Are you a member of The Church of the Wandering Heart?

Remember how much you loved Jesus when you first asked Him to be the Lord of your life? How hungry you were for the Word? And how your heart longed to let everyone around you know how much God loves them?

What happened? What distracted you? What seemed more fun, more exciting, more profitable? What was the hurt that caused you to distance yourself from the One who loves you?

In the book of Revelation, God tells the church;  I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. 

God wants hearts that are committed to Him. Hearts that are not enticed away by the flashy but worthless attractions of this world. Hearts that turn to Him when they are hurting, not blame Him for their troubles. 

The good news is that when we recognize our wandering heart, repent and return to God, there is no condemnation - only love and acceptance.

Dear One, return to your first love. 

He is waiting with open arms. 

Pray: Father, forgive my wandering heart. Restore to me the fire that once burned bright for you. Give me a hunger and thirst for your Word and a love for those around me that reflects your love for them. I am returning to you - my First Love. Amen

------------------------------------------------------- If you enjoyed this post, please feel free to share it with your friends using the Facebook, Twitter and other share buttons below. Thanks!

Restoring Intimacy with God

 "Draw near to God and He 
will draw near to you..." 
James 4:8 (NKJV)

I read these words in my morning devotional...

"Sometimes, the reason we lack intimacy with God is that we're in hiding. We might be hiding because of sin in our lives that we don't want to give up. Often, we are hiding because of a distance we've allowed as a result of something difficult we're experiencing. We allow distance because we're questioning God's love, his goodness, or his trustworthiness."  (Debbie Causey - North Point Community Church)

We all long for intimacy with God and why at times He seems so far away. Could it be that we are the ones who have distanced ourselves from Him, all the while craving intimacy with our Heavenly Father?

At some point, we have to decide whether the sin we don't want to acknowledge, much less give up is worth the lack of connection we feel to God. We will have to decide if distancing ourselves from God (perhaps unknowingly because He didn't "perform" in the way we wanted Him to) is worth the aching of our hearts to be close to Him.

Intimacy with God is the cry of every Believer's heart, but it's seldom God who has stepped back. Today, let's search our hearts and see if there is something that we have allowed to come between us, something that needs to be ripped out at the root, so that we are once again free to enjoy intimacy with the One who loves us above all else.

The Father says if we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us.

Take Him at His word.

If you enjoyed this post, please feel free to share it with your friends using the Facebook, Twitter and other share buttons below. Thanks!

How to Bless your Future Generations

We all want to leave a lasting legacy to our children, grandchildren and beyond.
Money is quickly gone, houses get sold, businesses eventually fold,
but the legacy of what it looks like to live your life in step with God,
prayers that cover them in every situation, and
words of encouragement and wisdom from God's Word
will stay with them forever.

That kind of example - walking on obedience to His word,
loving God and loving the people He created - all the people,
will bring blessings untold to your descendants.
What greater legacy could you leave them?

If you enjoyed this post, please feel free to share it with your friends using the Facebook, Twitter and other share buttons below. Thanks!

Trusting God Paid Off!

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
(Proverbs 3:5-6)

Several years ago, we had a credit card with a $4000 outstanding balance. (Mostly due to an expensive surgery.) We were appalled and determined to get it paid off as quickly as possible. We cut back on everything. My husband took on extra jobs. I created custom items and sold them online. It was hard work, but we eventually got that card balance down to $400. We had taken Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University and they had encouraged us to cut up our credit card, but I was afraid. What if we needed another surgery? What if our car broke down? What if something happened to a family member in Ohio and I had to fly home suddenly? I held onto the card.

Then several things happened - 3 more surgeries, multiple car breakdowns and family members that needed some help. Suddenly that credit card balance was almost $12,000 dollars! Appalled was not the word for what we felt - more like ashamed and panicked, wondering how in the world we would be able to ever pay this off.  

Then I received a statement that said if we paid $300 a month for the next 3 years, we could pay the card off in that amount of time. We were struggling just to make the minimum payments, so I couldn't imagine how we could afford $300 a month, but I felt God prompting me to trust Him. 

Took a leap of faith, cut the card in half, framed it and hung it on the wall, trusting God to help us make the large payments to pay the card off in 3 years. This week we made the final payment on the card! God came through every month and to our amazement we never needed a credit card even once during that time. Even more amazing, our car did break down, but each time we had the money to pay for it and just about the time we were sick of making repairs to it, we were given a car!. We did face another surgery, but we worked through the hospital to pay off our part without putting it on the card and without interest. I even made several trips to Ohio to help my mom after open heart surgery and just to visit, but I didn't have to pay for the tickets.

Trusting God definitely PAID OFF!

Do you have overwhelming credit card debt? Why not take a leap of faith. Cut the cards up and ask God to help you pay them off. 

Do you have a story of how God helped you out financially in an amazing way? Please share it in the comments. I'd love to celebrate God's goodness with you.

If you enjoyed this post, please feel free to share it with your friends using the Facebook, Twitter and other share buttons below. Thanks!

Praying with Confidence

Sometimes God's word doesn't seem to match up with my experiences and reality. At first glance, 1 John 5:14-15 appears to be one of those passages...

"14This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15And if we know that he hears us - whatever we ask - we know that we have what we asked of him."

It's easy for us to skim through verse 14 and jump to the promise of verse 15 - he hears us and we have what we asked of him, but not so fast. If you're anything like me, that's not always a reality. I don't get everything I pray for, do you? So, let's dig a little deeper into this passage.

First of all, I love the fact that we can have confidence in approaching God. That could not be possible if He had not loved us enough to send Jesus to bear our sins on the cross in order to open the door for a right relationship with Himself. (Thank you, God!) So, confidently I go into prayer, confident that he hears my prayers - that they do not bounce off the ceiling or fall on deaf ears, but are carefully monitored by him. I am praying heart-to-heart.

The hard part of verse 14 is praying according to his will, for we don't know how to pray as we ought (Romans 8:26).  Fortunately, God has given us His Spirit, who helps us to pray and intercedes for us as we pray. It is the Holy Spirit who knows God's will - knows God's thoughts (1 Corinthians 2:10-16). As we pray, we need to ask the Holy Spirit to help us pray according to God's will and He will do so.

Still, we are human and our own desires creep into our prayers, so in the end, after we have prayed  and shared our cares and requests with God, we need to acquiesce to His will in the matter, just as Jesus did in the Garden of Gethsemane (Luke 22:39-42) when He closed His own prayer to be released from the cross with, "Nevertheless, not my will, but thine be done." (Luke 22:42)  In doing this, we recognize and submit ourselves to the sovereignty of God.

So, pray with confidence, let your requests be made known to God (Philippians 4:6), then end your prayer by submitting to God's will over your own, because His will is perfect (Romans 12:2). After that, you can relax and let Him handle the situation. Receive His promise to fill you with His peace, which transcends all understanding and will guard your heart and mind (Philippians 4:7). I am assuming that means guarding your heart and mind against worry and anxiety, as mentioned in Philippians 4:6.

You prayed.
You put it in God's hands.
God's got it.
He will do what is best.
Rest in Him.

...and that's how you pray with CONFIDENCE!

If you enjoyed this post, please feel free to share it with your friends using the Facebook, Twitter and other share buttons below. Thanks!

How to Develop Intimacy with God

Exodus 33 records an amazing conversation between Moses and God...
12 Moses said to the Lord, “You have been telling me, ‘Lead these people,’but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. You have said, ‘I know you by name and you have found favor with me.’ 13 If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people.”
14 The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
15 Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. 16 How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?”
17 And the Lord said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked,because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.”
18 Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.”
19 And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.
Were you as astonished as I was at the boldness of Moses when speaking to the Lord? 

Where did this confidence come from? I believe the answer is found in verse 12 when God said...

"I know you by name and you have found favor with me."
Moses and God had an intimate relationship. That kind of relationship can only be developed after spending much time together, after displaying devotion and obedience to God, after walking with Him daily in a way that honors Him.

 Do you wish that you had that kind of relationship with God? I know I do and I'm willing to put in the time, live my life to the best of ability to please Him, cultivate intimacy with Him and listen hard for His directions for me.

There is no better pursuit that we can have then an intimate friendship with our Creator.

If you enjoyed this post, please feel free to share it with your friends using the Facebook, Twitter and other share buttons below. Thanks!