Established By God Himself

established by God, victory, 1 Peter 5:10What does it mean to be established?  Typically we see the word establish as being related to a building, business or corporate body but the meaning actually goes deeper than that.  To be established can actually mean all of these things as well: “to make firm or stable” , “to put into a favorable position”  and “to put beyond doubt” according to Webster’s Dictionary.

After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.  1 Peter 5:10 (NASB)

Despite being a single verse, 1 Peter 5:10 is absolutely profound.  And although I am focusing on the idea of being established as a child of God, let’s take a look at the rest of the verse leading up to how God establishes us.  Right away, in the very first clause, is an acknowledgement of trouble and strife and the suffering it can bring for the believer.  No matter the time or place we were born in, if we desire to live a Godly life then we can be assured that at some point along the way we will go through some suffering.  Much of the book of 1 Peter deals with the Christian’s reaction to suffering and how God uses our suffering for his glory, to win others to Christ and for our betterment.

The Holy Spirit through Peter wants us to know that on the other side of our suffering lies glory.  God Himself calls us and He intends to share with us the same glory that He has reserved for His only son, Jesus Christ.  We our joint-heirs and can expect an eternity that words can’t begin to adequately describe.  All of that is in front of us and we have a lot to look forward to.

Until that time, God will use the things we go through in this life to perfect us (make us mature and complete) strengthen us and establish us.  Looking back at some of the definitions of establish that we began with, let’s insert those words into this verse and see what happens. 1. God Himself will “make us firm and stable”.  Our spiritual position will be strengthened and the foundations of our character will become stronger.  2. God Himself will “put us in a favorable position”.  Ultimate victory is reserved for God and God alone.  Only He can help us be victorious against that which would come against us in this life.  In our day to day struggles, do we take point or do we allow God to fight our battles for us?  (Once I began to understand this truth and started asking God to fight my battles for me and trust Him with the outcome it changed my life!)  3. God Himself will “put us beyond doubt”.  To me, this means that I accept God’s victory and acknowledge that He has already won the battle.  My responsibility is to trust Him, to bring all of my doubts and worries to Him and to seek His presence above and beyond anything else.

To be established by God Himself is an amazing truth and an amazing promise for all believers.  What is so perplexing to me is that so often we do not live as members of God’s establishment.  Despite being given everything we need, we choose to walk in doubt, fear and error.  That’s why it’s so good to be reminded at every available opportunity just how much God loves us and just how much He has given us.  No matter where we are now or what mistakes we might have made, God has given us today and right now to turn back to Him.  I don’t want to miss out on what God has for me, how about you?

The 50 Year Prayer

prayer, Luke 1, faithfulnessHave you ever prayed for someone or something that you knew was God’s will but it didn’t seem like your prayers were being answered?  Perhaps you prayed for weeks or months or even years and you saw no outward sign that your prayers were having any effect at all.  How did you react to that situation?  What’s the right answer, for a prayer than seems unanswered?

I believe that God answers all prayers that are prayed in His will.  Sometimes we see the outcome, and if that happens, consider it a blessing and treasure it.  But perhaps much more often God uses our prayers and answers them in ways that we will never see on this side of eternity.  In this, it is our faithfulness that counts and our continued trust and reliance on God’s perfect will and perfect plan.  Even when we can’t see His hand working, we must trust His heart and continue to pray and do what He has asked us to do.

And then there are times when we have all but given up on a prayer but God shows up and answers it in a way that is far above and beyond anything that we could have hoped for or imagined.  In the first chapter of Luke’s gospel, Zechariah had such an experience.

In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron.  Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly.  But they were childless because Elizabeth was not able to conceive, and they were both very old. Luke 1:5-7 (NIV)

Luke is setting up the story here and he makes sure to let us know that Zechariah and Elizabeth were good, righteous people but that they were childless (which carried a social stigma and some degree of shame during this time period) and that they were very old.  In other words, they were both well past the age at which conception and healthy child birth would have been possible.

 Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense.  When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear.  But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John.  He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth,  for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. Luke 1:11-15 (NIV)

And then something amazing happens.  As Zechariah is going about his priestly duties an angel appears to him and tells him that not only has his prayer been answered but that God is going to gift them with a son that “will be a joy and a delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord”.  As we know, Zechariah and Elizabeth gave birth to John the Baptist who prepared the way for Jesus and eventually baptized Jesus.  To say that God used John the Baptist in a mighty way would be putting it lightly!

But let’s back up for a moment.  How long do you suppose that Zechariah had been praying for a child?  I think it’s fair to say that this prayer began when he and Elizabeth were married and continued through what would have been the normal child bearing years and it is very likely that this prayer was at least 50 years old.  I also believe that Zechariah, being human, had probably not prayed this particular prayer in quite sometime.  Even as he never gave up on God he gave up on this particular prayer because he couldn’t imagine how God would answer it so many years later.  But answer it, God did, because 50 years and physical limitations are no barriers at all to Him who loves us so!

And don’t you know that Elizabeth and Zechariah rejoiced to have their prayer answered after so many years and marveled at what God had done for them?  I believe if you could ask them, they would tell you that it was worth the wait.

I hope you can see that there’s a strong lesson here for all believers.  God’s not through yet and He’s not finished with us either.  Keep on praying and keep on being faithful and get ready to be amazed.  His answer to our prayers will be perfect and will come at exactly the right time.

 

 

Always The Right Choice

praise, petition, trust in JesusIsn’t God good?  I hope that you know for sure that He is.  I hope that you have allowed Him to prove His goodness and mercy to you.  The fact is that His love towards us is constant and that His power and grace are always available to us if we will humbly acknowledge Him and His sufficiency,

The more we rely on Him and the more we acknowledge Him the more He is able to show us His goodness and His love towards us.  It is the sweetest thing when we begin to daily rely on the Lord for strength and can rest in His blessed assurance that no matter the circumstance we know that God is able.  We see Him working and can perceive with our spiritual eyes the way that He holds us up and empowers us to do His work.  We feel His hand of mercy and can sense Him working all things to our ultimate good.

Are you familiar with the hymn, “The Longer I Serve Him, the Sweeter He Grows”?  Here is the chorus and the second verse:

The Longer I Serve Him, The sweeter He grows
The more that I love Him , More joy He bestows
Each day is like heaven My heart overflows
The Longer I Serve Him, The sweeter He grows

Every need He is supplying
Plenteous Grace He bestows
Every day my way grows brighter
The Longer I Serve Him
The sweeter He grows

Is the hymn writer really saying that God is getting better all the time?  No, the writer is not saying that.  God’s goodness is constant and He is unchanging.  What the writer is trying to convey is that our perception of His goodness improves with our willingness to serve and acknowledge His Lordship.  In other words, the only people who think that God is not good are those who do not truly know Him and only those who know Him best know how truly good He can be!

Deciding to serve the Lord and to trust Him with everything, day in and day out, is always the right choice.  Despite distractions, despite circumstances and despite our strengths and weaknesses, God’s way is always the best, the sweetest and the most blessed.

My prayer is that we would all call on the name of the Lord as often as possible.  My prayer is that His praises would forever be on our tongues and that we would ever seek to know just how good He can be.  And my prayer is that we would seek to share His goodness and His message of salvation with all those who are willing to receive it.

 

To Seek The Living Among The Dead

Luke 24:5-6, Easter, rebirth, renewalHere we are, just a few weeks on the other side of Easter and for most of us, it is life as usual.  We carry on, as we always have, performing our duties and responsibilities and trying to do the best that we can.  And there is honor in that aspect of daily life.  As long as we are keeping 1 Corinthians 10:31 in mind (summarized as “whatever you do, do all for the glory of God”) then God will use our daily lives for extraordinary things.

But for just a few moments, let’s go back to that first Easter morning and in particular to the moments immediately following the arrival of the women to the tomb.  We see their alarm, their worry and their fear that Jesus’ body has been taken and that He is not where they expected Him to be.  How will they be able to carry out their duties?  How can they anoint his body for burial and follow the proper procedures if His body is not there?

While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men suddenly stood near them in dazzling clothing; and as the women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living One among the dead?  (Luke 24: 5-6) NASB

Seeking the savior and looking to serve Jesus should be a lifelong pursuit.  But do we sometimes get so caught up in ritual, in duty and in procedure that we miss the divine?  I know that I do.  I know that I have a certain way of doing things and tend to follow a certain schedule as I go about my day and that interruptions or deviations from that schedule are usually met with irritation and annoyance rather than as opportunities to serve or to grow.

Shouldn’t I be using my eyes of faith instead?  Shouldn’t I be inviting God to step in to my regularly scheduled life and do something totally unexpected?  After all, this life I live is not my own.  It is a life that is bought and paid for by the blood of Jesus Christ and it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me!

And unlike the women at the tomb on that first Easter morning, I know Jesus is alive.  I know that He is the resurrected Lord.   I also know that He has made me alive spiritually and no power in heaven or on earth can stand against His will being done.  So why do I so often fall back into routine and walk by sight instead of by faith in my living savior?

All I can say is, and this goes for all of us, that we will never find the living savior among the dead things of our old life and our old mindset.  Jesus is alive and He has made us to be alive with Him and to have life more abundantly as we walk by faith, step by step with Him.  It’s time to let the old ways go.  It’s time to forget those things that are behind and press on towards that which God has for us.  It’s time for us to seek the living savior and leave that which is dead well enough alone.

The Good Stretch

Philippians 4:8I did something unusual this morning.  After my usual routine of breakfast with bible reading and devotional time I arrived at work early and watched a video.  This video was by Sean Hyman (who I have written about previously) and was a review of investment positions that included a lot of charts and graphs.  It’s fairly technical stuff but Sean always does a good job for novices like myself in explaining what’s happening, why it’s happening and what it all means for the portfolio.

I admit, it is once in a blue moon that I actually sit down and take the time to watch one of Sean’s videos.  As good a job as he does the stuff that he is talking about is a long way outside of my comfort zone.  I’m not a numbers person and I am not a finance person (although I’ve improved and  hope to keep on improving) and it takes a good 45 minutes for me to get through one.

Here’s the thing though: every time that I watch one of Sean’s videos I learn something and I feel a little bit more comfortable with the subject and a little bit better about myself.  It might have been out of my comfort zone but it was worth doing and hopefully the end result will be a better financial position for me and my family.

Some things are just worth spending the time, energy and effort on.

The apostle Paul said it like this:

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. (Philippian 4:8 NASB)

Now, more than ever, we as Christians need to “dwell on good things:”.  We are under assault from those who do not believe as we do and by the one who hates God and His children most of all.  I believe that Satan knows that his time is drawing to a close and that he has stirred up the hearts of men to hate, to blaspheme, to kill and to destroy all that is good.

If we let him, Satan would steal our joy and our testimony just as assuredly as he is working to steal the souls of those who have not believed on the name of Jesus.  Choosing to keep our thoughts and actions centered on those things that are “honorable, right, pure, lovely, of good reputation, excellent and worthy of praise” is an excellent defense.  Even if it stretches us in uncomfortable directions and forces us out of the familiar and into strange new areas, it is always worth it.

 

 

Gratitude Is A Mountain To Be Climbed

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, rejoice, give thanksWhenever I begin thinking and praying about a new topic for a post I try to call to mind what I have written before so that I don’t end up repeating myself.  Looking back at the history of this blog it would seem that I write about thankfulness fairly often and therefore I should write about something else this week.  Yet I feel in my spirit that this is where I am supposed to be and that if it were not important to the Lord then He would be leading me elsewhere.

I know what the Bible says about thankfulness, that we are to rejoice always and to give thanks in all things.  In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NASB) Paul wrote these words:

16 Rejoice always; 17 pray without ceasing; 18 in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Even as these words comfort and encourage me they bring me to a realization: I don’t know what “rejoicing always and giving thanks in everything” actually look like.  As an ideal they are fantastic and challenging.  “I want to be this kind of person!” is what I think to myself.  But my practical mind wants to look around for examples, for some concrete image of what a person who rejoices always and gives thanks in everything looks like.

Let’s be honest, as human beings thankfulness is not natural.  Grumbling, complaining and whining come naturally but rejoicing and giving thanks most certainly do not.  So instead of looking for a human being to be my model for thankfulness I should instead be asking the Holy Spirit to be my teacher and to make me the kind of example that I am looking for.

Please realize this is not an indictment of anyone that I know personally.  Thankfulness is hard.  And it seems like the more blessed we are as children the harder it is.  Because we start off with so much many of us grow up feeling entitled to comfort and with the mindset that everything should come easily.

We grow up and encounter the real world and it doesn’t take too long before adult responsibilities very forcibly show us that most things that really matter aren’t easy at all.  We experience failure, heartbreak and lean times and we allow bitterness and complaint to take root. We become pessimistic and somewhere along the way we forget all about rejoicing and giving thanks.

I know because I have been there.  Not too long ago I was that person.  And perhaps God has me thinking and writing about thankfulness so often because I desperately need the reminders and the encouragement.  Maybe you do as well.

Let me end this by saying the key to rejoicing always and giving thanks in everything is found right in the middle, in verse 17.  “Pray without ceasing” it says.  Without our unceasing prayer and our heart and spirit lifted to the Father above we don’t have it in us to keep on rejoicing and giving thanks in the midst of terrible circumstances.  But with our prayer and our entreaty God can take our weakness and show forth His strength in us.  Oh that we would let it be so!

The Only Question That Really Matters

sin, salvation, the gospel, faithI try not to pay much attention to politics or current events.  I have a friend at work who, I am fairly certain, thinks of me as either willfully ignorant or somewhat uncaring about the world at large.  Whenever he tells me about the latest plane crash, energy crisis or political scandal that is making the headlines my usual response is something like “hmm” or “oh, really?”

It’s not that I don’t care or that I am unconcerned about the world in which I live.  It’s simply a matter of perspective and the difference between mine and his.  He’s a professed atheist and I am not.  I love the Lord Jesus, read my Bible daily and I try to view him and the world around me through the lens of God’s grace and redemptive plan.

He knows that I am a believer in Christ and that I attend church weekly but as a non-believer without a strong biblical background he doesn’t really understand my point of view.  No one can, not unless they are first adopted into the family of God by faith and belief on the Lord Jesus Christ and the washing and remission of sins.

What I would really like to say to him is “God is in control, love and serve Him with all of your heart and leave the rest to Him” but as my desire is not to antagonize Him it comes out as “hmm” or “oh, really”.

I say all of that to say we need to be careful about not getting so caught up in lesser matters.  What exactly is a lesser matter, you might ask?  I leave the precise answer of that question up to your conscience and the leading of the Holy Spirit but for me a lesser matter is one that distracts from the message of the gospel and the good news that Jesus saves.

In terms of politics do I want a strong believer in the White House?  Absolutely, I do.  I pray for my country and its leadership often.  But I am not open to entering into political debate on my position because ultimately it is going to lead back to my belief in Jesus Christ and in God’s plan for this world and for His people.

In terms of social matters, do I support gay marriage?  Well, I believe the act of homosexuality is a sin and I also believe that marriage is defined by the Bible as the union between one man and one woman.  However, our lawmakers, the ones in charge, have decided to extend the same rights and privileges to same sex couples as heterosexual couples and now I, as a believer, have a choice in how I will respond.  Will it be a response that is filled with care and concern for the soul of each individual or will it be a bitter complaint against the sorry state of our world?

I will insert here C.S. Lewis’s response to a question about homosexuality just because it is such a good one:  “I take it for certain that the physical satisfaction of homosexual desires is sin. This leaves the homosexual no worse off than any normal person who is, for whatever reason, prevented from marrying. Second, our speculations on the cause of homosexuality are not what matters and we must be content with ignorance. The disciples were not told why the man was born blind (John 9:1-3): only the final cause: that the works of God should be made manifest in him.”  Notice how C.S. Lewis takes on the question of homosexuality?  By answering it in the context of scripture and bringing the discussion around to God’s plan.  And that is exactly how we should be striving to answer any and all questions about our society and our world.

In short, you can’t expect the unrighteous to live righteous lives and instead of focusing on the fruits of sin and the behaviors of the lost we should instead be focusing on God’s grace and doing everything in our power to point the lost to Him.  I’m not condemning those who get involved in good causes and spend their time and energy to make the world a better place but I am saying that if we lose the message of the gospel or if it gets somehow overshadowed by our cause then we have lost everything that this world really needs.  And at that point our cause amounts to very little.

The world we live in has issues but the reality is there is only one issue: Sin.  And that means that there is only one question that really matters.  Everything we do should lead up to and expand upon this one question.  “Do you love the Lord and live each day to serve Him?”

What Fills Your Thoughts?

Philippians 4:8, thoughts, thinkToday we are going to start with a word and that word is “think”.  We use this word in reference to the inner workings of the mind (what are you thinking about?) and also to talk about the decision making process (What do you think? / I think we should..).  Think can also be used as a substitute or synonym for “feel” but for now I would like to keep the focus on the mind and the mental processes that think refers to.

How we think and what we think about will, in large part, determine how we live and the things that we do.  This is an important truth to realize because there is a very fierce spiritual battle that is being waged for our thoughts and the decisions that come out of them.  One side is fighting for God and all He stands for (grace, peace, love, joy, life, etc.) and the other side is fighting for the deceiver and all he stands for (accusation, guilt, error, fear, death, etc.).

I’ve used Philippians 4:8 in a blog post before but it is worth repeating here because it is so relevant and important:

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. (Philippians 4:8) NKJV

In this verse the New King James version (which is the one we used) uses the word “meditate”.  The New American Standard version uses “dwell” in the same spot while the traditional King James version uses the word “think”.  They are all worth mentioning because while similar, all three words mean something slightly different in English.  Dwell means to stay, abide or even live in, as in the case with a dwelling.  Meditate is a deeper, longer version of think.  We might think of something quickly and then go on to something else but generally meditation happens over a period of time and requires effort and will to achieve.

Therefore, think = short term,(possibly even spontaneous) meditate = longer term with more of a focus on effort, dwell = even longer term with a focus on permanence.  The idea being presented here is that our brief, fleeting thoughts should be full of these things, our focused thoughts should be full of these things and our permanent ideas and core values should also be full of these things.  (These things being whatever is noble, just, pure, lovely, good report, virtuous or praiseworthy).  In short, our thoughts should start, stay and end on good things!

This requires practice, effort and work because it most certainly does not come naturally.  As human beings who are prone to error and sin, we can only do this through the power of the Holy Spirit and the surrender of our will to His and by getting to know God and His Word, the Bible.  Day by day, God can transform us and remake us in His image, if we allow it.

I say all of this to say that our enemy is deceptive and clever and his best weapons are subtle and difficult to detect until we are already in trouble.  Our enemy wants our thoughts to be muddled.  He does not want us to focus on God and His Word.  He knows that God’s Word always produces results in us and will always convict a heart and change a life.  If he can keep us distracted and on our computers, phones, game systems, televisions or use any other method to try to keep us out of God’s Word and off of our knees in prayer then he will do so.

It is up to us to recognize his plan and the way that he tempts and deceives us and to not fall for it.  What we think about and the actions that result from those thoughts matter greatly to God and to the world around us.  We must put Philippians 4:8 into practice and do so visibly and joyfully.  To do so would make an incredible difference in many lives.

Suffering Is Spiritual Resistance

suffering, spiritual growth, maturity, painLet’s use our imaginations for a moment.  Imagine a person who is born into a situation where they have absolutely no responsibility, no needs that go unmet and no impetus for movement beyond basic biological functions.  This person has all of their meals prepared and delivered to them in their room and they are not even required to leave their bed if they don’t want to.  They are not made to learn or to go to school.  They are not required to clean up their own space and have no chores or work assignments beyond merely existing.

Growing up like this, what kind of adult would be produced?  What does your imagination tell you about such a person?  Mine tells me that they would be completely unable to function in normal society, spoiled and lacking in empathy and compassion for others.  Furthermore, they would be fairly useless in any sort of constructive capacity.  In other words, they would be of no help to anyone else (and this is important to remember for the basis of our discussion – as you will see in a moment).

The fact is that in this life almost all of what makes us usable and constructive human beings comes from us meeting some kind of resistance along the way and learning to overcome it.  An easy example to use is that of education.  Facts and figures and logical principles don’t come naturally to most of our brains.  When we first encounter a math problem it seems utterly alien and strange but with a good teacher and some practice we can learn to add and subtract and do all of those things that are required for us to learn basic math.  But unless we pit our brains against the problem of learning how to add and subtract and then do the work required to practice and memorize those skills then we will never progress in our education.

And so it goes with our spiritual walk.  We begin our lives in Christ with simple faith in Jesus and what he has done for us.  But to become useful and constructive Christians we have to meet some resistance along the way and learn to overcome it not by our own strength but by the power of the Holy Spirit and in Jesus’ name.

Allow me to be very personal here for a moment.  Not because I enjoy talking about myself but just to be as real and as transparent as possible.  The last year or so I have had some physical challenges to face.  I seem to have become progressively more sensitive to certain foods and have spent a lot of time in at least some degree of digestive discomfort with all that that entails.  In the process of learning what I can eat and what I must avoid I have also lost a lot of sleep and developed various and sundry body and joint aches (most likely due to not absorbing my food properly).  I’ve had days where I was sick to my stomach, exhausted and aching in various places and I got up, went to work and did “life” anyway because it was the right thing to do and stopping is not an option.

In all of this I wondered where God was and what He was trying to accomplish in me through this experience.  And to tell you the truth I still don’t know.  There might be an “ultimate” answer down the road or it might be that God is just trying to grow me up spiritually by providing some increased resistance in the form of suffering.  I’ve come far enough to know that I don’t need an answer.  I just need to be faithful and believe that anything that comes against me God has already given me the power to overcome in Jesus’ name.  I can say this with confidence because I’ve come through those days and can look back and see God’s faithfulness and love for me even when I was at my worst.  And I’ve learned to trust Him for deliverance because He has delivered me over and over again as I cried out to Him.

But it isn’t just about me, is it?  The reason is far more important than I.  It’s about me being able to tell you and anyone else who will listen that Jesus is not only savior He is also deliverer and the one who comforts and heals.  And it’s only because I’ve experienced it firsthand that I can now testify to God’s grace and tell you that He alone is sufficient.  The fact of the matter is, God can use one person’s suffering to teach and encourage many souls and the value of that teaching and encouragement has vast eternal worth.

 

The Christian’s Biggest Mistake

prayer, praise, intercessionI knew something was wrong immediately.  I felt it inside.  As soon as my eyes opened and I was aware that it was morning I knew that I was not well.

Physically fit but mentally and spiritually drained, I climbed out of bed and started my day.  I didn’t get very far in to my morning routine before I felt that I needed to just stop, listen and pray.

God was trying to tell me something and I had been so busy over the last few days that I had neglected my spiritual nourishment and now I was paying for it.  I felt disconnected from the source (Him) and that my roots that  kept me grounded to the Truth had somehow weakened.

Not only had this weakened me spiritually, I was not in a good place mentally.  My attitude had become one of complaint and self-pity instead of constant praise and reliance on God.  I had let my joy be tarnished by the cares of this world and I had not taken all my burdens and cast them upon my Savior as I should have done.

God stepped in, as He so often has in the past.  He put a big STOP! sign in my brain to try and get my attention and help me to focus on what was really important.

So I stopped.  And I listened for Him.  And I prayed with all of my heart.  I told Him everything that had been going on in the last few days and I praised Him and thanked Him for always being there for me.  The more I talked the easier it got and I felt my burdens lifted and peace returned to my heart.

I lifted up my brothers and sisters who were sick and hurting.  I prayed for my family and for my church.  I prayed that the lost might be saved and that God would order my steps and use me as His hands and feet.  I sought Him with my whole heart and as much as possible I wanted to be in tune with my Heavenly Father because He is my source for strength and I am sustained by Him alone.

I am far from perfect.  I make many mistakes.  But the biggest mistake I can make in my life is when I forget to include God and to put Him first.  He loves me so much and all He asks is that I love and depend on Him first and foremost and love and serve others just as He did.

Are you in close contact with Him, right now?  Has He heard from you today?  If not, go find a place where you can be alone with God and don’t hold anything back.  Give Him everything that is on your heart, praise Him for who He is and then listen as He speaks to you.

Don’t make the same mistake I did.