Organizing the Inside 365 Days

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

Archive for Obedience

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 323 Avoiding Tiny Pockets of Disobedience

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

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

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

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

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

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

Organizing the Inside – Day 273 While Your Seed Is Still In the Barn

18“Think about this eighteenth day of December, the day when the foundation of the LORD’s Temple was laid. Think carefully. 19I am giving you a promise now while the seed is still in the barn. You have not yet harvested your grain, and your grapevines, fig trees, pomegranates, and olive trees have not yet produced their crops. But from this day onward I will bless you.” Haggai 2:18, 19 (NLT)

God blesses our first steps of obedience.
As soon as the foundation was laid, God encouraged the people by recognizing their obedience. He blessed their obedience as soon as the first step was taken. God wants your obedience and He will send encouragement and motivation along the way. He also wants to bless you before your obedience is completely fulfilled.

Consider the most recent thing that God told you to do.
Did you do it? If you answered not yet, that is likely the same as no. God wants to reward your life with the fruits of obedience. The best of God’s rewards for your life are found in obedience. I won’t dispute, that you can get saved and do nothing more and still get into heaven. Why would you want to get saved and not experience all that God has on this side of heaven?  Jesus said, “…I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”  I’m encouraging you to say yes to God’s will and experience more of the rich blessings that are found when living your life God’s way instead of your own. Our love for God causes us to want to do more and be more like Him, and that won’t happen if you don’t follow through on what comes next, after salvation.

Procrastination is nothing more than an excuse.
Okay, so God told you what He wanted you to do, but you still have yet to follow through. When will you simply say yes to God’s and do it? Did the Lord tell you “Oh, by the way you can get started on my will any old time you feel up to it”? What to do is not some great mystery, and your purpose is not a hidden secret. It’s right there inside your heart. Don’t put off obeying God anymore. Fear and work, people and responsibilities often become excuses for not obeying God. Maybe God has told you to do something and you’ve decided to do it, but not until your child graduates from school, the cat dies, or your whatever is wherever, whenever…. I urge you to reconsider. We often are very creative at convincing ourselves that prompt obedience is optional.  Just take the first step and simply lay the foundation.

God is giving you His promise while the seed is still in the barn.
He wants to teach you to trust Him with your whole heart. Your future is in His hands it’s best to do things His way. He wants you and everyone who is watching your life to know that the Lord God Almighty is faithful to those who serve Him.  Question: Is beginning more important than finishing? I’d suggest probably not, remember everything that was ever finished had to have a beginning. Don’t allow yourself to negotiate with the truth. If God spoke to your heart, that first step moves you one step closer to fulfilling His plan for your life. Total surrender equals complete fulfillment.

Go back to the last thing God told you to do and tell God yes.
Next take the first small step and do it. Then mark that day on your calendar, and just as God told the people, “From this day forward I will bless you.” Trust God to do as He said and bless you before you finish, because you trusted Him and took the first step.

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Organizing the Inside – Day 258 Are You Part Of God’s Great Army?

1The Lord took hold of me, and I was carried away by the Spirit of the Lord to a valley filled with bones. 2He led me all around among the bones that covered the valley floor. They were scattered everywhere across the ground and were completely dried out. 3Then he asked me, “Son of man, can these bones become living people again?” Then he said to me, “Speak a prophetic message to these bones and say, ‘Dry bones, listen to the word of the Lord! 5This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Look! I am going to put breath into you and make you live again! 6I will put flesh and muscles on you and cover you with skin. I will put breath into you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’”

10So I spoke the message as he commanded me, and breath came into their bodies. They all came to life and stood up on their feet—a great army. Ezekiel 37:1-3, 5, 6, 10 (NLT) (also read Ezekiel 37:1-14)

God wants to raise up an army of strong Christian women.
However, many of His daughters are not living productive lives, but are instead doing their own thing. For whatever reasons, some have moved away and given up on doing what God wants and are living outside of His will. Then he said to me, “Son of man, these bones represents the people of Israel. They are saying, ‘We have become old, dry bones—all hope is gone. … ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: O my people, I will open your graves of exile and cause you to rise again. Then I will bring you back to the land of Israel. Ezekiel 37:11, 12 (NLT)

Exile: one living outside of their own country: a citizen of one country who is forced or chooses to live in another. Wikipedia defines exile also as a self-imposed departure from one’s homeland.

Why do Christian women leave the church?
Why do Christian women move away from God’s purpose for their lives and go on to do their own thing instead? I believe there are many answers but probably three main reasons.
1. Fear of facing the truth about who they are, and what they are called to do.
2. A response to what someone did, perhaps resulting in hurt feelings and unforgiveness.
3. Lust of the flesh, you simply want to do your own thing.

Lord, am I in exile?
If you have left your rightful place in the Church, God wants to bring you home and restore you. If you know that there is a call on your life or something particularly special that God wants you to do and you’re not doing it you may be in a type of exile.
Consider these three things:
1. Are you living outside of the will of God? (only you can answer that)
2. Does your life lack productivity? No or low, fruit is produced.
3. Are you experiencing feelings of hopelessness?

Perhaps you are a work in progress.
You look good on the outside, but the life, excitement and passion for the things of God are missing. Then as I watched, muscles and flesh formed over the bones. Then skin formed to cover their bodies, but they still had no breath in them. Ezekiel 37:8 (NLT) Like the dry bones that received flesh and skin, you now only need to have breath breathed into you so that you can “live” again. Seek God to fill you completely with His power. (read Acts 1:4 and Acts 2) 11“You fathers—if your children ask for a fish, do you give them a snake instead? 12Or if they ask for an egg, do you give them a scorpion? Of course not! 13So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.”  Luke 11:11-13 (NLT) God wants your life to be productive. He wants you in His army as a strong witness for Him. The Holy Spirit will give you such power. If you lack power and productivity in your life and feel like you merely exist in a valley of dry bones, Remember what it says: “Today when you hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts as Israel did when they rebelled.” Hebrews 3:15 (NLT)

Organizing the Inside – Day 229 The Truth About Our Environment

1The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you. 2I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others. 3I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you.” 4So Abram departed as the Lord had instructed…
Genesis 12:1-4a (NLT)

Upgrade your environment.
God told Abram to leave his native land, perhaps because He knew that Abram’s relationship with Him would be influenced negatively by family and friends. God had plans to upgrade Abram’s environment. Abram obeyed, by leaving his father’s household as God had instructed him. I often wonder how my life is affected by family and friends. I’m inclined to think in a positive way for the most part. As I consider my relationship with God and the things and people around me I pause. Is there a need for some things to change in my environment?

Perhaps it’s time to decontaminate your environment.
When you consider the things around you each day, ask yourself if you need to make a few adjustments. What are the environmental influences surrounding you? Now we can’t leave the world completely. Jesus prayed that we would be in the world, but kept from the world. 15I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. 16They do not belong to this world any more than I do. 17Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth.  John 17:15-17 (NLT) We are made holy by the truth of God’s Word that sanctifies us. But we must receive it, if we reject the truth how is it able to change us? No one is suggesting you live in a holy bubble, just be open to the Holy Spirit.

Something to consider
What things in your environment are polluting your relationship with God? Are there things that you need to remove from your environment? Or perhaps there are things that you need to bring into your environment. If God is speaking to you about making some very serious changes; then do what He is leading you to do. Start by considering what you do in your down time.

  • What are you watching on television?
  • Where do you go online?
  • What are you listening to?
  • Who are you listening to?
  • What are you reading?
  • What spiritual food are you eating?

It’s our own responsibility to make certain the things in our environment are things that will help strengthen and encourage us in our relationship with the Lord. The people you spend time with, whether you want to admit it or not, influence your life. Strong positive friends who don’t compromise in living the word of truth are a source of encouragement. As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. Proverbs 27:17 (NLT) People, who are lazy, lack-luster, and slothful in the things they do will certainly not

Organizing the Inside – Day 205 Born For Just Such A Time

13Mordecai sent this reply to Esther: “Don’t think for a moment that because you’re in the palace you will escape when all other Jews are killed. 14If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?”

15Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: 16“Go and gather together all the Jews of Susa and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will do the same. And then, though it is against the law, I will go in to see the king. If I must die, I must die.” 17So Mordecai went away and did everything as Esther had ordered him. Ester 4:13-17 (NLT)

What woman is born to live and die unto herself?
I would suggest the answer is no one, or better yet, absolutely no one. There was a time in my life when my worst fear was that I would live and die having never fulfilled God’s true purpose for my life. Since then I’ve been blessed to move beyond that very sad place of uncertainty, but for years I was stuck in fear and laziness. I believe innately in each of us is the need to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. I also believe that this is the way God intended things to be. Ester realized that God’s purpose for her life was not about her, but it was about helping the people of God. So it is for each one of us as Christian women, the position that you are in and any benefits that your life would bring is not solely for your personal fulfillment. Your fulfillment is actually a result of what Christ did and your willingness to do God’s will.

Have you ever wondered?
How many people needed to read that book you neglected write? How many people needed your gift of encouragement to help them reach their potential when they felt like giving up? How many people needed to take that class you said you were going to teach, but never got around to doing the work to get started? How many millions of lives would be touched by your raw focus and unrelenting obedience? 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. 3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:1-4 (NIV)

When you don’t operate in your gifts and fulfill your purpose the whole body is affected.
The gift of prophesy needs prophesy, the gift of teaching need teaching and the list goes on. God didn’t put you here to duplicate what someone else is already doing. We are created in His image, but are unique with abilities that are authentic to whom He made us as individuals. We are one body, and we need each other, not independent from the whole, but so the entire body of Christ grows and benefits. Let us also not forget those of us who have been called with certain gifts like evangelism to minister to the lost. Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen. 1 Peter 4:11 (NLT) The universe and all that is to come is not some haphazard thought in the mind of our Creator. Your life and your purpose mean something; but you have to get outside of yourself to find it. Nevertheless your purpose is completely tied to the entire plan of God for His good pleasure to bring Him honor and glory. What are you doing about it? 1And 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. 2Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:1, 2 (NLT)

I urge you to do the work to carry out God’s plan for your life. Say yes to what He has put on your heart to do. Open your heart; don’t let time keep passing by without doing what you’ve been put here to do. While finishing is far more important than starting, everything must have a beginning. It’s never too late to say yes again, for you were born for just such a time as this.

Organizing the Inside – Day 202 Breaking the Thread of Fear

5“Master,” Simon replied, “we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again.” 6And this time their nets were so full of fish they began to tear! 7A shout for help brought their partners in the other boat, and soon both boats were filled with fish and on the verge of sinking.

8When Simon Peter realized what had happened, he fell to his knees before Jesus and said, “Oh, Lord, please leave me—I’m too much of a sinner to be around you.” 9For he was awestruck by the number of fish they had caught, as were the others with him. 10His partners, James and John, the sons of Zebedee, were also amazed.

Jesus replied to Simon, “Don’t be afraid! From now on you’ll be fishing for people!” 11And as soon as they landed, they left everything and followed Jesus.
Luke 5:5-11 (NLT)

The risk of not being completely successful will never go away, at least not in this life.
Who has ever charted a path that didn’t contain a few stones? There will always be obstacles and those obstacles often pose risks. But, as Christian women we trust God even when there are obstacles. 11For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; 12they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. Psalm 91:11,12 (NIV) It’s your tolerance for risks that will give you the endurance to press on.

To move forward you must be willing to trust God.
What He put inside of you – the vision, the passion, along with your (TAGS) talents, abilities, gifts and skills will always be challenged by fear. Fear is like a silk thread that is woven throughout every negative thought of failure. Sometimes you can see fear, sometimes you can’t. But if you worry that you won’t have enough resources, or that you didn’t correctly hear from God, or especially that you may fail, fear is not far.  Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. Isaiah 41:10 (NLT) The simple truth is fear is only an illusion. Yes, fear is there, but it is not real. It is false always contrary to the Word of God, fear is completely untrue. Fear is that common thread that runs through every excuse you have ever used not to do what God said. Fear goes beyond laziness, and is at the heart of your inability to move forward. Fear runs through every reason you never pursued your passion, or never finished writing your book, or never tried to obey God with all your heart. Many Christians are afraid of what they may have to give up, and others are afraid of what they might gain…either way FEAR is at the root of whatever is holding you back.

What are you afraid of?
Organizing the inside is about recognizing who God is, the Creator of the universe. The earth is His footstool. His greatness is too wonderful for us to understand. Now He is the One who has your back. Next you must realize who you are in Him. “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) You are His offspring. In other words, it is not the natural children who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring. Romans 9:8 (NIV) You are a child of, the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God,” 1 Timothy 1:17(JKV) What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Romans 8:31

Putting fear in its place.
Tomorrow, if the Lord is willing, we look at how to, put fear in its place, once and for all. Learning to trust God is a process, but the Holy Spirit will see you through. Jesus prayed, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”  Matthew 6:10  Day 203 we will look at what passion and fear has to do with what Jesus prayed.

Organizing the Inside – Day 133 Random Acts Of Obedience

7Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. ~Galatians 6:7-10

Missed Opportunity
Today, I was reminded of how important every opportunity to do a good deed is. We often find ourselves so busy living our marvelous lives that we forget to take advantage of the small opportunities to do good. Random acts of kindness are good, and we should take advantage each opportunity to show the love of Christ. But let’s consider for a moment, random acts of obedience.

Random acts of obedience
Today my phone rang and I had only a few seconds to shift my thinking and obey God. I’d always enjoyed receiving wrong number calls. Each time someone called my phone looking for someone other than me, I’d get so excited for the unexpected opportunity to tell them about Jesus. But somehow today I was so busy, so preoccupied with completing my project, that when a woman called my phone, to speak with her friend , only felt irritated. I felt that she’d interrupted me with her call. I promptly told her, “You have the wrong number.” She somehow insisted that she’d dialed the correct number and began to explain who gave her the number. Her strong accent only seemed to make me more determined to hurry her off the phone, because I could not clearly understand her and felt the conversation was fruitless. After a few more polite exchanges we ended our call, an immediately as the line disconnected, I realized what I had done. This woman insisted that she’d called the correct number and instead of me sharing the gospel with her as I’d done in the past; I missed out on a random act of obedience. I wondered why?

Have you ever felt like…YIKES, Lord I’m sorry?
I’m sure we all can acknowledge experiencing that sudden feeling of deep sadness and regret because of a missed opportunity. How did I miss this? How was I so busy with completing my project that I didn’t have a moment to share Christ with the stranger on the phone? Maybe she didn’t know Christ… Maybe this mistaken phone call was not a mistake at all. One thing I know for sure… Romans 8:28 is one hundred percent true. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Whether this wrong number was for me or for her, the fact that I’m reminded of my need for change, is enough to convince me that this phone call was likely meant for me, and many others who are called according to His purpose.

The next opportunity
I’m glad God’s forgiveness and compassion extends far beyond any façade to the root cause of sin. Being ready in season and out is a responsibility we each have as Christians; whether we are asked to suddenly explain our hope or a random act of obedience is presented. I know there will be other opportunities for a random act of obedience, because I asked for it. I’m convinced that next time I’ll be ready to instantaneously affirm my obedience.  Jesus didn’t miss any opportunities to obey God, because He remained one with God. The closer we are to God the less likely we are to need a moment to establish decisiveness. The next time I receive a wrong number call,  I’m determined to be sensitive enough to the Holy Spirit that obedience is an automatic response, no matter how busy I think I am.