Your Authority. Your Joy.

Joy

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you know that it’s target audience is those of us who have a little trouble relinquishing control to God as we’ve decided to accept Christ into our lives. But in the opening manifesto on the first page of this blog it also says “This is a safe place to affirm your right to a certain level of control while emphasizing a responsibility to operate in prayerful obedience.” It is important that, as we remind ourselves we simply can’t control every single aspect of our lives, we also remind ourselves which things we actually can control.

There is often this misconception that after one yields personal power to God everything in their life should just begin to get more and more perfect as time progresses. That’s wildly false. One might even say that once you start to live your life with God at the forefront, life seems to make it a little bit harder to believe you’ve done the right thing. Just like anyone else, we’re all faced with daily challenges that can really make it difficult to enjoy life sometimes.

This is the day that the LORD has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Psalms 118:24

Today’s devotional is just a simple reminder that, while we can’t always controls what enters our daily lives and how it challenges us, we do have a responsibility not to forget who we are and who each day belongs to. The above verse is a reminder that each day that we are living belongs to God. No matter how it starts or finishes, God has the power and authority to orchestrate how today’s happenings can turn out for our good. In that we can rejoice, or have joy. We are allowed to and responsible for remembering that and if we can’t find any joy in anything else all day, we can be glad that the day doesn’t belong to whatever it is we are currently facing. This day, yesterday, tomorrow and beyond were given to us by God and belong to God.

Well why should we find joy in that when everything is falling apart? The answer is simply because of who we know God to be. God has told us many times in the bible that we are loved, that God is always with us, that God is constantly working with our best interest at heart, and so many other promises that indicate any day that we are given is a day we can look for God’s love. Any day that belongs to God is a day in which God can be found.

Even if today looks like it’s the worst day you’ve had, even if you’ve had a series of days that seem to suck the joy from your spirit, our joy is ours to control. The scripture doesn’t say for us to find something to make us joyful it just says that we will rejoice, meaning our circumstances are not in charge of our joy. We have authority over our joy and can rejoice whenever we want to. We don’t find joy, we find reasons to create it! So, let’s desire to take joy in today simply because we can!

Task:

Each time you are faced with a negative thought or situation, try to counter that with noting one thing that you can be happy about. It may be as simply as, my work day ends at 4pm and I can finally get some rest but find different ways to inspire joy in your attitude today. Don’t let your surroundings have control of your attitude. That is your authority.

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10 to the End Day 9: Call it What it Will Be

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In our battle with relinquishing control to God, there is good news for us! Although we have chosen to give God the ultimate power over our lives, God has chosen to give us access to the same power God has, simply because we have committed to a life of faith.As you’re preparing your plans for 2018 don’t forget the power you have that is given to us by God to manifest the vision we’ve been given in our lives, by the faith we have already claimed to have in God.

It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak…

2 Corinthians 4:12-13

In the bible, from the creation story, to the story of Jesus calming the storm, we are shown God’s ability to create, bring forth life, command an outcome by speaking. And because we believe, we must also recognize our access to the power to do the same. With this in mind, in the new year, we have to make it a habit to speak to ourselves and to our plans in a way that affirms this power. Whatever your plans are, as you are confident you have God’s blessing to pursue them, make sure that your speech, your prayers over them are positive affirmations. No more, “I hope,” “I wish,” “ifs,” and “I want.” Modify those to definitive statements based in your confidence in God and the power you have as a result of that.

Don’t speak things as though you hope for them to become, speak to your plans, your attitudes, your intentions, your daily struggles with the authority to call them what they will be, before you’ve ever seen any evidence of change.

Task:

  1. Write down the things you would like to accomplish in the most important areas of your life i.e. your professional life, your family life, your faith, your social life etc.
  2. look at what you’ve written down. Are there words of uncertainty? Have you included “I hope” “I wish”?
  3. Make each accomplishment into a powerful affirmation. (ex: Instead of “I hope to improve my financial stability,” say, “I will improve my financial stability.”)
  4. Post your affirmations in a place that you will have to see them each day. Read them aloud and believe them as you work toward the steps to bring them to fruition.

 

 

 

 

10 to the End Day 7: Let God Guide Your Plans.

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As a type A personality, you may have already planned past this step. You may have already written your plans for the coming year and set them into motion. However, one thing we should never lose sight of, is our purpose. It’s easy to make plans simply because they seem to make sense to us. To move forward with a job, or a relationship, or any other personal venture may be the most logical thing to us to pursue. But as followers of Christ, whether new to or mature in the lifestyle, we should remind ourselves that our purpose should be something that is in line with being an example for others of God’s love.

The bible reminds us in Matthew why it’s important to remember our purpose in making our plans.

Seek first the kingdom of heaven and all these things will be added unto you.

Matthew 6:33

If our main focus is to live a life that pleases God, all the things that we need and desire will be added to our lives. Now, this doesn’t always mean that everything you’ve planned with work out. It often means that the closer we get to God, we realize that our plans are not necessarily the same plans that God has for us, so our wants and needs will shift the more we desire a life that is based on a relationship with God.

We all have an individual purpose here on Earth as well, and we may not have all realized what that is for ourselves just yet. That’s ok. We all discover our purpose in our own time. In the meantime, I believe our purpose is always to love one another in a way that shows people how God loves us. That looks differently for everyone, but always includes doing for others.

So ask yourself,

  1. Do any of your plans benefit someone else other than yourself? Are you being charitable, uplifting someone else, assisting someone else in a goal or dream? This one may be something small or it may be something you pray about and let God reveal to you. Either way, we should always be planning to be a blessing to someone else while we are planning our own progression.
  2. Which of your goals or plans helps you to become more educated in your faith?
  3. Which of your goals or plans helps you to strengthen your relationship with God?
  4. Have I prayed about any of my plans?
  5. Have I paused to actually listen to God or look for signs of what God is guiding me to do?
  6. Am I possibly avoiding something that I don’t want to do, but am feeling lead to do?

It is very easy to be excited about planning for our future. It’s very common to be a little nervous about planning for the future. Hopefully, answering these questions help encourage you to seek God in all your plans, and not to just make plans and include God as you go.