When Words Can Not Be Found


 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.”

Romans 8:26

I am about to tell you something that may take you by surprise. Lately, I have not had much to say. I know, SHOCKING, right? Believe it or not, even “talkers” such as myself feel the need to be quiet from time to time. Yet, I am still amazed at the way God can take our silence and use it to minister to others.

Last night my husband and I were having a casual conversation about EFED and my lack of new posts recently. I began to explain to him that it takes a lot mentally and emotionally to write. Through some trials I have been facing I have found myself at a loss for words. I continued to explain that I have searched for the words to share, however, I have not been able to escape the inadequacy that I have felt in trying to pass along words of encouragement while my heart was so torn.

In the process of that conversation, it was as if God whispered to my heart, “Share that.” God has been whispering to my heart a lot lately. Or, maybe it is just that I have been listening extra carefully. However, in that moment I realized that even our silence can be used to encourage others.

The verse I chose for today is very dear to my heart. Recently I have found myself in a place where I am unsure how to pray. You see, even in my prayer life I am finding myself at a loss for words. The devil has tried to use this situation to silence me, but oh the comfort my soul feels when I read the words, “but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.”

Through my trial, God has helped me to realize that I am still precious to Him. He has helped me to see that even through my pain I can be used by God, and that even when I can not find the words to pray I can go to God, broken and silent. God does not need my words to know what I need. He can see my heart.

Friend, maybe you have found yourself here as well. Let me offer you some encouragement today. If your heart is breaking, if your soul is burdened, and if you find yourself at a loss for words, do not let the devil silence you. Use your trial to minister to others, and keep praying. God sees your heart. He knows your pain, and He will intercede for you with wordless groans.

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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.

Seize the Moment


family 2014“And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” Deuteronomy 11:19 

I once was told by a very wise lady, “Your children will respond much better if you will take the opportunity to talk to them when it arises rather than force it on them.”

I have thought about that piece of advice over the years as my children have grown, and often wondered exactly how I would know when that moment had come. I remember asking her, “How will I know when the time is right?” With that sweet mentoring smile she would look at me and say, “You will know.”

This weekend one of those moment presented itself, and just as if my sweet aunt was standing right there next to me, I heard this voice in my head saying, “Seize the moment.”

I love to cook breakfast for my family on Saturday mornings. Sometimes we have pancakes, sometimes hash browns, but that particular morning I had decided to make biscuits. We had slept later than usual, therefore by the time we were all up and going the kids were ready to eat.

As you probably know, it takes time to make homemade biscuits. This is not always easy for children to understand, so many times they are in and out of the kitchen asking, “Is it almost time to eat?”

I had just mixed up my dough and was beginning to place each biscuit in the pan when my oldest son, Big D came in the kitchen. (I am sure you can guess what question was on his mind.)  As he impatiently watched me form each biscuit, this is the conversation that transpired between myself and my ever-growing preteen.

Big D: “I could eat one of those biscuits right now.”

Mom: “But they’re not ready.”

Big D: ” I don’t care, I could add a little sugar and some cinnamon to them and they would be good.”

Mom: “Then they wouldn’t be biscuits, they would be doughnuts.”

At that moment, I realized that God had given me an opportunity to have one of those moments with my sweet son. I told him, “You know, we are like this dough. God had created us to be something special. Sometimes, however we get impatient and mess up his plans. We want to rush things and instead of following God’s plan for our lives we add our own stuff and turn it into something different.”

Big D looked at me and I saw the light bulb come on; lesson learned. He said, “You’re right Mom, I think I will wait.”

He then looked over at the dough that was still sitting in the bowl, and said, “That doesn’t look very good, Mom.”

Again, I knew in my heart that our moment to learn was not yet over. I took this opportunity to explain to Big D that we are like this unformed dough as well. We look at ourselves, and sometimes the world does too, and says, “What a mess. You do not look very good.”  God, however, sees us as a work in progress. He does not look at us and see the mess we are, but He sees the masterpiece that He wants to see us become.

Again, I saw the light come on and realized that we had indeed “seized the moment.”

Satisfied with the progress being made,  Big D left the kitchen, looking for his next big adventure.

As I finished making the rest of the biscuits and placed them in the oven, our conversation played back over in my head. Silently I thanked God for allowing me this moment with one of my children. I prayed that He would never let me miss one single opportunity to have these times with them.

God gives each of us opportunities to minister for Him. It is up to us to keep our hearts and minds open so we can hear when God says to us, “Seize the moment.” It may not always be with our children. God may send a family member, a friend, or even a complete stranger into our lives. We must always be ready to share God with whomever we come into contact.

I want to encourage you today. Be ready. Look for opportunities to witness to those around you, and however God sees fit to bring them about in your life, seize the moment.

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/

Did God Really Say…


question

For whatever things were written before were written for our learning,

that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.”

Romans 15:4

Have you ever heard someone ask this question?

Maybe you have even asked it yourself a time or two.

A fellow blogger and I were discussing an entry which he had written and this was the subject of our conversation.

We both agreed that, yes, God did mean exactly what He said in the Scripture and that we are not to take it lightly or to question how serious He truly was about a subject.

This is exactly what led to the fall of Adam and Eve. From the beginning of time this very question has been getting us in trouble.

Let’s look at Genesis 3 and see just how the story went:

 vs.1: “Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?”

The first thing the devil did was plant a seed of doubt in Eve’s mind: “Did God really say…”

You see, the devil is called the father of lies for a reason. It is not a mistake that the Bible tells us that he roams around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.

From the very beginning the devil tries to get Eve to doubt. He tries to confuse her and cause her to question what she knew God had told her. How can we be sure that Eve remembered what God had said? Let us read the next verses and find out.

Vs. 2-3:  “And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.”

We know from these verses that Eve did not have a sudden case of amnesia. She quoted God’s words back to the devil. She remembered exactly what God had told her.

Where she messed up was this: She allowed the devil to cause her to doubt. She allowed him to plant that tiny seed of doubt in her mind: Did God really say…

The next thing that happened was just as dangerous to Eve and in the end led to death for her and Adam.

Vs. 4-5 : “And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

Eve lends the devil a listening ear for just a moment and she is deceived with a lie.

First, the devil gives Eve reason to doubt, and then when she drops her guard he feeds her a lie. The devil, however, is a sly old beast. He did not just feed her a line that he thought she might believe. No, he wrapped a lie in just enough truth as to assure its success. The devil knew that she would not just die right there on the spot. The death that God was warning against was a death of innocence, a break in the fellowship between God and His creation, and ultimately an eternal death if provisions were not made.

It worked. We know from reading the rest of the story that Eve ate the fruit from the forbidden tree, took some to Adam and he ate it as well. Their eyes were then opened and they realized what they have done.

Friends, our lives are no different from this story that was told so many years ago.

If we allow the devil to come in and plant that little seed of doubt, If we allow him to whisper in our ear, ” Did God really say…”, we are opening ourselves up to be lied to and then deceived.

We need to realize that when God says something He means it. When God gives us a commandment, it is not to keep us from having fun. It is to protect us.

God knew that as soon as Adam and Eve ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil that their eyes would be opened and they would no longer be innocent. He was trying to protect them.

God gives us His word for the same purpose.

When God’s word says, “Thou shall not…” that is exactly what it means. It does not mean maybe we can later, or maybe if you are good I will let you. It means no, not even almost, never.

I pray today that we will take the verses which God has given to us in His word, and that we will hide them in our hearts. I pray we will not allow the devil to plant that seed of doubt, and whisper that lie into our ear. I pray we will realize when God says, “No,” that it is for a reason. That reason is because He loves you and me. He wants to protect us, and to give us a home in Heaven with Him some day.