I love the way the NLT bible puts this verse. KEEP AWAY from ANYTHING that MIGHT take God’s place in your heart. This verse shows how important it is to keep God first above everything and to protect ourselves from the world’s distractions or maybe the distraction is even ourself! God’s proper place of order is ABOVE ALL, including our spouses, kids, jobs, or *place something or someone important to you here*. Has there been something you’ve been putting first before your relationship with God? What is your first priority? What way can things be put in proper order? Too much of a good thing can become idolatry. Start with a small amount of time and go to your quiet place and spend time with God. Get an accountability partner if this is something you struggle with. A little encouragement can go a long way!
Also, a really awesome book to go along with today’s devotion is- God’s At War by Kyle Idleman.
I hope everyone had a restful night, but if it was anything like the Lunney Household, it was anything but. (Not complaining…Let me tell you why!)
We left church around 9pm as it still rained and flooded the area. We came to a little dog in the road running around with a collar (no tag), wet and lost. My husband looked at me and of course I told him to put the little guy in the car! We brought him home and our puppy was, to say the least, having a puppy moment. Playing with her new friend or trying to establish dominance, I’m not really sure. Needless to say, we talked about what to do next. We called people who we thought could help and they told us to take him to the vet in the morning and see if he has a microchip. I posted all over facebook pages for lost pets and spouse pages wondering who could’ve lost their baby. This pupper is seriously the sweetest. We drove around the neighborhood searching for people who may have lost him, but came to another dead end. We opened the car door to bring him in and he dashed into the woods. (Yep, that really happened.) My husband and I prayed as we went to bed. He soon fell asleep and I began to pray to God, asking him to put protection over this little pupper that I found…and then lost. I prayed for God’s will to be done and for him to go home or for him to find safety. HERE’S WHERE IT GETS GOOD. My husband woke up this morning and opened the door to let our puppy and this little guy slept on our porch all night. Ughhh, my heart! I’m sure you are thinking a couple things…1.How did she lose a lost dog? 2. This poor puppy. & 3. Why is she telling me this?
Here is why…
During my quiet time Holy Spirit has revealed to me some things through this little guy. (So cool that he can use a puppy to bring revelation and a blog post to share with you all!)
We have all been this puppy. Searching for home. Searching for love, care, and protection. We all have been lost, myself included. How often do we choose being lost in the woods when God has provided us with everything we need? We settle for the woods because, well its adventurous and we don’t really know God when we first come to him. Our old life looks pretty appealing when God challenges us on our behaviors and worldly ways. (Or for this little pup, peeing on the laundry basket…) So we venture out in the woods, lost, “alone”, and searching for home. We can never be fulfilled unless it’s through our identity in Christ. We will continually search and even sometimes settle for less than what God has to offer, like the porch for instance.
Even if you were to get lost, fall off track, I know God still remains the same. The promises of his word tell me so!
“So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.”-Deuteronomy 31:6
It took faith for this dog to show up on our porch this morning. He ran away from us, but something drew him back to our home. Was it the love we showed him while he was here for a brief moment? When you get a taste of what God, his pure,steadfast love…you don’t travel far into the woods before you realize what you needed was back where you just were. We didn’t need the puppy to clean up before he entered our home. God doesn’t need you to clean up before you ask him into your heart. He wants you as you are at this very moment.
I just posted a verse yesterday on Instagram and it’s really fitting for what has transpired over the past 24 hours.
“This is what the Lord says: “You will be in Babylon for seventy years. But then I will come and do for you all the good things I have promised, and I will bring you home again. For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.”-Jeremiah 29:10-13
God doesn’t say we aren’t going to go through trails or tribulation’s. He promises us that he hears our prayers and that we will find him when we seek him wholeheartedly. He promises us plans to prosper. Plans to prosper doesn’t always line up with what we think is best. But often what we go through, is what shapes us into Christ-like character and puts us exactly where we need to be. Or for this lost pup, in a warm house out of the rain, snoozing on the floor.
Did God just use a dog to reveal all this to me? Yes, yes he did. That’s the cool thing about God. He will speak to you in ways that you will listen.
In the years I have been walking with God there are some reoccurring events that he has set before me. Often times, he sets people who are broken just like I used to be and needing exactly what I needed 2 years ago or sometimes even just yesterday. God has placed people directly in my path that need the tools that I have been using to help them become victorious and more invested in their relationship with God. During these times, there has been some really raw, emotional, uncomfortable topics. Such as, I used to be addicted to drugs and alcohol, there was a time in my life I didn’t want to live, and other events such as abuse, trauma, and other things people don’t like to talk about. God has called me to be Bold & Courageous and be transparent past the point of where I ever thought I would be comfortable sharing. When I started to not care what other people thought and knew that Abba already approves, it what a done deal.
When I started sharing my testimony with people I was terrrrrified. I said ummm or like every couple seconds. Sweaty palms, heavy breathing…you know the works. As I was repeatedly obedient to God, I saw why he was telling me to do the things he was.
I began to see people accept God into their life for the first time. I have saw healing of illnesses that doctors said were permanent. I have witnessed baggage people were never meant to carry and condemnation being lifted and people being freed through what Jesus died for on the cross. When we speak boldly to people about our testimony, it gives others the chance to have the freedom we have found in our relationship with God. It makes them realize they are not alone. You would be surprised how many people are going through exactly what you are going through at this moment but are too scared to speak up.
I’m here to say that sometimes we need to lay aside our fear of disapproval, when God already said he “approves”. Speak up. Speak Life. I am also here to say we sometimes need to lay aside our pride and say we are doing a little rougher than normal instead of the automatic, “I’m good! How are you?” reply.
We are chosen by God to help certain people that really need that transparency. We are also chosen by God to have those people in our lives to love and support us when we need it most. Speak Up. Speak Life.
There is such a thing as guarding your heart because everything flows from it. However, I do believe God doesn’t ever intend for us to put up walls against the things are godly and biblical. Guard your hearts against the things that aren’t of him. We have Holy Spirit to always lead, discern, speak, and comfort us when we need him. We just have to be able to recognize and be obedient the Spirit leads us to do.
For me, being obedient has been Bold & Courageous when I was scared and didn’t want to talk about the wounds or what I was going through at that moment. Not only was being obedient freeing to me, it was freeing for others. Being obedient and transparent has been especially rewarding to me when I see others walking in freedom, truth, and love. Most importantly it shows God just how much we love him.
The devil is really good at lying to us and keeping us in the unknown of what really is going on in the spiritual world when we allow him too. So of course, he will do everything in his power to stop you from being obedient to God and fulfilling your God given purpose. There are also times when maybe its our own flesh and we are scared of what other people think, or we don’t view ourselves the way God see’s us and we don’t have much confidence. (I have been there too.)
Don’t let the anything stop you from being obedient to God. Don’t let anything stop you from helping someone else. Don’t pass up those Ah-Ha moments with God that will fill your heart so much that you will be overwhelmed with tears of joy. & Never forget that you aren’t alone in what you have faced or are facing. Speak up, Speak Life.
Want to check out yesterday’s blog talked about in the photo caption? Here’s the link! *Insert Title Here*