Friday, August 23, 2013

How to Let Go

Letting go isn’t easy for some of us. This fall I’m letting go of my oldest and only son going to the military as well as my oldest daughter leaving for college. At this stage of my life, a child will be graduating and leaving every two years. It seems like my day are flying by so fast that I keep losing track of time. Every one of us will experience some kind of letting go in this lifetime. We are made to let go of:

Loved Ones
Good Health
Relationships and so on.

While we may mentally accept that letting go is a part of our lives, we struggle emotionally. Many times we struggle because we don’t want change and we don’t feel ready for the adjustment. Sometimes we struggle because we’re full of regret from what could’ve been if we had done things differently. We also may struggle because we cherish the memories and want to relive them as long as possible.

Whatever the reason for our struggle…we must eventually let go. We can’t move forward to the next journey that God has for us if we stubbornly dig our heels in protest. There’s one main reason you can let go: trusting in God.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” 
(Proverbs 3:5-6).

Letting go is possible for those who’ve put their trust in God. If you can trust that God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, (whom you’ve never seen) so that you will experience eternal life (which you don’t have yet)—you can trust God in letting go.

The joy of trusting God is that you’ll one day be in a place where you will never, never, never have to let go of anything. Heaven isn’t just sitting around on clouds all day. It’s a place of ongoing activity filled with joy, love, and peace.

We must trust God now while we’re on this earth filled with sin, sorrow, and pain. He is worthy of your trust. The Lord will be with you on this journey of letting go if you would put your hand in His to lead you in the best direction. It's in your best interest to recklessly with all abandonment trust in the Lord.

Let Go…and Let God

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Dig out of the Pity Party Pit!

Have you ever felt so frustrated that you were ready to give up? Usually after a deeply disappointing experience, we fall into the triple P (pity-party-pit). Use the following acronym  "DIG OUT!" for the next time when you feel a pity party coming. 

D-        Do something with yourself
“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might” (Ecclesiastes 9:10)

The easiest thing to do is to roll up in the fetal position and throw a blanket over your head. Instead take a walk, work out, call up a friend for coffee, clean up the house, or bake cookies. Do whatever you need to do to take your mind in a totally different direction.

I-           Initiate the scriptures you’ve memorized in the past
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32)

It’s the truth you know in your heart and mind that will set you free. Begin to rehearse those scriptures in your mind over and over again until you sense the peace of God taking hold of your heart. When you ruminate on God’s word in faith, your heart attitude changes from despair to hope once again.

G-        Go back to God in prayer
“I call on you, my God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer” (Psalm 17:6).

When we’re in the pit, we tend to just pour out our frustrations to God. Now it’s time for you to listen. Be quiet in this prayer time listening for the sweet, still voice of the Holy Spirit to speak to your heart.

O-        Order your words, actions, and thoughts in line with faith
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1).

Step outside of your situation and look at it again with eyes of faith. Recognize that nothing happens to you without God’s knowledge or presence. He has a plan for your life to turn everything (good and bad) for your best interest.

U-        Understand this tactic of Satan
“For we are not unaware of his schemes” (2 Corinthians 2:11).

One of Satan’s best weapons against believers is the spirit of discouragement. He wants us to get our eyes off God and onto our circumstances. The root of doubt, unbelief, or fear comes from the devil to keep us unstable in our faith so we can’t be about our Father’s business.

T-         Thank God at every opportunity
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

When we’re in the midst of the triple P, we neglect to see all the beautiful and miraculous surrounding us every day. Start with simple thanks…for the air, the trees, and sky. Work your way into your particular situation and find something to give thanks. Expressed appreciation to the Lord always results in lifted spirits.

Get out your shovel of faith and dig your way out of a pity party!

The New International Version, 2011. Grand Rapids, MI. Zondervan.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Tired of Fighting Part II

Don’t you hate constantly being in conflict? What can we do about it? The following checklist is for those who want to be free of conflict as much as possible based on James 4:7-11.

(   ) Submit yourselves, then, to God. (v. 7)
To submit to God means that you recognize that you’re not in control of your life because you’re ultimately accountable to God for what you say and do.

(   ) Resist the devil, and he will flee you. (v. 8)
The devil will make suggestions to your thoughts in a conflict. He will try to convince you of the worst things about a person and give you evil ideas for dealing with them.

(   ) Come near to God and he will come near to you. (v. 8)
God doesn’t want us to run away from Him when we mess up. He wants us to come to Him, confess our sins, and be free from the guilt, shame, and regret that plagues.  

(   ) Wash your hands, you sinners. (v. 8)
Did we raise our voice? Curse someone out? Hit somebody? Whatever we did in this conflict that didn’t honor God—we need to confess our sins to one another.

(   ) Purify your hearts, you double-minded. (v. 8)
Sometimes we can sit and stew about something until it steals our joy and peace. We need to look intently at our hearts where pride, jealousy, or envy can reside.

(   ) Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. (v. 9)
Choose to resist glorying in your conflict. While it may be funny or pleasurable for a season—the ramifications of our sins can follow us for life. Recognize that Jesus bore the cross because of your sin.

(   ) Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up. (v. 10)
Choose to lower yourself. You make the choice to forgive others if necessary. Begin to see the bigger picture that God wants to use you in great ways, but your pride will block it.

(   ) Brothers [and sisters], do not slander one another. (v. 11)
Resist the urge to slander the one you disagree with. You stay above the conflict by not talking about it with other people—except if you are seeking wise counsel from a mature believer.

After following the checklist, ask yourself this question:

Am I handling this conflict in such a way that this person would want to know Jesus after dealing with me?

We are called to peace not conflict. We are called to resolve conflicts quickly with grace and mercy. We are called by God to be His representatives first in our home and then to the world.

Aren’t you tired of fighting yet?