Power!

We all have needs.

We come into this world needy, and we never live a day of our lives without need. And though there are basic physical needs and even some emotional and psychological needs that can be met through our relationship—marriage, children, family, friends… we will struggle immensely if we fail to recognize that this world we live in—and everyone in it—is just as needy as we ourselves. We cannot put our dependence on anyone or any material thing, like a job title or a car or house. The One who made us is the only One qualified to meet the needs that He planted inside each of our hearts and minds.

Instead of looking to a job, a marriage, a child, or any other earthly thing to meet our needs, we instead can learn… one day at a time… one moment at a time… to depend on God alone to meet the needs He already knows we have, and that He desires to meet.

Here, when we can come to Him, our weakness becomes emboldened with His POWER. This is the place… the only place where our frantic “I can’t do this anymore!” can become a calm “I’ve got this.”

He says to each of us, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my POWER is made perfect in your weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)

Won’t you exchange your weakness for His POWER today? His peace awaits. #peacejourney #truthandgracewriting

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Road Closed Ahead

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As we begin a new year, don’t we wish it was as easy as this, a road closed sign blocking our intended path, to know when God was warning you to stop, turn around and go another way?

We’ve all been there.

You’ve prayed about this situation so many times. Maybe it’s about a career move, a relationship beginning or ending, a crossroads. There are no new words that can be said about it to God that you have not already voiced. You’ve asked Him countless times whether to go this way or that. Or maybe you were going along just fine, and suddenly there is a decision that must be made. Perhaps you know which way you want to go, but you want God to bless that road and He’s not. You have this feeling like your feet are stuck in quicksand because of a conviction deep inside warning you not to proceed. Or are you are torn because there’s part of you that wants it both ways?

There are two questions that we face at times like this: Do I trust Him to know what path is best for me? Am I willing to stop, wait and pray until I feel certain I know which path He would have me to take?

Even the most committed Christians sometimes struggle with one or both of these questions at times. Newer believers or seekers who don’t know God as personal Lord and Savior may have no idea how to deal with these two questions. One thing we all have in common is that we want to make good decisions that increase our peace and joy, and evade guilt or sorrow.

His ways are higher. His thoughts are pure. Look up! He knows what path is ultimately best. If he has put up a road closed sign, it is because there is danger on the other side of it. There are other roads that we can take to reach the destination He has in mind for us without the danger.

Do we instead imagine that there is some pleasure or relief on the other side of that road closed sign? Do we wrongly perceive God as a gatekeeper who is blocking us from enjoying life? Our independent human nature – the same human nature that plucked fruit from the one forbidden tree in all of the garden full of harmless trees – pushes us to go beyond the safeguards He has graciously provided to protect us. The reality is that He only puts up a road closed sign where there is danger ahead. He knows what lays wait on the other side. We must learn to watch for these road blocks and heed them.

Sin could be described as not doing what God has told us to do, but what it boils down to is that sin is anything that is going to hurt us. That’s why he says not to do it! He will withhold no good thing from us, and yet in His endless mercy, He knew we would stubbornly persist beyond the warning signs, so He went another huge step further and gave us His Son as Savior. Because He doesn’t want us to hurt. If we will stop at the “road closed sign” (when we feel that uncertainty in the pit of our stomachs — his Spirit warning) and if we will pray and ask Him which way to go rather than ignoring our conscience to willfully persist down the path we desire, we will live the joy-filled and peaceful life that He wants for us as much as we want it.

This life that we all seek is found as simply, and as difficultly, as giving ourselves over to knowing His Word and choosing His will over our own. Why do we complicate it so much? Next time that we see a road closed sign – when we feel that gut-wrenching conviction to stop, wait and pray – let’s heed that warning and seek the road that God will bless.

Read Psalm 84:11, Malachi 3:10 and wherever else the Lord leads you in His Word.

A Dangerous Prayer for Change: Lord, Please Keep Making Me

Today, Lord, I pray for the opposite of what may seem more normal to pray. I pray that you would make me BROKEN. I know in the most real way possible that I cannot be healed until I know I am broken. Where my eyes have failed to see, and my mind has failed to recognize, where I have chosen my own destructive ways over your blessed ones, break my heart, Lord. The day-in-and-day-out battle that we call modern day life makes it so easy for me to become so calloused that I can’t even feel the emotions you created me to feel. At least not very strongly. I want to run to You with my arms wide open, with wild abandon. I want to care about nothing else in comparison to my desire to be with You, to know You, to feel You at work within my heart in a new way.

Father God, my heart and mind and life are so full! I don’t have enough hours in the day to do it all. And I want You more than any of the activities or things, or even people, in my life. So I need You to make me EMPTY so that You can fill me with only those things that are healing to my body and nourishment to my bones as You’ve promised to do in Proverbs 3:8 if I will empty my life of the evil of self-reliance. I keep holding on to MY will, and I’m not complete until I am with YOU.

I want You to be my one desire, my ONE TRUE LOVE! The breath I breathe, my everything. Lord, please keep making me until I am all of these!

God, You can even make me LONELY, so that I can be Yours completely! Do whatever you have to do until I want no one more than You! Because in the darkness, I KNOW You will hold me. There’s nothing that could bring me more comfort and joy than to be held by You. So make me lonely if that’s what You have to do.

Lord, I trust You. I know that in the end, I could never be broken, empty or lonely because I have You! Let me set aside all the temporary never forget that. No matter how busy I get. No matter how frustrating and painful life can be. No matter what! You, Lord, have my permission and my attention and my desire to see You work in big ways inside my heart, my mind, and my life

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

This prayer was written from the heart of someone whose life has been touched by the Sidewalk Prophets’ song “Keep Making Me.” (Well, every single song on the Live Like That album actually.) All credit for the words within this song goes to them! Give it a listen at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UI1obeb3A9c. I think you will be glad you did!