New Things

God is making a new way, can you feel it_

Behold, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it and know it and will you not give heed to it? I will even make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. – Isaiah 43:19

New is fun and exciting…most of the time. However, the moments before the new arrives can be terribly challenging and a deep testing of our faith. This verse in Isaiah invites us to stand in the space between old and new and have faith that God can be trusted and that new is here, even when we can’t see it.

This time last year I walked away from a 20-plus year career to follow the way God was speaking to my heart. It’s been a year like I’ve never had and I wouldn’t trade it for anything! Yet, now I see my savings account down below where I would like and I’m forced to stand in this space holding what I see as truth, my bank account, and what I know as truth, God’s provision. God is in the habit of clearing the brush in the wilderness and entering a river in the desert, the question is: do I believe God loves me enough to truly do a new thing in my life?

Like most people who follow God, I’m desperate for the amazing in my life and I want to see Him work in awesome ways where my only answer is to glorify His name. And like most people who follow God, I’m uncertain He’s paying attention and knows my current situation and therefore, uncertain He will provide. It’s a terrible and wonderful place to stand. Terrible because it’s a painful faith and wonderful because you are alive to all of the possibilities.

As I read this verse in Isaiah this morning, knowing that my bank account is getting uncomfortable and believing that God has already started the new thing that will be the river of provision for me, I’m scared. I deeply want to feel seen and loved by God and I deeply doubt that I am. That’s a hard sentence to see on my screen. It makes me cry and also cry out, “God, help me in my unbelief!” In this space, I have to face the chains that still bind me and keep me from a deeper relationship with God.

I don’t know where you are in life today. I don’t know what wilderness you need cleared or river to appear and I do know this…God is starting something new today, can’t you feel it? Right now, God is inviting you to take Him at His word and trust that He is able to overcome your challenge and even better, He wants to! This invitation is large because it begs you to not focus on the challenge, rather, focus on the God who is bringing newness. Look up! Get excited! Be filled with this amazing hope that God does see you and He deeply, deeply loves you and wants you to be filled with faith in Him.

If you need a prayer partner, email me at jesusreliant@gmail.com

Live in God’s love, grace, peace and mercy fully looking for the new thing that is springing up today!

KA

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Lightness in the Dark

Darkness and light are alike to You, God.

Even the darkness is not dark to You, and the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to you. Psalm 139:12

Have you ever woken up when the power has gone out? It’s so quiet and still it doesn’t seem real. The darkness is the darkest dark around and everything just feels creepy. You would think that it would be easier to sleep and yet, it seems harder because you’re straining to hear anything and everything. It feels so isolating and alone. I woke up that way this morning, only the power was on.

I usually charge at each new day with excitement and energy. I’m like a boxer flying into the center of the ring at the beginning of a fight, arms raging at the opponent with mountain-moving optimism. This morning wasn’t usual. Today I woke up like a boxer in the fifth round. I felt bloody, battered and beaten. Defeat was around the corner and things were dark.

We’ve had some challenges in the past couple months that I never saw coming and the enemy used them like a left hook to my jaw. Not enough of a punch to knock me out, but enough to let me know that I’m not strong enough to fight him. I had begun to actually believe his lie that there is no hope, the struggle is too great and I should just give up. If I had narrated my life it would have sounded something like this: no good job, no good decisions, no good health in my family…no good. The darkness wasn’t coming, it was here and I was allowing myself to be swallowed up.

Then God lit up the room. I sat in my chair crying and crying out. I needed to feel God’s presence and know that I wasn’t going down. I spent time journaling and praying seeking God’s peace. In the midst of that, God led me to Psalm 139:12 which reminds me that God is unable to distinguish the difference between light and dark because He always operates in the light. Do you get that? Darkness and light are exactly the same to God because He always sees everything! I’m never in darkness so dark that God can’t see me.

Here’s the challenge when you’re in a battle with the enemy…he gets you caught up in the feelings of the moment and you forget the truth. Yes, things are challenging right now. Yes,  I have no idea what God’s going to do. Yes, I’m scared and feel alone. Yes, God is there. Yes, God sees me in my darkness. Yes, God is able and I am not. YES GOD!

I would love to say that my spirit lightened immediately and I felt this rush of peace but that’s not what happened. I cried a little more, prayed a lot more, reached out to people close to me for support and most of all, I changed my brain from focusing on the dark to focusing on the Light. God’s answers are on their way and I will see them. God will be glorified and His name made great as long as I keep my brain engaged and intentional about the truth of God’s Word. My feelings will ALWAYS have the potential to betray me and drag me into the darkness and God’s Word will always be stronger and break through.

If you’re in a dark space, take heart that God sees you and is lighting up your darkness. Turn to the truth when the feelings seem to be overwhelming. You are never alone, God is always there.

If you need a prayer partner, email me at jesusreliant@gmail.com.

KA

A Shake-Free Life

I have set the Lord continually before me; because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Psalm 16:8

God doesn’t force Himself on us, we have to choose Him. That’s the awesome beauty of free will. The downside, of course, is that we can choose loads of other things too.

Choosing to set God at the forefront of our lives is a moment -by-moment endeavor, it’s a discipline. David knew the secret to a shake-free life, a life secure in faith, which us to continually choose to set God first. Did he make other choices sometimes? Absolutely! We all will. And when that happens, we have to make a choice to set God back in front.

How do you continually set God before you? You enter into to each moment focused on Jesus, listening for the Holy Spirit and then making different choices that aren’t about you and are about Him. It isn’t easy and sometimes, it’s downright exhausting! However, the benefits of having God on your side and living a life that is not shaken by fear and anxiety is worth the sacrifice of our selfish desires.

Set God before you today. Rewrite the words of defeat and fear floating around in your head and fully trust God. A life unchained is not a perfect life, it’s a shake-free life with God leading the way.

If you need a prayer partner, email me at jesusreliant@gmail.com.

Live unchained in God’s love, grace, peace and mercy.

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