Today is that day: be inspired

Today is that day: be inspired

Today determine to live on purpose live_I

God has a plan for you, are you walking it out?

Let’s face it, we like being in control. We love to create fantastic plans and revel in the thrill of them being played out. Then we become frustrated when things go awry and it seems as if the entire universe is against us. But let’s be honest–how many of us seek God first for direction? How many consult with him regularly and the move accordingly?

“The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” (Provb. 16:9, ESUVK)

Sometimes as we are caught in the moment we move quickly, excitedly because after all, we are endeavoring in a good thing. But every good thing isn’t expedient or our job to accomplish.

God is one of purpose. He is not a God that moves on a whim; he is not swayed by our emotions or frustrations or desperation. He has a plan. It is for our good. His plan has perfect timing; it has a rhythm and season. It does not fail even when we do.

 

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We Do Not Live to Please Ourselves

We are not designed or created to pursue goals to live blissful lives according to our own desire or world view. We are made to be used by Him. We are a part of a whole– a single, intricate thread designed by God with precision and purpose and woven into the fabric of reconciliation. He has called us unto Himself—and in turn he uses some to influence and bring others to Him as well. When we focus solely on ourselves we lose sight of the greater good. We are only a small fraction in the grand plan. And we must trust his plan. Trust his way.

 

If You’re Lost don’t be afraid to ask for Directions

Sometimes our frustration grows out of our failure to hear, listen and submit to His way. He is always speaking, but are we always listening?

If it seems you’re circling the same path, stuck in the same situation, frustrated by the obstacles which tripped you up last year, stop and ask for direction. It is not God’s desire that we waste time or repeat for the sake of repetition. Ask Him for next steps. Seek to know if you’ve gotten off task. Talk to Him and he will certainly talk to you.

In the Moments of Quiet

In the Moments of Quiet

If you are like me you are on a constant move from the moment your feet hit the floor. From the kids, to the hubby or wife, work and so on your ‘to dos’ are heap upon a plate that is overflowing. Perhaps as you are dressing or in the car on the way to work or school you breathe a quick ‘thank you’ to God, call it your morning prayer time and keep it moving. I know the feeling as I’ve done it more times than I care to admit.

Now prayer doesn’t have to be a 90-minute knee-bending event or a drawn out session where we dump on God our every woe. But it is important that we crave out some quiet time with God–have a conversation before the day begins to wear away.

Prep Time

I’m not a huge sports fan, but I know others that are and from my understanding before the coach send his players out there to face the opponent he takes time to encourage, uplift and direct and yes, pray. He prepares them for the challenge, to mentally fortify them with what is necessary to win. This isn’t the time to scrimmage or lift weights, no. You see the coach understands that the game is both mental and physical and if either is lacking, the opponent can easily undercut. For us this life is more spiritual than natural. Anything that has or will materialize exist spiritually first. We must prepare. Moving in our day unprepared leaves us open to the enemy and his tactics.

 

Coach Prepping Team

The bible says the devil is as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. (I Pet. 5:8) He is seeking—a slow calculating search for those that are open, inattentive, unaware. Prayer is our preparation—our scrimmage, pep talk, rally, conditioning period. It is the time we equip ourselves to deal with those spiritual influences that will surely challenge us throughout the day. It helps us to divert stress, escape danger and receive direction. We cannot blame anyone when we make a wrong decision if we did not first seek the Master. (Prvb. 3:6)

God walks to talk with you

A friend of mine has a daughter with whom he was estranged from for some years. When they finally reconnected she was on a perpetual quest to get everything she could from him. She only appeared when she wanted money, gifts or a place to stay. Once she had what she was after, she was gone. When he couldn’t provide what she asked for, she pouted like a two-year-old ranting that if he was a real father he would make it happen.

God is a real father and he will do for us. But God is about relationship. He wants to talk with you, hear your voice and hear your praises. Our prayer is not all about a list of wants( although he is a God of provision). It’s about communing with our Lord, finding out his heart so that ours may align with it. It is a time we check with him on today’s agenda. How many tragedies would be averted it we’d only checked with God?

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God sometimes will give the preverbal tap on the shoulder sometime during the day, to tell us to take a different turn, but how much more so if our hearts are already open to hear him. If the world’s voice is louder than his, we’ve missed something.

Talk to him. Share your heart and then let him share his. Sing a sweet love song, He, like us loves to hear the sound of His name.

But there isn’t any time

There is always time, but it is our priorities that we must adjust. Twenty-four hours is twenty-four hours no matter who you are. Time spent with God may make the difference in wrong decisions, tragedies and bad moods. Time with God is never wasted, no matter how we may waste away the rest of the time.

Take the time. You will be glad you did and so will He.

Whenever you don’t feel good enough–write through it

I have a friend who says whenever she finishes a book she gets this overwhelming dark feeling that it will fail, even with numerous books to her credit, a smothering sensation undermines her confidence and suddenly it feels as if she’s back at book #1. It will not be successful, the voice mocks, and no one will read it and how truly ridiculous it is to even think that this story was a good idea in the first place.  But every time she finishes a book she presses forward. Every time.

Her desire to succeed is greater than her fear of failure.

But what about the rest of us? How many times have we taken these feelings to heart and backed off of a project or lessen the frequency in which we write or read or seek an agent or send out another query letter? In reality, all it takes is a shift in our thinking paradigm to throw off our game, to become less enthused or to stop reaching for that muse. There is a scripture in the Bible that reads, …for as he thinks in his heart so is he.” When we start thinking that we can’t…well…we can’t.

Good Thoughts override the bad

That is why it is important to flood our hearts with good thoughts. Simply ignoring the bad thoughts is not enough. Even when no one else is encouraging us, we must remind ourselves every day that we are good enough, we are walking in God’s plan for our life and that is enough. Those other voices only come to discourage and would not come at all if we weren’t pursuing something worthy.

Feelings are Not Facts

When we get those feelings of discouragement it is important to remember that they are feelings and not facts. Feelings fluctuate depending on that which we constantly meditate. To change your feelings, change that on which you meditate. Think of your successes, your victories, and the message of your work. Fix your mind on such things, in other words be unmovable in your stance. Does this mean those bad thoughts will never pay you a visit? Not at all. It means that overtime your good thoughts will silence the bad ones and you will prove to be victorious.

 

The Importance of Self-Discipline

The Importance of Self-Discipline

I hate to be told I can’t do something, in other words put under restriction because I was not able to abide by more liberal rules. For example dietary restrictions: I’ve consumed too much salt over the years and now my allowable sodium intake is suddenly stripped down to mere granules or the time I was practically put on bedrest during my pregnancy because I couldn’t grasp the meaning of the term, Take it Easy.

I don’t know anyone who likes these kinds of restrictions but often they are necessary when we don’t harness our desires. It seems a ridiculous statement: I can’t control myself! Yet, if we look back at many of our past failures, past mistakes most come down to our unwillingness to tell ourselves ‘no’.

Temper Tantrum

I believe God has given us all the ability to reject those urges, to deny ourselves something that or body or soul wants, all, of course, for the greater good. How many relationships would be saved, disasters averted and dreams realized if only we could have made a temporary sacrifice for a better, more permanent reward?  Yes, I know that hindsight is 20/20. But as Maya Angelou once said, “When you know better you do better.”

Only when we recognize the times our bodies are crying out and acting like spoil brats can we learn to hush the voices within. The key is to spot when a tantrum is brewing and prepare our answer to the outburst with a resounding: ‘No’. No to another hour of T.V. when we have a synopsis to write, ‘no’ to another slice of cake or pie because ultimately it makes us sluggish or sleepy and unable to complete the tasks at hand.

When we practice no we tell our bodies who is in charge. We feel more confident because we are now controlling those things which were once controlling us. It is not easy. It takes time to get a grip in each area of our lives, but ultimately it is our responsibility to do so. God has given us that control and using it wisely it is one of the keys to living an ultimate life.