Organizing the Inside 365 Days

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

Archive for Religion and Spirituality

Organizing the Inside – Day 243 Keeping a Clear Focus On the Truth

1I solemnly urge you in the presence of God and Christ Jesus, who will someday judge the living and the dead when he appears to set up his Kingdom: 2Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching. 3For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. 4They will reject the truth and chase after myths. 5But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at telling others the Good News, and fully carry out the ministry God has given you. 2 Timothy 4:1-4 (NLT)

Will we have to give an account for our work?
Paul urges Timothy to be ready to preach the Word whether it was a convenient time or not. As Christians in today’s modern world we have that same responsibility. While exercising patience with new Christians or unbelievers it is important to share the truth. This should be the goal of every Christian. We are living in a time when the plain simple truth is just not what many people want to hear. Many are anxiously waiting, itching to hear something that will make them feel good about the lifestyle they’d rather live.  I’m convinced that many are far more in love with the world than God. It saddens me to see buildings filled with would-be worshipers who’d rather hear a message of prosperity than holiness. Paul shares how he had to deal with this in his last words to Timothy. Demas has deserted me because he loves the things of this life and has gone to Thessalonica. 2 Timothy 4:10 (NLT)

God wants our minds to stay clear.
Keeping a clear mind comes from a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Don’t override the message that comes to your heart from the Holy Spirit. The Word of God gives us a road map to live by. Our lives are guided by the principles of truth we find there. Paul urged Timothy to use the Word to correct, rebuke and encourage others. Jesus is the Word, and when we have a relationship with Him, the inner work of the Holy Spirit keeps us from going astray.

Here’s my personal temperature check.
Each time I recall this verse it puts things in proper perspective for me. This is my frequent, yet personal reality check, which keeps my heart focused. Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 1 John 2:15 (KJV) I love how this verse speaks to my heart, perhaps a tap upside the head to say, “Hey, what’s really important?” If you haven’t already done so, I encourage you to find your own reality check to keep you focused.

The church (body of Christ) needs believers who refuse to compromise the truth.
Are you fully carrying out the ministry God has given you?
Are you willing to take a less popular road and proclaim God’s righteous truth?
How much are you willing to suffer for the sake of the gospel?
What if everyone around you deserted you, would you still share the truth?

Organizing the Inside – Day 239 Prepare To Receive Your Dream

And Hezekiah rejoiced, and all the people, that God had prepared the people: for the thing was done suddenly. 2 Chronicles 29:36 (KJV)

Capitalize on every opportunity to glorify God.
It seems helpful to lay out my clothes the day before a big presentation. I have a long “must do” list to prepare. Now I study and practice, no matter how awesome I think I am. Years back, after the embarrassing flop that appeared to put listeners to sleep, I learned a hard lesson about planning and preparation. It is never an option to not prepare. Being over-confident is a lonely road back to reality. Being willing to do what God calls you to do is step one, but beyond that you must still prepare for the challenges that are ahead. Don’t ever assume that just because of your calling and gifts there is no need to prepare. Take it from me, BIG MISTAKE sister.
“And a servant who knows what the master wants, but isn’t prepared and doesn’t carry out those instructions, will be severely punished. Luke 12:47 (NLT) Shortly after my horrifying blunder I promised myself and God that not being prepared was behind me. Unless the stars fell from the sky, my middle name was “Prepared,” because I would never humiliate myself that way again. When we aren’t prepared we miss so many opportunities to glorify God.

You must prepare for your dream.
If you have asked God for something, you must prepare during the process. Most requests don’t happen instantaneously; there is a waiting period. Maximize this opportunity as your gift of time to prepare. If you are given everything you’ve believed for within 15 minutes of reading this, would you be ready to receive it; or would you suddenly find yourself scrambling to prepare? Don’t lose hope and begin to prepare and expect your dreams to come true. If you’ve stopped preparing, regroup and do those things that are necessary to get ready. Remember God has promised to give you and me the desires of our heart. So let’s remain in a state of readiness to receive the promises of God. We have come much too far to even consider turning back. Stand firm on His promises with the confidence of knowing, God’s power and provisions will always exceed our cleverness and our failures.

Let’s plan the work and then work the plan! Make a list of what you need to do to prepare yourself and those around you to receive the blessings that are surely on the way. Never lose sight of your dream, it very well may come suddenly; so take this time to prepare.

Organizing the Inside – Day 236 Take Time to Listen

Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. James 1:19 (NLT)

Slow down and listen.
It’s late Friday evening and you’re frustrated that you haven’t been able to head home from work yet. Your boss has now set you off with a comment he made about your schedule. You are all fired up and decide to not let him out of the office until he clarifies what he meant. Once you’ve calmed down you take time to listen to what he was trying to communicate earlier. Now you realize that the offensive comment (you thought you heard) was a complete misunderstanding.

The Holy Spirit is the Master Communicator.
Keeping the lines of communication with God open will help eliminate misunderstandings before they happen. The Holy Spirit really is our attitude regulator. As long as we keep our hearts in tune, we won’t unknowingly override His gentle promptings. O LORD, do good to those who are good, whose hearts are in tune with you. Psalm 125:4 (NLT) Misunderstandings often occur when we are too busy to pay full attention to what’s being said. The stress and tension that miscommunication can create may put a strain on even the strongest relationships. When you are feeling overwhelmed or agitated from the daily demands of your responsibilities, take a quick moment of reflection before engaging in a conversation you expect may be frustrating. By reflecting on God’s Word, you will be better prepared to resist the temptation to “jump to conclusions.” Don’t allow your day to be hijacked by a would-be joy robber, when God has given you the mind of Christ. The minute you start to feel your peace slip away, take a minute to ask the Holy Spirit to help you pull yourself together. Don’t wait until you’ve responded inappropriately before you consider correcting your disposition.

Be fully present and always show respect for others by caring enough to listen.
Life was not meant to be lived on autopilot. Heighten your sensitivity to the plight of the lost. View almost every conversation as a possible opportunity for ministry, especially when dealing with the unsaved. Your anger or unkind disposition will never achieve God’s righteous purpose, so keep defensive attitudes at bay. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires. James 1:20 (NLT) Inspire someone today by caring enough to take time to attentively listen.

Organizing the Inside – Day 230 God’s Gift Of Acceptance

5May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus. 6Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 7Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory.
Romans 15:5-7 (NLT)

Love is accepting of others.
Your boss is a kind man, but you only wish he’d stop wearing those brightly colored ties that always seem to make him look more like a clown than a serious businessman. You’re certain you’ll call a special meeting to correct this behavior, if he wears that orange and purple floral tie one more time. You thought about informing your girlfriend about how much you despise the way she takes far too long to choose between the salmon or the grilled chicken with her salad. Take a moment to reconsider.

Changing others is not what we’re called to do. The Holy Spirit is the teacher and God is the changer. He alone is the one who has the authority to determine what change if any is needed. Even when your heart is well-intended by trying to improve your boss’s appearance or end your friend’s indecisiveness, speaking up could cause harm to the relationship. Is this problem going to hurt or put someone in imminent danger? I highly doubt a psychedelic tie or an extra wait before placing an order will place anyone’s life in danger.

Acceptance is a better option.
Accepting and caring for others instead of controlling them, shows the love of God. Embracing the uniqueness of those around us will help expose them to the things of God. If we are always trying to change people, they may never experience the joy of receiving the gift of acceptance. Within each of us as human beings is a longing to be accepted. As children we wanted to be among the first picked to play on teams. In adulthood many of us are still seeking acceptance as we daily check in on Facebook to count the likes.

God’s acceptance of us.
Although many who’ve walked with the Lord have come to know the warmth, and security of His unconditional love, there are those who are still searching. By allowing others to be who they are we aren’t making provisions for wrongdoing, we are simply accepting them as they are. God didn’t expect us to clean up and get saved, before He saved us and cleaned us up. He reached down and pulled us out of sin.  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 (KJV)

Ease up on your suggestions for improvement. I suspect this is a slight character flaw that improves as we grow in grace. While having the unique ability to see what is wrong can be a tremendous strength in business and problem solving, this same strength tends to create a weakness in relationships. God gave man dominion over the earth, not over each other. …and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. Genesis 1:26 (KJV)

Trying to change others only adds stress and makes life complicated.  A great  way to simplify your life is to seek God’s help with whatever is happening on the inside that causes a tie or indecisive friend to be so irritating. Meanwhile, why not give the loving gift of acceptance, and avoid the temptation of trying to change others?

Organizing the Inside – Day 227 Take Time To Ask

29As Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him. 30Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”  31The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” 32Jesus stopped and called them. “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked. 33“Lord,” they answered, “we want our sight.” 34Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.
Matthew 20:29-34 (NLT)

I enjoy reading about the boldness and determination of the two blind men who paid no attention to the crowd telling them to be quiet. Actually they shouted all the louder, as they called out to the Lord for help. Jesus responded by asking them a question. Jesus knew exactly what they wanted. He also knew what they needed, yet He took time to ask them, “What do you want me to do for you?”  He’d just taught the disciples about service. (Matthew 20:20-28) The lesson continued with His example. He could have simply given the blind men what He knew they needed most, but instead He took the time to ask them about what they wanted.

Service is about giving people what they want.
Once we do, they will follow long enough to also discover what they need. Often I think we assume we know what someone needs and instead of taking the time to first find out what they want, we often just offer them what we think they ought to have. I find it interesting that many Christians seem so busy with their own agendas, that they don’t take time out to ask those they serve, “What do you want from me?” There are leaders who will tell you without blinking, “I already know what you need, and don’t have time to worry about what it is you think you want; so sit here while I tell you what you need to do.” They sometimes forget that they’re not the only ones with a special direct line to God. What arrogance is displayed by some who are supposed to be servants.

It wasn’t until the two blind men got what they wanted that they followed Jesus.
So much could be said about this last verse. Successful business leaders know that customer loyalty is created within a relationship of trust. When those you serve realize that you can and will give them what they want, then they trust you, and know that you care. Caring is what creates true loyalty in business and life. We love him, because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19 (KJV) A strong bond is established when a leader is humble enough to first find out what they can do for the people they serve. It’s important not to assume we know what someone else needs. Show how much you care by taking the time to ask the simple question, “What do you want me to do for you?”

Organizing the Inside – Day 199 Speak Words of Life and Live!

Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. Proverbs 18:21 (KJV)

The negative words you speak have negative consequences. Your negative words can destroy your relationships, confidence, progress, and even your dreams. You can absolutely talk yourself out of blessings and right into poverty and depression.

God made you in His image.
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness Genesis 1:26a (KJV) God spoke the world into existence and He did so by His Word. (read Genesis 1)  1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2The same was in the beginning with God. 3All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made. John 1:1-3 The same power to create that God used when He made the earth, lives on the inside of you if you are a believer. Therefore you must choose to season every conversation, even the private ones in your head, with positive words that bring life. You can bring life to a dead marriage, life to a dead business, life to any situation by speaking words of faith.

Speak life into your future.
Watch out for those defeating phrase that will only kill your vision. Many of them start out with, “I feel like…”  When you hear yourself starting to speak about how you feel, be aware – this is an old trick of the devil to keep you defeated. Your feelings have nothing to do with faith.

Exercise caution every time you speak.
It will take some practice; you can’t control your tongue, without the help of the Holy Spirit. Speak positive words of life, instead of speaking negative absolutes like:

  • “I always mess up.”
  • “I’ll never be able to do that.”
  • “I always feel like…”

Take a more positive approach.

  • “I always do a great job when I trust God.”
  • “I can do all things through Christ.”
  • “God is the same yesterday, today and forever.”

Even when you feel discouraged, especially when you feel discourage, speak words of life. The most powerful words of affirmation are those that include scripture, because they are full of life, truth, hope and faith. Make a list of positive words that you’ll practice speaking. Write them down on 3×5 cards and post them around your home, car, office and wherever you will see them regularly. When you see the card, speak the words! Discipline is making your flesh do something over and over again until it becomes an automatic response. Discipline your tongue regardless of how you feel. When the storms of life come and you feel like giving up, something on the inside of you will speak up and says, “I am more than a conqueror!” And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing; fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Philippians 4:8 (NLT) for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. Matthew 12:34b (KJV)

Really it all comes down to this: For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12 Meditate on God’s Word and allow it to regulate your heart, and then the words you speak will be words of life and love.

Organizing the Inside – Day 193 Ignoring Clutter Won’t Make It Go Away

We know that God’s children do not make a practice of sinning, for God’s Son holds them securely, and the evil one cannot touch them. 1 John 5:18 (NLT)

God’s light helps us get organized and clear out spiritual clutter.
As children of God we must be true to ourselves.  No one can have Christ and remain in darkness. Ignoring sin will not make it go away. Jesus makes the reality of this potential hazard apparent when He warns us that we should, “Make sure that the light you think you have is not actually darkness.” Luke 11:35 (NLT) This doesn’t mean as Christians we don’t make mistakes; what is does mean is this: Those who have been born into God’s family do not make a practice of sinning, because God’s life is in them. So they can’t keep on sinning, because they are children of God. 1 John 3:9 (NLT)

While these are elementary principles in Christian living, is it not true that many have confused the grace and patience of God with a self-proclaimed license to sin? We are no longer under the law; this is true. We don’t follow the letter of the law; we follow the law which is written in our hearts. If we obey one law, the rest are fulfilled. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. Deuteronomy 6:5 (NLT) The law has simply exposed the truth about sin and brings about a clear awareness of wrong. It is however the light, of God which is Jesus Christ Himself that enables us to let the floodlight shine in; avoiding completely the hidden dangers of secret sin.

15Well then, since God’s grace has set us free from the law, does that mean we can go on sinning? Of course not! 16Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living. Romans 6:15, 16 (NLT)

Is there one tiny closet that still has a bit of clutter?
Is there leftover clutter from a bad relationship or a really bad decision? Do you have a junk drawer of wrong that God wants you to allow Him to clean up and shine light upon? Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. Galatians 5:25 (NLT) Jesus gave His life for us to have complete freedom from desires and selfish ambitions that can control our lives. If you are filled with light, with no dark corners, then your whole life will be radiant, as though a floodlight were filling you with light.”  Luke 11:36 (NLT) It’s the same power that raised Jesus from the dead, which renders sin void; and gives us total victory through faith in Him. Let the love and light of God shine within; and may your whole life be radiant and glorify God!

 

Organizing the Inside – Day 187 Getting Your Prayer Life Organized

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.   
Philippians 4:6
(NLT)

One of the most powerful tool available in your quest to simplify your life is prayer.
Prayer is simply put, conversation with God.  Meditative prayer brings your heart and mind in line with the Word of God. Prayer brings about peace; it calms us. As you draw closer to God in prayer, He draws closer to you and that closeness can change the course of your day, really it can change the course of your life.  Take time to pray, God wants to chat with you.

You find time to chat with friends and coworkers.
Through IM, TM and email you discuss important events and share details about your problems or your personal woes. You find time to make a call while riding to work. Perhaps you pause (several times) throughout the day to check voice mail to find out if anyone had something they wanted to talk to you about. Why then do you not make conversation with God a regular part of your day? Daniel prayed three times a day and he set a great example for organizing your prayer life, by setting appointments to have the most important conversations of the day. You set your cell phone to alert you 10 minutes before an important meeting, why not set it to remind you 10 minutes before a prayer break?

Prayer should be the first response when life’s troubles intrude upon your day.
Have you ever had a sudden pain in your body and when it persisted you thought, “Boy, I better go talk to a doctor?” Think of the last time you received shocking news or experienced something you weren’t expecting like being laid off or good news like getting a bonus check. Was your first thought to call your spouse or phone a friend? God already knows what is going on in your life. He sees everything that you are going through, so while you may tell Him about your situation it’s definitely not the first time He is finding out about it.  He knew before it ever happened.  Nevertheless He still wants to hear all about it because He cares, and wants to help you. He also wants you to bring your problem to Him and leave it there.  Trusting God means having faith in Him and that comes through prayer and hearing the Word.
Also read Matthew 6:5-18

Organizing the Inside – Day 185 In His Name

27That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: 28For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.  ~Acts 17:27, 28 (KJV)

God set us up for success. He put everything in order and made sure we were in the right place. He did all this that we would have a chance at finding Him. While many of us have found Him, are we living in Him?  Almost every time I pray, I end it by saying “In Jesus name, Amen,” or “In the name of Your Son, Jesus I pray, Amen.”  I had to stop and ask myself, “What does that mean?”  “Am I really in Him, and if so, am I living and moving in Him?”  God desires to have an intimate relationship with each of us.  That’s why He put us in the place we needed to be to find Him.

It’s really not enough to sign-off at the end of every prayer in “Jesus name” that somehow saying this makes our prayer legit.  What makes our prayers legit is that we are in Him, therefore we have full rights and the authority to use that name, because we are His offspring (our hearts, minds, and being belong to Him). I don’t just want to have the privilege of using His name; like a miraculous signature at the end of my prayers. I also want to experience the privilege of living, being and moving in the One who rightfully owns that name, Jesus. Are you living in Him? Also read Acts 19:11-16 and John 14:13,14

Organizing the Inside – Day 179 Different By Choice…God’s

4Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, 5so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.

6In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. 7If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. 8If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.

9Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. 10Love each other with genuine affection and take delight in honoring each other. Romans 12:4-10 (NLT)

I think one of the biggest mistakes Christian women often make is trying to help God change another person. This is not exclusive to, but is particularly true for married women. We meet someone who is our opposite in so many ways. We are attracted to them because they have qualities we don’t, but perhaps wish we did. This is just one of those laws of nature, opposites attract. The problem begins after we’ve been with that person for so long that we begin to forget all those great qualities that attracted us to them to begin with; and we start trying to change them to be more like us.

My husband and I are probably a typical example of how this phenomenon works. I am obsessive compulsive about some things, okay about many things. When I first met my husband, JR it amazed me how someone could be so carefree about the simple things in life. He seemed have such freedom to enjoy simple things like a picnic in the park near the water. It was so refreshing to watch how he could fall asleep on the picnic blanket without having any worries about bugs, or other critters crawling up a shirt sleeve or even the birds perched in the trees above the food. While I am super-hyper conscious of bugs and germs, he seems to at times be totally oblivious to them. Well, all the admiration I had for his carefree lifestyle took flight; and reality set in once we got married. His carefree adorable qualities became a huge annoyance and my new life mission was to change him. All my vain attempts to scare him into changing with statistics on the types and varieties of germs were absolutely useless. He was not impressed, and eventually God had to show me that the change needed to happen with me, not JR.

I finally agreed to accept JR with his flawed views about germs and critters. I still sometimes bite my tongue when he does things that no bug fearing person (such as myself) would ever consider. It really wasn’t until I realized how ridiculous it was to try to change anyone to be like me, that I could let go of my ideal image of a perfect husband. More importantly the real change that needed to take place was in my willingness to accept people right where they are, for who they are, the way they are. God showed me that this applies to bugs, germs and anything else. As wonderful as we might think we are, this earth only needs one of each of us. God knew exactly what He was doing when He made each of us uniquely different. As members of the body of Christ we have an authentic role that is assigned by God. We each must allow God to help us flourish in our roles by using our talents, abilities, gifts and skills. Organizing the inside is about change; but that change begins and ends in us, not in the other person.