God Uses You Right Where You Are

God Can Use You

Here, I sit in my favorite coffee shop, journaling about my day and life and my current focus on God’s movement in the desires of my heart.  As I write, I speak to God about using me and opening doors and getting me ready for my next season. I jot down all the things I want to do and, out of habit, I start outlining the steps to get them done. I get a bit anxious when I get to the steps that may require more resources than I currently have but keep writing and put an asterisk next to those bullet points trusting God will provide whatever I need. Suddenly, I hit a wall where I could not focus. As I try to write my thoughts down I become increasingly distracted. What was this about? I like the white noise of this space and can usually focus (I pretty much wrote my first book in this same coffee shop) so why is my mind wandering all over the place?

God, Was That You?

Then I have a BAM! moment – I feel this deep conviction in my spirit telling me ‘I want to use you right where you are’. Is that you speaking to me God? I stopped, looked around and then focused on my coffee cup. At that point, I understood what I was being told.

See, all of my ‘planning’ was so forward thinking it was as if I couldn’t do anything until some other event occurred. For example, I ‘will’ set up my sewing machine to make hats for sick kids once I get some additional resources (e.g. money) to get the fabric and ultimately the time to do it. As I contemplate the topic for my next book, God was telling me “I’ve already given it to you, so get started on the outline”. This was true but for some reason, I was waiting for some event – like the words being carved in stone from a lightning bolt before I actually sat down to start writing. In other words, I already had what I needed to get started so I shouldn’t plan as if I needed to acquire something else before I could move. I already have a ton of fabric in my basement to get started on the hats so what was I waiting for?

Watch For the ‘Pot Holes’

Procrastination, disguised as planning, can be a tool the enemy uses to keep you from your goals, dreams and, more importantly, God’s purpose in your life. We sometimes ‘wait’ out of fear when we really need to be moving because of faith. Now, I am not saying you should just move without any forethought on the plans of your life after all the Bible says ‘the people perished due to lack of vision’ (Proverbs 29:18) but there is a point where you have to trust God for the provision for your dreams and direction. In business, there is a term called ‘planning paralysis’ where you can plan so long you end up doing nothing. In life, sadly, this can have an end result of you never experiencing what a great God can do if you just let Him move.

Jeremiah 29:11 says:

“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.”

So today, as you look ahead in your life, prayerfully seek those areas you have been holding onto or even ‘holding out’ on and trust God to provide. You already have what you need to prosper and that is your faith. God is our dream giver and provides for whatever you need – right where you are.
#LivingTheRedeemedLife

You Are Bad But I Love You

You Are Bad but I Love You

What Is That In Your Mouth?

As I yell, “Drop it!”,  I once again find myself looking into the woeful eyes of my 7-month-old puppy.  She has chewed up her latest random sock stolen from a laundry basket, full of clothes waiting to be washed.  I look at her, feeling of both love and frustration.  As I pick her up, ready to berate her for continuing to chew on things when she has so many ‘chew toys’ to chew on, the only thing I could come up with is “You are bad but I love you.”

Stop That!

Really? That is the best I could do?  No wonder she is the perpetual ‘sock monster’.  But, there was something about the innocence in her eyes that said I’m sorry that served as a reminder to me that she recognizes the error but just couldn’t help herself as she walked past the temptation of another sock dangling from the basket – she is, after all, a puppy.  I remembered my older dog having the same ‘temptation’ when she was a puppy and knew that eventually this phase would pass (hopefully) and socks around the world (or my house at least) will be free to live good long lives.

This incident also reminds me of God’s love when we mess up.  He probably looks at me many times and says “You are bad but I love you”.  Actually, the Bible tells us that God sees the best in us – always.  He knew (and knows) we are going to fall, mess up and be tempted by the very things we know we shouldn’t do and reminds that 1) we really do have the strength to resist and 2) even when we fall, He is like a caring Father with big, loving hands extended to help us up.  He dusts us off, checks to make sure we are okay, and sends us on our way.

I Love You

Daniel 9:9 says –

The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him;

The wonderful thing about God’s love in this verse is He doesn’t focus on the mistakes we make.  God says to us, “You were bad, I may need to discipline you but remember it is only because I love you and need you to learn the path to righteousness.  That is what is best for you”

In some respects, I guess that is what I want for my puppy – I don’t want to her to choke on the lint balls from the socks or get sick from possible dirt on them, so I discipline her to keep her safe.

Isn’t love grand?  Even better, isn’t God’s love for us grander?  So much so, He sent His only begotten Son in Jesus to die for us to have life (John 3:16)!