Organizing the Inside 365 Days

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

Archive for Relationship

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 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 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 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 334 What Do You Know?

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 (KJV)

Consider for a moment what this scripture tells us we know. We know that all things… I wonder, what is it that we truly know? To bring one’s mind and heart completely in agreement with God’s Word is to know.  To know God’s Word is to establish a relationship with it. Reading the Word won’t automatically give you a relationship with it. However, meditating on the Word of God will intrinsically change what you know and completely free your heart from fear and doubt. By meditating on the Word you establish a knowing (or relationship) with the truth that defies human logic. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 1 Corinthians 2:14 (KJV)

Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long. Psalm 119:97 (NIV) Through biblical meditation we can affect the course of our lives, because when we receive the engrafted Word of God in our hearts FAITH happens. So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17 (KJV) To stay strong and have peace in a world where everything that is wrong is considered right, and all that is right is considered wrong, we must make time to meditate.  To survive in a foreign land there are some things that those of us who are in Christ must “know.”

Another similar post on meditation.

Organizing the Inside – Day 333 Happy to Be a Gatekeeper

1How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of Heaven’s Armies. 2I long, yes, I faint with longing to enter the courts of the Lord. With my whole being, body and soul, I will shout joyfully to the living God. 3Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow builds her nest and raises her young at a place near your altar, O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, my King and my God! 4What joy for those who can live in your house, always singing your praises. Selah
Psalm 84:1-4 (NIV)

We can meet with God anywhere. He is always there when we need Him. The psalmist was speaking of the temple where God’s Spirit dwelled. Today our bodies are considered a type of temple, because God’s Spirit dwells within each of us (Christians). The church (building) is also a type of temple, referred to as the house of God. We go there to meet with Him and be closer to the people of God. This is part of God’s plan for community. Going to church allows us to corporately worship Him and together along with other believers we honor Him with our gifts and service. An important part of Christian living; this adds to the Christian experience and should not be neglected. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:25 (NLT)

We need a place that is separate from the world. A place where the things of God are prominently placed, cueing us to worship. Not a place where traditions, and rituals or idols are the focus, but a place that aids our worship of God and supports our need to fellowship with each other. This is the local church. Many enjoy community among comrades in this fight of faith via the internet, but keep in mind there is no substitution for meeting together with other believers. Neither turning on the television nor logging on the internet can take the place of entering His gates, although there are many great messages there. The world is a busy place, full of distractions and bright shiny objects that tend to call us away from what is most important. We are bombarded with information and unjust causes that tug, again and again for our support. Remember to step away from it all and allow God to give you perspective… His perspective.

10Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.  11For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.  12O Lord Almighty, blessed is the man who trusts in you. Psalm 84:10-12 (NIV)

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 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 321 Difficult People Can’t Be Avoided

Like a muddied spring or a polluted well is a righteous man who gives way to the wicked. Proverbs 25:26 (NIV)

Decide how to deal with difficult people before you encounter them. Keep yourself free from irritation and resentment by clarifying how you plan to handle things. Difficult people are out there, and there is no way to avoid them. Difficult people can be a true blessing; they will either help you grow or wear you down, but the choice of which one depends on you. Never allow them to overwhelm and frustrate you. Approach things from a place of ministry. Is this someone who needs to experience the love of God through you?

To save you from the mental and emotional clutter they bring, I thought I’d share a few tips to help keep you internally organized when dealing with them.

Not all bad, she just tends to rub you the wrong way. She loves playing devil’s advocate and will choose the opposing side just to muddle you. You want to go the other way when you see her coming, yet you also know dealing with her, in the end will only make you better. Yes, you can stand to learn a lot from the controllers, border blockers, spammers (always wanting to share something of little value) know-it-alls, and manipulators. Try this the next time you are faced with having to work with one of those difficult people:

  1. Approach things from a loving perspective. (1 Peter 4:8) You never know what they’ve been through that is reflected in their behavior.
  2. Make sure you aren’t harboring any unforgiveness or resentment. (Colossians 3:13)
  3. Earnestly pray for them; don’t try to change them, leave that to God. (Revelation 22:11, 12)

Of course God knows all about it. Prayer releases you from having to spend extra time or energy trying to manage hard feeling or to get along. God understands how difficult people are wired and He can give you special insight into what to do differently. The most important thing is not that you’re no longer irritated by their demanding personality. A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense. Proverbs 19:11 (NIV) What’s important is that you let God use you and your unexplainable patience and compassion to help win them over to Christ. Deal with difficult people by showing them Christ in you.