Devotion: Honest, But Desperate

Can I be honest?

If walking out of a doctor’s appointment after 30 seconds wasn’t social Siberia, I would have today. There was just something about this appointment, that made it worse than the rest.

I say all that to say:

I understand having a bad day or the urge to walk out of a difficult situation.

I want to ask you something that my Uber driver asked me on my way home. “What’s next?” Maybe, you aren’t too sure what your next step ought to be in the physical and emotional realm of things.

I want to be that friend who sits and prays with you – as you wait for God’s directive toward what is next.

What’s Next?

” Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God (Romans 12:2).”

After we have grieved our situations with our Amazing God, we need to ask ourselves (or be asked by a loving friend) what is next for us. For myself, the next step(s) are clear. While I would love to run away from my life and ignore all responsibilities, I can’t do that. And, the odds are you cannot either. So instead of living in a fantasy world where I neglect all responsibility, I want to share what is next – for myself.

Your list may be completely different, depending on your circumstances, your relationship, and surrender to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

  1. Make the next appointment with someone new, and keep searching until I find someone who both listens and is compassionate.
  2. Spend the time praying.
  3. Dive into God’s Word – the Bible.
  4. Fellowship with other Christ followers.

Your answer to this question might look differently, I imagine, but this is my written response to such a question. But, I hope you include steps 2-4 in your plan of what’s next.

Choosing God’s Plan Over My Own

We desperately need to hear God’s Plan for what’s next!

Spending time in prayer, His Word, and fellowshipping with like-minded Christians are each important activities, which will help us discern God’s will for our lives!

And I am desperate for God’s direction.

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; in all your ways know him, and he will make your paths straight (Proverbs 3:5-6).”

I have learned enough to stand on God’s promises, because He never leaves my side. He always is acting on my behalf and even working in ways I cannot see or understand. So, I want to remember the essential need to cling to His Word and Will.

Disclaimer: You can now support Gracefully Overcoming through your Amazon purchases. At no cost to you, Amazon will allow you to shop and Gracefully Overcoming get a bit of a benefit from your shopping. It can be any purchase you make. But, I am still quite fond of this title by Charles Swindoll.

In Him,
Stace

Prayerfully Reliant on God Alone [Book Review]

For the past week, I have been able to spend time with our Savior Jesus in prayer. Quality prayer. As I am learning, the fellowship we can experience with our Mighty God is beyond comprehension. This is the relationship I have hoped for. I am beyond thankful for this time.

Fellowship with God

How often are we placing ourselves in fellowship with God? Often we consider fellowship, as something between a fellow believer and ourselves. However, we can experience fellowship with our sovereign God Himself!

The difference is craving this time of sweet intimacy with an even sweeter King Jesus Christ who is our Savior. God desires to spend time with us. Let’s grow in enjoying God!

If you are like most, setting aside and carrying out a daily prayer time is a struggle. Unless you have seen firsthand the outcome of such devotion. Even then, you likely still might wrestle with some aspects of prayer.

I can testify this has been my experience – the struggle it has been to give my worship offering through prayer. However, something has occurred in the last few weeks to change this. Suddenly, I adapted to the act of beginning a prayer session with the Holy One. It isn’t about praying perfectly or for a strict hour. It is about realizing how our Mighty God has saved us through His Son Jesus Christ and meeting regularly with Him.

But, there is one book which has left an impact concerning prayer.

Mr. George Müller

Have you heard of George Müller?

He can be described as a man of persistent faith who truly knew how to operate from a place of prayer. This man crazily enough brought his needs only to God and allowed Him to speak that need to others. God impressed it upon others’ hearts to give, and it was always at the appointed time before the orphanage ran out of food, money, etc.

I say “crazily enough,” because how many of us could be that bold? Far too quickly, we share our needs with whoever will listen even if it is not God’s will for the need to be met. I say this because not every need is within the boundaries of God’s will. To pray more like this, is radical, forces us to follow only Jesus Christ, and develops within us an absolute dependence upon our Creator.

The George Muller book I recommend can be found on Amazon. Best part? It is free! While there, you could even pick up a digital copy of Grace Leads – which is on sale for $0.99 (until Wednesday, 8/7/19).

Image: Aaron Burden

Be blessed, my friends.

Stacey

Trust Habits #1

“So be very careful how you live, not being like those with no understanding, but live honorably with true wisdom, for we are living in evil times. Take full advantage of every day as you spend your life for His purpose.”

Eph. 5:15-16, TPT

This Scripture used to intimidate me. “Make the most of every opportunity.” But, I am chronically ill. How do I live and make the most of my opportunities, given my limitations?

There’s something I neglect: Our great God is in control. He is the One enabling us – to make the most of every single opportunity. Even though I live with daily trials, I can cultivate “trust habits”.

Developing Trust and Intimacy

Trust habits can be defined as practices which encourage intimacy and deeper trust in our Lord Jesus. As I previously mentioned, I have certain trust habits designed to help me grow in my relationship with the Lord. I haven’t officially “made it” in case you were wondering, but my faith in Christ is growing.

In order to live out this Scripture, I need to cultivate “Trust Habits” – these are the regular, daily, activities in my day that will continually reinforce a deep intimacy and trust in our Lord. Despite our trials, we can have our faith deepen. Trust Habits help me draw near and truly trust our Lord Jesus Christ as my Father, Savior, Creator, and Lord over all things.

Habits That Lead

There are many different habits we could cultivate in our lives. Some lead us nearer to our Lord Jesus Christ, while others cause us to run for the opposite direction – away from our Risen Lord. We need to become intentional about our lives, and how we live out these days the Lord has given us.

A habit is something we can implement into our day.

There are many ways, in which we can create space for our Lord to reign over our days. We can build habits into our days, which deepen the trust we have firmly placed in our Lord Jesus Christ.

What are some of these “Trust Habits”?

  • Reading our Bible.
  • Praying.
  • Fellowship with the Holy Spirit and other believers.
  • Joining in worshipping God in song.
  • Scripture memorization.
  • Surrendering: Giving everything to my Heavenly Father.
  • . . . & much more.

A Word of Encouragement

Dear friend, I know trials cause us to feel as though our faith is shrinking. I know, it can seem as though our opportunities shrink versus growing. I want to encourage you to keep drawing near to our Lord Jesus. Keep seeking ways to implement these habits, which will cause your faith in Jesus Christ to grow. Our time in the Word of God or prayer may seem so small, but it is about drawing nearer to the Lord.

Each step we take to draw nearer to the Lord – is a step we need to take. Don’t give up. As you face this difficult season, allow your trust in Jesus to become raw, real, and stretched.

Featured image by Aaron Burden of Unsplash.

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Finding Abundant Life {Stepping into 1 Cor}

This week, we began to study 1 Corinthians. Specifically 1:1-9. Did you join us this week? What was your favorite part of this passage? 

Let’s take a moment to read it.


You might be feeling broken and lonely.
. . . or had the most amazing week of your life (it’s rare, but happens).

Wherever you are, I want to come and share some God given truths with our hearts today. God knows how our week has gone, and will meet us exactly where we are.

We can take down our masks and be honest with our Redeemer Jesus Christ.

God Fills Us!

He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out (John 10:3b, NIV).

In John 10:3-10, we are reminded of the amazing love our generous Savior has for each one of us. As we come to Him, He is able to fill every empty space in our lives. His Word is truly water for our souls.

So, let us come and allow our hearts to be filled. Our circumstances may differ from a hurting loved one, but our circumstances matter – especially to God. He loves you and absolutely wants to be your Shepherd. He knows the details of your life. He knows the sort of encouragement you need tonight.

3 Truths –

God enriches the church in every way (v. 5). We have been given God’s Word, where we are able to meet the God of the Universe and discover the amazing love and plans He has for us – as His people. We can hear and understand God’s promises, because the gifts He has given us. Our lives may seem lacking, but He has enriched our lives immensely! He still has this amazing, abundant life in store for His people – as we come to Him. He is making the impossible – possible.

God keeps us strong until the end, so we will be free of all blame when our Lord Jesus Christ returns (v. 8). At times, it is easy to feel like we are anything but strong and blameless. Often, all we can see is our weaknesses and why we are worthy of blame. In these moments, may we run to our Lord Jesus Christ and remember the gift He is giving us – of deliverance and freedom. He came to set us free, and allow us the opportunity to be in a relationship with our heavenly Father.

As we run to Him, He will give us all we need.

God is faithful to do what He says, and He has invited us into partnership with His Son Jesus Christ – our Lord (v. 9). This is my favorite truth I have uncovered lately. To know I have this community with the Lord, it soothes my soul. I haven’t been forgotten. It’s quite the opposite.

We have been invited to fellowship with God’s precious Son Jesus Christ – who has become our Lord. We don’t have to wait, but can experience a relationship of great intimacy and depth with our Lord Jesus right now {and it’s an absolute gift}.

Featured image by rawpixel.

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In Him,

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Training Me for Godliness {POTF}

 

But have nothing to do with pointless and silly myths. Rather, train yourself in godliness. For the training of the body has limited benefit, but godliness is beneficial in every way, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come (1 Tim. 4:7-8, CSB).

Tonight, I was blessed with the opportunity of attending the women’s Bible study at my home church. It is always a joyous time to be with the girls: to eat dinner, to fellowship, to learn, and to discuss. Only tonight, was a different kind of night for me. While I typically always eat dinner with the girls, tonight I just had to “run away” and eat quietly in one of the classrooms. I just couldn’t see myself eating with the girls in a way that would truly honor the Lord.

How could I say such a thing? I have some profoundly interesting food restrictions, and they were having pizza as one of their meal options. I just didn’t feel strong enough. So, I hid away – where I forced myself to eat my allergen free (and plant based) food.


I want. . . I need to be trained in godliness like Scripture says.

Godliness needs to be a part of every area of my life. Even in eating when it’s hard and I would rather have that slice of pizza – that just might leave me devastatingly weak and in POTS agony for days.

My dear friend, what is the Lord speaking tenderly to your heart about?


While in food isolation, I just soaked up Ecc. 5:1-2. Which was exactly what I needed – and the Holy Spirit knew it was what I needed. The Scripture talks about quietly coming to the Lord’s house, but there’s more to it.

Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God (vv. 2a, NIV).”

My problem at Bible study wasn’t so much my words, rather the temptation to hastily put dishonoring things into my mouth (because of the Lord’s direction). My heart likes to hastily act upon things, and I need to be careful. I don’t want to hastily make decisions – neglecting my godliness training.

Oh friend, how we need to fight for our relationship with Jesus! I don’t know what you are facing, but if we don’t fight for this relationship – other stuff will easily get in the way. My desire for allergen food can easily overshadow my desire for more of our Lord Jesus.

Friend, we need our Lord Jesus. We need Him to help us. We need to remember our need to train for godliness. One of my favorite Psalms uses this description: “He trains my hands for war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze (Ps. 18:34, ESV).”

God is faithful and will help us, as we continue to draw nearer to Him through our relationship with His Son Jesus Christ. I invite you to join me and keep drawing near. As you draw near through Bible study and prayer, the Lord will fill you with His Holy Spirit and show you what to do!

In Him,

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