Organizing the Inside 365 Days

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

Archive for July, 2012

Organizing the Inside – Day 332 A Reason Behind Every Season

9What do people really get for all their hard work? 10I have seen the burden God has placed on us all. 11Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. Ecclesiastes 3:9-11 (NLT)

There is a season for everything under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 3:1) If we accept the reality of this truth and learn to embrace the season we are in today, we can get the most out of every experience God has ordained for us to learn from. Is it harvest time or planning? Is it watering or planting season? What season is your life in now? Knowing and accepting the answer to this very important question will save you from a lot of the frustration and aggravation that comes with trying to do what you think is right. Sure God has a plan and His intent is for you and me to live out that plan with great success. I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13 (NLT)

Confident living comes from trusting God. Our lives shouldn’t drag behind hopeful that we are pursuing what’s right. Nor should we hurry ahead being driven by the endless winds of today’s next new thing because of impatience. The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Psalm 37:23 (NLT) Know your current season. Start now; seek God for the level of certainty that will allow you to confidently pursue your goals. If your life sometimes seems as though it’s flapping in the wind, remember your anchor is sure.  18So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. 19This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. Hebrews 6:18, 19a (NLT) We can rely on God’s promise of success and grace in our hour of need. No matter what season your life is in, God is with you, and He also goes before you. He is already in tomorrow, waiting for your arrival as He prepares the way. Be confident about your season, God has impeccable timing.

Organizing the Inside – Day 331 With Wisdom Comes Favor

1My child,never forget the things I have taught you. Store my commands in your heart. 2If you do this, you will live many years, and your life will be satisfying. 3Never let loyalty and kindness leave you! Tie them around your neck as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart. Proverbs 3:1-4 (NLT)

Be open to correction and ready to make adjustments along the way. Never lock in on your plans without leaving room for God to make changes. Being guided by the Holy Spirit is a way of life. If your heart is open to His leadership then you will live securely. By binding the truth of God’s Word tight around your neck you show your ongoing commitment to follow His way and not your own. There as a constant reminder, His wisdom and love guides you through difficult decisions and challenging circumstances.

True wisdom is applied knowledge. If we are willing to go beyond the constant reminders of keeping God’s Word close and make it a part of who we are by writing it deep within our hearts, He promises three things will occur. Then you will find favor with both God and people, and you will earn a good reputation.  Proverbs 3:4 (NLT) Does your life represent one who has chosen to apply knowledge and live according to God’s Word? If so, your loyalty and kindness has brought you much favor. Better than cash and finer than gold, favor is far more valuable than material riches. What’s in your favor bank with God and man? This kind of wealthy living is not to be compared.

If you live right your favor bank will be full. Jesus made this point clear when He said, “But wisdom is shown to be right by the lives of those who follow it.” Luke 7:35 (NLT) What results do your life show?

Organizing the Inside – Day 330 God’s Forgiveness Liberates

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, 5 (NIV)

Is it possible to live a life free of guilt?  While we all have made mistakes, considered and even carried out poor choices at one time or another; 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.

5Finally, 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. Let us therefore celebrate the liberty which is ours through Jesus Christ and live a life of thanksgiving which honors and glorifies Him.  And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice–the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Romans 12:1 (NLT)

Organizing the Inside – Day 329 A Woman Who Practices Resourcefulness Glorifies God

13She finds wool and flax and busily spins it. 14She is like a merchant’s ship, bringing her food from afar. 15She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household and plan the day’s work for her servant girls. 16She goes to inspect a field and buys it; with her earnings she plants a vineyard. 17She is energetic and strong, a hard worker. 18She makes sure her dealings are profitable; her lamp burns late into the night. 19Her hands are busy spinning thread, her fingers twisting fiber. Proverbs 31:13-19 (NLT)

Being resourceful should be easy in this modern world. It seems there are so many resources and so much  information available that tapping into what we need should be pretty straight forward. We can type in a few words and get an answer from Goggle about almost anything, and if he can’t help his buddy Bing will surely answer most any question. Do you agree we need to be careful and consider the source? As wise Christians resourcefulness requires a bit of judgment too. You can’t ask Wikipedia who God is and expect to get an answer that you can believe. God has however given us great examples of resourcefulness and it seems there is much to learn from His creativity. Did He not form man from the clay that was already there? Then when He was at the apex of His creativity He took from Adam’s side and formed a helpmeet that was suitable for him. I’m thinking you can’t be more resourceful than that.

So why should we be resourceful? Practicing resourcefulness will help simplify your life. Use what you have available to get the job done. Let’s be realistic, you can’t use something you don’t have when you need to complete an important project, but you can be creative and think outside the box. The woman in Proverbs 31 was very resourceful and she capitalized on those things that she had access to. She not only used her talents and gifts to make things happen while running a successful business and household; she also tapped into the abilities of those around her. Instead of trying to kill herself by doing it all alone, she had maidservants, organized their work and used other resources she was given. The bible also describes her traveling to out-of-the-way places, but in doing so she was still practicing resourcefulness. I believe much of the fact that her family was secure and well taken care of is contributed to her ability to work, plan and be resourceful.

What needs do you have that requires a bit of creative resourcefulness? Money is not always the answer when a need arises. Sometimes going out to buy something isn’t the best solution. When working with clients to organize their spaces, one of the most important things we look at first is how we can use what they have available. What things can you repurpose to meet a need? What do you have in your arsenal of talents, strengths and resources that you have yet to tap into? Trust me when I say, “Resourcefulness leads to contentment.” A simple, yet challenging way to organize your life and glorify God is to practice resourcefulness.

Organizing the Inside – Day 328 Authentic Living: The Way to a Rich and Satisfying Life

The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. John 10:10 (NLT)

An authentic life is not what most people live. If most of us are honest with ourselves there is a wide divide between what we do and our authentic selves. We often end up doing what other people expect and many of us get so caught up in doing what someone expects that we lose our way. Embracing your authentic self is also about understanding the way God made you and accepting what makes you different. This rich and abundant life that Jesus came to give is a life that does the will of the Father, not everyone else. Do you find that you are often doing certain things, not because you want to or love doing it, but because that’s just what you’ve always done?

Try viewing things from a different perspective. Why not let go of some things that suck up your time and get in the way of you doing what’s real and meaningful. I’m only suggesting that if you are stuck in a situation that you don’t like being stuck in, make time to think things through. With a bit of honest self-scrutiny you can fill in the missing pieces and close the gap between who you are pretending to be and who you really are. The answer to living an abundant life is in your heart. Don’t allow yourself to be so busy living and going and doing all those things that don’t add up, that you never discover the true formula that does add up to God’s will for your life. You likely already know what needs to change, but you perhaps have put off doing anything about it.

God is painting a beautiful picture on the canvas of your life. Never be ashamed of all the wonderful gifts and talents God has given you, no matter how undeveloped or unpolished they may be.  Be willing to share what you have to share today (even if you only share it with God for now). Don’t allow the enemy to marginalize your strengths when you are a daughter of the living God. Finally, believe in you and embrace your authentic self. I’m not promoting self-esteem, because I don’t believe any of us should esteem ourselves as anything. I’m speaking about God-esteem, accepting who He made you by doing your best to walk in it. When you speak, speak from your heart. When you share, do so in a way that is true to your individuality. We are all so different, so unique in our own way and that’s why embracing and living your own authentic life is so important. Consider the vast array of flowers found in the most beautiful gardens in the world. There isn’t just one kind of flower or one color; there are hundreds and each one of them is uniquely different.

Stop living under the weight of all that stress. The enemy clearly wants to defeat you and keep you from enjoying life. Is it not time to experience the joy and peace that comes from being true to you? Stop hiding behind a long list of other people’s expectations (or your own expectations inside your head) and live out the life that God has chosen for you. Certainly abundant life comes through serving, but not under the weight of not being who God meant for you to be. If you’ve been pretending for a while now it may be a bit tough to discover or rediscover yourself.  The Holy Spirit is able to show you all that is dormant and help you live life abundantly, by enabling you to embracing the true, authentic woman God made you to be.

Organizing the Inside – Day 327 An Invite To Worship God Freely

1Come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. 2Let us come to him with thanksgiving. Let us sing psalms of praise to him. 3For the Lord is a great God, a great King above all gods. 4He holds in his hands the depths of the earth and the mightiest mountains. 5The sea belongs to him, for he made it. His hands formed the dry land, too. 6Come, let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before the Lord our maker, 7for he is our God. We are the people he watches over, the flock under his care. Psalm 95:1-7 (NLT)

Freedom to worship.
This particular Psalm seems to show a stark contrast between those who openly and freely praised God and those who were set on doing things their own way. When your heart is open to the loving will of God, worship comes easily. When you have been freed from the fear of punishment resulting from your rejection of God’s plan, you can lift your hands without hesitation. This signals to God that your true heart’s desire is toward Him. We’ve all seen children drop their most prized toy when Dad walks in the room as they abandon self interests; desiring more intimacy and closeness with him their hands naturally go up. As a child lifts her hands toward her Dad wanting him to lift her up, so worshippers everywhere whose heart safely trust God lift their hands in a spontaneous expression of love and desire toward their heavenly Father.

Is your heart free to worship?
If the answer is no, there could be many reasons why your praise is hindered. God will reveal the truth. In the last verses of Psalm 95 we read about how God wouldn’t allow the Israelites to enter the promise land because of the hardness of their hearts. If someone keeps rejecting God’s will and continuously decides to ignore His ways, eventually that person’s heart becomes so hard that it is useless. Whether it’s anger or fear or a mere unwillingness to trust God, these feelings are normal. Normal, but unacceptable just the same, because they hold you back and keep your heart from the freedom to worship and serve God. If you’re thinking you’ve told God “not yet” or “no” far too many times (if you’re reading this) there is still time to get it right. There’s always time to change. If you are still breathing, you can trade in all of those past mistakes and bad choices for the bright future God wants to give.

Dear Lord,
Thank you for worship. Please look at our hearts. Remove anything that would cause us to turn from you. May we find the peace that true obedience brings. May we abandon ourselves in exchange for a deeper and more meaningful relationship with you. Teach us to not allow our own selfish desires to interfere with our worship, because you alone are worthy of all praise, honor and glory. Forgive us Lord, and lift us up to where you are. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Organizing the Inside – Day 326 Organize Your Environment From the Inside Out & Outside In

6And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. 7Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. 8Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. 9Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6:6-9 (NLT)

Does Your Environment Honor God? When I consider organizing the inside I think about how my environment can either help or hinder my efforts. The God we serve is fully aware of all the challenges we are faced with daily. Nevertheless many of the things in our environment that affect our lives adversely can be changed. If you truly want to you can reorganize your environment to reflect a life of loving obedience toward God. Moses wanted the Israelites to be prepared to live differently in the promise land. He wanted them to remember the importance of their relationship with God and how it would influence their lifestyle in the new land they were about to enter. Today we know that our relationship with God is often reflected in how we live. If I love God then the things around my home will reflect that relationship. Organizing a godly environment for you and your family begins with an inward change. The disorder and ungodliness in one’s own environment is simply an outward manifestation of an inward condition.

What is the condition of your environment? Take a closer look at the many influences in the immediate area around you. Do things closely reflect Christian values? The Word of God is what gives us our standard for setting an environment that promotes a godly way of life. Does your environment’s overall condition show submission or rebellion? When Moses gave the Israelites God’s commandments he also gave them instructions for creating a godly environment. The first thing he told them was, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord alone. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”  Deuteronomy 6:4, 5 Those instructions continue to serve as a type of school master for organizing our environment; start with the inside (your heart) first. Moses then went on to tell them what to do about the creating the right environment. He told them to surround and immerse themselves in God’s Word. (see verses 7-9)

Think about ways to make your environment more pleasing to God. If Jesus knocked on the door of your home this very moment would you be happy or embarrassed to let Him in. Here is an Environmental Inspection List. Make the necessary changes as God leads you to make sure the environment around you and your family is one that pleases God above all else.

  1. What are the lyrics in the songs you or your children listen to?
  2. What kind of magazines are in your home?
  3. What kind of plots and storylines are in the most recent movies you’ve seen?
  4. What do you do for fun?
  5. Who do you look up to and try to emulate?
  6. What do you discuss during personal phone conversations?
  7. What does your DVD collection look like?

Sin and the world can be very entertaining. The enemy is thrilled when a Christian woman spends her time doing anything other than what God told her to. If your environment diminishes your testimony ask God to help you make changes. What track are you on as a Christian woman? If you are married, whether your husband is saved or unsaved, leading or lagging you should honor him; (Ephesians 5:22 as unto the Lord) but you must also do what God puts on your heart to have an environment that keeps you and your children on the right track. Bottom line is that our environment is a reflection of our relationship with God. Do you agree? Share your thoughts.

Organizing the Inside – Day 325 You’re Just Not Like Most People

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light: 1 Peter 2:9 (KJV)

The term “like most people” is too often used within the Christian community. The fact is: we are not like most people. We must be ready to accept the appointed responsibility of being a royal priesthood. God wants you and me to be different.
(2 Corinthians 6:17) We have been called out, set aside and consecrated unto God for His good pleasure. We therefore ought to refrain from comparing our lifestyle and choices to this world’s standards of right and wrong.  The things that the world finds perfectly acceptable and permissible we ought to find offensive. We don’t rely on the systems of this world like some; our source and hope is Christ.  Strange and peculiar, particularly odd at times, the world may not understand how we think and react, especially if we think and react like God’s chosen people.

We bring hope and light to a lost and dying generation. “You are the salt of the earth… Matthew 5:13a (NLT) We are different; but not just for the sake of being different, but because we hold up God’s standard of righteousness as warriors in His great army. Therefore let us never again revert to comparing ourselves to the world. Stay away from being like most people; most people are on the wrong road. …For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life and only a few find it. Matthew 7:13b-14 (NIV) Let’s take a stand for what is right and trust God to honor and reward those choices. Having been born again we are no longer of this world. We are strangers in a foreign land, but the Word and hope of God is our song.  Certainly we are in the world, but we are not of the world. We do not love the world nor cling to its systems to prosper and find our way. Jesus said, “I am the way the truth and the light.” John 14:6 (NLT ) Because He has made Himself known to us, we know the way. He said, “…And you know the way to where I am going.”  John 14:4 (NLT)

14I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. 15My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. John 17:14-16 (NIV)

Organizing the Inside – Day 324 Overcoming Spiritual Barrenness

18Early in the morning, as he was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. 19Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” Immediately the tree withered. Matthew 21:18, 19 (NIV)

Going through the motions each day you make a plea to do well and be protected. You say a few words as you rush about your day. Never really taking time to look inside for whatever God wanted to change. Hurried out the door you think tomorrow is when I’ll do things differently; tomorrow I’ll make that much-needed adjustment in my schedule. You insist, God understands and you’re right He knows all about the reasons why you’ve decided to go about your day this way. You’re just too busy, right? On the outside your leaves are green and things appear to be growing, but underneath the lush green foliage there isn’t any fruit.

What happened to the fruit that you were meant to bear? Did your life become so busy that you simply failed to stay connected? No one needs to tell you whether your life is fruitful or not. Consider your ways, your thoughts and your time. No one needs to help with this one; you know the truth. Take time now to examine your results. If you are surfing through life doing what looks right, but on the inside you’re spiritually dying then be honest with yourself, and face the hidden truth that your life isn’t bearing much fruit. Jesus was hungry and went over to check the fig tree for figs. It looked good from afar, but under closer examination it was clear that no fruit existed. Fruitlessness is a state that many Christian women easily fall into, but it’s completely avoidable.

Your life is meant to bear much fruit; good, healthy produce that supplies nutritional value to others. When you are in Christ your life produces fruit, and that fruit endures. Without Christ you run the risk of never producing anything of value. “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 (NLT)

Barrenness creates an urgent need for God’s help. If you look at your life and realize things just aren’t what they should be, don’t make the common mistake of trying to fix it on your own. Ask God for help. He will guide you and give the strength to make the much-needed change. Approach His throne with boldness. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16 (NIV) All the answers you need to live a more balanced and productive life are found there. God wants you to have huge success; slow down long enough to ask Him for His help. Not just another quick and shallow, “Lord help me today,” but really seek to know His ways. Reach out to God and seek to live your life the specific way He desires. Tarry until you push beyond your flesh (what you want and how you feel) and experience the long-awaited breakthrough.

Allow God to cut back the extra foliage.  Let him cut away the unfruitful things so that your life (and the body of Christ) will be more productive. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. John 15:2 (NLT) What a difference you’ll begin to experience as He prunes you and frees you from anything that slows your growth.

Organizing the Inside – Day 323 Avoiding Tiny Pockets of Disobedience

3In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. 4But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, 5but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.

6Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.”  Genesis 4:3-7 (NLT)

Obedience is the best way I know to simplify your life. Every time I miss God and decide to take the way of Cain I feel disappointed in myself. You see, Cain decided to offer God the offering he wanted, instead of the one God wanted. This morning during my quiet time, God told me to take bottled water to church. Hun? Bottled water, well that didn’t sound right. He told me to make it extra cold, fill up my cooler with lots of water and ice. I was visiting a church today for the first time and I felt really funny about walking in there with my purse, bible and a big cooler. Yep, I sure did, I told God, “I don’t think so.” (in my head)  Of course I played it off as if it was some fleeting idea of mine.  By pretending it wasn’t God speaking to me made it easier to leave out the door, get in the car and drive down the street with only one warm bottle of water.

Upon entering the church I wasn’t a bit bothered by what some seemed to feel was uncomfortable temperatures. About 10 minutes into the service I started to think my cute green summer sweater was more like an electric blanket that someone had turned up to “HIGH.” The silk shell I wore underneath was starting to stick to me everywhere as sweat beads ran down my arms. A young man walked down the aisle clutching what appeared to be the only bottle of water among all the overheated church goers. I was immediately reminded of the water that I left behind in my kitchen at home; the water I was supposed to bring for all the people who were as hot and as parched as I was. It became clear to me that I wasn’t the only one who would have to suffer through the entire service because of my foolish disobedience.

This just happened to be a small and simple act of obedience. Bring water to church, as much water as my big cooler could hold. How many times will someone else have to suffer because of one person’s unwillingness to let go of what others might think or the fear of mistaking God’s voice for just an idea. When one of us makes the choice to disobey God, in many cases the rest of us have to suffer.

Today I’m drawing a line in the sand, never to return to my tiny pockets of disobedience. No fear, or worry or foolish assumptions will keep my heart from saying yes, and doing so promptly. I know God’s voice. It’s so much easier to trust and obey Him. The devil will do his best to talk you and me out of doing exactly as the Master wants. I want to encourage you while I encourage myself to hearken to God’s voice. When God says move we not only move, but we move in the exact direction He tells us to go.