The Voice

7 01 2015

It happened more than twenty-five years ago. Someone showered criticism and flung shame at my heart. It stuck. Even now, I can still remember how the encounter made me feel about two inches tall. The echoes of that day still resonate within me.

We all have a voice in our heads. Someone who threw guilt, inadequacy, or less-than-good-enough in our direction. That voice has tremendous power to shape our steps, impact how we see ourselves in the mirror, and measure our self-worth. We enter a new day and the residue of those negative voices guide how we move, often times without us even realizing it.

It is then, perhaps, no accident that one of God’s most repeated commands is “Hear.” Throughout His Word, God repeatedly calls to the hearts of His people to listen. One of the primary commands contained in the Shema, the foundational truth of the Old Testament and the greatest command of the New Testament, begins, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” (Deuteronomy 6:4-5) God knows that the voices of the world are going to invade our heads. They will set up road blocks, make us feel unworthy, and prevent us from moving forward. The only way to defeat these voices to listen to His voice. To hear truth instead of lies. To listen to love rather than shame.

My Jesus Resolution today is to listen to God’s voice. I am always surprised by the pull the world’s words have on my heart. Too many times I let my need for approval, my desire to fit in, or my tendency to measure my value by what I see in others to play loud in my head. Letting God’s words fill me, allowing His voice to set the rhythm for my soul, is the only antidote to the poison of those painful words. Jesus will always speak the truth into my life, and that truth will transform me into a person fit for His glory.

Ten Minutes

5 01 2015

Can you think of something amazing that God has done for you? God is constantly moving on behalf of those He loves. He answers prayers, opens doors, provides help and healing, and reveals His glory. Sometimes it is easier to look back with twenty-twenty hindsight and see His fingerprints. Sometimes I am distracted, busy, worried, or stressed and miss Him. Sometimes I honestly don’t recognize amazing when I see it.

I want to develop new eyes this year. I want a heart more sensitive to His presence. I want ears more attuned to His voice. I want to experience all of the joy, provision, power, glory, protection, and love that He pours into every moment. The question is how do I learn to see?

It seems like it might be a complicated process considering how blind my heart tends to be, but perhaps it might be as easy as asking myself one simple question. What amazing thing as God done for me in the last ten minutes? Focusing on God’s movement in the here and now has the power to open my eyes and my heart. I don’t need to look for burning bushes or handwriting on the wall. Just the little, simple, ordinary things that God touches in the everyday – a hug, a sunrise, food on the table, a call from a friend, a pretty flower. These are all evidence of God moving in amazing ways for me and around me.

My Jesus Resolution today is to set my alarm for ten minutes past the hour. Once an hour I am going to stop and ask what amazing thing God has done for me in the last ten minutes. I want to learn to notice the way He touches my day. I want to get in the habit of celebrating His movement. I want the conversations around my dinner table to revolve around the amazing things God did for us during the day. I want to praise Him for filling the smallest blocks of time with His amazing presence. So tell me, what amazing thing has God done for you in the last ten minutes?

For You

2 01 2015

Well, it is the beginning of a new year. The pages on the calendar are still (relatively) blank. The year stretches out in front of us full of possibilities, opportunities we have yet to count, challenges we will face, struggles that will bring us to our knees, and surprises that will fill us with joy. We can plan, make resolutions, commit, and determine, but I know up front that my own strength is not going to be enough. Instead, my single resolution this year is to embrace a single truth, and let it carry me through each day.

“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” – Romans 8:31

God is for you. Those four words have immeasurable power. They mean you can’t be defeated. You can hold on to peace. You can experience joy. You have enough grace to make it. You can face the moment…yes, even that one. The world will stand up against you. There will be days when it feels like nothing or no one is on your side. You will fall, fail, and feel frustrated. Through everything, God is for you. He is on your side. He is rooting for you, moving on your behalf, and making a way. He will take the difficult moments, using them for His purpose and glory. He promises to use every moment you put in His hands to transform you into the image of Jesus. He allows our joys to be glimpses of how wonderful heaven will be. You don’t take one step through any day alone. He is for you. Holding onto that one truth will make all the difference this year.

My Jesus Resolution today is to let this truth soak deep down into my soul. God is for me. Say it aloud. Write it down. Post it on the mirror. Let it be the banner that flies over your heart during 2015. I don’t know what you are facing, or will face, this year. I do know that if I had the chance, I would look in your eyes, give you a hug, and speak these four words to your heart. God is for you. And because of that, we are going to have some amazing stories to tell as this year unfolds.