“Keeping a smile on your face is a lot easier when God is in control and you believe it; Otherwise, you are in control and responsible for your own mess!” ~ Jon Barnes
“When you believe that God’s ideas are better than your’s, then you’ve arrived.”~Jon Barnes
God gave us free will, which means that we are free to carry out our own plans. Thing is, between the flesh, the world, and the opposition, we don’t always make the best decisions. If you’re tired of hitting your head against the wall, doing things that don’t give you peace or contentment, try letting God be your GPS.
Allowing God to direct your steps is like being in the driver’s seat of a self-operating vehicle. You first have to have the faith that God knows better than you. Then you have to let His will be done in lieu of your own. Friends, as a control freak, I completely understand how difficult that is.
God’s plan is way cooler, way better, way more Devine than anything we could ever cook up. It’s mustering up the faith and stillness to allow His Plan to work that is the hard part. When we understand that we must ignore our foolish plans and adopt His, God can work wonders in our lives.
Which ideas are you listening to?
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“Do your best to be even-keeled as life if full of hills, valleys, and plateaus. The only thing we can be sure of is that God is in the midst of it all.”~TB
Notice the patterns in life, things are always in motion, whether you like it or not. Good things happen, followed by bad things, followed by ok things, and so on and so on. When you rely on the understanding the world tries to give, you will be as helpless and unstable as a leaf in a severe wind. If you seek peace, get to know God. It is that relationship, and that relationship alone that can help you understand the tide of your life.
Instead of fighting the tide, learn to flow with it. God will teach you how to wade in the waters of life if you let Him. This starts by relinquishing what control you believe to have in this worlds. Friends, we control nothing and even the best laid plans can crumble. This shouldn’t scare you, no, instead rejoice in the Truth that the Hand of God is in all things. All things work for Him, so don’t push or pull in your life, but rather, go with the flow.
Are you going with the flow with God?
“Fortify your mind like the walls of Jericho, so that you will rely on God’s perfect peace in all of the relationships within your life.”~TB
When you’ve mastered your mind, you begin to understand how truly helpless you are without God. Friends, your foundation has to begin and end with Him. More to the point, loving God above all else is key to loving anyone at all! Experiencing God’s love informs you on how to properly love your brothers and sisters. You cannot truly love someone if you don’t know God’s love. His love is the only infinite and unyielding love there is! Mold your love after the love of Christ and watch how your relationships change. Because God freely loves and forgives, take those same principles and apply them to every relationship in your life. There will be times of mal-intent. There will be times of friendly fire. No matter the case, when God is first in your life, His Truth will reign supreme, giving you the peace and understanding of what it takes to truly love your neighbor.
If you love yourself more than you love God, it will show. But, what does that look like? You love yourself more than God when you allow the influence of external factors dictate your mindset, behavior, etc., overriding your connection to Him. Your mind left undisciplined, will lead you to believe that you are the master and commander of this show. Friends, don’t fall for the lies of your ego and the opposition. The devil knows how to use a weak-minded person and he will use you to cause destruction. Because you are weak, you will gladly participate in his foolishness, as you blindly do his bidding, causing chaos amongst God’s people. Fortunately for us, all things work for Christ and even in your weak-mindedness, God uses it to His benefit. Our strength lies in our weakness because God makes up the difference when we fall short. Remember who loved you first so that you rule your mind accordingly.
Are you giving your weak mind permission to wreak havoc in your life?
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“Fear of the Lord is Good. Fear of other things, not so much.”~TB
Growth over Comfort
There are practical fears and then fears that are so debilitating that they stop you in your tracks. Most common fears come from trying to control something that is out of your grasp. Friends, in any given situation, do what you can do, and let God handle the rest. Those times will probably call for you to step out in faith which is uncomfortable. Choose growth over comfort, as God is showing you how to rely on Him.
In His Hands
When you read the Bible, you will know that all things come from God and nothing is out of His domain. So, if that is the truth, why should any of us be afraid? If God has given you a task, be quick to finish so that your fears won’t hinder your movements. Fear is such a great tool for the enemy because it cripples the mind with minimal effort. Don’t let a virus in the mind corrupt the life that God has for you. Reconcile your fears and know that God is in control.
Are you at the wheel or is fear driving your vessel?
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“The devil thought that he could comprehend, crack, and conquer God’s unlimited power and control over Universal Customs, but he and his followers were cast out of Heaven like lightning from the sky.” ~ Jon Barnes
“We are not making plans, but exercising our options so that God can tell us what to do.” ~ Jon Barnes
1 Chronicles 20
David Captures Rabbah
Battles against Philistine Giants
“The light bulb clicks on eventually as you stay honest and true to God’s steps into doing the good work that He has for you to follow, by faith.” ~ Jon Barnes
The Doors Open
The Song of Deborah
when the people willingly offer themselves—
praise the Lord!
I, even I, will sing to[a] the Lord;
I will praise the Lord, the God of Israel, in song.
when you marched from the land of Edom,
the earth shook, the heavens poured,
the clouds poured down water.
5 The mountains quaked before the Lord, the One of Sinai,
before the Lord, the God of Israel.
in the days of Jael, the highways were abandoned;
travelers took to winding paths.
7 Villagers in Israel would not fight;
they held back until I, Deborah, arose,
until I arose, a mother in Israel.
8 God chose new leaders
when war came to the city gates,
but not a shield or spear was seen
among forty thousand in Israel.
9 My heart is with Israel’s princes,
with the willing volunteers among the people.
Praise the Lord!
sitting on your saddle blankets,
and you who walk along the road,
consider 11 the voice of the singers[b] at the watering places.
They recite the victories of the Lord,
the victories of his villagers in Israel.
went down to the city gates.
12 ‘Wake up, wake up, Deborah!
Wake up, wake up, break out in song!
Take captive your captives, son of Abinoam.’
the people of the Lord came down to me against the mighty.
14 Some came from Ephraim, whose roots were in Amalek;
Benjamin was with the people who followed you.
From Makir captains came down,
from Zebulun those who bear a commander’s[c] staff.
15 The princes of Issachar were with Deborah;
yes, Issachar was with Barak,
sent under his command into the valley.
In the districts of Reuben
there was much searching of heart.
16 Why did you stay among the sheep pens[d]
to hear the whistling for the flocks?
In the districts of Reuben
there was much searching of heart.
17 Gilead stayed beyond the Jordan.
And Dan, why did he linger by the ships?
Asher remained on the coast
and stayed in his coves.
18 The people of Zebulun risked their very lives;
so did Naphtali on the terraced fields.
the kings of Canaan fought.
At Taanach, by the waters of Megiddo,
they took no plunder of silver.
20 From the heavens the stars fought,
from their courses they fought against Sisera.
21 The river Kishon swept them away,
the age-old river, the river Kishon.
March on, my soul; be strong!
22 Then thundered the horses’ hooves—
galloping, galloping go his mighty steeds.
23 ‘Curse Meroz,’ said the angel of the Lord.
‘Curse its people bitterly,
because they did not come to help the Lord,
to help the Lord against the mighty.’
the wife of Heber the Kenite,
most blessed of tent-dwelling women.
25 He asked for water, and she gave him milk;
in a bowl fit for nobles she brought him curdled milk.
26 Her hand reached for the tent peg,
her right hand for the workman’s hammer.
She struck Sisera, she crushed his head,
she shattered and pierced his temple.
27 At her feet he sank,
he fell; there he lay.
At her feet he sank, he fell;
where he sank, there he fell—dead.
behind the lattice she cried out,
‘Why is his chariot so long in coming?
Why is the clatter of his chariots delayed?’
29 The wisest of her ladies answer her;
indeed, she keeps saying to herself,
30 ‘Are they not finding and dividing the spoils:
a woman or two for each man,
colorful garments as plunder for Sisera,
colorful garments embroidered,
highly embroidered garments for my neck—
all this as plunder?’
But may all who love you be like the sun
when it rises in its strength.”
“God’s timing is strategic and purposeful, so enjoy the beauty and opportunity of today and forget the anxiety of tomorrow.”
In the Now
Trials require us to fully rely on His plan, leaning on His understanding and not our own. Today you may be facing uncomfortable circumstances that may have you looking anxiously toward tomorrow. Remember, He sees you and He hears you. He know’s where you’ve been, where you are, and where you’re going. Be present, patient, and hopeful in each moment, taking comfort in the fact that enduring tough situations brings resilience, steadfastness, and is the key to walking through the fire unharmed. Our faith is tested, strengthened and ultimately renewed when we pass our Biblical exams. When you maintain your peace and joy in turbulent waters, you find the answers to the test, moving you forward in your journey with God.
Question of the day
Are you focused on controlling the Know or on finding joy in the Now?
“Self-control and restraint are tools you use, that allows the Good Work that you do for God to float through the air with no physical evidence, yet God’s Power is Felt.” ~ Jon Barnes