Friday, January 27, 2012

The Last Key

We are reaching an end to the series on the "Keys To Receiving".

I just want to reiterate that I am a grace girl.  Legalism is just a long four letter word to me.  Some of these "keys" could be viewed as being legalistic, as saying you have to "do" certain things in order for God to hear you.  I just want to say that I am NOT saying that, otherwise, how could sinners ever come to Him? However, there are things we do that hinder our relationship with the Lord and  keep us from receiving from Him. 

If you have kids, it is easier to relate.  As parents, we want to bless our kids.  We want to give them the best we have to offer.  However, sometimes they hinder our ability to bless them by their actions.   It is hard to bless them when what they really need is a pat on their blessed assurance, if you know what I mean.

In addition, the keys I have mentioned are clearly stated in God's Word.  They are not taken out of context.  They are in fact and in reality written so that we will know how to pray and how to receive from the Lord when in need. They are not conclusive, but are guidelines. 

The last key I am going to share is found in James 4:3

"You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures." 

The word "amiss" above in the Greek is kakos and it means "improperly, wrong".  Another definition given is "with bad intent."

Motive is key.  And so:



Key to Receiving #6:  Motive
"





Heart attitudes and motive are vital in receiving from the Lord.

God cares more about our heart attitudes and motives of the heart than our comfort.  I once went through a year and a half of misery due to a wrong heart attitude.  I couldn't see it until I went to the Lord and began asking why I was in the situation.  He showed me. It brought me to my knees in repentance.

Do you remember the other day when I addressed the "million dollars" example?  If you are asking God for a million dollars or anything else, why do you desire it?  What is truly in your heart?  He will not give us anything we are not ready for or anything that will hurt us or our relationship with Him.  Also, in that example and others, God may not just hand us what we ask for, we do have to work at times for it.  I have found that even our Christ given right of freedom takes some work on our part to acquire and maintain.  This work involves bible reading, bible study and prayer.  I would not be able to maintain my freedom in Christ without those habits. 

The key ring that binds all of these keys together is LOVE.  Faith works by love.  If you are not walking in love, it will be difficult to receive from the Lord. If the love of God abides in you, you will have no problem with a pure heart, keeping His commandments, asking and believing, and your motives will be pure.

In conclusion to this series, I have come up with a acronym (that I find humorous) for these keys:

PLABAM!

Key #1: Pure Heart(John 24:4-5)
Key #2: Living a life that pleases the Lord, Keeping His Commandments (1 John 3:21-23)
Key #3: Ask (John 16:24)
Key #4 Believe (Matt 21:22)
Key #5 Abiding in Christ (John 15:7)
Key #6 Motive

The next time feel your prayers are hitting the ceiling or that you cannot hear from the Lord, remember these keys and do a heart check.  Keep them all bound together on the key chain of love.  Study the love passage (1Cor 13).  God wants to give you, His children, your heart desires in His perfect timing.  Then, PLABAM!, you will see the Lord move in your life!










Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Keys To Receiving {Part 5: Abiding}

I remember the first time I ever read John 15.  I was SOOO excited!

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in  you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. John 15:7

Whatever I ask!!  Really!!  It knocked my socks off.  I went to my friends...."Look at this verse I found!"

That is how the Word of God is...full of treasures!  I had found gold, however, I was not focused on the real treasure. 

See, I only focused on the last part of the verse...."you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you."  There is one small conditional statement at the beginning of the verse..."If you abide in Me." 


The 5th Key to Receiving: 

Abiding in Christ


 


 Abide:  In the original Greek, it is the word meno, and it means "to remain", "to not depart", "continually".

If we "abide" in Jesus, we remain in Him continually.  If we truly are abiding in Him continually, then our hearts and our wills will be inline with His.  Therefore, what we ask will never be anything but His perfect will.  That is how this verse can say that the Lord will give you anything you ask.  

The treasure in this verse is not so much that God will do whatever you desire.  The real treasure in this verse is that we can abide in Jesus and His Word can remain in us!  Also, that we can know His perfect will.  Our desires being met is just an added bonus to a heart submitted to Him.

What is it you desire?  Peace, love, joy, security, stability, friends, money, job, better marriage, deliverance?  Something else unlisted?  All those listed above are in line with His will.  He wants you to have all of those and more! 

Abide in Him....Seek first the Kingdom and God.  The treasure you find in Him is more valuable than any earthly treasure that can be found.  However, when you abide in Him, your heart's desires will also be fulfilled (Ps 37:4).  He is always faithful. 








Monday, January 23, 2012

Keys to Receiving {Part 4: Believe}

In case you are just joining us, I have been writing a series on the keys to receiving answers to prayer. 

 Key #1 Clean Hands/Pure Heart (Ps. 24:4-5)

 Key #2  Keeping the Lord's commandments and obedience (1 John 3:21-23)

 Key #3  Asking (John 16:24)

And today I am introducing Key #4.

However, before I introduce Key#4, I felt led to write a disclaimer regarding these "keys"....

To be sure, we cannot manipulate answers to prayer.  God is not our genie in a bottle that will just answer if we rub Him the right way. 

This series is not a complete list.  Certainly there are times God graces us with blessings without us asking.  Certainly there have been times I have received only by God's grace.  Other times we do not receive because God has something better for us. 

This series began because I know there are some who feel like their prayers are bouncing off the ceilings.  Perhaps others are wondering why they are in the situation they are in and think that God doesn't care.  God doesn't want to withhold anything good from His children.  This list of keys is just a checklist to go over if you are praying for something and haven't received it yet.  You can go over the list just to be certain that God isn't waiting on you. 

There have been many times when I have been waiting for the Lord to answer a prayer, when God has really been waiting on me.

Waiting on me to have the right heart attitude.  Waiting on me to obey.  Waiting on me to ask.  Waiting on me to believe.


 



Key #4:  Believe







And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.  Matt 21:22

"For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Be removed and be cast into the sea', and does not not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. 
Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them."  Mark 11:23-24

You have to believe.  Faith is believing.  Doubting is the reverse of faith.  Fear hangs out with doubt.  These are two friends you don't want to be around.  When you fear, you are doubting that God will do what He said He would do.  Fear and doubt will keep you from receiving.  Imagine these two, fear and doubt, just holding hands enticing you to join them on their journey to keep you from receiving what God has for you.  Imagine it and flee from them! Run in the opposite direction to faith, hope and trust in the Lord. 

James 1:6 says:
But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.  For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord.  

We need to believe, dear friends.  We need to believe God is good.  We need to believe He has the best for us.  We need to believe His Word and we need to KNOW His Word in order to believe it. 

If you are thinking, "But, how do I know if what I am asking is God's will?"  Much of His will is in His Word. Read His Word and you will know His will in many areas.

Now, if you are "believing" God for 1 million dollars, ummmm.....I cannot say it will or won't happen.   "But, Sue.....I BELIEVE, I really do!!!"  Ok.    However....do you remember what I said about not treating God like a genie?  I will cover this more when I go over Key #6 hopefully at the end of this week. In the meantime, we have Key #5 (and it is a GOOD one!) that I will discuss next time. 

Clean heart, obey, ask, BELIEVE, and.....



Blessings to you,  I would love to hear your thoughts and comments on this series! 

Sue  : )
 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Until We Meet Again: A Tribute to One Dearly Loved


I sat across from her with my eyes lovingly gazed on her sweet face.  She had seemed to age a lifetime in the few short months since I saw her last.  Her face resembled more of my great-grandmother than my grandma.  I knew this visit would most likely be the last one I would have with her on this earth.  It was sweet.  Her tired eyes sparkled like her eyes always did.  Her words were few, but filled with warmth. 

As I said goodbye, I told her we would be returning to Tennessee in the morning and I would not be seeing her for awhile.  (Sadly, Illinois is quite a ways from Tennessee.)  Only by the grace of God was I able to contain the tears that earnestly wanted to break free.  I hugged her many times, kissed her sweet face many times and told her I loved her. I knew the next time we met would be in her Heavenly Home.  


 This is a picture of me with her during our last visit.  

A week ago today, my sweet Grandmother went home to be with the Lord.  It had been only two weeks since that last visit.  I am so thankful the Lord gave me one last visit with her here on this earth. 

The funeral was earlier this week.  It was beautiful.  Grandma looked beautiful as she always did.  She was 90 years old, almost 91 and had lived a wonderful and full life.  She was a special lady.  She loved people.  She loved me.

I can still see that sparkle in her eye, the window to the light that was in her spirit and soul.  The light of Jesus radiated through her to all who knew her.

She was a prayer warrior.  She ended every phone conversation I had with her with "I pray for you everyday."  I knew she did. 

She left all of us something more valuable and priceless than anything this world could offer.  She left for us a legacy of faith and a legacy of love.  It is my hope and prayer to carry on this legacy.  It is my hope to honor the legacy grandma left, to be that light to those around me and to the generations behind me.  It is my aim and high calling to be a prayer warrior, and to help fill in the gap that is left by her absence. 

2 Corinthians 5:8 says To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.


I know where my Grandma is and I can picture her dancing with Jesus.  I can picture her leaving this earth and entering the Throne Room of the Most High God and kneeling before the Throne of Grace (kneeling was something she wasn't able to do during these last years on earth).  Her body....completely healed and whole. New.  No more pain.  No more suffering.

I can hear the Lord saying "Well done good and faithful servant." 

Grandma, we will miss you.  I miss you.
I know you are having a party on the streets of gold and someday I will dance with you there. We will get our boogie down up there!  

Until we meet again, I love you.  Thank you for the prayers.  Thank you for your love.  Thank you for never giving up on me. Thank you for sowing into my life.  Thank you for the legacy of faith you left for us. 

To see the other post about Grandma see 90 and Beautiful written in her honor. 


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Answered Prayer: The Keys to Receiving {Part 3}


So far we have covered 2 keys to receiving answers to prayer.  To read the first two posts on "The Keys to Receiving" see: 
Answered Prayer: The Keys to Receiving {Part 1}
Answered Prayer: The Keys to Receiving {Part 2} 

Today, we are covering the third key to receiving. 


And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive. Matthew 21:22 (emphasis added)

Until now you have asked nothing in My name.  ASK, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.   John 16:24

So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.  Luke 11:9-10






The third key to receiving from the Lord: You have to go to Him and ASK.


This third key seems so elementary.  However, Jesus said in His Word that we have not because we ask not (James 4:3)  We have to go to the Lord in prayer and ask.  

One time it took me over a year to realize I could ask God for my husband to have a better job with an increase in pay and a decrease in hours.  Some even told me that was ludicrous.  How could he get a job that paid more while he worked less?!  Nevertheless, I asked and believed.  He was working until 8 or 9 o'clock in the evening.  At that time, we had three kids ages 4 and under.  Many nights, the kids and I would not see him before the kids went to bed.  I felt like I was a single mom during those days.  Every night, I would pray and thank God that He was providing a job with "better hours and more money".  It may not sound eloquent, but those were my exact words.  

God doesn't care about our prayers sounding eloquent.  It doesn't matter if you are asking for something big or small.  God cares about all of it.  He wants us to pray.  He wants to be involved in every aspect of your life.   

My epiphany to pray and ask for a change took awhile (over a year!).  However, after I asked, He delivered.  It didn't happen overnight, but it did happen in His perfect timing.  I wish I would have asked sooner!  

Is there something you want changed in your life?  Ask! Don't wait another day! (Definitely don't wait a year!)
Ask. Seek. Knock.  God is waiting on the other side of the door. 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Attitudes of Freedom

I am taking a break from the series Answered Prayer: Keys to Receiving because today I am excited to announce that I am a guest poster on John Beehner's blog Ask Wise Counsel


I was contacted back in December to be a guest poster for his Freedom Blog Tour.  This blog tour features a variety of authors from across the nation.  I was a little hesitant to participate at first because I was not familiar with John Beehner's ministry or blog.  However, after reviewing his blog and subject matter, I decided I would be honored to be a part of this event.

I am all about Freedom!  I hope you will take a moment to read Attitudes of Freedom
and the other posts written on freedom!



THANKS!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Answered Prayer: The Keys to Recieving {Part 2}


We are in part two of a series on unlocking the answer to prayer:  "The Keys to Receiving".  In Part 1, I mentioned the first key to receiving is having clean hands and a pure heart.  See this link to read Part 1.  
http://www.livingfreeinhim.blogspot.com/2012/01/answered-prayer-keys-to-receiving-part.html

Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God.  And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.  1 John 3:21-23

Again, we see the first key mentioned above.  To have confidence before the Lord, we need to have clean hands and a pure heart that does not condemn us.  Jesus paid the price for us to have a clean and pure heart. 

So often, we think we have to earn our way to a clean heart.  Beloved, we already have a clean heart if we belong to the Lord and have asked Him to forgive us of our sins!  We CAN have that confidence toward God it says above.  However, we cannot continue to live in habitual sin and have it!  We have to keep His commandments and do what pleases the Lord.  When we mess up, we then have to go to Him with a sincere heart that is sorry and a desire to live right.   

For too long, I lacked confidence toward God because I didn't believe I was forgiven!  I was forgiven.  I just wouldn't receive it from the Lord because I didn't feel I deserved it.  None of us deserve it, but that is the beauty of grace.     
 

We have to be vigilant in examining our hearts.  The heart can be deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9).  It will condemn us when we are innocent and it will tell us we are fine when we are fallen.  The only way to be certain of the condition of our heart is to go to the Lord frequently for examination and cleansing.  If you abide in the Lord, you will be able to hear your heart correctly.  


Sin hinders us from receiving from the Lord.  Sin also hinders our relationship with the Lord.  Living right, obeying His commandments and pleasing Him allows for answered prayer. 





 
The second key to receiving from the Lord: Keeping His Commandments and living a life that pleases Him


It said in the verse above, "Whatever you ask you will receive from Him".  That is exciting!  We achieve a heart that pleases the Lord when we abide in Him.  When we abide in Him and His Word, we KNOW His will and His heart.  As a result, our prayer requests and His will line up.  It is so good to have a clean and pure heart and to know God is pleased.

The third key to receiving is.....stay tuned.... :  )

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Answered Prayer: The Keys to Receiving {Part 1}



Several years back my husband and I shared a testimony at our church on how God had blessed us and provided for us.  That testimony emerged from truths God taught us over a length of time.  The truths we learned helped us get out of a dark time in our lives.  However, that testimony and story is one for another time.

At the end of the testimony, our Pastor called us up saying he had a Word from the Lord for us.  It was a prophetic Word.  Life altering.  We were blessed beyond words by what the Lord had to say.  Then, our Pastor said something I will never forget.  He looked straight at me with laser focus and said,  "Do you receive this Word?"

Did I?  Did I believe it?  Did I believe that what he said the Lord was saying would actually happen?  Did I believe I was worthy of it?

Of course, I nodded.  It was a timid nod, but nevertheless, a nod.  I suppose I nodded in faith.  The truth in my heart was that I did not feel worthy of the blessing he spoke over me. 

Receive.  What did it mean to receive?  It led me on a search of discovery.  How could I make certain I could receive?  How important was it to receive?  I mean, if God wanted me to have it, wouldn't I just get it?  Did I have to receive it?

The answers were found in God's Word.  Unlocking the answer to prayer, the keys to receiving.....

He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, nor sworn deceitfully.  He shall receive blessing from the Lord.   Ps 24:4-5


  
The first key to receiving from the Lord: Clean hands / pure heart



We see above we need to have a clean and pure heart.  That is easy enough.  Jesus paid the price for us to have a clean and pure heart.  

So often, we think we have to earn our way to having a clean heart.  Beloved, we already have a clean heart if we belong to the Lord and have asked Him to forgive us of our sins! However, it is up to us to continue to keep our hearts clean and pure.  One way to do this is to frequently (at least daily) ask the Lord to forgive your sins.  Come clean with Him.  He already knows anyway.  Ask Him to cleanse your heart and renew a right spirit within you (Ps 51:10).  You are on your way to unlocking the doors to answered prayer.

There are at least six keys to receiving from the Lord.  I was going to try to cover them all in one post, but that would be one looooong post!  I will share the remaining 5 over the next week. 


Have I mentioned lately how much I appreciate all of you.  I really do.  Thank you for joining me here.  : ) 

Answered Prayers

I was flipping through one of my old prayer journals yesterdayPages became unhinged from the binding separating after years of age.  Answered prayers after answered prayers leaped off the loosely bound pages.

I thumbed through years of ink inscribing my deepest desires and struggles.  My heart.  My cares.  My passions.  My hurts.  My every heart's desire. 

I thought, "Wow, look at all God has done."  There are changes in my life now that I asked for back then.  I didn't even remember asking in some cases, but I am living those answers out in live form today. 

Prayer Changes Things


If you are struggling in your marriage...

Prayer Changes Things

If you are having difficulty with a child....

Prayer Changes Things  

If you are struggling financially...

Prayer Changes Things

If you need a job or a better job...

Prayer Changes Things

If you need friends or different friends...

Prayer Changes Things




Whatever you need, take it to the Lord.  Get a journal.  Write it down.  Give it to Him.  Then, watch Him work while you believe.  If you need to build your faith for the answer, get a verse or two to stand on.  Thank Him for the answer. 


So shall My word that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please.  And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.  Isaiah 55:11


So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you, seek and you will find; knock , and it will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds and to him who knocks it will be opened.  Luke 11: 9-10


Whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.  Matt 21:22

If you are thinking, I know all this, but I have been praying and nothing has happened.  I don't see any changes....

There are some key elements that God says are needed to get prayers answered.  Come back on Friday and I will share what God revealed to me about receiving answers to prayer. 

It isn't hard, it doesn't take work.  It is all about the heart.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Tebow's 316 yards: Coincidence?

I have to preface this post by saying I am no sports writer, and I am barely a sports watcher.  I usually only watch sports by default that I am married to a man who enjoys watching some sports.

It doesn't matter if you are like me and barely a sports watcher.  Unless you have been living under a rock (no offense intended for rock dwellers), you have probably heard of Tim Tebow.

For rock dwellers, he is the quarterback for the Denver Broncos.  He became well known during his college career in Florida as a talented quarterback with a deep faith in Jesus Christ. Every game he would write scripture references in the black under his eyes.  Now, he has become known nationwide as the quarterback that kneels to pray at every game.  The media has mockingly called it, "Tebowing", but he has embraced it in good humor. 

A couple months back, I read an article that called Tim Tebow, "Footballs most polarizing figure."  If this is true, I'd say he is in good company.  Jesus was and still is the world's most polarizing figure. 

The media was all over him stating that he wasn't a good quarterback and mocking his faith.  Soon after that he started winning victory after victory.  The nation watched in awe as he would bring his team a victory when the scoreboard was taunting them as defeated.  During the second half of the game, when his team was down, he would come through with a miraculous victory. Do you think God had something to do with that?  Hmmm?

God loves a good comeback and He loves to defend His children and Name.  Tim Tebow has humbly said that he doesn't think God interferes with the outcome of football games.  However, I wonder....

In his most recent amazing victory this past Sunday, his team was considered a big underdog.  However, they won with Tebow having 316 passing yards.  As Sean Hannity and others pointed out....316 passing yards, John 3:16?  Coincidence?  Is there such a thing or is coincidence just when God wants to remain anonymous? 

The best characteristic of Tebow is not necessarily his undeniable football talent, it is that he is Christ-like.  He not only talks the talk, he walks the walk.  He gets pummeled with remarks and ridicule, yet he handles it all with grace and dignity. Tebow does not revile in return, he actually blesses and exhorts those who scoff at him. (Luke 6:28, Romans 12:14) 

He reminds me of a modern day Daniel. 

Then this Daniel distinguished himself above the governors and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king gave thought to setting him over the whole realm.  Daniel 6:3

Daniel stood above the cultural norm of his age.  His excellent spirit did not please everyone. Loved by kings and hated by some.  His life was plotted against, yet he stood firm in his faith. He was persecuted for bowing to pray.  

He knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days.  Daniel 6:10

He knelt down and prayed even knowing it would mean the lion's den.
 
When someone has an excellent spirit and a pure heart, it sheds light on other's weaknesses and moral failures.  Those that find it uncomfortable scoff at it. 

Every time Tebow kneels down to pray, there are those ready to throw him to the lion's den.  And I'm not talking about Detroit.  : ) 

He inspires many to live their convictions in the face of opposition and scrutiny.  He encourages believers to stand for their faith and is a living testimony of the Lord to non-believers.  Let's pray for Him to continue to stand strong and stay faithful in his walk.  And if God wants to show off a little in the meantime, that would be super cool to watch also. 













Thursday, January 5, 2012

Property Father

My husband and I enjoy watching HGTV.  There isn't much on TV that we can watch, but watching houses seems fairly safe.  So, we nest there frequently when we need to mindlessly relax. One show we enjoy watching together is "Property Brothers".  Have you seen it?  It is a fun show.  These two brothers team up to help couples find a battered-down home that is desperately in need of repair and they transform it into a work of art!  It is mind blowing.  When they are done, the inside resembles that of a state of the art dream home. Granite. Stainless Steel.  Hard Wood.  The works! 

That is what God does with us.  He finds us broken, battered-down and transforms us into a completely new person.  That is exactly what He has done with me.  I wish I could show you what a mess He got when He purchased me.  I wish I had a before and after picture.


We are broken.  Thankfully, God is an expert restorer.  He wants our lives so He can do a major fixer-upper job.  He wants to completely refurbish us from the inside out.

And they shall rebuild the old ruins, they shall raise up the former desolations.  
And shall repair the ruined cities.  The desolation of many generations...
Instead of  your shame you shall have double honor, 
And instead of confusion they shall rejoice in their portion.
Therefore in their land they shall possess double;
Everlasting joy shall be theirs.  Isaiah 61: 4 and 7

All of Isaiah 61 is powerful.  This part is not as well known as the first verses, but they hold a special place in my heart because they describe what the Lord has done in my life.  He will do the same for you.   

I was speaking to a friend Wednesday night.  She seemed so full of peace.  I commented on how full of peace she seemed and she told me the Lord had spoken to her concerning her life.   Five simple words.  Five words of truth.  I make all things new.



What do you need God to make new in your life?  You may not need a total demolition job like I needed.  Maybe it is a new job, new home, new attitude, or newness in your marriage. Whatever you need, God will do it.  He will rebuild the old ruins and restore them to beauty.  If you think your old self is too much for Him, remember He has already restored you with His best.  He put in the stainless steel, granite and hardwood.  Your steel has already been made stainless by the blood of Jesus.  His Rock is more solid than granite.  The hardwood of the Cross He bore for you has covered it all.  You have been completely restored from the inside out.  Thank you Property Father.  I am so thankful You purchased this fixer-upper.







Monday, January 2, 2012

Lose the Fat

Happy New Year friends!!!  I have missed you!  Sorry I didn't post anything last week.  I was in Illinois visiting family and friends. We had a great time with everyone.  I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year! 

I did work on one post while I was up there that I will be publishing as a guest blogger on another site in a couple of weeks.  The site I will be guest posting on is www.askwisecounsel.blogspot.com  .  It is the blog of author John Beehner.  I will post more information about it as the time comes. 

We got home late Saturday night. New Year's Day was a whirl-wind of a day unpacking, catching up on work, and trying to get settled in again.  However, I had to take a moment to say hello to you. 

In thinking about the new year and praying about what goals I should have for this year, a few words come to mind.  Simplifying.  Health.  Love walk. Commitments. Again, simplifying.

Simplifying can also be referred to as slimming down.  Many people have a different kind of slimming down as a New Year's goal, with emphasis on losing weight and fat.  It is probably the most common of New Year's Resolutions.  Count me in!  Yes, physical slimming down is definitely one of my goals  (I ate way too much junk in the last few weeks!)

However, the main kind of slimming down I need to do is to lose the fat from my life. In 2011, I overextended myself.   I mean slim back and stream line.  Cut out weight that has been holding me down, hindering intimacy with my Father, keeping me altogether too busy and overloaded. 

Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices,
As in obeying the voice of the Lord?
Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, 
And to heed than the fat of rams.  1Sam 15:22

The word "heed" above is the Hebrew word, quashab It means to listen, to attend, to pay attention, to give attention.  

God is saying here to lose the fat and listen to Him.  


I have found it is hard to give the Lord much attention or hear His voice when I am overly busy, even if my busyness is in ministry for Him.  So, I am asking God some questions. 

Are all the sacrifices I am giving Him out of obedience?  Lord, is there anything you want me to lay down?  I only want to be obedient to you. Am I doing anything for appearance sake, to be seen by men and please men rather than to please the Lord?

The apostle Paul wrote about his fleshly service another way....He said he counted it all as rubbish (Phil 3: 5-8).  He was referring to all the "religious" activities he did and his own fleshly efforts to gain approval from the Lord. 

As Joyce Meyer said, "God cares more about your 'who' than your 'do'".  He is much more interested in how we are treating others and our intimacy with Him than our works and what we are "doing" for Him. 

I honestly do not believe anything I was doing for Him was merely for appearance sake.  I really felt led to do what I was doing.  I prayed over every commitment.  Sometimes we just get overextended.  Sometimes we mishear.  Sometimes the enemy comes in and adds things to get us overburdened.  Whatever the cause, I know and God knows it is time to lose some of the weight. 

Will you also seek the Lord with me to determine if there is any extra "weight" or fat rams keeping you from "heeding" the voice of the Lord.  Let's lose the fat and gain Christ...and also hopefully lose those 10 pounds as well.  : ) 














 
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