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

Proactive Faith

 

Action Word on Red Round Button Be ProactiveThe word “proactive” means that I am thinking ahead and anticipating what might happen next. Dictionary.com says that it’s “serving to prepare for, intervene in, or control an expected occurrence or situation, especially a negative or difficult one; anticipatory”. I have given thought to what happens or could happen today or tomorrow. I have also thought about what happens at the end of my life. As I walk out my faith today, I am thinking through how proactive I’m being in my faith. It’s one thing to say I will follow the Lord and it’s another thing to do that every day. I think it takes proactive faith to be a follower of God.

Rehoboam was Solomon’s son and he succeeded him as king. He didn’t see to think through his decisions regarding his faith in God. Check this out…

1 After Rehoboam’s position as king was established and he had become strong, he and all Israel with him abandoned the law of the Lord.

14 He did evil because he had not set his heart on seeking the Lord. (2 Chronicles 12:1, 14 NIV)

I so want to set my heart on seeking the Lord. I don’t want to give up or give in to the temptations of this world to ignore His call upon my heart. I don’t ever want to abandon the Lord. In fact I am making it a daily priority in my life to seek the Lord early in the morning and therefore set the tone for my whole day. I used to be a passive follower of Jesus. I would call upon Him when I needed Him. I would go to church. I would pray prayers. I would sing songs. I wasn’t proactively seeking Him with my whole heart. There were way too many distractions ahead of my seeking Him. In the last several years of my life, I’ve gone about this differently. I’ve decided to seek the Lord above money, notoriety, friendship and success. I think this is the proper order for my life. Since getting this priority in order, I feel like He has blessed me in all the other areas. This is not “name it – claim it” thinking. I think I’m more relaxed and cleared headed about what the MAIN THING in life really is. If I’m not seeking the Lord proactively, the evil will show up in force at the door of my heart.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

In A Pinch

Businessman sinking in heap of documentsI have been in situations where I did not know how I would get out. I have been so broke that I wasn’t sure how I could make things work. When I went through a divorce nearly 25 years ago, I though my life was over. I was broken inside and wounded in ways that I thought I’d never recover. I remember crying out to God asking “Why?” and “Why me?” on many occasions. As I reflect on that painful time, I feel like I’m in such a different place spiritually since that dark time. I’m finally learning that I can talk to the Lord all the time, NOT just when I’m in a pinch. I will certainly talk to Him then, but I also think it’s important to talk to Him all the time. I feel like I’ve avoided a lot of “pinches” by seeking Him first, talking with Him and listening to Him.

The King of Israel had put together a coalition with the King of Judah and the King of Edom to teach the King of Moab and the Moabites a lesson. They had not prepared well and were just about to the land of Moab when they ran out of food and water. They were in a huge pinch. Check this out…

10 ‘What!’ exclaimed the king of Israel. ‘Has the Lord called us three kings together only to deliver us into the hands of Moab?’

11 But Jehoshaphat asked, ‘Is there no prophet of the Lord here, through whom we may enquire of the Lord?’

An officer of the king of Israel answered, ‘Elisha son of Shaphat is here. He used to pour water on the hands of Elijah.’

12 Jehoshaphat said, ‘The word of the Lord is with him.’ So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat and the king of Edom went down to him. (2 Kings 3:10-12 NIV)

I love the fact that Elisha’s reputation, as the king of Judah knew him as the personal servant to Elijah. The King of Judah also knew that “the Word of the Lord was with him”. These three kings were in a big pinch and God spoke to them through Elisha, the prophet.

I really want to avoid getting into pinches. I have been prompted by the Lord to do seemingly silly things like check my oil or change my tires and I’m convinced that His little promptings have helped me avoid more “pinches”.

I’m pretty confident that my life is more simple than most but at times it gets a little complicated and crazy. I simply want to go to the Lord every day and seek His counsel for my day. I want Him to help me head off “getting into a pinch”. I want Him to lead me out of a “pinch” and I know that He can help me avoid them too.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

First Things First

Pretty girl praying.I have a tendency to get excited and get ahead of myself. I have been learning since I’ve gotten older the value of seeking the counsel of God before I act or move. There are times He clearly has told me to move and there are times when He tells me to stand down.

I believe it’s important to ask God everything for sure. I think he has given me a lot of freedom and latitude in many areas where He has already spoken or it makes common sense to respond. For example, if I see a person in immediate trouble, the Lord doesn’t ask me to meditate and pray, He’s already wired this sort of rescue inside my heart. I want to help when I can help. Sometimes I ask Him to speak directly to me how much to give.

King Ahab, King of Israel was ready to go attack and take back Ramoth Gilead because according to Ahab it was territory. He reaches out to Jehoshaphat the King of Judah to ask him to go to war with them. Jehoshaphat had a good word. Check this out….

So he asked Jehoshaphat, ‘Will you go with me to fight against Ramoth Gilead?’

Jehoshaphat replied to the king of Israel, ‘I am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses.’ But Jehoshaphat also said to the king of Israel, ‘First seek the counsel of the Lord.’ (1 Kings 22:4-5 NIV)

I was impressed with the counsel of Jehoshaphat. This story is a good reminder that God cares about what goes on in my life. He gives me counsel as a husband and Dad. He gives me counsel as a REALTOR. He gives me counsel as a teacher. The Lord is generous with His Wisdom.

I want to make it a practice of ALWAYS asking God what to do in every situation.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Giving Angle

 

The Power of Sharing Billboard Message Donate Give Help OthersI’ve seen people who are amazing givers. They are wired to give of their time, their money but most importantly – themselves. These givers are generous from the top of their head to the bottom of their feet. People who give generously really love deeply. God loves generous givers because it’s part of Who He is.

Moses is finished setting up the tabernacle (aka tent of worship) and the leaders of each of the 12 family tribes brings gifts to the Lord in celebration of what He’s doing among them. Their gifts included silver plates, silver bowls, silver ladles and animals for burnt offering. The Lord was pleased with their giving. Now Moses enters the most holy place. Check this out…

89 When Moses entered the tent of meeting to speak with the Lord, he heard the voice speaking to him from between the two cherubim above the atonement cover on the ark of the covenant law. In this way the Lord spoke to him. (Numbers 7:89 NIV)

I’ve never heard the audible voice of God, but I’ve felt Him speak into my heart. In fact I believe the more I seek His heart, the more Present He becomes in my heart. I think it’s interesting that after Moses consecrates the tabernacle and the people give, He goes in to meet with God and hears Him speak.

I am really like God when I give generously and lavishly. He is so very generous in His giving to me. I could never out give Him. The more I learn about the Lord, the more I notice His giving – it’s in His DNA. I believe He wants giving to be in my DNA. Giving gives me an angle to see things from that I can’t get any other way. I believe that the Lord can lead and speak to me in many ways, but giving sets me up to hear clearly from Him.

Pressing On!

Dwayne