Organizing the Inside 365 Days

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

Archive for Religion & Spirituality

Organizing the Inside – Day 315 Just Let It Out

In your anger do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent. Selah Psalm 4:4 (NIV)

Allow God to renew your mind, but make sure you also release the unhealthy stress and pressure at the end of your day. I’m a firm believer that we should never take it home, but that is easier said than done.  Carrying around the frustration, or anger, embarrassment or anxiety that resulted from an intense business meeting or a highly emotional exchange is unhealthy. Perhaps this is why God’s Word tells us, “…and don’t sin by letting anger control you. Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry.”  Ephesians 4:26 (NLT) I think this can also be applied to other strong emotions that we experience in our everyday interactions with others. There is nothing abnormal about stress and anger, but when it comes we must not let it linger. Who among us has never been angry? Anger is likely not the problem, it’s how we deal with it and the reasons why it exists to begin with that is usually the problem.

Talking about it can sometimes help. Studies show that people who have a support system and share their feelings with a trusted friend add years to their life expectancy. It is said that people who have more close friends tend to live longer. The point is this; there is clear guidance in the Word of God about dealing with our emotions and not stuffing them down in an attempt to ignore the obvious. When you feel things are building up, as if you might go into complete emotional failure, do something about it. Be proactive when you feel frustration building. There is nothing ungodly about letting off steam, as long as you aren’t exploding in a way that hurts or offends those around you.

Keep God as your first line of defense against built up anger or stress. Telling Him how you feel and taking time to talk it through with the Lord will give you the release you need to keep your heart free. God and I have had many conversations that began in anger and ended with me laughing. I’ll ask Him things like, “Did you see how she acted?” and “Did you hear what they said?” The delayed realization that my trusted Friend and Savior is also omnipresent, has often provided a bit of comic relief. Once I get it all out I’m reminded, that of course He knows what happened. Find comfort by reminding yourself that not only does He see, our God sees and cares. Certain strong emotions and stress when left unchecked can cause problems down the road. Keeping a journal of your feelings is also another way to let it go. Whichever outlet you choose, a friend, prayer, or writing, just remember that your anger will never achieve God righteous purpose. (James 1:20) When it’s called for repent and ask for forgiveness.  (Psalm 139:1, 2) Keep stress and anger in its place; it belongs far away from your heart. Don’t grieve the Holy Spirit; deal with your strong emotions when they occur.

How do you handle the end of a long and stressful day?

Here is a simple and straight forward article about anger.

Organizing the Inside – Day 313 Let God Arise!

1May God arise, may his enemies be scattered; may his foes flee before him. 3But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful. 4Sing to God, sing praise to his name, extol him who rides on the clouds his name is the Lord and rejoice before him. Psalm 68::1, 3, 4 (NIV)

Rejoice! God is great.
Who would dare go against His majestic, awesome power? The foolish, which are lost in the way… those who have decided to take their own way and have ignored His precepts, statutes and commands. There is no one in heaven or earth greater than our God.

The Almighty stands Lord over His word.
God’s word is our compass, showing, guiding and keeping us on track.  If today you feel like maybe you have gotten off course, take a moment and ask God to help you get back on track.  He is always there; ready to meet your needs, ready to help in the time of trouble. He will always keep His promise.

Let’s be glad and rejoice in the power of His salvation!
There is no one greater than our God, therefore we can declare victory. Let God arise and may His enemies be scattered.

Organizing the Inside – Day 309 Shining the Light In You

17God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.18“There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. 19And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. 20All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. 21But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants. John 3:17-21 (NLT)

Those who believe in Jesus are not judged. By accepting God’s give of eternal life we are free from judgment. Believers are forgiven and made free from the sins of the past. They have been separated from the evil deeds of the past. Psalm 103:12 (NIV) As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. Those deeds are no longer remembered by God. For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” Hebrews 8:12 (NIV) Then he says, “I will never again remember their sins and lawless deeds.” Hebrews 10:17 (NLT)

No one living in darkness is happy or fulfilled. Deep down inside they are searching for more. The emptiness they experience each day is hidden by fake smiles and pride in material possessions and personal accomplishments. Many unbelievers flaunt the worthless gains of this life to justify their lust for riches and rejection of God’s way. Many believe that their lifestyle and material gain hold far more value than belief in someone other than themselves. Some have established their own limits for right and wrong, and like the rich young ruler they view their riches more valuable than the kingdom of God. (Matthew 19:21, 22)

Those who do not believe in Jesus have already been judged. Their evil deeds condemn them. Don’t be surprised or hurt by the unbeliever’s hatred for you. Don’t be hurt when your words of truth are not openly received by them. Those who choose to live life based upon their own selfish evil desires do not like light. They prefer to be left in darkness because your light, even your very presence often exposes and convicts their hearts of sin. You may not say a word against their sin, but your light is so bright they’d rather keep a distance. Continue to love and pray for them. Keep letting your light shine, it shows them that living in darkness is not the way. (1 Peter 2:12, Matthew 5:16)  Don’t lose hope in God’s ability to save them no matter how much darkness they seem to love.

Organizing the Inside – Day 302 So You Say God Is In Control

19Well then, you might say, “Why does God blame people for not responding? Haven’t they simply done what he makes them do?”
Romans 9:19 (NLT)

What a hard subject when you so often hear that “God is in control.” Is God in control or has He given us the freedom to choose?  We weren’t created to be robots, but surely we only chose Him because He chose us first. In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, Ephesians 1:11 (NIV)

So then why do we make plans? Why do you attempt to set goals to accomplish this or that only to find that your goals have led to a state of frustration and failure? If you’re constantly pushing yourself to do more to achieve more…more than other people, you probably find yourself too often perplexed and full of anxiety. There is nothing wrong with being highly motivated and willing to take the initiative when there’s a need. Just be careful as you go about making plans. (Not fearful, careful)

Here’s where you are going wrong; a simple adjustment will turn things around.  You make plans and then ask God to bless what you have decided to do.  Avoiding the misery that comes with failure is far more attainable than you may realize.  God will never force us to do anything that is not in our hearts to do.  When God hardened Pharaoh’s heart, was it not already Pharaoh’s intention to do things his own way? The point is we must want His will more than we want our own. Is your heart willing to yield?

Seeking His will before making plans is paramount to your success. When your heart is close to God, you’ll hear and know what His will is for your life, because He will guide you. For this God is our God forever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end. Psalm 48:14 (NIV) Then go ahead, make plans according to His will, not yours.  Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2 (NIV)

When making PLANS remember it starts with “P” PRAYER.

Organizing the Inside – Day 297 Shouldn’t We Just Ignore the Critics?

Have I now become your enemy because I am telling you the truth? Galatians 4:16 (NLT)

I’ve always been a firm believer of not listening to the critics. Then something I read gave me great pause and caused me to realize that all criticism is not bad (I just never liked it). If you ignore criticism, you will end in poverty and disgrace; if you accept correction, you will be honored. Proverbs 13:18 (NLT)

We call it constructive criticism and every once in a while a good step-on-my-toes-you-need-to-change piece of advice is just what I need to get my act together. The flesh doesn’t like it, not one bit. Accepting criticism is not always easy especially when it exposes something you’d just assume not to deal with. So how can you tell when criticism is constructive and not destructive?  It will take a bit of discernment, but by applying these questions you should be able to tell if the criticism you received is helpful. The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge; the ears of the wise seek it out. Proverbs 18:15 (NLT)

Discerning which criticism is worth listening to:

  1. If you heed to this advice it will change your life in a positive way.
  2. (My personal favorite) God has already told you and you kind of put off fixing the problem.
  3. If you heed to this advice it will help you maximize your potential by challenging you to dig deeper and stretch yourself.
  4. At first you may feel offended, but when you take time to honestly weigh the advice you realize heeding will likely make things better.
  5. Regardless of how you feel about the source, you know this is something that will help bring better balance in your life.
  6. By heeding to the advice, those around you will be blessed and this change is definitely a means of increasing the use of your gifts or talents.
  7. This advice fits appropriately into the vision that God has put on your heart.

Accept the truth gracefully.
Sometimes criticism is a type of forewarning that something in your life needs to change. The Holy Spirit will show you more clearly which type of criticism someone is giving. Better to be criticized by a wise person than to be praised by a fool. Ecclesiastes 7:5 (NLT) Having tough skin is an essential element if you ever intend to grow. The criticism needed to help you become who God has called you to be won’t always be easy to accept. There are certain vitamins that I take daily to supplement the nutrition I receive from my diet. Some of them are huge (the fish oil) and really hard to swallow. Nevertheless, since I want to reap the benefit of those costly clear pills, I grab some water, say a prayer and fight back the fear of it getting stuck in my throat and swallow.

Weigh the matter.
The next time you receive constructive criticism; don’t be afraid to let your guard down long enough to consider the information.  Should you conclude the criticism is negative or an attack on your character or positive outlook, simply drop it and move on.  Criticism that is invalid and undeserving should be considered like a curse upon the innocent. Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow, an undeserved curse will not land on its intended victim. Proverbs 26:2 (NLT) Don’t miss the opportunity to move closer to being the person God wants you to be, because advice came from an unlikely source. If God can use a donkey, He can certainly use Aunt Susie to get His point across. Weigh the matter, if it’s for you to receive then God will give you peace. Seize every opportunity to grow in your vision and the work you do for the kingdom of God. The change you need most may come by way of constructive criticism. If you listen to constructive criticism, you will be at home among the wise. Proverbs 15:31 (NLT)

Organizing the Inside – Day 293 No More Dark Corners

33“No one lights a lamp and then hides it or puts it under a basket.Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where its light can be seen by all who enter the house. 34“Your eye is a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is good, your whole body is filled with light. But when it is bad, your body is filled with darkness. 35Make sure that the light you think you have is not actually darkness. 36If 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 11:33-36 (NLT)

Darkness hides the truth.
What should one do about those dark corners? What about certain secrets that lurk deep within?  My heart is exposed and nothing is hidden from you, Oh God. Are there cobwebs building up in the corners of your heart?  Are there places where no one ever goes?

God sometimes requires transparency.
Do you always know how God wants to use your life and your testimony? God can use both the good and bad, that’s for sure. Should you hide certain things until your victory is secured? Too many are pretending that troubles don’t exist.  Many more are worried that their secret struggles which show a less than perfect life should never be shared. Whatever you’re going through is nothing new. The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NLT)

Ready for the Master’s use.
First Jesus reminds us to make sure that the light we think we have is truly light. From there we are encouraged to let the truth that we see in God’s Word shine like a floodlight in every dark corner, realizing that perfection, although worth striving for, will never be obtained in this life. Not until mortality puts on immortality will any man be made perfect. Until then our responsibility remains, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 (KJV) The truth is our testimony matters. The accuser is defeated, and there are many who overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony…Revelation 12:11a (NIV)

There is no doubt who wins in the end.
Perhaps it’s your struggle that will help your sister find the encouragement needed to move beyond her circumstances. I am writing to you who are mature in the faith because you know Christ, who existed from the beginning. I am writing to you who are young in the faith because you have won your battle with the evil one. 1 John 2:13 There is a purpose for everything we go through. Turn on the spiritual floodlight of God’s Word and allow Him to be glorified through your victory that surely has already been won.

 

Organizing the Inside – Day 241 I’ll Take The Pure Gospel of Truth

For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward. 2 Corinthians 1:12 (KJV)

Forget about it, just forget about it.
True peace can only be found through Jesus Christ. True peace is not something you can take a yoga class to attain. Even the most astute psychiatrist cannot help you find it. It cannot be found among the absence of noise. True peace is something that God gives as a result of one’s personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27 (KJV) The world would have you believe that peace is something you can find within your own intellect or ability to manipulate your spirituality to transcend all the confusion and chaos on earth. None of this is possible outside of a relationship with God. The plain and simple truth is that people spend billions of dollars and years searching for hidden secrets in broken vessels, when all along the answers they have need of are found in the Word of God.

There must be a greater sense of urgency to share the gospel.
Who can know God unless He reveals Himself to them? For if the trumpet gives an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself for the battle? 1 Corinthians 14:8 (KJV) If the gospel you share is not pure, if it is unclear to those who don’t believe, how will they detect the urgency of the time? As Christians we are responsible for going far beyond the feel good principles taught by many well-meaning church goers. There is nothing sinful about having happiness, but we can’t exchange our desire to make others feel good for the only thing that can save them. Holiness is not about smiling and making folks feel good; although living right before God, especially once you’ve been redeemed from a world of sin and filthy wickedness will put a smile upon your face. The great commission calls believers to share the unadulterated truth and there is but One, Jesus Christ Himself. For, I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes–the Jew first and also the Gentile. Romans 1:16 (NLT) So shall we support diverse lifestyles propped up by the “feel good” gospel in order to promote one’s own agenda? We must share the “full gospel” and it’s not full, if it’s watered down with human reasoning.

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 (NLT) There is a lot of noise out there on the internet, on the street, among believers and pagans alike. By seeking to know Him more and yielding on the inside we can clearly hear the sweet call of God; the call to live a pure life that is distinct, not filled with the distorted logic of men, but one that is rich and uncorrupted, where genuine peace resides.

Dear Lord, help me to stick with the true gospel, and indeed Lord forget about the rest. Help me not to worry about how many people are made to feel good or become highly motivated, unless they are motivated to love and serve you. Teach us your ways and lead us down the plain, uncomplicated path of truth for your name’s sake.

Organizing the Inside – Day 217 Answering The Call Of Wisdom

1Does not wisdom call out? Does not understanding raise her voice?  2On the heights along the way, where the paths meet, she takes her stand; 3beside the gates leading into the city, at the entrances, she cries aloud: 4“To you, O men, I call out; I raise my voice to all mankind.
5You who are simple, gain prudence; you who are foolish, gain understanding.  6Listen, for I have worthy things to say; I open my lips to speak what is right. 7My mouth speaks what is true, for my lips detest wickedness.  8All the words of my mouth are just; none of them is crooked or perverse. 9To the discerning all of them are right; they are faultless to those who have knowledge. 10Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold, 11for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her. 12“I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence; I possess knowledge and discretion.
Proverbs 8:1-12 (NIV)

I realized something that I’m not certain I clearly understood before; the value of wisdom.  God wants me to do my very best to gain wisdom and get understanding.  Wisdom is living the Word; it is putting into practice what you learn; knowledge being lived out in one’s life. I’ve come to understand that God sees wisdom as supreme. It ranks higher than many things that I’ve spent my time pursuing. While to some this may seem an elementary principle in the things of God; I am delighted to discover a much deeper truth behind this most important priority in my spiritual journey.

I want to invest more money, time, and focus in one thing that God has placed high value upon; wisdom and understanding.  Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom.  Though it cost all you have, get understanding.  Proverb 4:7 (NIV) This, for me adds considerably more value to a coach’s word, or a teacher’s insight, or a mother’s instructions that I did not fully embrace before.

I think life is so much more complicated because we don’t always choose the way of wisdom. You see Jesus is the wisdom in the book of Proverbs. As I look for ways to make my life simpler, I know that getting that which is supreme will help me avoid a lot of obstacles that most likely would have obscured my path. Today I answered the deeper call of wisdom.

Organizing the Inside – Day 177 Free to Be Completely Honest

1Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight!
2Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt, whose lives are lived in complete honesty!
~Psalm 32:1, 2

Is it possible to live a life free of guilt?  We all have made mistakes, poor choices and have even chosen to commit sin. Who can actually be found blameless?

You and I can because of Christ’s finished work at Calvary. Knowing God’s forgiveness and experiencing the cleansing power of His blood is not a license to sin.  On the contrary, knowing God and His love for us in spite of our past mistakes and sins gives us liberty and allows us to serve Him freely. David said, Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.” And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone. Psalm 32:5

We must leave the cluttered past behind
No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, Philippians 3:13
No matter what has happened in the past we are free from the guilt and shame of yesterday’s choices. The child of God who loves God does not just keep on sinning. “If you love me, obey my commandments. John 14:15 God wouldn’t ask us to do something that was not possible. He has given us victory over sin, therefore, We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the one who was born of God keeps him safe, and the evil one cannot harm him.1 John 5:18

When God is moving you forward
The enemy will try to bring up your past. He will attempt to remind you of anything that may cause you to want to give up. The devil wants you to deny God’s power and be afraid of failing. (read Luke 22:31, 32) We however have an advocate, My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous.1 John 2:1 Jesus is able to keep us from falling or failing. (read Jude 1:24)

We do have the power to live our lives in complete honesty.
It is God who enables us to walk blamelessly. We can live a life that glorifies God. We must allow His Word to purify our hearts, stop looking back and maintain a simple lifestyle that is uncomplicated by the cares of this world. The victory is yours, Jesus paid the price; now it’s up to you to live in grace and glorify God.

Organizing the Inside – Day 176 Something To Get Excited About!

17The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” 18He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. 20However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

21At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure. Luke 10:17-21 (NIV)

Consider what is most important.
The seventy-two disciples felt so excited that the demons obeyed them when they used the name of Jesus. We often get excited and it can be very exhilarating when we see the power of God working in our lives and in the lives of others through prayer. Jesus seemed pretty enthused that the disciples had discovered this wonderful truth about the power they had in His name. He underscored their excitement by telling them even more, about the power they had in His name. Jesus did however admonish them to put things in proper perspective. He told them not to rejoice because the demons obeyed; instead rejoice because their names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Jesus’ statement helps us realign our priorities by reminding us that while God’s power is awesome; the greater thing to get excited about is that we have eternal life. God’s power is ours and as His daughters we certainly have the supernatural authority to walk in it by faith. Let’s just remember as we go about setting captives free and undoing heavy burdens, to be mindful of the most important gift that God has given, the precious gift of salvation. How absolutely awesome is our God!