Organizing the Inside 365 Days

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

Archive for Love

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 345 When Family Decides Not To Serve God

32“Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. 33But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven. 34“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35For I have come to turn “‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law— 36a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household. Matthew 10:32-36 (NIV)

Ultimately we all want what’s best for our family. We have brothers, sisters and other close family members whom we’ve spent years of our lives sharing and growing with. But what happens when you choose to serve God, and your family could seemingly care less? Or perhaps they started out walking with you and somehow they’ve decided to go another way?  Can two people walk together without agreeing on the direction? Amos 3:3 (NIV) Where does this leave the family bond? We know that family meant a lot to Jesus, but we also realize that He never put family before His relationship with God, and His mission to serve Him. Matthew 12:47-50

Jesus came to bring a sword, not peace. It takes a bold Christian to agree with Christ regardless of what family and friends choose. When Jesus is introduced into the family dynamics it will be decision time. Some will say yes to being sold out for Christ. Others will reject God’s free gift of salvation and make the choice to serve their sinful nature instead. While you choose to make Him Lord, there will be those in your family who choose to go against your Christian lifestyle and reject everything you know to be true about God.

Christian commitment may separate family and friends. You must be willing to take a stand for God, no matter who disagrees. Especially for those who are in close-knit families, your choice to live for God and follow the way of Christ may leave you standing alone. No one is suggesting you abandon your family, but if you are following Christ and they aren’t, you will indeed have to make some tough choices. The calling of God is to a higher mission and although we have peace on the inside, a peaceful life without conflict is far from what He’s called us to have. That kind of thinking makes the gospel appear uncertain. The choice must be clear and we cannot present an, “I’m okay; you’re okay. We are all God’s children… let’s have world peace.” kind of false gospel and expect people to choose LIFE. 7Even lifeless instruments like the flute or the harp must play the notes clearly, or no one will recognize the melody.8And if the bugler doesn’t sound a clear call, how will the soldiers know they are being called to battle? 1 Corinthians 14:7, 8 (NLT) If you choose Christ you will inevitably find yourself in conflict with the world. The Christian life we’ve chosen is by no means a tip-toe through the tulips way of living.

Have you ever had to make the hard choice of following Christ and it meant going against your family? If so, find comfort in knowing that your decision to stand up for Jesus will be rewarded. Although close friends and family deny the truth, we have confidence in Christ. 32Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. 33But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. Matthew 10:32, 33 (KJV) Not unlike many of your Christian comrades you at one time or another have had to make the decision to stay on the right path and do so in spite of what everyone else chose. Jesus makes the matter plain. 37“Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Matthew 10:37, 38 (NIV)

Organizing the Inside – Day 344 The Father Cares About Every Detail

 

And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.  Luke 12:7 (NIV)

God loves us and cares about every aspect of our lives. He is intimately involved in the details that concern His children. His love for us is not easy to comprehend. We cannot understand or perceive the depth and scope of a love so faithful and true. We belong to God and nothing is too small or too simple for Him to care about when it’s concerning one of His own.

The amount of hairs we have change each day and yet God’s has each one numbered. God values your life and everything you have He gave for a reason. We never have to wonder if God cares we know that He not only cares, but He has our best interest at heart. He’s never too busy, or too distracted to listen to our prayers. When we hurt He is there to help us through. When we are happy He rejoices with us.  Isn’t it a comfort to know just how much our Father cares; and that He is fully aware of every detail about His own?

 

Organizing the Inside – Day 341 A Joy In Serving

1If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Philippians 2:1, 2 (NIV)

Have you ever needed a friend to carry your load? Have you ever been in a place where you felt you couldn’t pray for yourself? A time when whatever you were going through seemed almost overwhelming and you needed someone close to carry your burden for a while. Be ready to step in and hold one another up in prayer. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2 (NIV)

What a rewarding joy it is to be there for a sister in need. Paul often addressed the importance of Christians sharing, supporting and encouraging each other. To thrive as a Christian community it’s necessary for us to genuinely care for each other and not allow the enemy to create dissension.  We ought to consider our true brothers and sisters and take care of one another. 48Jesus asked, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?” 49Then he pointed to his disciples and said, “Look, these are my mother and brothers. 50Anyone who does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother!Matthew 12:48-50 (NLT)

When you know your Christian sister is going through a trial, look for ways to help carry her burden. Sometimes a prayer or word of encouragement is all that is needed to help lighten a load. Remember … A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. Proverbs 17:17 (NLT)

Organizing the Inside – Day 338 Choose to Live Fearlessly

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 morningJesus 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 here!” Matthew 14:24-27 (NLT)

Fear can be pretty unpredictable. I’ve often looked up, wondering what has me stuck and realized that fear has reared its ugly head once again. Some say you can smell it, but as far as I know it is colorless, tasteless and odorless. This thing “FEAR” is not something you want to conquer, not really. Fear must be eradicated. I’ve concluded in my limited knowledge about spiritual matters that we cannot make it go away on our own, and wrestling with it is definitely not part of God’s plan.  Although fear manifests itself physically in ways that we can plainly see, it is clearly a spiritual problem.

What happened to Peter when he went from faith to fear? He began to doubt Jesus. Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?”  Matthew 14:31 (NLT) Something happens in the heart and mind when there is fear; there is a sense of being stuck and or you dread the future. Like Peter when someone is walking in fear they start out questioning, (Lord if it’s really you) move on to obeying (So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus.) and end up doubting, (But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink.) There is only one way that we can truly live fearlessly and that is through Jesus Christ, by accepting God’s Word as the final truth and authority in our lives. (“Yes, come,” Jesus said.) When God says it, we have total confidence to do it.

16And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. 17There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18 (NIV) Fearless living is a choice. We choose to live fearlessly by choosing to live a life of love, and refusing to compromise or doubt God because of what we see.

Organizing the Inside – Day 336 Through Wisdom She Learned to Avoid False Starts

17But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. 18And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness. James 3:17, 18 (NLT)

False starts lead to unnecessary pressure. When God speaks to your heart and gives you a specific task to carry out remember to practice wisdom in obedience. It’s great to be excited about the gifts and calling of God, but approach each new venture as a humble act of obedience. If you are like many high achievers when you get an idea from God your reaction is to immediately spring into action. Some Christians live in the movers and shakers lane, and if you’re not moving too you may just have to eat some dust. This method of hot pursuit of their God ordained purpose has (I’m sure) at times left a great deal of carnage behind from others who thought they too were onboard with the vision. In other words practicing accelerated obedience at any cost is not necessarily the best option if you want to enlist the help and support others.

There is nothing wrong with planning first. Actually it prevents a lot of headaches. Planning out your course of action is not only prudent, it saves you from the embarrassment that results from false starts. If more go-getters would only make time to set goals and chart a course of action that others can buy into, they would avoid experiencing the all too familiar humiliation that comes from being overzealous. I get it, when the creative juices are flowing so is the adrenaline. It is critical however that we line up our creative energy with God’s will and timing. When God empowers us to move forward it won’t be with a barrage of unrelenting orders for us to hurry up and act. The Spirit won’t rush us into completing any assignment unless all things are in place. He empowers us to move forward, all the while guiding us gently along the way.

Avoid false starts. The next time you have a creative idea that you know came from God, seek Him first, and carefully consider your next steps. Each time you are called into action it won’t necessarily require all engines full speed ahead. There may very well be a period of processing and planning; this is also action. He won’t give you a dream and then leave you on your own to sort it out. God not only equips us, He strengthens us and provides us with all that we will ever need to complete His great work. Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 2 Corinthians 9:10 (NIV)  Avoid life’s false starts by seeking God, practicing wisdom and considering others before moving ahead.

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 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.