Forward Friday: Flushing Fear

 

Fear and anxiety go hand in hand. We all have them. 

My son has a few “phobias.” He’s looked them up on the phobia website, so this past Sunday when our pastor preached on fear and brought up this website, he looked at me with a grin. But then he went on to talk about fear not being from God. My son grew quiet. We’ve talked about his fears and anxiety often. I’ve encouraged him to pray about them, through them.

God doesn’t give us a spirit of fear. Fear is paralyzing. Fear keeps us from moving forward. 

I had quite a bit of fear when I began writing. What if this doesn’t get published? What if I fail? What if I get laughed out of a room, a conference, a pitch session? Every “what if” was one of failure. God had to remind me: What if I succeed? What if I’m greeted into the industry with a smile and handshake or hug? What if these stories are published? What ifs don’t have to be scary. They just typically are. Because fear tends to dominate.

David told Solomon in 1 Chronicles 28:20-21(MSG)“Take charge! Take heart! Don’t be anxious or get discouraged. God, my God, is with you in this; he won’t walk off and leave you in the lurch. He’s at your side until every last detail is completed for conducting the worship of God.”

Whatever you face today, whatever fear is staring you down, paralyzing you, pushing you back from being obedient to God in whatever He’s asked you to do, know that he won’t walk off and leave you alone. He will finish what He started in you and bring it to completion.

“Jesus said, “It’s done . . . complete.” Bowing his head, he offered up his spirit.” John 19:30 MSG. You may know the verse said like this: It is finished. Jesus hung there and stuck it all out for you and for me. 

Until it was finished.

Not a second sooner.

If He would go to those lengths to nail your fears and anxiety to the cross, why would He leave you now?

Too many people walk out on us, leaving us ripped up and scarred.

Jesus was scarred just to stay with us. To the very end.

I know my son was listening intently to that sermon on fear. He heard how God wants us to be like Gideon . To believe God sees us differently. He called Gideon a mighty warrior. My son’s first and middle name together mean: warrior/arrows. In God’s eyes he’s not a boy riddled with anxiety and fears. He’s fierce. A warrior. 

But my little warrior carries a fidget cube with him. It’s not because he’s antsy. It soothes his anxiety. He keeps it in his pocket and rolls the buttons around. His sister gave it to him to have at school. At the end of service, he asked me if he could go to the bathroom and I could tell he legit had to go, so I told him to go on.

When he came back he had this grin on his face. 

“What’s going on?” I asked.

“Well…I dropped my fidget cube in the toilet.”

I snickered of course. “Did you flush it?”

“No, I used a little piece of toilet paper and got it out, then washed it really good.”

Gross. Gross. Gross.

But the thought hit me Monday morning while talking with a friend on Voxer.  That fidget cube represents his fears and anxieties. Oh that he would flush the fear and not try to fish it out of the toilet.

Oh that I would flush my fears down the toilet and walk out of the bathroom trusting more in God and how He sees me. Instead, I’ve picked those fears out of the toilet when God was nudging me to flush the away. l’ve picked back old anxieties instead of letting them go down the drain.

My prayer is that my son will be able to dump the fidget cube. My prayer is that you and I will be able to dump our “fidget cubes” too.

Forward Challenge: Put God’s Word to your fear today. Out loud. You are an overcome. A warrior. A child of God. Whatever He’s called you to do, or to not do, you can. Don’t let fear hold you back!

Forward Prayer: Lord, you have not given us a spirit of fear. We know that tucked safely in Your arms we are sheltered. We can do all that You have asked us to do. We can give up all that you have asked us to give up from unhealthy habits to unhealthy relationships. Every weight and sin that hold us back and down, we can toss aside and lay at Your scarred feet. Give us the faith to believe. The strength to act. And the courage to boldly face those things we have feared. No longer in bondage to fear, we are free in Christ Jesus. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Forward Scripture: 

*I am not talking about clinical anxiety that requires medication. Some fear and anxiety (PTSD) need to be dealt with through professional help (and of course prayer). 

What about you? Do you have some fears you know you need to flush down the toilet instead of fishing them out, “cleaning them off” and pocketing them again?

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Forward Friday: Serving Family

A couple of Sundays ago, one of our pastors, Kevin Hauman, made a statement when talking about families that struck a chord in me. He said, “We have to serve our families.” Sounds simple and common sense, but I have to admit, I never really equated what I do at home as serving. Not really. I cook, clean, keep laundry (except my man’s because he likes to do his own and I don’t argue ;)) up and groceries bought etc…It’s just, you know, what I do as mom. Not that my husband doesn’t do any of these things, he does them often and my kids help out. But for the most part, I do these things. I do them without much thought. It is a labor of love but I haven’t thought of it as that.

Late that Sunday night after the sermon, my husband had a terrible toothache and his stirring with pain woke me. A quiet whisper entered my mind, “He needs an ice pack.” So I thought, “Great! I’ll tell him to go get one!” And Kevin’s words came back to me. “Serve your family.” The Lord spoke to my heart. “You go get him one.”

Was I tired? Yes. Would I have to go all the way downstairs? Yes. Would I probably be wide awake the rest of the night? Probably. But He was right. And so I did. I went downstairs and came back up and brought him an ice pack which helped! Did I lay awake awhile? Yes. But it felt good to serve him out of love. To do that simple task.

Like Mother Teresa said. It’s not how much we do, but how much love is behind it.

What are some simple things you do for your family that you don’t have to, but want to in order to show them how much you love them and want to serve them?

Forward Challenge: Do one thing for each of your immediate family members today that is small, but served with a lot of love. Note how it makes them feel and how it made you feel!

Forward Prayer: Lord, it’s easy to serve our family when it’s things we enjoy doing, but sometimes cooking one more meal, dropping off forgotten books when we are already running late for meetings, or cleaning gooey gum off shoes doesn’t feel loving. Help us to do it anyway and to love like You would. Fill us with overwhelming love and let it shine through our actions.

Forward Scripture: 

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Forward Friday: How to Overcome Obstacles

“How are we going to get in now? I told you we should have left sooner,” friend #1 said.

“You can’t leave sooner if you don’t know any sooner that he’s here.” Friend #2 huffed, frustrated and pushed in by the crowd.

“Well, I didn’t come all this way for nothing! We’ll mow every single man down. Women and children too; I don’t care!” Friend #3 wasn’t leaving either. They had a mission to accomplish. 

The heat licked at them and their pal only stayed quiet, but hope filled his eyes and that was enough for all of them to figure out a way, but their bickering continued.

Finally, Friend #4 interrupted. “Guys…guys…guys!”

They paused and looked at him. He pointed up.

They all followed his finger. “If we can’t go through. I say we go up and in.”

“Well…” said the pal on the mat. “At least if I fall, I won’t feel it”

The friends chuckled at their pal’s humor, though dark. If–no, when–they got him inside, he’d be doing more than feeling. He’d be walking.

“And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying.” Mark 2:4 NKJV

That day Jesus went to Capernaum and people found out he was there in a house, so immediately they came bringing those who needed healing. So many people packed in, they nearly closed in on Jesus! Have you ever been in a place like that? A concert? Black Friday? It’s claustrophobic for sure.

These four friends brought their paralytic friend who was lying on a  mat/stretcher. They had no plans to walk away without seeing him healed. But they were boxed in.

In this passage, four things stand out to me.

The paralytic man had a desperate need and he couldn’t fix the problem alone.

Ever been there? Sometime we battle things, we struggle alone and we never ask our brothers and sisters in Christ for help. Maybe because we feel ashamed. Could be that we don’t think we should be having these struggles or problems and can’t admit we are (that’s pride by the way). We might even fear they’ll turn their backs on us, judge us critically, or gossip (those aren’t real friends). Whatever the reason, the first thing we must come to terms with is we need godly friends who have our backs. Who have our whole selves. Sometimes when we can’t do for ourselves, when we feel paralyzed, we need good and godly friends to carry us in prayer…or even physically like this account. 

Obstacles stood in their way

In this case it was a throng of people packed in like sardines and getting to Jesus appeared bleak. Impossible. I know, and you may know, that Jesus is always here. But sometimes it feels like he’s far away. Our feelings don’t change the fact that he is indeed near. What this man needed was far away. Obstacles were keeping him at bay from his miracle. Sometimes, obstacles are so great that it feels easier to give up and walk away. To go back to the way it was before. Like the Israelites on their way to the Promised Land. It was hard. There were obstacles. And they began to romanticize slavery…hey we ate good. It wasn’t that bad. Yes it was! You cried out to God to be delivered it was so bad. But living in the familiar seems easier than forging ahead through obstacles and trouble to get free! These guys weren’t going to let the obstacles stand in their way. 

They thought outside the box.

That little dialogue, of course, was fiction but I imagine they saw the crowds and human nature took over for at least a second. How are we going to get him to Jesus? It looks hopeless. I don’t see a way. And then a way was made! It wasn’t through the front door. Not even the back door. Many times we expect to get somewhere a certain way. When that way is blocked, we get discouraged. Think outside the box. Faith is believing in the unseen. What aren’t you seeing? You may need godly counsel/friends to help you see! Instead of going through, you may have to climb up. You may have to rip the tiles off the roof one at time and chip away until you can see the light! Freedom doesn’t always come freely. Overcoming sin and struggles won’t always come easily. It takes time. Perseverance. Endurance. Sweat. Blood. Tears. And having good friends to help rally around and fight with you is important! 

They broke through.

I imagine it took some time. I imagine it wasn’t easy hauling a grown man on a stretcher onto a roof. I doubt they expected this and brought tools. They ripped those layered tiles (probably what the roof was made of) one by one. They may have ended up with bloody fingers. I know they had sore muscles. But when they broke through…they saw Jesus. The light. Their miracle happened. They found freedom. Joy. They lowered him down and Jesus marveled at their faith and he healed the man. He walked out of that house. I’m not sure if the owner sought payment for the hole in the roof or not. 🙂

Break through is possible. All things are possible with God. But it takes faith. Keep going. Keep believing. Keep pressing in. Don’t let pride, fear, or shame hold you back from rallying good friends to go into battle with you and to carry you through prayer.

Get up and walk, friend! 

Forward Challenge: Commit today to asking one friend to pray for you. Whether you need healing, you need to overcome a weight or hindrance that’s keeping you from running the race, or you need to battle through a sin for freedom. Swallow pride. Don’t cower in fear. Have courage. 

Forward Prayer: Lord, we trust You. We draw near to you today and confess we need healed, changed, transformed. Help us overcome fear and trust godly friends to pray for us. Meet us where we are. Give us strength to persevere and not give up when obstacles seem to keep us from where we need to be. At Your feet. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Forward Scripture: “But it is good for me to draw near to God; I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all Your works.” Psalm 73:28 NKJV

 

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Forward Friday: The Thrill of Fear

It’s October. Profound observation, I know. It’s that month the box office rakes in money hand over fist thanks to scary movies. Haunted houses. Even today it’s Friday the 13th (the “scariest” day ever–I just call it my birthday ha!). Fright Nights. Fill in the blank. But even if it’s not the “Month of Fright” there’s still roller coasters, skydiving, cliff jumping, drag racing…fill in the blank. 

A few weeks ago, my friend Emily Shuff gave an encouraging devotion to us ladies about fear. She said, “Fear makes us afraid.” We all laughed and she did too because it sounds silly and obvious but I haven’t been able to stop thinking about that phrase or about the things I am afraid of. We all have something or many somethings. Some are rational and some are not. Because fear isn’t always rational. I think it’s silly for my son to freak out over a picnic ant. “Just step on it! It’s not even as big as your pinky toe nail!” But I am not afraid of ants. Fire ants, maybe. 🙂 

We fear the future. We fear uncertainty. War. Mass shootings. Our loved ones dying. Us dying. People we care about being hurt, sick or leaving us. Again, fill in the blank. These fears are not thrills at all are they? And yet, many people love to be afraid. From scary rides to reading scary books or attempting scary feats. Hello, walking across the Grand Canyon on a tight rope? Just why? Why do people enjoy being afraid? 

In reading up on it, I found something a professor of communication at Purdue said. In a nutshell, he says that it’s not about truly loving to be afraid as much as it is having that sense of satisfaction that they’ve conquered something terrifying. Or even a “profound sense of relief” that it’s over. 

Thrill seekers say jumping out of planes or whatever the thrill is, is a rush. I’ve felt that before on a roller coaster. Or toilet papering someone’s house and running away without being caught by the parents! A rush. We did it! We made it!

The other day after raking out flower beds, I found a tiny salamander thingy in my bathroom. I screamed. I grabbed the Clorox wipes tub I was cleaning with and pounded that joker to nothing. Later that day there was another one on my hearth! I screamed. Raced for something stronger than a fly swatter and nailed it. Then we went to the zoo and looked at those crazy dragons my son loves. I took a picture and sent it to Emily with the caption: This is what it felt like when I was smashing that little lizard the other day!

 

It reminded me of something else she said, “When we focus on fear it magnifies.” So true! That little salamander might as well have been this big honking reptile right here. But what happened when I had overcome the fear, conquered it…I felt a rush. I had braved the lizard and came out the victor! And I won’t lie there was a lot of hollering prayer; it sounds like this:  Oh, Jesus, help me! Jesus!

Because we need His help to overcome, push through, come out on the other side of fear victorious. That rush we experience is called victory in Jesus and a testimony! How many times have you listened to youth coming back from a theme park. They’re all talking up how they rode the biggest, scariest ride. They’re testifying, ya’ll! “I even raised my hands the whole time.” Well, yeah, because an iron bar was holding you in! Jesus is our iron bar! He’s holding us in.

Don’t let fear keep you from raising your hands in praise as you go through whatever scary situation you’re in. God never lets you go.  “Be good to me, God—and now! I’ve run to you for dear life. I’m hiding out under your wings until the hurricane blows over. I call out to High God, the God who holds me together.” Psalm 57:1 MSG

He holds you together. You may feel afraid. But you, dear one, are never out from under his wings or slipping through his powerful arms.

Forward Challenge: Take whatever makes you afraid to God right now. Even if it seems silly or irrational. Remember, He says to cast all your cares on Him for He cares for you. Ask Him to help you overcome them, and trust Him to help you do it.

Forward Scripture: “I cling to you; your strong right hand holds me securely.” Psalm 63:8 NLT

Forward Prayer: Lord, your word tells us we do not have to be afraid. We don’t have to be paralyzed by fear. Give us your strength today to move forward. To be victorious. We are more than overcomers because you have overcome the world. You hold us securely and today we cling to you. We praise you because we know that there is no one like you. None besides you. You love us. You’re for us. And if you are for us, who can be against us? No weapon formed against us shall prosper. Whether we are battling insects or cancer…you are with us. No fear is too silly or small. You care about them all. Let us rest in that today. Let us breathe in your goodness and exhale joy and triumph in Jesus’ name.

***Name one fear that you have in the comments. I would like to pray for you and if you see other comments, please pray for each one! Let’s get through them together!

*Note* I am not in any way against theme parks, thrill-seeking activities, or suspenseful movies or books (I write them and I love showing how people can come through with hope and a testimony of God’s faithfulness after being put through the ringer…a scary ringer!) 

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Forward Friday: A Little Dab’ll Do Ya…In

Hunting season is almost upon us, whether you agree with hunting or not. Men and women everywhere will camouflage themselves, creep into the woods and wait patiently for that deer. The key to hunting, besides being a good shot, is to be slow about your movements–tiptoeing…in the words of Elmer Fudd, “qwietly” as not to scare the animal away. They have to blend into the atmosphere so they aren’t spotted.

If you’ve ever hunted, watched a show about hunting, or just walked in the woods, deer can detect you. They suddenly stop, raise their heads and freeze. They sense danger.

Paul says in Galatians 5:9 (MSG), “…a little yeast…spreads through the whole batch of dough!” He’s talking about false teachings slipping in and jacking with what he taught–the true gospel. I think it’s important to keep yourself in the word and under godly teaching so this doesn’t happen, but that’s not what I want to focus on today. I think a lot of yeast (leaven in many translations) can slip into our lives in many ways.

Sin can be subtle. Just a little dab. It’s quiet. It’s camouflaged. And it ruins us. 

Song of Solomon (Song of Songs–same book) says (2:15), “Catch us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vines…” If we were a vineyard, being tended to and bearing fruit…foxes would sneak in and ruin that tender, budding fruit.

Little foxes can make big messes! 

Think about the big messes in your life? Did they all start out at tidal wave level? Maybe some. But more often than not, it was small. A little dab. A dash of this and a sprinkle of that until it infiltrated the whole life. It’s impossible for us to try and sift out the yeast once it’s been mixed into the dough. But what is impossible to us is possible with God! He can turn it around. He’s a potter. He can remake us. 

Maybe today, you feel overwhelmed by the mess in your life. It exploded! Or maybe you’re like that deer. You’ve been warned. You’re in a frozen position–run! Don’t drop your head and go back to mindless grazing. The hunter is coming for you. Wherever you are today, you can change. Don’t let the little things become big. God has a great plan for you! 

Forward Challenge: Make time to let God run the little foxes from your life and to remove any leaven that might be spoiling all He has for you.

Forward Scripture & Prayer: 

 

What are some ways we can prevent little foxes from getting inside the vineyard? How can we guard against subtle things seeping into our daily lives? 

Forward Friday: Full Steam Ahead

“They are going to throw you to the wolves and kill you, everyone hating you because you carry my name. And then, going from bad to worse, it will be dog-eat-dog, everyone at each other’s throat, everyone hating each other.  In the confusion, lying preachers will come forward and deceive a lot of people. For many others, the overwhelming spread of evil will do them in—nothing left of their love but a mound of ashes. Staying with it—that’s what God requires. Stay with it to the end. You won’t be sorry, and you’ll be saved. All during this time, the good news—the Message of the kingdom—will be preached all over the world, a witness staked out in every country. And then the end will come.” Matthew 24:10-15 MSG

I think it’s safe to say these verses describe our present times. We can’t control the vicious gnashing of teeth, especially on social media sites. In fact, there isn’t much we can control. We gape in horror and mutter, “Lord Jesus, come.”

It’s frightening. Shocking.  But what grips me most isn’t what the world will be like (is like) it’s what happens to Christians in these times. That’s the horror show. 

The KJV version says, “…the love of many shall wax cold.”

The phrase ” shall wax cold” in the Greek is psychō. Now, I know it seems fitting. Yes, people are going psycho! It’s true. But that word doesn’t mean what we think it does. Kinda like in The Princess Bride. “I do not think that words means what you think it does.”

It actually means, “to breathe, blow, cool by blowing, to breathe–voluntarily but gently, reduction in temperature by evaporation to chill.” Wax. Cold.

Psychō differs from the word Pneo–which means to breathe hard, blow.

I see two pictures in my mind. One is of a wax museum. We visited the Ripley’s Believe it or Not and it’s crazy how real-to-life those wax figures are.  But they don’t breathe.

Our hearts wax cold…all that movement forward ceases. We become like wax figures. No life left.  It’s a gentle reduction in temperature. Gradual. Quiet even. Like those last dying breaths. Shallow. Stretching out in between the next one until none remains. Lifeless. Gone. Cold.

Maybe you aren’t deceived by lying preachers. But isn’t the evil abounding overwhelming? The political climate is ripe with tension. Infighting. Add one natural disaster after another and it’s enough to make one want to crawl in a hole and never come out.  

I’ve seen a few posts lately that say, “Just because it isn’t happening to you doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.” Why do we need this kind of statement? Because our hearts grow cold, we shut down. We turn off the TV and live in our bubbles. Why? Many reasons. One of them is because it feels so big and we feel helpless. So we shut it all out. It’s too much. Too fast. Our hearts grow weary before they grow cold. We stop doing good. Harvests can’t be reaped.

We lose our passion. But Jesus says to stay with it to the end. Keep on keeping on. How? For one, there is hope in the next words. All during this time, the Good News will go out. Lives will be eternally saved. God hasn’t given up on us. Or forgotten. He’s working. Moving.

The second picture I see is a steam engine. A steam engine in an interesting thing. In their cycle, water is heated which turns to steam to propel these engines forward. Slow at first, then faster…faster…gaining momentum. The higher the heat, the more steam. Until it’s full steam ahead!

But it takes water to heat it up! “…just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word.” Ephesians 5:25-26 NLT

It’s going to take continued washing in the water of God’s word to heat us up. Passion = heat! You’ve heard the phrase, “on fire for God.” Passionate about God. About the things of God. The word ignites our faith. fuels our strength. Gives us direction. And increases our momentum to keep us going forward. To stay it out until the end. 

I don’t want someone looking at me and wondering if I’m alive or not. I want people to be inspired and motivated by my love for Jesus, by my passion for Him. What about you?

Forward Challenge: Make it a priority to get into the Word. Find one verse and study it. Memorize it. Chew on it. Get it in the marrow of your bones and live it. Watch God ignite a new fire in you!

Forward Scripture and Prayer: 

 

Creating an Atmosphere of Faith

Can you create an atmospher of faith? I’m talking about that today on Thoughts On Plot. You don’t have to be a writer to create this kind of atmosphere. 

When we constantly tell ourselves we can’t do something, when we let every negative word said about us rule our thoughts, we’ll never succeed. We may never even try. 

Maybe you’re about to throw in the towel today. Maybe you’ve given up on a dream because someone (or so many) has told you it can never be done–at least not by you. Maybe you’re in a state of paralyzing fear and can’t move forward, even a baby step. 

It’s time to create an atmosphere of faith. 

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 NKJV


“Watch, stand fast in the faith,be brave, be strong.” 1 Corinthians 16:13 NKJV


Now, come by Thoughts On Plot and see what creating an atmosphere faith can look like. 

You still have time to enter and win Falling For Texas a contemporary romance by Jill Lynn. Click HERE to enter.


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Keep it Humble Part 4: I Like to Move it!

 
How
did your last week’s challenge/life application go? Did you give honor to those
in high rank i.e. every believer? Was it difficult? I’d love for you to share
about that in the comments or email me privately.
 
This
week, we’re moving on. With two challenges under our belt, it’s time to step it
up. Literally. But if you’d like to catch up:
 
Keep it Humble Part 3
 
Let’s
look at Romans 12:11 “…not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit,
serving the Lord;” NKJV
 
The
verse before that is about showing genuine affection to our brothers and
sisters in Christ.
 
I
want to look at this verse in the KJV because I like the wording. Here it is:
“Not
slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;”
 
How
does this apply to us in the context of humility, in keeping it classy i.e.
humble?
 
Let’s
break down the words in the Greek and then put them together for richer meaning
and application:
 
Look
at the Greek word for slothful. Oknēros. It means, sluggish,
slothful, backward.
Oknēros comes from the root word: okneō to
delay, hesitate
 
The
Bible has several things to say about being sluggish and slothful. Let’s peek
at just a few scriptures.
 
“And
they said, Arise, that we may go up against them: for we have seen the land,
and, behold, it is very good: and are ye still? be not slothful
to go, and to enter to possess the land.” Judges 18:9
 
This
verse comes right off the end of the twelve spies getting a good look at the
land God promised to them. Promised Land. It was a place that flowed with
abundance and it was a gift God wanted them to have. They had work to do to get
it. They had to partner with God. Trust Him to go before and fight their
battles, but they were going to have to do a little sword raising themselves. We too have to raise our swords–the Word of God–to fight, but Jesus Christ has
gone before us!
 
Only
two out of the twelve wanted to go in. Joshua and Caleb. “Let us not
hesitate! Let us not delay! Let us not move backward, but go in and take what
rightfully belongs to us.”
 
You
and I have “land” to possess. Dreams to fulfill. Promises given to us
by God. Family members who need saved, reconciliation, freedom from sin,
weakness and addictions. Don’t delay. Don’t hesitate! Go in. Raise your
“sword” and possess what God has already given. ALREADY.
 
But
what does that word business mean? In the KJV, the word is diligence.
Not lagging in diligence.
 
 That word (business/diligence) in the Greek is
spoudē and it means earnestness in accomplishing, promoting, or
striving after anything; to give all diligence, interest one’s self most
earnestly
 
It
comes from the root word speudō which is probably strengthened by this
Greek word: pous, pronounced pooce, meaning a foot, both of men or
beast; often in the orient, one put his foot on vanquished; of disciples
listening to their teacher’s instruction are said to be at his feet
 
The
minute I read this phonetically and read the definition, I made a connection.
Have you?
 
In
essence, Stop pussy-footing around!

 
Donna Pyle, I think this is your cat! For real. 
 
 The definition of pussyfoot is “to
refrain from committing oneself; to avoid making a definite decision or stating
a definite opinion because of fear, doubt, etc.
 
Isn’t
that exactly what the Israelites did? Pussyfooted around and never got to see
their Promised Land, never had the chance to live out the God-given promise.
Fear. Doubt. Uh, yeah, giants lived in the land. But God is much bigger than a
giant. And He had already promised them. He is faithful to keep His word.
 
How
often have you missed out on God’s promises and blessing because of
pussyfooting around?
 
Let’s
look at one more example of being slothful/sluggish and then we’ll connect it
to staying humble, if you haven’t already.
 
“By
much slothfulness the building decayeth; and through idleness of
the hands the house droppeth through.” Ecclesiastes 10:18 KJV
 
Here
it is in an easier translation:
“Because
of laziness the building decays, and through idleness of hands
the house leaks.” NKJV
 
 Obviously if you don’t keep maintenance on
your home, it’s going to leak and decay.
 
But
what about your spiritual home? “Or do you not know that your body is the
temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not
your own?” NKJV 1 Corinthians 6:19
 
 
What
happens when you become slothful with that? Same thing. Prepare to decay and
leak if you aren’t caring daily for your home. Feed it. Part of maintaining a
healthy functioning home is renewing daily in the Word. We learn to imitate
Christ through His Word. We learn humility through knowing Him.
 
But
let’s go one step further and finish out Romans 12:11.
 
“…fervent
in spirit, serving the LORD.”
 
We’re
back to loving with zeal what is good. Remember the first part of this passage,
“abhor what is evil; cling to what is good.” Fervent means to
love with zeal what is good and serving the LORD, it means in a good sense, to
yield obedience; to be a slave, serve, do service; devoted to another to the
disregard of one’s own interests
 
When
we, as His disciples, sit at His feet (studying His Word), bank on Him asking
us to serve. Sometimes, it may seem like too much. Too hard. Too exhausting.
Too big. Giant-sized. We may entertain the idea of pussyfooting around, thanks
to fear and doubt and etc.
 
But
we are commanded to not be lazy, hesitant or to delay. We are to serve with
fervor–with zeal and love for what is good (and what God asks of us is always
good) and we are to serve the LORD in this manner. To yield to obedience,
devoted to Him and not our own interests. To think of others first.
 
And
this, my friends, will humble us. The fact that God wants us to fulfill our
destinies–that He’s even mapped out a wonderful destiny for each of us alone
should drop us to our knees in humility–He wants us to do incredible things
for others. It’s humbling.
 
 Love without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil and
cling to what is good. Give honor to those who have been bought with a price
and see them through the blood of Christ. And stop pussyfooting around, raise
your sword, slay giants. Don’t hesitate.
 
Move
it! Move it!
 
“Look,
the Lord your God has set the land before you; go up and possess it, as the
Lord God of your fathers has spoken to you; do not fear or be
discouraged.’” Deuteronomy 1:21
 
“And
the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not
leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8
 
Life Application: This week I challenge you to find ways to serve in your local body, to serve another believer in Christ. And I challenge you to spend time daily in your Word, in order to maintain your spiritual home. If God has been nudging you to obey in a certain area…move it! This week! Today!
 
Prayer: God, we love you. We thank you for gracing us daily with the opportunity to sit merciful at your feet to learn, to be filled with Holy Spirit as we search your treasure trove of scriptures and as he guides us into all truth. It is a privelege to daily serve you. Give us the strength, help us to cast off all fear and doubt–to settle into the peace of knowing that you go before us. You are faithful to accomplish everything that concerns us. You never leave us or forsake us. We are more than conquerors through Jesus Christ. May our hands never be idle, never lazy. But alert. Full of zeal, passion, and gratitude. And may we be humbled as we serve you wholly. In Jesus’ name, amen! 
 
Why
do you think serving others promotes humility?

PS I’m over at the amazing Married…with fiction blog today talking about my critiquing services and common mistakes I see. Come on over and say hi! And if you need someone to partner with you, see my critiquing/editing page!

 

Working Hard for the…

You immediately thought money, didn’t you? You know you did. 

Working hard for…the Lord! 

On Wednesday, we’ll unpack this verse using the KJV translation. Here it is for you to meditate on or post to your Pinterest board:

“…not slothful in business, fervent in spirit; serving the Lord…”

I’ve kept it short you so you can have a couple minutes to worship before moving on to your next blog post! I love this song by Kari Jobe. I love the lyrics even more.

Do you ever find yourself lagging in serving the Lord? Why do you think we lose our zeal? How do you think we can rekindle the fiery passion that used to burn?  The video below hints at our lesson on Wednesday and how to serve with zeal, not lagging. 



Musing on Hebrews 13:20-21 God of Peace and Power!

The God of peace. I love that the author of Hebrews starts off with this. Why do you think that is? I think because all those works planned for us won’t be easy. I think they’ll come with questions and statements like:

“God, is this really what you want me to do?”

“God, what do you want me to do?” 

“God, I can’t do that.”

“This seems hard. Too hard.”

“I’m confused.”

“I’m scared.”

“This isn’t working out like I thought.”

“How can this be good or pleasing to you? You do see this, right?”

“Am I in your will? I don’t even think I know what your will is!”

“Oh for the love, Jesus, talk to me!!”

I think it’s a right-off-the-bat reminder that the God of peace is working and if he’s our God, then he’s also our peace. No matter what what questions we have or statements we declare.

I wasn’t sure what I was going to blog about this week until my good friend, Melissa Tagg wrote a guest post about Leviticus on Jenny Hale’s blog. So join me Wednesday, don’t be scared!, while we dive into Leviticus and the peace offering and what significance it has on us today. I promise to guide you to some fascinating treasure pulled from what some might consider dry places (including myself once upon a time). 

But for today…

Musing/Meditation Prompt: The God of all peace…are you at peace right now? Why or why not. Think on the amazing power it took to raise our Lord Jesus from the dead! That same power resides in you? Think of that everlasting covenant. You belong to him! Forever. God has marvelous plans for you. Think of occasions when you fulfilled some of those plans. Trust God today with them.

What would you say robs you of peace most quickly? What is one thing you can do today to change that?