Be Still And Know I Am God

Psalm 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God. . . "

This whole, "be still" thing has been a problem for me.  I can't sit still.  I have to be doing something all the time.  Call it A.D.H.D. or whatever; I just don't like to be still.

Then God says, "Russ!  Sit still!"  I remember my mom saying the same thing, and I remember what happened to me when I didn't.  So when God says it, I force myself to sit down and shut up.

God is a God or an organization.  He created the world in 6 days.  Look at His creation, and you will discover that He is a God or order.

But God is a God who works organically.  Like grass growing or seasons change, it just happens. Naturally, I cannot sit around and watch grass grow.  ( I shudder at the thought. ) But every couple of weeks I notice that it needs to be mowed.  The process is happening naturally.

When God speaks a particular word into your life, you know it.  It is clear and distinctive.  After that, He leads you, step by step in a process that accomplishes His goal in your life.  We like that process (well I do).  It is clear and well defined.

Then God will begin to do a work in your life, your home, or your ministry and you didn't even notice.  All of a sudden you see it.  God did not announce Himself; He didn't give you a heads up.  What do you do?

Be still and know He is God.  Tell the control freak inside of you to sit down and shut up.  If you try to "fiddle" with God's process - you will mess it up.

Find out what God is doing and get on board with it.  Again, you're not trying to control it; you're just going to become a part of it.

Don't worry about where this is going.  Organizationally, you have a clear picture of what God's goal is.  Organically, not so much.  I can tell you that you will find out soon enough.  But this is where you have to trust Him.  (Sorry, no other choices here.)

PRAY:  Dear Jesus, help me to be still.  AMEN

Oh What A Beautiful Morning!

Oh, what a beautiful morning, oh what a beautiful day, I've got a beautiful feeling, everything's goin my way.

It's a line from the musical, Oklahoma.  (The only musical I ever attended as a kid.)

From time to time I'll just sing that one line.  No reason, I just like it.

One day I sang that line and received an unusual response from someone at the other end of the church.  "Oh Shut Up!"  It wasn't that I was off-key, I am a pretty good singer.  They didn't like the message I was sending.  I tracked them down only to be met with a very sour face and, "how can you be so happy" look.  I asked, "Is there anything wrong?" (I know, dangerous question.) Which they answered.  For 25 minutes.

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
I've quoted this verse before.  I've also said that if we, the followers of Jesus, could just get the book of Philippians into our hearts we could solve many of our problems.

But you are what you think.  Some believe the lie that their circumstances determine their outlook.  But God taught us differently.  We can choose whatever perspective (mood) we want.

Now before someone writes me a nasty email to tell me about how there are specific events in our lives cause pain and depression - you're right.  Those are appropriate responses.  My point is your life isn't a series of events that only cause pain and agony.  Choose better.

Admit your feelings good or bad.  Denial isn't a river in Egypt.
Choose to boost.  You're not a slave to your feelings.  Choose faith over fear.
Surround yourself with people you want to be like.  (Listen to the friends you have now - you may need to find some new friends.)
Say it out loud.  You'll believe what you say.  Make it a reality.

PRAY:  Dear Jesus, I've been negative for too long.  Show me the way out.  AMEN

I Almost Forgot To Blog

It’s 10:50 pm and I’m sitting here on my couch, with my iPad, blogging. So sorry about the typos. But how did I get here?

I prayed.

Earlier today, as I was getting ready to blog, someone walked into my office. We engaged in an exciting and productive conversation.

Proverbs 27:17 Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.

So how did my prayer turn into a conversation.  Moments before I had given God a brief but significant earful.  I was a little frustrated to say the least.  So my friend walks in and asks, “How’s things going?” I told them exactly what I was thinking.  Their response was, “You know I’ve been thinking that too.”  

God in His providence knew the right time and place for us to tackle this problem. Together we were able to do something that we couldn’t on our own.  What did I learn?

I can worship God from a broken place in my life.
I can give God an “earfull” without losing faith or being disrespectful.
I can discover answers to my questions with the help of others. 

What can you do today?  Don’t be afraid to approach God with your brokenness.  

PRAY:  Dear Jesus, here’s what’s on my mind today . . . . 

Whose On Your Heart?

Galatians 6:2 Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

I met someone the other day who is going through a tough time.  Now, to be honest, I've reached some people this week who would qualify as going through a tough time.  But all of a sudden, as I was sitting here at my desk, that specific person came to mind, and I had to pray for them.  

When I say, "I had to pray for them." I mean I couldn't do another thing until I had prayed for them.  Why?  I don't know.  Are they in trouble?  I have no idea.  All I know is, I had to pray.  

There are times that the Holy Spirit will just, "lock you up" from doing anything until you have prayed for someone.  It is in these moments that God needs the faith of someone to do something on someone's behalf.  No, we don't need to know the specifics.  We need to obey.  

Now, this has never happened to you.  That's easy to fix.  Just ask God for someone to pray for.  That will be the quickest prayer you've ever had answered. 

After you ask, ask God to help you be sensitive enough to respond at any time.  This takes a little practice.  But that person will come to mind, and the Holy Spirit will say - PRAY!!  Do it. 

Now, why do you want to do this?  Because God has someone praying for you right now. 

PRAY:  Dear Jesus, show me who to pray for today.  AMEN  

All Men Are Created Equal

This is true.  God created everyone equal.

But that doesn't mean everyone is going to be the same.

Jesus said in Mark 14 that the poor would always be with us.
Jesus said in Matthew 7 that some would not believe in Him.
Jesus said in Matthew 5 that some people would be lazy.

But everyone does that the opportunity to accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.  Everyone has the chance to repent of their sins, turn from the sinful ways and allow Him to intercede in their lives. 2 Chron. 7: 14 if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

This is why everything to everyone can be the same.  It's impossible.  Each and every one of us is unique.  We have unique talents, problems, skills, personalities, and needs.  Society, science, government, or even the church can meet all these needs.  Only one person can, and that is Jesus.

Jesus, the Son of God, is the only one with the power, the wisdom, the knowledge and the desire to meet your needs.  So why don't we rely on Him instead of everything else?

What do you crave?  The Bible says that we are to desire a relationship with Jesus that influences our lives to change.  To be more like Him.  Most people just have a craving for something sinful.  Sex, power, greed, material things, etc.

What are you entitled to?  We are entitled to nothing but death.  "The wages of sin is death," the Bible says.  It is what we deserve.  We cannot stomp our foot and demand anything.  We must recognize that God provides for every need.

What drives you?  Humility or pride.  Pride is selfish, and selfishness destroys everything.  A selfish life will implode.  A selfish society will explode.  But humility, submitting one's life to Christ changes our lives with love and hope.

PRAY:  Dear Jesus, I humble myself to your leadership today.  AMEN

First Day

Today is the first day of dance classes at the Academy.
Today is the first day for my wife's new work schedule.
Today is the first day for my daughter's dance schedule.

This means that my life is going to change.  But how?

The way I decide that it is going to change.  (Insert your laughter here.)

Now I know why you are laughing and you're right.  I'm not in total control of everything.  But's that's ok.  Being in control isn't the goal.

Proverbs 19:21 Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.

First of all, God is in control.  He knows what's going to happen in my life before I know.  He has already prepared me for my future.

Secondly, God is my provider.  When I recognize God as my source for all things that me and my family needs - it helps relieve a lot of stress.

Thirdly, God is my purpose.  Why am I driving my daughter to dance lessons or my wife to work?  Why am I on the phone coaching people, talking about life and Jesus?  I know that this is all a part of His plan.  Present and future are being addressed every day.

I know what God has prioritized in my life and what goals He has set before me.  I pursue those every day.  And all this change that is happening around me, I accept that God is in it.  If I am following Him, then I will trust that He knows where He is going.

PRAY:  Dear Jesus, lead me as I follow You.  AMEN