Organizing the Inside 365 Days

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

Archive for February, 2012

Organizing the Inside – Day 179 Different By Choice…God’s

4Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, 5so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.

6In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. 7If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. 8If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.

9Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. 10Love each other with genuine affection and take delight in honoring each other. Romans 12:4-10 (NLT)

I think one of the biggest mistakes Christian women often make is trying to help God change another person. This is not exclusive to, but is particularly true for married women. We meet someone who is our opposite in so many ways. We are attracted to them because they have qualities we don’t, but perhaps wish we did. This is just one of those laws of nature, opposites attract. The problem begins after we’ve been with that person for so long that we begin to forget all those great qualities that attracted us to them to begin with; and we start trying to change them to be more like us.

My husband and I are probably a typical example of how this phenomenon works. I am obsessive compulsive about some things, okay about many things. When I first met my husband, JR it amazed me how someone could be so carefree about the simple things in life. He seemed have such freedom to enjoy simple things like a picnic in the park near the water. It was so refreshing to watch how he could fall asleep on the picnic blanket without having any worries about bugs, or other critters crawling up a shirt sleeve or even the birds perched in the trees above the food. While I am super-hyper conscious of bugs and germs, he seems to at times be totally oblivious to them. Well, all the admiration I had for his carefree lifestyle took flight; and reality set in once we got married. His carefree adorable qualities became a huge annoyance and my new life mission was to change him. All my vain attempts to scare him into changing with statistics on the types and varieties of germs were absolutely useless. He was not impressed, and eventually God had to show me that the change needed to happen with me, not JR.

I finally agreed to accept JR with his flawed views about germs and critters. I still sometimes bite my tongue when he does things that no bug fearing person (such as myself) would ever consider. It really wasn’t until I realized how ridiculous it was to try to change anyone to be like me, that I could let go of my ideal image of a perfect husband. More importantly the real change that needed to take place was in my willingness to accept people right where they are, for who they are, the way they are. God showed me that this applies to bugs, germs and anything else. As wonderful as we might think we are, this earth only needs one of each of us. God knew exactly what He was doing when He made each of us uniquely different. As members of the body of Christ we have an authentic role that is assigned by God. We each must allow God to help us flourish in our roles by using our talents, abilities, gifts and skills. Organizing the inside is about change; but that change begins and ends in us, not in the other person.

Organizing the Inside – Day 178 God Made Organizing A Priority

1In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. 3And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. 5God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day. ~Genesis 1:1-5

God is a God of order.
For the first 25 verses of the bible we read about how God made huge investments in time organizing the earth for Adam and Eve. How important it must have been to God for Adams environment to be organized. There are many accounts in the bible of God setting things in order before moving His people forward. God demonstrates the principle of organization again when He gave Noah instructions to build the ark. He prepared Noah by giving him very specific plans about how to get organized and prepare for the destruction of the world.

How organized is your life?
A common mistake many people make is to never take time to organize before starting a project or taking on a challenging task. If you don’t call time-out of your busy schedule to organize, things will eventually start to get very complicated. Something as simple as finding your keys, or your favorite blouse will become very frustrating and time-consuming if you haven’t taken time to get organized. God wants our lives to have order and focus. The best investment we can make each day is to take time to acknowledge God and put Him first. He really wants to help create order in our lives so that we can focus on what really matters most.  (Also read Psalm 5:8 and Proverbs 3:6)

Organizing the Inside – Day 177 Free to Be Completely Honest

1Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight!
2Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt, whose lives are lived in complete honesty!
~Psalm 32:1, 2

Is it possible to live a life free of guilt?  We all have made mistakes, poor choices and have even chosen to commit sin. Who can actually be found blameless?

You and I can because of Christ’s finished work at Calvary. Knowing God’s forgiveness and experiencing the cleansing power of His blood is not a license to sin.  On the contrary, knowing God and His love for us in spite of our past mistakes and sins gives us liberty and allows us to serve Him freely. David said, Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.” And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone. Psalm 32:5

We must leave the cluttered past behind
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, Philippians 3:13
No matter what has happened in the past we are free from the guilt and shame of yesterday’s choices. The child of God who loves God does not just keep on sinning. “If you love me, obey my commandments. John 14:15 God wouldn’t ask us to do something that was not possible. He has given us victory over sin, therefore, We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the one who was born of God keeps him safe, and the evil one cannot harm him.1 John 5:18

When God is moving you forward
The enemy will try to bring up your past. He will attempt to remind you of anything that may cause you to want to give up. The devil wants you to deny God’s power and be afraid of failing. (read Luke 22:31, 32) We however have an advocate, My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous.1 John 2:1 Jesus is able to keep us from falling or failing. (read Jude 1:24)

We do have the power to live our lives in complete honesty.
It is God who enables us to walk blamelessly. We can live a life that glorifies God. We must allow His Word to purify our hearts, stop looking back and maintain a simple lifestyle that is uncomplicated by the cares of this world. The victory is yours, Jesus paid the price; now it’s up to you to live in grace and glorify God.

Organizing the Inside – Day 176 Something To Get Excited About!

17The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” 18He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. 20However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

21At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure. Luke 10:17-21 (NIV)

Consider what is most important.
The seventy-two disciples felt so excited that the demons obeyed them when they used the name of Jesus. We often get excited and it can be very exhilarating when we see the power of God working in our lives and in the lives of others through prayer. Jesus seemed pretty enthused that the disciples had discovered this wonderful truth about the power they had in His name. He underscored their excitement by telling them even more, about the power they had in His name. Jesus did however admonish them to put things in proper perspective. He told them not to rejoice because the demons obeyed; instead rejoice because their names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Jesus’ statement helps us realign our priorities by reminding us that while God’s power is awesome; the greater thing to get excited about is that we have eternal life. God’s power is ours and as His daughters we certainly have the supernatural authority to walk in it by faith. Let’s just remember as we go about setting captives free and undoing heavy burdens, to be mindful of the most important gift that God has given, the precious gift of salvation. How absolutely awesome is our God!

Organizing the Inside – Day 175 Look… I Can See Dawn!

2But as for me, I almost lost my footing. My feet were slipping, and I was almost gone. 3For I envied the proud when I saw them prosper despite their wickedness. 4They seem to live such painless lives; their bodies are so healthy and strong. 5They don’t have troubles like other people; they’re not plagued with problems like everyone else. 6They wear pride like a jeweled necklace and clothe themselves with cruelty. 7These fat cats have everything their hearts could ever wish for! 8They scoff and speak only evil; in their pride they seek to crush others. 9They boast against the very heavens, and their words strut throughout the earth. 10And so the people are dismayed and confused, drinking in all their words. 11“What does God know?” they ask. “Does the Most High even know what’s happening?” 12Look at these wicked people enjoying a life of ease while their riches multiply. Psalm 72:2-12

You may be going through a hard time right now. You may have looked at the wicked and wondered how they laughed; yet even in your faithfulness, tears fill your pillow late into the night. You may be thinking at times it seems that God has abandoned you. Be still in the presence of the LORD, and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes. Psalm 37:7
Know that God loves you and even in the midst of your hard times, He is there to help you. His hand of mercy and compassion is there to strengthen you in your weakness. ‘Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ Isaiah 41:10 You won’t always know this pain and discomfort. You may be deeply acquainted with grief, but the time is soon coming that God is going to restore you. …but I will have compassion on you with everlasting kindness,” says the LORD your defender. Isaiah 54:8 As sure as the rain falls to the earth and waters the dry ground which brings forth grass and flowers; we know that God has heard your cry and shall answer your prayers. In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried to my God: and he did hear my voice out of his temple, and my cry did enter into his ears. 2 Samuel 22:7

…in his favor is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. Psalm 30:5b, c

Organizing the Inside – Day 174 Send Me A Sign Please

And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; Mark 16:17

Do you tend to look for signs?
I believe too many Christian women are sign seekers. I have to admit, I’ve occasionally sought something great to fall out of the sky. God does not want us to seek signs. We have the Word of God for direction and we have the Holy Spirit who bears witness with our spirit that we are His own. How then do Christian women look for confirmation, after confirmation, and constantly wait for God to show up…”in a BIG way?” Before doing what we already know we should do, we wait for one more sign.  We tell God silly things like, “Move this wall and then I’ll know this is you Lord.” Perhaps we all have been at the point of disobedient-desperation, and succumbed to the let’s make a deal shenanigans, “Do it for me this time Lord and surely from now on I will follow you.”  “Unless you people see miraculous signs and wonders,” Jesus told him, “you will never believe.”  John 4:48

Stop looking for signs and wonders.
Looking is the operative word, because as Christians we walk by faith and not by sight. So why are we looking? The Jews look for signs and they always have, but as believers in Christ we follow the loving Spirit of an omnipotent God living on the inside of us. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: 1 Corinthian 1:22 Remember this also, no man, no matter how gifted they are can perform any sign or expound on any revelation greater than the sign of Jonah that Jesus gave to a lost and dying generation. (read Matthew 12:39, 40)

Obey God, walk in His power and accept the sufficiency of His grace.
Jesus told us that we would do even greater works than He did. “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. John 14:12 How then can we spend another minute looking for one more confirmation? Go forward, empowered in His love and righteousness to do good works for the kingdom. Allow God’s Holy Word to be established in your heart. Let peace abide in your mind, and be filled the excellent mercies of His glorious hope. Be about your Heavenly Father’s business and let the signs and wonders follow you.

Organizing the Inside – Day 173 Prepare Then Move Forward

“And a servant who knows what the master wants, but isn’t prepared and doesn’t carry out those instructions, will be severely punished. ~Luke 12:47

How to prepare to do the will of God is not a mystery that you need to search for. No one needs to go up to heaven and bring down an answer. You need not petition God relentlessly as you try to carry out His plan. Actually the answers you want are near you, and can be found in your heart.

Here are 3 simple reminders to support your success.

1. Adjust your attitude if necessary. Having a positive attitude will inspire confidence and help encourage you during tough times. Be prepared, because some days will be more challenging than others. 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

2. Align your views with the Word of God. Make sure that every decision you make is the right decision by aligning it with the Word of God. Walking in God’s will is about being where He is on any given matter at anytime. The LORD says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. Psalm 32:8

3. Action is required to live by faith. If you are only, thinking, talking, wishing and waiting you are not, “walking by faith.” When the time is right, move forward and do the work that you are called to do. Planning is only part of doing God’s will; there comes a time to execute the plan.  Execution is the discipline of getting things done, without it what good was all that planning.

But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. James 2:18

Organizing the Inside – Day 172 The Glory Belongs To God Alone

8For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.  ~Ephesians 2:8-10

We are not working our way into heaven.
But we must work until we get there. The work, the call, the mission are all very important. We work because of our love and commitment towards God. The sum of our entire life’s projects, dreams and goals cannot get us one step closer to the Kingdom of Heaven. In fact, if you and I aren’t careful we’ll be setting up our own false kingdoms, thinking our works will add up to bragging rights. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. 1 Peter 5:5 Certainly the God who created heaven and earth has made us His righteousness. For he has made him, who knew no sin, to be sin for us; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 2 Corinthians 5:21 Nevertheless, we should not forget. “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5 We did nothing to earn our right standing with God, but by faith He made us His own through our faith in His dear Son, Jesus Christ. Because of this free gift of God, we must freely give in love and in service. We love him, because he first loved us.1 John 4:19

God’s love and salvation is free.
Although God bestows His blessings upon those who obey Him and are called to do His will. Keep in mind …he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. Matthew 5:45 No matter how hard we work our salvation was given freely by God through faith. May we always keep a healthy perspective about our works. If we think too highly of ourselves, we generally end up thinking too little of everyone else. For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. Romans 12:3

We are God’s beloved children.
Because of His unmerited favor toward us we can experience the power of His goodness working in our lives daily. Even as we see God’s favor and witness the testimonies of great men of faith, we still must conclude that His favor is His choice. We cannot control who God accepts and whom He rejects. The choice is His alone. 14Are we saying, then, that God was unfair? Of course not! 15For God said to Moses, “I will show mercy to anyone I choose, and I will show compassion to anyone I choose.16So it is God who decides to show mercy. We can neither choose it nor work for it.


Organizing the Inside – Day 171 Lord, Keep My Heart Focused

Teach me your way, O LORD, so that I may live in your truth. Focus my heart on fearing you.
~Psalm 86:11

God knows and will meet your needs.
When God gives you a plan He sends the right people at the right time to help you carry it out. God knew long before Solomon was born what He had planned for His life. God knew the huge amount of resources and help that Solomon would need. This was God’s plan for Solomon and He provided everything he needed to build the temple. There were three thousand six hundred overseers, and eighty thousand to quarry stones, skilled workers, craftsmen and seventy thousand burden bearers. God provided because He had a plan and a willing leader to carry out His plan. The people were ready, willing and able to fulfill this great work that was before them. (Proverbs 29:18)

2 Chronicles 1-9 shows us how awesome it is when God has a humble and willing person to work through to put His plan in action. Solomon planned the work and worked the plan. He was organized and knew exactly what he needed and had the resources to get it. If God gives you a plan, surely He will give you whatever resources you need to do it. The enemy will try to distract you and get you off course. He will try all types of interesting things that glisten and glitter especially when you’re having a lull in activity. Chances are right before God is about to give you the breakthrough you’ve been expecting, the enemy will ramp up distractions.

Stay focused on your purpose and God’s plan.
One way to keep yourself focused and single-minded is to write what God shows you. It will become a source of encouragement later when you need a bit of inspiration. And the LORD answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. Habakkuk 2:2 Don’t let anything get you off course, no matter how tempting. Don’t entertain conversations, and or seek appointments with people who you know don’t fit into what God has planned. If you are talented and gifted people will often want you to join their team or help them with their plans. Beware, this is inevitable and if you expect it you will be prepared to say no to things that will take you off course. While on this journey I’ve experienced far more sidebar distractions that would (and some did) get me off course, than I care to recall. These distractions came at the right time, just to get me off task long enough to lose my focus. Serious time wasters!

The enemy tries to use the Word of God.
The devil presents himself as an angel of light. But I am not surprised! Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 2 Corinthians 11:14 Obviously if he wasn’t in disguise he couldn’t trick you into believing his lies. When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness the enemy used the scriptures to make his evil plans seem right. However, knowing God’s plan and God’s purpose for His life Jesus spoke the Word of God as the final authority of truth. (Matthew 4:1-11) If you trust God’s Word it will show you how to walk away from the wrong opportunities and how to walk toward the right ones. Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path. Psalm 119:105


Organizing the Inside – Day 170 What Are You Expecting?

My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him. ~Psalm 62:5

Lowering your expectation to zero is best,
unless that expectation is from God. When we look to our own abilities we are bound to end up disappointed and frustrated. Have you ever taken on a huge project with great anticipation of what it would be like when you finished? Perhaps a recent house cleaning or organizing project was your latest venture. Did you finish it with great success, or did you fail to complete it? Maybe you forgot to include God in your plans.  I’ve seen many disheartened women who began organizing projects without the will or right resources to finish. One woman started her closet organizing project by pulling everything out and made huge piles of clothing on the floor. Thrilled that her long-awaited project was finally underway; she was so excited to get started that she failed to make plans. She ended up completely overwhelmed with an empty closet, and a floor filled with piles of clothes, shoes and accessories. She made such a mess that she could no longer walk to the other side of the room; she became discouraged and gave up. Although she started her project with great enthusiasm, she never took time to plan and pray.

Realistic expectations always include God.
We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps. Proverbs 16:9 We must begin our day, or any project by first recognizing how God fits into our plans. This way we avoid causing ourselves unnecessary stress and anxiety. God is our strength, our enthusiasm, our wisdom our hope for a good outcome. If we don’t include Him from the start we are destined to fail. Take time to count the cost before beginning your project. Pray before, during and after completion. Consider the variables you know about and try to anticipate how much time, resources and commitment your project will take. Once you’ve made choices according to what God wants, you can place your expectations totally in Him. Whether you make a mistake, or you take on more than you could handle on your own, God is there to pull you through. Avoid the temptation that comes with feeling anxious about getting started. Sometimes anxiety will make you rush without carefully weighing a matter.

The next time you are ready to take on a new challenge here are three things to remember:

  1. Pray first!
  2. Plan wisely by allowing the Holy Spirit to lead.
  3. Expect God to help you succeed.

Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed. Proverbs 16:3
Also read Philippians 4:6-7