Alive!

Alive!

Fear, doubt and unbelief seemed to grip the room. No one said a word. I could hear the sound of the others in the room but the darkness hid their faces. Were they filled with the same thoughts that invaded my mind?

Thump, thump, thump. I held my hand up to my chest to try to calm the racing of my heart. What if, what if this was all there was? What if we were all going to be killed for what we held as truth? What would be the purpose of it all? What would be the purpose of healing the sick, raising the dead, teaching hope for eternity if it all ended with the death of our teacher and our friend?

He had brought such hope. Did it just end? Was it over?

We cannot even imagine the long drawn out hours from the time of Jesus’ death until the day of his resurrection. We do not know the lies and thoughts that may have penetrated the minds of the disciples and followers the hours that followed his death. They may have seemed so bleak and hopeless.

The three years prior had been glorious. Miracles took place daily. New hope had risen throughout the nation. Jesus spoke with such wisdom that hadn’t been heard of for hundreds of years. He heard from God! He taught, encouraged and healed all that wanted it. Even the religious and government leaders were stunned by his wisdom.

Not too long prior to his death, Jesus was riding on a donkey through Jerusalem with what appeared to be victory. Things couldn’t have been better. People adored him!

“The crowd that went ahead of him and that were following him were shouting,
“‘Hosanna to the Son of David!
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
Hosanna in the highest heaven!” Matthew 21:9 (GWT)

People were waving palm branches and laying out their coats for him. All was glorious. Then one night, it seemed to take a turn for the worse. Yet Jesus had warned them of this moment.

But he also said he would rise from the dead.

Now I ask you,

What have you been going through that seems dark, that seems hopeless, that seems desperate? It may seem like all is lost. What was the purpose of following your Lord? There was a time when all may have seemed glorious and you were on top of your game. But then an unforeseen moment came knocking on your door and suddenly your circumstances appeared dark, and your hopes felt like they died and your dreams seemed to be unreachable.

It may seem like God is s…l…o..o..o…w about his promises and you might really feel like you are walking through molasses as you wait for his response. Yet the word paints a different picture.

“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9 (NIV)

He hears the cries of your heart.

Remember:

ON THE THIRD DAY……

HE ROSE FROM THE DEAD!!!!!

Your days may seem dark. Your dreams may seem bleak.

But DO NOT give up.

THE SAME SPIRIT THAT RAISED CHRIST FROM THE DEAD LIVES IN YOU!!! (Romans 8:11)

Do you even understand how powerful that statement is?

The disciples and other followers of Christ may have not understood right away what was actually taking place. But their dreams had not died. Jesus had to die on this earth  in order to take the sins of mankind into the pit of hell where he left them. He did it to steal the keys of death from our enemy of darkness. AND HE DID IT WITH VICTORY.

If we could grasp that the trials we face are temporary and that there really is victory in Christ, we could see with eyes of understanding.

Like Jesus, I say to the darkness that would try to choke me, to the fear that thinks it can befriend me or to the lies that attempt to take space in my mind, “Get behind me satan. You are a stumbling-block to me. (Matthew 16:23)

Remember: JESUS DID NOT STAY IN THAT GRAVE!

So be of good courage followers of Christ. Speak life over your situation and hope into your soul.  And share this hope with those who have not tasted his goodness.

Your hope is not dead. HE IS ALIVE!

Happy Resurrection Sunday!

God Bless.

 

 

The Spirit of God is Hovering Over the Earth Today.

The Spirit of God is Hovering Over the Earth Today.

The Spirit of God is powerful and creative and alive!

He is hovering over the face of the earth, TODAY, as he was in the beginning.

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” Genesis 1:1-2 (NIV)

The Spirit of God was hovering. The earth was formless. It was empty. There was only darkness. But the Spirit of God hovered. He brooded, like a bird that sits on its nest waiting for its young to be born.

As the children of Israel traveled in the desert from the land of Egypt to the promise land, they followed a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. They were following the Spirit of God. 

“As they moved each day the cloud of the Lord hovered over them.” Numbers 10:34 (NLV)

He brooded over them. He hovered over them.

Though there is more evidence of the Spirit of God throughout the Old Testament, let’s fast forward to the New Testament.

In the book of Luke we see that Mary is visited by the angel Michael. He says to her, ” The Holy Spirit (the Spirit of God) will come on you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.” (Luke 1)

He brooded, he hovered, he overshadowed. He created. And Christ was born.

When Nicodemus asked Jesus how one can be born again, Jesus replied,  “You must be born of the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to the Spirit.” John 3:6

The Spirit of God again creates. He creates a new life in those who ask. It isn’t just a cleaned up life. It is altogether new.

“Anyone who is joined with Christ is a new being; the old is gone, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 (GNT)

When Jesus was baptized the heavens opened and the Spirit of God came down in the form of a dove and RESTED on Jesus. A voice was heard from the heavens. “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” ( John 1)

The Spirit of God hovered, he brooded, he rested – to give birth to life, to give power to the powerless.

In the book of Acts we see the promised Holy Sprit, that Jesus foretold the disciples. He came like a mighty wind to give them power to preach the Gospel.

“Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to REST on each of them.” Acts 2:2-3 (NIV)

Remember the pillar of fire that led the people out of Egypt? I found that interesting that there was a fire that came down from heaven and separated into tongues of fire. Same Spirit. Of course, John the Baptist did explain that Jesus would come and baptize us with the Holy Spirit and with fire. (Matthew 3:11)

Again the Spirit of God hovered, brooded, rested and new life began.

The Bible states that The SAME Spirit that raised Christ from the dead. LIVES in US. Think about that for a moment. The Spirit of God, that created this world, that led the children of Israel while in the desert, that created the Son of the living God in the flesh, that rested on Jesus as he was baptized, that makes us into a new creation, that was revealed to the disciples to give them power to spread the Gospel, and raised Christ from the dead…

…LIVES IN US! That is pretty amazing and powerful!

As I was praying one day, I saw a vapor, a midst, or a cloud resting on the earth. I now realize that it is the Spirit of the Lord. He is hovering, brooding and resting  on the earth. He is wooing those who will come to Jesus. He is pouring himself out with power to those who are desiring him. He is so powerful, so strong, so intense, so full of creativity, so full of life, that if you don’t watch out, you WILL get caught up in his glory.

I promise you!

If someone is praying, those answers are coming. Do not grow weary. If someone is praying for your salvation. You will get saved.

“In the last days, God says, “I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.” Acts 2:17 (NIV)

The Spirit of God is hovering, like in the beginning of time. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. He does not change. He is brooding. He is waiting to created new life in you. He wants to give you power to live victorious and to spread the Gospel of life to others.

Get ready and expect his glory.

God Bless.

When Life Trips You Up

When Life Trips You Up

I woke up to a few words that the Lord put on my mind. Well, they are paraphrased because quite frankly I admit that I did not write them down right away. I figured I would remember them. You know how that goes.

(Note to self: Always write down your dreams and/or words from the Lord, ASAP.)

The essence of the words were: “Let go of the things that trip you up. The days are growing evil. You have to remain alert to hear my words.”

The verse that came to my mind is Hebrews 12:1.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set for us.” (NLT)

My first thought: “Seriously, the days are GROWING evil? I cannot imagine them getting worse.”

Then I thought about the things that trip me up and ensnare me, things that bring me down with heaviness.

WEIGHT THAT CAN SLOW US DOWN

Personally, I tend to want to take on all the cares and stress factors that involve my family, my future (their future) the heartaches of the world, the brokenness, the loss, the violence and the lies the world spews. Basically, I have a hard time just letting the cares disappear. I think part of that though, is the compassion of Christ. I pray or intercede often for people and circumstances. That could weigh me down, IF I do not give them to the Lord and leave the tears at the cross.

Also, my mind tends to want to relive past moments where I made an incorrect choice. IF I would let that play over and over in my mind it would drive me mad. But I have to take every thought captive and put it under the blood of Christ and remember that none of us are perfect. In fact, it is our very mistakes that create a testimony of the Lord’s faithfulness and grace. God somehow uses those very things to draw us closer to him.

What kind of things weigh YOU down? Is it fear, anxiety, anger, unforgiveness, frustration, hopelessness, despair? We have all gone down these roads. BUT remember these are just things that the enemy would love to put on us so that we CANNOT walk in triumph; so that we CANNOT walk in victory.

They slow us down.

“But those who trust in the Lord for help will find their strength renewed. They will rise on wings like eagles; they will run and not get weary; they will walk and not grow weak.” Isaiah 40:31 (GNT)

The answer to the things that slow us down is to wait quietly on the Lord and trust him. Let him renew us. How? By getting to know him through the Word of the Lord and prayer and hanging out with those that know him. We have to cast our cares on him because it is not the Lord that is giving us these thoughts of despair. We need to take authority of our thoughts and verbally put them under the blood of Christ so that we can have peace.

Basically think on things that are true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and worthy of praise. (Phil.4:8) How important it is to have our mind and heart in the right place and practice them. That is how we will discover peace. (Phil 4:9)

There are simple “good” things that slow us down, as well.

Too much entertainment can become distracting, so that our minds are filled with other things constantly. That includes sports, TV, gaming, movies, books etc…Don’t get me wrong, these things are okay, BUT if our lives are not balanced they can take up too much time. Maybe you are a workaholic, or fill your time with so much ministry or volunteering that you don’t have time with Jesus. Maybe it is gluttony. That is a big one for the people in America. It’s just easy and the church doesn’t necessarily consider it bad. But it can bring on health issues that can distract you from your calling. And the list continues…

PLEASE UNDERSTAND: There are occasions that life consumes us with family issues or even emergencies. BUT take a few moments a day to seek the Lord, even in your car.

Think about it, what is weighing YOU down so that you are slowing down in the faith?

THE SIN THAT SO EASILY TRIPS US UP

We are not perfect. Each of us have weak areas that are not totally surrendered in our lives. It is these areas where the enemy will try desperately to get into our lives and wreak havoc. Do you tend to lose your temper or hold onto anger? Do you hold grudges and don’t easily forgive? Do you gossip. complain, are given to substance abuse? Are you easily tripped up by sexual immorality or are you lazy or even complacent?  Yes, even complacency will trip you up because the Lord said that he would rather that you were hot or cold. (Revelation 3:16). Perhaps it’s dabbling in dark magic or lying constantly or lusting things or stealing. Again, the list can go on and on.

We all have to deal with the things (or sins) that easily trip us up and become even MORE cautious in those areas of our lives. That sin will knock at your door, so to speak.  Ephesians 4:27 says “do not give the devil a foothold”.

“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 (NIV)

Whatever it is that may cause you to stumble, put a stop sign up to the enemy of darkness. And by all means DO NOT hang out with those that dabble in those areas. Be wise who you choose as friends.

“Do not be misled. “Bad company corrupts good character.” 1 Corinthians 15:33 (NIV)

The Lord reminds us to be sober and vigilant. We need to make time to listen if we want to hear the voice of the Lord. And how much more important it is as the days are growing evil and confusion is consuming the land.

These words were definitely for me. But I know that they are for someone else today, as well.

Finally, I pray that each of us can run the race with endurance so that we can be found faithful when we meet our Lord, and so that we have the energy and wisdom to encourage those around us.

God bless.

God’s intimate care

God’s intimate care

We walk through this life perhaps unaware,
Of what God has done in HIS intimate care.

So much we don’t know or understand,
But somehow our lives were guided by HIS hand.

We didn’t hear HIS voice as HE whispered in the dark,
“Let there be light” and light began to spark.

We didn’t watch HIM mold a man out of clay
Nor hear him breathe life into his lungs on that day.

We don’t know if HIS heart was stricken in grief
When those HE had made turned away in unbelief.

Sin is so retched and tarnished and black
It separates hearts and God wants ours back!

Since justice demands a penalty to pay
HE knew that HE’d have to establish a way.

We don’t understand HIS patience while waiting
Before sending HIS son into a world filled with hating.

We don’t know if HIS heart felt it could break
When his son spilled his blood to make a way for our sake.

But I DO know this: HIS Spirit won’t relent
Until each person has a chance to turn and repent.

So answer HIS voice if you hear HIS call
Salvation is for you, for me, for us all.

I thank you Lord, for your intimate care!
For making a way and for hearing my prayer.

“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no will snatch them out of my Father’s hand.”

John 10 :27-28 (NIV)

 

Weeds among the wheat

Weeds among the wheat

Often we can feel discouraged because of the evil that surrounds us in this age. It seems wrong has gotten a stamp of approval while trying to live righteous is mocked.  Simple morals and kindness have been kicked to the curb as trash and worthless ideals. Lies are spoken, vulgarity runs rampant, and the guilty are set free, while the just are tried with vengeance.

I’ve heard some people state that evil is triumphing because of what they see and hear. Do you notice how evil is proudly flaunting its corruption?  I remember reading how Lot was disgusted and vexed by the depravity of sin in his day. (2 Peter 2:7) It seems it is continuing to surround us with threats of destruction.

I was reading the parable in Matthew 13:24-30 in the New Living Translation titled, “Parable of the Wheat and Weeds”. I’m sure you are familiar with it, but bear with me as you read the following:

Here is another story Jesus told: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a farmer who planted good seed in his field. But that night as the workers slept, his enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat, then slipped away. When the crop began to grow and produce grain, the weeds also grew.

The farmer’s workers went to him and said, “Sir, the field where you planted that good seed is full of weeds! Where did they come from?”

“An enemy has done this!” the farmer explained.

“Should we pull out the weeds?” they asked.

“No,” he replied, “you’ll uproot the wheat if you do. Let both grow together until the harvest. Then I will tell the harvesters to sort out the weeds, tie them into bundles, and burn them, and to put the wheat in the barn.”

The passage that was highlighted to me was, “Let both grow together until the harvest.”

Hmm“, I thought to myself, ‘the wheat and the weeds grew TOGETHER.” This thought lingered in my mind.

You may see more filth on TV. You may hear depressing lies of defeat. You may watch people choose lifestyles that are controversial, yet glorified. Your child may be taught questionable “facts” and be challenged with ideas that you never faced.

It is because the weeds are growing WITH the wheat. The weeds that were planted by our enemy are not stronger, just perhaps louder. Yet the wheat is growing in hidden strength deep in the soil of God’s righteousness.

I believe that people who are searching for God and are hungering for HIM, WILL walk in a greater power and anointing in these last days. As the harvest grows near, the followers who choose to seek the Lord will become stronger in their testimony as they walk in their God-given authority. The miracles that follow them will be powerful; even supernatural.

You may not be hearing this on your local news station. You may not be hearing it in the social media frenzy. But God is raising up an army! He plants them, waters them and is watching them grow. The weeds are simply a pesky and annoying distraction. (Weeds are invasive plants that try to steal the nutrients and water from the soil so that the intended plant will starve.)  BUT they do not have more power; they are just louder and more demanding.

Yet, the Lord allows the weeds to grow with the wheat in spite of their destructive behavior because he knows that if they are pulled too early the wheat could be uprooted with them. They both grow. And though the weeds try to suffocate the wheat, the wheat grows in quiet strength.

Do your remember when Jesus said, “greater things than these will you do” in John 14? He was speaking to his followers stating that if they believed in him they would do greater things than he did because he was going to heaven and would send the Holy Spirit.

Jesus did mighty things on this earth. He healed the sick and broken-hearted, mentally ill and demon processed. He raised the dead, calmed the storms and prophesied of things to come, all in obedience to his heavenly Father. He did so many things that the Bible states that perhaps there would not be enough room in the world for all the books. (John 21)

With that said, most Christians are definitely not walking in the realm that Jesus has available for them. Timothy warned of these people in his second letter. He states that in the last day Christians will have a form of godliness, but deny its power.

There is SO much more available to those who want to walk in his glory. Note: this is not a super hero power. This is a humble, suffering, total surrender to the Creator of our Universe, listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit, POWER. This is walking in the authority of Christ with miracles that will change hearts and minds, that will heal the sick and raise the dead. This isn’t about people who want glory for themselves. This army is a made up of people who love the Lord with all that they are: mind, body and soul.

It is all about bringing people to Christ so they can be set free from the power of this dark world and live in eternity with HIM. It is about showing and walking in the love of Christ.

Please understand: The Lord DESIRES that all will find him and be set free. Those that are weeds in the garden of life can become wheat. (1 Timothy 2:4).

I cannot get the image of the weeds and the wheat growing together, side by side, from my mind. One desires to cause havoc to their own demise, and the other is deeply rooted in the word and truth of the Lord.

Soon, very soon, the workers will harvest the field. The weeds will be burned BUT the wheat will be placed in his barn.

Soon very soon we will be with HIM in all of his glory.

Until then, you and I can grow as we choose to abide in HIM.  We don’t need to live in defeat and be entangled by the whispers of the weeds that surround us. Instead, we can be the answer for those who are lost.

We CAN and WILL do greater things in this hour.

Be encouraged. Get prepared.

God bless.

 

 

Winds of adversity.

Winds of adversity.

Someone once asked me if I followed the first commandment before I followed the second commandment.

“It is the greatest commandment and the only one to live by,” she reminded me. “People sometimes think that the second one is the greatest and skip the first. But the second cannot be completed without the first.”

Then she quoted Mark 12:30:

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”

Matthew 22:38 continues to say, “This is the first and the greatest commandment.” (NIV)

That word of wisdom stayed on my mind. I thought about it quit a lot. It boils down to loving the Lord with ALL that I am and in EVERY situation.

Wow, that is intense! It makes sense that it should be the first commandment. How can a person fulfill the second commandment, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” if they cannot understand the first. It is only through HIS love that we can come near to accomplishing loving our neighbor as ourselves.

Several days later I heard the Lord whisper the same words into my heart again, except this time he added, “I CHALLENGE you: love me with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength.”

Again, this resonated with my soul, especially in this hour.

Those who went before us surely understood this concept of complete and total abandonment of love for their Lord or they would not have been able to endure the tragedies, heartaches and persecutions that they faced then and some still do.

This leads me to share something that is on my heart. I believe the Lord is warning each of us that “a wind is coming”. It will be wind that is so powerful and mighty that if I (we) do not hold onto this verse I (we) may be blown away by that wind’s power.

You already see the wind in the American government. It is blowing away dross. And it will continue to blow. Innocent people have to hold on with all they are worth. They must hold onto their faith, while others keep them steadfast through prayer support and encouragement. But I strongly believe that if those who are dealing in lies and deceit do not change they will be blown away by the power of that wind.

As I was contemplating these things in my heart I heard the natural wind blow outside. I looked outside my front door and noticed our flag (yes, we have a flag in the front of our house) whipping violently in the wind. It was so powerful that it wrapped itself tightly around the flagpole. Then the wind changed its direction which caused the flag to unwrap, only to wrap around the pole again in the opposite direction.

A thought crossed my mind: “This is what we will have to do, as believers. We will need to cling to the cross, just as the flag is clinging onto the flagpole. We cannot stay rigid or we will break. We must be pliable, so that we can move with the wind and cling to the cross.”

Adversities may come and go but the cross of Christ is solid and strong and will never be moved. Jesus is solid and strong and will never be moved. He is every believer’s foundation. He is our rock. If we want to stand strong in the wind of adversity we must be rooted in him; we must be embedded in the rock of our salvation.

“The Lord is my protector; he is my strong fortress. My God is my protection, and with him I am safe. He protects me like a shield; he defends me and keeps me safe.” Ps 18:2 (GNT)

As these strong winds continue to blow we must realize that our good works will not get us through, nor our monetary values, nor our prestigious place in life, not even our friends and family (although faithful friends are of great worth). What will get us through the wind of conflict or adversity that is blowing into our lives, our communities and even our nation will be our unshakeable faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.

God promises that he will shake what needs to be shaken. He is coming for a spotless bride. If gold is refined in fire, wouldn’t we be, as well?

Yet we don’t need to live in fear. In fact we should live in the joy of the Lord. That is where we will find our strength. Even Jesus saw the joy that was set before him. That joy helped him endure the cross. And he endured opposition (which we see right now in our nation.)  Each of us need to look to Jesus as our example, so that we do not grow weary. (Hebrews 12)

Ultimately, we can rest in him because these battles are his. We need to continue to pray and praise him, in spite of the opposition. It is our praises that usher in His glory.

For me, in the midst the powerful wind, it comes down this:

Do I love him with all my heart?
Do I love him with all my soul?
Do I love him with all my mind?
Do I love him with all my strength?

Do YOU?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Following his path

Following his path

The ferocious wind is howling like a hungry wolf. It picks up what it wants as it races through my life. All that I thought was valuable is being lifted into its merciless vortex and speeding violently in circles around me. I grasp at items in frantic despair.

Then, suddenly all is quiet again. Nothing fills the void of quietness. Nothing fills the void of emptiness. All I see is utter darkness. The things that swirled around me have disappeared. Loneliness takes their place.

I hear a voice say, “Come this way.”  I turn towards the voice and squint, hoping my eyes can focus in the darkness so I can get a glimpse of who might be calling out to me. From another direction a new voice is heard from the depth. Its loud demanding voice pleads for my attention. “No, this way is the best. Follow this path.”

I struggle to know what I should do. Several voices join the plea. Though they seem to be growing louder, the voice I hear clearly is not heard with my ears. It is heard with my heart. I know the voice. I have heard it before many times. This voice is soft, yet vibrates throughout my entire being. This voice speaks with authority but is consumed with peace. I choose to follow the voice inside of me that I have grown to know and love.

It is the voice of my Lord.

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” John 10:27

As soon as I take a step in the direction he is guiding me, a light shines on my feet. I slowly see where I am going, one step at a time. I notice that I am on a path that has not been well-traveled. There are dips and bumps but the light shines bright enough so that I can get a good footing. A peaceful sound, almost like the heartbeat of music vibrates from the light, as if it is alive. Though the other voices are relentless they soon begin to fade into the darkness behind me, as do my cares and anxieties. I know in my heart that if I continue on this path, things will work out for my good.

A thought flickers in my mind then travels to my heart.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart And lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6″ (NKJV)

I trust you Lord, ” I think to myself. And then I say it out loud with bold confidence, “I TRUST YOU LORD!”

And hence I keep following Him though I don’t always see the rainbows nor smell the roses. I walk in His peace, regardless of distractions that try to encourage me otherwise. I walk by faith.

This is a synopsis of my walk with my Lord. It is definately an adventure, as is your journey with Him, I am sure.

treasure map

Trust is like a treasure map. As you follow it, you will eventually find God’s purpose for your life.  I trust that the Lord has called me onto this path I am currently traveling . He is the one that has opened doors that no one could open. He has also shut the doors that were wide with wonder, but not filled with wisdom.

Why? Because he loves me.

It is amazing what he is doing in my life! I don’t always see his hand at work directly in front of me. But I always see it when I look behind me. I see the miracles from my past which confirms to me that he is working in my future.

“For I know the plans I have for you” declares he Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

There are many voices in each of our lives that call out to us with soothing tones. They are not always bad, though they can become distractions, and not always the best choice for our lives.” Come this way and follow me,” they taunt.  The distractions simply keep our eyes off of the Lord of our salvation and can fill our minds with clutter that carry confusion.

That is when we have to close our eyes and focus on the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. Everything else…and I mean EVERYTHING else, even the blessings and good things we do, such as helping the poor, must NOT be our MAIN purpose and goal. Being good alone, though it is a good thing, CANNOT save anyone. Even that can distract us from God’s purpose. He desires a relationship with each of us.

That is why the greatest commandment is to “Love the Lord your God with all our heart, with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” Mark 12:30 (NIV)

Jesus explains:

“Many will say to me on that day, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name, drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles? Then I will tell them plainly, “I never KNEW you. Away from me, you evildoers!” Matthew 7:22-23 (NIV)

Not all endings are going to be happy, especially if we are determined to follow our own path. But even when we follow the Lord’s leading we will still need to utilize trust. One of my grandsons experienced that this summer.

I had the opportunity to take a couple of my grandkids to a theme park. One of my grandsons suddenly got filled with fear as we got closer to the front of the line of a rollercoaster. He wanted to back out. But I kept reassuring him that he would have fun.

So the brave (well not so brave) child got in the seat next to me. The person controlling the ride overheard us talking. She asked him if he was sure he wanted to go. I gave her the thumbs up.  I had never been on this particular ride but it definitely didn’t look as frightening as the one we had just ridden. I told him that there was only one big drop, the rest were little dips, at least that is how it appeared in the description.20180731_141155.jpg

Well, to my amazement those “little dips” were not as little as I thought. My poor grandson looked straight ahead and without any other visible emotions squeezed tightly onto the bar that held us in the seat.  With each drop he said in a monotone voice, “Nana, I thought there was only one drop.” He continued saying this statement several more times as we went down one “dip” after another.  A couple minutes later as the coaster cars pulled up at the end of the ride the girl who spoke with us earlier asked if he liked the ride. He said, with a straight face and a lot of pride, “I didn’t scream one time.”

He was so proud of himself, as was I.

Sometimes trust may mean that all you can do is hold on. But you don’t have to scream. You can hold on to the words of the Lord. You can hold to his promises and trust him. You can sit with someone who will endure the trials along side of you and encourage you all the way. And when that adventurous chapter comes to a close you can look at the operator and say. “I didn’t scream one time.”

The winds may blow, things may be stripped from your hands, voices may try to distract you, darkness and loneliness may encompass you, and your ride might be pretty wild. But remember what Paul said to the Philippians.

“Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you WILL complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6 (NKJV)

Be at rest. He is holding you. Trust his voice.

TRUST HIM.