“But whether I live or die is not important, for I don’t esteem my life as indispensable. It’s more important for me to fulfill my destiny and to finish the ministry my Lord Jesus has assigned to me, which is to faithfully preach the wonderful news of God’s grace. Acts 20:24 TPT
Paul did not have his eyes on the here and now. He says a couple verses above this that Holy Spirit told him that imprisonment and trials and tribulation awaited him. Can you imagine being in Paul’s spot? Knowing a very hard road was ahead of you? Would you still press forward to what God has called you to do?
He kept faith. Trusting in the inheritance he has as a Child of God. Trusting that God is who he says he is & despite what was going on the earth, his eternal prize awaited him. What I admire about Paul is how focused he is. In this passage alone I see he us focused on two things.
1. Paul is focused on heavenly realities
2.He is focused on finishing his race in faith no matter what comes against him.
Paul had endurance & strength he got from God. He did not rely on himself to make it through. He kept his eyes focused on Jesus the perfector of our faith. He knew that trials awaited ahead. But, he didn’t stop there. He knew that God’s will was so much more important than anything this earth could challenge him with.
Reflect on where your focus is? Is your focus on Jesus the perfector of our faith and heavenly realities?
When trials come, stand in faith. Know that it is temporary and that the suffering you may be enduring now do not compare to the glory that is coming later.
If you need strength, call out unto God and he will give it to you. You were never meant to stay strong on your own.
The other question to reflect on is when you are going through times of trials and tribulations, what do you do?
As Children of God, we should be wearing our armor and fighting with the sword of the spirit. It does not matter what is thrown at us when the promises of God are yes and amen! The power of the Holy Spirit is inside you. The same power that raised Christ from the dead is in you. When you speak the promises of God outloud you declaring what he already said as true into fruition. Don’t back down! Stand up in faith!!!
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.
“Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”-Isaiah 55:6-11 CSB
When I read this passage of scripture there are a couple things that stand out to me. One being, when we pray the word of God, it will not return empty and will achieve it’s purpose. With that being said, we should not only be mediating on the Word of God, we should be speaking it aloud in our prayer life as well. When I started doing this, my whole life changed. I saw how truly ALIVE & WELL the Word of God really is. The bible is a book of promises that he wants you to ask him for through prayer with an expecting heart.
The other part that really stood out to me was the “for my thoughts are not your thoughts, and my ways are higher than your ways”, when just above in verse 6-7 the passage talks about the sinner and his thoughts. What I gather from this is that when we don’t renew our minds each day and do not meditate on the word to not only memorize but put into practice, our thoughts won’t be godly. Our thought pattern will gradually shift to our old ways before we asked Jesus to be the Lord of our life. It actually talks about this in Colossians
“Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory. So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world. Because of these sins, the anger of God is coming. You used to do these things when your life was still part of this world. But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language. Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds. Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him.“-Colossians 3:1-10
How do we get to know our creator and become like him? Spending time with him! We are told to line up our thoughts and live with the way Jesus lived. Jesus was God in flesh who didn’t sin even though he was tempted just like us. Holy Spirit is inside of you, waiting to show you the next step in your walk. How to obey his word and to be obedient and see miracles and heavenly things before your eyes. Yes, the word of God talks a lot about “putting to death” our old ways. When being obedient to God’s word I have never regretted putting into practice what it says. Was it easy all the time? Of course not! Even so, when I started implementing the scripture I meditated and memorized, the load became a lot lighter.
If you are stressed about reading your bible? Can I just shout from the roof top that is the devil himself trying to stop you from having freedom…THAT GUY…*rolls eyes* If you are having a problem finding a place to start, pray and ask Holy Spirit to guide you. I often flip open to a page and it is exactly what I needed at that moment. If you don’t understand Holy Spirit to give you wisdom and understanding of what you are reading. Even if you think you understand what you are reading, ask Holy Spirit for a deeper, more heavenly perspective. That is how this article came about! If you get distracted when you begin to read your word and pray…there’s that devil again…you are not alone. When I first got Kylie I was struggling to dedicate as much time to God as I normally did before. This girl used to go pee every 20 minutes!! My husband and I began to pray that she would be convicted to not pee on the floor. It probably sounds silly, but it worked for a while and her bladder became stronger as she got older! Pray about the distractions! If you are easily distracted like me, a tool that helped me was putting on Christian music in the background so no matter if I traveled to the background, focus on God was there. If you are worried…let me just drop this little truth piece below:
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”-Philippians 4:6-8
There is nothing God wants more than to spend time with you and for you to have the supernatural peace, freedom, and pure love he has to offer. When we start to take those thoughts captive and line them up with biblical truth, our thoughts patterns change. When our thoughts change, our hearts change. When our hearts change to be more godly and holy, our whole entire life changes. You have the tools and the truth to fight off whatever the enemy decides to throw at you. We are in a spiritual war we need to be equipped for. Being Christ-like is the goal. The only way to get there is to get to know who he is.