Sometimes, certain aspects of our life don’t go “as planned” from our perspective. We catch ourselves feeling very overwhelmed by the uncertainty of the next step. We begin to feel restless in believing that God will guide us to where He wants us as we wait for His direction. When we feel quite stuck in the same place while wanting nothing more than to make progress, our thoughts can really be a burden to us, and cause us to lose our focus on Jesus. The thoughts that make us wonder whether we are doing the right thing or whether we are doing enough. The Bible calls for us to “be still” as we allow the One who reigns undefeated takes care of the mountains and the valleys. One problem with being still, especially for those of us who love to be in control (guilty here!!), is that we feel useless. Being still makes us feel as though we aren’t doing anything at all.
In living the faith life, we often boggle our minds with “what can I do?” to make things happen when God is simply telling us to pray, trust and wait on His next move. We may have the praying part down. We love to bring our needs to our Father in prayer, and of course we don’t mind expecting big things to come to pass. But when we are required to trust and wait for our miracle to come or our mountain to fall, our thoughts can quite literally keep us up at night and rob us of a very important essential thing…our peace.
Have you ever felt suspended in the timeline of your life? Like God has just left you hanging there; waiting for the next phase, step or season. I have been there, in fact, my family is right there right now. I’m a big picture kind of person. I’m a planner, thinker, and checklist kind of person. If you are the same, you can attest to the feeling of having to blindly trust in the Lord for His will to be done in your life when He doesn’t lay it all out there for you. Wouldn’t that just be amazing to open your calendar one day to find that God filled in all the dates? Unfortunately, He doesn’t work like that, BUT we can be confident that He does have it all figured out already.
As a very large ship glides across the vast ocean, it will encounter some pretty scary stuff. From terrifying weather to the great monsters of the sea, a ship’s captain must use certain tools to ensure the ship’s and its crew’s safety.
As a smaller fisherman’s boat sails along the water completing its tasks, vast winds can toss the boat from side to side.
Whether the boat is small or large and regardless of its purpose, all boats face winds and storms which forces them to release a very important and necessary tool- their anchor.
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When trials of life come at you, and you begin to feel stuck, as if everything or everyone around you looks to be progressing towards greater things, discouragement and fear are the most common tools Satan will use to try and defeat you. He wants nothing more than to make you feel like God has left you, abandoned you, or left you to fight your battles alone, but we must not forget these three things:
1. God has ALREADY won!
2. God will never leave us or forsake us!
3. We have a very powerful tool that Satan cannot withstand, and that is our praise!
I want to talk about that third thing, and what we must do before we release our praise in the midst of the storm. You have to understand that your praise, which is a form of thanksgiving, is one of the most powerful tools we have as believers, and it is one of the most effective things we can use while we are waiting for a particular season to come to an end. Once you begin to see and accept the fullness of your praise, you will begin to see God work in your life like you have never seen before. God takes our praise, and turns it into something greater! He appreciates our praise, especially when it is hardest to do! Hebrews 13:15 says that we should offer him a sacrifice of praise with our lips, and in verse 16 it says that God is pleased with such a sacrifice. In those moments of hardship where complain would be easier than praise, yet we choose to praise him anyways, blessing are released and God does the things that surprise us.
While you are fighting a battle and waiting for the mountain in front of you to be moved, praise will get you through. It will show God that you are surrendering all power over to him therefore you trust completely in his timing and plan. I believe in order to fully commit to praising him through the storm, you must pray the prayer that precedes your praise. It's more important than you think, but it's not exaggerated or dramatic (nothing ever has to be when it comes to our relationship with Christ).
Pray the prayer that precedes your praise!!
It means the prayer you pray with God that comes before you praise him for the miracle; it comes before you praise him for the break through.
When you're going through something difficult and you need a miracle; you need a prayer that will preceded your praise and then start praising. This step in your manifestation is crucial. It tells God that you’re ready, and it shows Satan you’re done! It’s time to see change. It’s time to see this trial come to pass!
writing down my thoughts or the things that happened to me, I began prayer journaling for the ones around me. One day, during my quiet time, I was asking the Lord to show me how to help others. I needed different ideas because at that time blessing others through monetary means was not an option, but I didn't want to sit there like a bump on a log and do nothing. I had a desire to bless the ones around me. I asked God to show me and direct me to different ways of helping other, and He simply responded with, "Pray for them."
It felt so small and, honestly, insignificant! I didn't like that answer very much, but as I began to do just what He said, I discovered something that I want to share with you now; something that I believe will make your waiting time a lot less difficult and a lot more encouraging.
As believers, we have all needed something from God, and it's promised to us that He will provide everything we need. Some of us need something that seems so big and out of reach; nearly impossible. For others, our needs may seem rather small, yet very important to our lives. We should keep in mind that our way of viewing situations where we call on the name of the Lord, is different than how God views them. Nothing is impossible for Him. Nothing! No matter how big or small our problems seem, He doesn't see them the way we do, and they are not surprising to Him like they may be to us. We have to keep this in mind WHILE we believe. There is something else we can do WHILE we are waiting that will take the bigness and urgency off of our problems while God does His thing. We can simply pray for others. Why? That's the question I asked God when He moved me to pray for other while I waited, and I received the answer by obeying.
Have you ever been apprehensive to give every part of yourself to the Lord? Uttering the words, "Have your way in me" is sometimes so difficult. If you're like me, you may find yourself asking Him other questions such as, "Can I please commit to something else?" or "Can I work on this part of my heart first?" But we all know that's not how our relationship with our Father works. Of course He is so, very patient with us when it comes to change, but if we want to live fully in Christ, we must allow Him to have His way in our lives and hearts.
Giving God full control allows us to become who we really are in Christ. When He has full control, His will sometimes directs us to do something that we may think is impossible or out of our reach. For those things He will never fail at giving us the guidance, direction and strength we need to proceed, but I believe some of the most life-changing, heart-wrentching, biggest steps He will require of us is the seemingly small, every day kind of directions that mold us into the image He has created us to be.
Yes, while they may be small tasks or alterations, they are flat out hard for us humans to do on our own!
Most of us probably don't like change or going against our routines. Those are the things that are hardest for me. I made a comment to a friend not too long ago that if something doesn't fit on my to-do list or in my calendar, it probably won't happen. A simple statement of truth to a close friend, yet it waned on my heart for a few days after I said it. When things happen like this, the best thing to do is take it to God. He lovingly showed me that this is not HIS way of living. When we plan our daily lives so that we don't have room to be flexible for Christ, we miss opportunities that He has for us. We may miss out on blessings (for others as well as for ourselves); we may miss learning a lesson God had intended for us; or we could be missing out on a key direction that would point us to fulfilling our destiny.
It stops you in your tracks when God has to redirect us away from something even when we didn't negativity intend to go that way, but I am so thankful that God is so loving to take the time to guide our steps in the way we should go, even in simple, every day things.
Author- Marianne Logan-Johnson
I wanted the create a space for encouragement. I have so much about parenting and momming to write about, but I will leave that for the other page on my website. This page is for those who need a pick-me-up to get them through their day. I will be posting mini devotionals that anyone, not just moms, can apply to their everyday lives, and see the positivity it adds to your day! I hope you enjoy, and get just as much encouragement out of these mini messages that I do! Happy reading!