Rely Upon The Lord

Praise at sunsetThere are all sorts of activities seeking my attention every day. I can’t possibly avoid them all. I do think I can keep a proper perspective on all these shiny new objects clamoring for me to take a look. My attention is an important part of who I am. Who or What do I give attention too? I have 24 hours in the day and part of that I’m sleeping. I have to choose what to do with the hours of my day. I have the kind of job that can require a lot of intensity in short bursts and then it seems to slow down. I’ve learned the value of a steady investment into my business each day, even with the bursts of busyness.

I was reminded this morning that who I am and all that I do is really dependent upon the Lord. He is the Giver. He is the Comforter. He is the Prince of Peace. He is the Savior to the world. I must revisit my perspective of relying on Him very often. Check this out…

We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead. 10 And he did rescue us from mortal danger, and he will rescue us again. We have placed our confidence in him, and he will continue to rescue us. 11 And you are helping us by praying for us. Then many people will give thanks because God has graciously answered so many prayers for our safety. (2 Corinthians 1:8b-11 NLT)

I’ve tried things my own way and failed miserably. I have ignored His prompting and His direction for my life and had loads of regret. I believe that I need reminded often that relying upon Him is the most profound act of obedience for me. I can do nothing without Him. I used to think I could do nothing of “significance” without Him. I came to the conclusion after several attempts, on my own, that I can really do NOTHING without Him. I want my life to be in harmony with His Spirit inside me. I want the choices I face and the decisions I make to be wholly dependent upon Him. I depend confidently upon Him for each detail of my life. I rely on Him to help me be the best husband I can be. I rely on Him to help me be the best Dad I can be. I rely on Him to help me be the best friend I can be. I rely on Him to help me be the best REALTOR I can be. It’s not super complicated, in fact, it’s simple. I didn’t say it was easy, just simple. I’m leaning today into the two simple verses from Proverbs that speak to relying and trust upon the Lord. Check this out…

Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
    do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do,
    and he will show you which path to take. (Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT)

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Finding Rest

Business man relaxing having power nap outdoors with computer laptopSome days are quite long and stressful. I know that some people commute an hour or more and then put in a 10-hour day before driving an hour back home. I know what it’s like to work hard as my parents set an excellent example for me. I am learning about finding rest. I believe that there is a healthy balance with rest and work. I believe people who work too much without rest are less productive and their work product suffers.

David spoke right into my heart this morning as I read Psalm 62. Check this out…

Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
    my hope comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
    he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honor depend on God;
    he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Trust in him at all times, you people;
    pour out your hearts to him,
    for God is our refuge. (Psalm 62:5-8 NIV)

I’m still learning to depend upon the Lord. I’m learning that the things I do, the people I serve and the places I go are meant to bring honor to God. If I’m successful serving as a REALTOR, it’s because of Christ in me. He gives me rest daily. He relieves my stress daily. I can trust Him with the simplest or the most complex details.

I do wish that I would have learned this valuable lesson much earlier in my work life. I can do nothing without Him. The work I do matters when He’s leading me. He can give me insight into my work that no amount of education or experience can touch.

There have been times in my life when it seems like it’s coming apart at the seams. I feel pushed and pulled from every angle. I’m learning to trust Him no matter what the day brings. I’m determined to rest in Him in the middle of any storm that comes way. I must fight the noise of my busy life to find rest in Him.  This song came to mind this morning during my time of study and prayer. It’s called: “In The Eye of The Storm” by Ryan Stevenson. Here are the lyrics:

When the solid ground is falling out
From underneath my feet
Between the black skies and my red eyes
I can barely see
When I realize I’ve been let down by my friends and my family
I can hear the rain reminding me

In the eye of the storm, You remain in control
In the middle of the war, You guard my soul
You alone are the anchor, when my sails are torn
Your love surrounds, me in the eye of the storm

When my hopes and dreams are far from me 
And I’m running out of faith
I see the future I pictured slowly fade away
And when the tears of pain and heartache are pouring down my face
I find my peace in Jesus’ name

In the eye of the storm, You remain in control
In the middle of the war, You guard my soul
You alone are the anchor, when my sails are torn
Your love surrounds me, in the eye of the storm

When they let me go and I just don’t know 
How I’m gonna make ends meet
I did my best
Now I’m scared to death
That we might lose everything

And when a sickness takes my child away
And there’s nothing I can do
My only hope is to trust You
I trust You LORD

In the eye of the storm, You remain in control
In the middle of the war, You guard my soul
You alone are the anchor, when my sails are torn
Your love surrounds me, in the eye of the storm

_________________________________

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Determined Prayer

 

tired businessman rubbing his eyesI have had times of prayer over an event or decision that was very hard to work through. I remember with one particular decision, I was up praying in the middle of the night and I went to my computer and started writing out my prayer. I also started writing down the details about the weight of the decision. I remember very clearly deciding to leave this totally upon the Lord for Him to sort out. I was stressed. I was worried. I just didn’t know what to do. He directed my path and He answered my prayer according to His Will and His Purpose. I’m so thankful.

King Hezekiah was facing a huge threat to the kingdom of Judah. Sennacherib, King of Assyria had sent messengers telling Hezekiah what he was about to do. King Sennacherib defied the Lord God and ridiculed the people of God for following Him. Check this out…

14 Hezekiah received the letter from the messengers and read it. Then he went up to the temple of the Lord and spread it out before the Lord. 15 And Hezekiah prayed to the Lord: “Lord, the God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. 16 Give ear, Lord, and hear; open your eyes, Lord, and see; listen to the words Sennacherib has sent to ridicule the living God. (2 Kings 19:14-16 NIV)

I can imagine the king taking the parchments to the Temple and spreading them all out before the Lord. I think this is a good way to lay everything out before the Lord. I need to lay my budget before the Lord.

I need to lay my business plan before the Lord.

I need to lay everything in my life before the Lord.

Check this out….

7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7 NIV)

I’ve decided to worry less and pray a lot more. I can pray to the Lord about the most trivial decisions as well as the monumental ones. He wants all my stuff placed before Him and He will lead me through it. He will take all my worries and stress and let me relax and simply trust in Him. This is really an amazing way to face the life before me. I will confess that worry still creeps in, but I have to tell it where to go.

My help comes from the Lord.

My trust is in the Lord.

He’s got this – whatever “this” is.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Strength For The Fight

Man withstands moving downI sometimes try to imagine what some of our military men and women go through in fighting to protect the freedoms that I enjoy. I can hardly put my head around some of the conditions of the battle. I assume that there is an emotional/mental component of struggle from being away from home and loved ones. I also imagine that there is a big physical component to the battles or drills that they participate in for sure.

There was the death of the King of Ammonites and David sent a delegation to express his sympathy to the family and his son who was now king. The son obviously had some bad counsel and suspected David’s men as spies so he had half their bear cut off and he cut of part of their clothes exposing their backside – both of the actions were meant to humiliate the men. It really did humiliate the men and really sent David sideways too. He told Joab to go take care of business. Check this out…

9 Joab saw that there were battle lines in front of him and behind him; so he selected some of the best troops in Israel and deployed them against the Arameans. 10 He put the rest of the men under the command of Abishai his brother and deployed them against the Ammonites. 11 Joab said, ‘If the Arameans are too strong for me, then you are to come to my rescue; but if the Ammonites are too strong for you, then I will come to rescue you. 12 Be strong, and let us fight bravely for our people and the cities of our God. The Lord will do what is good in his sight.’ (2 Samuel 10:9-12 NIV)

That last verse jumped out and landed all over me this morning. I need to be encouraged to be strong and brave in the middle of personal struggles and suffering. There are times when suffering comes (and it’s never welcomed), that I have to walk through the struggle. I would be wise to quote Joab, the commander of David’s army – “be strong and let us fight bravely. . . The Lord will do what is good in His sight”.

As I live out my life today and every day, I want to see suffering and struggle as tools that the Lord can use to shape me. The enemy tries to use those things to destroy me, but God can use “all things for good”.   The apostle Paul reminds me that with the Holy Spirit in me, I can face whatever and be strong. Check this out…

31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all – how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died – more than that, who was raised to life – is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written: 

‘For your sake we face death all day long;

    we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.’

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:31-39 NIV)

He gives me the strength I need to push and fight through suffering, pain, grief and hardship.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Rely

Man praying with the BibleThis word implies trust and confidence. If I rely on someone, I’m trusting them or I have confidence in their ability to help. I rely on friends and family to talk too. I rely on the leaders of our country to make wise and discerning choices concerning all citizens. I rely on people and things all the time. I think it’s a synonym of depend. The people of Israel learned to rely on the Lord. Check this out….

20 In that day the remnant of Israel,
    the survivors of Jacob,
will no longer rely on him
    who struck them down
but will truly rely on the Lord,
    the Holy One of Israel. (Isaiah 10:20 NIV)

 

I am continually learning to RELY upon the Lord.

He is All Powerful.

He is All Present.

He is Faithful.

He is Forgiving.

He is Full of Love.

He is Full of Grace.

The Lord has never let me down. I’m learning to rely on Him for everything because He’s the Source of everything.

Pressing On!
Dwayne