God loves when we follow the plan he has for us, especially since he knows what’s perfect. He loves when we earnestly seek to do his will. He “delights” in our every step. He is well pleased.
There have been times where I have had to make a BIG decision. I prayed and got impatient, later realizing I had made a mistake. I still thought that it was God’s will. However, later I realized I had made a mistake that caused me to stumble. I did not wait long enough for him to bring clarity. Yet we see, that even when we stumble there is abundant grace and mercy. He is ready and willing to lift us up when we stumble.
Do you remember when you tried to ride a bike for the first time? Your parents let you try without training wheels? If you were like me, you ate the gravel. I mean, I stumbled hard. I was a bloody, bruised, beat up, wanted to give up kind of mess. Just as my earthly Father saw what had happened and helped me up, God will lift you up when you stumble. He is much better than your earthly father. He is your cheerleader. He was delighted you wanted to please him! He lifts you and says, here my child try this.
God sees the desire in your heart to do his will and live out his plan for your life and that pleases him. He is delighted you a pursuing to be obedient. Even if you stumble, he is there to lift you up. He is proud of you! So dust the gravel off and keep riding.
After hearing the news of 2 very young people from back home taking their own life, God laid it on my heart to speak up and speak life into those who are struggling. You are not alone & you are so loved.
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.
God laid it on my heart these past couple days to talk about how Jesus isn’t looking for us to “get clean” before we ask him in our life. Neither should the church you attend. The church you attend should be showing the love of Jesus by meeting you where you are at, sins and all. None of us our perfect. None.
I have went to different churches with different denominations. Where I have learned the most is where I felt the love of Jesus and was taught biblical principles. I’ve never learned something out of fear or condemnation. We know that fear nor condemnation come from God. Love casts out all fear and God is Love. There’s a big difference between conviction and condemnation. Condemnation is overwhelming guilt that pushes you away from God. Where conviction is where Holy Spirit points out you have something to work on in your heart through love.
When I went back to church in 2015, I was sick and in need of a doctor. In other words, I was consumed by the enemies lies, what people portrayed God to be, overwhelmed by the heaviness of my sin, and just came home from the bar a couple hours before while still battling a pill addiction. I stepped into The River and was very timid and didn’t really want to talk or be seen by anyone. However, I was stopped by 4 amazing women that day that I still love to this day. They knew that I was struggling but loved me anyways, just as Jesus does. I walked into worship and it was completely different than anything I had ever saw. People were free. They held up their hands praising God, weeping, and laying hands on one another. And then Holy Spirit hit me….Like right in the face. Some of you know exactly what I’m talking about! The song we were singing was talking about was about breaking free from addiction and depression.
I am unsure why there is this lie floating around that Jesus expects you to be white as snow when you come to him…probably just one of satans tactics…But, if we were clean and not in need of a doctor, God wouldn’t of went Jesus to die for us. It’s never too late to come to God & you’re never too dirty to come to him either.
“Come now, let’s settle this,” says the Lord . “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.
Isaiah 1:18 NLT
“Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.”
1 John 4:18 NLT
We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.
1 John 4:16 NLT
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.