Amen, Let's Go!

Inspiring myself and others to be audacious, relentless, passionate and voracious in our love for the Word of God

I Will Never

I have issues.  Lots of them.  And here’s the thing about issues: the more I surrender to God, the more of them I notice.  And here’s the thing about God:  the more I surrender to God, the more He makes sure I notice.

When I was young, and young in my walk, I would occasionally stand on ceremony that “I will never…!”

“I will never be a teacher” (a regular topic because most of my friends wanted to be teachers). 

“I will never have kids” (a regular topic because most of my friends somehow knew exactly how many kids they would have, the gender and birth order of each, and had named them all). 

“I will never live in the desert” (not a regular topic, but an obvious and very reasonable assertion for a mountain kid!). 

As I have matured in my walk with Christ, I have come to the conclusion that the instant my lips project the words “I will never”, God accepts the challenge.  I’m reasonably sure that He considers those words to be the outward confession of ugly issues that must be exposed and ridded in order for my heart to be wholly His. 

And so the journey of sanctification begins.

God wants my heart above all else. When it’s barred up and entrenched in strongholds of arrogance, selfishness, greed, jealousy, stubbornness, defiance, anger, intolerance, bitterness, unforgiveness, conceit, vanity, laziness, strife, fear, insecurity, control, or any other ugly, Godless thing, there is no room for God.  

When I asserted that I would never be a teacher, really what is was saying was: I am destined for greater and more sophisticated importance than that.  I was standing firm on a stronghold of arrogance.

When I proclaimed I would never have kids, my selfishness was rearing its debilitating head; I couldn’t imagine sacrificing my wants and desires for anyone else.

When I adamantly protested I would never live in the desert I was stubbornly protecting my personal preferences and comfort zones.  There was no way I would agree to live in such a hostile environment where I couldn’t enjoy life easily and according to my whims. 

These things created a haven for sin that kept me separated from God.  He was, and is, very serious about dismantling these strongholds (Gal.5:1) so He can have my heart.

I once heard a pastor say that God’s love language is obedience.  The more I read His word, the more I believe this is true.  He asks repeatedly for our hearts to be obedient to Him. 

That’s the trouble with “I will never”.  Even if the actual words don’t ever escape our lips, we can still have attitudes, behaviors, or lifestyles that manifest “I will never”.  They are disobedient.  They tell God no. 

God fixed my “I will never” issue. 

He plucked me out of a job with a huge corporation and deposited me into a third and fourth grade classroom one week before the school year began.  I taught little kids in public school for 7 years.

I have two kids and I have stayed at home with them for 13 years.  I homeschool them both.

I have lived in the southern Arizona desert for almost 11 years.  That’s a lot of summers.  That’s a lot of hot.  That’s a lot of uncomfortable for a mountain kid.

I have had several other “I will never” thoughts and mindsets over the years, and God has graciously and patiently facilitated ways for me to surrender those.  I have finally learned.  God has captured my heart, and I do not want to tell him no.

Now I want my attitudes, behaviors and lifestyle to say “Here am I, Lord.  Send me.” (Is.6:8) I make a point to project those words to my God and my King.  Not so much because He needs to hear them, but because my heart needs to hear them. 

What words are being projected from your lips?  Are your attitudes, behaviors and lifestyle telling God yes or no?

Yes is the only answer!  Amen!  Let’s Go!

#amenletsgo   #hereami    #sendme    #yeslord

No Room For It

I don’t usually pay a lot of attention to the thoughts in my head as I fall out of bed in the early morning darkness and shuffle my way to the coffee pot with my eyes still closed.  It isn’t until I’m out in the driveway on my way to run, that I become conscious of what I’m thinking about.

Lately however, I’ve been battling a blanket of discouragement that I can’t get out from under.  This thing seems to just follow me around.  It covers everything; not just specific topics or certain people.  I cannot understand where it comes from or why I have it.  It’s a heavy, hot, encumbrance that I am ready to ditch!

I know my mind can inflate this and make the discouragement seem much larger than it really is.  If I entertain it, examine it, analyze it, or start believing any part of it, discouragement quickly multiplies itself into defeat, failure and depression. (2Cor.10:5)

I know I need to pay attention to my thoughts and think about the things that are true, honorable, excellent, worth repeating, encouraging, and praiseworthy. (Phil.4:8)  This takes a lot of focus and effort.  Lately, it seems to require my constant attention, and I feel like I can never get a handle on it. 

That’s how I came to realize these thoughts of discouragement, defeat and failure are in my head very early, before my eyes are even really open, and certainly before any caffeine has come to my aid.  I feel it as soon as my alarm goes off. 

I realized that in the first 10 minutes I’m out of bed, and before I have even acknowledged any thought at all, I have already let that blanket of discouraging thoughts wrap around me.  Instead of wanting to run, I feel like going back to bed….not typical for a morning runner and definitely not typical for me!

Then I realized something else.  Part of my usual morning routine has been missing lately.  For as long as I can remember, it has been my habit to read my bible as soon as I get up and while I drink two cups of coffee.  Lately I’ve been trying to pray instead.  A good idea when I’m fully awake!  But in my sleepiness, my mind wanders, and my lack of focus ends in wrong thinking!

There is no way I am awake enough to actually “read” any better than I can pray at that time of the day!  So, what I mean when I say “read my bible” is, I read my favorite verses that I’ve highlighted and marked.  It takes less focus, but still fills my head full of what is true about me and my life, and reminds me I have a huge God who is in love with me! 

It is harder for discouragement, or any other ugly thing, to wrap around me when my mind is entertaining the excellent and true things God is telling me. 

I know I need this piece of my early morning back in place.  I know I need help capturing my thoughts and renewing my mind early (Eph.4:23).  So now before I go to bed, I open my bible to a favorite verse and leave it ready on the couch.  I drink my coffee as I read the Truth of the Word, and I stay out from under the lying blanket of discouraging thoughts 

I still have to focus and pay attention to what I’m thinking about as the day goes along, but starting the day with the right thoughts makes that so much easier! 

God is for me! (Rom.8:31) He loves me immeasurably! (Eph.3:19)  He has abundant blessings and goodness in store for me! (Eph.3:20)  There is no room for thoughts that lead to discouragement, defeat, failure, or depression!  I have a great big God, and what He says about me is all I want to be thinking about!  Amen!  Let’s Go!

#amenletsgo   #letsgo   #noroomfordiscouragement  #wordofgod  #truthofgod

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