Organizing the Inside 365 Days

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

Archive for March, 2012

Organizing the Inside – Day 200 Following A Different Gospel

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
Hebrews 13:5 (NIV)

Caught in the false gospel of materialism?
Shoe collections, handbag collections, designer boots, sunglasses collections, gowns, jewelry and big houses yes even women of faith seek after these things. We turn on the television and “Housewives” all over the country are springing up, making headlines as they parade foolish ungodliness before countless millions. You watch as these “Housewives” with egos bigger than the devil himself clamor and quarrel about much of nothing. Oh Lord, Turn my eyes from worthless things, and give me life through your word. Psalm 119:37 (NLT) No one can tell me that the Lord didn’t foreknow what many Christian women would be wasting time doing when He wrote that scripture.

How much do they think I’m worth?
Everywhere you turn, whether it’s magazines, television, stores, books, the internet, movies, or just walking down the street it seems that everyone is trying to get more stuff for themselves. This false gospel is bombarding us from every end; telling you that material things answers one of life’s deepest questions. What am I worth? There are some who refuse to take a vacation, by a new car, move into a new home or for that matter by a new pair of shoes without posting it on Facebook, tweeting about it or sending out a blast email. It would require a huge suspension of disbelief to accept that these wonderful people only want to share with all their friends and followers, the lovely time they’re having with their latest material acquisition. Many people who have bought into this false gospel have their entire self-worth tied up in how much money they make and how many material possessions they have acquired. This notion that if you wear the right clothes, have the right car, and buy a big enough house, people will know how great you are is a foolish myth. The sad truth is that many Christians have bought into this way of thinking and need to repent.

While we all are influenced by cultural expectations, we don’t have to be regulated by them. The Word of God must be our biggest influence and we must allow the Holy Spirit to bring us balance in a world of massive chaos. God promised to give us rest from all the stress and confusion of trying to get more stuff. I believe He wants His children to be distinctively different. Therefore, come out from among unbelievers, and separate yourselves from them, says the LORD. 2 Corinthians 6:17 (NLT)  Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. 1John 2:15 (NLT) Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. Titus 2:14 (KJV)

Have a healthy perspective.  
There is absolutely nothing wrong with having things. I’d be the first to admit I like shopping. Here’s the point, as Christian women we don’t seek status and prestige by the acquirement of material possessions. We find our self-worth through our relationship with God, and it ends there.  Placing aside what our husbands, friends, teachers or mirrors might say…they are all subject to change. What will never change is the Word of God and when we find our self-worth in Christ, we will find ourselves on a firm and solid foundation. Then we can offer help to other women who have yet to realize that, her worth is far above rubies. Proverbs 31:10b Before you can have a healthy perspective on material wealth you must do the inner work of yielding your self-image and self-worth to God. Becoming one with His Word is not an impossible feat; with Christ’s we are content and can show His true character. Reflecting on the image we see in His Word is the perfect place to start.

Organizing the Inside – Day 199 Speak Words of Life and Live!

Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. Proverbs 18:21 (KJV)

The negative words you speak have negative consequences. Your negative words can destroy your relationships, confidence, progress, and even your dreams. You can absolutely talk yourself out of blessings and right into poverty and depression.

God made you in His image.
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness Genesis 1:26a (KJV) God spoke the world into existence and He did so by His Word. (read Genesis 1)  1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2The same was in the beginning with God. 3All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made. John 1:1-3 The same power to create that God used when He made the earth, lives on the inside of you if you are a believer. Therefore you must choose to season every conversation, even the private ones in your head, with positive words that bring life. You can bring life to a dead marriage, life to a dead business, life to any situation by speaking words of faith.

Speak life into your future.
Watch out for those defeating phrase that will only kill your vision. Many of them start out with, “I feel like…”  When you hear yourself starting to speak about how you feel, be aware – this is an old trick of the devil to keep you defeated. Your feelings have nothing to do with faith.

Exercise caution every time you speak.
It will take some practice; you can’t control your tongue, without the help of the Holy Spirit. Speak positive words of life, instead of speaking negative absolutes like:

  • “I always mess up.”
  • “I’ll never be able to do that.”
  • “I always feel like…”

Take a more positive approach.

  • “I always do a great job when I trust God.”
  • “I can do all things through Christ.”
  • “God is the same yesterday, today and forever.”

Even when you feel discouraged, especially when you feel discourage, speak words of life. The most powerful words of affirmation are those that include scripture, because they are full of life, truth, hope and faith. Make a list of positive words that you’ll practice speaking. Write them down on 3×5 cards and post them around your home, car, office and wherever you will see them regularly. When you see the card, speak the words! Discipline is making your flesh do something over and over again until it becomes an automatic response. Discipline your tongue regardless of how you feel. When the storms of life come and you feel like giving up, something on the inside of you will speak up and says, “I am more than a conqueror!” And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing; fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Philippians 4:8 (NLT) for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. Matthew 12:34b (KJV)

Really it all comes down to this: For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12 Meditate on God’s Word and allow it to regulate your heart, and then the words you speak will be words of life and love.

Organizing the Inside – Day 198 Building Partnerships

3Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us. 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. Romans 12:3-6 (NLT)

Why do some Christians succeed in their goals where others seem to struggle? Perhaps because successful people understand the importance of having the right people to help carry out their plans. If God has given you a vision and you intend to be successful carrying out that vision; make certain you look for those resources that will help you succeed. True go-getters have learned the valued principle of partnership, and they seem to easily tap into the talents, abilities, gifts and skills of others. There is nothing wrong with being an independent business woman who knows how to make things happen; but we mustn’t confuse independence with the inability to foster community or build a consensus around a common goal.

Christians who progressively move forward see the gifts and talents of others as a plus not a negative. They have a unique ability to bring out the best in others. Having the most talented team of supporters should only strengthen your effectiveness and not threaten it.  As you pursue your goals based upon God’s plan for your life, keep in mind the importance of having a support system that will help keep things moving forward. Certainly God is our source, but we must be on the lookout for talented people in our Christian community who can help make the vision a reality. The Body of Christ is comprised of many members each who deliver service in a different way. Great visionaries know how to create an environment that foster growth in others; one in which others can thrive and be successful by maximizing their potential. Look for talent and seek ways to help others grow and use their talents to the glory of God. Remember the principle of agreement; there is great power to get results when we agree. “I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you. Matthew 18:19

Organizing the Inside – Day 197 Choose to Give Christ Complete Access

Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:11 (NLT)

Compartmentalizing is a principle used in organizing that separates items, usually of a similar type into various compartments. When things are put in compartments they are much neater and generally more accessible, because the sorting has been done it’s easier to maintain. Compartmentalizing is a great way to keep certain things hidden and out of the way.

Unfortunately this same principle of compartmentalization adequately describes some Christian women’s relationship with Christ. It’s heartbreaking to know that so many otherwise strong Christian sisters have felt it necessary to compartmentalize Jesus; whereby He is only allowed into certain areas of their lives. Too often this is the case when women find themselves in relationships that don’t glorify God. Putting Christ in a compartment when it’s convenient, in order to pursue one’s own selfish wants leads to an unfulfilled and complicated life.  God gave His best, and Jesus gave His all, so that we could be free from failure, guilt and shame.  Not allowing Christ to be Lord over every area of your life will have consequences. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23 (NLT)

That’s the whole story. Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty. Ecclesiastes 12:13 (NLT) Ultimately Christ holds only one position; He is LORD. Choosing to compartmentalize Christ is a choice that you are free to make. God won’t take away our free will. Nevertheless, be mindful that while you can make your own choices; you can’t choose the consequences of the choices you make. Getting organized on the inside includes honoring the Lordship of Jesus Christ in every compartment of our lives. Submitting to His Lordship is allowing Him full access no matter what, and being committed to obeying His will over our own. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.  Romans 14:11 (KJV)

Organizing the Inside – Day 196 When Barriers Overflow

15It was the harvest season, and the Jordan was overflowing its banks. But as soon as the feet of the priests who were carrying the Ark touched the water at the river’s edge, 16the water above that point began backing up a great distance away at a town called Adam, which is near Zarethan. And the water below that point flowed on to the Dead Sea until the riverbed was dry. Then all the people crossed over near the town of Jericho.

17Meanwhile, the priests who were carrying the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant stood on dry ground in the middle of the riverbed as the people passed by. They waited there until the whole nation of Israel had crossed the Jordan on dry ground. Joshua 3:15-17 (NLT)

The Jordan River’s banks were overflowing.
The Jordan represents that thing in your life that is keeping you from reaching all that God has promised. That hard thing in your life is a barrier. It may be a bad habit, a fear, a situation or whatever is standing in your way from entering into that place called “God’s Will.” We’ve all been held back by challenges and hindrances before. These are those things that seem to be hard to get rid of; these are a type of spiritual clutter. Holding you back and slowing you down, barriers are tough to face; but God has a solution. Just remember when problems seem to overflow or get worse, this is likely the time when God is about to show His power.

The Ark of the Covenant was carried to the Jordan.
The Ark of the Covenant represented the presence of God; it is also a type of Word of God. Yes, inside the Ark of the Covenant was the Word of God and other things of significance (that I will deal with in a later post). The priest took the Word to the barrier or problem.  They obeyed God’s instructions and He met the Israelites at their point of need. If we would simply take the Word of God to the barrier, God will remove it. Remember this: the power of the promise is in the promise itself.

So how does one take the Word of God to the spiritual clutter or hard thing in your life that is holding you back? Here are a few steps we can glean from the book of  Joshua:

1. Purify yourself before the Lord; get ready for God to do something big. Make certain you don’t have anything in your life that you need to deal with and confessed to God. (read 3:5)

2. Proclaim the truth about what God is about to do! Here is where you step out on faith. Forget about what people may say or think. Joshua knew God was about to do something big and he started telling people to get ready. Joshua started proclaiming the power of God first. He trusted God to do what He said He would do. (read 3:9-13)

3. Walk straight ahead toward your dream and purpose. The land of Canaan represents God’s will for our lives. The place where everything you need to do His will is. “God’s Will” is the place where we find peace and rest from the wilderness. (read 3:3)

4. Take the Word of God and apply it to the situation. Agree with and obey God’s Word. What does the Word say about those barriers in your life? What does the Word tell you to do, and believe? Just as the priest took the Ark to the water and stood on its edge; take the Word to your problem. Stand there and wait for God to show His mighty power at work in your life. God will stop the problem from continuing to flow. You can then move forward on dry land to cross over, and live out His will for your life. (read 3:15, 16)

No matter how big your barrier, God is able and willing to move anything that obstructs your progress. Trust Him and obey His instructions. God wants the world to know that His hand is powerful, and He wants us to remember, and fear Him. (read Joshua 4:24) The power of God at work in the life of a believer is an awesome testimony. Finally, make sure when you are asked about your hope, you are ready to give an answer. Tell the story about how God’s grace saved you, and His power removed the barriers and changed your life. But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: 1Peter 3:15 (KJV)

Organizing the Inside – Day 195 Finding True Rest

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone: my hope comes from Him.  Psalm 62:5

Where does your soul find rest?
True rest can only be found in God.  While some find comfort in knowing that they have a steady job, some trust in the weapons they carry which make them feel safe, and others tend to rest in all kinds of things they think make them secure. Those things could never give true rest.

Do you have a place that seems especially peaceful?
I love the sound of the ocean and watching the waves steadily crashing upon the shore. But there is no place like being in the arms of the one who loves me more than I can comprehend.  God wants us to know the rest that He gives. In His presence we can find strength, love, joy and peace.  Since Christ reconciled us to God we can experience His rest today.  I’m so grateful that the Holy Spirit, who is the Comforter is there to help us to rest in Him.

Of course the absence of noise doesn’t necessarily mean you have peace; but the presence of the Holy Spirit definitely calms your heart, and as you rest in Him you will experience the true peace that comes through His abiding love. Make sure you allow yourself time to rest in His presence. He is always there to meet you at your point of need.

Organizing the Inside – Day 194 Let’s Take Out The Trash

16So don’t be misled, my dear brothers and sisters. 17Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens.He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.18He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession. 19Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. 20Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires.
James 1:16-20

The silent treatment
God makes it clear in His Word that our human anger doesn’t achieve His righteous purpose. So what about the silent treatment? I found myself trying to get my anger under control by giving my husband the silent treatment.  Actually, this is no way to deal with anger and will eventually cause more problems. This only gives the enemy an open door to promote more self defeating behavior. And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.”Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil. Ephesians 4:26, 27 (NLT)

For those who know me, you’d likely agree;
I generally have a very laid-back demeanor. I don’t often have emotional highs or lows. My temperament is melancholy; therefore when I experience extreme or unreasonable emotional highs it sends a red flag. The most recent experience was when my husband (for the hundredth time) didn’t replace the recycle bin in the kitchen.  I really felt my need to punish such behavior was justified. I wanted to send Him a message that this kind of disorganization would no longer be tolerated. He’d crossed the line and the silent treatment was the only language He would understand. So, I made a conscious choice to maintain complete silence until I got my point across.

The Lord can use the recycling bin,
the trash can, or whatever household items He chooses to speak to our hearts. The object of the lesson is not as important as the message itself. During my silent protest it became apparent that I was overreacting, and God used the recycle bin to show me I’d let things build up.  I allowed hostile resentment about the recycle bin to build in my heart… really?  I began to see that each time the recycle bin was not left in its appointed place, my choice to stuff down my feelings, again was self-defeating. When we feel extreme emotional highs or lows, pretending the feelings don’t exist is like dumping more trash in the compactor.

I had to empty my compactor.
I believe the answer is simple; give it to God and leave it there. Yep, God wants our trash. Certainly He doesn’t want us carrying around all that stuff. The unforgiveness, anger and resentment towards others hurt you far more than you realize. Anger can keep you from being the woman God wants you to be. God is the only one equipped to dispose of our trash. Don’t keep stuffing your feelings down until the compactor starts to spill over with smelly junk. If you’ve been carrying around a full compactor it’s time to allow God to clean it out. Go to Him in prayer and let Him give you peace in exchange for your anger, love in place of your resentment.  Hard feelings will only weigh you down, and hold you back. Let it go! Then go on to fulfill His righteous purpose for your life. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:29

Organizing the Inside – Day 193 Ignoring Clutter Won’t Make It Go Away

We know that God’s children do not make a practice of sinning, for God’s Son holds them securely, and the evil one cannot touch them. 1 John 5:18 (NLT)

God’s light helps us get organized and clear out spiritual clutter.
As children of God we must be true to ourselves.  No one can have Christ and remain in darkness. Ignoring sin will not make it go away. Jesus makes the reality of this potential hazard apparent when He warns us that we should, “Make sure that the light you think you have is not actually darkness.” Luke 11:35 (NLT) This doesn’t mean as Christians we don’t make mistakes; what is does mean is this: Those who have been born into God’s family do not make a practice of sinning, because God’s life is in them. So they can’t keep on sinning, because they are children of God. 1 John 3:9 (NLT)

While these are elementary principles in Christian living, is it not true that many have confused the grace and patience of God with a self-proclaimed license to sin? We are no longer under the law; this is true. We don’t follow the letter of the law; we follow the law which is written in our hearts. If we obey one law, the rest are fulfilled. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. Deuteronomy 6:5 (NLT) The law has simply exposed the truth about sin and brings about a clear awareness of wrong. It is however the light, of God which is Jesus Christ Himself that enables us to let the floodlight shine in; avoiding completely the hidden dangers of secret sin.

15Well then, since God’s grace has set us free from the law, does that mean we can go on sinning? Of course not! 16Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living. Romans 6:15, 16 (NLT)

Is there one tiny closet that still has a bit of clutter?
Is there leftover clutter from a bad relationship or a really bad decision? Do you have a junk drawer of wrong that God wants you to allow Him to clean up and shine light upon? Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. Galatians 5:25 (NLT) Jesus gave His life for us to have complete freedom from desires and selfish ambitions that can control our lives. If you are filled with light, with no dark corners, then your whole life will be radiant, as though a floodlight were filling you with light.”  Luke 11:36 (NLT) It’s the same power that raised Jesus from the dead, which renders sin void; and gives us total victory through faith in Him. Let the love and light of God shine within; and may your whole life be radiant and glorify God!

 

Organizing the Inside – Day 192 Who Are You Looking Out For?

1Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? 2Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose. 3Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 4Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.
Philippians 2:1-4
(NLT)

A purposeful life helps others.
As women of God we must take an interest in building up each other. No matter what God has called you to do it goes back to caring for others. The whole purpose behind service is to help others along in their walk. Once our own relationship with Christ has been established we must continue the process of “developing self” to “give self.” Jesus certainly didn’t give excuses about all the commitments He had that kept Him from serving. He made the needs of the people His priority and always found a way to bring light, truth, hope, and love to glorify God.

Caring about the spiritual and personal welfare of others.
Giving is something that must be done from the heart if it is to glorify God. Our Heavenly Father understands business and ministry in its truest sense; he realizes that we each have needs. But Jesus gave us clear direction about His way of getting our needs met. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. Matthew 6:33 (NLT) Contrary to popular belief the Word of God makes our direction crystal clear. We are to put the Kingdom of God first. God’s kingdom is the place where His will is completely carried out; there is no disobedience there. This place is not the point at which we look for ways to increase our wealth, popularity or following; those things likely describe your own kingdom. The Kingdom of God is like the place where God’s love and compassion is realized; and people experience the fullness of His grace and power. The Word of God eliminates all excuses not to give, and do so freely. If you are not truly giving your life in service to others, you’d better revisit your plan of action, quickly.

There is a time of preparation.
Jesus didn’t begin His public ministry until He was about 30. (Luke 3:23) He did however spend time preparing for it in those years leading up to the start of His ministry. As women of God we also need time to prepare to do God’s will. (Ephesians 13:21) But this process must be one that is led by the Holy Spirit. Discovering your TAGS, talents, abilities, gifts and strengths is an important step. God has a plan for your life. Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God who works in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Philippians 2:12, 13 (KJV)

  1. Accept yourself as one having a purpose in the plan of God. (Psalm 138:8)
  2. Get to know yourself and understand your TAGS. (Proverbs 4:7)
  3. Develop yourself by perfecting your TAGS in love. (Ephesians 4:11, 12)
  4. Discover your brilliant zone and learn specifically what God wants you to do to use your TAGS for the Kingdom. (Matthew 7:21)
  5. Give of yourself, by living out your life’s purpose. (1 Corinthians 12:7)
  6. Be the authentic women God has called you to be and live a life of service that glorifies Him. (Romans 12:1) and (Psalm 50:23)

Organizing the Inside – Day 191 Don’t Build Any Towers

1And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. 4And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. 5And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. 6And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. 7Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech. Genesis 11:1, 4-7 (KJV)

Your ability to dream and plan are both gifts from God.
You can learn to harness the power of your imagination and find true fulfillment as you pursue God’s plan for your life. When used properly your imagination serves a purpose and will enable you to see vivid images of blessings to come. Imagination is a gift that enables us to power up our faith. Like Nimrod and the people who decided to build a tower to reach heaven, our imagination can inspire us to do what seems impossible. When our motives are right, God will make our plans succeed. We must not misuse our gifts by pursuing our own will instead of God’s.

God confounded their language.
It was not His will that there would be this tower that reached heaven and He had to put an end to their self promoting work. God did say that they could achieve whatever they’d imagined. This was serious business and God Himself had to come down and check out what they were doing and put an end to it. There is a great deal that we can glean from this passage.

  1. There is tremendous power in agreement.
  2. When we work together and are on one accord the possibilities are amazing.
  3. You can achieve what you’ve imagined.
  4. If what you are doing is God’s will, it won’t be about you making a name for yourself.
  5. Make sure your plans are meant to bring God honor or they won’t succeed.

What towers have you built?
It’s up to each of us to be aware of our own personal motives and exercise humility that honors God. Some build towers that are meant to honor themselves. Take a moment to look inside and make sure you haven’t built any towers unto yourself. Houses, cars, businesses, ministries, expensive clothes, and even professional accomplishments sometimes end up being misused as a way to gain prestige among men. It’s God who gives us the power to get wealth. But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he swore unto thy fathers, as it is this day. Deuteronomy 8:18 (KJV) Everything that we have been given, or will ever achieve is meant to help others and glorify God.