Let it Go …All of it.

When I’m tempted to wallow in the “nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen” soundtrack of a suffered season …Psalms. Because the first thing I don’t feel like doing when I’m sad, angry or anxious isn’t what these profound words of wisdom instruct me to do. “It is good to give thanks to the LORD,” Psalm 92:1 says, “to sing praises to the Most High.” (NLT)

Flipping through a rolodex of the last month’s gut punches, I don’t want to sing. I’m thankful for the obligatory things …my home, health, family, talents, children, friends and God’s provision. There’s nothing earth shattering falling out of the bottom of my life. But occasionally a million little aggravations collide into a big burst of soul-stripping tears. Still, Psalm 7:17 instructs: “I will thank the LORD because he is just; I will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High.” (NLT)

“After Jesus was baptized by John,” a pastor at our church faithfully reminded me the day I was baptized, “Jesus was tempted in the desert for forty days.” 

Crap,” was my first thought. CRAP. Over the next few weeks I started to feel like Psalm 3:7“Arise, O LORD! Rescue me, my God! Slap all my enemies in the face! Shatter the teeth of the wicked!” (NLT)

And then God asked me if I was willing to put reconciliation in His hands. Not just any reconciliation. One that had already rocked me, and my entire family, to the core. My answer was a resounding, “NO.” I didn’t want to. I’m down with heartfelt apologies. Reach as far back as you want to, God. And forgiveness? Forgiveness is a given. No apology needed. I got that memo. It’s an automatic process every Christian is wise to begin immediately after any hurt or heartbreak to prevent the root of bitterness from having babies all over our souls. 

But reconciliation? Nope. No. There are some people we can love from a far and leave behind the lines of our boundaries …right? RIGHT?  No. Psalm 5:11 says, “But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever. Spread your protection over them, that all who love your name may be filled with joy.” NLT

God is the one protecting and providing refuge. So, if He says we are free to come out of hiding, we should. If He prompts us to reach out one more time in an effort to build a bridge, we should obediently take the chance. What’s the worst thing that could happen when the best thing that could happen is peace?  

Let’s just say …the worst thing happened. I opened up a wound that hurt worse than before. It leveled me. It surely made me ask “why …” a lot. But I kept reading through the Psalms …because coincidentally the devotional app I faithfully open every day has been in that book. (not a coincidence.) I kept praising God, through thick and heavy tears. He’s right, of course, but let’s face it …some moments make us doubt ourselves, everyone around us, all the decisions we’ve made, and the faith we stand on. Cry it all out. He can handle it.

As we continue to breathe air He will pull things out of the thin of it for us to give to Him. Not everything we go through in life is all about us. We’re called to leave the door wide open for reconciliation while God works on all of the hearts. If it’s possible …we want it. It’s OK to leave our boundaries in the protective hands of our Defender. God doesn’t owe us an explanation for our obedience. He just says, “obey.” Trust and obey.

We have to let go, so we can receive all He has for us. All we can’t see, doesn’t make sense, and makes it hard to leap in faith when He asks us to stretch past our flexibility. He knows what we need in breaking moments. Life is hard, and God knows it. He is our good Father, and so waits for us to open His book and fall into His capable arms. Every time, He will pick us up, stretch us out, and set us back on the path He’s prepared for us. He promises. And He’s good for it. Don’t let fear rob freedom. 

Let go.

Megs


Advertisements

The Bad Advice (#jammed daily devo, day 217)

August #jammed: Reflecting on Grace.

Day 217: Know when not to listen.

“But you must be careful so that your freedom does not cause others with a weaker conscience to stumble.” 1 Corinthians 8:9

Why did I do that?August 5

I know better.

That was embarrassing.

When will I ever learn?

We’ve all been there, and most of the time we land in these expressions because we entertained ones like these:

It’s OK!

Come on!

Don’t worry about it!

What’s it going to hurt?

Today’s verse reminds us to be careful who we listen to. It’s easy to be persuaded to do something we’re already tempted to do. Our flesh and the devil’s prodding mixed with bad influence and the wrong environment leave us living in regret.

God created us all equal, but when we accept Christ as our Savior, there is a big difference in conscious. Once we’ve walked with Him for a while, we know too much to enjoy going down old roads with dead ends. We pray not to be included, because when we are, we don’t trust ourselves in an environment where old habits can creep back in through the cracks.

The damage is not just in the embarrassment of acting in a way that does not honor God. We are forgiven, which is the very freedom this verse speaks of. God promises in 1John 1:9 that if we confess our sins He is faithful and forgives us.

But what about those that were watching?

If we’re not careful, we can make Christianity seem like a hall pass to do whatever we want, no matter what Jesus would do or God has to say about it. “Others with a weaker conscious” are libel to stumble, because they don’t know what we know. They don’t know Him like we do, so our confession makes no sense to them. At least, not the right kind of sense.

It’s important to mingle with all crowds, but never worth being in a situation where we might be tempted to misrepresent what it means to walk with Jesus.

#jammed click to tweet jun:jul:aug

Father, Praise You for knowing everything there is to know about us. Thank Your for providing a way out of situation that is too much for us to bear. Forgive us for thinking we can handle things that are beyond our human frailty to manage, and help us to bravely step away from situations and people that attempt to trip us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 

#greatgrace17

Happy Friend-ing

Megs

Get the #jammed Daily Devo sent straight to your inbox each morning, by subscribing to Sunny&80. 

The Amplifier (#jammed daily devo, day 213)

August #jammed: Reflecting on Grace.

Day 213: Turn it up.

“The Spirit then led Jesus into the desert to be tempted by the devil.” Matthew 4:1August 1

“Here.” …and they handed me a microphone.

“You might want to say something between songs …” one of the leaders suggested.

Really, God? I remember thinking. This is not what I signed up for when I said I’d lead a kids worship team…what on earth do You want me to say? 

Today’s verse launches Jesus into the desert for the infamous rounds of temptation He went with the devil.

“The Spirit led …”

The Spirit leads us to and through things that we need to test and strengthen our faith. Situations we would not put ourselves in and challenges we would not have chosen not to take …but, God. Through our faith His voice is amplified. The more we try to turn from it, the louder it gets. And when we walk with Jesus, it doesn’t take long to know that until we answer, He’ll keep turning up the volume.

The devil has his finger ready to swipe the volume up at any second, too. For Jesus, in the desert, he tried to drown out the sound of God’s Voice. God is always louder than the devil, we just have to chose to tune into Him. By repeating God’s Word, His voice was amplified even louder. The devil doesn’t like to hear Truth spoken out loud.

The devil can temp us, but we can also be our own worst enemy. Doubt and confusion are some of his favorite things to use against us. He’s been using “Is that really what God said” since the beginning of time. When we walk with Jesus daily, we’ll recognize God’s Voice. When we’re in His Word, we hear Him a little better. When we are in conversation with Him a lot, we get used to the things He’s likely to say. Christ’s character starts to seep into our hearts …and our hearts become more like His.

I’ve really grown to love this microphone that I never would have asked for. In small obedient steps, He has blown me away …with what He has to say …through me. Pass me the mic, God …what do You want me to say?

#jammed click to tweet jun:jul:aug

Father, Praise You for speaking life into our lives. Thank You for giving us direction and guiding us to and through what You call us to do in this life. Forgive us for trying to turn from Your voice, and strengthen us to follow Your voice. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 

#greatgrace17

Happy Friend-ing

Megs

Get the #jammed Daily Devo sent straight to your inbox each morning, by subscribing to Sunny&80. 

The Bad Advice (#jammed daily devo, day 217)

August #jammed: Reflecting on Grace.

Day 217: Know when not to listen.

“But you must be careful so that your freedom does not cause others with a weaker conscience to stumble.” 1 Corinthians 8:9

Why did I do that?August 5

I know better.

That was embarrassing.

When will I ever learn?

We’ve all been there, and most of the time we land in these expressions because we entertained ones like these:

It’s OK!

Come on!

Don’t worry about it!

What’s it going to hurt?

Today’s verse reminds us to be careful who we listen to. It’s easy to be persuaded to do something we’re already tempted to do. Our flesh and the devil’s prodding mixed with bad influence and the wrong environment leave us living in regret.

God created us all equal, but when we accept Christ as our Savior, there is a big difference in conscious. Once we’ve walked with Him for a while, we know too much to enjoy going down old roads with dead ends. We pray not to be included, because when we are, we don’t trust ourselves in an environment where old habits can creep back in through the cracks.

The damage is not just in the embarrassment of acting in a way that does not honor God. We are forgiven, which is the very freedom this verse speaks of. God promises in 1John 1:9 that if we confess our sins He is faithful and forgives us.

But what about those that were watching?

If we’re not careful, we can make Christianity seem like a hall pass to do whatever we want, no matter what Jesus would do or God has to say about it. “Others with a weaker conscious” are libel to stumble, because they don’t know what we know. They don’t know Him like we do, so our confession makes no sense to them. At least, not the right kind of sense.

It’s important to mingle with all crowds, but never worth being in a situation where we might be tempted to misrepresent what it means to walk with Jesus.

#jammed click to tweet jun:jul:aug

Father, Praise You for knowing everything there is to know about us. Thank Your for providing a way out of situation that is too much for us to bear. Forgive us for thinking we can handle things that are beyond our human frailty to manage, and help us to bravely step away from situations and people that attempt to trip us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 

#greatgrace17

Happy Friend-ing

Megs

Get the #jammed Daily Devo sent straight to your inbox each morning, by subscribing to Sunny&80. 

The Amplifier (#jammed daily devo, day 213)

August #jammed: Reflecting on Grace.

Day 213: Turn it up.

“The Spirit then led Jesus into the desert to be tempted by the devil.” Matthew 4:1August 1

“Here.” …and they handed me a microphone.

“You might want to say something between songs …” one of the leaders suggested.

Really, God? I remember thinking. This is not what I signed up for when I said I’d lead a kids worship team…what on earth do You want me to say? 

Today’s verse launches Jesus into the desert for the infamous rounds of temptation He went with the devil.

“The Spirit led …”

The Spirit leads us to and through things that we need to test and strengthen our faith. Situations we would not put ourselves in and challenges we would not have chosen not to take …but, God. Through our faith His voice is amplified. The more we try to turn from it, the louder it gets. And when we walk with Jesus, it doesn’t take long to know that until we answer, He’ll keep turning up the volume.

The devil has his finger ready to swipe the volume up at any second, too. For Jesus, in the desert, he tried to drown out the sound of God’s Voice. God is always louder than the devil, we just have to chose to tune into Him. By repeating God’s Word, His voice was amplified even louder. The devil doesn’t like to hear Truth spoken out loud.

The devil can temp us, but we can also be our own worst enemy. Doubt and confusion are some of his favorite things to use against us. He’s been using “Is that really what God said” since the beginning of time. When we walk with Jesus daily, we’ll recognize God’s Voice. When we’re in His Word, we hear Him a little better. When we are in conversation with Him a lot, we get used to the things He’s likely to say. Christ’s character starts to seep into our hearts …and our hearts become more like His.

I’ve really grown to love this microphone that I never would have asked for. In small obedient steps, He has blown me away …with what He has to say …through me. Pass me the mic, God …what do You want me to say?

#jammed click to tweet jun:jul:aug

Father, Praise You for speaking life into our lives. Thank You for giving us direction and guiding us to and through what You call us to do in this life. Forgive us for trying to turn from Your voice, and strengthen us to follow Your voice. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 

#greatgrace17

Happy Friend-ing

Megs

Get the #jammed Daily Devo sent straight to your inbox each morning, by subscribing to Sunny&80.