Journal Entry ~ 10/20/17

20 He sent out his word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction. 
21 Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man!  - Psalm 107:20-21

We all know it’s not the hearing of the Word that changes us, it’s the doing. God saved us through grace, but God doesn’t just want to save you, He wants to change you. And for that to happen, we have a very active part to play in our sanctification. If you are currently working through a difficult sin issue with God, then let this be an encouragement to you that He is at work in your life and He promises you freedom on the other side of this struggle. His promise is to bless your life abundantly as you lean and and work to be obedient with your life. But if you are not currently working through a sin issue with God, then let this be a challenge to you. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives." - Hebrews 12:6. If He’s not growing some part of you, if you don’t feel that He is working to reveal sin to you in your life, or pushing you to grow in some way, then let this be a challenge to you that it’s time to lean in a little more. If your faith hasn’t changed you, it hasn’t saved you. 

So, how do we lean in and listen a little more?  How does He reveal those sins to us so we can get to work, or how do we find the peaceful redemption that comes when we surrender our sins to Him?  We’re told right here in this passage.  “He sent out his word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction.”  He gave us His Word. Are you using it?  If we want to see a real change in our lives, if we want to honor Him with our lives, if we want to grow in who He wants us to be, if we want to hear from Him, if we want His wisdom, His peace, His strength, then we need to be in His Word every single day. Without exception. If you are lacking any of those things in your life - peace, comfort, strength - then get into His Word every single day. He needs to come first. And if He’s not, then you simply need to ask yourself what took the place of Him today or yesterday?  That’s where you’ll find your idols, and what you need to surrender to Him. 

I read a beautiful quote yesterday: Exchange whispers with God before shouts with the world. The world is a master at stealing our peace, from the day-to-day grind to the trials that knock the wind out of us, the world can shake us with its loud, chaotic shouts. And it seems to get louder every day. I can scarcely watch the news anymore - it’s a plethora of angry tones, sharp accusations, denigrating facts all that lead to a depressing outlook on the world we live in. Just as bad is the attacking comments and arguments found in our Facebook feed - so much disdain and mockery for people who don’t share our views. It’s nauseating the way people think they can talk to one another through a keyboard.  Exchange whispers with God before shouts with the world and it will change your tone. 

I was challenged many years ago to read scripture every single day. Now, I was a believer back then, and I did know scripture pretty well - I attended church every Sunday, I was a youth group leader, an Awana leader, and director of the VBS program at my church. I was actively involved in teaching other people the Bible, and I had many bible studies under my belt by that time. I was also at a pretty great place in my life - not feeling as if I was lacking much of anything. In fact, for the most part, I felt I was in a season of abundant blessing. But God knew the trials that lie in front of me, and He knew I needed a storehouse of strength that could only come from knowing His Word in a whole new way. So I was challenged to open Scripture every single day before my feet hit the floor in the morning - even if it was only one verse. You see, the problem was my schedule was so full of teaching Scripture to other people, there was little time for God to instruct me. I didn’t leave much quiet time with Him. I accepted the challenge and was held accountable by that friend to send a short text about what He taught me in the verse I read. That challenge changed my life. Since I committed to it, I kept my word, and without fail, every single morning, I made time for Him and His Word. At first, I will admit that it was out of duty and commitment, but eventually, it became my daily lifeline, my desire, my pleasure. I would be lost without starting my day with Him. It is my source of strength and peace in the battles that I face in this world. 

I am so thankful that God sent that challenge into my life when He did. I don’t know how I would have made it through the past several years of trials without the foundation of His Word in my life. I know His peace in the chaos, I know His strength in my weakness, I know His love in my loneliness, I know His hope in my despair, I know His courage in my fears. But I only know those because of the work He has done in my heart by being in the Word every single day - He has revealed strongholds and idols and sin in my life I would have never known if it wasn’t for spending time with Him every day, and He has brought me freedom I would have never known had I not met with Him. Every single day. Make it a priority and watch Him change your life. God doesn’t just want to save you, He wants to change you.

Press on ~ you are loved 💗


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