Trust and Obey … No other Way to be Happy!!

It is normally quite easy to trust God – after all He is the creator of all things, He is just and faithful, His loving-kindness does endure to all generations. But walking closely with the Lord, you are challenged constantly in your relationship with Him. His ways are not your ways, nor or His thoughts yours. As you walk in obedience, with the assurance that you will have your needs met, there are times when God’s method of meeting your needs does not line up with your logic and understanding. Think about our brother, Job.

God presented Job to the enemy as a sacrifice of faith – ‘The Lord said to Satan, “All right, do whatever you want with anything that he has, but don’t hurt Job himself.” Then Satan left the meeting. ‘ Job 1:12

In times like this, it is easy for us to dismiss hard times as a part of living and not recognize that they are tests of our obedience and devotion to Him. As a missionary, one of the hardest things that we do every day is depend upon the people of God to faithfully honor the financial commitments that they make; commitments that keep us on the field. We have found God to be faithful, but we have seen and are seeing more often nowadays moments when the faithful prove not to be so. Our temptation can be to just go return to ‘normal’ lives; or to feel like we are not fully supported because we have somehow failed both God and man. But as we look at the story of Job, we are reminded time and time again that God’s deepest desire is that we depend upon him desperately – yes DESPERATELY!

Desperation is such a difficult place, don’t you agree? But let’s return to Job’s story – at the end of it all in Job 42 – he says ‘“I know you can do everything. You make plans, and nothing can change or stop them. ‘ Job 42:2

When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will, He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.
Trust and obey, for there's no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

Yes indeed – a witness from a time long ago reminding us that even when the people of God are lulled into a sense of complacency and do not seem to be honoring God’s desire that we continue what we know God has called us to – we must never forget that God is in control and His plans cannot be thwarted.

As I started writing this post – I was feeling a bit discouraged – feeling a praise now coming up from within me that I just cannot keep to myself! Hallelujah! He Alone Is God! I’m singing right now:

'Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to take Him at His Word;
Just to rest upon His promise,
Just to know, "Thus saith the Lord!"
Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I've proved Him o'er and o'er;
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
Oh, for grace to trust Him more!
Oh, for grace to trust You more!

When The Holy Spirit Speaks

GodSpeaks

I’m extremely glad that my God cares for me and wants me to lead a life of victory! I am grateful that His desire for me is that I live fulfilled and free. More than that – I am overjoyed that He doesn’t leave me to my own devices, but has sent the Holy Spirit to guide me as I make choices about what to do in my life. The Holy Spirit speaks to me! Through The Word of God – He speaks! Through the people of God – He speaks! Through circumstances – He speaks! Through dreams and visions – He speaks! I have heard Him – because I am His beloved and I know His voice! Yes! God wants so much that I would hear from Him that He sent to me His Holy Spirit – who is always speaking, guiding, directing me in His way.

When He speaks — things happen!  Storms cease.  Problems are solved. Victories are won. Hopeless situations are revived. Dread turns into expectation.  Fear becomes courage. Darkness is run away by His light. Sickness makes way for healing.  Joy moves deep within my soul.  When He speaks – life happens – real life — the God life!

It seems an amazing and wonderful gift that my Lord and King desires that I hear His voice. Unlike earthly rulers, I don’t have to go through some secretary that does not care about me; or go through some burdensome protocol; or deal with the secret service. I can come into His presence and He will delight in speaking to me.  Knowing that He speaks to me has kept me from listening too intently to the noise in this world. People always have something to say about your life and what you should do with your life. Opinions – everyone has them, but God sent to me His Holy Spirit who does not share opinions … but TRUTH!

The Holy Spirit is a gentle guide and He is God’s delegate to us. His role is to ensure that we are on the path that God has set before us. The Holy Spirit will prompt us to cry out to God; and when we can’t come up with the words to say – He will interpret our longings to the Father in the language of the Trinity. The Holy Spirit will encourage us to live God’s way so that we will walk in the promises that God has for us. The Holy Spirit will empower us to live Holy and set apart in this world. The Holy Spirit will fit us for the work of the gospel.

God has planned for me a hope filled future, not a future filled with disaster and calamity … but, even hope filled – it would be impossible for me to walk in what He has for me in my own power. When He speaks, you will experience peace, clear direction and joy that is impossible to explain!  Don’t get lost in the words – the chatter – of this world.  He is speaking – He is guiding – He has not left you!  The Holy Spirit was not only sent to comfort us – but to guide us. He is ready and willing to guide you in the way that God would have you to go. Don’t depend upon your own understanding – you are sure to get it wrong! But He will not mislead you!

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Daily Quotes for This Week

  • SUNDAY – “I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality…. I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.” 
  • MONDAY – ” We have flown the air like birds and swum the sea like fishes, but have yet to learn the simple act of walking the earth like brothers.”
  • TUESDAY – ”I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality…. I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.” 
  • WEDNESDAY – “An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.”
  • THURSDAY – “He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love.”
  • FRIDAY – “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of convenience and comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
  • SATURDAY – “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Losing Sight of Me … Seeing Him

Christ follower has become the name by which Christians want to be identified … but are we really identified that way?? Do we truly see ourselves that way???

Our own interests – have they truly become as nothing?

Do we lay our own desires down on Sunday, only to return to the practice of tending to our own desires on Monday?

If I want to be a Christ follower, then the Kingdom of God must become EVERYTHING!

You see … we cannot satisfy ourselves and expect our souls to be satisfied BUT if the soul is happy, any difficulty or submission of the body will be bearable. He’s with us! Bearing our cross is the truth of being a disciple of Christ.

Following Christ costs us much ‘earthly’ ease and comfort, but the joy He gives is unspeakable and the peace He gives is so amazing we will not ever understand it.

Losing sight of our selves and gaining sight of Him within us is just a beautiful way to our true blessing.

Father, help me to know what it means to hide me behind The Cross. Help me, Lord, to move beyond that person I see in the mirror – and to open my heart to see the being that you have created. Help me, Lord, to give myself completely to what you have created me to be – and not to what I want to be. Help me, Father, to stand in victory over sin and not to fall into its hands. Help me, Father, to know that I am precious to You … precious to The Only One that matters in this entire world! Help me to truly walk by faith and not by sight so that I can be used completely for the sake of Your glory.

More Than Enough …

More Than Enough!! Wouldn’t that be a wonderful testimony for missionaries? For Global Workers in Africa, that is not the case. There is a need for more people. There is a need for more committed prayer teams. There is a need for more committed and larger financial support.

Lloyd and I were appointed with WorldVenture in 2002 – in all of that time have never, ever heard even one of these testimonies.

My husband’s quote is the absolute best at how to support the work of full time missions work, “PRAY. PAY. OR PACK!” Lloyd first said this about 17 years ago, in 2002, when he and I first started this journey. And these words are true. Global Missions ministry requires all of these.  

The people are bringing much more than enough for the construction work which the Lord commanded us to perform.” So Moses issued a command, and a proclamation was circulated throughout the camp, saying, “Let no man or woman any longer perform work for the contributions of the sanctuary.” Thus the people were restrained from bringing any more. For the material they had was sufficient and more than enough for all the work, to perform it.  Exodus 36: 5 – 7

In The Lord, we surely have more than enough … are you a part of that? Are you answering God’s call to “Pray. Pay. or Pack”? Our strong hope for our Global Workers in Africa are than they will one day be able to say:

Here’s what I do know: the missionaries that I know are some of the most gifted, anointed, talented, innovative people that I have ever known.  They are creatively sharing the truth of the Gospel with a dying world and suffering much loss in the process, however, they count the loss as nothing to even mention.  They don’t go to the field because of some warm fuzzy feeling that overtakes them – they go because the call of God compels them to go!  They are not beggars who come to your church or small group because there is no where else to go — they are sent ones who come to your church or small group because they know that just as they have answered the call to go; the Body of Christ must answer the call to participate by praying, participating and giving provisions.

In Exodus – when the people realized that God had placed among them gifted artisans/skilled people to do the work; they willingly brought their gifts so that the work could be completed – so much so that Moses had to tell them to stop bringing gifts.  It would be a beautiful thing if this would happen in the Body of Christ today.  The work is not done!  Not for those who are sent out – and not for those responsible for sending them.

What would it take for the Body of Christ to support missions in this way?  

I don’t know.  But my prayer is that it will be so.  

Lloyd and I serve as Global Ministries Director for 125 people serving in 13 countries across the continent of Africa.  Our role is to encourage, equip and empower them in all ways that the Lord leads. Click here to join our team.  Do you want to know who we serve? Click any of these country names to read great stories and to see how you might become a part of our More Than Enough!

WHERE WE ARE SERVING IN AFRICA