What are you, mighty mountain?!

Photo by Kilian M on Pexels.com

So he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty. “What are you, mighty mountain? Before Zerubbable you will become level ground. Then he will bring out the capstone to shouts of ‘God bless it! God bless it!’” Zechariah 4:6-7 (NIV) 

I live near a mighty mountain called Horsetooth. It appears to have a giant rock shaped tooth at the very top that is visible for miles! I have yet to climb it. I may or may not be afraid it will quite literally bite me! This might be because the majority of my climbing exercises are done on the stairs of my own home (and usually only when I need to go to bed at night)! 

Over time I’ve learned that trying to contain the extent of our life experience to the flat land (where we can frame quite nicely the illusion of control) only makes the uncontrollable mountains seem mighty daunting overhead with pretty convincing threats to devour us alive! 

Recalling the story of Peter walking on water amidst the wind and the waves with Jesus, found in Matthew 14, I’m reminded of who initiated the event. Jesus does call Peter out of the boat however it is Peter who asks Him to. Peter had the desire and drive in his heart to experience life in God to the full! He did not want to miss even one adventure God might be willing to take him on. So Peter in a sense flat out asks, “Take me out of this flat boat! Take me up on the mountainous waves with You Lord!” So Jesus calls Peter out on a word!!! “Come!” Jesus wants us all to embrace wave walking faith! He died to give us abundant life (that doesn’t mean easy) just full of Who really matters.

How often do we let the big adventure float right by us just waiting for God to call us out when we haven’t even asked Him to?! It’s one thing to ask and have Him say “no”. If He closes the door we better not knock it down, BUT maybe He’ll say, “yes!” Like Peter, let’s base our interpretation of what we hear on the firm foundation of God’s Word. 

What do you want bad enough to ask for it, unhindered by the fear of what He may answer? Peter could have wanted to walk on water but even still held back in asking because he was unable to rationalize past if Jesus said, “yes”! What if God says, “Come.”? What then? I’ve never walked on water before, I’m so unqualified, so inexperienced… We can talk ourselves right out of conquering the mighty mountain before we even ask to get out of the boat to try! I wonder if there is a “what if…” you need to cast overboard so that you can float forward in faith and flourish like you were meant to in God?!

In Zechariah 4:6 Zerubbabel was reminded by God that his looming challenge would not be mastered by strength or power. See, this was important for Zerubbabel to be schooled in because he, in fact, did not have the royal power and might that both Solomon and David had. This feeling of inadequacy has kept how many of us from lending ourselves available to allow God to be our Ability in our avail-Ability?! 

God reminds Zerubbable his mastery would come by way of His Holy Spirit! This Truth is followed by verse 7 in which God makes clear the “mighty mountain” will be leveled!

The size of your mountain, your impossibility, can be leveled by the size of your God, but will you ask? And if you ask, will you listen and respond in surrendered obedience, trusting He holds your best adventure? Dear one, take time with God, that you might confidently declare that whatever your mighty mountain is looming overhead, it certainly is no match for His mighty Holy Spirit within you! 

If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! Matthew 7:11 (NIV) 

The Lord Is There

“THE LORD IS THERE” (Eze. 48:35)

Photo by Arnie Chou on Pexels.com

…Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear fruit, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them…. Ezekiel 47:12 (NIV) 

Wise advice my dad always gave me in times I struggled with anything from math homework to real life dilemmas was, “Go back to what you know and work forward from there.”  As we navigate this broken world where things are often unexplainable and the loud cry of “WHY?!” within our hearts seems to go unanswered, I find my dad’s advice to ring true even still today. 

And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires. 2 Peter 1:4 (NLT) For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. 2 Corinthians 1:20 (NIV) Is your life speaking a confident “Yes!” in the promises of God or a shaky “I’m not so sure?!” 

Go back to the Truth you know in God’s Word. Instead of worrying about what or how He WILL do things for you, stand firm on what Jesus has ALREADY done for you! His display of love on the cross and His power at the resurrection has won you victory over all the unknowns of this present life (John 16:33, 1 Cor. 2:9)! 

The promise written above from Ezekiel 47:12 reveals an Almighty reversal. A quick comparison of Amos 4:6-11 to Amos 9:13-15 paints a vivid picture of this reversal for us. Not because any of us deserves anything good (Romans 3:10,23) but because our God IS good! God chose to become the sacrifice for our sin, rising again victorious over all that would threaten to entangle us from becoming the vessel of His victory He intended us to be! All the “why’s?!” that threaten to tailspin us into darkness have been overcome by the Champion of heaven (John 1:5)! 

We serve an infinite God that won us eternal life in paradise. We can in no way comprehend that with our finite minds anymore than we can comprehend the answer to many of our “why’s?!” this side of heaven even if He were to answer them plainly for us! The answer to receiving His gift of peace that passes understanding (Eph. 2:14, John 14:27) which will take a transformation, a renewing of our minds (Rom. 12:2) comes as you go back to the Truth you know. Go back to what you know to find your faith in all that you do not. 

The promise spoken in Ezekiel of the Old Testament is repeated in Revelation 22:2 (NIV) of the New Testament, for God’s Word never fails (Luke 1:37). The promise speaks of healing and continuous prosperity, and WHY?! Verse 3, …The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city… His living water flows as it flows by His Spirit to our hearts (John 4:14) to rebuild, replant, restore and make new, even now, so we can take up hope and trust in all our “even if’s…” this side of heaven, for God is with you… even there, dear one (1 Cor. 13:12).

Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace. Luke 1:78-79 (NLT) See also Isaiah 61.

Rollin’ In Rumors Or Trekkin’ In Truth

Photo by Du01b0u01a1ng Nhu00e2n on Pexels.com

Rumors are dainty morsels that sink deep into one’s heart. Proverbs 26:22 (NLT)

Ever experienced a wrecking due to rumors? Contrary to the popular saying that “sticks and stones will break your bones but words will never hurt” I’ve found that words very much DO hurt! Oftentimes the damage done to one’s heart by words can far out last that of any broken bone! Rumors are gonna roll so how do we avoid being rolled over by them?

Riotous rumors don’t roll down the road of Truth. We avoid being rolled over by rumors trekking on the trail of Truth. We find nasty rumors swirling around Nehemiah as the enemy tries to persuade him off the trail of Truth. Nehemiah 6:2 finds the enemy inviting him to meet in the valley of Ono to have a “discussion”.

Nehemiah was a wise one and knew that if your enemy invites you down to a valley you don’t go… especially if it’s called Ono (Oh-no)! The enemy is always only trying to pull us down, to which our response should be a loud, “Oh-no you don’t!!” 

Everlasting joy is found walking in the resurrection power of the Champion of heaven. 

Walking in relationship with his God, Nehemiah goes from knowing he is on a GOOD work (Neh. 2:18), to declaring to his enemies he has no time for them because he is engaged in a GREAT work (Neh. 6:3)! His vision of himself and his purpose grew in Truth as Nehemiah walked with God through chapters 2,3,4,5 and 6! Trekking on the trail of Truth will always lead to a greater sense of purpose.

The enemy was relentless in pursuing Nehemiah and after 4 failed attempts to distract him they sent a letter filled with accusatory lies (New. 6:4-7). Yet Nehemiah is rock solidly rooted in God’s validation of himself and his purpose. Nehemiah 6:8-9 (NLT) I replied, “There is no truth in any part of your story. You are making up the whole thing.” They are just trying to intimidate us, imagining they could discourage us and stop the work. So I continued the work with even greater determination. 

WOW! Nehemiah heard the rumors rolling all around him and yet he was able to respond with “even greater determination”! You won’t have to cope through the lies when you float your hope on the One who rose from death to life. You have been given great and precious promises that enable you to escape the corruption of this world (2 Peter 1:4) but we must choose, like Nehemiah, to walk in them! We must allow them to frame our purpose, our validation, our worth and just who our Victorious God is! He is the Lamb that was slain and the Lion that has overcome!! 

Nehemiah persevered and finished the work God had given him to accomplish just 52 days after beginning! When our enemies and the surrounding nations heard about it they were frightened and humiliated. They realized this work had been done with the help of our God. Nehemiah 6:16 (NLT) In our weakness God’s strength is overcoming. Often what feels like weakness within us, appears as strength to others when we step out, faithfully trusting our God. 

The people of Nehemiah’s day recognized that God’s mighty hand had been at work fighting for Nehemiah! Who might catch a glimpse of His mighty hand because you choose to continue with greater determination through a rumor filled wreckage (or any other trial)?

When fiery trials hit the faithful they refine them, they do not define them, nor destroy them.You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. Genesis 50:20 (NIV) 

Trek on dear one, you were made to triumph in Truth not wreck in the rumors. 

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not destroyed. 2 Corinthians 4:7-9 (NIV) 

A Honey Heart

Photo by Alexas Fotos on Pexels.com

The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. Romans 8:6 (NIV) 

One summer afternoon I brought my work and a cool diet Mountain Dew out to the front porch. (Nothing like a cool diet Mountain Dew on a hot day right!) Maybe I should have left the work load inside as the gift of the moment (sunshine and sweet Dew) were threatened with thoughts that circle the drain of the unknown. However it was in this pondering over purpose that God brought the sweetest of messages that dripped like sweet honey on my heart!

Right behind me on the windowsill was a very small hole in the screen frame. I noticed a bee entering the hole multiple times and since I am allergic to bee stings my attention was enraptured by this little stinger. As I watched him, he flew down to the wood chips at the bottom of the porch steps and all the way back up to the small hole in the screen. He did this for maybe an hour straight! Each time he went down to the wood chips he picked up a sliver of a chip (the sliver being bigger than his whole body) and flew it up to the screen hole! Sometimes he could fit with the wood chip he had carried up but most of the time he could not. So just below his endeavors on my porch, was beginning to form a large pile of small wood chip slivers that could not fit! The persistence and perseverance of this little bee was remarkable! 

Regardless of the number of failed attempts (of which there was an ever increasing pile of evidence beneath him) this bee was not distracted from his purpose! See, his failed attempts were just that, beneath him and in the past. His focus was forward, he would not let the pile below discourage him from pressing on and rising above!! 

“According to all known laws of aviation, there is no way that a bee should be able to fly. Its wings are too small to get its fat little body off the ground. The bee, of course, flies anyway. Because bees don’t care what humans think is impossible.” -Bee Movie

For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13 (NLT) Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26 (NIV) 

God saw my heart that needed a bit of revival and sent sweet words of Truth to drop like honey. Proverbs 16:24 (NIV) reminds us that, Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. And it’s in the wild passage of Ezekiel 3:3-4 (NIV) that we see the Source of honey sweet words is God Almighty Himself! Then he said to me, “Son of man, eat this scroll I am giving you and fill your stomach with it.” So I ate it, and it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth. He then said to me: “Son of man, go now to the people of Israel and speak my words to them.” 

The Word of the Lord is healing honey sweet to our soul, heart and mind. When we ingest His Word, obediently allowing it to saturate every part of our lives, that sweetness may then drip without ceasing into our relationships and workplaces. If we are not to become weary in doing good we must remain connected to the Source of sweet sustaining strength dear one. The peace of mind to persevere in life, is a mind governed by the Truth; by His Spirit. 

What that bee didn’t know was that I was watching and that what may have felt like weakness causing him to sweat (if bees sweat he probably was) appeared as strength to me. Let God give you a honey heart through His sweet Word so that you do not grow weary and give up. Someone needs the “sweet” you have, so don’t give up in the sweat dear one.

Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers, and blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord. Proverbs 16:20 (NIV) 

Your Uber Might Be Whale Shaped

Photo by Andre Estevez on Pexels.com

Then the LORD ordered the fish to spit Jonah out onto the beach. Jonah 3:10 (NLT) 

We often daydream our way out of the office of regular life onto the beautiful beaches of paradise! No one needs to be reminded we live in a broken world but sometimes we need to remember that God did not break it, we did (See Gen. 3). God issued us all the warning that there would now be severe wear and tear on our hearts and minds as we travel through this world. 

John 16:33 (NIV) “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.” Take heart is a command so it’s something we can choose to do, not something God has to do for us. Like taking captive our rouge thoughts and making them obedient to Truth is also a command we can choose to obey (See  2 Cor. 10:5). God has made us capable human beings and commissioned us each, with great purpose as we journey Home. However He never expected us to do it alone! 

The story of Jonah is one of second chances… disobedience, discipline and deliverance; and aren’t we glad it is!! Desperation often leads to determination which can lead to faithfulness and thus fruitfulness, by God’s amazing grace!! 

Jonah’s name means “dove”. A dove is a bird and birds have a “bird’s eye view” literally on approaching storms. They can see what’s coming and quickly take cover to ride it out. What we call “safe” might just be an escape from really living the adventure God originally planned for us. Jonah is found hunkered down in the bottom of a boat during a wild storm (See Jonah 1)! 

A dove is also a symbol of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is God’s gift to help us navigate and successfully weather the storms of life, not numbly sleep through them! 1 These. 5:19 advises us not to quench the Holy Spirit! Don’t numb out of the true and abundant life God meant for us! 

Jonah was found in a storm created by his own missteps and sometimes we do too.  We can also end up in a storm due to someone else’s missteps.  However the Holy Spirit’s life saving power works the same either way! 

Jonah soon finds out that numbing out of a storm only leads to a greater storm within and without. He eventually finds himself engulfed by the mighty waters, buried beneath the wild and stormy waves! Jonah 2:6-7 (NLT) “I sank down to the very roots of the mountains. I was imprisioned in the earth, whose gates lock shut forever. But you, O LORD my God, snatched me from the jaws of death! As my life was slipping away, I remembered the LORD. And my earnest prayer went out to you in your holy Temple. 

Jonah may have seen himself as a helpless dove bird but God saw His child empowered by The Dove or rather The Holy Spirit who breathes new life into anyone that will cry out to Him!! The Holy Spirit who empowers anyone to not only survive, but thrive through any storm this broken world would whirl at them!! When fire hits the faithful the enemy can’t believe his eyes!! Genesis 50:20 (NIV) You intended to harm me, by God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.

God had given Jonah an assignment that Jonah paid to get out of. The enemy is always ready to take our fare we too often are so willing to pay! God also gave Jonah an opportunity to get back on assignment… that opportunity was an Uber of sorts. A literal whale sized Uber Jonah probably never would have expected or even could have imagined (See Eph. 3:20)!! 

Don’t miss your ride to begin life anew, to try again, to ask forgiveness, to say “I’m sorry”, to believe for the miracle or to reframe your unmet expectation with open ended God sized expectancy… don’t miss your opportunity to get back to your God given abundant life (even amidst the wreckage of this broken world). Opportunity has a way of presenting itself in ways and times we might least expect… like an Uber that happens to be whale shaped! 

Jonah prayed and praised God even from the belly of a whale and wouldn’t you know… worship wins the battle over worry every time and Jonah arrived safely through the storm on the wings of The Dove because even at his worst, he was still, very much, loved. 

But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:26-27 (NIV) 

For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. Romans 3:23-24 (NLT) For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 (NIV) 

Everything Will Be All Right

Photo by Aaron Burden on Pexels.com

I will praise the LORD, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I keep my eyes always on the LORD. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay. You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. Psalm 16:7-11 (NIV) 

2 Kings 4:8-37 brings us face to face with a woman experiencing the most devastating of tragedies any mother could face, the death of her child. Before this tragic event occurs in her life she befriends Elisha, God’s prophet. In return for her kindness Elisha inquires about what can be done for her. As a man of prominence and influence Elisha offers to speak to the king or army commander on her behalf! What can be done for you, Elisha asks her?! 

This woman’s response reflects a heart rooted in the peace that blooms from a mind planted in Truth. She says, “I have a home…” (vs. 13) She was content within her situation, though imperfect as it was. Like the apostle Paul was able to declare in Philippians 4:12-13 (NIV) I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. 

We can do all things through Christ who gives us all sufficient strength and grace to not only keep breathing through unthinkable tragedy but to thrive as He revives our soul. Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; John 11:25 (NIV) 

This gal in 2 Kings 4 knew she had a Home (capital H in Heaven) so when tragedy struck her home (lower case h) she could remain unshaken. You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Isaiah 26:3 (NIV) 

Upon the death of her son in “bitter distress” (vs. 27) this women makes haste in going to find Elisha. Yet when she is asked, ‘Are you all right? Is your husband all right? Is your child all right’” She responds “Everything is all right”. (Vs. 26)  WHAT?! NO!! EVERYTHING WAS ALL WRONG!! And yet…

Everything was right and well with her soul. What took place was not alright but it would all, be made right. She knew this world was/is bitter, broken and unfair… but what is also unfair is God’s amazing grace. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 (NIV) … “What no eye has seen, no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” – the things God has prepared for those who love him- 1 Corinthians 2:9 (NIV)

By His amazing grace, she AND her son would one day be at Home together. A Home with no more death, mourning, crying or pain (Rev. 21:4). In this world we will have bitter distress, but dear one, we can run to a better fortress found in Jesus. The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliver; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. Psalm 18:2 (NKJV) 

For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay. Habakkuk 2:3 (NIV) 

Sift and Shift

Photo by Ylanite Koppens on Pexels.com

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Isaiah 26:3 (NIV) 

In Daniel chapter 3 we encounter three men with extraordinary faith. A faith that reaches far beyond mere religion. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were told to bow down to an idol. (Isn’t most of the world beckoning us all to do the same in some form or another?!) These three men show great confidence in the one true God, as they declare to the king…

“O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.” Daniel 3:16-18 (NLT)

As this picture plays out in our mind we might see ourselves giving a standing ovation for the good guys victory. “Yea! They stood up to the mean guy!” Yet as we wait for the the curtain to fall, to our surprise the film continues to roll… downhill! Maybe you’ve been there, responding faithfully in a hard circumstance only to find things going as you least expected. Instead of going right everything goes left! Rather than cool down, the situation for these three men begins to heat up (literally)! The king does not back down to these three’s courageousness. As his temper roars so does he order the flames of the furnace to roar seven times hotter!! 

If God always rescued His faithful servants from all suffering the way they planned, no faith would be needed; simple religion would be all the insurance any of us humans would need. If we check all the right boxes, we get all that we want right? – Wrong. Genuine faith worships God even if He doesn’t work according to our plan because He is worth it. The reward in heaven for all God’s faithful servants will far out weigh any temporary suffering we have been asked to endure this side of heaven. The promise is that we will arrive safely in His Kingdom. We may cannon ball in, but we will nail the landing, not even smelling like smoke! 

Keeping the faith requires intentionally shifting our minds from the suffering of our situation to sustaining eternal Truth. This mind shift is not easy. We can think of it like a beautiful pearl that begins as an irritating grain of sand. The initial rubbing the clam does over the sand is harsh but as it endures the suffering, and continues to shift over it, the irritation is transformed. 

Romans 12:2 (NIV) Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will. 

Remember, the enemy is the ruler of lies, not the ruler of your thoughts. We can take captive our thoughts and make them obedient to Truth. Sift out the “sand” you don’t need and the “grains” that God has said must remain… choose to shift your mind over until the joy of your salvation is made complete. For Jesus rose from the grave, He is the resurrection and the life! The one who believes in Him will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in Him will never die! Do you believe this? (John 11:25-26) 

Don’t give up in the “sand” dear one, keep sifting and shifting, and you will make it safely Home.

Wisdom and Tact

Photo by Mike on Pexels.com

When Arioch, the commander of the king’s guard, had gone out to put to death the wise men of Babylon, Daniel spoke to him with wisdom and tact. Daniel 2:14 (NIV) 

Daniel was one of those wisemen the king’s guard had gone out to kill and yet… we see Daniel responding in a calm, cool and collected manner!! This kind of reaction can only comes through the gift of a sound mind by way of the Holy Spirit (2 Tim. 1:7). Choosing to set our mind on the rock solid promises of God grounds us when the “wind and waves” swell around us.

Daniel was able to confront his killer with speech saturated with wisdom and tact. Tact reminds me of tack which is word for what a sail boat does to remain on course. Tacking is a sailing move that takes the boat back and forth in a zig zag pattern, using the gusts of wind to remain on course. To tack in a boat is to use the force of the winds to your advantage; keeping you moving in the desired direction. Daniel was able to utilize the wisdom from God with some tact, or cleverness and skill. 

The next time we sense the “wind and the waves” of life beginning to swell all around us, we can… 

*Apply the wisdom God has given us with some tact (skill and cleverness), using the “wind and waves” that the enemy means to drive us off course, rather to our advantage (Matt. 10:16)! Often this is done choosing an attitude of worship over worry (Heb. 13:15).

*Remember to take captive every thought, making it obedient to the Truth of Christ (2 Cor. 10:5). 

*Remember the power and sound mind available to us through the Holy Spirt within us as believers. 

*Remember our God’s faithfulness and victorious power that reigns over every “wind” and every “wave” dear one (2 Cor. 1:20). 

You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. Genesis 50:20 (NIV)

Your Lane Matters

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. Hebrews 11:3 (NIV) 

That verse reminds us God uses small things, even things we cannot see to do things so mega large it’s beyond our comprehension! The universe was made from what we cannot see!!! If you have lived through the COVID-19 era you know a virus too small to be seen with the naked human eye pretty much shut down the world! God can use small things to do great big things, no doubt! 

So why when it comes to our own lives do we doubt and discount that which we have to offer the world. We often classify it as far too small and insignificant to make a real difference. We compare what we are doing, or who we are, to the next person and become discouraged. Why?! Scripture clear tells us that kind of comparison is unwise! 

We so often get tripped up in our own God given gifted lane on the curb of comparison! Each person God creates has a different lane for a reason! How boring would watching a race be if all the runners ran identical? How delightful would a symphony sound if everyone played the same instrument? 

John 21 reminds us that wanting to compare our life’s “lane” to the next guy’s is not an uncommon human condition. Peter is worried about Jesus’ life plan for his buddy John, to which Jesus says …what is that to you? You must follow me.” John 21:22 (NIV) Excellent advise for all of us right!?!!

So in our effort to “fit in” in this world… have the right clothes, home, job, friends… we miss the mark. In Hebrews 11 which speaks of the hero’s of the faith, those hero’s admit they were foreigners and a strangers on earth. They embraced the promises of God rather than the fleeting fads of this world. They had grasped that they worked down here on earth but had a permanent residence in Heaven. The moment we begin to feel like we “fit in” here we are probably doing something way wrong. As believers in Jesus we have citizenship in heaven and Jesus said that among us it would be different! 

In Jesus we have a hope, a joy, a peace that is not of this world. We have the Holy Spirit within us enabling us to run our race with perseverance. When we are gone from this earth the only legacy that lasts will be our faith, not what fad we measured up to. …And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead. Hebrews 11:4 (NIV)

So dear one, take hold of your job description that none of us get’s to retire from this side of heaven. How exciting to know every breath you take bares purpose no amount of years can outgrow or layoffs can effect! … “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Luke 10:27 (NIV) This job even comes with a uniform free of charge! You can only find it in God’s closet and the only size it doesn’t tailor to, is prideful. Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Colossians 3:12 (NIV)

Live out your faith in the lane you’ve been gifted. Run well the race marked out for you without comparison, for the Author of time doesn’t waste it, so every moment in your own lane matters. Keep going, don’t give up! 

Hebrews 12:1 (NIV) Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,

Moving Target or Sitting Duck

Photo by Stephen Niemeier on Pexels.com

“If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in the thickets by the Jordan? Jeremiah 12:5 (NIV) 

The moment you step out from the crowd to be a leader in any arena, you become a target. A target for the enemy, a target for people that like to share their opinions, suggestions, judgements, blame and complaints (good, bad and the ugly). Knowing this beforehand allows us to make a choice over what kind of target we will be; a moving target or a sitting duck.

Hebrews 10:35, 39 (NIV) reminds us we are equipped to be the MOVING kinda targets. So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. (39) But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved. 

It is really hard to take down a moving target, right! Real faith does not shrink back becoming a stagnant sitting duck going down, destroyed! Real faith moves forward, it steps up and out in God-confident trust. 

It is only when we lose sight of our Target that we become the sitting duck target. It is only the shield of faith that can extinguish the flaming arrows of the evil one and faith is a gift that moves, it grows as it seeks The Source of itself. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith -and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- Ephesians 2:8 (NIV) 

The Target of our faith is Jesus and only in moving into His Truth will we continue to move effectively in any roll of leadership. Everyone of us is a leader to someone, even someones we don’t know are watching. 

Don’t let the flaming arrows of the evil one or mean people or unfavorable circumstances take you down, keep moving into Truth. As you persevere don’t expect it to get easier but rather for the hunt to heat up! But as you move deeper into your Target, the Truth of God Almighty, you will become stronger, faster, braver and more effective for His Kingdom! 

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6 (NIV) For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. Isaiah 41:13 (NIV)

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9 (NIV)