Monday, September 24, 2012

Slow Down ©

"Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes." (Matthew 6:34 MSG)

Do you ever feel like your rushing through life? I do. 


My mind actively stays in overdrive. I'm always thinking ahead of the moment. Planning for the future without taking time to acknowledge my present. Skimming over an email. Preparing a response before even receiving a reply. Checking my phone every 2 minutes. And don't even get me started on my mastery of multi tasking! I know I'm not the only one who can watch TV, check Facebook and Twitter simultaneously, eat dinner and talk on the phone ALL at the same time! 
(Get a visual: This is my life) Then I wonder why I can't remember anything. Yikes!   

I was recently reading a devotional I receive daily in my inbox.  A couple sentences in I could see this was a "word" I needed to hear, so as I often do I started reading fast and found myself jumping ahead searching for the good parts and takeaways. I mean after all, who really has TIME to read an email in its entirety?? (wink) As my eyes started to skip down a few paragraphs I felt in my spirit God saying: "Slow down! I need you to get this!
So, I slowed down. 
I needed to read that devotion line by line, word for word and meditate on it so it could sink deep within my heart and soul. If not I'd forget what I read no more than 5 minutes later and a week from now still wonder why I'm struggling in that area.   
As I finished reading and tried to sleep, I pondered on Gods words. I knew God wasn't just asking me to slow down reading an email, he was asking me to slow down my life, more importantly to be settled in my heart and spirit. 
I was immediately lead to Matthew 6:34, in the message translation the first few lines are impactful:  
"Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now..." 
God longs for us to stay in the moment! Not to think about what is ahead but to focus on the now. As one of my friends always says, God often tells her to "Get somewhere and sit down!” So true.   

We miss out on so much joy worried about the drama tomorrow may bring. 
We miss opportunities to cultivate new relationships because of the fear people may hurt us. 
We fail to make lasting memories with our loved ones because we busy ourselves with work and social activities. 
We miss hearing the voice of God because we drown him out with music, TV and gossip.    

As the rest of Matthew 6:34 reads "..and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes" 

God doesn't want us worrying about our future, rushing through our seasons in life or consumed with anxious thoughts.   Let’s all be challenged to slow down, be patient and be present in life.   


Sunday, September 9, 2012

He is Here ©

Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show 
you which path to take. Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom... (Proverbs 3:5-7 NLT)
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed. (Psalms 34:18 NLT)

Confession: I have FLAWS! (shocker, huh?:) I tend to trust people too easily. I'm emotional. I'm gullible and easily fooled. I 
was actually voted "Most Gullible" in high school! (not kidding!) Well 13 years after high school I still often find myself being 
"duped" or "caught off guard" in life. Because of this I often pray for DISCERNMENT and REVELATION. Left to my own 
heart and mind I would make a complete disaster of my life so I consistently ask God to show me the who, what, when and the 
where. I trust that wherever God is leading and ordering my steps I can confidently follow.

For the past 2 weeks I was led to start praying for discernment and revelation in the area of my relationships. Because I've 
been betrayed and hurt by friends and boyfriends in the past I'm quick to ask God to show me who he wants in my circle, 
who I need to cut out and reveal peoples motives. I took this area before God daily in my prayers and quiet time. 
So I shouldn't have been too surprised when last week I experienced a difficult interaction with a friend. My intuition was 
telling me something was "off" and within days truth was revealed and disappointment followed. Initially I found myself very 
much "in my feelings”: emotional, upset and confused. As I came down from my emotional high (and a good nap!) I was 
reminded of my recent prayer request. Discernment and revelation. That's exactly what God gave me. The “revelation” 
wasn’t pleasant but it was indeed an answered prayer! My answered prayers aren't always packaged as pretty as I would like
but they do always have purpose.

The recent situation has made me grateful for a couple of things: 
1. For a God that listens and answers prayers 
2. For the holy spirit (a*k*a*) intuition, to alert me when something is wrong. 
3. For pushing me closer into fellowship with Christ. 

Once I peeled back all the layers of disappointment and confusion, I found that Jesus was at the center of it. God is always 
right in the middle of the hard stuff. He uses difficult situations to draw us closer to him, and remind us why we NEED him as 
our Savior! His consistent presence comforts and gives me peace in the midst of any disappointment. 

If you are facing disappointing circumstances search for Jesus right in the middle of it. He is there. In him you will find the 
peace, strength and confidence you need to keep pressing. 

~Toya Nicole 

 Music: Kari Jobe "You are For me" posted by @karijobe on YouTube