Looking for Direction


paths

And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.” Isaiah 30:21

Are you restless? Are you looking for direction from the Lord? Do you feel like you should be making a move but are unsure of which way to go? I want to encourage you today with a few verses that always bring comfort to my heart.

I know it is difficult when you feel like you should be moving but God’s will is not clear. Sometimes God wants us to step out in faith yet other times He tells us to wait. How can we know what we are supposed to do? We need to pray. We need to seek direction from God and allow Him to lead us. There are many promises in the Bible on which we can stand.

Here are a few of my favorite verses about seeking God’s will and direction. I pray they are an encouragement to you as you seek God’s direction for your life:

  • James 1:5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”

I believe that the first things we should ask of the Lord when we are seeking direction is wisdom. So many times we simply do not know what we should do. We feel in our hearts that we should be moving yet we do not know where to go. I encourage you to take time to seek wisdom that can only come from God.

  • Psalm 25:4-5 “Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.”

Psalms is full of great verses on seeking God’s will for our lives. After we have asked God for wisdom let us ask Him for direction.

  • Matthew 7:7-8 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.

In this verse we are given instructions on how to find God’s will for our lives. We are told to search for it. We can rest in the assurance that if we seek then God will be faithful to open the door and show us where we should go.

  • Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”

What comfort my heart feels when I realize that I serve the One who will direct my paths. I do not have to wander around, hoping that I am going the right way. I am told to trust the Lord, even when I do not understand where I am going.

  • Proverbs 16:9 “A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.”

As humans we often want to figure it out ourselves. God gives us this freedom, however, if we are wise we will seek His direction. Many times God allows us the room to “make our own way.” What I mean by this is that He gives us room to choose what we will do inside His guidelines. We must be careful to earnestly seek God’s will before we make any decisions concerning our lives. You see, God has a perfect will for us. If we are careful to stay within His will, we are sure to find true peace and happiness.

  • Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

This is one of my favorite Bible verses to think upon when I am facing a decision. My heart feels such peace when I remember that God has a plan for my life. He has not left me to wander around this world trying to find my way. No! He has a plan for my life.

Friends, I know that there are times when we feel like we should move. I also understand that these times can be full of doubt and worry. I pray these verses I have shared with you today will bring some comfort in uncertain times. Remember, God loves you and He has a plan for your life. Seek wisdom, seek direction, and allow God to guide you. He will show you the way He wants you to go.

Is All Hope Lost?


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“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”2 Chronicles 7:14

9/11, what does this date mean to you?

September eleventh at one time was just a date on the calendar. I am sure that somewhere in the world someone was celebrating a birthday or an anniversary, but for the most part it was just a regular day like all the rest.

Oh how quickly things change!

Thirteen years ago, today, we were all going about our lives just as we always had. Some were getting ready for work. Some were already at work. Others had not even awakened, yet evil was upon us. It was already headed our way and we were completely unaware.

In an instant our lives changed. What was once just a date on our calendar suddenly became a day we would never forget. All at once chaos was upon us. Disaster had struck. People were frantically looking for answers, yet no one seemed to have any.

I know that day will forever hold a place in our hearts.

Today, I want us to take a moment and remember the ones who lost their lives in that senseless act of violence. I want us to also remember the families who are still left with the heartache of losing their loved ones. I pray that God will wrap his arms around each hurting person today and bring comfort that can only come from Him.

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I wish that I could tell you this morning that we will never have to face anything of this sort again. I am afraid this may not be true. In my heart I fear that we are in even more danger now than we were thirteen years ago. There are enemies upon us and they are seeking to destroy us.

Is all hope lost?

No, all hope is not lost.

You see, we serve the One who is bigger than any trial we could ever endure. He is larger than the worst attack this world could ever face. He is more powerful than any terrorist we could ever encounter.

God is the creator of this world. He holds it in His hands, and He is longing for us to turn to Him.

While we are scrambling around, trying to figure out what we should do about all the problems in the world, God is calling to us. He is calling out, “Give it to me. Come back to me.”

We have, however, become so callused to the calling of the Holy Spirit that we can no longer hear. We have wandered so far away that we can no longer hear the Shepard calling for His sheep.

We have decided that we can make our own way. We have decided that we can handle it ourselves.

Friends, I am here today to tell you this simply is not true. Without Jesus Christ we are hopeless. Without the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us we will never find our way.

People are sitting around trying to figure out how to stop the evils of this world. They are trying to find some way to get our world back on track.

There is only one answer.

This, dear friends, is where our hope lies: “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”2 Chronicles 7:14

The answer this world is searching for is Jesus Christ. He is our hope and our salvation.

Warning: Danger Ahead


Warning

“For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.”

1 Thessalonians 5:2

 If you and I were walking in the woods and I said, “You need to be careful because I have spotted a bear here in the woods before,” what would you think?

What would happen as we walked along if, on the ground, you saw signs that indeed a bear had been in this area?

If I suddenly yelled, “RUN! There is a bear,” what would you do?

Would you run, or would you tell me I was crazy? Would you wait around to see just how close that bear would get to you before you would begin to run away?

 It is absurd to think that you would stand and wait for that bear to reach you before you ran. It is crazy to think that you would turn around and face it head on as if you could battle it alone.

Hopefully you would heed my warning. Hopefully you would trust me enough to run when I told you that you were in danger.

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Friends, I am here this morning to warn you. I pray that you will heed my warning. I pray that you will trust me when I tell you that something is coming.

I am here to tell you that if you are not a Christian, if you are not covered by the shed blood of Jesus Christ, then you are in grave danger.

I firmly believe that Jesus is coming back very soon. Too many things are happening and too many signs are being seen to believe differently.

Just as you would never chance being chased by a bear, or just as you would never try to fight it alone, please do not think that you can handle being left behind. Please do not think that you still have plenty of time to get it together.

Today’s verse reminds us that we do not know when Jesus is coming back. His coming will be instantaneous. It will take everyone by surprise.

My question for you is this: Will you be ready? Have you made preparations to leave this world behind and be taken up in the clouds?

There will be no time to make this choice when Jesus does come back. It will be too late when you realize that friends and family are missing and you have been left.

The time to prepare is now. The time to get it together is this very second. We are not promised tomorrow. We are not even promised our next breath.

Will you heed my warning today? Will you trust me when I tell you that something is coming? Will you take the time right now to seek out God’s forgiveness and gain the assurance that you have a home in Heaven when that time comes? Only you can make that choice. No one can do it for you.

The good news is, it is simple to do. Let me tell you how:

1. Realize that you are a sinner. ( Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”)

2. Confess your sins and ask for forgiveness. (1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”)

3. Believe that you have been saved. ( Romans 10:9-10 “Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.”)

Once you have done these things, Jesus will begin to work in your heart and in your life. He will begin to grow you into the person He wants you to be.

If you follow God’s word and listen to His commandments, you can be assured that when the Lord comes back for His children, you will not be left behind. You will not have to face the many terrible things that are to come. You will have a home waiting for you in Heaven.

I pray, today, that you have taken these steps to prepare for what is to come. I want to know that I have done everything I can to warn and prepare those I love.  It breaks my heart to think of friends and family left behind.

Remember: The Lord is coming back as a thief in the night. I pray you will be ready.

Indescribable Peace


http://1shada.deviantart.com/art/Peaceful-Life-84811856

photo credit: 1Shada

“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4:6-7

Peace. It is a wonderful feeling to experience in life.

Peace that only God can bring is something, as a Child of God, that I long for.

The past couple of weeks have been quite stressful for me, not in a negative way at all, but stressful nonetheless. You may be wondering how stress can be anything but negative. Let me explain what I mean. God has been teaching me lately to grow and to step out of my comfort zone. While it has been a good change and I have enjoyed the chance to stretch my wings, it has not come without a bit of fear. I have spent a lot of time in prayer.

I found myself longing for and searching for the peace I knew could only come from God.  As I prayed for wisdom, thanked God for all that He had done, searched for answers, and trusted God, I found that each day He was leading me, calming me, and carrying me in His arms. There, I found peace. In the arms of my Savior I could rest.

Lately I have learned what today’s verse really means. I have read this verse before. I had to memorize it when I was in school. The past couple of weeks, however, it has really taken on a new meaning to me.

I have heard the voice of fear in my mind telling me that there is no way I will get through this, only to have it overpowered by an overwhelming sense of peace that could only come from God. Lately, I have experienced that peace that passes all understanding.

What a wonderful feeling it is to know that even through my scariest storms God is carrying me, caring for me, and shaping me into the person He wants me to be.

I do not know what storms you might be facing. I do not know what is stressing you out right now. But, I do know that there is a peace that can only come from God. He offers you a peace that you could not possible understand, but when you sense it in your life there will be no doubt from where it came.

I pray today that you will seek God, go to Him in prayer, and thank Him for all that He has done in your life. As you do this, I pray that you too will experience this peace that passes all understanding.

What Now?


now what

 Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God;

I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Isaiah 41:10

I have another confession to make: I love to read.

As a child I had no interest in reading. I was an adult, married with children, before I really developed a love for reading. Since then, I look forward to our summer break from school every year. The first thing the kids and I do when we get out for summer break is to go to the library and check out the first of many books that will be enjoyed over the summer.

My favorite type of book is Christian Fiction. I enjoy reading books that are filled with mystery and suspense. I am currently reading a book  by Terri Blackstock titled Last LightIt is from the Restoration Series.

In this book a modern-day family, who has become spoiled to the advances of modern technology, suddenly find themselves in the middle of a crisis. As they struggle to survive, they begin to question God and His care for them. They soon discover, through prayer and scripture, that they are looking at their current situation incorrectly. While they have been asking God the question, “Why?” they realize that what they should really be asking God is, “What Now?” As they begin to ask God, “What Now?” He shows them what they can be doing to help in the middle of this crisis. They begin to look at their situation differently. Instead of feeling sorry for themselves they begin to look around them at the other families in need. They realize that God is using this situation to teach them something. This realization does not solve their problems, but it does give them a little peace in their hearts knowing that they are putting God’s will before their own doubts.

As I read the chapter in which their perspective is changed while they seek God’s will, I realized that this can also apply to our own lives. While we may not be in the middle of a crisis such as they are facing in this book, we all face our own crises every day. Each one of us finds ourselves in situations in which we have a choice to make. We can either let our situation get the best of us and, in desperation, ask God, “Why?” or we can put our trust in Him, knowing that He has promised to meet all of our needs. Having this assurance, we can do as we should and ask God, “What now?” We can seek God’s will for our lives even in the midst of a crisis.

So many times we get caught up in our own daily struggles that we fail to see those in need all around us. While we are so focused on taking care of ourselves, we miss the opportunities that God gives us to meet the needs of others. We miss the chance to show God’s love for them.

Today I want to pass along a challenge and encourage your heart.

The challenge is this: The next time you find yourself in a time of trouble, take a moment to ask God, “What now?” rather than, “Why?”

Often times it is easier to ask God, “Why?”, yet when we take the time to seek God’s purpose in our trials, we allow him to work in our hearts. We also allow God to show us how we can minister to others who may also be facing trials. Many times when we begin to focus on the needs of others our problems get a little easier to bear.

I want to encourage you today as well. I know we all face trials. Frequently we find ourselves in a crisis in which we feel hopeless. I  want to encourage you  to trust God in times of trouble. While we may be scared and at times feel helpless, God has a plan. He is all-knowing and all-seeing. God has promised to take care of those who love Him. It is up to us to trust in God and to allow Him to use us even in the situations which seem hopeless. The next time you find yourself facing a problem, do not ask God, “Why?” Try asking Him, “What now?” Let us see what happens.

**You can find out more about Terri Blackstock and Last Light here: www.terriblackstock.com/