Today's blog may be a bit different than my usual, but I pray my candid pondering will encourage you!
The other day I was told that a friend of mine met someone who read my blog (whom I have never met) and how the Lord ministered to her through it. Hearing about the situation made my day! It is one thing to journey through life's trials and triumphs with the Lord, but it's entirely different when we go beyond ourselves and minister the revelations we've received to others. I've found that many times I don't realize how much I have learned in a particular season until I use the truths I've "owned" to minister life and encouragement to others. When I say "owned", I am referring to when we go past head knowledge of the Word and experience it for ourselves. (See "Experiencing the Word", blog below)
It's like we get tunnel vision in the midst of the things we go through and though we are doing our best to keep our hearts and minds on the Lord, sometimes we just feel stuck, with no natural knowledge of how or when things will change. But then, in the midst of our trials... our discouragement, sickness, failing hope, our deserts...our CRUD...whatever you want to call it, HE COMES! Sometimes He comes with nothing more than His overwhelming love, but that alone has the strength we need to take a deep breath and face another day. Somewhere in the midst of a glory encounter, we get our fight back. It isn't that we are looking to always fight the enemy, but the INNER fight we need to shake off self-pity, fear, worry, or whatever we deal with, and say, I WILL BLESS THE LORD AT ALL TIMES, HIS PRAISE SHALL CONTINUALLY BE IN MY MOUTH! (Psalm 34:1) Faith and hope rise as we remind ourselves of His love, His faithfulness, and His Word. As we continue to encourage ourselves and set our mind on things above (Col 3:2), something changes within us and ultimately, around us.
We were created to BELIEVE! That's why we are called "Believers", not doubters!
James 4:8 says, "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded." Sometimes He comes and surprises us with His love and strength, but USUALLY the awareness of His presence comes because WE are purposely focusing on Him, drawing near to Him. We purify our hearts by choosing to be single-minded; deciding to believe regardless of what we see or feel in the natural and shaking off the double-mindedness. Without faith we aren't pleasing Him (Hebrews 11:6). You cannot mix faith and doubt - it just doesn't work. Sometimes our greatest battles are not the ones we have with the enemy, but with ourselves. We must CHOOSE to believe!
After hearing about someone who "stumbled" across my blog and encountering the Lord, I was so encouraged. Not only does the Lord see when we live as "laid down lovers" (those who have surrendered all), but the world sees as well. Be encouraged that what you do in secret is having an affect on people even when you are not aware of it!!
I want to encourage you today that regardless of what you are going through, regardless of how long you have gone through it, He holds the answer. We access the answer first by faith. We choose to believe. We choose to thank Him in advance. We choose to worship Him and bring Him love even when we don't understand. When we do these things, we choose well.
If you are doing these things, YOU have chosen well.
The Lord has told my family that we are moving to the States. We chose to believe that we are moving BEFORE we could see any evidence in the natural. Now, as people are being moved on by the Lord to sow into us, we are starting to see the manifestation of what He said. But, it isn't fully there. HOWEVER, in our hearts, we are convinced this move will happen and SOON & we are beginning to pack. YOU have promises from the Lord too! Begin to praise Him for the answer and if there are steps you can take in the natural to step into the answer, do so as He leads.
Remember, your current trial is your future strength that will be used to minister to many!!