I want to be romanced by the King of the Ages and to be Light because of His Amazing Grace.
With God on your side, there is nothing to be afraid of. Our attitude should always be, “The Lord protects me from danger. Why should I be afraid? Though an army surrounds me, though they attack me from every side, I may feel trapped. I don’t see a way out. Medical report doesn’t look good. My bank statement tells me I’m not going to make it. But that’s okay, God is still on the throne. Nothing I’m facing is a surprise to Him.”
Remember, the enemy doesn’t have the final say; God has the final say. And when you put your faith and trust in Him, He says, ‘I will always cause you to triumph.” Be strong and be of good courage. Keep God first place in your life and move forward in confidence knowing that He is working things out for your good.
One thing we have to realize is that God is not going to deliver us from every difficulty. He is not going to keep us from every challenge. If He did, we would never grow. The Scripture says, “Our faith is tried in the fire of affliction.” When you’re in a tough time, that’s an opportunity for your faith to shine.
Anybody can get negative and bitter, blame God, or lose their passion. That’s easy. But if you want to pass the test, if you want God to take you to a new level, you cannot be a weakling. You’ve got to be a warrior. Dig your heels in and say like Paul, “I can handle it. I’m ready for it. I’m equal to it. I know God is still on the throne. He is fighting my battles, and on the other side of this difficulty is a new level of my destiny!”
The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul… Psalm 23:1-3, ESV.
God wants to restore your soul today. Your soul is your mind, your will and your emotions. You are a three-part being: you are a spirit—that’s the part of you that lives for eternity, you have a soul, and you live in a body while you’re here on earth.
Your soul is where you may store hurt, disappointments or brokenness from the past. When God restores your soul, He brings His healing power to those broken places and makes you whole again. And when God restores you, He makes you better off than you were before. He makes you stronger, more alive, and more loving.
I love the picture painted in this verse. Notice that He leads us beside quiet waters. He makes us lie down in green pastures. This is a picture of rest. When we are resting in Him, He is able to do a work in our lives. He is able to bring that restoration. Don’t let the busyness of life keep you going so fast that you don’t stop and rest. Take time to be still before the Lord and let Him restore your soul.
1. Only viewing God as your ticket out of hell.
This one will hit home with a lot of people. And while this may come off extremely judgmental, my point is to help encourage you into a deeper relationship with your Creator. God is more than than a get out of hell free card, and our relationship with him should reflect something much deeper than that. Heaven isn’t a place for people who fear hell, but instead a place for people who passionately love God. Don’t make your relationship with God transactional. He’s worth more than anything your mind can fathom. He’s not here just to be personal fire proof.
2. Only pray when you need something.
Have you noticed that everyone seems to pray when things get tough? The real question is whether or not you are going to extend your prayer life beyond the hard-times. God is looking for a relationship with you, and only by communicating with him will you be able to deepen and nourish it.
3. Only read your bible during a church service.
If you want a relationship with God, then I suggest you read the Word in which he breathed into life. Read a devotional, join a bible study, or even read the bible from beginning to end. Regardless of how you read your Bible, God is looking for you to open up His Word and digest the wisdom he has prepared for you. There is no such thing as a Christian who doesn’t follow God’s Word.
4. Only worship during a church service.
Worshipping during church service is great, but worshipping outside of that element is even greater. Find ways to worship God throughout your everyday life, and make a priority out of giving praise to the one who created you. Worshipping God can be done through many different forms, so find a way to praise God that reflects who God created you to be.
5. Only give back when you get something in return.
True giving is found when you expect nothing in return. Whether you are giving to a charity, a church, or even a missions trip, if you are only doing it because it’s tax-refundable, you might want to question whether or not your heart is in the right place.
6. Only claim to be a Christian when it benefits you.
Anyone can claim to be a Christian when things are easy. The real question is whether or not you will represent your faith in times of trial and tribulation. People all around the world are being martyred for their faith, and the question you need to ask yourself is whether or not your love for God is worth giving everything up for.