Tag Archives: God is faithful

The Value of Surrender: Saying Goodbye to Worry

***After spending time with the Lord this morning, I strongly believe there are readers who need to be reminded of this message today. He will be faithful to provide for you. To God alone be the glory!

Surrender. It’s an art that requires practice. A lot of practice.

Unfortunately, I’m still a novice in the art. Instead of releasing my grip and fully entrusting my cares to the King, I’d rather hang on to my dreams, my anxieties, and my need to perform, all through the white-knuckles of my small, clenched fist.  It’s not until I’m broken and left with nowhere to turn that I realize surrender is the only ticket for my relief. For my freedom.

He must become greater, I must become less.” John 3:30

I don’t want to wait until I’m broken anymore before I decide to give it all to Him. I want to practice this art of surrender every single day. What about you?

Surrender enables us to walk in complete freedom. And it severs the bonds of worry deep within our hearts. It contrasts with the self-reliance and the need to control our lives that choke our ability to let go and to trust God.

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body,  I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20

No one said it would be easy. In fact, it’s scary at times. But, it is the Lord Jesus who commands us to do this very thing if we are genuinely interested in pursuing a deep relationship with Him.

Let’s take a look into what Jesus says: “If anyone would come (to get to one point from another) after Me, he must (obligation, something necessary) deny (refuse to grant, reject, decline) himself and take up his cross (affliction, trial, troubles, faultfinding) and follow (to come after in time, to pursue, chase) Me. For whoever wants (covets, wishes, aspires) to save (redeem, defend, deliver, reclaim) his life will lose (to be defeated, fail to keep to or hold) it, but whoever loses his life for Me will save it.” Luke 9:23-24

Whoa. Just think about this passage for a second. Jesus is telling us that as we approach Him, we are required to reject ourselves (our own rationale in fixing life), to take these exact troubles (what is going to happen?, how is it going to happen?, when is it going to happen?, why hasn’t it happened yet?, or why did it happen that way?), and to pursue Jesus.

If we, in any form or fashion, attempt to believe that we can save our own lives and repair our own hearts then we will be absolutely defeated. But, if we aspire to freely give up our afflictions, then He will be faithful to redeem our lives and deliver us from our situations. Very powerful. 

Despite what it may seem, beloved, surrender is the victor’s stance. And we are victors in Christ Jesus. Surrender must be a way of life for us as His children.

“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” Galatians 5:24-25

No matter what the situation is, we all want to know the answers to questions only He can answer. Here are just a few:

  • How will the house note be paid this month?
  • Will the Lord send me a helpmate?
  • Will I be healed from this sickness?
  • How do I parent my disabled child?
  • Am I going to have a job next month?

These are some serious questions, and as I was typing this segment of the blog, I felt a strong sense that the Lord wanted to speak directly to someone reading this today. Maybe several people reading this today. Please take this message directly back to the Lord as I am only a messenger (refer to 1 Corinthians 12:7-11). He will be faithful to confirm or to thwart that which is for (or not for) you. May He receive all the glory, forever and ever. Amen.

This is what I felt He wanted to say:

Deny yourself and follow Me. Give up your struggling in self-sufficiency and seek My heart, says the Lord. I am faithful, beloved. I see where you are today and I will comfort you if you will come after Me. I will not let you down. I am a wonderful Provider that owns cattle on a thousand hills. I am for you and not against you, My beloved. Trust in Me. Let it all go. I am for you. Always and forever, I am for you. I am a loving and faithful God. Seek Me while I may be found. Call upon Me and I will tell you many unsearchable things. I am the Great I AM. Look to Me always. Always, beloved. I know the way that is before you. And I will take hold of your hand and tell you ‘this is the way, walk ye in it.’Trust in Me, beloved. I am trustworthy and I am just. I am faithful beyond your understanding of faithfulness. Look to Me. I will not disappoint you. I will guide you along this path I have set before you. But, you must look to Me. I alone know what is ahead of you and I will not disappoint you. I will prepare you along the way. Do not be troubled, My sweet child. Do not be anxious, My beloved. I died so you may have freedom. Please do not be ensnared by hopelessness and empty troubles. Anxiety will cause you to waste away. It consumes enormous amounts of energy required for the day ahead of you. Trust in Me. I am a good God. A heavenly God. I know no evil. I know no sin. I am for you, beloved. I am for you. Look to Me. I invite you to look to Me. You will never regret where I lead you, My child. Never. If you will allow Me, I will bless you beyond measure. It’s okay if your heart hurts and you feel uncomfortable. I promise that I will lead you to restoration and redemption. I am faithful beyond faithful. Trust in Me for all your days and you will enjoy the best that life offers. I will grant you favor and success, My sweet child. I intend to do good to you, not to harm you. I intend for you to prosper and to succeed. These are the motives of My holy heart. I encourage you, beloved, to look to Me. Seek Me while I may be found. I am with you wherever you may go. I love you, dear one. You are My beloved. And I am Your God. Praise and glory be to My name alone.”

“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust’.” Psalm 91:1-2 

“Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.” Psalm 143:8 

“God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you’.'” Exodus 3:14

For you will go out with joy And be led forth with peace; The mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you, And all the trees of the field will clap their hands. ‘Instead of the thorn bush the cypress will come up, And instead of the nettle the myrtle will come up, And it will be a memorial to the LORD, For an everlasting sign which will not be cut off’.” Isaiah 55:12-13

My hope and prayer is that you may be encouraged by the simple fact that God loves you. He is for you. As His children, we must allow Him to work in our lives. We must give up our burdens and lay them at His feet. We must choose to surrender our cares to the Great I AM. If you know of anyone that can benefit from this message, please share it through our many social outlets below. Thank you!

Thank you for choosing His Daily Dose. Are you currently a subscriber? We would love to have you! Just click HERE and begin receiving daily, encouraging posts sent straight to your inbox each morning.
Photo provided by huffingtonpost.com
Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Dreams Do Come True: A Story of Encouragement with Jesus

No matter who you are or where you come from, everyone has the ability to dream. What do you dream about deep within your heart? As Christians, we have the honor and privilege to dream BIG with God. If you haven’t had a chance to read yesterday’s article (The Permission to Dream BIG with God”), you’ll want to check out that post (directly on our site) before diving into this one.

During a recent trip to Spain and France, some of my long held dreams finally became a reality. For me, these particular dreams began as a teenager. On lazy Saturday afternoons, I would prop myself up against my pillows and metal bed frame, with journal and pen in hand and the sound of the fan softly drumming away. I was dreaming of what my life could be, and my thoughts turned to Spain.

Like most 14 year old girls, I dreamt of romance, adventure, and beauty unlike anything that I could experience in my hometown, Atlanta, Georgia. I longed for a warm, salty breeze carried in from the Mediterranean sea, Spanish-style homes lining cobblestone roads, swaying to the sounds of Flamenco on the street, crimson wine sipped by the sea shore, and tropical flowers engulfing my every view.

As a young teen, these dreams seemed completely within reach. However, as time progressed and my fragile heart became calloused from life’s hardships, this dream became a long-lost memory and seemed more like a far-fetched fairytale.

“Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” Psalm 27:14

Can you relate? What did you dream of as a child? Or even as a young adult, before your imagination was restricted by cynicism from the broken world that we live in today?

May today’s post be used to awaken your own imaginations, to revive those dreams that were buried long ago (after feelings of defeat and despair from the trials of this life), and to surrender them to the Almighty.

Here is one scene that that I will never forget. A gentle breeze carried the strums of flamenco from the guitar straight into my soul. The evening was warm, and the last rays of the Spanish sun glimmered through a few leaves of giant palms. Flowers stained with bright violets and deep crimson cascaded down white-washed Spanish homes. There was a huge tree decorated with light purple buds, and small kittens playfully pounced on each another. This was my dream.

A few hours earlier, our afternoon was like a scene from a movie. As we prepared lunch with a Spanish chef and a French woman with Julia Child’s mannerisms, classical guitar and sunshine filled the kitchen. We snacked on goat cheese and fig jam (from their farm). While I relaxed on the back patio, plump olives marinated in garlic and lemon burst in my mouth with robust flavors. Just like a small child, I could swing in her back yard beside a giant lemon tree and stroll through the groves of almonds, olives, orange trees, and apricots. This was my dream.

Then there was the early morning stroll through a small public park right by the Mediterranean sea. A plethora of surprises awaited my heart, hand-crafted for me by the Father. A line of baby chicks greeted me from a small bush at the park entrance. Then came the butterflies and dragon flies, fluttering through the air around me while various birds chirped to a stunning melody. Suddenly, we came upon a peacock with gloriously long feathers studded with vibrant colors and oval shapes boldly strutting along the small path as though we weren’t even there. Two beautiful swans glided, along with the baby turtles, in sheer curiosity of who we were. As we approached a goat family, there was a lively bunny hopping to and fro. And wouldn’t you know, one little baby goat began nuzzling his sweet little nose to my finger, reminding me of  the Garden of Eden. This was my dream.

One night in particular I’ll never forget. As though God had not done enough already, He prompted us to go to an unknown restaurant located in a small village hanging on cliffs above the sea. As the Argentenean hostess guided us through the rounded corridor, she excitedly revealed that we’re stepping into the Secret Garden. My heart leapt. The place was lined with ivory candles, lemon and lime trees, flowers on trellises, and a small table with a crisp linen tablecloth that was awaiting us in the back. Never in my life have I experienced such romance. On the walk back home, with the stars looming above and the ocean breeze kissing my skin, Jesus began to speak. It was as if He was on my right side, while Keith was on my left with my hand firmly resting in his. Both of them were telling me how much they love me. Whoa. My mortal and eternal husband were wooing my heart under the Spanish night sky. This was my dream.

An Evening in Mijas, Spain

But, the truth is, that was no longer a dream; it had become my reality. Jesus granted me my dream in His way and in His timing. And He had provided it all. I could never have made any of those things happen. Nor could Keith.

“‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor 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  

Allow me to boast in Christ for a minute. Jesus is Kind. Jesus is interested in YOU. Jesus is Powerful. Jesus is Creative. Jesus is Lord. Jesus is EVERYTHING we could ever want in this life. Everything good is found in Him. He deserves your heart, beloved.

He is the One who longs to make your dreams come true in His timing and in His way. He knows best. You can trust Him with your deep desires and the things you dream for today. He’s faithful, good, true, and trustworthy.

“Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4 

“The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” Proverbs 16:9 

Jesus has caused me to fall deeper in love with Him because of His extravagant giving (once again).  Will you allow Him to be Lord over your dreams? And will you start dreaming again?

God is the safest, securest, most powerful, most brilliant, and most wise Person that we can ever share our hearts with. Do you know why? Because dreaming isn’t even about the dream; it’s about you and Him. I want to strongly encourage you to surrender your dreams to God – whatever they may be. Ask Him to purify them, to direct them, to guide you in pursuing them, and to allow your dreams to draw you closer to Him. You will never regret this decision.

“The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.” Psalms 23: 1-3

Has this post inspired you, challenged you, or encouraged you? We’d love to hear your thoughts. And thank you for choosing His Daily Dose! Please share this with anyone struggling with dreaming BIG with God. To God be the glory! 

Are you currently a subscriber to HDD? If not, we would love to have you! Please click HERE and sign up to receive daily posts sent straight to your inbox.

Photo provided by adventureridercentre.co.uk/ 

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Feature Article: God is My Battle-Buddy – Part II

If you’re just joining us today, please make sure you refer to yesterday’s post before reading the beginning of this powerful testimony.

Let’s dive right in where we left off….

For me, Christmas Day 2013 started off with a “bang”, or rather a “boom”. The U.S. Embassy, which was directly adjacent to my base, was attacked by rockets early in the morning, and I woke up to the wailing of the embassy’s warning sirens.   Several minutes later, I heard the “duck and cover” warning go off, after which I could both hear and feel the “thud” of an impact.  At that moment we could tell something big was happening next door at the Embassy, but we didn’t know exactly what.  However, I immediately emailed my wife to let her know that I was okay so she wouldn’t worry in the event the U.S. news started to report an attack.

What I was told a short while later was that this thud had been a rocket that landed in an area of the embassy compound that was right behind my barracks. Although the rocket was on the other side of a concrete wall, it was probably less than 50 meters from my own building and room.  Miraculously, the rocket did not explode on impact, and not a single person was hurt.  Once I learned the full details about how close this rocket had hit, I immediately thanked God but decided not to share the details with my wife.  I was okay, and I didn’t want to needlessly worry her any more than she already was.

A couple of days later, I walked into my office and found a cloth bandana (basically a large handkerchief) in desert-camouflage folded and sitting on my desk.  I immediately asked one of my co-workers, a very vocal atheist, whose bandana had been randomly placed on my desk.  She replied that it was now mine to keep. A care package from an unknown third-party, generously intended for military personnel stationed overseas, had been delivered to the office earlier. After she had opened the package and saw the bandana, she had decided to give it to me.

Imagine my surprise when I unfolded the bandana and found the entirety of Psalm 91 printed on the cloth, which was designed for soldiers to carry with them while deployed.  To me, it was obviously God’s further confirmation of His promise of protection to me during my deployment, which I was immensely thankful for.  I carried it on me for the remainder of my deployment.

Not until about a week later did I finally fully understand how real His personal promise of protection had been to me.  While videoconferencing with my wife one evening, she told me that she had been meaning to mention a strange thing that had happened on Christmas Eve. Prior to leaving for Afghanistan, my wife had bought several audio books that would record my voice so that I could still “read” stories to my daughter while I was gone.  While putting my daughter to bed on that particular night, my wife said that none of the three audio books would work; the recording of my voice simply wouldn’t play no matter what she did, which gave her an uneasy feeling. After getting my daughter to sleep, she immediately started praying for my safety until that uneasy feeling went away.  She indicated that was the only night this happened, and that all three audio books worked perfectly every night before that and every night since.  I asked her what time she was praying for me, and she told me around 9:00pm on Christmas Eve.

I immediately thanked God and my praying wife, because 9:00pm on Christmas Eve in Atlanta was exactly 6:30am on Christmas morning in Kabul, precisely when the alarms starting sounding and right before the unexploded rocket landed near my barracks.

Many “scoffers” and unbelievers would explain this story away as mere coincidence, but what is the probability of all of these circumstances taken together being a coincidence?  The answer of course is too unlikely to even seriously consider. I am certain that God and His protection kept me and many others from being injured, or even killed, in this attack. He has consistently protected me, and not just in this circumstance but in countless others throughout my life. There are probably many instances where I don’t even realize the power of His protection.

Having now been safely reunited with my wife and now two children, I can describe these events from the comfort of my own home. Yet, as I am writing about this experience, I happened to read a Wall Street Journal story detailing the killing of the American general in Afghanistan a couple of weeks ago. This general officer was traveling with several “guardian angels” when they were shot during an insider attack while visiting an Afghan base. The guardian angel program, designed to prevent insider “Green on Blue” attacks by rogue Afghans on American military personnel, directs fully armed American personnel to stand watch over their counterparts and protect them while they interact with the Afghans.  When I was in the Army, another term we used for a person in this role was “Battle-Buddy”.  Among those reported as wounded in this attack was another Public Affairs officer not too different from myself; he is a major with a wife and two children back home.  Once again I thanked God for his protection, as I went on several similar missions myself while deployed.  That portion of the attack’s description could have just as easily been about me, apart from God’s promise of protection.

There are many promises in Psalm 91, but I believe it can be summed up as a prayer and promise of protection and salvation for the believer in God.  Psalm 91:14-16 says:  “’Because he loves me,’ says the Lord, ‘I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.  He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him…With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.’”

These promises are more real to me than ever, and they are surely just as real for other believers-in-Christ as they are for me.  While not everyone is called to serve in their nation’s military, all believers are called to serve in the Lord’s Army.  You don’t need to be in a war-torn Islamic country to experience His supernatural protection; we can always be certain of it and often see its evidence in everyday life. Ultimately, every believer “battles in faith against the forces of evil and darkness” in their daily walks and hometowns (Ephesians 6:10-17).  For all who faithfully follow Him with their complete hearts and strength, He promises to make their paths straight (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Today, I am still not a huge fan of bumper stickers.  But if I ever did get one, I think it would need to read “God is my Battle-Buddy”.  Now all I need is a truck…

Thank you for choosing His Daily Dose! Are you currently a subscriber? We would drove to have you as a part of our family! Just click HERE and begin receiving daily, encouraging posts sent straight to your inbox each morning. Thanks!

Meet Our Guest Contributor: 

 

Patrick bio2-1

 

  Patrick Simmons lives with his beautiful wife and their two precious children in Kennesaw,   Georgia, where  he works in the finance and media industries.  Patrick is also a major in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, and continues to serve as a Public Affairs Officer.  He recently deployed to Afghanistan as a U.S. officer on NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) headquarters staff from December 2013 to June 2014.  Patrick is passionate about recognizing God’s hand in ordinary life, and he loves seeing others come to Christ through the obedience of His followers in their everyday circumstances.  

He can be contacted at patrick.h.simmons@gmail.com.

*The story and opinions and conclusions expressed or implied are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Air Force or Department of Defense.

 

 

Article Photo provided by: Patrick Simmons

Tagged , , , , , , , ,
Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: