There’s A River

There’s A River

We are that river

There’s a river that God’s in the midst of. It’s so influential that even the streams coming from it refresh the distant lands they touch. It’s a holy place, that river. It houses the most High. We, the children of God, are that river. He is in the midst of us, living through us, and imparting His strength so that we can rest in Him and not live broken.

When we flow freely, unencumbered by life’s debris, when God pulses through our very being, His light shines from us like streams branching off from a river. Even the seemingly small things we do prompted by God encourage others to believe. They’re touched by Him through us, often without us even being aware.

Let God guide your journey

Entrusting our lives to God and His will allows Him to guide us through riverbanks He’s already carved. Some appear good, some appear bad. Following through on His nudges often leads to witnessing things that could only have come from One who knows all. For these experiences we praise and worship Him. However, sometimes that revelation comes later. Hold tight.

Difficulties place us where God needs us

When we endure difficulties of which others judge and condemn us, rather than lash out, stand confident. God is in control still. He positions us where He needs us to be. There’s no need to defend. Don’t allow these seemingly bad situations to hinder His work. Fight the urge to complain or attack in response. Wait in quiet trust. Keep your eyes on Him, and watch God reveal His purposes. In this way we’re able to offer an example of the pure power of God.

Resist angrily giving back what is being done to you. Restrain from seeking vengeance. God does so in His time and to a degree that serves His purposes, furthering His will. Let Him repay evil for what evil has done. It’s not your job. Let that freedom penetrate and enjoy the weight lifted.

Relax in the flow of God’s will.

Rest, relax in the flow of His will. Sink in, and don’t worry about what you may or may not accomplish. He provides abundantly what’s needed. Resting in Him renews our Spirit as we continue to grow closer and more in love with Him. Allow fully His Spirit to fill and flow through you. Relationship with Him is the most important thing of life.

There’s a river that God’s in the midst of. Be that river, trusting and filled so much that streams of His presence branch off from you, offering refreshment to others.

God’s Lovingkindness, Where is it?

God’s Lovingkindness, Where is it?

Give thanks to the Lord?

In Psalm 92:1-2, it’s suggested that it is good to give thanks to the Lord. In addition to that, singing praises to His name adds to the jubilant recommendation. And finally, we’re to declare God’s lovingkindness and faithfulness both morning and night.

How can we give thanks and sing praises when life is a struggle? If we’re walking in the darkness of loss or hurt, why would we? What is there to be thankful for when life is tragic? If God is almighty, we might question why He’d allow the difficulties that have us far from peace.

Who is it good for?

If it’s good to give thanks and praise to the Lord, who is it good for? I’d gather that God has continued without fail whether we’ve thanked and praised Him or not. Then it must be good for us! It is, and here’s where faith can be your catapult to living joyfully instead.

Landscape scene. God's lovingkindness

It is good to give thanks to the Lord!

Life is tough. Our journey here on earth seems to be a mix of tragedy, good fortune, confusion, and happiness. There are days of achievement, but there are also days of discouragement, pulling at emotions that dictate what kind of day we’ll experience. We strive to find balance, experience peace, or make some sense of the life we’re living. Have faith. There is good for us.

Does God really offer lovingkindness and faithfulness?

Lovingkindness, by definition, is tenderness and consideration for others. It’s the opposite of ill will toward someone. Faithfulness is the quality of being faithful or true to another person. These are God’s traits toward us, and yet the difficult lives many of us succumb to lead us to question whether He really offers them to us.

How can we excitedly tell others of God’s lovingkindness and faithfulness? We who are broken can’t even absorb His wonderfulness for ourselves. Additionally, we’re expected to exhibit these traits as proof of our faith. That’s some pressure, huh? No matter how much we try to apply faith, we’ll struggle. God’s traits aren’t meant to be applied. He lives them. When He is at our center, His qualities show through us.

Can we offer lovingkindness and faithfulness?

Is it possible for us to offer lovingkindness and faithfulness? Due to our own failure to achieve these qualities, we condemn ourselves. Also, we’re resentful of others who lack the same ability. Do we offer lovingkindness to those who’ve hurt us or our loved ones? Likely not. What takes its place? Animosity, frustration, an overwhelming feeling of unfairness. We wish our enemy would pay consequences that make them hurt. We want justice! At what cost?

Lone tree in the fog. God's lovingkindness

Our journey here on earth seems to be a mix of tragedy, good fortune, confusion, and happiness.

Fidelity, faithfulness, for many of us, is a lofty expectation too, often met with disappointment. Many have been hurt by unfaithful people. On the other hand, though we judge people for this, we also find ourselves among those who struggle with being faithful. The guilt can be crushing.

So, if we don’t have anything to feel thankful for, if we’ve nothing praiseworthy happening in our lives, why would we even think of God as faithful? We’d be hard pressed to consider the things God is allowing as lovingkindness. Right?

God’s qualities fill us!

However, as the Psalm suggests, in a posture of praise and thankfulness for our Lord, we can declare God’s lovingkindness and faithfulness. Again, these are God’s qualities. They are part of His essence. He is a God of love. He will not turn from His children, ever, and we can experience what these qualities mean personally to us. Greater still, we can exhibit them outwardly, even in the most trying of circumstances.

When we ask Christ to be at our center, when we ask His Holy Spirit to come into us, God’s qualities fill us. This takes a step of faith, asking Him in. I want you to take it, though, and watch God move! The more we focus on Him, talk with Him, listen for Him, wait on Him, and grow to trust Him, the stronger we experience His qualities. He has much to teach us who come close to Him. God’s lovingkindness and faithfulness are personally revealed to us. As a result, the revelation of His essence causes us to give thanks, sing praises, and declare loudly what He can do. God allows His traits to shine through us to touch others as He intends.

You will declare God’s lovingkindness!

So you must get to know your Creator on a very private and intimate level. Keep your eyes on Him constantly, converse with Him always. Seek His wisdom, love, peace, and guidance every day. Naturally, His traits will infiltrate your being as His Spirit responds. Finally, the old will pass away. Every morning and every night you’ll find it hard to resist and you will declare it!

We praise You Lord. We thank You for Your lovingkindness and faithfulness toward us, even when we hadn’t seen or deserved it. May those who’ve wronged us see these traits of Yours shining from within us so that they might also find hope in You.

Faith mug. God's lovingkindness

Thank You, Lord, for Your lovingkindness!

Strong Decision Makers

Strong Decision Makers

Can you be a strong decision maker?

Do you know in full? Strong decision makers don’t. Are you able to look ahead and confidently choose what your next steps should be? Many decision makers try. Can you accurately weigh your options in order to make the best decisions? Strong decision makers can’t. We’re creatures of comfort even when we’re uncomfortable. We can’t imagine what life would be like should it change, especially if that change is drastic or sudden. We make decisions based on what we know and, very often, strive to keep within our comfort zone, even if it doesn’t help us or others in our lives. Do you want to shed decision making fear that cripples you? Do you want to move into a life of meaning, allowing change that would normally challenge your sanity?

You CAN make strong choices without all the answers!

Train tracks leading into the fog

Strong decisions can be made, even when you don’t know the answers.

You can step out of your comfort zone and accept life altering change. Make the choice to trust God’s will even though you don’t know in full. Believe that what He’s allowing is for a greater purpose. First and foremost, a personal and intimate relationship with our Lord and Savior is the answer. When we focus on Him, He fills us, He flows and works through us, often with us being unaware. When we grow in that love and relationship we naturally become trusting of His will. We don’t fear when it draws us out of our comfort zone. When difficulties arise, we’re confident that He’s still at work.

The strong decision maker in us is the Lord!

Do you trust God completely with your life? Strong decision makers do. Do you trust Him when options become difficult to consider or they tempt you to step into choices you fear may be wrong? Strong decision makers will. Do you trust Him when the unknown is frightening? Strong decision makers have. A trust such as this is transforming and powerful. A trust like this allows us to be free to accept change, to accept seemingly difficult situations, to be moved where and how God needs so that what He intends is accomplished. When we trust God with our lives, we gain inner peace in all circumstances, even tough ones, believing that His hand is at work for a better purpose that we simply can’t know in full yet. In essence, when we trust what God allows in our lives, react in peace, and step forward confidently, the decision making is of the Lord. Living like this means the Lord, who knows in full, becomes the decision maker in us! How powerful is that?

That doesn’t mean change won’t ever hurt, and that doesn’t mean that when God allows difficulties we won’t become anxious. But we will know confidently where to turn for comfort and soon that trust resumes, allowing us to boldly move forward as He leads.

What decisions are you afraid to make?

Are you in a toxic relationship yet can’t make the decision to sever it because you’re afraid? Has your marriage become stale, yet you can’t imagine taking steps to revive it as that would feel awkward and uncomfortable? Are you faced with an unexpected pregnancy but can’t imagine handling the judgement or the burden a baby may produce? Are you being mistreated at your job but need the income and feel stuck and unfulfilled?

With the strength and guidance of the Lord’s Holy Spirit, we can step away and be free of obligation that keeps us connected to toxic people. With Christ at our side, we can muster up the courage to become vulnerable to our spouse again, making obvious strides to rekindle joy. Knowing that God is in control and has thus allowed an unplanned pregnancy, we can accept that His will has purpose, gaining courage to allow the change a baby will bring. Knowing that God provides for all of our needs, we can confidently leave a job where disrespect hurts and know that a new opportunity is waiting.

We can relax in God’s peace and be strong decision makers.

Two chairs facing the sunset.

Relax. Trust God and His wisdom.

These are a mere few examples. Imagine trusting God in all things, from simple daily tasks to times of tragedy. Trusting God and seeking His guidance keeps us moving forward in peace. Living a life focused on and trusting Him isn’t easy. Living with Christ at our center can, at times, feel confusing. Yet living a life filled with the Holy Spirit is absolutely amazing! We can let go of analyzing and figuring, grasping at control and yet feeling out of control, and instead, relax in His peace. Peace is not going to mean the absence of chaos, God’s peace is far different. It’s a noted calm deep within us during the chaos of earthly life. It’s a joy felt in the midst of storm. Peace comes with trusting His will. Joy comes as we witness, in each of our small parts in His plan, the beauty He is working.

Are you ready to be strong in your decision making?

We, the created beings, do not know in full. Only God does. Place Christ at your center. Become one with Him. Your light will shine, because it’ll be His light shining through you. You’ll be a powerful decision maker, because it’ll be His decisions you’ll be boldly making and living! Are you ready to embrace all that He has to offer you? Are you ready to be a willing part of His plan and move forward wherever He guides? Will you make the simple choice to let go of control and trust God’s will? I pray that you do and that you enjoy the qualities that only come from living through the Holy Spirit.

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