Tag Archive | Jesus Calling

Early Morning

I awoke early, 4:30 am, with my checklist in the forefront of my mind. I tossed and turned as I wondered how I was possibly going to get everything done, and the bigger question was where to begin. Sleep alluded me, and I probably should have just gotten up to start the day rather than waiting until the alarm began to play.

I usually start the day with some quiet time with God, getting my thoughts fixed on Him. I have been using the devotional book “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young to jump-start my  quiet time, and this time I was given a jolt! As if speaking directly to me, it began, “You tend to make mental checklists of things you need to do in order to gain control of your life. If only you could check everything off your list, you could relax and be at peace. But the more you work to accomplish that goal, the more things crop up on your list.  The harder you try, the more frustrated you become.” At this point, I was fully awake feeling like I had been doused with cold water. Those were some of my exact thoughts! I prefer order, structure, schedules, rules…for some reason it gives me a sense of security and accomplishment knowing what, when and how things are expected of me. However, sometimes my planning and expectations get in the way, mess things up and distract me from following God’s leading.

How does one find balance between structure and freelance? Finding the balance is something I have worked at for most of my adult life, some days being more successful than others. For me, it begins with my attitude and mindset. How important are the tasks on my list? How can I glorify God through them or while completing the tasks? How is my attitude when the schedule is unexpectedly changed? No matter how much scheduling and planning I do, no matter how long the to-do list is, I must keep my focus on Jesus and let Him be my source of security and guide.

God has a plan far greater than I can imagine. Today, I fix my eyes on Him and let him lead the way.

Isaiah 55:8-9 says: “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.

 

 

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To God be the Glory

Counting? What IS all this counting about? Counting One Thousand Gifts in 2013? Counting gifts of blessing from God, but NOT just to count. It is not all about me; rather it is all about GOD from whom all blessings flow. It’s looking closer, intentionally, seeking, expanding  my focus so I may see God in all things and glorify Him.

In her book, Jesus Calling, Sarah Young has compiled personal notes from Jesus for each day of the year. The message for January 19 sums up what this counting is all about.

“Seek my face, and you will find more than you ever dreamed possible.  Let Me displace worry at the center of your being.  I am like a supersaturated cloud, showering Peace into the pool of your mind.  My Nature is to bless.  Your nature is to receive with thanksgiving.  This is a true fit, designed before the foundation of the world.  Glorify Me by receiving My blessings gratefully.

I am the goal of all your searching.  When you seek Me, you find Me and are satisfied.  When lesser goals capture your attention, I fade into the background of your life.  I am still there, watching and waiting; but you function as if you were alone.  actually, My Light shines on every situation you will ever face.  Live radiantly by expanding your focus to include Me in all your moments.  Let nothing dampen your search for Me. 

Psalm 17:8; Philippians 4:7; Jeremiah 29:13″

It is usually quite easy to look around and see God’s blessings on the surface. However, I want to go beyond the surface. The tool that helps me is Ann Voskamp’s monthly list of gifts to look for.  With this list I must think outside the box and look beyond the obvious. Matthew 7:7 promises that if I seek I will find. Therefore, I am seeking. Seeking God’s face in things only seen up close, in a reflection or in the shadow.  Seeking God’s face when my life is calm as well as during the most turbulent times. Seeking God’s face so I may give Him all glory and praise.

If you would like a ready made list to help you start looking beyond the surface for God’s blessings click on this LINK.  It will take you to Ann Voskamp’s JoyDare list. Remember, it is not all about what God has done for me, but rather me giving God glory, honor, praise and thanksgiving for the many blessings I may never have noticed before.

To God be the Glory!