Thursday, December 30, 2010

FEARLESS - My Word For 2011

Fear can be crippling.

And, if you let it, it can steal your destiny.

This plundering thief, if given the power, has the potential to disable your spiritual authority,  take your vision, prevent you from speaking/writing/singing or whatever it is that you are supposed to be doing, and bind your feet together, prohibiting any progression toward fulfilling your purpose.

Scripture assures us that fear does not come from God.

For God hath not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. ~2 Timothy 1:7 (KJV)

and the same scripture in the Amplified Bible:

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.

So if not from God, then from the enemy of our soul.  From the one who hates every fiber of our being and wants nothing more than to prevent us from doing our part to further or increase the Kingdom of Heaven.

It's the voice that says you can't do it.  The voice lurking in your thoughts trying to convince you that you aren't good enough and God isn't big enough.  The voice that says if you try, you will fail.  The voice that laughs and says you'll never make it, they won't accept you, you're not smart enough, pretty enough, thin enough, rich enough, you will only get hurt ...

Truth is, some of those things may be true, but they do not matter.

Ever heard the phrase "Do it afraid"?

All throughout scripture we find many examples of ordinary people, like ourselves, who were called to do extraordinary things.  Just like us, they had a destiny, a little (or sometimes a lot of) fear, and a choice.

Open the pages of your bible and listen as God encourages Abram over and over to be not afraid.  Walk with Joshua and hear the Lord say "Be strong and of good courage, do not be afraid..."  "Do not fear them..." "Do not be afraid"  over and over and over....

These mighty men needed to be encouraged and reassured that they needed not be afraid because the Lord their God would be with them.  This tells me that they were afraid.  And more than once they pushed through the wall of fear and stepped into the freedom of trust and fearlessness to obtain the victory that was already theirs.

They didn't wait until they were not afraid.  They stepped out with knees knocking and trusted that God would do what He said He would do.  And He did.

We are not offered the luxury of unending days, but with each new dawn we are are drawn closer to the end of our seasons on this earth.  Life as we know it, is short.  There is not enough time to wait until we are not afraid to do that thing which God has been telling us to do.

"Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom."  Psalm 90:12 NLT

 As I write this, I gain strength and can feel courage rising from inside.  By faith, I declare that I will FEAR NOT.  For my God is with me.  I have a destiny and I choose to move forward, not waiting but pushing through whatever fear may try to hold me back.  I am behind because I have allowed fear of man, fear of failure, fear that all my messy places will show - because they will -  to keep me stationary and render me immobile.  But man's opinion is of no value to me.  Without the risk of failure, there can be no success.  And God can and wants to work even in my messy places. 

So for the New Year, 2011, my word is FEARLESS.  God has given me a spirit of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control. And I chose to walk in it.

And even when fear is present, I will do it afraid and trust and watch God do what He said He would do.

"Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."  Joshua 1:9 ESV

I pray that you will find the courage to step out and answer the call that you have heard, probably more than once.   And hear God whisper to your soul, "Do not be afraid.   For I am with you."

FEARLESS.  That's my word.  And that is how I will take one step at a time closer to my destiny this year, hand in hand with my Father.

What is your word for 2011?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Ruin is the Road to Transformation

In my subconscious quest to find meaning in most everything, unravel the mysteries of why/why not, or capture a lesson in living, I often hear a word or phrase that kidnaps my thoughts and holds them hostage for a time.

Tonight, my captor existed in 6 words:

"Ruin is the road to transformation."
(from the book and movie Eat, Pray, Love)

And I couldn't resist the urge to study out some of the words a bit further.

*Definition - situation of devastation
*Synonyms - bankruptcy, breakdown, collapse, confusion, crumbling, failure, the end, undoing, decay
*Antonyms - growth, development, building

*Definition - complete change
*Synonyms - about-face, conversion, renewal, radical change, revolution, shift, flip-flop
*Antonyms - preservation, sameness, stagnation



Holding these 6 words together is the hope that somehow something beautiful, something good, will arise from the ashes of destruction in one's life.  That out of confusion, out of our undoing or yet another failure, we might become stronger, more courageous, more....

With 2010 ending and the New Year approaching, it is not unusual for me (and I would guess most of you) to evaluate the past twelve months and imagine what the future holds. I find myself asking what can I do to improve or make better myself and the circumstances that surround me.  What did or didn't work and what can I do differently?

And of course, always at the forefront of my wondering is how can I draw closer to God and step toward fulfilling my destiny.  Because without Him, my life has no meaning and I have no purpose, no hope.

With all of this swimming around in my mind, the above mentioned phrase seemed to pounce on me the instant I heard it.

What things in my life currently lay in ruin? 

Where is there confusion, crumbling, failure, undoing?  In what areas am I lacking growth?

Although 2010 has had it's challenges for me, there has been nothing tragic or catastrophic to alter my course.    My faith has been stretched and I have had to trust God in areas where I was still trusting myself or my husband.  I am still learning to let go of control.  He is prying one finger loose at a time.  Can you see my white knuckles? :)

There are places, though, where my growth has been stagnant or unchanging.  And there are always areas I need renewal.

Maybe your ruins are a bit more extreme.  Maybe you have walked through the fire this year. 

Maybe you are there now.


Allow God to take you from that place of ruin and raise up something good.  Don't let it be the end of you, let it be the beginning of a transformation in your life, a drawing closer to your Savior, a way to minister to and help others, even in your pain.

Some struggles or trials that we go through are intended to harm us, meant for evil.  But God can turn them around and use them for good  (Genesis 50:20-21).  During these times, our character can be proven or exposed.  Layers of pride that keep us from experiencing God's best can be peeled away.  And a way, where there seems to be no way, can be paved for God to do the miraculous on our behalf, showing forth His glory in our lives.

I am expecting good things in 2011.  I am expecting victory in areas where I need victory and strength to overcome obstacles that have blocked or hindered forward progress.  I know that I can't make things happen apart from God nor would I want to, but I also know that I can and must play a part.  Like my last blog post, I must find my place near Him.  I pray that the areas of my spiritual life that have been stagnant or unchanging this past year would be awakened and renewed.  I pray that where there has been confusion, God will bring clarity and give me the courage to step forward into the plans He has for me.

And I pray for you...that whatever it is that lay ruin in your life will be the road to transformation in 2011.  Set aside some time to seek the heart of God and His will, His plans and His purposes for your life.  He knew you before you were even in your mother's womb  (Jeremiah 1:5). And His plans for you are not to harm you, but to give you a future and a hope!  (Jeremiah 29:11)

Join with me in looking ahead with great expectation for 2011!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

A Place Near Him (reposted)

(Reposted from earlier this year...)

One of my favorite passages of scripture in the bible is found in Exodus 33. Moses tells God that if His presence does not go with him, then he does not want to go. He then asks the Lord to show him His glory.

v. 18 And he (Moses) said, "Please, show me Your glory."

v. 19a ....Then He (God) said, "I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you....."

v. 21 And the Lord said, "Here is a place by Me, and you shall stand on the rock."

God said there is a place near Him....

In verse 21, the word place in Hebrew is MAQOWN, which means: standing place, post, station, city, land, region, place of human abode, etc. MAQOWN originated from the Hebrew word QUWN, which means: to arise, become powerful, to be established, to be fixed, to be valid, to be proven, to be fulfilled, to persist, etc.
I believe there is a place for each of us where we are more near God than anywhere else. A specific place. And when we are in that place, He will establish us there, causing His plans and purposes to persist in and through us.

Also in verse 21, is the word stand. The Hebrew word is NATSAB, which means: to stand, take one's stand, stand upright, be set (over), establish, be stationed, be appointed.

This word is a verb, which conveys an action or a state of being. In that place, we will stand (we must take action, DO something, and BE that which God has called us to be).

v. 22 "So it shall be, while My glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by."

In that place, the glory of the Lord is so great that we, in our current state, cannot handle it. So much so, that God will have to protect us, lest we be destroyed. He told Moses He would make all His goodness to pass before Him and that He would proclaim the name of the Lord before Him. In that place, God's goodness is revealed! And His name is proclaimed so that all who see it will know that it is Him!

I believe that place has been created by God and is reserved for each of us. In it, is our destiny, our purpose. There, His grace is abundant to do that which He has ordained us to do. There, His goodness is undeniable. There, His glory is all consuming. It is there, in His presence, in that place that we are so near Him, that we are changed, made whole, healed, and set free! It is there, that we are able to give out what He has placed within us.

If His presence does not go with me, I do not want to go.

I pray that the glory of the Lord will be revealed in my life, that I might be near Him and know that which I was created for, that He might establish me in His plans and purposes (not my own) and so that others can see His grace and His goodness through me. That I might find that place....

I pray, today, that you might find that place and that His glory is revealed through you!