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.

Shhhh, be quiet!

Shhhh, be quiet!

Do you think the world around us is getting smaller? We know in an instant more than we used to in a week, a year or a lifetime. And often the things that we listen to or learn in an instant may not even be true or the best for our lives. Technology speaks volumes into our lives and constantly mandates what we think, buy, wear or say.

Influences will influence you no matter if you want it to or not.

Sometimes I think I know the fate of people around the world before they do because of internet technology. You and I hear about the hopelessness that has effected other lives within minutes, if not before. It was only in an instant that the massacre in Las Vegas hit the internet, or the earthquakes in Mexico, or the hurricanes that flooded the southern states and islands, or the fires that have wreaked havoc; not to mention other catastrophes around the world.

We immediately hear about the birth of royalty or can watch via live cam the birth of a giraffe in a zoo in another state or country. We know or at least think we know the decisions that leaders make regarding power and war and nuclear warheads. We know right away when famous people are getting married or divorced or even about NFL players who are not standing for the flag. And via social media we quickly know what our friends are doing as soon as it gets posted.

We, as a society, have become so information crazed that we can’t even fill our gas tanks without a video popping up on the gas pumps informing us about something, whether it is news worthy or not. I don’t even want discuss how the movie or TV or gaming industry has influenced people’s lives. We question why there is violence amongst us yet welcome it splattered before our eyes in the name of entertainment. Finally we are programmed to believe what the media chooses us to believe and then we walk away proud that we have such wisdom and understanding.

With all this techy knowledge it is a wonder that we have time to think our own thoughts or maybe we don’t. Maybe what you and I are thinking is simply something that has been placed in our minds by a society that speaks for us. Maybe the individuals that show anger in our streets are only expressing an emotion that they have been taught and encouraged through influential osmosis.

If it is true that we are what we eat and what we think and what we read and what we watch maybe, just maybe, we should consider listening to God’s word. Just think of the possibilities! Perhaps we should quiet our thoughts before the creator of the universe whether through communion with him in prayer or reading his word.

The word that he may speak can be like the voice that spoke to Elijah. He expected God to speak in the powerful wind, or in the mighty earthquake or through the roaring fire. Instead he gently spoke in a whisper. (1 Kings 19)

Is there a possibility that he would like to speak into our lives if we quieted ourselves and listened; whether it is a declaration for an entire country or something personal for us as individuals? Maybe we would be wise to consider that he might know us more than we know ourselves and want more for us than we want for ourselves. Why not try to be silent for a moment. The Lord just might surprise you and speak to your heart in a whisper.

Shhh, take time to be still and listen.

BE STILL and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10a

 

Psalm 46 (NLT)

God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.

So we will not fear when earthquakes come
And the mountains crumble into the sea.

Let the oceans roar and foam.
Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge!

A river brings joy to the city of our God, the sacred home of the Most High.
God dwells in that city; it cannot be destroyed
From the very break of day
God will protect it.

The nations are in chaos and their kingdoms crumble!
God’s voice thunders and the earth melts!
The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us;
The God of Israel is our fortress.

Come, see the glorious works of the Lord;
Come see how he brings destruction upon the world.
He causes war to end through the earth
He breaks the bows and snaps the spear,
He burnt the shields with fire.

Be STILL and know that I am God
I Will be honored by every nation.
I will be honored throughout the word.

The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is
here among us
the God of Israel is our fortress.