In God I Trust

 

In God We Trust from the dollar billI heard a story about a guy who always stopped to pick up a penny, not because of its value, but because it has the words inscribed: “In God We Trust”.  I saw a penny on the ground a day or so after that and picked it up. It reminds me that I trust in God too. I’ve been through some hard and scary times in my life where trusting God didn’t seem like an option. I was desperate for His help and for Him to settle my heart.

David was running from Saul and desperate for God to protect him and lead him. He often writes from his personal perspective, but it speaks volumes to me about his relationship with God. I can relate to his fear as well as his faith. Sometimes the distance between fear and faith is very close. Check this out…

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.
    In God, whose word I praise—
in God I trust and am not afraid.
    What can mere mortals do to me?

Record my misery;
    list my tears on your scroll—
    are they not in your record?
Then my enemies will turn back
    when I call for help.
    By this I will know that God is for me.

10 In God, whose word I praise,
    in the Lord, whose word I praise—
11 in God I trust and am not afraid.
    What can man do to me?

12 I am under vows to you, my God;
    I will present my thank offerings to you.
13 For you have delivered me from death
    and my feet from stumbling,
that I may walk before God
    in the light of life. (Psalm 56:3-4, 8-13 NIV)

My fear is often a result of the present circumstances. When I have a moment to take a breath and get some perspective, it can change everything. My faith has grown deeper and stronger over the years because I was fearful and struggling when the Lord spoke into my heart. He came to comfort me. He brought peace to my very soul. I now have a track record with the Lord. I can’t lean on that because that’s in the past too – just like my stupid choices. I lean on Him today because He’s here with me. He speaks through His word today. My journey with the Lord is more real today than ever before because of my journey in His Word. My trust in God is stronger because I feel like I know His heart even better. I’m thankful beyond words for His patience with me – such grace. I’m thankful for His presence with me – so faithful. He has changed my entire perspective on life. In God I trust today and always.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Different Perspective

 

There are times when I keep looking at the situation the same way, no matter how many times I come back to it. However, a good friend or confidant might see things from a totally different perspective. I think it’s very wise to have multiple perspectives when dealing with a challenging situation that is way bigger than I can handle on my own.

Job has lost all his possessions, family and now his health. He is beyond distraught and He’s asked God to curse the day he was born. He has three “friends” who come to be with him during this very hard time. One of them attempts to give him a different perspective. Check this out…

2 ‘If someone ventures a word with you, will you be impatient?

    But who can keep from speaking?

3 Think how you have instructed many,

    how you have strengthened feeble hands.

4 Your words have supported those who stumbled;

    you have strengthened faltering knees.

5 But now trouble comes to you, and you are discouraged;

    it strikes you, and you are dismayed.

6 Should not your piety be your confidence

    and your blameless ways your hope? (Job 4:2-6 NIV)

I really need to see things from multiple angles when I can. It helps develop a healthier perspective of the issue at hand. This guy, Eliphaz the Temanite was reminding Job of what he had done in the past by helping others. In the middle of my struggle and pain, it is often difficult to have a different perspective, let alone several perspectives. I see perspective as a particular angle from which I see things.

I do think that when hearing different perspectives, we have to consider the journey of the friends who are sharing the different perspectives. There are times when my friend’s perspective may be skewed because they’ve been a life-long friend and can’t say what needs to be said. At other times, they speak into my life from their angle and it’s very sobering and spot on. I think that suffering and struggle can be used to bring glory and honor to God. He doesn’t leave me when I suffer and struggle. He is ALWAYS there to guard and guide my steps. The suffering sometimes screams so loud that I loose my memory of how powerful and protective the Lord is.

While I’m thankful for other perspective, I should pay closest attention to the Lord’s perspective. He knows what is best for me, because He built me. I want all that I am and all that I experience to bring honor to Him.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

A Different Perspective

 

woman creating a frame from fingersThere are times when I’m so engrossed in a situation that I can’t see a way to solve the issue. If I step back and look at it from a different perspective, I can usually work through it. There is almost always a different perspective. As I walk through the Word of God, I’m learning that there are many alternative perspectives from which to view most situations. There is my view based on past experience or simply seeing what I see. Then there is God’s view and He see’s past the exterior and goes right to the heart of the situation.

God’s perspective is clear when Samuel is sent to the home of Jesse from Bethlehem. He is to anoint one of Jesse’s sons as the next King of Israel. The Lord is clearly in charge and Samuel is being obedient to Him. When Samuel sees the first son, he things that this is the one. I’m sure he’s rugged, handsome and probably bold in appearance. The Lord made it clear that this wasn’t the chosen one. If fact the Lord reveals how He’s searching for a leader. Check this out…

7 But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’ (1 Samuel 16:7 NIV)

I must confess that when I shower, shave and get dressed to show houses today that I’m going to look in the mirror to make sure my appearance is as good as I can be. (I only have so much to work with! LOL) I do want to make a good first impression. I think what’s more important is that I’m taking time to let the Lord work on my heart. He’s is way more concerned with my devotion to His Way and His Word than my receding hairline or expanded mid-section. The Lord examines my heart all the time. In fact I don’t think there’s a moment that goes by that’s He letting slip by. One of the things I’ve noticed about my heart is that it’s flawed. I still allow sin to slip in and the Lord helps me push it right back out.

I’m pretty sure that people have passed judgment on my motives and decisions that I’ve made in the past. I’m probably not always right, but I sure try to be. I welcome any discussion about what I’m doing or why I’m doing it. I know that the Lord is holding me accountable for my “heart condition”. I welcome His work in me even though at times it’s difficult. I believe it’s the most important work I can do while I’m on this earth. My heart is His home. I would rather look like a pauper with a good heart than look incredibly successful with a diseased heart.

“Here’s my heart Lord – speak what is true!” (Here’s My Heart by David Crowder)

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Silent

girl gesturing silence saying shh using her hand - concept vectoThere is not a lot of silence in my world. It seems like everywhere I go has some noise. These things called notifications try to be subtle, but they are part of the noise.  In the mornings I like the quietness of my home. It’s not really silent as I hear the fan of the furnace and the noise of the coffee maker. I can also hear the hum of the refrigerator. I do like my quiet time with the Lord in the mornings. I always leave with some clearer perspective about the Lord and how He wants to move in my life. I think sometimes the noise of the day can crowd out my ability to think clearly and act wisely.

When it’s quiet I can hear clearer from the Lord.

When it’s quiet I can see His hand on my life.

When it’s quiet I can rest more completely in Him.

When it’s quiet I feel renewed, refreshed and ready to deal with the noise.

The nation of Israel was making final preparations for going into The Promised Land. Moses was giving them instructions of all sorts and then says be quiet. Check this out…

9 Then Moses and the Levitical priests said to all Israel, ‘Be silent, Israel, and listen! You have now become the people of the Lord your God. 10 Obey the Lord your God and follow his commands and decrees that I give you today.’ (Deuteronomy 27:9-10 NIV)

If will see my self as God’s kid, it changes my perspective on everything. I find hope and peace in knowing that I’m God’s kid. I don’t want to loose that perspective. I think my times of silence with Him, restores my perspective.

Being silent and listening is not expensive. It does take some time. I’m reminded to listen with my ears and my eyes as I walk through His Word.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Blessed

 

Count Your Blessings
There are times when I’m so busy walking through the pages of my life that I forget to stop and take a look back at where I’ve been. The past always looks so different from the angle of the present. I think it’s wise to evaluate where I’ve been to be better equipped for where I’m going.

When I look back at the blessing of God on my life, my heart becomes full of gratitude. Looking back I can see His hand at work – in fact His involvement in my past is clearer now that I see it from here.

The Lord gave His people three important feasts to celebrate their past. He is keeping the journey to the Promised Land in clear perspective. Check this out…

16 Three times a year all your men must appear before the Lord your God at the place he will choose: at the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the Festival of Weeks and the Festival of Tabernacles. No one should appear before the Lord empty-handed: 17 each of you must bring a gift in proportion to the way the Lord your God has blessed you. (Deuteronomy 16:16-17 NIV)

I can see my future so much clearer when I take a closer look at where I’ve come from. Sometime when I look back on my journey, I might just recalibrate the path I’m on in order to incorporate the lessons learned from my past that I might have overlooked.

Today and everyday that I take a look back, I notice the blessing of God. He was always there through the hard times; the suffering; the joys and the sorrow. His Presence is a huge game-changer as I walk through the ups and downs of life. I can’t imagine facing my future without Him.

I remember an old hymn that I learned at an early age called: Count Your Blessings. Here are the words to the chorus:

Count your blessings, name them one by one;

Count your blessings, see what God hath done;

Count your blessings, name them one by one;

Count your many blessings, see what God hath done. (1897 Johnson Oatman)

Reflection on my blessings in the past puts proper perspective on my present and helps shape my future.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Provision – Protection – Presence

Presence
I love to reflect as we enter the end of the year. I love to check on the lessons learned and the experiences learned from the “school of hard knocks”. There were some lessons that were painful and some that were expensive. I’m learning more and more to trust the Lord to lead me on through each day. If I will listen, He speaks. If I will notice, He shows me the way. I see His Provision in so many ways throughout the year. I also see His Protection as I had some close calls. I’m thankful that He shields me and shelters me from some pain and struggle.

The nation of Israel was close to going into the Promised Land that they were to inherit. Moses is reminding them of where they’ve been and how God has provided as they enter this next chapter of their lives. Check this out…

7 The Lord your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands. He has watched over your journey through this vast wilderness. These forty years the Lord your God has been with you, and you have not lacked anything. (Deuteronomy 2:7 NIV)

I’m thankful each day for the Lord’s Provision. He provides in ways that are often expected, but He also “blows it out” from other sources. His Provision is immeasurable. He also protects me with a fierce passion. I’m amazed at the crazy close calls and the safety reminders He whispers to me. It is a good practice to take time to reflect on His Provision & His Protection.

I also don’t want to miss His Presence. His Presence is directly related to Provision and Protection. I need to spend time in His Presence so that He can work in my heart. He molds my thoughts and they become activities that honor Him. His Presence settles my heart when I face struggles. His Presence not only brings peace, but His Presence brings power and confidence. He is the Creator of all that I see and know and He dwells inside my heart.

Provision

Protection

Presence

Power

Perspective

I know that there are lot more words I would use to describe Him that begin with other letters of the alphabet. These will be easy to recall throughout today. I’m so very thankful and blessed.

Pressing On!

Dwayne