Does God Lie?

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Mic drop. WHOA… What did she just ask? Poignant question, if you ask me. But WHY would a Bible-believing, Jesus-loving woman even pose such a question? Trust me, I know that the Bible is full of His promises, but many times, I allow my emotions, questions, and doubts cloud my heart and keep me from a vibrant faith-filled life.

Does God Lie?

 

Faith. It’s one of the greatest gifts that God gives, but it’s also one with a great number of demands. Trust, obey, believe… Believe in something. Trust Someone our naked eye cannot see, touch, smell, feel, or taste. Faith goes beyond our human senses.

 

I often see faith as a wrestling match. If you’ve never grown up watching one or have a child who participates, let me explain because I’ve certainly watched plenty with my two younger brothers participating in the sport. Two young men (young women can join in the fun now too), walk on to a very large, square foam mat, meet in the center circle, hunch into a fighting pose, shake hands, and essentially dance around the mat trying to out maneuver each other to score the pin (both shoulders of the opponent touches the mat for 3 seconds). They often perform crazy, mind and body bending moves, and if done correctly, these matches are quite exciting to watch. However, every once in a while, you come across two fellas who pretty much just touch hands, stall, or scuttle around the mat for three periods. Disappointing, for sure!

 

Well, back to faith. I love how Hebrews 11:1 defines faith, “Faith is the confidence that we hope for will actually happen; it give us assurance about things we cannot see.” (NLT) The Message paraphrase of the Bible puts it this way, “The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see.”

 

Ok, confession time: sometimes when I read something like this, I think, “Now, that’s for someone else WAY more talented, anointed, or blessed than me. They CAN have confidence because they have a special ability in which to place that confidence.”

 

But then, the sweet Holy Spirit chimes in and reminds me from Jeremiah 17:7, “But, blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence,” (NLT). Notice here that those who are blessed trust only in the Lord and make Him ALONE – not talents, abilities, or earthly resources- their hope and confidence.

 

Confidence, assurance, trust, firm foundation, a life worth living… I don’t know about you, but those words pulled from this scripture describe the kind of life I so desire to have.

 

However, it’s not an easy life, but it’s an exciting life! Faith is lively, active, and pretty much like… a wrestling match. We may not see the spiritual realities in the here and now, but when we grapple with our faith, get deeper in the word, take time to worship, serve those who may not serve you back, maintain a confident hope in Him, take risks and make moves to get that “pin…” oh, how sweet that victory will be one day be! “So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you!” Hebrews 10:35

Undivided

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It’s been a while since I’ve blogged, but I just have to share what’s on my heart.  May my words be graced with love and challenge from His Word and heart.

James 1:6-8, “But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.”

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I don’t know about you, but that is a challenging passage for me.  Too often, I find myself with divided loyalties or being “doubled-minded” as the King James Version puts it, and quite frankly, I’m tired.  I’m tired of trying to do things on my own without the power of Holy Spirit.  I’m tired of failing.  I’m tired of playing games with my life in Jesus.  I’m tired of knowing what I should do but just don’t “feel like it.”  I’m tired of being the outward “good girl.”  Many times, I can hide what’s going on in the deepest part of myself all the while putting on a good, clean show.  Ever been there?

This passage says that people like me “should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.”  Ouch, right?  While I’m totally convinced that God is sovereign and heals, protects, and is faithful no matter what we do, I’m sensing that He requires FULL loyalty.  He requires a person to be completely in love with Him, trusting Him with their life, their kids’ lives, their futures.

Do you have divided loyalties?  Maybe you think, well, I don’t have to go to church all the time, right?

OR, I can give a bit here and there, but 10% as a tithe, yeah right!

OR, I serve the church and community, but you can’t expect me to do it with a good attitude or with right motives while I’m at it!

OR, I’m not a “minister.” I can’t share Jesus with just anyone!

All of those answers are, I believe completely off-base and can indicate a heart with divided loyalties.  If I care more about what other people think than I do about whether or not the Lord is pleased, my heart is divided.  If I “serve” all the while grumbling in my heart of all the things I’d rather be doing, my heart is divided.  If I give a token offering in the plate rather than sacrificially giving as the Lord has led me, my heart is divided.

And, when my heart is divided, the scripture is clear…  I cannot expect to “receive anything from the Lord.”  Do you feel like your prayers have fallen on deaf ears?  Check your heart.  Do you not see the breakthroughs you think you should?  Check your heart.  Do you not have peace? Check your heart.  Remember He is not a God of the piece…  He’s the God of the WHOLE.  Our WHOLE heart.  Our WHOLE soul.  Our WHOLE mind.  Our WHOLE strength.

This is not a one-time issue, though.  I’m finding that because I am human, sinful, prone to temptation, I need to check myself pretty often.  And, it’s not a guilt thing.  It’s a LOVE thing.  My husband wouldn’t be pleased if I only gave him some of or even most of my love in our marriage and shared it with other men. (He doesn’t share well… 😉 )  The same is true for the Lord.  He so desires our WHOLE loyalty and devotion.

This struggle against a divided heart is real, especially in the world we live.  Jobs, friends, family, social media, entertainment and such all aren’t inherently sinful or bad, but when they take us away from our love for Christ and His Word and ways, we need to take a step back and reevaluate our priorities.  May we all have the same prayer, I know I sure do…

“Teach me your way, Lord, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.”  Psalm 86:11

Anna’s Bible

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We bought Anna her first Bible when she was a small baby.  It’s one of those cute Bibles… Pink with a sheep on the front.  I imagined that Anna would keep and treasure this Bible, you know keep it nice and clean.  Well, that is not the case.  You see, she LOVES to underline words, write in the margins, and highlight as she “reads.”

And, we couldn’t be more thrilled about Anna being intentional about God’s Word.  Now, remember she’s only 5 and while she can’t read well yet, she LOVES to carry and “teach” from the Bible.  We’ll often find her in the backyard playing with our neighbors only to see her dart inside the house to grab her pink, sheep-covered Bible and pencil so she can “teach” them about God’s Word and how much He loves them.

Last night, she told a friend, “I just LOVE reading the Bible before going to bed.  He helps me sleep.”  And when we woke up this morning, Josh found Anna curled up on the couch with her butchie (blanket), reading her Bible.

I pray this enthusiasm for the Word NEVER leaves my daughter.  I pray her zeal and love for the Lord and the people within her realm of influence will be unshakeable.  Will you pray along with me?