Lacking strength and feeling worn down

Are you lacking strength or feeling worn out? Then read this! I was given a word of prophecy and was confused by its meaning. The following is an excerpt from a prophecy given in February to me and my wife:

You both like to consider things a lot. You both can move slowly and methodically. And you can even go around the same mountain quite a lot until you can almost draw a map of your journeys. You are not people that make decisions and back away from them.

Digressing a bit, this last January I felt like God was impressing on me that this year was going to be a year of breakthrough for me. It was about a month before I received the prophecy. In March I switched shifts from swing shift to graveyard shift. It gave me time to pursue things. I felt like God impress on me to put him first, so I read through the New Testament in the first couple months. I then felt like I should start a blog, so I did. After that I didn’t feel any specific direction so I began reading Christian books along with the Bible. I sought out biblical teachings online to encourage myself and began praying for people around me for healing. I sought God for words of encouragement for people and gave them to people. My wife and I then started a Children’s Ministry at our church and the children began hearing from God. Things were going well.

Somewhere along the way I felt like I began to get tired. I was lacking strength. Sometimes it felt like I was winning, and other times it felt like I was losing. Somewhere along the way I began to not be so confident in the promises of God for my life. At some point I began to pursue God for direction, words, healing, etc., rather than for his presence. In that pursuit I lost the passion I had gained. The problem was that I didn’t see it. Whenever I would get to work and finish my initial work duties I would sit and check the sports scores. A still small voice in my head would say, “seek first the kingdom of God.” I would ignore it only seeking God when I needed something.

Thinking back on it, the picture of the Israelites walking in the wilderness and the thought of the mountain from the prophecy came to my mind. The Israelites came to God when they needed something. God always provided what they needed. The Bible says the ones who didn’t believe (or trust) in God’s word died in the wilderness.

That begs the question, “how do I increase my trust/faith/belief?” I believe there is more than one way which I have written about briefly before. One reference is Romans 10:17 “Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message heard through the word about Christ.” This scripture is a reference to earlier in the chapter where the Romans are told to share the gospel of Jesus with people using words. If they don’t use words people will not have the opportunity to respond. There is something about words being spoken and believing them.

I believe faith comes from hearing God’s word and believing it but there is more to it than that. Joshua and Caleb believed in the promise and in God’s word. Moses and Aaron weren’t able to enter the Promised Land because they faltered in their trust when Moses struck the rock at Meribah twice rather than speaking to it like God told Moses. There was a difference between Moses and Joshua which may have been spending time in God’s presence. The Bible says:

Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, just as a man speaks to his friend. When Moses returned to the camp, his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, would not depart from the tent. – Exodus 33:11

This was the tent of meeting where people would wait upon the Lord. Joshua was with Moses when God spoke to Moses. Joshua stayed at the tent in God’s presence. Moses left after speaking with God. I believe these encounters enabled Joshua to believe the promises of God in the face of opposition. This trust caused Joshua to obtain the promises Moses wasn’t able to obtain. There is a difference between seeking God for his presence and seeking God for wants/needs. Somewhere along the way Moses went from seeking God’s face to seeking his hand.

Now for a New Testament reference in Luke 5:16 “Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” There is definitely something that can be said for being alone in the presence of God.

This leads me to where I am now. Yesterday I decided to stop my other activities and pursuits until I felt like I was where I was supposed to be with God. I put on some worship music, read the bible, and listened to a couple messages. I then decided to literally lay down, doing nothing but listening. It was during this time of “pursuit” where I waited upon the Lord where he met me and gave me strength. I feel renewed. I am not longer lacking strength. My circumstances remain the same but I have a different perspective and am able to respond in faith/trust.

Those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary. Isaiah 40:31

We are fortunate that in the new covenant that even when we mess up, God’s grace is available to us through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Grace is an empowerment to receive what we don’t deserve. We can’t earn the promises of God, they are received through trusting (faith) the same way as they always have been received. Sometimes faith requires pursuing the promise and other times it is standing and watching God bring it to you. I have found both true in my own life.

Encouragement

If you are lacking strength I want to encourage you to seek God for his presence, not for strength. You will find both. I believe I am stepping into God’s promises. The saying, “seek God’s face, not his hand,” is what my journey around the mountain has been about. God has provided all of my needs and I have grown in the wilderness, but that isn’t where the promise is.

My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, LORD, I will seek.” – Psalm 27:8

God Bless! Thanks for taking the time to read this! Please share so others can be encouraged!

Speak Life Over Yourself!

It’s been a rough month for me. I have let myself down. Others have let me down. My expectations in many different areas of my life did not go as planned. I felt depressed and hopeless at many different points. It wasn’t just one thing; it was months of mostly unrelated situations piling on top of each other. I am coming out the other side. It is not because of my determination or my strength. It is because Continue reading “Speak Life Over Yourself!”

Co-labor with Christ: I’m not asking Jesus to take the wheel!

This past month I took some time off from work and fixed things around the house. I wasn’t inspired to write anything and didn’t take the time to put my thoughts into words, although God was speaking to me. God often stirs things inside of me and the picture isn’t quite clear at the moment. I have been pondering what it means to “co-labor with Christ.” Continue reading “Co-labor with Christ: I’m not asking Jesus to take the wheel!”

Witnessing a theft, idiots, and what’s in a name?

The Theft

As I walked my two oldest kids out of the door at the grocery store, we moved out of the way as a man wearing a hoodie squeezed by us. It was a bit unusual as the temperature was around 80 degrees. He was carrying a black bag that looked heavy. As he walked/jogged away toward a black lowered Honda Civic. Two men, who appeared to be employees from their name tags and clothing, came sprinting after the man in the hoodie yelling at him. Continue reading “Witnessing a theft, idiots, and what’s in a name?”

Lying to my wife

It was quite unexpected when I found myself lying to my wife. I am not in the habit of lying to my wife. As a matter of fact, I try to be as truthful as possible. I believe trust is something that is built and is foundational for a strong marriage.

It happened all of a sudden. My mind went from one thought to another and I was immediately deep in thought. My wife noticed and made a comment to the effect of, “I see you are deep in thought, what are you thinking about.” Continue reading “Lying to my wife”

Having confidence that you are where you are supposed to be.

As I was driving to work the thought came to my mind. How would I approach life differently if I had confidence that I was called to be where I am in life (at work, church, family, relationships, etc.)? What if I had a history of God being faithful to me and me to Him? If I knew God would take care of me financially would I stop striving? Would I stop worrying?

I knew I would be at peace if I had confidence that I am where I am supposed to be and doing what I am called to do at this time in my life. I felt like God spoke to my heart in that moment, Continue reading “Having confidence that you are where you are supposed to be.”

Mini Study: Replacing Faith with Trust?

Is there a difference between faith and trust? I viewed them both differently growing up. Faith was always somewhat mysterious and trust was connected to something. Do I have faith in God or do I trust him? Yes!

As I was reading through the New Testament I decided to read a couple versions at a time. My Bible App has the ability to see them both simultaneously. A friend suggested the Complete Jewish Bible (CJB). As it turns out, I was able to download it for my Bible App for free.

The CJB has a lot of names that I did not recognize. Matthew 1:2 starts with, “Avraham was the father of Yitz’chak.” I knew I needed a little help. I had my other translation open to either the New Century Version (NCV) or New International Version (NIV) depending on the night. Continue reading “Mini Study: Replacing Faith with Trust?”

Defining Moments: Asking my wife out and rejection!

I asked my wife Cayla to be my girlfriend about 10 years ago. She didn’t say yes, at least not immediately. God used the situation to heal rejection in my life.

After talking with her mother and getting the go ahead, I went for a walk with Cayla and her best friend. During the walk I asked her out. She didn’t give me an answer, although she thought she had. Our communication has progressed a lot since then!

The next 24 hours were a bit rough for me, but God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God. Continue reading “Defining Moments: Asking my wife out and rejection!”

Mini Study: What is Daily Bread and does God really speak to people daily?

In the middle of Jesus “Sermon on the Mount” He explains prayer and then gives an example of how to pray. Many people refer to the prayer as “The Lord’s Prayer.” In verse 7, which is before the prayer, Jesus says to not babble on but to get to the point when praying. Verse 8 then explains that the reason is because Father God already knows what we need before we ask. He wants us to ask because He wants to answer our prayer!  The prayer starts at verse 9 and goes through verse 13. There is an interesting portion about daily bread in the middle of the prayer:

Give us today our daily bread – Matthew 6:11

If Father God knows what we need, then Jesus prayer example that follows must be us asking Him for what we need. That would mean that daily bread is something we need, daily. But does God always speak to people daily? Continue reading “Mini Study: What is Daily Bread and does God really speak to people daily?”

Is God my single focus or are my circumstances?

I found myself encouraging a friend and I didn’t even know why. I wasn’t even sure they needed to hear it. After it happened I felt like I had been externally processing information that had been inside of me, which is not like me.

What I shared was how we can have righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit regardless of circumstances:

For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. – Romans 14:17

I then explained how it is not conditional. Peace doesn’t come once my enemies are defeated. It isn’t based on getting to a destination.  It is a destination in the midst of everything. Continue reading “Is God my single focus or are my circumstances?”