Fixing our eyes on what is unseen….

himalayasThis morning as I was walking the kids to the bus stop, I caught a brief glimpse of the mountains, but then moments later they were no longer visible. When I got back to the house, I went up on the roof and there they were, just peeking out from above the clouds.

And I realized something.

The mountains are always there. They are.

But most of the time they are invisible to the human eye. Covered with smog and clouds. Yet they are there.

Then I was reminded that isn’t that just like God. He’s always there, but most times we can’t see Him because “life” covers Him up, kind of like the clouds.

Even more so His plans for our lives.

Every now and then He gives us a glimpse of what is next. Just a little view. Then when we can no longer see, He says follow Me.

Fifteen years ago had you told me when I married my husband, that we would move every couple of years, have children born in three different states, and live in two  different countries I would have told you that you were crazy.

If God had revealed all that to me then, I would have gone running in the opposite direction.

Which is why He is God and I’m not.

Which is why He only gives us a glimpse every now and then, but then desires that we just rest in Him and follow.

Along the way from there to here, then to now. There have been numerous bumps in the way, twisty paths, and curvy roads.

Here in Nepal to get anywhere, you have to wind around mountains, twisting, curvy roads. Sometimes it looks like you are going to go straight off the cliff, when all of a sudden, the road turns and up, up you go some more.

And this is the Christian life.

God doesn’t make the way clear, He doesn’t show us our final destination here on earth. He doesn’t tell us all the details. Yet, He is there with us.

When we struggle, when life doesn’t make sense, when we get discouraged, He gives us a glimpse of the mountains, a glimpse of what lies ahead.

Just enough to strengthen and encourage us. Just enough for us to take the next step of faith. Then He says “Follow Me, Trust Me.”

The Christian life is a journey of faith.

A journey that leads us places we never dreamed of going, leads us to do things we would never believed possible, and to be used of Him in ways unimaginable.

It is indeed the Great Adventure!

So remember when you’re in the valley, and you can’t see what is next. That God is there. You may not be able to see Him clearly or understand His Ways. Yet, He is there.

When you don’t understand, He will allow you to catch a glimpse of what He is doing, just Be still and Know He is God.

The beautiful Himalayas are always there, not always visible, yet there none the less.

Just as God is always there.

Rest in Him today!!

 

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What happened to your joy?!

joyAs I was studying Galatians 4 the other day, I could not seem to get past this verse. Though Paul was talking to the Galatian believers who had evidently lost their joy in the Lord, because they had enslaved themselves to following Jewish laws. It seemed as if God was asking me the question.

And I couldn’t help but remember the prayer David prayed… “Lord, restore unto me the joy of my salvation.”

For the church in Galatia, they had started out good,but somewhere along the way had bought into the lies that they had to do certain things to please God, and were so busy keeping the law, that they forgot about the grace.

I think this is often true of us as believers as well. Oh we start off well, we are on fire for Jesus. We can’t wait to tell anyone who will listen about our amazing God. We long to serve and do any and everything we can to honor God…..

But then time passes, the newness of life in Christ passes and before long if we are not careful, we have become just like the Galatians. Oh we still do what is right, what we are “suppose” to do. We go to church, we read our Bibles and even teach others… but we often do it because we somehow think we have to.

And we lose our joy.

In all other religions, the followers must do certain things, follow certain rules, work their way up the mountain to God. But with Christianity, God came down the mountain and He completed everything for us. All we must do is believe!

Yet many times, I meet people who are struggling to read their Bibles, struggling to spend time in prayer… are just burned out in their ministry (myself included). And I think it is first and foremost because we have enslaved ourselves to these things. And we do them not out of our overwhelming love for God. We do them because it’s what is expected of us and we feel we have to.

But there’s more…

Paul says you were enslaved to other things, things that weren’t gods at all.

And I’m reminded that one of the biggest stealers of the Christian’s joy is idols.

Now, living in Nepal, I see idols daily. I can go to the market and buy as many as I’d like. And many here worship these daily.

But for the Christian, this is not the idol I’m talking about.

The idols in the Christian’s life are the things that you and I put before God. The things we love more than Him. The things that when threatened we react to. Which is why John ends I John by saying, “Little children, keep yourselves from idols.”

Idols replace God.

Idols steal our joy.

And though we may not bow to them and worship them, they are sin against our God, who is a jealous God, who will not share His glory with anyone.

So let me ask you as the Lord has asked me… what has happened to your joy?

Have you forgotten your great salvation, forgotten who you are in Christ. Left the grace and begun to do only because you think you have to?

Are you putting anything before the Lord? I’m convinced that the believer’s number one idol is themselves.

We follow what we want to do, we go where we want to go, we allow our feelings to dictate our response, why because we love us more than we love God.

This was a hard lesson, hard to hear and much harder indeed to live.

Yet, I challenge you as the Lord has challenged me to remember your first love. Remember who you are in Christ (read Ephesians 1), dwell on the greatness and glory of God, know that you did nothing to deserve this great salvation and yet God has opened your eyes, though many others still do not know.

And second, ask God to reveal any idols in your life. Ask Him to show you what things you put before Him (even good things). Then pray and ask that He will help you to cast them aside.

Then I am convinced that the joy that is missing in your life, will return full and overflowing in the Lord!

Blessings from Nepal!

Seemingly Insignificant to the world….but esteemed by God

esteemed-by-godThis morning as I was reading through all the genealogies mentioned in I Chronicles, I couldn’t get passed the fact that God took the time to mention each and every name. Not only did He mention such names, He knew each person and saw every detail of their lives. Those who were gatekeepers, those who kept the utensils and were in charge of the furniture… He knew them each by name.

And though in the eyes of the world. the duties they had, the work they performed was seemingly insignificant. This same work was esteemed by God.

Too often in life, I believe we fall into Satan’s trap that says I have to, do something big for God, I have to be someone world known. We believe the lie that to please God we must do.

Yet, God isn’t pleased with us because of what we do. He is pleased with us because of whose we are!

The reality is God doesn’t need us to do anything for Him, yet He gives us the privilege to be apart of what He is doing.

Yet, the same one who is faithful to care for her husband and kids is just as valuable in the eyes of the Lord as the one who faithfully starts many churches or serves the orphans.

Because what is seemingly insignificant to the world is esteemed and valued by God.

What matters not is not what you do, so much as your faithfulness to be about what God has called you to.

If He has called you to serve Him by being a stay at home mom, you are esteemed by Him.

If He has called you to help clean the church, you are esteemed by Him.

If He has called you to be teacher, nurse, doctor, shopkeeper, writer… you are esteemed by Him.

If He has called you to serve Him as pastor, missionary or evangelist, you are esteemed by Him.

In whatever He has called you to, though it may not seem a big deal to the rest of the world… your faithfulness to do what He has said is of great value to Him.

You are a daughter of the King! When you were His enemy, when you served the god of this world, He rescued You in His great mercy and allowed you to see your need of Him.

Now He has adopted you as His own, you are His and He is pleased with you not because of what you do. He is pleased with you because you are His child!

Relish in this today! What a gracious and loving Father we serve!