Job’s blessing through tragedy

Entered the book of Job today and just…wow!!! I have studied this book before but new truths are popping out to me so much! It is incredible the lessons I am learning. If bible study is not a regular part of your day then you are truly missing out. I pray you lean into the desire to know more about your Maker and the way His heart works for us.

In Job we learn that suffering can come from no fault of our own. Job is described as a blameless and righteous man. This description comes straight from God and if you study the book of Job keep that description in mind as you study it. God, Himself, calls Job blameless and righteous.

That doesn’t mean Job doesn’t sin. In the beginning of this story we see that Job regularly makes sacrifices for him and his family. This shows the heart Job has for God and his willingness to repent his sins and be made right with God. This is also a foreshadowing of Jesus. Jesus’ death on the cross was our final sacrifice. His blood being poured out to cover our sins when we accept this new covenant between us and God. Old covenant: Job making sacrfices and keeping his heart turned towards God instead of the world made him blameless and righteous in the sight of God. New covenant: Jesus and His once and for all sacrifice makes us blameless and righteous in the sight of God when we accept Christ as our savior and confess Him Lord over our lives.

So far I am in the middle of the speech of Job’s friend, Eliphaz where he is telling Job that Job must have sinned in a way to cause God to bring him this suffering. He claims it must be punishment from God. (Remember , though, God has called Job righteous and blameless in His sight).

One thing I want to point out first is that all three of Job’s friends first came and sat silently for 7 days and 7 nights with Job after these huge tragedies happened in his life. They seemed to genuinely be there to comfort him at first. But as Job’s grieving comes to a peak the friends break their silence and start trying to solve Job’s problems instead of staying in prayerful silence with him. Good intentions but wrong action. Thankfully this all works out to Job’s favor and ours, too, considering the lessons that are tucked away in this dialog.

So, what exaclty is Job suffering? Well, to summarize, Satan appears before God and God asks him what he has been up to. Satan says he has just been going to and fro upon the earth. It is interesting to me that in the story of Noah, when he sends out the raven to find dry land the raven is described as going “to and fro” and wasn’t accomplishing anything. Ok, rabbit hole, I know, but here we are now with Satan going “to and fro” not accomplishing anything but God is about to send him out to accomplish something for Job.

Still with me? Back to the tragedies. God brings up Job and says that he is a righteous and blameless man. Satan, being the accuser, replies stating that Job only worships God because of all the wonderful things Job has received from God. If all that was taken away then Job surely wouldn’t worship Him any longer! God allows Satan to bring tragedy into Job’s life. Sounds harsh but God has a plan for Job and it is the greatest of all blessings for this man. God allows Satan to do this, not to prove Satan wrong, but to ultimately bless Job in the end. God has nothing to prove. This is all done for the blessing of Job. Long story short, Job loses all his wealth, his family, and then his health. Job then goes into the grieving as previously stated.

His grieving comes to a peak and he says something that sounds so familiar to me and I even made a similar post about this the other day. So, Job says in chapter 3:25-26; “What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me. I have no peace, no quietness; I have no rest, but only turmoil.”

Remember that post I made about fearing chaos coming to my life? Look at Job with that same fear! Yes, Job was seen by God as blameless and righteous. Yes, Job was living the dream before these tragedies! He had it all and lived in peace and quiet. But he also feared losing it. And it is really hard to truly enjoy and be grateful for our blessings when we live in fear of losing it.

Spoiler alert: Job’s life is restored double by the end of all of this but guess what he no longer has? The fear of losing it. He has been there. He has lost it all. He has gone through all the assumptions for why he lost it all thanks to his friends. He has worked out the sovereignty of God in his life and has learned what true trust and dependence on God’s will really means. He understands how much he can trust the hand that tells the ocean where to stop, who made the heavens and the earth, and who tells our very heart to beat. He now knows with no doubt that the same God that allows chaos is the same God we can find refuge to have peace in the middle of the chaos. His peace is now fully held by God and not by the temporary things or relationships of this world.

We don’t have to analyze our lives to figure out what is causing this and that. We simply seek the kingdom first. We seek God and His sovereignty. We see God’s heart and compassion bent toward us. We see God’s goodness through it all. We take His yoke upon us and learn from Him for His burden is light and His yoke is easy. Even when, especially when, the world tries to convince us that our lives are wearisome and heavy laden.

Even through chaos we can be lifted into peace with our Almighty. Choosing to trust His knowledge of the big picture and put aside our near sighted and tunnel vision understanding of only what we can see.

Isaiah 55:8-9
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

2 Corinthians 4:18
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

Deprived

Ok, so, God has been speaking to me about coming off of sugar. He has been for a while and, of course, I have been resisting. I have been hit with a little scare. Nothing drastic just something that made me realize what God has been laying on me for a while; that if I don’t get this under control now diabetes or worse could be in my future. That is a hard to explain story and maybe someday I will speak it but right now it is between me and God.

I have always functioned better on a lower carb diet but always felt deprived so I never stick with it.

Deprived. Where does that feeling come from? I am studying Genesis chapter 3 this morning and it is about the serpent (Satan) coming to Eve and deceiving her to eat the forbidden fruit. He does this by convincing her that she was deprived.

Let’s think about this y’all. Here is Eve living in the glorious garden of Eden. Freshly spoken into creation from the very mouth of God. In this garden God has provided every single one of her needs. Every need is met and she doesn’t even have to work for it. She can eat from every other tree in the garden and enjoy all the beauty that goes with it. She has a husband that she was made specifically for. Talk about a soul mate, right? Well, maybe we will call him her rib mate 😆 This lady wants for nothing!! God has given all to her and guess what! He even visits them in the garden in the cool of the day! Where exactly is she deprived again?

She isn’t. She even knew why she couldn’t eat from that tree. God didn’t hide that from her. God told her not to eat from the trees lest she die! Die, y’all!! God said no to this small thing that was in the midst of this huge garden He had blessed her with to protect her!

But that nasty little serpent came whispering sweet nothings in her ear about how horrible God is for not letting her eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. He even conviced her that God was a liar and that she would not surely die. He conviced her that God did not give with an open hand but ruled with a closed fist.

So, where does the feeling of being deprived come from? That nasty little serpent whispering sweet nothings in our ears. I am no better than Eve at believing a lie over the truth of God and not trusting in His protection at times. My bet is: you aren’t either.

We are so not deprived. God does not tell us “no” so that we will be deprived on something. He tells us “no” to protect us from what we do not need. Look at all the things He says “yes” to! He gives those things with an open hand! If you need help seeing those blessings (and many times we all do) then ask God to open the eyes of your heart so You can see Him in your life. He will be good to do it!

Philippians 4:19
“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”

The ease of Self-discipline

As I sit here reflecting on how much self-discipline I used to have before I came to follow Christ it makes me wonder why I struggle with it so much more now. I mean, if self-discipline is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) and the Spirit now abides in me then self-discipline should feel even more natural in my life now, right?

When I tell you I had self-discipline, I really mean it! There was a time after my divorce that you may would have thought I had been trained in the military I was so strict. I woke up early enough to work out. Counted every calorie that went in my mouth and it was only healthy foods for the most part. I walked or ran during my work breaks. When I came home I cooked my son supper and we sat down for homework. Then it was tv time, showers, and bed. Wake up the next day and do it all over again! This went on for quite a few years and I was very satisfied with this routine. I was in the best shape of my life since junior high and after a very chaotic time of my life had come to an end it really felt good to be in control.

I believed in Christ then but I certainly was not a follower. That showed up in other horrible decisions I made because I could not see the wrong in them. That is another post for another time, though. And you all know when the time is right and God gives me a good word over it then I will share it. God demolished my shame when He redeemed me and I am forever grateful.

So, now, here I am feeling so undisciplined. I feel so out of control. Life feels chaotic once again. Now that I follow Christ, what gives? What in the world is going on? I went that many years so self-disciplined and I know how wonderful it feels then why am I now struggling so hard?

Let me hit you with what God has hit me with. Self-discipline was easy before because I was luke warm with God. I was not living my life for Him and didn’t feel like I needed to. I felt like believeing was enough. The enemy knew this about me. He knows that me and many, many others strive for success in certain goals in our lives. Maybe it is a fit body and lifestyle. Maybe it is financial. Whatever your “thing” is that you can compare to my struggle then think on that as you read this. We long for that insert goal and the ability to make that happen so much, and if he takes away the struggle to achieve that while we are NOT living for God then we will live not realizing how much we need Him. We will live blind with our only focus on how well we are achieving a goal on our own and feel like God really has nothing to do with it.

The enemy will let you succeed without a huge struggle so you won’t realize how much you need God.

This is how I know God loves me. He introduced struggle back into my life. Even while I was enjoying living without Him because the enemy made it so easy to do so, God allowed chaos back into my life. Now, before you start thinking how mean God is let me explain something to you. This chaos that was allowed back into my life was actually consequences to those bad decisions I told you I made earlier. God didn’t create the chaos but He allowed me to feel the weight of the consequences of my sin. He did this in His perfect timing. He knew exactly the amout of choas I would need that would make me realize that I need Him. The enemy was able to blind me from it for a while but when God said “Enough” the enemy had to listen. See, the enemy really has no control beyond what he is allowed to have. That is also a whole nother post for another time.

I used to fear losing that “peace” I had in my life. I quite enjoyed that smooth sailing I thought I was doing. I feared having chaos again. I wanted to believe I had been set free from that! But truly being free of something does not leave you fearing its return. And living in that fear is no way to live. Your peace is short and you find yourself deeper in sin trying to chase that peace again. You search in all the wrong places to find that lasting peace when the eternal solution is staring you right in the face and you can’t even see it.

But when the Son sets you free. You are free indeed. John 8:36

So, what does this mean for my self-discipline? Well, it means I must rely on the Spirit for it now. The enemy is no longer stepping back and just letting me have it. The flesh is weak and feels every bit of the temptation and pull to live an undisciplined life and I haven’t been doing so hot with that, but God loves me too much to leave me here. He is bringing it back on His terms and His timing and I am learning so many glorious truths about Him in the process!!

I am so thankful for the chaos that sent me back to Him. I am so thankful that He has taken away the fear of chaos in my life. I have chaos. It is here. And you know what, I have no idea where it is going or when it will end. I have no idea how it will all end up. And when some chaos ends I am sure more is about to begin. That doesn’t scare me anymore. I have peace in the midst of chaos. I have been set free indeed.

Friend, maybe you have been living smooth sailing for a while and now suddenly it seems like everything is falling apart. Maybe you felt like you had it all together even while keeping God on the back burner of your life. And maybe, right now, you are feeling the weight of your consequences. I am here to testify to you that God is calling. He is calling to set you free from the wages of sin and to walk you through the consequences of them so you can come out the otherside strong in your faith with no fear of the future. Get to know God so you can truly believe and trust in all of His promises to you and be set free!

🔹️God goes before you.

Deuteronomy 31:8
“The Lord is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”

🔹️He has good plans for you to give you hope and a future.

Jeremiah 29:11
“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.”

🔹️He provides rest for the weary.

Matthew 11:28-30
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

🔹️God has a plan for it all and it is good. Even when it doesn’t feel good right now.

Romans 8:28
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

🔹️Fear not. He is with you. He is your God.

Isaiah 41:10
“Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”

Why put Him first?

You know, God doesn’t tell us to focus on Him, put Him first, and live for Him because He is full of pride and needs to be center of attention. His thoughts are not like our thoughts. We all know people and have even been those people that wanted to be other people’s focus. It is part of our nature, to some extent, to desire to be the center of someone’s affections and that is all due to pride.

God does not think like that. He wants us to focus on Him because He is sinless perfection. He is the only sinless perfection. So, anything else we try to focus on is going to be flawed and sinful. Something else might seem harmless like focusing on your family, your job, or improving yourself….but those are all flawed things and will not lead you to the contentment from the proper focus that God desires for us.

I am not saying those things don’t need your attention but when our focus is first on God and stays on God then He leads us in His perfect way. We may not always perform perfectly but with our focus being on His perfection it starts changing our very character. When our character is changed then the type of attention we give to our family, our jobs, and ourselves is changed right along with it.

Does this mean our family, jobs, or even ourselves will suddenly fall in line and act perfectly? Nope. But what it does mean is that our focus on our perfect Father will lead us to a contentment that brings peace and joy through any circumstance we go through with our family, jobs, and, yes, even ourselves.

Friends, this is a contentment God is working out in me and becomes more evident everyday. Not all of my circumstances have improved. In fact, some have taken a downhill turn. But with my trust in God and keeping a focus on Him and knowing He has a perfect plan and will for my life then I can walk this life letting go of discouragement. See ya later, dismay! Aidos, depression! Don’t let the door hit ya on the way out, anxiety!

Y’all, we don’t have to focus on how WE can change our circumstances. We are free to let that go and just simply be in God’s word, loving and praising Him, and focusing on Him. He will walk us through it all while we rest in full trust and confidence that He knows exactly what He is doing. Even when we make mistakes He will walk us through those consequences, too, while making us a little wiser for the next decision.

Trust Him. Follow Him. Put Him first. He is the only way to contentment in this life. He is the only way to a glorious eternity after this life.

Let Him teach you to want the Healer more than the healing and you will be amazed at the strength He provides even when your circumstances are tough.

Matthew 6:33
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

Jeremiah 29:11
“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.”

Talk to Him

Jesus died on the cross to give us the power to turn away from sin, not to continue to live in it. The cross gives freedom from sin, not permission to sin.

If you are a believer that is willfully and actively living in sin with no desire to turn from it then you need to read Matthew 7:21

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”

Even the demons are believers but they are not followers.

When you have truly accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior then you are given a heart to follow Him. He makes that happen because you have truly submitted your heart and want to live for Him.

I went many, many years being a believer in who Christ is but not a follower. I had not truly submitted my heart to Him. The Spirit led me to bible verses and bible teachers that made this very evident to me.

Are you reading this with great conviction on your heart? Are you feeling that the “salvation prayer” you said years ago wasn’t as true as you had thought it was? Does your life and your life choices reflect that prayer? Are you starting to see that you have not been living for Him at all? That your life stayed all about you and trying to please your flesh, your kids, your friends, the world, etc…

God has been patient with you just like He was with me. Your life won’t dramatically change the moment you make the decision to truly submit your life to Him but your heart will.

Your heart will begin to desire to know more about Him. You will find yourself reading the bible, going to church, praying more, and loving Him more. No, this isn’t just something that happened for me. This is what happens to all who believe and follow Him.

His affections have not be withheld from you. It is your affection that has been withheld from Him. All of that can change this very day.

Talk to Him.

Have questions and need some guidance? Ask me. Let me point you to Christ who saved my life. He is right there at the cross holding your name in His heart. He is right there with arms wide open ready to wash you clean and give you a new life here and an eternal life with Him in heaven.

“Follow Me” He says.

Let your heart say “I will”

The Remedy

“Ascetic regulations (practice of severe self-discipline and abstention from all forms of indulgence) are of no real value in restraining indulgence of the flesh. The only remedy for sinful passions is found in the believers’ experience of union with Christ.” Curtis Vaughan speaking on Colossians 3

For a while I lived under a “microscope” type of theology. I felt like God had me under a microscope and if I messed up then judgement was coming! So, here I was trying to fake good behavior and wearing myself out trying to be perfectly pleasing to God. I also felt like I had to do more, sacrifice more, and run myself ragged in order to serve the Lord. No pleasure to be had. Just work, work, work!! I needed to be a shining example of a true Christian!!

I really started to feel more like a Pharisee. This showed I had not yet learned about or truly experienced my union with Christ.

The Spirit testified to me through many bible studies that my union with Christ means that the judgment of God is no longer reserved for me. Christ already took the judgment on the cross in my place. Once I fully believed and accepted that as truth then my eyes were opened to a whole new way of living for God, and a whole new appreciation for Christ!

Since I am forever free of God’s judgment then I no longer have to keep myself under a microscope. Yes, I want to live in a way that is pleasing to the Lord but I can’t do that through my own will and I don’t have to! No more wearing myself out trying to act a certain way or “do more” in an attempt to prove I am serving the Lord. I am free from trying to obey regulations set up either by God or myself!

“What? This is crazy! So I can just go about my way being disobedient?” No, sir! No, ma’am! This is not freedom to sin but freedom from sin! It is submitting your heart to God to be changed into a new person! It is taking off the old and putting on the new! It is going from just having a changed behavior to having a changed character.

With the fear of judgment gone and knowing the amount of love Christ showed me on the cross I am able to open my heart up to be changed by the Spirit! Oh that mighty, mighty Spirit! He changes my heart so that I am not out here just trying to obey regulations but am being changed into a new person! With a new character! A new heart!

So, now, the way I behave is not fake but just a part of who I am. My behavior flows naturally from a changed heart. When the Spirit opens my eyes to something that needs to be changed in me I have learned that the quicker I come into agreement with that and the deeper I immerse my self into God’s word then the quicker that change can begin! I no longer put myself down or feel like a failure when the Spirit calls me out on something, but instead, I am grateful for it, agree it needs to change, and welcome the Spirit to do His work in my heart!

That is what takes away trying to obey religious practices and creates obedience through a relationship with the One who makes obedience to His commands possible. It is through my union with Christ and His salvation work on the cross that I am changed. Christ is my Sabbath everyday. He is my rest. His burden is easy and His yoke is light. I no longer have to dwell on all the ways I fail but can be lifted up in all the ways He is changing me.

We come to the cross not making promises of doing better and being better. We come to the cross believing in His promise that He will forever abide in us and fully complete the work He has begun in us.

Thank You, God, for this plan that sets me free!

Are you ready for freedom, friends? Lean into the current of His loving word and let Him take you there. Enjoy the ride to contentment my friend! It is a most amazing journey.

As always, if you have questions or need prayer I am here for you!

May His face shine upon you today!

A 2 a.m. wake up call

2 a.m. and I am awakened with feelings of rejection. I feel rejected a lot. I have my whole life. It has been like a black cloud over my head for as long as I can remember. Even as a young kid I felt like I was just too different. Too weird. Too annoying. Not lovable. People might think I’m great at first but give it time and I will fall off that pedestal and be rejected once again.

That fall hurts. So, I just stopped trying to be on anyone’s pedestal. Take me as I am from the get go or get going. Even still, feelings of rejection float to the surface no matter how much I try to push them down. Of course, this leads me to rejecting others. You don’t want me? That’s fine, I don’t want you either. I have lived most of my life without many friends so I’m used to being alone anyway.

I can’t get away with that anymore. That is why God woke me up at 2 a.m. He doesn’t let me get away with rejecting people anymore even if I feel rejected. Whether my feelings are valid or not doesn’t matter. Maybe my flesh is playing mind games with me or maybe people really do get sick of me. My purpose in life is not to analyze that and try to figure it out.

As I laid here at first asking God to heal these feelings of rejection and to make me not care about it anymore so I can love others the way He wants me to, He helped me realize something. Jesus is rejected by the very people He died for. For a time He was even rejected by those closest to Him. He was betrayed by a man that He had fully accepted into His closest circle knowing full well that is what He would do. For a moment, He was even rejected by God as He took all of our sins on the cross.

Did Jesus “not care” about this rejection? Is that how He did it? Is that how He stayed on the cross when He could have called legions of angels to pull Him off of it? Was He able to just push this rejection down so He could carry on being about His Father’s business?

Of course He cared. It broke His heart. He felt every bit of that rejection and all the pain of it. So, I asked Him; “How do I do that? How do I love despite the pain of feeling rejected?” He replied; “My love is greater than that pain. My love is greater than acceptance and rejection. You have to love so big that the sting of rejection doesn’t change your heart for people.”

“I can’t do this without You, Lord. I need You to get me there. I come willingly for You to do Your will in me.”

“I abide in you and you also abide in Me. You can do all things through Me. I will strengthen you. My grace is sufficient for you.”

Folks, I know it hurts. Whatever it is you are feeling. Whether striving to stay accepted or accepting the rejection. Either side of the coin is painful. Just let go of trying to figure it out and let God get you there.

Jesus went to the cross fully accepted by some, temporarily denied by others, and fully rejected by most. Yet, He died with the same heart for all of them.

He also died with a dark cloud over His head. But that was only temporary. He rose again three days later as the the light of the world that would never have a dark cloud over Him again. And as we accept Him into our lives then He conquors our dark clouds, too. Take it from a girl who is up at 2 a.m. conquoring clouds with Jesus.

I am so thankful for Jesus. Thanks to Him feeling momentary rejection from God I will now never feel God’s rejection, not even for a second. And what is even more beautiful is it was the great plan of the Holy Trinity all along. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit being the great Three in One, with the same mind and the same plan, made it so we are able to be fully accepted the very moment we say ” yes” to Jesus’ question of “Follow me?”

Any rejection I face here on earth is just a temporary affliction that doesn’t compare to the glory I have coming in my eternity. It doesn’t compare to the joy set before me.

It doesn’t compare to the joy and peace He provides me here on earth no matter my circumstances. He is all I ever need. Even if this whole world and everyone in it was to turn their backs on me then I would still have Him loving me so much that it overflows to all around me. He loves me big so I can love you big.

Oh, I am not perfect at loving others but I am perfectly loved by God and without a bit of lack in the things that matter. He is all I ever need. He abides in me and I in Him. The living water that quenches every thirst abides in me and will never run dry. His grace truly is sufficient.

Wherever I need to go, He will get me there.

The same is true for you, my friends. I pray for your 2 a.m. wake up call of conquoring clouds with Jesus.

I love you ❤️

I thank God for you

Continuing in my study of Deuteronomy 31:

Verses 7-8:
Then Moses called Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, “Be strong and of good courage, for you must go with this people to the land which the LORD has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall cause them to inherit it. And the LORD, He is the one who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.”

First I want to share some commentary from David Guzick:

“Bringing the people into the Promised Land was God’s work. He was going to do it. But God almost always does His work through men and women who make themselves available to Him.

i. Sometimes people wrongly say, “It is all the LORD, it’s all the LORD.” True, God does His work, but He does it through people.

Since God was going to use Joshua, he must be strong and of good courage. But Moses knew Joshua and knew that he would. So he confidently said, you shall cause them to inherit it.

i. Men of encouragement like Moses are a blessing. Moses knew that Joshua might be wavering, so he encouraged him, and pushed him forward to be more than he perhaps thought he could be. God uses encouraging people to help us fulfill the destiny He has for us.

ii. Joshua was the man; but the work was the LORD’s”

My thoughts:

We had this discussion in a Bible study I attended not long ago. When we do some work for the Lord and people say “Thank you” or they speak words of encouragement over us we feel compelled to tell them to thank the Lord instead or remind them that it is all glory to God. While this is very true and we should always remember that it is the Lord’s work and He is the one that calls us and enables us to do it, we also need to be able to accept gratitude and encouragement with a grateful heart. Accepting a thank you or encouragement is not prideful when we realize God has sent that to us through someone else just as He sent us to do His work to others. It all goes together. Where we get into trouble is when we start doing work while expecting a thank you or gratitude or encouragement. We don’t work for the gratitude but for the Lord, who will, in His loving kindess, mercy, and grace, send us gratitude because He loves us. He can also remove it when we start doing His work with the wrong heart. He is a good Shepherd, after all, and will not let us stray far if we always recognize His correction. And we will when we seek the kingdom first.

So, just to make things easier when I want to thank or encourage someone the Spirit as led me to Philippians 1:3:

“I thank my God every time I remember you.”

For all of you out there doing God’s work; I thank God for you. I thank you for being so obedient and bringing His love to the world. Thank you for making yourself available to Him and answering His call with “Here am I, Lord, send me.” It is not an easy task but the most worthwhile task. Be strong and of good courage for the Lord goes before you. He will not fail you nor forsake you. Fear not and do not be discouraged. God loves you and so do I. ❤️

Is gluttony really a sin?

As we draw closer to the New Year and we all start making our “New Year, new you” resolutions, I want to share what God has been working out in me.

Many of our resolutions will be to lose weight. That is usually coming after a huge holiday binge fest, right? Eat all we want now because we are going to deny ourselves later. That right there is a sign of the wrong motivation. Anytime we say that we are going to change the way we eat but we are going to start on Monday and binge out til then, we are setting ourselves up for failure because we have the wrong motivation.

Maybe our motivation is a vanity reason. We want to look better. Want to be able to wear our clothes better. Want to be a smaller size. Want people to notice the weight we have lost. This is like chasing the wind. We can certainly do things that make us “look better” but if we don’t like how we look now I can tell you from experience you won’t like what you look like when you lose weight either. There will still be more weight to lose, more muscle to tone, and then having to work so hard to keep a certain “look” that you find approving. These bodies will grow older and never look the same anyway. These bodies are temporary, and we are not to strive for what is temporary, right?

2 Corinthians 4:18
“while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

Maybe our motivation is to be healthy. We want to have good health to carry us into our elder years. That seems like a good goal! And it isn’t all bad. We should want to take good care of our bodies because they are the temple of the Holy Spirit. But even our health is fleeting. This still isn’t enough to keep us on track.

So, what then? What is it that can keep us on track? First thing is knowing the truth about overeating.

Proverbs 23:19-21
19 Listen, my son, and be wise,
and set your heart on the right path:
20 Do not join those who drink too much wine
or gorge themselves on meat,
21 for drunkards and gluttons become poor,
and drowsiness clothes them in rags.

It is obvious that getting drunk is a sin. Well, seems obvious to most anyway and for obvious reasons. I dare say, not a single good decision was made while drunk. But did you know that gluttony ranked right up there with drunkards in the Bible? In church, we wouldn’t laugh at someone getting drunk at an event. No, we would intervene and try to help that person. But we laugh about over indulging in food, don’t we? This sin may be overlooked by most churches but it certainly isn’t overlooked by God.

The good news is, it wasn’t overlooked by Jesus either. He died for that sin. His blood washes it away. He sent the Spirit to abide in us to give us strength to repent that sin and have a heart change over it. That is some pretty strong motivation there, isn’t it?

I had a particularly rough day yesterday. It was really more than one thing but one particular thing was rather tough. I wanted to eat my feelings away and the enemy was saying to me “is it even really a sin anyway?” So, I went to God with that question and guess what book and chapter came to me in my email this morning? Proverbs 23. Those verses I posted earlier are what I read this morning and it is by no coincidence. That was God making it perfectly clear that yes, this is sin.

That is good news, too! Jesus has defeated sin, and since Jesus is a friend of ours and our Savior from sin then we can start walking today in victory over it.

Not on Monday. Not on January 1st. But we can choose today who we will serve; our fleshly desire for overindulgence and the idol of food or Jesus. As for me and my body, we will serve the Lord! (Joshua 24:15)