Organizing the Inside 365 Days

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

Archive for Encouragement

Organizing the Inside – Day 355 Don’t Save Time Instead Use It Wisely

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.  Matthew 6:33 (NLT)

If you’re like me you try to find ways to save. I’m an occasional coupon clipper too. Have you ever spent so much time looking for cheaper gas that by the time you found the lower priced gas station you realized you probably spent all your would-be savings traveling the added distance?  Maybe you enjoy shopping at the outlet mall because of the discounted prices. Have you ever considered the extra costs incurred in time and money, because it’s located 60 miles away?

Time is a precious commodity, right? I often wonder if you can really save time.  Somehow that theory just doesn’t add up. Time keeps moving and we attempt to track it with clocks and calendars. However, we cannot see it as it passes, nor can we feel it move.  When it leaves, when the future becomes the present and the present becomes the past where does it go? Increase your efficiency and stop trying to save time, simply focus on using it wisely.  Life is a culmination of what you have spent time doing. Time spent is equivalent to life lived.

Planning is a key part of time management. Putting God first will enable you to be more effective throughout your day. Make God an essential part of your plans and you will not only be more efficient you’ll become more effective. After all it is God who guides us in wisdom and knowledge, and we can’t be successful without Him. One clear way to waste time and end up having to start something over is to not acknowledge God from the start. Put an end to those prayers of negotiations and seek God before beginning something new. Don’t wait until you’ve made a mess of things to ask God for strength and guidance. Ask Him for help during the planning process. Make God your planning partner, and you will find great success, while reducing frustration and eliminating stress.

Organizing the Inside – Day 354 Be Fearless and Look Straight Ahead!

24Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves. 25About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. 26When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, “It’s a ghost!”

27But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am her”

28Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.” 29“Yes, come,” Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. 30But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted.

31Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?” Matthew 14:24-31 (NLT)

Perfect love drives out all fear. It’s not until we reach the point where our love for God supersedes our love for anything or anyone else, that we can experience life with no fear. Each day as we walk in step with God, He removes the barriers of fear and builds our faith. I don’t believe that this just happens overnight, we must grow in the knowledge of His awesome love. Nothing about this Christian walk is on autopilot. For me, with each new day of trusting Him, I discover that getting out of the boat was only the first step of obedience. Keeping my eyes on Him with each additional step upon water keeps me absolutely FEARLESS! God is so good! He is the author and finisher of our faith.

When God gives the okay, His Word encourages us and we believe we can do anything. Peter asked Jesus to give him permission to come. How many have tried God by asking, “Okay Lord if this is you… let this happen”? We all have looked for a simple sign or nod from the Lord. Peter asked Jesus, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.” Jesus told him, “Yes, come.”

Peter being encouraged by the Word, obeyed Jesus, and stepped out on faith. Keeping his eyes upon Jesus, Peter was able to do something no one else (other than Jesus) had ever done. He was the only one willing to get out of the boat. Even after he got out of the boat and was walking on the water, the others remained in the boat. Sometimes you are the only one among the group willing to step out on faith. You may be the only one willing to ask God for what is seemingly impossible.

Peter became distracted by everything that was happening around Him. The strong waves had not stopped, but Peter locked in focus on Jesus as he walked on the water toward Him. When Peter took his eyes off Jesus he began to exchange faith for fear.

Be single-minded and stay focused on what God told you to do. Forget about what the rest are not doing, those who decided to stay in the boat. Focus your attention on Jesus and the goal that is before you. Keep your eyes on Him regardless of the conditions around you. If God said, “Come” then go! Keep the Word He gave you in your heart as you do what others thought was impossible. When you step out on faith you can’t take a poll nor wait for a consensus. If God told you to do something than you have all the agreement you will ever need by agreeing with Him. Jesus asked Peter, “Why did you doubt me?”  We can learn so much from this. When you are walking in faith, you are pleasing God and there is no doubt or fear in faith.

There are two things that Jesus said to His disciples which are written in various ways throughout scripture:  “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” and “Be not afraid.”

  1.  Don’t be afraid
  2.  Do what God says
  3.  Forget about what everyone else does
  4.  Stay focused on Jesus
  5.  Remain fearless
  6.  Do not doubt God
  7.  Keep the Word He gave YOU in your heart

Organizing the Inside – Day 353 What’s Determining Your Direction?

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. Proverbs 4:23 (NLT)

Let’s face it every aspect of life relates to the condition of the heart. You may think much of what you’re confronted with in life is based upon circumstances and your environment, but even that influences your heart. Our hearts have an effect on our relationships, faith, doubt, decisions and our willingness to obey the voice of God.  Because of this, we have a responsibility to do everything we can to guard our hearts. There are so many outside factors like competing priorities, busyness and commitments that tug at us daily. Constantly calling out to unsuspecting passersby, the world fights for our affections.

There’s not a shortage of causes to take up. Preying on your sense of compassion to help the needy; marketers make it difficult to say no, but easy to get caught up in the next “big cause” being promoted. We live apart from all the confusion and chaos that worldly passions bring. Sure there are causes that we should support, and be passionate about; but the biggest cause that deserves our attention is the need for mankind to know the Creator. Our hearts belongs to God. Yes, we are a chosen generation, “So set yourselves apart to be holy, for I am the LORD your God.” Leviticus 20:7 (NLT) What can you do to guard your heart? Consider what steps to take to keep your heart in step with God.

Organizing the Inside – Day 352 Pursuits In Order

24A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, 25for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment? 26To the man who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.  Ecclesiastes 2:24 (NIV)

Other than Jesus, Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived. He matter-of-factly concluded that there are great deals of meaningless activities that most people spend time on. The daily grind of working and pursuing goals and ambitions are all for the most part worthless. Should we conclude by his writings that there is nothing in life worth accomplishing? I believe that Solomon wanted us to understand that the only thing in life worth living for is the fulfillment of God’s purpose for you and me. How many times have we sought after things and explored ideas that led to a dead-end? I’ll be the first to admit to several futile pursuits in life. There are however lessons to learn. Solomon set out to do it all, live it all, build it all and have it all. He experienced great highs and lows, but the reality of living a life apart from God’s direction and purpose (he concluded) is essentially a waste of time.

Only through a relationship with God does life have meaning. When we try to do things on our own and build kingdoms unto ourselves what value does all this hard work really have? Businesses, homes and acquisition upon acquisition are meaningless apart from the purpose and plan of God. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? Mark 8:36 How can life take on meaning without the One who gives us purpose? “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. Proverbs 9:10 (NIV)

Do you want your life’s work to have meaning? Jesus said, “I am the vine, you are the branches: He that abides in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing.”  John 15:5 (KJV) Then turn your attention to God’s will. Let your life’s pursuits be about His plan for you and not your own. Set your heart on helping to build God’s kingdom. Let Matthew 6:10 be your heart’s prayer. In the end only what we do for Christ will matter. In Him we can accomplish His goals and experience sustainable success.

Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.” Matthew 19:26 (NLT)

“Ah, Sovereign LORD, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you. Jeremiah 32:17 (NIV)

Jesus replied, “What is impossible with men is possible with God.” Luke 18:27 (NIV)

Organizing the Inside – Day 351 Have You Gained Weight Lately?

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. Hebrews 12:1 (NLT)

WEIGHT as defined by Bing is heaviness: the quality of heaviness in things, determined by their mass or quantity of matter as acted on by the force of gravity, that counteracts efforts to lift or move them. As we consider this definition let’s look at how weight applies to the life of a Christian woman. I believe this is a common concern of Christian women everywhere. There are things in our lives that counteract our efforts to reach our true potential and hold us back from fulfilling the plan of God. Christians pick up habits, pursue cravings and chase after desires for things that (may or) may not in themselves be sinful, but end up superseding their desire to love and please God. This will eventually result in sin.

We know that weight affects mobility. The overweight person is physically hindered or slowed down by all the added weight.  The simple task of walking or running becomes increasingly more challenging for someone who is carrying added weight. The same is true spiritually for those Christians who carry various things from the world that keep them from serving God. Take a moment to ask yourself if there are things that you are carrying that slow you down in this race toward the kingdom.  Ask the Holy Spirit to help you overcome any weight problems you have. It is only by His grace and strength that you will have the power to lay aside any hindrances.

Watch out for subtle things that add weight.
1. False teaching – 7You were running the race so well. Who has held you back from following the truth? 8It certainly isn’t God, for he is the one who called you to freedom. 9This false teaching is like a little yeast that spreads through the whole batch of dough!  Galatians 5:7-9 (NLT)

2. Fear of giving up the past: old friends, old ways and old ideasthrow off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Ephesians 4:22 (NLT)

3. Desires that speak to a prideful craving for acceptanceFor the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. 1 John 2:16 (NLT)

4. Continued observation of sin I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.Psalm 101:3 (JKV)

We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. Romans 6:6 (NLT) For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. Galatians 5:13 (NLT)

May we allow the Holy Spirit to look deep within our hearts and minds and convict us of any heavy thing that we’ve knowingly or unknowingly held on to. 23Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: 24And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:23, 24 (KJV) Let us then move forward, empowered in His love and righteousness to complete the work and finish this race!

Organizing the Inside – Day 350 If Only One Thing

One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in his temple. Psalm 27:4 (KJV)

Oh, if you could only had one prayer, one dream, or one vision to hope for what would it be? There are so many needs, so many wants and aspirations. The Word of God provides us with clear guidance, “But seek you first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33 (KJV) The bible says that David was a man after God’s own heart. (1 Samuel 13:14 and Acts 13:22) David shared his heart’s desire when he said …that I may dwell in the house of the Lord…

What do you seek after? What is your heart’s single deepest desire?  It’s so easy to get caught up in the cares of this life and lose sight of what’s most important. There is no project, or goal or dream that is worth devoting your hearts greatest desire to other than loving God. May we each discover the simplicity in loving Him. Let us each unbend our mind from the futile cares of this life and devote our heart toward daily seeking His kingdom. When all is said and done; when our last words are written, may we be found beholding His beauty and inquiring in His temple.

Organizing the Inside – Day 349 Trading In Stress For Godly Freedom

28Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.30For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 (NLT)

Sometimes as women we become obsessed with trying to please others. Too often you’re willing to spend extra hours, and invest extra resources because you’re driven to please another human being. Some of us are giving more consideration to what someone else thinks, before considering God. When this person is happy life seems good, but when they are unhappy,  perhaps because of something that you failed to do, then things go downhill fast.

This is an unfair and horribly stressful way to live. People pleasers are prone to depression and anxiety because that’s not how God intended for anyone to live. God did however give us an internal desire to please Him. Certainly we know, “The unmarried woman cares for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married cares for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.”  1 Corinthians 7:34 (KJV) So does this mean that the married woman has to end up stressed and pressed on every side, because she’s trying to please her husband? Being concerned, and carrying an unrealistic burden (that God never intended) are two different issues. Although the married woman is concerned with how she may please her husband, an unbalanced approach will lead to an unbalanced lifestyle.

Let go of any unhealthy preoccupation with pleasing anyone other than the Lord. If the godly woman’s life pleases the Lord, I sincerely believe she will in turn please her husband (whether he is saved or not). God will show you how to please your husband without compromising your relationship with Christ. Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Proverbs 31:30 (NIV) For the unmarried and married alike, it could be a boss or someone else in your life you’ve been worried about pleasing. You can ultimately learn to give, care and love others out of the wonderful freedom and joy that comes from pleasing God first.

God’s perspective brings relief for the people-pleaser. When you take your concerns to God in prayer He will give you insightful solutions to help change your stressful circumstances. Be sure to keep this matter in prayer. Release the tension, that accompanies those deep feelings of inadequacy, and experience the peace of God, by first pleasing Him. This is what it all comes down to. Are you willing to trust the Holy Spirit to make your life pleasing to God first? If you are, then the burden of trying to please others will soon be a thing of the past.

Organizing the Inside – Day 348 Have a Laugh!

We were filled with laughter, and we sang for joy. And the other nations said, “What amazing things the LORD has done for them.” Psalm 126:2 (NLT)

Laughter is good and it’s refreshing too. I believe laughter is a unique and special gift from God. Giggling is not just for the young, it sure can help rejuvenate the tired. No drug store prescription is needed, when you have laughter it often chases away the worries of the world. Have you ever laughed so hard that your side hurt and you could hardly catch your breath? God made us to laugh when tickled and sometimes for me, just the thought of being tickled makes me burst out in uncontrollable laughter. Must we always be so serious? Sure spiritual matters are serious business, but God certainly has a sense of humor and laughter is a gift He gave.

Consider letting your hair down; enjoy a joke or two.  Laughter is often contagious. There are certain people you should keep on speed dial. You know, the ones who will always have a funny story or a laugh to share. Happy people who enjoy life seem to laugh a lot. Don’t take yourself too seriously. The stress of the daily grind may make us frown or even seem angry. This gives the wrong impression about Christian living. Add a laugh break to your calendar (if that works for you) but enjoy God’s great gift of laughter. The next time you feel exhausted after a long and stressful day try laughter; it will help relax you and bring a sense of lightheartedness to those around you. There’s nothing innately sinful about laughter it’s okay to indulge.

Organizing the Inside – Day 347 Blind Spots In Our Lives

37Then he returned and found the disciples asleep. He said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Couldn’t you watch with me even one hour? 38Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” 39Then Jesus left them again and prayed the same prayer as before. 40When he returned to them again, he found them sleeping, for they couldn’t keep their eyes open. And they didn’t know what to say. Mark 14:37-40 (NLT)

Are you ever too tired to watch and pray?
I know you’re embarrassed and just like the disciples you don’t know what to say… I’ve been there before. Through prayer hidden dangers are exposed. Blind spots come in many forms. You know that it’s there, but you may not turn your head to look in that direction until it’s almost too late. While driving, have you ever turned your head just slight enough to realize at the last second that completing your lane change would have caused an accident? You can never assume that because your blind spot was clear the last time you checked, you can safely change lanes minutes later. For this very reason we must maintain a strong prayer life. We never know what kinds of everyday things are lurking in our blind spots. Prayer keeps us alert! Consider these warning signs and don’t let them go unnoticed; avoid a serious collision:

  • Being over tired because you don’t get enough rest.
  • Bringing home frustration from work that affects your loved ones.
  • Not listening to the advice of a trusted friend.
  • Ignoring a sermon that really spoke to your heart.
  • Taking on too much to please others.
  • Choosing to do what you want instead of what God said.
  • Not spending your time wisely like too much time on social media.
  • Forgetting to keep a close watch on your priorities.

Perhaps you’ve skipped your time with God to save a few extra minutes on a busy day? The super busy life that many Christian women lead can cause serious problems down the road. If you’ve found yourself caught off guard in the past and have allowed some of the more important priorities slip, prayer will get things back in focus. Prayer produces power and when your life lacks prayer you will also lack power. As summer comes to a close and schedules begin to normalize, watch out for hidden dangers that go unnoticed because of prayerlessness. God is our compass guiding us until we reach our ultimate destination. His internal systems will alert us when danger is nearby. No matter what high-ranking items you have lingering on your “To Do” lists keep God first and never slack off in prayer.

Organizing the Inside – Day 346 Practice Wisdom and Get Results

But wisdom is shown to be right by the lives of those who follow it.” Luke 7:35 (NLT)
…But wisdom is shown to be right by its results.” Matthew 11:19c (NLT)

When we walk in wisdom our prayers of faith will get results. Only the wise practice wisdom. Wisdom is applied knowledge. Therefore by taking what we know to be TRUTH and applying it to our lives we are practicing wisdom. When we pray according to God’s Word those prayers are answered because His Word is His will. Your prayers are heard because Jesus bridged the gap and paid the price to reconcile us to God. Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. John 14:6 (NLT)

Do you want your prayers to be effective? Don’t expect God to answer your prayers when your life is in shambles because of the way you’ve been living. Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. James 5:16 (NLT) Prayer is not a time of negotiations with the Father. It is a time of faith and humility, when we go to God with an expectation that He not only hears us, but is able and willing to deliver us and answer our prayer.

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16 (KJV)

But in my distress I cried out to the LORD; yes, I prayed to my God for help. He heard me from his sanctuary; my cry to him reached his ears. Psalm 18:6 (NLT)

Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong–you want only what will give you pleasure. James 4:2c, 3 (NLT)

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Hebrews 11:6 (KJV)

Just remember: For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. Romans 12:3 (KJV)

There are no “super saints” your prayers have just as much value as anyone else’s. When you put God’s will ahead of your own desires, things begin to happen. Asking through prayer in Jesus name is about being where He is on the matter. Living life in a way that one’s heart is yielded to God’s purpose and plan is living right before God. This is righteousness: to agree with God and allow His Word to abide, direct and rule in your heart and life.

And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. 1 John 3:22 (KJV)

Wherever God is, choose to be there also. Living right before God really has little to do with a list of do’s and don’ts. We are free from the former ways of, do not touch this and do not touch that. By surrendering your heart to the Lordship of Jesus Christ you are made worthy. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21 (NIV) Walk in God’s wisdom, apply it to your life and (even the secret places) not only will your prayers be effective, they will yield enduring results. …attend to my words; incline your ear unto my sayings. 21Let them not depart from your eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart. 22For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh. Proverbs 4:21, 22 (KJV) Consider yourself worthy in Him, walk circumspectly in His wisdom and your prayer life will yield great results.