living braver

one faith step at a time…


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Revision…

heart chain link fence pixa x     Ever felt like some chunk of your life needed a revision, a do-over? Maybe a regretted moment, an out of your control circumstance, a chapter needing to be rewritten.

It’s easy to get lost in the guilt of those moments needing revising, succumb to anger, give way to wanting to fix the past.

Maybe we aren’t supposed to linger in wanting the revision but ask our Father to change our vision, a new vision, to truly Re-Vision us. Looking beyond what we think shouldn’t have happened, what we think should happen now, or why we’re stuck because of it.

Re-Vision says I choose to see this through His eyes. Re-Vision says I trust He sees the whole picture not just this part. Re-Vision says I’m willing to let Him turn my longing for a do-over into beauty I may never see this side of eternity.

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“Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.” (1Corinthiiians 13:12 NLT)

Instead of living the shattered dream again and again we must Re-Vision to see beyond. There are no mistakes in the lives of those God loves, no surprises that caught Him off guard. Jesus never told us that this earthly life would be carefree, worry-free, absent of pain. In fact, He told us “…In this world you will have trouble.” (John 16:33b NIV)

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There is a beginning part to that verse and ending that I left off. They are what gives us new vision: “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace.” (John 16:33a NIV) Regardless all the trouble that sin has wrought in this world, peace in our soul is possible. When the peace of Jesus reigns we can loosen our grip on our vision for how things should be or could be.

The verse ends: “But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33c NIV) Oh, there is my Re-Vision. I can’t see how all this mess turns out, but I can take Him at His word that He can see forever. The enemy wants my vision clouded with what seems failure. My Savior says He works all things for good for those who trust in Him – Fix Your Eyes on Me…

dasy in orangey filed pixa x

 

 


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Resting…

stones autumn leaves pixa x     Turning from wrestling to resting started off with struggle but is now resulting in assurance…

Conflict is not something many of us enjoy – and though we may not seek it out, it is brought to us just the same. The enemy of our souls is at war and he knows his time is short. He delights in robbing us of all that is good – peace, joy, contentment. We have been told “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:12 NIV)

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Finding myself in that wrestling place, believing the condemning self-thoughts, bogged down with worry, and wondering how I could fix something, anything – I lost sight of who the enemy is and who my Defender is. You and I cannot fight alone against this dark world, but praise be to God we are never alone and “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.” (2Corinthians 10:4 NIV)

Divine power? The Spirit of Jesus living in us. The Word of God teaching, correcting, and encouraging us. The Father who makes all things work for the good of those who love Him. These are our weapons.

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The enemy absolutely delights in us losing sight of the One who never leaves our side. Even in the agony of what seems the worst possible outcome, the hurt burning so deep we feel we may melt away, the fear causing us to tremble – never lose sight, He is there. Yes, this world is full of the result of sin, but this is not all there is…

This temporary earth suit we’re in, this temporary loss of all that seems right – it’s part of the battle. There is great news indeed! At just the right time Jesus will return, we will be with Him, all that refuse Him will be no more, and all our stuff that bogs us down daily won’t even be a memory. This then is resting – in the everlasting arms that carry me now and someday will welcome me to eternity. He has promised, read it over and over again in His Word “The One who calls you is faithful and He will do it.” (1Thessalonians 5:24 NIV)

trees multi color pixa x


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Power Like…

rain boots and umbrella pixa x     Summer rain is different than other times of year rain… It’s urgent, and drenching…

Fear and dread, questioning and worry pound at us much the same way. Amazing how we can be raising hands in praise and then hearing that ‘in this world we will have trouble’ and say in our hearts ‘no, no – I can’t’…

Forgetting that we are absolutely right, we can’t… He can – because of the promise…’I will be with you’…

Before we run ahead of today we must walk with Him in each moment – otherwise we will be drenched with doubt, timid to move on. But He tells us “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline.” (2Timoty 1:7 NIV underline mine)

Oh that power, that is what I want to be drenched in. The urgent working of Him in all my little things and all my overwhelming things… “…His incomparably great power for us, who believe.” (Ephesians 1:19 NIV)

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Incomparably – immeasurably – unlimited – exceedingly  – GREAT POWER…for who? Us, who believe. Who believe when no one else can fathom why, who believe leaving behind any brokenness and straining towards today’s wholeness.

Emily P. Freeman recently said “May we remember to treat fear like an armed enemy, refusing to let him come into our homes, sit at our table, and feast on our hope. “I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the HOPE to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints.” (Ephesians 1:18 NIV caps mine)

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The eyes of our heart – that is how we must…trust Him – heart trust, hope in Him – heart hope, see Him – heart vision.

When the dark clouds have spent themselves leaving behind saturated ground, rays part the sky and puddles warm beckoning us to step into their warmth. Just like our Father beckons in the whisper, ‘I am with you to the very end of the age and forever…step with Me…’

 puddle with leaf pixa x


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One More Time…

childx    Ever seen a child thrilled with something simple like being swung around in a circle, or tossed up in the air, or awed by a ‘magic’ trick. The response is always ‘Do it again, do it again, one more time’…

There is hope for all our frailties – those times when we fall back into the old habits, know we shouldn’t but still do, thought we had moved on… f o r g i v e n e s s

There is hope for all the hurts others impose – those times when words cut deep, actions longed for don’t materialize, the judgment is crushing… f o r g i v e n e s s

Self or others – can we do it? Probably not…

Self: “As far as the east is from the west,” (that’s forever far from) “so far has He removed our transgressions” (the failures, the lapses, the self-condemnation) “from us.” (Psalm 102:12 NIV)

We, like children – Do it again, one more time, Oh how we need His f o r g i v e n e s s one more time…

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Others: Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another,” (instead of angry, instead of vengeful, instead of defeated) “just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:32 NLT)

Do it again, one more time, Oh how we need the grace to f o r g i v e one more time…

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Elisabeth Elliot, if you don’t know her story, you really should look it up – by His grace Mrs. Elliot turned evil to good by the simple, oh so complex word …f o r g i v e n e s s. Her secret: “Leave it all in the Hands that were wounded for you.”

Oh yes, we have forgotten one more time, that He who created our very breath, yes the One who took all unjustness for us, that His final request was F O R G I V E…

It flies in the face of all your pride
It moves away the mad inside
It’s always anger’s own worst enemy
Even when the jury and the judge
Say you gotta right to hold a grudge
It’s the whisper in your ear saying ‘Set It Free’

 It’ll clear the bitterness away
It can even set a prisoner free
There is no end to what it’s power can do
So, let it go and be amazed
By what you see through eyes of grace
The prisoner that it really frees is you

(lyrics from Matthew West Song: Forgiveness, link to listen:

https://youtu.be/h1Lu5udXEZI )

  (If you stopped by because you read my devotion today over at Encouragement Cafe, WELCOME!   So glad you are here!)

flowerx


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October 14, 2014 ReNew Your Normal

heart&key2     Fear can become our ‘normal’. At each turn of our day we get into the routine of being ready to face fear. Almost holding our breath as we anticipate what’s next…

It becomes so normal for us that we don’t see we are in bondage – held prisoner or paralyzed unable to move without fear. And the enemy wants to keep us there…

For some captivity in fear is a result of bad choices along the way – to the point we don’t think we can find our way back, nor do we feel we deserve to be allowed to walk away from the pit we feel we are in. The enemy shames us into believing this is the way it will always be and no one cares if we ever leave and return…

It’s time to re-new our normal “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12:2 NIV) Being in bondage to fear is not where God wants us to be and he offers freedom…

The key to freedom: forgiveness. Oh, you say, I am beyond forgiveness. Perhaps you feel no one on this earth will ever offer it, perhaps they never will. Or perhaps you say, oh I know I’m forgiven but I need to pay for my mistakes. Don’t forget Someone, Jesus, already paid. Forgiveness is God’s free gift.  His forgiveness is the biggest fearbuster there is.

Those who are saved forget to walk in freedom and instead allow the enemy to direct our steps of fear. Forgiveness, once accepted, can still be hard to live out, but by the transforming work of God and the renewing of our minds with His Word, we can walk braver into freedom away from the hold of fear…