Friday, October 24, 2014

Battling the Temptation

Psalm 119:11
I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

How do we guard ourselves against temptations and the battles of this broken world? One way is to read scripture. To study it, memorize it, pour our hearts into reading the Bible,  and soaking up God's word into our hearts. 

I am not one to be able to memorize easily. But what I have found is because I read it a lot, that I am well versed enough to be able to recall ideas I have read in scripture and then be able to look it up. I'm so thankful I can do at least that.  It truly has saved me more than once from poor choices and has enabled me to boldly have conversations defending my position rather than shy away.

Our struggles come from the world which is on the outside. What will save us will come from inside - the stored scripture in our hearts and the Holy Spirit that dwells within.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Incline Your Ear

Isaiah 55:3
Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live.

Part of giving up control (like we talked about yesterday) is having listening ears. What good is it if we decide to let God be in charge and we don't listen to what he tells us to do?  Conversing with God is not like Moses and the burning bush where we hear him physically with our ears.  Sometimes God speaks to us through the Holy Spirit, sometimes through scripture, sometimes through other people that he has put in our lives.

I don't know what God is going to tell you to do. But I do know that when I get an idea I put it through a test. If this "idea" seems scriptural based I'll make sure to back it up by looking at more scriptures, if this idea just appeared in my mind, I might run it past others to see if it makes sense. I know that when an idea pops into my mind and it just grits me like sandapaper I take time to examine that.  Is it because this idea is one of the world's and not God's? Is it because this idea is something I really don't want to do because it's too hard.  Taking time to examine ideas and situations is a wise choice to make sure it's God honoring.

Often, in the beginning of recovery, our mind is muddled with lots of conflicting thoughts. I can't do this. I'm not good enough. God doesn't really want me. I will never beat this hurt, habit or hang-up even though I so desire to. Having a sponsor or accountability partner is a wonderful way to help weed out what are the thoughts of the world and Satan and doubt.

Since we decided to let go and let God be in charge of our lives, let's now listen for his orders.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Who's Really in Control Here?

Proverbs 16:1
The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the LORD.

Finding our way in life often means giving up control. Why do we even want to control situations? It's very simple. It's because we want to dictate every single outcome. I used to try and control every situation I could - my kids, husband, work, friends, everything. Many of you know I'm a programmer and so my life was a long if statement something like this...

If this happens then I'll do this
Else, I need to check this now
Well, now I have to check for this and this and this.
OK, I planned for all three of those situations and none happened so now I have to check for this and this and this and this otherwise...

While it might seem funny - the truth is this type of thinking leads to a life that is way out of control. I was trying to control and plan for everything - why??  So I wouldn't get hurt anymore. But what I really was doing was God's job.

A very good friend called me on the carpet one day about this type of thinking. I was going through Celebrate Recovery at the time and I thought as part of "healing from being hurt by another" that I needed to plan to protect myself. This dear friend asked me point blank "What are you trying to accomplish by controlling everyone and everything?" What??? Could others see right through me? Is that what I was doing? And that's when I finally got the hint. Here I was trying to heal from the hurts of my life, but what I ended up doing was trying to control every situation so that I wouldn't get hurt again. But what an exhausting life to lead. And honestly - it was an epic FAIL!

Now I'm learning to deal with situations in a prayful way. Instead of my trying to plan for every outcome..I'm asking God to take it all and this is a hard for me to let go, but I have to trust God. What really made me understand the truth to this entire way of life was when I heard at a meeting that if I try to control life - I'm not letting God be in control and that he promises to have good things in store for me.

If you are like me and need to control every little outcome, let go. At least let one thing go today. And tomorrow two things. And so on. The more I "let God", the more I'm letting God be in control of my life. And finally, I have peace about it.

But here is the must trust that His ways are better than your or mine. If we are to really believe and have faith - then when "things" in life don't go the way we want them to, or we don't get what we think we ought to have or deserve .. we must trust in His ways.  When we can accept and believe that, then we are winning the battle.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Musical Devos ~ Dave Barnes' God Gave Me You

Dave Barnes ~ God Gave Me You

I've been a walking heartache
I've made a mess of me
The person that I've been lately
Ain't who I wanna be

But you stay here right beside me
Watch as the storm goes through
And I need you

God gave me you for the ups and downs
God gave me you for the days of doubt
For when I think I've lost my way
There are no words here left to say, it's true
God gave me you

There's more here than what were seeing
A divine conspiracy
That you, an angel lovely
Could somehow fall for me
You'll always be love's great martyr
Ill be the flattered fool
and I need you

God gave me you for the ups and downs
God gave me you for the days of doubt
For when I think I've lost my way
There are no words here left to say, it's true
God gave me you

On my own I'm only
Half of what I could be
I can't do without you
We are stitched together
And what love has tethered
I pray we never undo

God gave me you for the ups and downs
God gave me you for the days of doubt
God gave me you for the ups and downs
God gave me you for the days of doubt
For when I think I've lost my way
There are no words here left to say, it's true
God gave me you, gave me you.
Gave me you.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Stray Hearts

Stray Hearts - Our Daily Bread

Sunday, October 19, 2014

I Am Second with Christine Petric and Over-Coming Anger and Resentment

The Story - Christine Petric ~


Born in South Korea, adopted at a young age, and growing up in a predominately white suburban environment, Christine Petric was constantly reminded that she was different. The one place where these differences did not seem to matter was when she excelled on the soccer field.  At those moments she was the “successful soccer chick” and could forget any awkward discrimination.
An injury early in her freshman soccer season derailed big athletic plans, and her extra time ushered in a quickly developing dating relationship.  Soon she was living only for herself, and “being pretty selfish about it.”  It took a devastating revelation from her boyfriend that further rocked her self-esteem before she was ready to see that her true identity was found in Christ’s love for her.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

But God, I'm Angry

“Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires.” (James 1:19–20 NLT)

I read this verse the other night when I had my red light (check out the devo from 2 days ago to see what I'm talking about)...see I know that when I fall back like this I MUST start searching scripture to help me focus. Talking with God and  reading the word are truly the only things that help me re-focus.

Anyway, in my anger of being hurt, I saw this verse. I knew I had a right to be angry because of the words he chose to use. Even if he didn't mean it - he said it. 

And even though I was "working it out" with God, I kept trying to justify my anger. I was making a mental list of sorts of the wrongs. And years ago I could have done this for a long time - I mean looooonnnnngggg time. I could harbor bitterness and resentment with the best of them. Then I started attending Celebrate Recovery and working the steps. And I realized it was just so unhealthy. In reality, my anger just adding to the sin of the situation.

This verse reminds me that I must be quick to listen - not quick to anger. Yup - I messed this one up. Instead of taking the situation and being slow about my emotional reaction (and don't trust emotions - they often lie)..I was quick to jump on the angry train and barrel through town.

Eventually I forgave with my heart, but this verse is such a great reminder that in EVERYTHING I do - I want it to produce the righteousness that God desires of and for me.