Proverbs 4:25-27/ “Let your eyes look directly ahead And let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you. Watch the path of your feet And all your ways will be established. Do not turn to the right nor to the left; Turn your foot from evil.”
Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall.”/Proverbs 16:18
I hope everyone was able to stay safe today with all of the wild weather and ice on the roads! I had the opportunity to experience first hand today how fun driving in weather like this is. I had a date planned with my beautiful fiance today and when I woke up to look outside the date wasn’t looking too promising. This time with Sarah had been what I was looking forward to all week so I didn’t care if I was going to have to go through a snow storm or hurricane, my girl was going to her date! After warnings from my parents and hopping into my little Nissan sentra which is not exactly a snowy weather type vehicle. I set out on my way, bound and determined to not let all these obstacles ruin the big date.
I had gained a little experience driving on icy roads in the past so I just went super slow and rolled through it. My dad had given me some advice before I left and gave me his opinion on driving my little car in the snow. It wasn’t what I wanted to hear so I went anyways. After awhile of driving these roads with no problem, I started to get a little cocky. I got comfortable in my success and thought this isn’t any big deal, I got this. Then I took my focus off the road for just a second, hit a piece of snowy ice and my car started spinning. Before you get scared and think I got in a wreck, no worries! I was going so slow that I was able to control the spin and it was a back road so thankfully no cars were around. After I stopped the spin I was brought back to the piece of advise my dad told me, “all it takes is one bad spot or just a second of paying attention and you can slide off the road.” After my drifting maneuver feeling like one of the guys from the Fast and Furious movies, my dad was right and my pride clogged my judgement of the danger of what was around me.
I finished the rest of the drive with both hands on the wheel, “10 & 2,” and my eyes were peeled on that road more than ever. I started thinking and it’s wild how much this relates to our daily lives. We walk into the world every day with the possibilities of falling into the pride trap. We constantly face icy road type situations all around us with temptations and distractions trying to take us off the path God has set our feet on. This constant ensuing danger at our left and right makes it extremely hard to keep our eyes set ahead on God and watching every step that we turn from evil and please Him. After walking through some of the day with no problems, pride starts to kick in and we fall into the norm of our society which says, “be self-sufficient, you got this.”
That’s the problem, on our own we don’t have this but God says I got you! All it takes is one decision, one moment of thinking we can walk through all these obstacles fighting for our attention to slow us down or put us in a painful spin into falling. Just like my dad gave me great and helpful advice today, God gives a life changing and danger avoiding piece of advice in these pieces of Scripture. He is the One who created us, who knows the number of hairs on our head and exactly what gets us into trouble. Thankfully God loved us so much He gave us His Word so we can apply and prepare ourselves for icy road situations.
He says to keep our eyes forward, not looking left or right but forward. Our pride usually wants to take a gaze around so we can see the possible danger and think well I got this far I can take a detour. Once pride comes, destruction follows. We’re going to spin out and fall a ton in this life but with each fall comes the lesson for the next times pride wants to take a look around. After my spin today I went into super focus because I didn’t want it to happen again. Remember the times you fall and keep that as a reminder when you start getting cocky. Stay walking with eyes forward and humbly professing your need for the Lord. Only He can get us to the destination He has planned for us and only He can allow us to walk through the dangerous obstacles and distractions of this world with not a scratch on us. Recognize your need for Him today no matter how good things are looking because that icy patch is always lurking right around the corner. Stay humble and hungry, eyes set forward, monitoring every move, every single step you take. God has given us life changing advice here, the question is will we accept it and apply it or will we let pride cloud our vision and turn our eyes off Him leading to spinning out of control. He’s got you, stay humble and hungry for more of Him!
Hope everyone has an awesome Sunday getting some good Word and rest in preparation for the upcoming week! Since it’s that time of year, thought this would be a good reminder of the reason for the season. These kids kill the story of Jesus coming into the world! It may be leaving out some details here and there that show how truly amazing this moment that Jesus changed our world forever but it’s daggum funny hearing their take on it! Hope you enjoy and get some good laughs out of this!
“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. “/ Isaiah 7:14
“For with God nothing shall be impossible.”
Wow, well there is a lot that could be said about this truth. Like seriously, just sit back and mediate on the fact that with God anything is possible, literally ANYTHING!!! I had some experiences yesterday that opened up this truth in the wildest of ways!
I had the option at work to wear a Christmas sweater instead of my regular uniform, of course I went with the sweater. I’ve never owned one before but at a yard sale last year I ran across the brightest, classiest, most awesome piece of swag that I’ve ever laid my eyes on. All year I’ve been waiting for the chance to put it on and share it’s awesomeness with the world. Today was that day! From the first moment of feeling the indescribable power of Christmas cheer that it brought to my life, I knew that it was going to be a good day. Walking into work, looking like I robbed an old ladies closet, it was crazy! I thought it was cool and all but no one could walk by it’s seasonal glow without being stopped dead in their tracks.
It turned out to be an unbelievable conversation piece with each person who encountered it. Compliments came in from all over the place, even outside of work, people stopping me in parking lots to pay their respect to the sweater. Even a lady in the gas station talked to me for 15 minutes about Christmas, her little girls love for this time of year and her soon to new little one arriving soon! I was stunned at the power this sweater held!
On a normal day, I just go about my day to get it over with, constant busyness and running wild to keep up with life. Living in a world with so much negative and darkness surrounding us and constantly living in the low expectations of my own failures that I couldn’t make a difference anyways. It becomes hard to stop and experience the numerous opportunities we have to bring a smile to someone’s face, to bring a little bit of bright green and red glittered light to people’s lives. There is always so much negative being talked about and negative in our own life it can leave you thinking, “why should I try? Why don’t I just focus on me and if I feel good then that’s good enough right? I don’t have any platform, the money, or popularity to make any kind of difference so why try?”
The moments in this Christmas sweater, seeing so many people smile just from a wild and bright display of Christmas on cotton. I thought why can’t everyday be a Christmas Sweater type of day? As much as I’d love to wear it everyday, I can’t but the good thing is I can clothe myself in God’s presence everyday no matter where I go He is always there. It’s not the sweater, it’s not our own shortcomings or low expectations, it’s not the wild stuff going on around us, living life under a God where nothing is impossible, why would we ever live in low expectations, believing that because we can’t seem to change our world then there’s no way we can change the world.
It doesn’t take a Christmas sweater, money, or anything we think we need to finally start moving forward in our own lives and watching God work through us to help others move forward one smile at a time. It just comes down to the question and constant reminder to yourself when you start hearing those low living lies come up, “if I’m with God and anything is possible with God then…” What are we waiting for? With a relationship with such a loving, powerful, and capable God we have more than enough to be difference makers. Don’t let yourself get so caught up in why you can’t, walking comfortably through life, never stopping to try will be the result. Focus on why He can!!! Stretch yourself, move from the mundane into the wow, continually seek to move into His very possible. Let the light in your own personal relationship with the Lord shine brightly like a Christmas sweaters into others lives.
I heard a pastor say we so often say to ourselves and others, “I would if I could.” Well God says “you could if you would.” Reverse your would-coulds and live in the powerful truth that God could do anything!!! Set your expectations on His truth and live in His higher standards today! You’ll never know what God is capable of if you don’t put your Christmas sweater on, know that He is with you and just try, if you fail keep trying because with God NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE!!!!!
“Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight! Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt, whose lives are lived in complete honesty! When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away, and I groaned all day long. Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat. Interlude Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.” And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone. Interlude Therefore, let all the godly pray to you while there is still time, that they may not drown in the floodwaters of judgment. For you are my hiding place; you protect me from trouble. You surround me with songs of victory. Interlude The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.” Many sorrows come to the wicked, but unfailing love surrounds those who trust the Lord. So rejoice in the Lord and be glad, all you who obey him! Shout for joy, all you whose hearts are pure!”
Ran across this in a devotion today and the need became so much more real. Staying humble and hungry to walk with the Lord in this life is a daily challenge. Pride, selfish ambitions, pleasures, so much stuff can pop up in our lives to keep us from waking and talking with Him throughout the day. As the NEED continues to be brought up, whether through our own failings or tough circumstances, those are the moments where His unfailing love seems bigger than ever. The beauty of it is His unfailing love is always there. No matter what we do or don’t, He continues to love us and teach us through every moment. I pray we all can recognize the need for the Lord in our lives and live humbly coming to Him in all situations so ourselves and the many needs around us in this world can experience the unfailing love and help that comes only from the Lord. As we fail so often, it blows my mind to think we serve a God whose love never fails. Embrace the need, experience His always constant, ridiciously wild and awesome love for you!
“So when the people broke camp to cross the Jordan, the priests carrying the ark of the covenant went ahead of them. 15 Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, 16 the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away, at a town called Adam in the vicinity of Zarethan,while the water flowing down to the Sea of the Arabah (that is, the Dead Sea) was completely cut off. So the people crossed over opposite Jericho. 17 The priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord stopped in the middle of the Jordan and stood on dry ground, while all Israel passed by until the whole nation had completed the crossing on dry ground.”/Joshua 3:14-17
I’ve never been so jacked up to share this God Gold with you today!!! As I’ve shared my experiences through these God Golds, I don’t know if you’ve noticed but there has been a correlation in the last few months of speaking about some pretty tough times. The more I have wandered through this wilderness, the more I have fought to get out, to find some peace, and the more I have failed. It’s been such a blessing to go into places darker than I’ve ever been and see my struggles for what they really are, UNBELIEF. The more I focused on my impossible circumstances, the more impossible they became. These times of being in the self-imposed pit of unbelief, the darkness, the Lord has allowed me to see just how easy it is to get there and how hard it is to get out. The scary part is, I went days without even realizing the magnitude of my wandering, the people that it affected. As I’ve experienced this in my own life, it makes the mission of spreading the truth of the gospel bigger than ever before because we are all capable of falling into the pit and not even realizing we’ve fallen. This world and the devil’s schemes are so easy to fall into and distract us from the truth, the truth of the freedom and new life we have in Jesus Christ. From a fellow wanderer to another, today I tell you a much different story than stories told in days past. A message of hope, deliverance, freedom, and victory through a God who loves you so abundantly and constantly, no matter how deep you get, no matter how long you’ve wandered in the wilderness bound up by the chains of impossible. I write this with you on my heart whoever you are. We don’t have to live defeated in our unbelief any longer, because God has set us free, the battle has been won and our Savior has sacrificed to give us LIFE!!
Can you see how this story with the Israelites has progressed. Wandering in the wilderness for many years, the first generation that were slaves in Egypt and watched God bring miracle of deliverance time after time to set them free, even parting the red sea, allowing them to walk through to escape the pursuing Egyptians. Despite all their reason to see God in His magnificent love and power, their belief soon dwindled and all they could see was what was around them. All they could see was their wilderness of impossible and their unbelief led them to walking blindly, following whatever god came their way, and looking to anything but the God that was leading them to the fulfillment of His promise, LIFE, life abundantly in the promised land. Does this story sound familiar? It does for me. The more my eyes went horizontal, the more I saw the uncertainty and the mess of my own life and the more my unbelief ran my life leading to falling deeper and deeper into the pit of darkness. I looked in my answers horizontally in the world and myself. Playing into the lies that its up to us to live a better life, it’s all in how hard we work and grind our way to success. I focused more and more on my horizontal problems and it only led to wandering into them even deeper.
The instructions given to the Israelites and the instructions given to us from God’s Word. Put the Lord at the lead of your life, the #1 priority and authority in your life, the One you value above all else. Put Him front and center. As I even tried to make that something I need to do or work at getting better, putting my eyes off my circumstances and on Him showed me it’s not about us or how much we do, it’s just getting as as far out of the way as you can and trusting Him. After all the time spent in unbelief and wandering even trusting God felt foreign to me but with God at the lead, He begins to reignite your faith. He begins to not only be a shadow over your life but a form of substance, something and someOne you can hold tightly to. Seeking Him in His Word, seeing one amazing and powerful work after another. Not seeing Moses, David, or Paul’s amazing work but seeing God’s love reaching down into broken and sinful men’s lives not because of anything they did but because of His love for them. His love and powerful works were magnified through the worst of the worst. Could it be? I always sat and asked for faith like these men and wondering where did their faith come from? It’s God, who He is, the abundant and steadfast love He has for us, these men were so faithful because God gave them no reason not to be. The creator of the whole earth, the stars, moon and sun, He loves you, He fights for you, He is faithful in His promises to give you deliverance over any circumstance no matter how impossible. The more you learn of the love, power, and beauty of God, wandering in unbelief sounds foreign. God wants nothing more than for us to see Him and His truth, for us to walk in the freedom He has so graciously given to us. The only thing stopping us from believing and embracing this life with God, is us.
‘Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”/John 8:32
The Israelites are on the move. They are moving from their unbelief in the impossible and looking upward to the God who conquers the impossible. They have looked horizontally for so long but just one look on the Lord’s presence and love for them lifted their eyes, lifted their belief and no longer we they scared of the impossible odds that stood in their path. All they could see and believe was what was in front. The promises of God and they moved in faith towards His fulfillment and deliverance. Once getting to the river, you see it says the river was in flood season. But God said He would give them dry ground to cross over into the promised land? Situation becomes even more impossible and when those situations come up in our life, our circumstances quickly become tougher and tougher to handle. In our unbelieving, control loving and wandering ways looking horizontal and seeing the impossible, first instinct is to head to the house right? That’s the unbelief that starts that spiraling deeper and deeper into the pit of worry, fear, doubt, and defeat. Remember the truth of keeping God first. We aren’t in that low living defeated belief system anymore. Trusting in the truth that has set you free, trusting in the promises of the almighty God, your beliefs aren’t in your impossible circumstances. Even though you can’t physically see it you can hold tight to God’s truth written directly to you showing you exactly who He is and how mighty and capable He is.
“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”/Romans 8:31
“But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.”/Psalm 86:15
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.“/2 Timothy 1:7
“THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE!!!!!” Do you see that? More importantly do you believe that? We say we have every reason to doubt and fear but that’s on us. When the focus is taken of us and our weakness, the flood of waters that are surrounding us to the point that we feel like drowning is our only way. GOD HAS GIVEN US ANOTHER WAY, that way is Himself. When all of the impossible is placed on God, where He is faithful to carry us through it and giving us everything we need to walk through with our freedom and victory intact, God makes the impossible possible! The priests take His presence to the middle of the river of flooding waters and dry ground…WHAT?!?! When it didn’t seem like there was a way, God stopped the waters and made a way. The Israelites were delivered that day and we can stand firm in the awesome truth of His love for us, His power and provision, His promises, and His deliverance. The truth in Him and His Word is our dry ground and the only thing stopping us from standing firm in His truth is us. Put aside your wants, your pride, and all the horizontal crap that the world feeds into you. God has made a way so we don’t have to live in the slavery of our self imposed wilderness. Deliverance may not look possible at all but if God is for us then nothing or no one can stand against us, continue to walk with your eyes on Him and He will lead you into the LIFE He has in store. For me the past couple of days His deliverance has been showing me how to do less and trust more, peace, joy, confidence, victory and FREEDOM! I’m excited to see you hold tight to these truths and daily walk into the rivers of life. Living in the victory He’s given us in a risen Savior and looking beyond the impossible into what He has in store. The deliverance of walking from wandering in the wilderness to the fullness of LIFE God has in store for you.