Tag Archives: knowing God

Including God in Everyday Living

While sitting with Jesus yesterday, we began to talk about the importance of trust. He and I talk about this often, probably because I desperately need to be reminded of it every single day. And I do want to include God in everything; I’ll take the path He leads me down over over the crooked mess I can make of my life by leaning on myself every day of the week.

Proverbs 3:5-6 reveals a ton about the nature and character of God. As we see in our dissection of verse 5 in yesterday’s post (“Trust in God with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding”), leaning on our own reasoning alone really isn’t a wise thing to do. More importantly, we also see that God truly is interested in the details of our lives. Because He is asking that we depend on Him and include Him in every part of our hearts (the core of our being), He goes on to attach a promise in verse 6:

“…in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:6

 Just as we did with verse 5 yesterday, we will break down this line of scripture word by word:

“…in all (in everything) your (personalized, individual responsibility) ways (decisions, courses of life, methods, manners, processes, plans, habits) acknowledge Him (recognize, include, and seek God) AND He will (God promises to) make (create, shape, alter) your (He is talking to YOU) paths (decisions, circumstances to decisions, direction of life, priorities, focus) straight (to be pure, just, proper, and honest).”

Also interpreted as….

“In every area of my life, including my plans concerning my present and my future, my habits in the way I spend my time, and my decisions, I will include God. By doing so, He is going to alter my very life circumstances to be right, in order, and incredibly fruitful.”

Wow. When you really dive into this scripture, you can begin seeing why including God is so important. Not only does He want to be involved; we actually need Him to be involved. We can’t make our paths straight; only He can. For me, this verse has been an extraordinary epiphany by revealing when and how I think I should include Jesus in my life.

What I find most interesting about this piece of truth is that it completely (not partially, but fully) rejects our modern approach to Christianity. In our fast paced world, even those with heart-felt devotion to Christ can find it easy to merely include God on Sunday, but then live for themselves the rest of the week.  Monday is when we return to work, and mixing Jesus and work can be complicated. We start thinking that we can handle our jobs, and that we only need to include God in the more “spiritual” areas in our lives.

Yet God cannot be compartmentalized, beloved. When we apply scripture to our lives (through His grace), we can no longer divide our load between what God controls and what we control. Because He is God, He needs to be treated like God. He deserves everything that we can give Him. After we surrender our life circumstances to Him first, and then we can see how our decisions will best be handled.

Such a mindset is really the manifestation of the statement “Jesus is my Lord.” Jesus is more than the Savior that died on a cross; He is a leader and a guide for every aspect of our lives. By willingly choosing to include Him every single day, we come to truly recognize Jesus as Lord. As you seek Him, beloved, you will always find Him. Always.

May your heart be encouraged and challenged to include this Righteous King into your everyday world.
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A Simple Call to Trust

While sipping on my hot green tea and basking in the morning sunshine as it gently filters through the slits in my living room blinds, I’m reminded of a simple nugget of truth. It’s a passage of scripture that I hope to cling onto for the rest of my life and pursue with ferocious intentionality.

Like me, you have probably read this passage time and time again, but today my eyes have been opened to its one, true  meaning. Allow me to both briefly share what God is whispering into my heart this morning and encourage you in purposeful meditation on the power of this passage.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.”

Proverbs 3:5

Here’s how I interpret this:

“Trust (rely, depend, hope, expect, fully rest in, be completely assured) in the Lord with all (whole, entire, full, completely) your (emphasizing importance of individual, personal responsibility) heart (the core of who you are)…”

Allow me to break this down a little bit more:

As individuals, we should be fully and completely assured by taking full confidence in the Lord (instead of people, circumstances, or tangible items) with the entire core of who we are.

You see, God does not long for just a portion of our hearts; He wants it all. What does this mean for us as modern-day believers? For starters, He wants us as His children to trust Him for our eternal salvation. But it goes even further: God wants us to trust Him in everything. Everything.

That means we can take full confidence in God’s ability to help us with our jobs, our marriages, raising our children, our finances, our health conditions, our friendships, our callings, our personal hobbies, our education, our businesses, our decisions, our homes, our cars, our mission work, our relationships in all areas (work, ministry, business,etc), our hurts, our beliefs, our fears, our longings, our desires, our addictions, our sin, our past, our present, and our future. God wants it all. And I believe this is the statement He is conveying here, because of these two words: “trust” and “all”.

Let’s continue through the passage:

“…and (indicating a direct link between this clause and the prior) lean not (do not shift weight, turn to, or depend) on your (once again indicating personal responsibility) own understanding (the reasoning, perspective or comprehension that you possess).”

Our understanding is finite, while His is infinite. God isn’t telling us to stop thinking or reasoning; after all, He created us in His image with these abilities. Rather, He is cautioning us against becoming so confident in ourselves (finding assurance in what we know) that God becomes neglected and not depended upon. Without His leading in our lives, He knows that we’ll end up making dire mistakes. In His love, He wants us to avoid those.

God also knows that trust is required to form deep, mutually-loving relationships, which is what interests Him the most. He created us to be in a relationship with Him, not merely to do things for Him. In fact, because He is God, He doesn’t actually need us to do anything for Him. God doesn’t need our works. Yet, when works flow naturally from a heart that is trusting and abiding in Him, they simply become a form of beautiful worship, rather than the focus of the relationship.

In order to work for Him, we don’t necessarily need to trust Him fully. But if we desire a deep, intimate relationship with Jesus, there’s no other way around it: we must trust Him with all our hearts and allow Him to be Lord. By not leaning on our own understanding, we are giving Him permission to faithfully guide us in the way we should live.

This post is written for the glory of the Lord. Jesus Christ deserves all the honor and renown as the King of kings and Lord of lords, the Great I AM. May His spirit instruct you as you read this today, and may you be blessed with a deeper, more abundant walk with our Sweet Savior.

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When God Goes Silent

Have you ever been in a dry season spiritually? When you can’t seem to hear God’s voice and you feel uncomfortably empty inside? I have, along with many believers in the body of Christ around the world. But today I want to encourage you that there is a purpose to these seasons.

If you feel that your days of clearly talking with and hearing from the Lord have come to an end, you may be left wondering if God’s even listening to a word you’re saying. Or perhaps you’ve already given up talking to the Lord because you figured that there was no point in continuing the one-way conversation.

Today I want to encourage you to keep pressing in. Don’t give up on the Almighty, because He hasn’t given up on you. In fact, He’s actually pursuing you during the quiet seasons that feel like dry and bitter storms in the desert.

“For everything there is an appointed time, a time for every matter under heaven… a time to be silent and a time to speak.” Ecclesiastes 3:1, 7 LEB

“For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.” Romans 5:7-9 NASB

Why exactly does God go silent? 

First, it’s important to acknowledge that the pain of not hearing from God is very real. We can easily feel rejected when the rest of His body just seems “to get it”. We can also feel abnormal, as if we’re not getting something right – maybe we’re not praying enough, waking up early enough to have quiet time, or worshiping the Lord enough. We must not be doing something right, or else He would be speaking.

However, we must understand that those feelings are based on human understanding alone, rather than divine knowledge. If God is choosing not to speak, then we can rest assured that there is a divine and eternal reason behind it. And this reason undoubtedly requires His assistance (through the Holy Spirit) to understand.

“But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.” 1 Corinthians 2:10-11 NKJV

I believe God wants you to know, in the power and authority of Jesus’ name, that He does not want you to indulge in self-pity, fear of rejection, or holding your head down low believing (even for a moment) that God does not see you, know you, and love you. God is interested in you – He’s extremely interested in your heart and the affairs of your life.

“For the Lord takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with victory. Let his faithful people rejoice in this honor and sing for joy on their beds.” Psalm 149:4-5 NIV

In studying His word (and through my own personal time with the Almighty), here are three reasons in why God may go silent: 

1. As a Loving Father, He’s seeking a deeper, intimacy with us. God knows that as He becomes silent, we become painfully uncomfortable. In doing so, we also become increasingly hungry to know Him and to experience Him. In these seasons, we are ripe for intimacy and growth in the form of experiencing His everlasting love and believing in His word. This season is a real gift from the Lord.

“So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:17-19 ESV

2. As a Loving Father, He’s seeking to correct us. If we are ever in a place where we have heard God’s voice and He then becomes silent, or we have never heard God’s voice for ourselves, then we can be keenly aware that something is not right. This is a good time to evaluate your true heart condition. God may be pursuing you through silence to show you a sin in your life that needs to be eradicated through His forgiveness. Whenever I find myself entering into a season where the Lord is quiet, I always start here. We’re all sinners in need of grace, beloved.

“My child, don’t reject the Lord’s discipline, and don’t be upset when he corrects you. For the Lord corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights.” Proverbs 3:11-12 NLT

3. As a Loving Father, He’s seeking to mature us. Perhaps you have repented from sin, but God is still not speaking. You may be in a season of developing maturity, and the Lord may use His silence to test you. When God doesn’t speak, one of the outcomes is a hunger to hear from Him, as in the first reason above. But these seasons can also produce righteous fruits, specifically patience, faithfulness, and self-control. These are beautiful gifts from the Father that we should praise Him for!

“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” James 1:2-4 NLT
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