God’s will for my life
Discovering God’s will for your life is the path of blessing and it begins the moment we surrender our lives to Him. A surrendered life is intentional about staying on God’s path, knowing that His path is where the blessing is.
We are given a wonderful picture of what it means to follow God in the story of the Israelites when they roamed the wilderness for 40 years in the Book of Numbers. God’s presence was associated with the tabernacle, His cloud covered it during the day and it took on the appearance of fire during the night. They were instructed to settle and move out according to whenever the cloud lifted up or set in place over the tabernacle.
“And whenever the cloud lifted from over the tent, after that the people of Israel set out, and in the place where the cloud settled down, there the people of Israel camped.” (Numbers 9:17)
Following the blessing provides direction and provision towards being established in God’s will. This is the only path that produces lasting fruit in our lives and the lives we are fortunate to impact along the way. God’s path refines and clarifies, it rids us of sin and unnecessary baggage that hinders our effectiveness in the areas of our purpose. It cultivates obedience and intimacy as we get to know God better with every step.
To follow the blessing means placing your trust in God’s direction and His ways of accomplishing the desired results in your life. To do this well we must believe in His sovereign wisdom and care for us as we journey the path, even when it doesn’t make sense.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)
When we choose to follow the blessing, God promises to fulfill every word that He has spoken over our lives. The Israelites that chose to follow God’s blessing came into the full inheritance that was promised to them under Joshua’s leadership. God’s path lead them into the ultimate blessing, the promised land.
“And now I am about to go the way of all the earth, and you know in your hearts and souls, all of you, that not one word has failed of all the good things that the Lord your God promised concerning you. All have come to pass for you; not one of them has failed.” (Joshua 23:14)
Be sure that you are following the blessing by following God. He promises to offer strong support to those whose hearts are turned toward Him. (2 Chronicles 16:9) You will find that He is the blessing and that the blessing is found in Him!
Have you ever been asked by God to choose the less traveled road that seemed to include sacrifice and loneliness? If you obeyed His voice you know that it required a faith deeper than you had at the moment of acceptance. And you had to come to terms that obeying came with no guarantees on the desired outcome compared to the labor that it seemed to involve. Did you know that God promises that the labor that He calls us to will not be in vain?
“Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord, your labor is not in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:58)
When God calls us to labor on His behalf it is assumed that we know it can only be done in the Lord. Otherwise how can we be ‘steadfast, immovable, always abounding’ in accomplishing what we have accepted to do?
The call to labor encompasses every arena of life and relationships. Some are called to labor for their marriage, family, children, health, home, career or ministry. Whatever the call, whatever the sacrifice involved we are admonished to be ‘steadfast, immovable and always abounding’ in our labor in the Lord.
Labor can involve suffering and hardship, yet it is not in vain. Our faith is tested in the Lord and when we endure we come forth pure as gold, through the refining fire of God’s love. We may not achieve our initial desired outcome but God always delivers a far richer outcome than we could have imagined. Knowing Him more, being transformed into the image of Christ and reaping the divine fruit of faithful labor in the Lord.
“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen and establish you.” (1 Peter 5:10)
Your labor is not in vain!
Are you a ‘doer’ first and a listener second or a ‘listener’ first then a ‘doer’? Are you all about accomplishing tasks throughout the day based on what’s important to you and your priorities? God has a lot to say about those who are not willing to listen to His voice before moving through life with a personal agenda that is void of His influence. He longs to have a voice in your life. He knows that without Him we can’t possible make wise decisions all the time. We don’t have nor ever will have the mind capacity to know everything we need to know when we need to know it. The bible tells us that its foolish to think that we don’t need to listen to God. He is All-Knowing.
“Hear this, O foolish and senseless people, who have eyes, but see not, who have ears, but hear not.” (Jeremiah 5:21)
Like a parent assigning a task to a child that runs off without instructions, we tend to charge through life without taking the time ask God for His instructions. If we don’t ask or listen we will always come up short of God’s best for our lives.
Jesus lived His entire life on this earth based on what He heard from God. To the very end it was all about fulfilling God’s will and not His own. He was so in-step with God and His will for His life that He said:
“My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work.” (John 4:34)
Jesus listened and followed God’s instructions for His life. He was fully obedient and surrendered to accomplishing the work that God sent Him to do.
In a similar way we have been called to follow Jesus’ example, to listen and obey, to do the will of God for our lives.
“This is My beloved Son, listen to Him.” (Mark 9:7)
Become a listener and you will accomplish what God sent you to do!
“When the heart sees what God wants, the body must be willing to spend and be spent for that cause alone.” Oswald Chambers
Image: Healing Gardens
What is at the root of your desire to praise God? For most of us the inspiration comes from answered prayers, overcoming obstacles, being healed of sicknesses, a recent promotion or financial windfall or any major milestone achievement in life. But if God all of a sudden seemed to stand back for a season and the blessings were not so obvious and tangible would you pass the test of maintaining a life of praise and worship to Him? Would you continue to offer up praise simply Because of Who He Is?
At the root of every soul is a deep desire to praise the God who created them. Once we experience His presence and the depravity of our soul exposed, worship is a natural response. Once we accept His salvation through Jesus Christ, His redemptive restorative work in our lives becomes the most powerful root and inspiration of praise we have to offer up to our Heavenly Father. No life has slipped too low for His saving grace to reach.
“Consequently, He is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” (Hebrews 7:25)
Because of Who He Is and what He has done for us through salvation we can live at peace with God. As His children we can live in perpetual triumph in all areas of life, we are overcomers, living and walking in the Truth of His Word, freed from the bondage and curse of sin.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33)
May God, Because of Who He Is become the root and depth of your praise!
Image: Butterfly Wallpaper
When you find yourself in what seems like ‘the trial of your life’ with personal resources exhausted and it looks like the enemy of your soul is about to throw the crushing blow, how do you respond?
In the days of the prophet Isaiah, Ahaz the King of Judah found himself in such a situation. They were facing the real threat of a crushing blow from the King of Israel who had allied himself with Syria to attack Judah. It goes on to say that “the heart of Ahaz and the heart of his people shook as the trees of the forest shake before the wind.” (Isaiah 7:2)
The Lord instructed Isaiah to go speak to Ahaz a word. He also instructed Isaiah to take his son with him. I love this small detail about his son, “Go out to meet Ahaz, you and Shear-jashub your son.” (Isaiah 7:3) Isaiah’s son was a sign from God for Judah that “a remnant shall return.” God was letting the people know that their sin would be judged but with mercy, they would not suffer total loss, that a remnant would be left to rebuild and restore the nation.
What looks like ‘the trial of your life’ may be the refining tool that God has allowed to purge out sinful attitudes and lifestyle choices that hinder and sabotage God’s good plan for your life. The words that God instructed Isaiah to speak to King Ahaz and the people gave them the opportunity to see this trial through His perspective of faith and trust:
“Be careful, be quiet, do not fear, and do not let your heart be faint…” (Isaiah 7:4)
God went on to put the enemy in the proper perspective; “two smoldering stumps” in His eyes and in which we are to see any enemy coming against us. Now that their eyes have been opened by God’s perspective they can see that this is a test of faith and trust in God to not only deliver but to bring them through this trial. They are left with this gentle rebuke from God:
“…If you are not firm in faith, you will not be firm at all.” (Isaiah 7:9)
If you truly desire to glorify God there comes a time when we must decide to stand firm in our faith, trusting in God’s promise to never leave us or forsake us, no matter what trial is allowed into our lives. If we refuse to embrace His instruction our destiny in Christ will be plagued with instability, doubt and immaturity, failing to live the abundant life that Christ died to give us.
“…until we all attain…to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine…speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into Him who is the head, into Christ…” (Ephesians 4:13-15)
Be firm in faith!
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A beautiful day just doesn’t happen, it is intentionally driven by our perspective.
“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24)
It has been said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What is beautiful to one may not be considered beautiful to another. We tend to qualify beauty by that which gives pleasure to the eye, ear or mind that appeals to our own ideals and inspirational delights. God take on beauty is eternally driven and designed to inspire us each day of our journey as we grow in our relationship towards knowing Him.
We must learn to receive each new day as a gift from God.
“So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12)
Finding beauty in our day also begins with looking up to the One who formed us, “…to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord.” (Psalm 27:4).
We must learn to see life through God’s beauty.
Finding beauty in our day accepts that although “man is born to trouble” (Job 5:7) we have a Savior in Jesus Christ who has overcome the world.
“I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
We must learn to guard our hearts with peace.
Finding beauty in our day embraces a purpose filled life and the pursuit of fulfilling our unique mission on this earth. This involves submitting ourselves to God’s best route of transforming us into the image of His Son. Outward and inward beauty can seek no other course but the path God has chosen.
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” (Psalm 119:105)
We must learn to submit to God’s word, and trust His word as our guide.
Finally, we find beauty in our day by waiting gracefully for God’s timing to establish us when we have satisfied His heart in the transformation process. He promises to make everything beautiful in His time. (Ecclesiastes 3:11)
“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!” (Psalm 37:7)
We must learn that God will accomplish all His desire towards us.
“He fulfills the desire of those who fear Him; He also hears their cry and saves them.” (Psalm 145:19)
May you find God’s beauty today!
Photo Credit: Love-Nature