Category Archives: God’s will

Do You Love Me?

Do you love me? While it’s a great song from the old musical “Fiddler on the Roof,” the song has a few great lessons in it for us. In the song Golde and Tevye have been married for 25 years. The first time they met was on their wedding day. And in 25 years they have never said “I love you!” Can you imagine being 25 years old and never having someone tell you they loved you?

Wouldn’t you have some serious doubts about life and yourself if that happened? I know I would! What if this is the way you and I approach prayer sometimes? We don’t consciously treat the Lord this way of course, but when is the last time you told the Lord you loved Him? Felt Him say it back to you? If ever?

We pray  and tell the Lord we love Him, because even though God already knows our thoughts and feelings, we don’t know His. Communication is a two way street. People who only have one-sided conversations are a bit crazy! Any one person can talk but it takes two people to communicate. Communication is an exchange of information AND understanding.

God longs for us to pray – to communicate with Him. Psalm 46:10 says “Be Still and Know I am God”

  The Hebrew word for “know” in this verse is yada*. Meaning a deep knowing- knowing everything about a person. So the way God knows us (He created us after all!) is the same way He wants us to know Him! One of the ways in which He invites us to do that is through prayer.

We know God loves us, but like Golde and Tevye, we need to hear it often or we will begin to doubt God’s love for us. We hear it when we are in communication with the Lord. And you know what? God really appreciates it when we tell Him we love Him as well.

We also pray because it brings us into the right relationship with God. Prayer is a perspective and reality check, as well as a conversation and communication. “Knowing – Yada –ing” the Lord comes through and from a relationship with Him.

 Sin, our laziness, and distractions all try their best to break our relationship with the Lord. They often succeed. Prayer is a way we get back on track with the Lord. If something in our lives is not from the Lord, especially emotions (anger, lust, jealousy etc) they must flee in His presence – when we bring them before the Lord in prayer. Prayer is the safest thing we can do with our emotions.

 Can you remember a time when you got really upset with someone only to find out the rest of the story later? That is like what happens when we pray. The misconceptions we have about life and people are changed when we get more information – that information is found when we pray and read the Word. When we pray our hearts are changed and we are able to see things differently.

When Golde and Tevye actually talked about how the felt (communicated) everything changed for them.

Prayer is the act of grasping God’s grace and love for us. It’s communicating with Him. Does the Lord know you love Him? More importantly do you know He loves you? Talk with Him and find out just how much!

 

* For more thoughts on Yada check out these posts.

 

 

 

 

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The Spin Cycle

No kids or washing machines were harmed in the making of this photo ... but Tiffany wishes no one had had a camera when she chose this particular stunt.

Once there was a young girl and all she wanted was to be perfect. There was a photo of her as a small child climbing into the washing machine because her shirt got dirty. It was no longer perfect and she was going to wash it. The problem was that she, being two years old, had forgotten to take herself out of it first.

As she grew older she learned that clothes, not people, went into the washing machine. Some 12 years later that same girl found herself with the daunting task of being a high school freshman. After less than a week she wasn’t perfect anymore. This honor roll, volleyball girl with close friends and was a loner who apparently could not comprehend the concept of the poem and was facing a schedule that barely left her time to sleep let alone play a sport. So, she did what she had learned and cleaned up the mess.

Her mistake this time was that she did take herself out of it first.

A shy, but mostly confident young girl became an outwardly extroverted girl with confidence, sarcasm, and academic focus like no other. On the inside the real girl was drowning. She started noticing every flaw. Every physical imperfection she had stood out to her. A small tummy that had never bothered her suddenly became a cover up buying spree. A sudden realization of a flatter chest meant she constantly crossed her arms and fuzzy hair led to never again sleeping in past 6:00 a.m.

For the next four years she would see a frumpy nerd who had friends who were boys but no boyfriends. She would walk around with a smile on her face all the while wishing that she could look a little different or be that size in the vain hope it would somehow make her perfect. That all those physical things would make someone notice that she was indeed the best. It never happened.

I wish I could tell you that if you are this girl that those things that we judge ourselves on, those flaws, will magically go away when you graduate and become an “adult,” but that isn’t true. They haven’t for her and she is twenty-two now. However, I can tell you that her mistake was taking herself, her real self, out of the equation in order to be perfect. The Bible tells you and me that God made us and loves us that way (Psalm 139, Isaiah 43). He doesn’t want you to change the person he made into something to fit the world’s expectations of us, but rather modify yourself, on the inside, to best follow Him so that you can truly be His follower. We have to trust God to have a plan for the person that He created and loves which works better than trying to make ourselves into a better version of who we are, especially if that version is a lie. By the way if you are wondering how I know so much about this girl, she is me. See, even Christian girls try to jump into life’s washing machine sometimes without God, and without God the end result is we are stuck on the spin cycle with the overwhelming smell of detergent and a purple sock slapping us in the face.

Think of some situations where you’ve taken yourself out. Ask God to help you put yourself back in. Send us an email under the Contact Us section, or give us a comment to let us know how it goes.

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Plans {Or Not}

 

photo by Tiffany Taylor

Summer is here bringing with it the ever-consuming question – “so what are your plans? What are you going to do now?” While it’s a question that delights some of us, it more often then not strikes fear in our hearts. What are we going to do this summer? Be bored, look for a job (what job should we take!?), who should we hang out with or date, what schools should we visit for college, or what sports should we be involved in? The questions are as varied and unique as each individual person is, but we all have them. Each one of us has questions about our future.

 Proverbs 3:5-6 says:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct  your paths.

The Lord directs our paths (the direction of our lives, and the things we do in life).

In the middle of wondering and worrying about what we should do the Lord tells us to trust Him – He has the plan for our lives! Proverbs says if we acknowledge Him, He will direct us. The word ‘acknowledge’ here doesn’t mean “oh hey God” like the way we would acknowledge a friend who walked into the room. It has a deeper meaning.

Here the word “acknowledge” comes from the Hebrew word “Yada” which means to deeply know someone. Like knowing your best friend kind of knowing. So the Lord will direct our paths (let us know what to do in life) when we get to know Him. The Lord is all about having a friendship and relationship with us. He wants to let us in on the plans for our lives. In wondering what we should do in life (or this summer!), we are really looking for wisdom.

One of the names for the Lord is Counselor (one with Wisdom). As we search for wisdom the first thing we need to do is seek the Lord. He IS wisdom!

If we could paraphrase Proverbs 3:6 it might sound like this:

‘In everything you do know the Lord and He will guide you in what to do’. Do you ‘know’ the Lord in everything you do?

This summer as you try to make plans (big or little!) I challenge you to learn to know the Lord more as well – then He will help and guide you in making those plans.

 The How To:

Getting to know the Lord is just like getting to know one of your friends!

You get know your friends by:

  • Hanging out with them {The Lord lives in each believer and we can get to know the Lord better by hanging out with Christian friends who will teach us what they know of Him by how they live}
  • Listen to music with them {Listen to worship music or music with Christian lyrics to get to know the Lord more}
  • Facebook tells us what our friends have done {Reading the Bible tells us what the Lord has done}
  • Most importantly we talk with our friends {With the Lord we just call this prayer – tell the Lord about your day – He cares about all the details good or bad}

What are some of the things you do to get to know the Lord better? Or to seek His wisdom as you plan this summer? Please comment below and let us know!

 

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