIV

When the world began things were simple. God made Adam and Eve and they were with God from the beginning and so they knew God. They walked with God and all was perfect. The world was good and they enjoyed each other’s company. God had made all the animals on earth just for Adam and he had total charge over them. Giving each a name as seemed best to him. Everything was for his pleasure. All they would ever need was there. Their surroundings were perfect and they had no need for anything. Then one day Satan changed everything. He convinced the woman that what they had was not enough. He got them looking at themselves and thinking that things could be better. It was just a little doubt. They could have gone to God and he probably would have gladly shown them that what they had was all they needed, but a little doubt can and will separate us from all God has for us. They ate the apple and we all know what happened next. It was never the same. Slowly as the people on earth grew in numbers they thought more and more about themselves and their needs. The God who had been so important in the beginning became less and less important to people. Living their lives and pleasing themselves became more important. That did not stop them from knowing deep down there was a master designer that had created everything. No, it was all around them every day in everything they did. He had provided everything for them. Food in abundance to eat. Animals for food and everything they might need. But they thought of themselves and their wants first. After time they grew farther and farther from God. Enjoying themselves and living for every moment was very important to them. Finally God had had enough and told Noah to build an arc. He would destroy the earth he had made and everything living on it. Just Noah and his family would remain. Him and all the animals he had with him inside the arc. And God promised him that he would never destroy the earth again. A rainbow stood in the sky as a covenant between God and Noah that whenever they saw the rainbow in the sky that it would remind them of Gods promises. We still have that same promise today as we look up into the sky on a rainy day. We can see his rainbow and know he cares for us. Science has shown us so much about all God has done for us even though some scientists refuse to believe what is right in front of them. One day we all will stand in front of a righteous God in judgement . Nobody will be able to say they didn’t know. It was all around them. All along.

Do you know the master creator?

I Have a Maker

“But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter shaped it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him. Jeremiah 18:4 NIV

God is the ultimate designer. Before we were ever born he knew us. He knows who we will be and all we will do and become. He designed our personalities and all the life experiences that end up making us who we were meant to be. We don’t ever need to think of ourselves as mistakes or worthless because great thought and planning went into all of us.

He knows the number of hairs on our heads. Who our parents will be. Where we will be born and when. We are all well thought out. God does not make junk. His is only perfection. Just what he wanted all along. He knows what you will do and everyone you will meet. You were made for a reason. The number one reason is to get to know Jesus and to learn to love and worship him with all you are.

He wants to be in every area of your life. But to do this he will have to purge out some of the junk. Sin, hurts and trials that have consumed us. He wants to take them for us. Give them to him and he will carry them. Don’t try to take them back just because you weren’t done fretting over them he needs room for his presence to dwell.

Helping you discover all you can be. That is the Holy Spirits job in you. He has a career all planned out for you and gives you the wisdom you will need to do it well. Maybe he wanted you to be a scientist and you discover cures for disease that will change many lives for the better. Maybe you were meant to be a chef. Creating awesome new meals that others will love and rave about.

Will you have children? Helping them discover all that God has for them throughout their lives is a rewarding job. I know from having three beautiful daughters that are wonderful inside and out how blessed I am to have them. Then they have grandchildren for you and the blessings in this cycle of life just continue on.

Each and every person makes a big difference in each life they touch. It can be in positive ways or in negative ones and the choice is up to you. Every area of our lives was well thought out and how it will work to make the best of our lives come from it. We are not here just for ourselves but to be a blessing to other lives as well. We need to make an effort to make a difference in every life we come in contact with. Saying a kind word or a simple act of kindness. The more I learn how much I am loved, the more I want to show others how much they are loved.

What can you do today to make a difference in your world?

Fear

“For the spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7 NIV

F. False

E. Evidence

A. Appearing

R. Real

Today at church the pastor spoke about fear. This is something I would have sworn I had taken care of in my life. I had answers for how to deal with fear. I knew God was in control and always was taking care of things. Well God spoke differently to me this morning.

The pastor talked about several things we do when we are fearful. Procrastination. We tend to ignore what we fear hoping it will go away. Avoiding it just like Adam did after he had a bite of the apple and didn’t want to face God. So he hid. We ignore something we don’t want to deal with.

Well that hit home. Several things I have been facing just hit me in the face. Things I had not seen as fear but I had been pushing aside and trying not to think about. I told myself I was not going to worry about them. Whatever happened happened. Whatever God wanted.

The problem was they were not going away just because I ignored them. They just came lurking into my life more each day I ignored them. Things I wanted to do but felt I couldn’t do of myself. Things that might get better if I just sought the help of a professional. Just doing what God had called me to do because I felt inadequate.

The only way to overcome these fears is just to confront them head on. Ask Gods forgiveness for doubting. Ask for help overcoming and understanding these fears. And finally wisdom for how to proceed.

First thing was trying something I knew was going to be difficult for me. I had prayed believing God could help me do all things. But I had doubts. Doubts that he might not want that for me. But how could I actually succeed if I didn’t at least try it.

Another thing was a health issue. I saw myself getting worse in a couple areas but instead of seeking medical help and seeing if there might be a cure or a quick fix to my problem I assumed that I would just have to live with it and the negative side effects that came along with it. God showed me things I could do to help. After I realized I needed to face it.

Lastly he had called me to write a book and I was having doubts that I could do it right. So I was procrastinating. But then I felt writers block. Trying to fit everything in a certain design I wanted that just felt awkward. So I kept finding other things I needed to do first.

God showed me I needed to give these things up to him and he would help me get on with dealing with them. In his ways. Not by myself and in my ways. His help would help me do just what he wanted in each area.

Hadn’t he helped me write three successful books already. I didn’t even struggle to write them. Just the opposite. Words just flowed out of my heart. It wasn’t hard it was blessed.

Then I tried what I wanted to try doing. I got a little frustrated and set it aside. I decided to do a puzzle instead. As I was zipping through it enjoying myself I felt God say, you are enjoying yourself a lot. And you are really good at it. Yah, I thought. Doing something i love and enjoy and am really good at describes several hobbies I’ve been doing lately since my stroke.

I don’t need this one thing like I thought I did. He’s given me other things I can do and do well. These things aren’t bothering me anymore. God opened my eyes to see that they aren’t really problems after all.

Being a Disciple

“Then Jesus said to his disciples, “whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves take up their cross and follow me.” Matthew 16:24 NIV

What does it take to be a disciple? First you need to know what a disciple means. This is someone who is a pupil or a student learning the principles and disciplines of another. Not just an interested bystander or a follower. You have to become a student. Learning to be just like your teacher. Following all their ways.

Jesus was the only perfect man who ever lived on this earth. Can you think of anyone else worthy to try to be just like? He told us while he was here on earth that he was here for one reason. That was to do all God told him to do and say. Can there be anything more important.

None of us will ever be perfect. We have all sinned. No matter how hard we try we will still make mistakes. God knows that but he still loves us. He just wants us to try. We do not have to do it alone. He has promised to be with us always. Never will he leave us or forsake us. He has promised to send his Holy Spirit to live in us and to help us.

We need to read his words regularly because these are his ways. How can we keep his commandments and what he thinks is important if we do not read what he has said in his written word. What would Jesus do? This is what we need to ask ourselves every day of our lives.

If you want to know in every circumstance this question can direct you back to his words and his ways if you ponder that question. While he was here on earth, Jesus was a living example of what God is like. He showed great love for everyone he ever met. They were very important and so were their problems.

We should act the same way. Loving others more than ourselves and seeking to help others in any way we can. He saw those with sickness and infirmities with great compassion. He never worried that he might get sick or that their problems might rub of on to him. He just wanted to help.

When Lazarus died he knew the outcome of what he was about to do. He was planning to bring him back to life. He still wept when he saw the grief and pain on the faces of his sisters. He had more compassion. The more you follow his words and his ways the easier it becomes and the more you have that same compassion.

I know myself I get emotional over the simplest things when God is involved or someone else is hurting. Being a disciple is not attending church or reading your Bible just so you can check them off your to do list. An obligation done. We do it because we truly love him.