Organizing the Inside 365 Days

Empowering Christian Women To Get Organized and Discover God's Plan for Their Lives

Archive for December, 2011

Organizing the Inside – Day 119 God is Doing a New Thing!

18“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. 19See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.
~Isaiah 43:18, 19

Was 2011 great for you?
Many people everywhere are looking back on a year filled with fond memories of exciting adventure, growth, positive change and prosperity. Perhaps you purchased a new home or started a new business or figured things out and discovered your passion. Whatever wonderful things you’ve experienced in 2011, I believe 2012 promises to be a year of spiritual prosperity, unrealized growth and renewed commitment to the Kingdom of God.

Maybe 2011 is a year you would like to forget.
In the current economic environment there are those who have suffered great losses. Many jobs were loss and many people have gone through unsettling transitions of various kinds. Whether you’ve found yourself unemployed, your business has suffered setbacks, or your family’s way of life was jeopardized because of unexpected challenges; whatever your personal situation I want to give you good news.

The Lord God Almighty is still alive!
Sometimes when we suffer setbacks it’s hard to understand why. We can’t see beyond our dark circumstances to embrace the wonderful things are waiting ahead. If your “here and now” feels just a bit gloomy or perhaps you are thinking it’s almost hopeless, or maybe you’ve decided to simply give up, WAIT- Don’t. I promise you GOD HAS A PLAN FOR YOUR LIFE!  As sure as there is a God, there is hope for your current situation. No matter what your situation, good or bad, up or down God wants to use you. Right where you are, the way you are, faults and flaws in tact, Jesus is always standing right there waiting to help you pull through.

Take a moment as 2011 comes to an end; make a commitment to God that your goals will be His goals and your desires will be His desires. Decide now that regardless of what has happened in the past, you are going to trust God and move forward. No looking back, the past is dead and gone; so bury it at once, or it’s going to start to stink. Set your eyes on God and seek to follow His will for your life.

No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 3:14

Organizing the Inside – Day 118 Observe Your Influence

1Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” 2The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die?’” 4“You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5“For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom; she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. ~Genesis 3:1-6

Influence as defined in the Merriam-Webster dictionary means: to sway, the act or power of producing an effect without apparent force or direct authority.

As women we have a great deal of influence. God has given us various assets that are meant to be used to bring glory to man, which ultimately glorifies God.

Eve used her influence in the Garden of Eden.
What she did with her influence did not glorify God. Christ is the head of the Church and man is the head of woman; this is God’s divine order. Although within the divine order of God, women may not lead from a position of authority, we certainly do lead from a place of influence. Men look to women for support, for our intuition, for our insight, for our gifts, for our ability to organize, and facilitate important matters, for our innate ability to sense danger, for our ability to nurture, for our instinctive ability to sense when others are hurting and men look to women because of our ability to influence. There is nothing wrong with men looking to us for help, this is our role as women. We have to be mindful however, that influence can easily be confused with manipulation, so exercise caution and be guided by the Spirit of Truth.

Influence is usually subtle.
The influence we have is usually quite subtle and I suspect if it wasn’t it more often than not may be rejected. Whether good or bad, positive or negative as women we influence other women and we have a tremendous amount of influence over men. This influence is something that God gave us and we may as well accept it and learn to understand it; for being ignorant about the power we have to influence others can be harmful to those around us. You must understand that as a woman what you say, how you act, what you do likely influences others much more than you think.

Here are some practical steps you can take to make sure you are using your God-given influence to glorify God and to help build His kingdom. Let’s face it, both men and women alike come to us as “influencers” for insight or just to get our feedback we must influence people in the right way.

Three lessons to learn by observing Eve’s mistakes:
Don’t allow yourself to entertain conversations with the devil. If and when he tries to speak to you about anything, recognize that his ultimate intent is to deceive you and get you to use your influence to manipulate others.  Do not spend any time reasoning with him. The enemy knows how important your influence is in the plan of God and he wants to deceive you into using it for evil and not good.

2. Don’t allow yourself to want something that clearly God has told you He didn’t want you to have. Eve spent time discussing the possibilities of what may happen if she ate the fruit. Why go there?  Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away.  James 1:14 To even consider the thought of disobeying God, is the first step in you actually going through with it. If God said no then, it is not an option. Don’t be tricked into contemplating sin.

3. Realize that the greater one lives in you. God has now given us the Holy Spirit who gives us power to withstand in the evil day. As God’s daughters we have power over evil.  I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.  Luke 10:19 Critical to the mission of kingdom building is doing your part as a woman of God; realize the power of God that is in you. Let the kingdom of God come first in your life and your heart, knowing that by doing so you will be in the best possible position to influence those around you in a godly way.

Organizing the Inside – Day 117 When The Enemy Wages War Don’t Agonize, Organize

1After this, the Moabites and Ammonites with some of the Meunites came to make war on Jehoshaphat. 2Some men came and told Jehoshaphat, “A vast army is coming against you from Edom, from the other side of the Sea. It is already in Hazazon Tamar” (that is, En Gedi).
2 Chronicles 20:1, 2

When faced with what seems like an impossible situation and it looks as though the enemy has the upper-hand, the most important thing you can do is organize yourself and those around you to prepare for spiritual warfare.
Here Are Ten Steps to Consider:

1. Resolve to seek God. 3aAlarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord,

2. Proclaim a fast. 3band he proclaimed a fast for all Judah.

3. Unite your faith with other believers. 4The people of Judah came together to seek help from the Lord.

4. Openly proclaim God’s promises and bring His word before Him. 5Then Jehoshaphat stood up in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem at the temple of the Lord in the front of the new courtyard 6and said: “O Lord, God of our fathers, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you…”

5. Pray, talk to God about your situation; let God know you are standing and trusting in Him. 9‘If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgment, or plague or famine, we will stand in your presence before this temple that bears your Name and will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us.’

6. Acknowledge your weaknesses. 12a,b”O our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do,

7. Fix your eyes upon God. 12cbut our eyes are upon you.” Don’t look at your circumstances, look to God for your hope of deliverance lies in Him. (also read Micah 7:7 and Psalm 121:1,2)

8. Involve the entire family. 13All the men of Judah, with their wives and children and little ones, stood there before the Lord. When you are in an impossible situation if you are going to trust God; this is a great teachable moment. This will teach your children how to trust God and what to do when the enemy tries to attack.

9. Expect to hear and word from the Lord and listen to the messenger God sends. 14Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel… 15He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army.

10. Understand that the battle belongs to God and He will see you through 15dFor the battle is not yours, but God’s.

(Also read the conclusion 2 Chronicles 20:17-30)
What a remarkable demonstration of God’s faithfulness, and the possibilities that emerge when we trust and obey Him.

Organizing the Inside – Day 116 The Danger of Too Many Goals

10I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure.
My heart took delight in all my work, and this was the reward for all my labor.

11Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve,
everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.
Ecclesiastes 2:10, 11

Solomon was trying to figure it all out.
Solomon pursued various unrelated ventures as he sought to find the meaning life. Although He was at a point in his life where he’d achieved a tremendous amount of success, he concludes: Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher; all is vanity. Ecclesiastes 12:8

What are you focusing on?
What are your current goals and does each of your goals compliment the others. Take a look at what your current goals are about. Do they support your true values and priorities?  Do you find that your goals have competing priorities? Having too many goals can create confusion and slow down your productivity.

Organize Your Goals.
Your goals should motivate and excite you as well as support your values by keeping you focused on the things that are important in your life. If your goals are preventing you from focusing or seem to be stretching you in several different directions, consider modifying your goals. Each goal should relate to the next and all should focus on moving you closer toward God’s plan for your life. Consider the following questions:

  1. When pursuing my goals am I operating in my brilliant zone; or do I often get bored or lose focus?
  2. Do my goals create major conflict in my life? If so, why?
  3. Is God pleased with my current set of goals?
  4. Have I committed my goals to God, and asked Him to direct my path?
  5. Do my goals support my values?
  6. Are my current goals based on a pattern of pleasing God or man?
  7. What other steps should I take to better organize my goals?

God is a master planner, so ask Him to guide you.
As you look at adjusting your goals do your best to build them around things that have eternal value. Don’t make the mistake of taking on too many goals all at once. Solomon seemed to admit that in his quest for answers to the meaning of life, he just went for it and did whatever he felt like doing. He said, “I denied myself nothing my eyes desired…”  This would not be what I’d suggest. Focus on achieving God’s best for your life. Living in your brilliant zone is about following your passion and doing what you do best. God placed your talents, abilities, gifts and skills  inside you to empower and give you what you need to carry out His will in your life. Follow your heart, but stay focused and enjoy every step along the way.

Organizing the Inside – Day 115 Caution He Who Has Many Followers

22Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man. 23“Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their fathers treated the prophets. 26Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for that is how their fathers treated the false prophets. Luke 6:22, 23, 26

This is not a feel good kind of post. As long as you’re here you may as well go ahead and read it. It could be by divine appointment that you’re here.

Don’t let the “Mega Church” mentality fool you.
Don’t be deceived into supporting the assumption that bigger is better.  In my profession as an organizing expert, we teach people, less is sometimes more. Many Christians are misled into believing that if so many people are attending a particular church and believe it’s the “place to be” then it must be. Following the crowd is a misguided approach and it doesn’t factor in God’s divine will for you as an individual. Beware of thinking that God must really approve of this person because of all the followers he or she has. I’m not so sure anyone should get excited about having a ton of followers or raving fans anyway? Hum?

People rush toward the crowds.
This way of thinking is flawed at best. Consider the many woes of some mega churches whose leadership “fell from grace.” Many leaders or want to be leaders (if they were honest) are far, far too concerned with how many people are following and what all their followers must think. Social media and global communication through advanced technology make this “following phenomenon” easy to get sucked into.  You worry about how many members you have in your “group of followers” when what you should be concerned about is how having all these followers should put the fear of God in you. A lot will be expected from everyone who has been given a lot. More will be demanded from everyone who has been entrusted with a lot Luke 12:48c

Are you someone whom people should follow?
You can only ask this seeming troubling question if you are willing to strip away your ego and filter through any pride to hear your heart speak an honest answer. Many want more and more followers… but with all those folks following you, your responsibility to live upright is multiplied with each new follower.  “I can guarantee that on judgment day people will have to give an account of every careless word they say. Matthew 12:36 I see this to be a huge responsibility, which is heightened when you actually have followers who are listening to your words. I’m not suggesting that leadership is something to run from, although many are doing just that. Additionally I’m not suggesting the role of “leadership” is one to run toward, unless this is your God-given gift and divine assignment.

Self appointed and self promoting leadership is a dangerous way to live.
It’s easy to get caught up in the hype of wanting more followers, so much so that you lose focus on the real purpose of God’s calling and why you do what you do. Pride is something that creeps up; many don’t even know it’s there; until they wake up and realize they need intervention. Jabez asked God to expand his territory, but he did so wanting to glorify God, not to promote himself. (1 Chronicles 4:10)  God granted Jabez’s prayer. God looks at your heart not your numbers. A great way to prevent yourself from losing your focus is to put in place a system of checks. This is not a list of  dos and don’ts; this is a way of checking in with the Holy Spirit on where you are. In the book of Genesis after Adam fell he hid in the Garden of Eden. Although, God of course knew where Adam was, He asked him anyway, “And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where are you?”  Genesis 3:9
God was asking the deeper question of Adam, and challenged him to check his own spiritual state. Create a practical way of “checking in” and incorporate it into your devotional time.

God put leaders in the body.
The Body of Christ consists of many parts. The body couldn’t function without leaders. Leaders have a critical role in the success of any functioning body, including the church. I’d like to open your thoughts to consider:  that as representatives of Christ and in the spirit of the Great Commission, as Christians we each have a certain leadership type role. If you have a bible study that you teach, or a Sunday school class, or a blog that you write or whatever you do that somewhere along the way you’ve picked up followers and friends, TAKE HEED of the life that you are living, make sure you keep your relationship with Lord as tight as you know how; not ritualistically but honestly. No one but you and God are in your prayer closet, and only He knows the truth; only He can give you the strength, grace and integrity to be a leader who others should follow. Don’t get caught up in how many followers you have; instead be more concerned about how you’re living before God and the few followers who are watching.

Organizing the Inside – Day 114 Getting An Excellent Return On Your Investments

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”   ~Mark 12:30, 31

Are you making a difference in the lives of others?
Do people think of you as someone who has made their lives better? Although you have a schedule and plans of your own remember to include time for helping and encouraging others. Do what you can to ensure the success of others.
1. Showing you care about others and incorporating some of their needs into your plans is tied directly to your personal success.
2.  Being willing to give to others from a loving, generous and compassionate heart, creates an environment where the people around you can thrive.

Selfishness is the easiest way I know to get depressed.
Focusing on yourself, what you want, what you need, how you feel, what you think, how you look, your successes, your failures and your life in general can be very depressing.  When you open your heart to care for and give time to others, taking your focus off of you; your happiness suddenly springs forth. No matter what God’s plan is for your life, I can assure you of two things:
1. It’s not all about you.
2. It is related to loving and helping others get what they need.

I have a crazy schedule!
I know that your schedule may be filled with responsibilities and things to do. If you are overwhelmed and feel you just don’t have any more to give, you are probably doing too much of the wrong things. Choose to do those things that represent your values the most. Look at which things can be delegated or deleted completely from your list of things to do. You are removing those things that are not important, to make room for what’s important and represents your values. Allow God to bring harmony and balance to your lifestyle by opening your heart and mind for fresh ideas on what to add and delete from your schedule. Start making these changes now and get ready to start the New Year with a more organized and thoughtful approach to managing your schedule.

Don’t measure your success based on the return you receive on investments you make today; instead, measure your success by the return others are getting in 2, 10 or 15 years, from the investments you make in their lives today.

Organizing the Inside – Day 113 Five Simple Steps to Prosper In Everything You Do

1Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. 2But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.

1. Don’t seek council from those who are ungodly.
In this world of complexities, decision making can be tough.  As a Christian God is your chief counselor, and you must make sure that you seek His approval above anyone. During your private time with the Lord is the perfect time to listen intently to His voice.  You can avoid costly mistakes by simply seeking counsel from the wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Prince of Peace.

2. Don’t spend time with sinners doing what they like to do.
The people around you are those who will most likely influence you the most. If you are spending too much time with people who are not serving God it will eventually affect your own relationship with God.
“Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.” 
2 Corinthians 6:17

3. Don’t do what others do by mocking and disrespecting people.
There are those who simply don’t rest or can’t feel good about themselves unless they are putting someone else down.  Stay away from these people, and don’t allow yourself to get caught up in gossip, mocking or tearing down another person.  Be aware of your own values and let those values guide the way you treat others.
Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God.
  James 4:4

4.  Delight yourself in God’s word.
Do you delight in God’s word? If reading the Word of God is not a delight to you then ask yourself why. Delighting in God’s law will only come about when you are ready to yield to His word. If you are still fascinated by the glitz and glitter and things of the world then delighting in God’s word will be very difficult. However as you set your heart on godly things and focus your affections on things that have eternal value you will find the Word of God an absolute delight.  Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 1 John 2:15  Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Colossians 3:1

5. Meditate on the Word of God.
The Word of God is what fuels your life as a Christian. It’s not enough to read it once a day. By meditating on the Word of God continually you sustain an intimate relationship with God. Meditating on the Word of God is a way of processing the Word. You read it or recall it and then you think deeply on what you have read. Then you accept it and receive it, by digesting it. Then start that same process over again.  The more you mediate on the Word of God the more it becomes are part of who you are; this is a way of becoming one with His Word. 3cWhatever he does will prosper.                 

1. Read or Recall
2. Deeply consider
3. Accept is as truth
4. Receive it as living food

Organizing the Inside – Day 112 Bless The Lord Oh My Soul

1Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. 2Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: 3Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; 4Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; 5Who satisfies thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s. ~Psalm 103:1-5

God is so wonderful!
Today I thought about, all that He has done for my family and me throughout all of 2011.  I thought about all the times He stood Lord over His word and saw to it that His promises were real to each of us. In conflict and in frustration, God’s faithfulness endured. When situation after situation seemed impossible to overcome, we knew it was His mighty hand that brought us out. Where I lacked wisdom or understanding He opened the truth of His word to me, and activated the power of His love in my heart.

My inner most being, rejoices in His goodness.
There are days when I find it hard to articulate the overwhelming sense of gratitude in my soul. I know that my intellect cannot comprehend God’s goodness or His grace. I consider the works of His hands, and all the progress that He has allowed me to experience on this journey; in my weakness He carried me – I know.  There is nothing, not one single thing (I’ve done) that I can point to that would qualify me for such unconditional love. Yet He reminds me that His mercy and forgiveness is always abiding.

God exposed the truth and chased my fears away.
I am in awe of His steadfast faithfulness that caused me to no longer be afraid. I’m learning to embrace the hope and truth and glory that He’s brought to fill my life.  No service could I render to repay all that God has done.  I pray I remain committed to tell Him yes and follow through.  His PERFECT LOVE has driven away my fear;  I’m not worried about tomorrow, neither am I worried about my failures from yesterday.  One day recently I woke up and discovered myself where I believe to be the center of God’s will. Here is where I and determined to always be found.

Organizing the Inside – Day 111 A Walk of Faith

15Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.  Ephesians 5:15, 16

Look carefully at your walk.
Do you look down when you are walking? Perhaps this is a sign that you are ashamed of something, maybe something from your past.

Do you look around you as you are walking? Perhaps this might indicate that you are more concerned with what people around you think.

Do you look behind you when you are walking? Perhaps this means you don’t want to let go of something that clearly you are walking away from; something you should walk away from.

Do you stare aimlessly as you are walking? Perhaps this is a sign that you don’t really care much about where you are headed.

Do you keep bumping into things as you are walking? Perhaps you need ask God to remove those barriers.

Do you keep stumbling as you are walking? Perhaps there are things in your life that shouldn’t be there.

Do you look straight ahead as you are walking? This may indicate that you are completely focused on what’s in front of you.

Do you look forward as you are walking? Perhaps this means you are excited about the future and very interested in where you are going.

Do you look up as you are walking? Maybe you except something wonderful from above.

Organize what you know about your walk.
It’s always a good idea to pause for a moment of introspection. Look inside of yourself and asks the hard questions that you’d rather just avoid dealing with.

Is your walk worthy of the call?
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, Ephesians 4:1

God wants you to trust Him.  We walk by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7

He wants you to walk wisely, and wisdom is applied knowledge. Folly is joy to him that is destitute of wisdom: but a man of understanding walketh uprightly.
Proverbs 4:7

Consider God‘s will for your life. What do you know so far about God’s plan for your life?

STEP 1 Start with what you already know about what He has called you to do.

The beginning of wisdom is to acquire wisdom. Acquire understanding with all that you have.
Proverbs 4:7

STEP 2 Do it! (apply knowledge)

47That servant who knows his master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what his master wants will be beaten with many blows. 48From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.
Luke 12:47, 48

Organizing the Inside – Day 110 Ignite Your Confidence and Stop Struggling

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:2

You can stop struggling
Many songs have been written about the Christian struggle.  They have us “falling down” “climbing rough mountains” and “trying to be strong.” I’m not a fan of songs that depict life as a Christian as one huge set of disappointments and obstacles, put in our way to somehow glorify God. This is not what Jesus meant when He promised to give us life more abundantly. There’s the struggle to get ahead, the struggle for recognition, the struggle for acceptance, and the biggest ones of them all, the struggle for prosperity and victory over sin. In spite of what you may have been taught, achieving God’s best for your life is not one great big struggle to make it in.

There is a place called “God’s Will”
In that place you find provision, encouragement, strength, insight, wisdom, peace, understanding, hope, love, courage and complete fulfillment and contentment. Many Christian are too busy struggling with sin, conflict, fear and doubt that they don’t make it to that place called, “God’s Will.” It is a type of Canaan; a place where you will find all of your needs and desires are met. I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt to give you the land of Canaan and to be your God. Leviticus 25:38

You have a “will” of your own
Unless your will is yielded to God’s will you are spending your time either meandering  and complaining in the wilderness or with your mind stuck in Egypt. The Israelites made the choice not to trust God. They were afraid of the giants in the land, so much so that they didn’t appreciate the land which was flowing with milk and honey. Because of FEAR, FAILURE TO TRUST and UNBELIEF God’s chosen people missed out on their destiny. God would not allow them to enter the land of rest; and they roamed the desert until that entire generation died.

Will you live and die having never fulfilled God’s will for your life?
Decide today that you will NOT allow yourself to wander through the wilderness with fear and doubt. Decide NOT to allow your past to keep you in bondage; having the mindset of a slave. You are no longer enslaved to sin or fear or anything else from your past. Jesus died to make you free!  So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:36 Once you accept the truth that you are no longer in bondage; that the promise land (God’s will for your life) is right there, He will guide you. Stop worrying about the giants in the land, stop longing for the way things were and embrace God’s plan for your life today. There is a land flowing with milk and honey all you have to do is enter in.