Life in the Kingdom – We are One Part 2

The last blog I posted told you about a We are One Women’s Experience at Trinity Fellowship Church in Amarillo that I was to attend on April 20 and 21 of this year; and I promised you another blog post sharing some of the experience with you.  That post was written on April 16th and here it is nearing the end of May. 

So now, finally, I will share a couple of highlights from that event.

Pampering

The first thing we noticed on the first night of the event is an abundance of  booths and/or rooms set up for pampering.  Whatever anyone wanted, there it is for our enjoyment.  Spiritual, mental, or physical.  There were prayer rooms, prophetic encounters, and rooms just to sit and soak up God’s presence with soft music.  There were back massages, and foot massages for our physical comfort.  There were “spa” stations where we could get a make-over, manicures, pedicures, hair styles, make-up, etc.  There was a petting station where we could experience the pure joy of holding and petting a puppy.  Many other stations also which are too numerous to remember or record here.

Worship

We then moved on to worship.  Very exuberant worship with lights, sound, and words up on a screen so we would know the words to the songs. Most ladies there were very enthusiastic about participating in the worship experience.  Once the singing was over, one of the lady ministers at that Trinity Fellowship Campus shared a testimony about how much God loved and accepted her.  The theme was LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE.  We learned about the joy of laughter and how healing that is. Image result for live laugh love I find that I don’t laugh as much as I would like to laugh; and, at the time of that teaching, I thought about how I should watch more comedy or bring myself into situations or life views that would produce more laughter for myself.  Life is too serious to always be in the work mode.  We all need times in which we should stop and smell the roses or go out and chase a butterfly.  Children laugh a lot, but as we grow older, life’s responsibilities catch up with us and we start running around doing the work but not enjoying ourselves along the way.  A great teaching for me.  Lighten up and enjoy the little things in life.

A word on Love

The most substantial experience I had at this event is what God showed me.  He reminded me first of all that we (Christians) are all one.  We are one unit.  One body in Christ working together for His glory.  We all have hurts, pain, shortcomings and accomplishments, bad and the good events in our lives that shape our personality.  And as one body, I should look at others for what they can become, not only for what they are now.  In Matthew 28:18-20 Jesus spoke of the great commission:  To “go out into the world and make disciples of all nations…”  My job is to love God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength.  And second, to love others as myself.  My job is to love, share God’s word with others, and to help them come to know Him and love Him as I do.  The response they give is up to them.  

This word from God revealed to me the judgmental attitude I had.  God told me to stop feeling like I am responsible for other people’s actions.  All I can do is teach the word, share Christ’s love and encourage them in the Lord.  Whether they take my advise or reject it, whether they follow the Lord or walk away, whether they change and act the way I think they should or not–it’s all up to them.  Once I’ve done my part I can release the rest to God.  What freedom.  I can see others as God does and love them as they are without choosing whether I think they are right or wrong.  I don’t have to answer for them.  Their actions are not my responsibility.

 

 

 

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Seeking God

In my Christian life many times I find myself going through the day in all IMG_3041it’s busyness and at the end of the day I realize I hadn’t really connected with God.  Even when I do have morning devotional time, the moments with God are sometimes limited to that hour (or 10-15 minutes depending on my schedule) in the morning. But the rest of the day is business as usual. Then I come to the end of the day and wonder why I hadn’t talked to God in several hours. 

When the stress of the day rises, when personalities clash, when bills come, when decisions are made, many times we fail to connect with God at the moment and handle these things on our own.  But there are many benefits to seeking God on a moment by moment basis throughout the day.

Seek God for Joy

One benefit of seeking God that we will always have is the joy of knowing He is right here with us.  Psalms 16:11 states, In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.” (NASB)  So during the day, when we are going through our plans and activities, knowing that God is there brings us Joy.  He is our best friend.  He brings relief and joy into situations that would otherwise be difficult.  When the child is crying, when demands pursue, when time is limited, acknowledging that God is there available for us relieves some of the stress and replaces it with Joy because we know he will care for us.

Seek God for Wisdom

Moments will come when we have a decision to make.  I find myself making the decision based upon my own knowledge or experience.  Then afterwards I realize I should have asked God first because the decision I made was wrong or just because I would have liked to get His view on the subject before I proceeded.  James 1:5 states, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” (NIV)  So here we see that in all things we should ask God, because we will never have as much wisdom as He does.  He is all knowing and all wise ruler and creator of the universe.  His wisdom will always outweigh ours.  My desire is to remember to seek Him in all my decisions at the time of the decisions.  Not wait until afterwards and ask Him to bless the decision I made without Him.  This is hard for me to remember to do, but it is my desire.

Seek God for Comfort

Stress will come.  It is a part of life.  But God assures us in Psalm 55:22 “Cast  your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.” (NIV)  At the moment we receive bad news, the moment we stub our toe and feel the pain, if we maintain the habit of seeking God moment by moment, we will instantly feel the comfort of His presence instead of responding with another stress relief option. In my case, this would be grabbing a candy bar or some other form of sugar fix.  For others it may be anger, shopping, gambling, alcohol, and the list goes on.  What a benefit it is, what an improvement it would be to our lives if we seek God for comfort before anything else.  It would improve the quality of our lives.

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There is nothing that we need that we cannot find from God.  He will lead us to the source.  He will show us the way.  He will bring thoughts to our mind that give us insights into our situation.  Those who seek God lack no good thing.  

So why don’t you join me in asking God to accompany you throughout the day, guide you in all decisions and be your comfort in all areas of stress and pain.  Join me in seeking God, moment by moment, day by day.

Seek God First in all you do

INCREASE YOUR PEACE

REMEMBER GOD…

Dove over Water

God is always with us.  We may not always be aware, but He is always here watching us and waiting for us to call upon Him when we are in trouble.  Peace comes when we remember His presence on a regular basis.  Isa. 26:3 says, “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!”  

This is the key.  Keeping our thoughts fixed on God.  Thinking things like: “What would He do in this situation?” or “Since God is with me I am not afraid.”  If we acknowledge Him in all we do and before any decision we make, peace will always be with us.  

Hebrews 12:1-2 tells us to fix our eyes on Jesus and follow his example to run the race with endurance.  

Remember, God is with us.  Remember, God is our peace.  Remember, God is our guide. Remember, God is watching over us and will help us in times of trouble.  This kind of thinking will keep you in perfect peace.

Jesus on benchDON’T WORRY, PRAY

Philippians 4: 6-7 NLT says “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.  Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.  Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.  His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” 

Once we have our mind and thoughts fixed on God, we can keep the conversation going with Him all throughout the day.  Sure,  it is important to have our time with God in the morning to start the day.  Many of us have a morning ‘quiet time’ devoted to God and reading and/or praying.  But He wants us to include Him in everything we do.  When stress arises during the day, ask for help.  When you get that promotion, thank Him.  When we feel joyful or happy about what’s happening, share it with Him.  

Don’t worry,  God is here.  Don’t worry,  God has your back. Don’t worry, take all your cares to Jesus.  He will take all your burdens and help you carry them.

Citizens of Heaven

citizens of heavenBut our citizenship is in heaven. Philippians 3:20
 
Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things. Colossians 3:2
 
As we, as Christians, live here on earth, we must realize
our citizenship no longer exists here on earth. We are
citizens of Heaven. As we walk, as we encounter difficulties,
as we live here, we can visualize ourselves looking on from
above.I like to look at life as God does. He is up there looking
down at all of us running around and worrying, full of fear,
wringing our hands and pulling out our hair, our ‘hearts failing
us for fear’ Luke 21:26.But He is not up there wringing His hands saying “What am I gonna
do?” He knows the end of the story, like when we watch a movie
for the second time and know how it’s going to end. He knows
we all live happily ever after in a land full of Princes and
Princesses. We are kings and priest, members of a land rich
in love where the Son always shines.
 
When I, in my mind, look at life from God’s perspective, as if I were up there looking down, I feel a bit removed from the difficulties.  I feel light and free because I am floating down the stream of the waters of the Spirit, free of control, free of worry and fear because God is in control. 
 
I am just an instrument in God’s hands, moving when He moves, and walking where He walks, and saying what He tells me what to say.  In John 5:19, 30 and John 7:16, Jesus didn’t to anything, say anything, judge anything on His own choosing.  He only passed on what the Father was doing.
 
So let us walk through life as an ambassador from Heaven here on earth for a visit, representing Jesus Christ and doing only what the Father does through us.  Let go of our circumstances and know that this ‘movie’ has a happy ending.

Abundance is…

Abundance is..Watching a sunrise or sunset, reading the first page of a brand new novel, seeing a baby walk to you for the first time, getting a smile from a stranger walking by, feeling a cool breeze on a warm day.

The practice of abundance can change your life.  It changed mine.  It opens the windows to a new look at life.  It opens the mind and heart to beauty, wonder, warmth, and love.

Practicing abundance is another form of positive thinking. “Whatever is true, honest, right, pure, lovely, or good report, if there is any virtue, if anything worthy of praise, think on these things and the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:8.

Beach-SunriseTake a look at the sunrise.  Visit the beach.  Thank God that the car started; find joy in the simple things we take for granted.  A heart beating, a lung breathing, muscles working, air to breath, buds blooming, trees waving in the wind.  These are things everyone can be thankful for.

I find myself thinking of all the woes in the world: poverty, hunger, unemployment, heartache and pain.  Jesus said, “In this world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”  I praise God for life.  I praise God for a place to lay my head at night, no matter how small it may be.  I praise God for food on my plate and friends who help put it there.

Stop and notice the flowers next time you walk by a garden or someone’s front yard.  Glance into a store front window and see all the beautiful things and just imagine the joy you could have using them even if you can’t afford to buy them now.  And realize that one of these days, as we enter the Golden Gates of Heaven, everything will be positive.

This is Terri Byars encouraging you to count your blessings.