Category Archives: Purpose

Your Irresistible Future with God

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Beware of looking back

Go in confidence and grace—no rushing, no frantic escape.
    There’s no need to be anxious—the Eternal One goes before and behind you.
The God of Israel paves the way with assurance and strength.
    He watches your back.

Isaiah 52:12 (VOICE)

“Our yesterdays present irreparable things to us; it is true that we have lost opportunities which will never return, but God can transform this destructive anxiety into a constructive thoughtfulness for the future. Let the past sleep, but let it sleep on the bosom of Christ. Leave the Irreparable Past in His hands, and step out into the Irresistible Future with Him.” (Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest (1956). Section “December 31”).

God is the God of your yesterdays, your todays, and your tomorrows. Often memories of the past keep you from fully experiencing God’s grace and joy for today. It’s possible that you are longing for days gone by because they were happier times (the good ‘ole days), or it could be that you are wallowing in the junkyard of past memories, allowing the blunders of the past to overshadow God’s blessing for today. In either case, you are stuck in the quicksand of yesterday, and you can’t move into the future that God has in store.

Just remember, that God’s got your back! He’s your rear guard, and His hand can reach back into your past and settle any claims against your conscience. He can use yesterday’s mistakes and turn them into today’s ministry of growth for your future. He has a grand plan for your life, so let the past rest in God’s sweet embrace. He’s paving the way ahead with assurance and strength, so step confidently into your irresistible future with Him! “And He will be leading you. He’ll be with you, and He’ll never fail you or abandon you. So don’t be afraid!” Deuteronomy 31:8 (VOICE)

Looking Ahead

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Snowy Path CS Lewis quote

Don’t revel only in the past, or spend all your time recounting…days gone by.
Watch closely: I am preparing something new; it’s happening now, even as I speak,
and you’re about to see it. I am preparing a way through the desert; Waters will flow where there had been none.

Isaiah 43:18 – 19 (VOICE)

 The eve of a fresh new year is a great time to start looking forward to the possibilities that lie ahead. Perhaps there are things that you wish you could change about the year you see in the rear view right now, and of course you can learn a great deal from past failure ~ as well as past success! But continually looking backwards will hold you frozen in your history, rather than focused on the present task of writing your story. So don’t revel only in the past, or spend all your time recounting days gone by. The things you leave behind have already happened, but the future ahead is like a brand new page in a new chapter of your life.

As the New Year dawns, vow to live each day with resolve and intent.  God has given each of us a certain number of days to fulfill our life’s purposes. Ask Him to give you the grace to understand the important significance of each new day ~ and each moment ~ that you spend here on earth.  Some of us have more time than others, but none of us know the exact amount of time that we have left to complete our life’s mission. Pray for divine instruction concerning how to use your time purposefully throughout the days of the coming year.

Remember, “There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.” ~ C.S. Lewis

  • You crown the year with your good blessings, and you leave abundance in your wake. Psalm 65:11 (NET)
 

God Colors

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God Colors

“I am the light of the world.
Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness,
but will have the light of life.”
~Jesus
John 8:12 (ESV)

My family and I recently took a trip to explore a huge, underground cavern called “The Lost Sea,” so named because at the bottom of the .75 mile cavern is the world’s second largest underground lake. As our tour descended further and further into the dimly lit cave I was amazed at the enormity of this geological formation inside the earth. At one point our guide stopped the group in a gigantic, cavernous “room” and began to explain its colorful history, describing the types of people this room had housed throughout history: including Native Americans, Civil War soldiers, even Roaring 20’s prohibitionists.

As I was imagining the types of activities which might have taken place right where I stood, the guide told us to remain still for a moment as he turned out the lights. My husband, son and I huddled close together to prepare for this experience. Once the lights were extinguished, there was absolute and total darkness. Deep under the earth, in complete absence of light, I could not see my own hand in front of my face, and without any visual point of reference I began to feel unsure of my footing, even though I knew my feet were planted firmly on solid earth! It was an especially eerie experience to know that my loved ones were standing right next to me, holding hands to steady each other, and yet my eyes could not perceive them…even faintly.

What a big relief when the lights were finally turned back on! As my eyes readjusted to the light, I was amazed at how colors began to pop out at me. The walls and ceiling of the cave seemed to sparkle from the light. The path ahead and my surroundings were once again visible, and my anxious feelings during the brief moment of darkness were calmed.

Jesus tells us in John 8:12, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” Jesus brings the light of life to all mankind, and His light ensures that we will never have to stumble in darkness. His light illuminates our path, shines His truth into every situation, and removes the darkness of sin from our lives.

As children of God, we reflect the blazing light of our Savior into the dark corners of the world, bringing out the “God Colors” for others to see. The world is watching how we respond to tense situations, how we treat our family members, how we provide care and comfort to others in need, how we bow our heads to say our blessing of gratitude before a meal, and overall how we live our lives. As the light of Christ shines through our lives in each situation, the God Colors begin to sparkle. God’s presence in our lives is not a secret to be kept, and as His children, our best way of drawing others to the Light of the World is by letting the brilliant light of our Savior shine in our everyday lives.

So let your light shine brightly and reflect the divine God Colors throughout the world!

Your Extraordinary Destiny

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Extraordinary Destiny

 

“We are confident that God is able to orchestrate everything to work toward something good and beautiful
when we love Him and accept His invitation to live according to His plan.”  
Romans 8:28 (VOICE)
 

What an amazing vision of your future ~ the overwhelming hardships you have experienced could very well be preparing you for your “extraordinary destiny!” God promises His children that He can use everything to work toward something good and beautiful if we live according to His plan ~ Yes, He can even use the bad, ugly, painful, and heartbreaking things that happen to us.

When you completely trust God… and not in life’s treasures…you allow the Master Craftsman to use each event in your life to create a glorious masterpiece.  Like threads in a tapestry, He can weave your defeats, your struggles, your heartache, your pain, your loss, your trials, your rejection, and even your shameful mistakes into a rich, beautiful, one-of-a-kind design.

No one else has walked in your shoes. Your experiences are completely unique to you. Will you accept God’s invitation to launch into your extraordinary destiny by allowing Him to orchestrate something good and beautiful from your personal life experiences?

  • “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
  • “Surely it was for my benefit that I suffered such anguish.  In your love you kept me from the pit of destruction; you have put all my sins behind your back.” Isaiah 38:17 (NIV)
  • “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” Genesis 50:20

Bloom Where You’re Planted

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“And don’t be wishing you were someplace else or with someone else.
Where you are right now is God’s place for you.
Live and obey and love and believe right there.”
1 Corinthians 7:17a (MSG)
 

In most parts of the world, a limb cut from a tree will not continue to grow and thrive. But in the fertile, tropical rain forest region of Central America, the growing conditions are so perfect that even limbs used as fence posts will sprout roots and produce new limbs!  Eventually these “Living Fences” begin to look like groves of trees, growing in perfect alignment.

In the same way, God wants to use your life right where you are planted, and He has specifically placed you where you are at this moment in time for a special reason. Don’t miss out on the great opportunities to serve Him right where you live! We often feel strapped to our life’s obligations, and we are so concerned about what we could be doing if we were someplace else, but you can do God’s work and have a tremendous impact on others in your current sphere of influence.  You are uniquely positioned to influence those around you in your home, your workplace, your community, your school, your team, your neighborhood, etc… You don’t have to be in full-time ministry or ship off to a foreign mission field to serve others.  Live out each day of your life as your ministry, wherever you are and whatever you are doing. Ask God to open your eyes and show you new and creative ways to serve Him. Be like the “Living Fence,” and live and obey and love and believe right there ~ Bloom where you are planted!

Let your roots grow down into Him and draw up nourishment from Him,
so you will grow in faith, strong and vigorous in the truth you were taught.
Let your lives overflow with thanksgiving for all he has done.
Colossians 2:6 – 7 (NLT)

God Uses the Ordinary for Extraordinary Purposes

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But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him.
The Lord does not look at the things people look at.
People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.
1 Samuel 16:7
 

On a recent trip to Costa Rica, I was awakened each morning at dawn to an exquisite sound…the beautiful song of the Clay-colored Thrush.  Before I ever spotted one of these birds, I was mesmerized by its beautiful serenade.  And when I finally saw one of them, I was surprised by its bland appearance, and I was even more surprised when I learned that this plain-looking bird is the national bird of Costa Rica!  In a country full of flashy and iconic birds – such as the macaw, toucan and motmot – why in the world would a tawny-brown bird that blends into the scenery be chosen as their national bird? But then when I connected this ordinary bird with its ethereal song, it became extraordinary in my sight.

The Clay-colored Thrush has achieved national bird status not by being showy, strong, colorful, huge or any other superlative. This common bird gained its status by simply using its God-given talent of singing its beautiful song. It has a tendency to live close to humans and is widespread throughout the country of Costa Rica, so each day its residents are all awakened by the same lovely sound – a rich, enchanting call which unifies the entire nation – making it an excellent choice for a national bird!

This ordinary bird is a great example of how God uses ordinary people for extraordinary purposes. God knows what’s in our hearts, and He’s not concerned with outward appearances. Most people spend hours each week maintaining their outward appearance, but they spend very little time developing their inward character and seeking out God’s purpose for their lives. Samuel almost overlooked David as God’s choice to be king of Israel, because he was young with a ruddy complexion, and he did not have the outward regal appearance of a future king. Not everyone is destined to become a king, but God has designed each one of us with a unique and meaningful purpose in mind. Live your life the Clay-colored Thrush — use your God-given talents and “sing your life song” to make an impact in the lives of those around you. Don’t let any excuses (such as your age, physical abilities, or outward appearance) stop you from fulfilling the extraordinary purpose for which you were designed!

Before You Decide

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“The LORD says, ‘I will guide you along the BEST pathway for your life.
I will advise you and watch over you.'”
Psalm 32:8 (NLT)
 

Are you facing a major decision in your life?  Do you feel overwhelmed and mentally exhausted with weighing all the pros and cons of each possible scenario?  Is every thought interwoven with a thread of uncertainty?

Wouldn’t it be an incredible feeling to know with absolute certainty that you are moving in the right direction? Imagine the relief of not questioning each step you make, worried that you might be heading in a trajectory that is completely away from where you should be going with your life.

You can relax and rest in God’s promise to you:  Your Heavenly Father will guide you along the BEST pathway for your life, and He will advise you and watch over you along the way.  Here’s a simple prayer that you can pray to God right now:  “Show me the right path, O LORD; point out the road for me to follow. Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you” Psalm 25:4-5 (NLT).

While you are listening for God’s answer, spend time alone with Him, free of distractions and away from your daily routine.  Often His answer comes in a gentle whisper to your spirit, and the “noise” in your life can drown out His voice. Place all your hope in the One who has written every chapter of your life, the One who has your name inscribed on His palms, the One who knows the desires of your heart, and the One who knows the reason for which you were created.

Allow Him to show you the best pathway for your life and trust that He will watch over you every step of the way.