Organizing the Inside 365 Days

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

Archive for Purpose

Organizing the Inside – Day 342 Pointing to Christ

26So John’s disciples came to him and said, “Rabbi, the man you met on the other side of the Jordan River, the one you identified as the Messiah, is also baptizing people. And everybody is going to him instead of coming to us.” 27John replied, “No one can receive anything unless God gives it from heaven. 28You yourselves know how plainly I told you, ‘I am not the Messiah. I am only here to prepare the way for him.’ 29It is the bridegroom who marries the bride, and the best man is simply glad to stand with him and hear his vows. Therefore, I am filled with joy at his success. 30He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less. John 3:26-30 (NLT)

What is your role as a member of the Body of Christ? Depending upon your gifts and purpose we each have different roles. We all however have a common goal and that is to point others to Christ. The way we live our lives should only point one way and that is to Jesus Christ the righteous. John understood his purpose and immediately put an end to any disputes about his ministry. His disciples had almost taken offense to someone other than their group getting attention and doing good work. John made it clear that it wasn’t about him or them, but the work they did was ultimately about the Messiah.

It’s easy to get caught up when you are busy growing and working in ministry. No matter what your role is, the work is not greater than the One you are working for. Of course we want to give, sow and work hard for the kingdom, but we can’t get so involved in the “doing” that we lose sight of whom we are doing it for. Ultimately it’s about Christ, but we are also meant to help others find Him and in doing so we glorify God. Pride and self-centeredness can cause you to lose focus. This can be avoided by submitting to God’s Word daily. This is truly the absolute single most effective way for us to walk with God and live according to His will. His Word is the truth that resides within our heart and it will keep us focused. Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path. Psalm 119:105 (NIV)

Pointing others to follow Christ is what ministry is about. So many people are without direction and those of us who are Christians know the answer. Show me someone whose life is in turmoil; someone who instead of signs and wonders following them, they only have confusion and drama. Show me this person, and I will show you someone who does not submit to and follow the Word of God. It is one thing to make an appointed time for reading God’s Word, but after that comes the doing. Anyone who studies without following through to apply what they’ve learned, well… they are just stockpiling knowledge and in doing so they are not living a very effective life. Ultimately our role is not much different from John’s which is to point others to Jesus.  Let the message of John become the prayer of our hearts: in that we would decrease and that Jesus would increase.

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 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 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 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 318 Her Light Does Not Go Out

17She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. 18She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. Proverbs 31:17, 18 (NIV)

Are you passionate about God’s gifts and calling? Are you excited to wake up early each day and make progress toward fulfilling God’s plan and purpose for your life? The truth is that many Christian women never live up to their God-given potential in Christ. Many never tap into the drive and commitment it takes to follow their dreams. Oh yes! I believe without a doubt, your dreams, potential, talents, abilities, gifts and skills are each locked in as part of God’s big picture plan for your life.

What keeps your light from going out at night? What drives you? In the still of the night, what does your heart want to know and do? Are you determined to say yes to God’s plan?  Are you enthusiastic about the vision He gave? Your light not going out at night is not about exchanging needed sleep for a few more hours of work, not really. Your light not going out at night is more about the desire that keeps you productive as you live out the will of God for your life. Even through the night, the excitement and enthusiasm for God fills your life with hope and direction. Productive and profitable, God wants your work to glorify Him. Starting today, embrace your purpose in a way that keeps your light burning through the night. There is an entire body of believers who need exactly what you have been given to share.

Organizing the Inside – Day 317 Take Heart; You Are Not In This Alone

7Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. 8Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. 9Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith… 10In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation. 11All power to him forever! Amen. 1 Peter 5-9a-11 (NLT)

No one believes we should be picking berries and Gerber daisies all day long. Of course because we live in a fallen world, things are not easy or perfect and they simply won’t be until Christ returns. Meanwhile, those of us who are here must realize that there is definitely a great deal of work to do. Nevertheless, God’s will for our life is not based upon some long list of arduous tasks and rituals. When you choose to live a godly life it’s not something that ought to bring you grief. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. 1 John 5:3 (KJV) What motivates you to keep going and to keep pursuing righteous living in the face of opposition? For me and for many others, “… the joy of the LORD is our strength.”  I believe it is that joy that brings us to a place of personal contentment, even if it seems so many others choose not to follow the same path.

Your choice to live holy is contrary to everything this world has to offer. Although the world resists the ways of God and laughs at your beliefs, take heart, your suffering is nothing new. …Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are. 1 Peter 5:9b (NLT) When faced with opposing forces on an everyday basis, the fight can sometimes wear you down, especially if you attempt to fight in your own strength. Challenges will come, so stay alert as you seek to live a life of righteous pursuits. The one thing to remember is that you are not alone in your desire to live right before God. It’s hard sometimes to find people who really seem determined to live for God. Many may say so, but you later find that they too seem to love the world more than they love God. But you have chosen to live for Christ; for you, there is no turning back. Draw near to God and the people of God, and you will find greater strength and protection. God will most certainly honor your commitment and see you through until the end.

I have told you all this so that you may have peace in Me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NLT)

Organizing the Inside – Day 316 Exercising Confident Judgment

4Deborah, the wife of Lappidoth, was a prophet who was judging Israel at that time. 5She would sit under the Palm of Deborah, between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites would go to her for judgment. 6One day she sent for Barak …. She said to him, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, commands you: Call out 10,000 warriors from the tribes of Naphtali and Zebulun at Mount Tabor. 7And I will call out Sisera, commander of Jabin’s army, along with his chariots and warriors, to the Kishon River. There I will give you victory over him.” 8Barak told her, “I will go, but only if you go with me.” Judges 3:4-8 (NLT)

Deborah was a strong woman whose heart trusted God entirely. She never seemed to waver and found great strength in her faith. Her inner assurance that God would grant victory made her a great judge and a wonderful example of a strong godly woman.

As women we often feel as though we must first become strong before we can serve God. I believe the message God wants us to understand is that when we are in Him, then we are strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9, 10) Indeed preparation is important in fulfilling the plan of God in our lives, but many times we make preparing the one obstacle that keeps us from actually pursuing our purpose. Go ahead, move forward with the same strong confidence that Deborah had. She relied upon God as she went about conducting business for Him. Even men looked up to her because of her unwavering certainty and trust in the God.

What kind of faith does your life show? Does it show a simple and unyielding faith in your creator, or does it show a trembling mass of uncertainty every time you must make a decision? Deborah was a confident judge who was respected by the people. She took her job as a judge seriously, but it seems clear that as she sat under the palm trees and rendered decision after decision she was not afraid of making mistakes, because she trusted the internal wisdom of the God she served.

Being confident is not about having pride in your abilities or gifts, the contrary is true. True confidence requires us to trust in the One who called us and is far greater. Be confident when faced with decisions, and reject the fear of failure. We are confident of all this because of our great trust in God through Christ. It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God. 2 Corinthians 3:4, 5 (NLT) Don’t allow your role as a woman to create a preconceived notion against the plan of God. Yes, Deborah was a great leader and she did it while being married. Know that just as God used Deborah’s gifts and abilities, as she led Israel to victory, He will also use your gifts to give victory over life’s battles, as you trust Him. Resist the temptation to be indecisive under the weight of responsibility. It’s easier to say, it’s all just too much, and look for the first rock to hide beneath! Remember, the greater one lives in you and has already won the victory. (1 John 4:4) The pressure is not on you to perform; that sort of thinking will only lead to defeat. Instead, trust God and rest (under the palm tree) confidently in His ability to do great things in and through you.

Trust God to minister to you and strengthen you, precisely when you need it most. Then the one who looked like a man touched me again, and I felt my strength returning. “Don’t be afraid,” he said, “for you are very precious to God. Peace! Be encouraged! Be strong!” As he spoke these words to me, I suddenly felt stronger and said to him, “Please speak to me, my lord, for you have strengthened me.” Daniel 10:18, 19 (NLT)

Organizing the Inside – Day 312 Revelation Knowledge, Now What?

11While Zechariah was in the sanctuary, an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the incense altar. 12Zechariah was shaken and overwhelmed with fear when he saw him. 13But the angel said, “Don’t be afraid, Zechariah! God has heard your prayer. Your wife, Elizabeth, will give you a son, and you are to name him John. 14You will have great joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, 15for he will be great in the eyes of the Lord. 18 Zechariah said to the angel, “How can I be sure this will happen? I’m an old man now, and my wife is also well along in years.” 19Then the angel said, “I am Gabriel! I stand in the very presence of God. It was he who sent me to bring you this good news! 20But now, since you didn’t believe what I said, you will be silent and unable to speak until the child is born. Luke 1:11-15, 18-20a (NLT)

Zechariah didn’t believe the angel who came to tell Him of what God was doing. His first response was to rely on what he thought he knew. Often when God sends us a new revelation the first thing we do is question it, often by questioning the messenger. Many take it a step further and begin asking everyone around them if they think this is what God wants. Zechariah’s unbelief was not something God wanted him to go around speaking and perhaps that’s in part why his mouth was closed until after the baby was born.

Another thought to consider is that God doesn’t always want us talking about new revelations He gives. He’d rather us believe it, continue in prayer and go about living it (be about it and not just talk about it). Every message that God gives you is not always something to share openly the minute it’s received. Elizabeth went into seclusion for the first five months of her pregnancy. She was a godly woman and I believe she was led by the Holy Spirit in her decision. Don’t always be so quick to share your revelation or good news when it comes. Make sure your timing is God’s timing. It can be very exciting when God gives us revelation knowledge, a new message of truth, but not all knowledge is for sharing with others.

What is your first response when God sends His message of good news? Are you like Zechariah, quick to consider the reasons why it wouldn’t work? Do you wonder how it could actually be true that God would want to bless you in this great way? This kind of response is not humility, it is doubt and unbelief. Zechariah was a righteous man, yet that didn’t preclude him from doubting when he heard the message. Not believing a message of good news that comes from God shows a lack of trust in Him. Keep the right attitude toward the things of God and be open to whatever He wants to do. So much of what we read in God’s Word tells us to trust Him, yet we often do the opposite by relying on what we understand as truth. Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5 (NLT) Remember the Word of God is the one thing we can always rely on to be absolutely true.

Openly embrace the message from God when it comes. When the message lines up with the Word of God and what He has already placed on your heart, don’t automatically question it. There are many things that we do that require less intellectual perception and more spiritual discernment. Be willing to allow God to move in a surprisingly new way.