Monthly Archives: January 2013

A Road Towards Dependency

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I’m walking down a road of dependency.

Or better yet, a road of learning to trust in the Lord. 

And as disciples of Christ, these paths are critical for our growth.

I have learned in order to possess the highest caliber of a relationship with Christ, we will often have to travel down some very uncertain roads. Yet, we will always have a companion. A Holy companion.  One who has gone before us and knows the path we’ve embarked on incredibly well.

This morning as I was sipping on my hot tea and talking to Jesus, the Holy Spirit gently appeared and began to speak through an old devotion of mine. This is how it read:

I will not show you what is on the road ahead, but I will thoroughly equip you for the journey.”

“Hmm..that doesn’t seem fair”, I thought to myself.

Jesus and I talk everyday so in a bit of  frustration (and major lack of understanding on my part), I began to challenge this statement:

Lord, why wouldn’t you show me what’s on the road ahead? I just don’t understand that.

And the Holy Spirit began to speak on behalf of the Father:

Because I deeply love you. If you already know everything, why am I needed? Would you have real motivation to seek after Me if I divulged everything to you? Beloved, I know that in order for us to have the deepest relationship possible, I must keep some things thwarted from your understanding in order that you may seek Me. It keeps you dependent on Me and reiterates the truth that I am God and you are not. Dependency is wise and it is good. I am your companion, but I am also the One who directs your steps. The pathway isn’t unfamiliar to Me. Not only have I walked down the road before you, but I created it. I know it’s scenery and I know where it leads. You do not. This road is very unfamiliar to you but it is very familiar to Me. Trust in Me, beloved. Trust in Me.

His words pierced me straight to the core.

He then shared this scripture from Genesis 33:14 stating:

So let my Lord go on ahead of His servant, while I move along slowly at the pace of the droves (crowd of moving people or animals) before me and that of the children, until I come to my Lord in Seir.”

This is what I gained from His word today:

  • He faithfully goes before us. 
  • He places the droves (circumstances) in our path.
  • He sets the pace for the journey.
  • And He waits for us at the place in which He is leading us.

It is literally all in His control.

I can’t push the droves out of my way and force myself to arrive at the Seir in my life.  As much as I’d like to do this, I would rob myself of the real purpose behind this process, which is to learn to fully depend on Him.

I want to encourage you this morning, beloved.

If the Lord is leading you to a different place in your life whether it is a relationship, a job, a physical move to a new place, a ministerial calling, a place of serving, or a deeper place of healing in your life. Please submit to His pace and surrender your desire and need to control your life on this road of dependency. Allow this season to cultivate a deeper trust in Him as you grow and mature as His dearly beloved.

This is where I am today. And it’s not easy, but it is worth it.

He is faithful beyond what we can understand as faithfulness. He is for YOU. Trust in Him.

I am praying for you today, my friends.

Take heart and enjoy this road towards a deeper dependency in Him.

Photo courtesy of stockfreeimages.com

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The Value of Wise Counsel

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Wise Counsel.

A topic that stirs up great passion within me.

I am deeply convinced that Godly wisdom is the greatest indicator in how well one’s life will be lived. This of course, is implying that one has already accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Jesus Christ invites us to accept a new life in Him, and wisdom teaches us the ways in which we’re to live out this new life.

Wisdom invites us into God’s way of thinking. And the human mind naturally gravitates against it. This is why it must be sought out like a rare treasure. Wisdom holds incredible value and it needs to be diligently pursued. We are not wise on our own. It is God who is the Wise Counselor and we need His insight.

Wisdom rejects a mediocre life, and invites one of high-quality sustenance. I’m not sure about you, but I don’t want to settle for mediocre. As I embrace my role in this holy dance, I diligently pursue His counsel. In return He provides me with the insight to live an amazing life.

Let’s see what the Word has to say about wisdom:

The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel: for gaining wisdom and discipline (implying we must seek it in order to gain it); for understanding words of insight; for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair;for giving prudence to those who are simple, knowledge and discretion (good judgement) to the young—let the wise listen and add to their learning (implying humility is wisdom since one who is wise continues to seek after advice), and let the discerning get guidance —for understanding proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:1-7

I’m not sure about you, but I want everything wisdom has to offer: The discipline to do what needs to be done to reach my goals, the ability to understand words of insight,  and the discernment of what is right and wrong in this whirlwind of chaos called life. And I want to avoid senseless mistakes.

Let’s define wise counsel. Wisdom comes from the Lord. Counsel is advice given to one person by another. Therefore, wise counsel is the advice or insight given to another person that is based on God’s truth. It is not a wisdom that is based on the limited understanding that man possesses. Instead, it is from an infallible God who knows and understands all things. If the advice you’re receiving is not scripture-based, then I would strongly encourage you to evaluate your sources of insight.

What are sources of wise counsel in one’s life? Great question. The first source should always be the Wise Counselor. And I would encourage you to always go to Him first. Wise counsel can range from several different sources: The Word. Your Pastor. A mentor. Your spouse. A close friend. A parent. A therapist. Just make sure the advice is based on the Truth, because it’s the Truth (not opinions) that sets us free.

Now, let’s take a stroll through the Word to observe God’s take on this issue:

The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice.” Proverbs 12:15

We need to be quick in gaining insight from Godly counsel. It could save us from major heartache down the road.

When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” Proverbs 11:2

It takes humility to receive insight from others. Pride tells us we already know everything and don’t need to listen to anyone.

“He walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.” Proverbs 13:20

If you want to be wise, find wise people and spend time with them. You will learn a ton!

A simple man believes anything, but a prudent man gives thought to his steps.” Proverbs 14:15

Wisdom causes us to evaluate the way we spend our time, our money, our relationships, and our efforts.

“Plans fail for a lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” Proverbs 15:22

When we lean on our own understanding and refuse to seek counsel when faced with a dilemma (and lack any experience on the current situation) then we can often fail by making poor choices. There is power in humbling ourselves in seeking help.

He who listens to a life-giving rebuke will be at home among the wise.” Proverbs 15:31

We are wise when we allow people to confront us with God-given truth, even if it hurts. 

A wise man’s heart guides his mouth, and his lips promote instruction.” Proverbs 16:23

Wisdom must be in the heart (the wellspring of life) before it can be spoken through the mouth. We must pay attention to what people are advising us to do. And we need to carefully observe how they live their lives.

“The purpose of a man’s heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out.” Proverbs 20:5

Wise counsel when used by the Lord has a way of bringing out the deepest issues within us. I often refer to this as purging our souls.

A wise man has great power, and a man of knowledge increases strength; for waging war you need guidance, and for victory many advisers.” Proverbs 24:5-6

We need wise advisers when we’re faced with difficult decisions. I have learned to always seek insight when faced with uncertain challenges.

“A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.” Proverbs 22:3

A wise person individual will heed to Godly counsel and take the appropriate measures, while a foolish individual will keep going and suffer the unnecessary consequences.

He who trusts in himself is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom is kept safe.” Proverbs 28:26

Trusting in ourselves alone is dangerous. We must seek His counsel and truth to direct our lives in order to dwell in safety.

May we all seek after a life of excellency with the aid of wisdom.

As opportunities arise, may we all remember the value of wise counsel.

Photo courtesy of stockfreeimages.com

Edited by: Keith Becker

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The Beauty of Simplicity

Mystical Morning

The famous writer Henry David Thoreau once said: “Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify.”

While sitting at my desk with a handful of chocolate Grahams and a mug full of hot coffee, I find myself thinking about simplicity.

The beauty of simplicity.

I’m not sure about you, but I am one focused and goal-oriented individual. And I completely overwhelm myself with the most mundane details in life. So much that I often miss out on the smallest little joys throughout the day. I don’t want to do this anymore. I want to pay attention to what’s going on around me.

What is simplicity?

It is defined as the state of being simple, uncomplicated, or uncompounded. It is the freedom from pretense (false claims) or guile (deception).

Simple means easy. effortless. elementary. silly. natural

It’s not living a day with the pretense that if everything doesn’t get done, I will have failed as a person. Or the inability to enjoy a walk outside during lunch because there are more emails to be sent or even a blog to write. And that atrocious to-do list which seems to keep growing. I’m convinced a to-do list is a distraction in itself.

Simplicity for me is taking a deep breath in and exhaling slowly.

It’s taking a moment to notice life.

The tune that birds are chirping outside of my door. The way the sunlight caresses my desk in the morning. The smell of fresh coffee when I wake up. The stillness that enters into my soul when I just stop and be.

I have to ask myself, “what’s really the purpose in living if I cannot enjoy the little blessings God gives me each day?

Our lives are to be enjoyed, beloved. 

The Word instructs us in saying: “The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways, but the folly of fools is deception.” Proverbs 14:8

I want to seriously evaluate how I am perceiving my life each day. And I know in order to see Him, I must first open up my eyes.

In an effort to embrace this prudent instruction on living, I’m listing the small blessings He has given me today. In fact, I haven’t been able to see them until right now. And as I’m writing, I am reminded of just how important this is EVERYDAY.

1. I woke up beside the man I love.

2. God told me He loved me this morning. (sigh)

3. I got to catch up and pray with a very close friend of mine.

4. I was able to listen to beautiful music on Pandora while reading and writing today.

5. I have a Dad that I can call about anything, which I did, because my car has been acting weird, and he offered to fix it on the spot.

6. I had super thick and fuzzy socks to wear this morning while our cement floors were freezing cold (we live in a loft).

7. I am really healthy.

8. I was able to make a nutritious lunch for my husband today before I went out with a friend. (I enjoy him eating good food).

8. My car didn’t die while I was out driving today. Thank You Jesus!

9. I received a discount on my new battery (Favor from the Lord).

10. I had one of my favorite dishes today:Thai Panang Curry.

11. I could take a hot shower (I didn’t always have this while on the mission field).

12. I was poured into today by my old mentor (who is incredibly wise and encouraging).

13. I returned home to the man who loves me deeply.

14. I get to write on here once again.

15. And I had some super yummy chocolate graham cookies at my full disposal.

It takes wisdom to consider our ways. To stop and take a close look at the many (often hidden) blessings that He bestows upon us each day.

How has He blessed your life today?

I’d encourage you to pause and see the beauty of simplicity.

Photo courtesy of stockfreeimages.com

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