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Asking For Help

No matter who you are, you’ll need help at some point in your life. You will face things that you can’t do on your own. If you’re like me, you try to do it alone anyway. My pride says, “You don’t need anyone’s help. You got into this by yourself, you can get out of it by yourself.” I try to project strength instead of admitting my weakness. What inevitability happens is that I end up wearing myself out in the process. One time, I collapsed on the floor and cried out to God, “I can’t do this anymore! Help me.” He replied, “Finally.”

God was waiting on me to look to Him for help, but my pride kept me from it. I had to endure a lot more pain than necessary because I wasn’t willing to admit I needed help. Since that time, I’ve learned to look to Him first when I need help. It doesn’t take long to pray, “God, I can’t do this on my own. I need your help.” It does take humility though, but God honors that. He wants to help us with our daily issues.

David learned this lesson as well. After being anointed king, he was constantly in danger and was running for his life. He learned to quit trying to go at it alone, and to go to God. In Psalm 25:15, he wrote, “I look to the Lord for help at all times.” He didn’t just go to God with some things. He went to Him with all his issues, and God came to His rescue. It wasn’t because David was any different that us. It was because David was humble enough to recognize he needed help from God daily.

Whatever you’re facing today, God stands ready to help. He’s waiting for us to trust His all sufficient grace to help us get through life. Don’t wait until you’re mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted before you cry out for help. Let go of your pride, and look to God for help at all times. It’s not a weakness to admit you need help. It takes strength to overcome your pride and admit it. Once you do, you’ll find that God is willing and able to step in and do what needs to be done.

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Throwback Thursday is a feature I’m using to help build some margin into my schedule to pursue other ventures. Each Thursday I’ll be bringing you a previously written devotional that still speaks encouragement to us from God’s Word.

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Playing Peekaboo

One of the best things to do around a baby is to play peekaboo. You know the game where you get the baby’s attention and then cover your face. When you open your hands to reveal you’re there, the baby sighs relief and often laughs which is contagious and starts the cycle over. Science has shown that this is good for babies. You’re teaching them gross motor skills, social skills, visual tracking and most importantly permanence. When you cover your face, the baby thinks you’re gone, and when you uncover it you suddenly reappear. By playing peekaboo, you’re teaching the baby that even though they don’t see you, you’re still around and can show up at any time. In essence, you’re even laying the groundwork for faith teaching them to believe even when they can’t see.

All throughout Jesus’ ministry, He kept telling the disciples that He was going to be crucified and go away. He told them not to let their hearts be troubled when that happens. He even told them that He would send the Comforter that they wouldn’t be able to see, but He would still guide them into all truths. After His death, He started playing peekaboo with the disciples if you will. He would show up, then disappear over 40 days. Thomas missed out on the first time and famously said, “Unless I see the holes in His hands and put my finger in them, I won’t believe.” Then Jesus showed up again in John 20:29 and said, “Do you believe because you see me? How happy are those who believe without seeing me!” (GNT)

There are times in our lives where it feels like Jesus is still playing peekaboo with us. At moments He feels so close that you can touch the hem of His garment. Then there are times when you feel like He’s gone and your prayers aren’t heard. The truth is He has never left you and He’s teaching you to believe even when you can’t see or feel Him. Hebrews 11:1 says, “To have faith is to be sure of the things we hope for, to be certain of the things we cannot see.” Jesus is working on building up your permanence of belief in Him so that even when you can’t see Him or feel Him, you can be certain that He’s there and be sure that He hears you. We still have the Comforter with us today who is guiding us and growing our faith in the unseen. Continue to have faith and it won’t be long until He shows His face again.

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Positioned For God’s Presence

In the early 2000’s I became a NASCAR fan. I had watched several races with some friends and fell in love with the strategies involved in winning a race. After watching several races, my friend told me I needed to pick a driver and a team. I decided I like the number 16 Roush-Fenway Ford driven by Greg Biffle. A while later we got tickets to a race weekend and enjoyed the spectacle that was put on. They said Biffle was going to sign autographs on race day, but you had to get there early to get tickets. Traffic prevented that. I watched him sign autographs with several others who didn’t get tickets. I then positioned myself behind the trailer he was signing in. When he came out, I was the only one back there. He signed my hat, got in his golf cart and drove away. None of those other spectators got his autograph because they stayed out front.

1 Samuel 3:1-3 says, “The word of the LORD was rare and precious in those days; visions [that is, new revelations of divine truth] were not widespread.Yet it happened at that time, as Eli was lying down in his own place…and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was” (AMP). I love this story because it points out a truth we so often miss. Eli stayed in his own place and Samuel was staying in the sanctuary. Samuel knew where the presence of God was at the time, and he positioned himself to hear from Him. When God spoke to Samuel, it took Eli a while to understand what was going on because he had been more concerned about his own comfort than hearing from God. He was waiting for God to come to him instead of positioning himself close to God.

James 4:8 tell us, “Come close to God, and God will come close to you” (NLT). There are many times when I wonder where God is and why I haven’t heard from Him. I think we all go through that. Instead of questioning where God is, I’ve learned to question where I am. Have I positioned myself to hear from Him? Am I doing things that draw me closer to Him or am I just sitting around waiting on Him? If it’s been a while since you’ve heard from God, look at where you’ve positioned yourself. Are you in a quiet place in silence waiting on Him? Are you spending time digesting Scripture? God has promised to draw close to us after we draw close to Him. Think back to the things you were doing when you felt His presence most. Are you doing those things still? If so, have they become routine? God’s desire is to meet with us and to speak with us. We must be willing to get in a position and place to hear from Him though.

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Do It Well

I’m taking the day off. Enjoy this previous devotion in celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. See you tomorrow.

Whatever you do, do well.
‭‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭9:10‬ ‭NLT‬‬

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Acting On God’s Word

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Purpose In Problems

It’s easy to believe that God is working things in your favor when things in your life are going right. When things aren’t going according to your plan, it becomes more difficult to believe that. We often see problems and road blocks in our lives as hindrances to God’s plan, but I believe God uses all of them to grow us and to put us on the right path so His plan for our life can be accomplished. God’s plan for our lives rarely takes the path of least resistance.

In the hardest times of my life, I couldn’t see God’s hand working. I was so focused on the pain and the problems that I questioned if God even knew what was going on. I cried out constantly for Him to make it all go away, but He knew what He was doing. He created a raw dependence on Him which led to a deeper, more fulfilling relationship with Him. He understands that hard times bring us closer to Him and make us stronger. In fact, some of His greatest work in our lives happen when we see His hand the least.

Romana 8:28 says, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them” (NLT). He doesn’t just cause some things to work together. He causes everything in our lives to work together for our good. There is a purpose in problems. There is hope in uncertainty. God is behind the scenes working on your behalf even when we’re blinded by our situation. His plan for our lives will come to pass, and it will be to our benefit. We just have to trust even when we can’t see what He’s doing.

Photo by Inzmam Khan from Pexels

Throwback Thursday is a feature I’m using to help build some margin into my schedule to pursue other ventures. Each Thursday I’ll be bringing you a previously written devotional that still speaks encouragement to us from God’s Word.

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Fighting The Unseen

When I was around 16 years old, I had invited a kid I barely knew over to hang out for the day. My parents were gone, but had the foresight to have a family friend stay with us. We were in my room playing video games when his eyes rolled into the back of his head and they came back down looking different. He looked at me and said, “Fight me!” I wasn’t sure what he meant, but I knew if we got into an altercation, I wasn’t going to make it. I responded in a whisper that I wouldn’t fight him. He got angry and began repeatedly asking me to fight him. Our family friend sensed something, opened the door, noticed I was upset and got me out of the room. I began praying for about 15 minutes while I was locked in the bathroom. When I came back out, he had changed back to normal.

Spiritual battles present themselves in the physical realm all the time. In 1 Samuel 17, Goliath was dressed for battle and called out to the Israelites to come fight him. They were terrified. How could anyone beat such a man? Saul offered money, his daughter, no taxes and more, but no one was willing to fight Goliath until David came around. He recognized it as a spiritual battle immediately. They tried to dress him up in Saul’s armor, give him a sword and instructions, but David knew better. In verses 45 and 47 David called out to Goliath, “You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have taunted…And that this entire assembly may know that the LORD does not save with the sword or with the spear; for the battle is the LORD’S and He will hand you over to us” (AMP). David won the physical battle because he had won the spiritual battle first.

In your life, there may appear to be people who are attacking you, your character, your work, your calling or something else. Understand that it is more than likely a spiritual attack to produce fear, anger or doubt in you. Ephesians 6:12 reminds us, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this [present] darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) places.” If you fight a spiritual battle in the physical, you will lose the battle that matters. Spend time in prayer, put on the full armor of God and fight on your knees praying against the spirit that is guiding the other person. The enemy will use whomever he can to immobilize you and to keep you from living the life God created you to live. Stay strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.

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Wait Patiently

Have you ever prayed for patience? If you haven’t, don’t try it! I’m kidding. It turns out that when you pray for patience, God typically doesn’t just give it to you. Instead, you will earn patience through a series of events that will try your patience. I don’t really have patience when I see things that need to be done. I start doing the work to get it done whether it’s the right time or not. There are times when my wife has to make me stop and wait to do things. I’d rather do them right then and get the satisfaction of completing the task than to wait. I’m also competitive, and with that comes comparison. If someone else is doing more, working harder, completing tasks or succeeding where I think I should be, it drives me to push forward without rest. I easily lose sight of the bigger picture, and I forget that patience and steadiness bring success and blessings.

I don’t think Abraham and Sarah were very patient either. When God made the promise that he would be the father of many nations, Abram was 75 years old. When his wife didn’t immediately get pregnant, I’m sure He doubted God, or did what we do when we run out of patience, and took matters into his own hands. Because they didn’t wait for the promise, Abraham got another woman pregnant thinking that he was doing God a favor or enacting His plan for Him. It was 25 years after the promise that he had Isaac through his wife. If he thought he was too old to have kids at 75, imagine what he was thinking as he approached 100. Yet, because God told him to wait for the promise, he did.

Psalm 37:7 says, “Be patient and wait for the Lord to act; don’t be worried about those who prosper or those who succeed in their evil plans” (GNT). I love that this verse speaks to our focus. Quit looking at what other people are accomplishing, and thinking about how you wish you were farther along at this point in your life. Be patient and wait for God’s timing. There’s a greater blessing for us when we do. Put your focus back on being faithful where you are, doing the little things, and God will reward you in due season. I know how hard that is, but it is the right thing to do. Even though you may be able to act now, be patient. God is using this time to prepare you for the blessings that are coming so that when His time is right, you won’t squander what He gives you.

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No More Excuses

Any time we are faced with the prospect of doing something that we’re afraid of, we typically resort to a coping mechanism that is designed to get you out of the situation. They don’t always appear in ways that you may think. Sometimes you feel like you have to go to the restroom, or feel thirsty and need a drink. Other people all of a sudden think of something else to do that feels like it’s more important at the moment. The typical route our brains take is to hesitate, then procrastinate and then to make an excuse as to why we can’t do it. Almost every time you make an excuse to avoid doing something, it’s linked to fear. While people may accept our excuses, God doesn’t. He has a rebuttal for each one.

Some time after Moses fled Egypt, he had made a new life for himself and tried to forget about his past. The only problem was God had made a promise to bring the Israelites out of Egypt and moses had been spared to do the job. When God appeared to him in the burning bush, Moses was intrigued. However, when God asked him to go back to Egypt, fear showed up. Moses began to make excuses as to why he couldn’t do what God was asking. In Exodus 4:10 he gave this excuse, “O Lord, I’m not very good with words. I never have been, and I’m not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue-tied, and my words get tangled” (NLT). I love God’s response to that in the next verse. He asked, “Who makes a person’s mouth? Who decides whether people speak or do not speak, hear or do not hear, see or do not see? Is it not I, the Lord?”

God is not interested in our excuses. He’s interested in our obedience. It’s easy to look at Moses and think he shouldn’t have made all those excuses, but we’re not so different. What excuses have you been giving to God? Have you told Him you’re not ready? You don’t have the funds? No one else is interested? There’s a pandemic going on? All these are excuses from doing what God is calling you to do. He created you for this moment and is aware of the things you have brought up, but He is also the one who has prepared you, will fund you, bring people to you and make a way where there seems to be no way. Is He not able? Most of the time, He’s waiting on us to get over our fears, to quit making excuses and to step out in faith before He meets those needs. Faith isn’t about taking a calculated risk or knowing everything is going to work out. It’s about obedience even when you can’t see what’s going to happen. Let your faith be stronger than your fear long enough to take that next step instead of making an excuse.

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Be A Rescuer

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