If you have read my writings in the past or followed my adventures for any length of time, you may have noticed that I love to hike, I love to push my limits. Pretty much, every time time that I get out on the trail, God has a word for me. Today, was no exception. I hit the trailhead early this morning to beat the 100+ degree heat and powered up the first incline.
I planned my trip. I would go up the mountain down and follow the long trail around the mountain before heading back. Immediately, I heard God say, "No, you are not to go on the long trail today." For me, hearing His voice takes form in those words that jump into my mind, invade my Spirit and move my heart and gut. It is a voice that He has trained me well to hear, to know and to discern that it is Him and knowing this voice has taught me to obey.
Upon hearing my new directive, I said ok, I will just go up the mountain and down to my prayer spot before I make the decent back down to my car. Again, I heard Him say, "No, you may only go to the top, sit there and then head right back down" To this, I simply said ok, makes no sense to me, but I will do what you say, you must have your reasons.
In my life, I have found a few different reasons why God gives me specific directions. A few of them being:
1. For my good and wellbeing (Jeremiah 29:11)
2. Gives me opportunities to obey (Deuteronomy 5:27; Psalm 119:34;
3. Trains me to recognize and know His voice, so the next time He speaks for my safety and well being, I will know His voice and not hesitate to obey. (John 10:4; John 10:27)
To give you a little background info, that I neglected to take into account at the time, my hike today was only the 3rd hike in the past 2 weeks. Typically, I am on the trail at least 5 times a week. I had taken time off from exercise because I was battling illness and my body was simply worn and fatigued. During those times, I do not like to push it, so I rest.
While I was feeling great today, ready to take on the world, what I didn't know is that about half way in, my body would remind me that I am not where I was two weeks ago. I became very tired, very quickly and by the time I nearly reached the top my lungs were crying for rest. Had I pushed myself to go on, I would have been much worse for the wear.
Those words that God gave me as I began the accent and made my plans, were not only words for me to obey, and discern His voice, but they were for my well being. God knew I would tucker out. God knew that on my own, I probably would have kept going and been out several miles without the ability to turn back. Would I have survived?... sure, but the joy of knowing and being reminded that God has my back in the littlest of things, strengthened my faith to know that He has my back in the difficult things as well, those times when I feel like my world is caving in.
He knows the plans He has for me and they are good. And it's not just me...It's for you too, you who are called according to His purposes!! He knows the plans He has for YOU, and friend, they are oh, so good!
Press in to listen. Press in to obey. Press in to learn the sound of His voice in your life. Be quick to listen friends and don't delay. Each moment we delay our obedience, the closer we are to stepping the other way, finding an excuse or simply forgetting what He said in the first place.. Let's keep our footing sure, stand firm in the promises of God, trust Him for our good and share the truth of the Gospel with those who so desperately need it and need to see us living it.
Let us be faithful to listen to the small stuff, SO THAT we may be fit to be faithful when the BIG directives come. (Luke 16:10)
I love you in the Lord, Mia
Have you ever gotten your "praise on" a little bit to early?
For the last three days we have had to move out of our house because our plumbing was revolting against us. I won't get too descriptive, but when you hear the gurgle gurgle in the pipes and then "stuff" comes backing up through your tub, shower and toilets, you know your in for a battle.
After the plumber came out and said "it's bad", beyond the inconvenience of not being able to use any water, was the flash of $$$, of which we don't have much. My prayers began. The prayer of "Lord, please let the damage be on the city property side of our fence and not on ours, so that we don't have to pay for it.
After the locating service went down with their camera and located the damage 1 foot over on city property, I was relived. I thanked the Lord, I rejoiced. I was reminded how God cares about all aspects of my life. I called the city and within 1 hour a city worker was at my door confirming the camera footage and scrambling to get a crew together immediately. A mere hour after that the trucks arrived, the workers came and they dug a hole 7 feet deep in the alley to get to the broken pipe.
I was estacic, I continued to thank God for the placement of the break and the quick response from the city. As time went on, I peaked over my wall and then it happened.
I got the news that they cleared the mud and discovered that the problem was on my property!
My heart sunk, my rejoicing ceased, dollar signs flashed before me…..for a moment. And in THAT moment I caught myself and reminded myself of what I know to be true. I quickly stood firm in the circumstance and the truth that he is still faithful and my rejoicing does not need to cease even when things don't go "my way."
So hear I am sitting in my house this evening, now able to run minimal amounts of water as the city cleared out the great clog of mud that was there. Tomorrow, my plumber has gathered some workers to come and take care of the rest. So hopefully, We will be functioning at 100% very soon.
But either way, I rejoice. I rejoice that we have friends that have opened their home to us while we had to move out. I rejoice that we both have gym memberships that have running water, showers and toilets that flush. I rejoice that the grocery store has public restrooms. I rejoice for sweet neighbors that come to our aid time and time again and help us take care of our dogs. I rejoice for neighbors who don't mind if I knock on their door and ask to use their bathroom. And one day soon, I will rejoice because it will all be better and in the past. But until then, I still rejoice.
So when things are not going your way, when the answers to your prayers don't come the way you had hoped, when all the crap in your life seems to be backing up (literally and figuratively) REMEMBER…God is FAITHFUL, He is FAITHFUL, STILL.
Friends, Be quick to remember, Be quick to rejoice. In any circumstance, be quick!
UPDATE: Today, I sit working and looking out my back window at what I hope will be a job well done! But, if not,God is faithful, still.
Some days I am surprised at which words in the Bible jump out at me. I shouldn't be, but there I was with these two verses from my reading lingering with me throughout the day. Why? I didn't know.....But God!
My day started off pretty well. I went in to work for a couple hours, had a coffee date with a friend and spent some sweet time on my devotions and some beautiful readings from the book of Genesis. And of all that I read, these are the verses that tugged at my heart.
“Some time later Joseph was told, “Your father is ill.” So he took his two sons Manasseh and Ephraim along with him. When Jacob was told, “Your son Joseph has come to you,” Israel (who is Jacob) rallied his strength and sat up on the bed.” ~ Genesis 48:1-2
What I didn't know, is that by the time evening came, I too would be ill, fighting off my allergies and having difficulty breathing, along with extreme fatigue and weariness of body.
Yet, even with illness creeping at my door, I had things to do. I was scheduled to lead worship that evening at a Celebrate Recovery program. I did my sound check with my voice nearing a whisper and quite gravely by the end of my rehearsal time. But God....
When the gathering began and the worship music started, we all leaped in together and I got to see God do a miracle. As I began to simply pour my heart out to Him, I felt my voice become stronger than ever, my spirit rose, my fatigue vanished, my breathing improved and my weariness ceased. I got to see Him take it all away. The Worship of the one true God, took my pain away.
Then the Lord reminded me WHY He had me ponder those verses all day. It wasn't just for me. It was for all of us in that place who needed to be reminded to Worship it out. Yes, I was tired when I started, but just as Jacob, upon hearing the good news rallied up his strength, I too, would rally up my strength to worship the one who is worthy and watch my spirit rise to speak His name.
And that is what worship does. It revives! When we are tired, we worship. When we are hurt, we worship. When we grow weary, we worship. When we feel sick of life struggles, we worship.
May we be quick in our struggles to sit up, rally all our strength and speak Worship as we fix our eyes an the author and perfecter of our faith.
I love you in the Lord, Mia
We are now on the fourth and final week of our journey with Mary. Feel free to catch up by reading the previous three entries, Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3. They are pretty quick reads.
Last week we were given the encouragement and reminder that we are not alone in the tasks that God has for us. He is with us, Father , Son and Spirit. That's good news.
This week we wrap up with verse 38. Just as a reminder, let's re-read the entire passage.
"In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
I love my time at the gym. Going in the morning really helps to start my day out right. Thanks to my husband, I have a detailed, focused and effective workout routine. Every few weeks the plan gets modified and my weights and reps increase. I can see and feel the effects of my workout.
I know that I am not suppose to judge people at my gym, but I can't help but notice that some of the members wander around aimlessly with no consistency, no focus and no real results. They don't have a plan. Some do more mirror time than actual lifting of weights.
The more time I spend in the gym, the more I see how it directly correlates with faith and life. Proverbs 29:18 says
"Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.
When I lacked a plan at the gym (which I did for years) my results come up lacking. I didn't grow stronger, I didn't feel any more fit, I didn't feel physically complete.
Like the gym, but, oh so much more important, is my relationship with Christ. When I lack vision, a plan to be intentional about my faith, my joy shrivels. Those days when I am distracted by the silliest things, all things which conspire against me to keep me from my time with the Lord, days when I think I can fit in "one more thing" before I steel away with Him only to find the sun has set on my time and the pillow is my best friend....Those are the days when my joy is incomplete because my vision is lacking.
So where are you today? Do you have a plan, do you lack vision..do you feel like you are drowning or are you feeling the effects of working out your faith life?
If you are struggling, sometimes it starts with a simple acknowledgment that you need help, some encouragement, some direction and some spiritual discipline. If you are feeling strong in Him, spiritually fit, maybe this is the season where God can give you eyes to see those that are wandering and need someone to walk alongside them.
Yes, we stand in the "NO JUDGEMENT ZONE", but God has given us eyes to see, hearts to feel, a discerning mind to call out when we are drowning and the wisdom to know when to throw a life jacket to those around us.
One of my favorite devotionals is Oswald Chambers ~ My Utmost For His Highest. It challenges me each day. If you feel it might be a blessing to you, follow the LINK BELOW and if you get it, write me back and let me know what you think. It's compact, short and filled with great thoughts on a particular Bible verse each day. Maybe that's a start for you.
CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE
God bless you! I love you in the Lord, Mia
A collection of writings from a life based on the truth that about midnight anything can happen.
As an imperfect servant of the Lord, I often feel I am fumbling my way through life, looking upward for guidance and outward to love. So, I write about it, to break up the noise in my head.