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 have had a goal for the past 4 years and it was to get to know God and put him first. I can finally say, in 2017 it has been accomplished. This past year, as it comes to end has shown me who I am in Christ. Nothing is more powerful than knowing your identity in Christ. When I faced trials and tribulations, the more I knew my Papa and declared his promises, the better off I was! I knew throughout 2017:
“We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.”-Romans 8:28 CSB
Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable — if there is any moral excellence and if there is anything praiseworthy — dwell on these things. Do what you have learned and received and heard from me, and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.-Philippians 4:6-9 CSB
Love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, if God loved us in this way, we also must love one another. No one has ever seen God. If we love one another, God remains in us and his love is made complete in us. This is how we know that we remain in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and we testify that the Father has sent his Son as the world’s Savior. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God — God remains in him and he in God. And we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and the one who remains in love remains in God, and God remains in him.-1 John 4:10-16 CSB
We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” and yet hates his brother or sister, he is a liar. For the person who does not love his brother or sister whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And we have this command from him: The one who loves God must also love his brother and sister.-1 John 4:19-21 CSB
Those are just some of God’s promises that got me through. God has inspired me to write not only this blog, but I am working on a book. He gave me my amazing husband this past year and I got a beautiful puppy this CHRISTmas! God has provided abundantly in my finances and has healed me of Bipolar Disorder. (You can check out the links below to see more on mental health) I’ve saw people find God that I prayed for and other miracles happen before my eyes! The list goes on of how God has blessed me this year.
As this year approaches I want to encourage you to keep a prayer journal to show what Abba has brought you to and through. I also remind you that “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”-Romans 8:37-39 CSB
If we put God at the throne of our hearts where he belongsyou will watch 2018 be one of the best years of your life! I’m telling you this from my experience!
Did you reach any of your goals in 2017? What are some in 2018?
Thankyou to all those who have supported me through this blog. May God bless you abundantly in this next year to come. My hope is for you to grow into a deeper & more intimate relationship this year with Abba. That you always keep him on the throne of your heart. I pray he gives you a boldness to show people who may not know him, what pure love really looks like by showing Christ’s example. I pray you hold onto your lifelines of your relationship with God: his word, prayer, and a church family who loves God, who pushes you to know him more!
What do you go to for comfort when you’ve had a bad day? Food, your warm fuzzy blanket, a beer, a shopping spree at hobby lobby, your friends, the gym, even your spouse?
When something happens, who is the first person you want to talk to? Do you talk to Abba or do you call your spouse or best friend?
When you wake up in the morning, what is the very first thing you do? Do you talk to Abba and ask what is on his agenda? Do you spend time with him and put on your armor for the day?
“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon [money, possessions, fame, status, or whatever is valued more than the Lord].”
MATTHEW 6:24 AM
What is taking away from your time with God? Are you putting anything before him?
Ask Holy Spirit to reveal it to you.
I often hear how “busy” we are and how we “don’t have time” for God. Walking with Christ is intentional and choosing him and his way should be apart of our life every single day. I don’t care if you ask him what kind of bread you should get, he is just happy to spend time with you.
When I first started walking with God… he wasn’t first in my life. My whole life and everything in it was completely out of wack. I chose many things, and people, that I thought would complete me. Things I thought would help fill the void that I constantly felt. But really, when we focus on him and die to ourself, is really when we start living.
“Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow me.”
Luke 9:23 NLT
If you are trying to follow someone you don’t know, I can understand that it can be scary…
But, the only way to get to know him, just like anyone else, is by spending time with him. Once you focus on Abba, things begin to fall into place. Things you didn’t have strength to do, he gives you the strength for. He shows you what pure love is and how to love those who need it the most. He shows you the perfect plan for your life. God gives you purpose. If we could just stop, and really focus on what’s important, God, life here on earth would be so much better.
If I can just encourage you to dig a little deeper, or if you don’t know God at all to talk to him like he’s your best friend, I assure you that you won’t be disappointed.
“In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.” Jeremiah 29:12-13 NLT
One of the hardest things for us to do is really look at our hearts. The tendency of the human heart is to always see that what we are doing is right. What we are doing is always justified. The more I grow into a deeper intimacy with The Lord, the more I realize that I need to take this walk seriously.
I watched a Sermon given by Francis Chan that stirred up conviction, emotion, and a deep passion inside of me. A deeper passion then before…
He talked about the earth, how we are literally…right now…sitting in a ball of water, but the core is molten hot lava, moving at 1,000mph, revolving around the sun. & the sun being at the perfect distance, the earth being tilted at a perfect angle, just for us to live. Have you ever walked outside and been like “Wow, this is beautiful.”? When you walk outside, when you just look around, you can see his beauty all around you. God created beautiful views for us to view, for us to be in awe, for us to be memorized by. He also created us. He said, “I need one of you” & placed us here at the perfect timing to fulfill the purpose he has for our life.
Y’all God can do whatever he pleases, whenever he pleases…
If Jesus came back today, would you live differently?
Would you spend more time pursuing him?
Would you get up in the morning to read scripture even though you’re tired?
Would you stop watching that TV show because it’s profane and shows nudity?
Would you talk to him more?
Would you pray for someone when Holy Spirit told you to?
Would you give up your human flesh comfort just to be with him in eternity?
I feel, at times, I waste a lot of time on things that are useless to the Kingdom Of God…
I feel, at times, I live for myself instead of him.
I feel, as though, I could love deeper, forgive easier, and spread the truth of his word, more than I do.
We all have convictions that have stirred up in our heart. We are all working on things. We will never reach the depth of Abba’s love here on earth, so in turn our relationship with him should never stop growing either.
Since I’ve been walking this journey with God, I have been fed many lies. However, because I knew the truth of God’s word, I was able to speak that. I think what I enjoyed about Francis Chan’s sermon is how passionate he is in his relationship with God and how he repeated over and over, how he doesn’t want you to take him at face value. He wants you to read the truth of God’s word yourself.
I cannot stress how important it is to just be in his presence. How important is for the first thing for you to do in the morning is acknowledge who is breathing life into you this very moment. How important it is to talk to him, to read his word, and to praise him through every circumstance. Oh and don’t stop there, this is something you should do all day and all night long. How weird would it be if you had a friend, family member, child, spouse, someone whom you loved being with you all day, everyday, and not talking to them or hearing what they have to say? We get so caught up in the things of this world, that we do this!
God wants us, as brothers and sisters, to join together and hold one another accountable in our relationship with him. (James 5:16, Galatians 6:1-2, Matthew 18:15-17) This world tells you that we need to be independent and do it all on our own. Jesus says, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”
John 15:5-8 NIV
The best thing you can do for yourself is follow God. Pursue his heart. Stop caring what the world thinks and follow Him. It can be uncomfortable at times, it can be a struggle, but it is so much more rewarding. The love he has for us is so much greater than anything we can ever ask for. He is everywhere and in everything you do. The more you are aware of him in everything you’ve done or will do, life here on earth will change drastically for the good.
Be intentional in your walk! Spend time with him! He loves you so much! Take life seriously, you never know what tomorrow will bring. Let God take over ever part of your heart, evening it’s uncomfortable. He brings so much more than we could ever bring ourselves.
Below is the link to the video I watched by Francis Chan…the passion he has is beautiful….
Reflecting on my adventure to Texas and Louisiana during the week that Hurricane/Tropical storm Harvey made an appearance, there are two main things that I learned…
1.God is the ONLY one who can CHANGE your circumstances
2.Growth is uncomfortable
Before leaving for Dallas I knew that Harvey was making his way inward. I knew that there was a high probability that I was going to need surgery on my knee.
I also knew, that despite what anyone had to say, making my way to Louisiana was in God’s will.
There were many things I didn’t know…like how Harvey was not only going to cause devastation in Texas but also the area I was in and surrounded by.
I did not know what being a military spouse entailed. I never understood the flexibility you need to have and that his responsibilities soon become your if he is called to work. I also didn’t know who I was staying with, where I was, or how I should drive during Harvey. I knew my fiancé and where Walmart was, that’s it. When my fiancé was on call and had to work (unforeseen circumstance), I was lost on a military base. I didn’t know North from South, I barley knew the people who opened up their home, I didn’t know the people he was house sitting for, I didn’t know if I was in a flood zone, and I didn’t know if the “see you later” I just said was for just that day or until I pick him up from the airport in October.
I wanted to flee and go home. I was uncomfortable. Really, really, uncomfortable.
My fiancé ended up coming back and I began to cry into an emotional ball of Tanja. He told me that we knew that me bring in Louisiana on this trip was apart of God’s will, so make the most of it and go check everything out. Me being me, of course was like “I need conformation.” I prayed and No more than 2 minutes later, my Mom called and said EXACTLY what my fiancé had just said.
Okay God, I hear you.
An overwhelming peace came over me from that moment on. Even with all the unforeseen circumstances, I knew that everything was going to be okay.
I was supposed to leave the 30th, the day before his birthday. The flight dates were what we could afford, and we were just thankful to see one another.
The 29th came and the area I was staying in was flooded. You couldn’t see roads, the wind was howling, and there was no sign of the rain from Tropical Storm Harvey letting up. My fiancé texted me and let me know that he was unauthorized to take me to Dallas and that I would be riding with someone from his base.
I didn’t respond back and I hopped in the shower and began to pray. I just prayed that The Lord’s will be done through this circumstance and that Mr.Harvey would ease and those who needed assistance through the devastation that his loving hand be upon them.
I got out of the shower, got dressed, looked at my phone and saw I had 5 missed calls and 6 missed texts! Wow! Someone was really trying to get ahold of me.
I called my fiancé back and he told me that he was authorized to take me on Friday, September 1st, if I could change my flight. It was too dangerous for anyone to go anywhere with Harvey.
I hung up and began to pray. Went on Southwest Airlines to see the price of flights and was appalled at the fact that a one-way was $437. I knew God would provide. I called the airline and explained my situation and they gave me a flight, free of charge, on September 1st for the same exact time as my flight that was supposed to be leaving tomorrow. The wonderful family I was staying with opened up their home for me for an additional two days without even blinking an eye.
I was able to celebrate my fiancé’s birthday, have two more days of fellowship, and even when I arrived home, Holy Spirit revealed just how perfect God’s timing is.
Even though I was uncomfortable and stretched and thrown into areas that I never anticipated or could’ve prepared for, I know Abba. I know his love and his promises. I knew that even if I felt nothing was going right in my eyes, that EVERYTHING would work out for the good and I held onto those promises.
When I arrived home to Michigan, I felt like a new being. This included my knee. I was healed.
I love that Abba has spoke such a creative and adventurous life over me. With twists, turns, and many miracles. I am so thankful for who he is. I am thankful for his promises I can hold onto. I am thankful for the depth of his love, the unique relationship I have with him, and that he uses unlikely people like me to show what an amazing father he is.
1.If you are in an unforeseen circumstance, know that Abba is the ONLY way to change or feel peace through it. Please understand that he keeps his word and promises. He is constant in a fallen world. His love is endless.
2.Yes, growth is uncomfortable. However, we often grow the most through situations we are uncomfortable in. In those moments we have no choice but to rely on God.
Apart from him, we are nothing. With him, we lack nothing.
Rely on God for everything! Rely on him for the little decisions like what you should eat for dinner, and rely on him for huge decisions like marriage, a home, and how to raise your children. He has spoken over your life long ago, he knows what you’re going to do, even before you’re going to do it. He always has the answer. Rely on him and his promises and feel the peace of his presence.
Thanks again to the family that welcomed me in their home. You have been pouring out your love upon me even before you met me and words cannot express how much I appreciate you.