Why doesn’t God bail us out of hard situations?
I was talking with a friend about a struggle someone we knew was having with finances. To help them out, my friend was considering forgiving a debt they owed him. But it felt like God was saying that He would not have my friend forgive the debt while the other person was in a poverty mindset.
That would keep the other person in self-preservation mode. It would be, “Whew! We got this taken care of.” But the heart issue wouldn’t be healed and the person would not be in a place of rest and trust with God.
And then it hit me. God doesn’t always rescue us out of difficulty when we are begging and pleading as orphans. We’ve heard the tough love counsel offered to parents of drug addicts. I wonder if that parallels God’s heart with us. Read More…
Maybe the question should be: Do we expect God’s goodness in our lives?
Our answer gives us a hint to whether we think His goodness towards us is dependent on our goodness to Him. So many of us think God’s blessings hinge on whether we do the right things.
Graham Cooke shares about a time in His life when he was being rebellious toward God and yet God kept blessing him. It was driving him crazy so he finally said, “God, you know I’m being rebellious. Why do you keep blessing me?”
God replied, “This is who I am, get used to it.” That moment broke Graham and brought him to the end of himself and back into Jesus’ arms.
I’m not making a theological point that we can do whatever we want and be assured of blessing. What I love in that story is seeing the nature of God. His goodness. Read More…
How do I know if I’m worthy of God’s love?
How often do we blow it? Said something we wished we hadn’t? Wasted time instead of being productive? Looked at things we shouldn’t have? Spent money we didn’t have? Lied? Cheated?
How does God look at us in our fragmented messes?
How can He be a holy God and not be disappointed in us? We cringe, so how can He not?
Most of us believe that God loves sinners. LOVES them. Died for them. Made a way for them to be free and love Him back.
But how do we view the sinner who stays messy? Who doesn’t get cleaned up enough to reflect Jesus well?
What does God think of saved people who still look like sinners?
I think most of us are uncertain of how God views us in our messy states. He did so much for me so why can’t I stop sinning…stop being petty…stop being critical… Read More…
Should the Bible be read or experienced?
What happens when scripture stays in our heads and doesn’t become an experience?
If I read the Bible for knowledge, I can know about God, but does that translate into knowing Him in an experiential way?
Is it possible that knowledge without experience doesn’t really help us?
We can’t know God through knowledge (logic). We can only know Him by the Spirit (Eph. 3:19, Eph. 1:17).
Information that remains in our intellect without an experience to ground it into our reality keeps us from fullness.
I believe that when our minds are filled with the knowledge of God without an experience of God, we often end up as spiritual orphans.
Orphans don’t truly know how their dads feel about them.
When we have knowledge that we’re loved but we don’t experience that love, we tend to believe we’re on our own. Read More…
Does the Spirit of God point out our sins or does He call us deeper into Him?
My experience of Jesus is that He calls us deeper. When you go deep into God’s heart, when you hunger for more of His presence and pursue intimacy with Him, those things that don’t belong start falling off.
Who wants to gossip when you’re immersed in His love? Who wants to judge when you understand how much He’s forgiven you? Who wants to tear down others when you feel His love for them?
When we let Him satisfy our hunger and heal our wounds, those demonic invitations and habits just fall away.
If only we could see as God sees. All that is going on around us and in us.
With our finite perspective we trip up on what we see with our eyes. We often don’t practice developing discernment or asking God for wisdom (James 1:5).
We so want Jesus to come back for a Bride that is without spot or wrinkle. We so want the church to be spotless that we often pull out our Pharisaical spray ‘n wash. “Let me help you with that spot. Just stop behaving that way. Be more disciplined. Pray more. Read the Bible more so you stop struggling with addiction and porn.” Read More…
Can scripture fulfill our need to connect with God?
I grew up in a Bible-based church. I had a lot of scripture in my head—–God is love. God is good. It’s the kindness of God that leads to repentance.
But I felt like an imposter. I looked and sounded like a good Christian, but I felt so alone. I didn’t feel closely connected to God. So I did what many people do when God seems distant—–I tried harder. I faithfully read my Bible. I worked diligently on my behavior, careful to not sin so that God would draw near to me and not leave me alone.
But I felt that I’d been left out of the big secret. Everyone at church looked smiley and happy, talking about how great their kids were doing. How good God was. How they were just trusting God when things were difficult.
What was their secret? How did they have this trust in God? I was faking it, trying to make it. I could say the same things. How good God was. How He had His hand on my life. How I trusted Him when things were difficult. But I didn’t feel connected to Him. I really didn’t trust Him. Read More…
How well can we know God?
The other night I was driving home and as I flipped on the Christian station, I started thinking about how I often feel a religious spirit on many Christian products and radio stations.
I love Christian music and I love Christian products. What I’m talking about is the spirit of religion that promotes performance and rules. People don’t intend this. But there is a power of darkness that can use people’s lack of understanding to operate through them. To put rules and regulations on others in the name of Christianity.
I was talking to the Lord about it and asking, “Why is that? What am I feeling?” I don’t want to be judgmental or attribute something to a religious spirit that really isn’t there.
I felt like He told me, that like the church of Laodicea, they are lukewarm (Rev. 3:14-22). I asked what He meant and He said, “They quote scripture by rote. They use them as platitudes.”
I asked why and He, “It’s because they think they know Me.” Read More…
What do we do when our Christian values collide with the world’s?
Last weekend, the hubs and I went away for a little R&R. We live in a rural area so had to drive a couple hours to get more metropolitan.
After one full day, we were starving. All the nice eateries were closed except one. As we weren’t in the mood for fast food, we pulled into the parking lot.
The woman behind the hostess station took us to our table and it was all we could do to keep our jaws off the floor. In shock, we then met our waitress and did our level best to keep our eyes above her shoulders. Read More…
I lack love. Do you?
During this election season I have had thoughts and emotions that are not reflective of my belief system. I’m so sorry for that.
How do we impact a nation, a city, a community when we focus on where we are “right” and others are “wrong?” Where is Jesus in that?
Where is Jesus in us?
How can we profess love and yet walk in such judgment and criticalness? How can I profess Jesus and yet walk in such judgment and criticalness of others?
This election has opened my eyes to my lack of love for those that disagree with me.
As God has opened my eyes to this in regards to the political landscape, he has brought it closer to home and focused my vision on how I interact with people in my daily life. Read More…
How do we walk connected to God’s goodness?
There are basic truths we agree on when we become a Jesus follower.
But beyond that security, what promises from Him are unfulfilled in our lives? And why?
How do we grab hold and walk in the freedom, the joy, the fullness that is supposed to be ours (Rom 15:13)?
I wonder if freedom becomes hindered when we don’t look beyond our natural vision.
There is a spiritual realm. Many of us ignore it, or only catch glimpses of it when we read scripture about a spiritual dimension we’ve never seen or experienced. Often because we don’t know what to do with it. Talk of the demonic scares us. And most of us haven’t been taught how to use our authority or the weapons described in the Bible (Eph 6:10-17, 2Cor 10:3-5).
We are most comfortable with the seen realm. What we can see, hear, smell, taste and touch. But what if the unseen realm is just as real (or more so) than the realm we live in? Read More…