Faith Over Fear Psalm 56:3-4
Have you been to the well? Are you on your way? The woman at the well wasn’t there looking for anything – she was going about her daily life – trying to get a refill for her water jug for the day. Perhaps she would be cooking with it, bathing with it, or just getting her fill for the day just in case something called for it. Maybe she went there every day. It was a familiar place to her. I wondered if she had anything in particular on her mind. She had no idea what or who she would encounter that day, but she would encounter something so unfamiliar in a familiar place – Jesus.
Are you in a familiar place in need of an unfamiliar encounter with Jesus today? It is often in our familiar places where God meets us and changes the view. Have you been to the well before and hadn’t noticed him? Take a second look – he is who you have been searching for all this time.
She reaches the well and finds Jesus who engages her in a conversation. A conversation so out of the ordinary – she was a Samaritan woman and he was a Jew. He ask her a question “Can you give me something to drink?” She then thinks odd and says, “You have no pail.” Matter of fact she questioned why he was even talking to her. You know the story – Jews never associated with Samaritans. She was at a turning point in her life – that would change her life forever. She showed up thirsty, but she will leave quenched.
That they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, Acts 17:27
Jesus tells her something about herself – he tells her you are with man, but you have no husband. Now how would it be possible for this stranger to know that? He had to get her attention. I suppose that would get your attention as well. He didn’t beat on his chest and say, “do you not know that I am Jesus?” He speaks gently with her while explaining that he has a fill – that will quench every thirst. He has the only living water that would give her a new purpose – a new life. She came with a pail that she would soon leave behind, because she now had life.
He changed her life first by doing something so frowned upon in society – he acknowledged her as his own. He gets personal with her – by letting her in on his omnipresence. He knew her though she knew him not. He then gives her one of the greatest gifts she would ever receive – life.
In your familiar place – don’t miss the God moments that have come to greet you – the gentle conversation that comes to get your attention.You don’t have to travel down a new road to meet him – he is on each and every path you travel. He ask do you need a fill. He beckons for you to come to him – seek him – commune with him. Wherever you are – he is also. You may be traveling thirsty, but he has your fill.
All aboard! All Aboard – you hear the words so crispy clear. The flight attendant is urging you to climb on – not much time to wait. How did you end up here at the gate with nothing packed? You plead please,” I must go take some things to carry on, All I need is a moment.” To your disappointment she says, ” I’m sorry but there isn’t room -you must board as you are with what you have.”
You are left with a decision. You want to go where you’re going, but you think – just one carry-on will be absolutely necessary. No time to pack – the destination promising – you board without the essentials you think you need.
There are times you have to just climb aboard. Don’t think – rehearse – figure out what is packed – what isn’t packed. These are the GO moments of life that we must all take to get to the other side of ourselves. Relinquishing our plans for the divine plan of God. Swapping our luggage for the exchange of his luggage. Just maybe the luggage you are trying to carry isn’t properly packed – it’s overstuffed. Are you willing to board with just his promise and his plan – or will you give more value to your luggage? Does your luggage take the place of God? There is greater value in the luggage he has for you. Sometimes you just have to climb aboard and find out for yourself.
There is beauty in the climb aboard. You’re agreeing to partnering with God to reach the promise land. Recall that Israel wasn’t completely convinced that where they were going was better than what they left – boarding was an unfamiliar place for them. They wanted their luggage. God is ready to part the red sea, but you have to be willing to walk – to climb up from where you are. To fly high and not low. To take the leap of faith that surely will take you to places where remembrance of the luggage you once held becomes a distant memory. All aboard! All aboard – can you hear the call.
All this also comes from the Lord Almighty,
whose plan is wonderful,
whose wisdom is magnificent.
It’s funny when you think you don’t know what to write about – then all of a sudden – you have an ah-ha moment – something just starts to click – like your neurons in the brain starts to fire off. Waiting for the perfect thought – the right inspiration just to get the perfect piece. Then I remember that often some of the best work comes from opportunities that were made useful – rather than waiting for a perfect moment to make useful. Get it written already. Whatever it is – however it is – just write. Great writing never happens by just thinking – great writing happens when you are willing to bleed at the keyboard – one word at a time.
Sitting in the bleachers watching the boys play basketball while my daughter cheers. The opposing team is beating us terribly 32:16 and it is only the first half. Honestly I may be a little bias both teams are pretty good. The opposing team has the advantage – the boys are taller. Even with the uncomfortableness of the hard bleachers – I’m enjoying it. But why are they losing so badly – maybe we should just wrap it up and leave. no! We could just stay in the game and finish. It isn’t always about the win, but preserving to the end to see what the end will be.
I’m not truly a sports fan, but for some reason when our team makes a three pointer – the excitement rises within me. We have to keep our head in the game even when we are talking about non sports related things. I’m sure even if our team finishes last – they still finished. They gave their all – persevered to the end. They will win in spirit – every game they conquer only stands to build their endurance – increase their courage to face any opponent.
Stay in your game – stay encouraged. God is cheering you on. Don’t look at where you are and what the opponent has – focus – your growing and strength builds with every push. There aren’t any losers when God is with you. Discover what you have inside – that’s a true winner. As I’ve typed this we’ve caught up a bit.
Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.” (1 Corinthians 16:13)
While driving home from work today, music playing in the background, head moving to the rhythm of the beat. A question entered my mind. What constitutes a great life? I’ve heard this question answered many different ways. Some would say having more money. Some may say living in a big house. I’m betting some would even say having a job that they enjoy going to everyday. I’m sure there are many ways to look at this question and many ways to answer it.
A great life is more than how much money we have, where we live or any monetary value associated with acquiring more things. These things surely can make a difference in your living standard, but I’m not just talking about disposal value – I’m talking the things that are great in our lives that are priceless. A great life constitutes being able to make the best of everything – seeing the best of everything. Appreciating and respecting and holding close the people in our lives. Loving others and doing things that bring about joy. It means seeing and grasping the opportunities that lie ahead of us with a winning attitude. A great life is giving our best and reaching our greatest everyday. It’s allowing our life lessons to be building blocks to a stronger foundation and not a hindrance.
Maybe living a GREAT life has a different meaning to you and that’s alright. The beginning of a great life begins with our faith in the lord and savior – embracing all the greatness he has prepared before us. it’s training ourselves to see how he truly has done great things. The richness in our lives stems little from what we have in our pocket but what we hold in our hearts.
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. proverbs 3:6
Riding bikes can be so fun. Most people go from being merely onlookers to riding with training wheels, before finally learning the art of balance to ride with just two wheels. Most didnt learn to ride by themselves. It usually consisted of someone holding on to the back of the seat until your courage had been built up enough to set you free. Get a mental picture of yourself as an inexperienced rider focused straight ahead with hands holding tightly to the handle bars. The teacher coaching from behind. Reassuring you of all the possibilities that awaits you. He reassures you that he will hold onto you till you’re comfortable. You hesitantly take your feet from the ground to resting them on the peddles. Trees are ahead – sidewalk looks hard and unwelcoming. You begin to peddle – wobbly at first, but you feel the presence of your teacher. You trust him. You begin to feel the wind beating upon your face – such an exhilarating feeling forming inside you – you are enjoying the mobility and the freedom with all the possibility.
Something begins to change – your teacher is holding less of your seat. You’re still a tad bit wobbly but it’s getting a little easier. You’re riding and your teacher tells you that he is going to let you loose a little but that he wouldn’t be too far behind. That knot catches your throat and you wonder if you will remain upright. You begin to peddle a little faster – you noticed you are peddling by yourself. The thought of that catches you of guard and you woble yourself right into the bushes. Ouch! Your teacher manages to help you back on the bike while you determine that maybe that bike riding isn’t for you. The teacher gets hint of this and tells you that even when you’re wobbly the key to gaining experience is to get back on. Before long you are riding alone – no longer needing someone to hold on your seat. You learn that learning to ride a bike consist of finding your balance.
Once you learn to balance yourself you can go anywhere. You can ride fast or slow. Up hills or down. You may even learn the art of taking your hands of the bars while keeping the bike steady and moving straight. You find that riding is fun, adventurous and freeing.
We can put our trust in God – he is always right there with us. He holds onto us when we are wobbly. He reminds us of how much we are capable of – and that in all aspects of our life we have to find balance by following him. Even Jesus rested. When Jesus needed answers – he turned to the one that sent him – he did not lean unto his own wisdom and understanding. It is within our quiet time – when we rid ourselves of noise and our attention is on him – we can hear him more clearly. Our directions are precise – and he keeps us fine tuned for our destinations. We must yield and serve God with all of our heart – soul and mind. He becomes our mind regulator for our entire day when we give him our first thought in the morning. When God is the center of our life – everything about us shifts center toward him. Acknowledging that he holds our future in the palm of his hands equips us with a confidence and boldness to get on our bike of life and ride.
Hold fast to your balance that is within Christ Jesus – your path shall be straight.
“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ Matthew 25:21
Everyday we have a responsibility to do what we are called to do. To be faithful over what we have in our hands. Not to merely have the same amount we began with when we started – but to increase what God has entrusted us with. No need to look at what your neighbor has been entrusted with, because God has given you more than enough for your assignment.
Do we hold it and keep it to ourselves? Do we honor what we have been given and double or triple it? The Scripture reminds us that if we are faithful over little he will entrust us with more. We have to show God that we have a high regard and appreciation for every thing we have at our disposal.
We often ask God for more when we wants to see how faithful we are over our little. In order to have more money – one must learn responsibility over giving God our first through tithing – giving and helping others and saving. Giving increases – keeping decrease. God calls us to be givers and to do so with a joyful heart.
So what do you have in your hand? To get increase, use what you have to help the world. This doesn’t have to mean money only – could someone benefit from giving of your time? Challenge yourself to never take for granted your blessing. Be thankful for all things. Your spouse needs your faithfulness – show love even when you don’t feel like it. Your children – or even your job. What can you do to show your faithfulness. Getting to work on time and giving it your all.
Excellence is driven by our faithfulness. To be excellent with our families, our business and even our friendships we have learn this principle of faithfulness. God is always faithful – he is the greatest example on how we should live our lives. He is faithful to his promises – his love and grace. He takes care of us with such excellence – how marvelous are the works of his hands.
We can become more faithful by being faithful over our little. When we grasp that – our little forms into much.
We all have heard these words – on numerous occasions. All things are possible through God that strengthens you – said to a child who says I can’t when it comes to math. Tears streaming down her cheek – frustration carved across her face. Thoughts of playtime slowly disappearing – out of reach. I buckled down and helped her through the word problems – there was a test waiting for her the next day. I so wanted to give in to her puppy dog eyes – wanting to rescue her from having to endure the pain and hardwork for math problems jumping off a page. I wanted – needed her to know that she could conquer it – so I gave her a few more problems at the risk of becoming the annoying mom. She finished it and I reminded her that she indeed had more strength than she realized.
Perhaps you have something in front of you that is difficult. Maybe throwing a tantrum seems like the best feasible answer than just digging in and putting your best foot forward. Maybe you find your attempts futile and not paying off. God often steps in and remind us of who and whose we are – a soft push to stand in strength. Even when the pull to quit tugs at us – we take another step. Yes it may include tears but the power of “yes you can” trudges us forward.
Often it isn’t the difficulty that is difficult – it is our thought about the difficulty. It is our perception of who we think we are or aren’t. You are more than a conquerer – there is nothing to tough because your God is good. He will help you – he is the greatest teacher. He may not give you the answer, but he will remain by your side step by little step. he knows that you will become stronger and then when something difficult arises – you will pull from previous victories. So go ahead dig in – it will be worth it.