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Pins and Needles

You can’t live on pins and needles. I know there are those today living on pins and needles because of this election, but that is not what God has for you! Pins and needles are for those who do not know the living God. Pins and needles are for those who have no alternative but to fret and pace and bite their nails and glue themselves to the television. I know the rebuttal, “you don’t understand what all is at stake.” I think I do know, but even with the clearest understanding of what’s at stake and who comes and goes through the Whitehouse, my faith and my hope is not in men or women. If you are a child of God,you shouldn’t put your faith and hope in them either. The alternative to pins and needles is trusting in God, and no, you can’t do both. The alternative to pins and needles is more time spent in prayer for whoever is elected. God can still change the heart of any man or woman, but He expects us to pray and ask that He will. The alternative to pins and needles has to do with where your focus is. By faith look to God and be delivered from election pins and needles. All hell may break lose, but it never has to break lose inside of you and me. You may wonder if I’m saying, “Don’t keep up with what’s happening,” but I’m not. I’m saying, “No matter what happens, don’t be moved,” because our God is watching and sees everything.

Psalms 37:7 “Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.”

Make Some Room

Are you making enough room for Christ in your life? Years ago when our kids were young, we would gather with my brother and sister and their families and pile in at my parent’s house for the holidays. My mom’s policy was—and still is today—“we will make room.” What that looks like to me is sleeping on an air mattress on the kitchen floor under the table. I remember like it was yesterday because that mattress had a pin-hole leak, and in the middle of the night the heaviest person on the mattress touched the cold floor first—that was me. The “we will make room” policy was great in theory, but practically, that was a rough night. The heart behind the policy was to do whatever was needed to be done so we could all be together. The willingness to make more room for Christ in our lives should be in our hearts, but often we make little to no room for Him. Let me ask you, what could you do to make more room for Christ? Your schedule is full and the demands aren’t going away, but the Lord deserves more room in our lives. God has made room for us in heaven, so do whatever it takes to make room for Him in your life here and now. John 14:23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.” Make more room for Jesus!

Don’t Fall

Idolatry is still a thing, and you may not think you have a problem with it, but the part about you being human means you probably struggle like most people. Idolatry takes place when something or someone comes between you and God. Idolatry takes place when God takes second place in our lives. Our lives will always be ordered by the objects of our worship. There are idols of entertainment, and there’s nothing wrong with wholesome entertainment, but when the majority of our time, energy and efforts are spent somewhere else instead of on the things of God, it’s a problem. The pursuit of worldly riches and the pursuit of popularity completely robs followers of Christ of the blessings of an idol-free life.

Idolatry is not ok, and it’s something we should constantly be examining in our lives. It’s crazy to even consider this, but some people idolize other people and some people idolize themselves. No one should worship the ground you walk on, and if someone does, you should stop their worship instantly. God alone is worthy of your worship! You can appreciate and be thankful for the people in your life without crossing the line of idolatry. This was the problem with many of the Hebrews coming out of Egyptian bondage. They had been surrounded by physical idols and had only heard of God, the Father of creation. Let’s admit that it’s easier to worship what you can see and touch, but we can admit also that worship doesn’t require faith. Here’s what God’s word says about man-made idols. “Their idols [are] silver and gold, The work of men’s hands. They have mouths, but they do not speak; Eyes they have, but they do not see; They have ears, but they do not hear; Noses they have, but they do not smell; They have hands, but they do not handle; Feet they have, but they do not walk; Nor do they mutter through their throat. Those who make them are like them; [So is] everyone who trusts in them. O Israel, trust in the LORD; He [is] their help and their shield.” Psalm 115:4-9. The apostle Paul said, “Flee from idolatry.”

To not fall before an idol you must live a disciplined life, because even today you are surrounded by them. Don’t fall for them. Worship the One True and Living God!

Running from God

Here’s something to keep in mind—you can’t successfully run from the presence of God, but many have tried. It said of Jonah after having received clear directions from God, “But Jonah arose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.” —Jonah 1:2. God was not only right behind Jonah as he fled, but He was in front of Jonah and all around Jonah, in the wind and in the great fish. When you run away from God, you bring trouble wherever you go. You will bring trouble to work and trouble on the highway. When you run from the Lord and begin to live in a manner you know is against God’s Will, you bring trouble to your house and trouble to the Lord’s house.

This is for the child of God who thinks they know better than God Himself. You may be able to sleep in your trouble just like Jonah slept in the storm, but you will not sleep in the whale. It’s amazing to me that God didn’t just kill Jonah, but that tells us there is grace for the rebel runners. It would shock us to know how many live in the deep consequences of disobedience to God. I’ve been there and perhaps you have to, and it’s very likely you will come into contact with someone running from the Lord before you come into contact with someone who has the virus. In case you come into contact with a runner, unless they will hear you and turn back to the Lord, your only option may be separation. Make this note right here, not every difficulty and trial is a sign of rebellion. But if you have been swallowed by a difficult circumstance, you should examine yourself and also know there is grace for another chance. If the winds of trouble are stirring, it might be someone near you inviting God’s correction.

Jonah got a second chance to do God’s Will because the One true and living God is full of grace and mercy. We all have an option when God starts calling—receive the call and walk in obedience or rebel and run. Let me encourage you to put the way you feel on the ship and let them sail away, and let us do God’s Will.

Have You Come to Yourself?

“And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!” Luke 15:17

This was the turnaround moment for the prodigal son who had taken his inheritance, traveled to a far country, wasted all that he had been given, only to find himself at the very lowest place he could go. I have imagined over the past few days how long this young man had already been living in the pit of life. Life pits are everywhere and many are headed that way today and many have just come from that miserable place. You most likely will run into someone today. We can only wonder and speculate what it was that caused the young man to come to himself. It definitely had something to do with his memory, because he remembered how well his father’s servants were treated. He must have thought, “If I’m going to be someone’s servant, I want to be one of my father’s servants, because he treats them so well.” This young man was wearing rags and was starving to death and completely alone and at the most desperate place in his life—and that’s when he came to himself. What a moment! That should speak to us today. You don’t have to live in misery. You don’t have to stay where you are and keep doing what you’re doing. But you must come to yourself and start walking towards the Father. Just like the prodigal son’s father was daily looking and waiting on him, our great God and Father stares towards the far country expecting one of His own to come home. This is a good day for someone to come to their senses, as one version translates it, and start your way back home to God. Our Father will receive you with grace and mercy and with great joy!

Be Healed!

You may not need to go to the hospital or to see your doctor, but you still may need to be healed. Everyone gets hurt in life in ways a prescription cannot help. Everyone gets hurt by relationships, broken hearts, shattered dreams, crushed expectations and loss. Most often those inner wounds don’t get the attention and care they should, and over time they have a negative effect on us. What do I mean? Inner wounds that haven’t been adequately healed will rob you of the ability to live in the fullness of God in your life. You can live with inner wounds the same way people live with a limp from an injury or live life in a wheel chair after a stroke. The loss of a loved one is the most difficult to heal from, but that is why God has given us faith to trust in eternal life. If you haven’t been healed, you will miss out on the joys of life. You will miss out on the richness in relationships of those near you. You will miss out allowing other dreams to capture the passion of your life. Let me ask you, do you need to be healed on the inside? Have you buried the hurt and sorrow in your heart rather than being healed from it? If so, acknowledge it, and then ask God to heal you today. Be healed on the inside in the name of Jesus and live the life God has for you.

Jeremiah 17:14 “Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed; Save me, and I shall be saved, For You [are] my praise.”

What Are You Doing Here?

Here’s a question for you!  “And there he went into a cave, and spent the night in that place; and behold, the word of the LORD [came] to him, and He said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 1 Kings 19:9. This was God asking Elijah but it’s a great question to mediate on. What are you doing here?  Are you are a place in your life that you have been driven to out of fear?  Are you at a place in your life that doesn’t fit the high calling of God in your life?  What are you doing here?  You must recognize that God didn’t ask, “What are you doing THERE, but here?”  That means that God was there with Elijah just like God is there with you. When fear overtakes us, we run away and back to the familiar just as the disciples went back to fishing. Elijah ran as far as he could to go hide in a cave when his calling was to represent God to people. God knew the answer to the question before Elijah said a word, just like God knows what you are doing where you are. The question insinuated the answer, “You shouldn’t be here.”   The question suggested a mission and the mission is that God is not finished using you. The question should motivate you to listen for the next assignment by God. You and I are not Elijah, but we’ve been out of place, off the grid, but God is faithful and ready to speak with clear directions. Listen today for that still small voice.

God has something for you to do and you maybe in the wrong place to do it. Believe that He is with you and that He is speaking to you today with new directions.

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