Don't allow the things, the goals, the accomplishments that you are striving for become your gods. Remember to always put the Father first. Seek Him and His way of doing things. Your way may be good and it may have worked over and over again in the past. But He may have a different route mapped out for you this time. You don't know the details, but He does. You don't see the big picture, but He does. There may be lives that are supposed to be touched on the route you are trying to avoid or haven't even considered. Seek Him for the what, the how, the when... for ALL the details. Divine appointments... not always about you being blessed. More often they are about you being a blessing to others. Sometimes when others simply see your commitment, your steadfastness, your unwavering love for God as you travel on your journey, it encourages others. Believers can take it up a notch and unbelievers take note and can see the realness in the relationship you have with God. Let your main focus and concern be about pleasing the Father. In doing that, all of the other things will fall into place.
Putting Things In Order
Praying for Our Children
We canNOT allow ourselves to be swayed away from what we believe, what we know as truth... God is faithful. Receive His peace and comfort as you cover sons and daughters in prayer. Release yourself, stop blaming yourself for things that are or were beyond your control. A special friend and I were talking on yesterday and we noted that we truly cannot override another person's will. Our children get to a point where they are determined, sometimes, to follow their own minds, wants, desires... We will continue to pray, declaring the Word over their lives, believing that what God says is true, and speaking forth grace and mercy as we anticipate them returning to what they know is true, right, and what they have been taught.
Let's choose to believe that what they are in the process of gathering info, experience, and insight for that testimony that is in the making. Let's choose to believe that what they are learning - even in their mis-steps, mistakes, and foolishness - will be turned for their good and they can reach back and minister to others based on what they are "learning" on their current detour. Let's continue to stand in expectation that they, like the prodigal son, will "come to themselves" and realize that they have wandered away from what was promised to them. In the meantime, let's praise our way through to victory! Celebrate NOW! Be encouraged... and don't stop praying! Thank God for the victory NOW
The Heart of Your Leader
When was the last time you actually prayed and asked God for the heart of your leader or to help you know and understand the person under whom you serve, work, or volunteer? The enemy cannot take advantage of situations when we are committed to not only pray for our leaders, but to also ask that we "know" their heart. Does that mean that we agree with everything? No. Does that mean that the decisions they make and the things they say and do are okay no matter what? Of course not. However, as we pray for our leaders, our perspective, outlook, and perceptions can change - even if the person doesn't change. We can view them through different "lenses" and see what was previously blocked from our "view" when we tended only to act and react on our natural senses.
If you know your leader has a "good" heart, good intentions, and is just trying to do the best job that they can, when situations arise, you are not so quick to jump to judgment, accusation, and resistance concerning them. No matter what, even in the most unpleasant situations, you and God are able to have a conversation, the gist of which is one where you are reassured that you "know his/her heart" and that they would not intentionally hurt, mislead, or take advantage of you. You are able to pray to God and ask for wisdom about how to handle things instead of flying off at the handle or speaking out of emotional reactions. You are able to stay calm.
If you know that your leader is not quite on point, lacking in some character and integrity areas, or are still a major work in progress -- we need to be real -- you are able to communicate with God about it and ask Him how are YOU supposed to handle the situation. You are able to ask Him to help you endure, to grace you with whatever it is that you need to not only survive the situation, but be a testimony to Him at the same time. We have to be reminded that we don't go through the things we go through just as a test for us to pass. Others watch and see what the reaction will be. I've failed quite a few times; said things, reacted, had that "look": on my face when I should have been asking God what do I do so others can see Him in the situation, in me, and in the outcome. If I am diligent with my prayers and am willing to listen, I can begin to see that person through God's eyes. It gives me a whole different perspective. Sometimes God will give you creative and humorous ways to deal the situations at hand. One of my favorite that I've shared with many people is, "Wonder what kind of child they were when they were in the third grade on the playground?" Sound silly? Hmmmmph! Works for me! I imagine the bossy ones, the controlling ones, the wimpy ones, the conceited ones, etc. and how they would act and interact with each other. Then I often say to myself that I probably wouldn't have played with them anyway! For me, it puts a whole new spin on things and makes me realize, once again, we are who we are for may different reasons, shaped by many different factors and experiences. Some of us just are not going to mesh in a way that is ideal. It is what it is... So we should just learn how to adapt, communicate with the Father on an ongoing basis, turning ALL of our cares over to Him knowing that He is concerned about EVERYTHING that concerns us, and keep it moving FORWARD!!!
Leaders don't always "deserve" the respect and honor that we are to give them. However, God knows that. We have an awesome example in the Bible when we look at the interaction between David and Saul. David respected the office, the position, that the king held though the king's character was the pits! He was jealous of David, tried to kill David, but needed David to help keep depression, despair, and gloom at bay. David could have taken care of the situation, eliminated the problem, and moved on with his life. Instead, he endured, respected, prayed... and God took care of the situation. Don't think that God doesn't know what you are going through if you are not in the best situation.
Additionally, know that God is aware when things aren't going quite right and you actually have a good leader with a great heart. Remember, the enemy does indeed come to kill, steal, and destroy -- ANYTHING he can! Be mindful of that and make the commitment to seek the Father and endeavor to do things His way. There is an awesome blessing in it, just because you choose to do things with God's heart, reflecting His character.
I have had experiences in the past that, in my opinion, would have taken many people under. But God's strength kept me and He showed me how to deal with those situations. It was not my job to fix things, to make it right, or to set the record straight. Some of those situations still have not been rectified. But I chose and still choose to do it God's way. I refuse to say or do things that would only make me look good or "set things straight" on my behalf. That's the stance I've taken and I believe that it is pleasing to the Father. I also believe He has helped me understand why things were said or done, because of the compassion He so freely gives to us to help us see and understand individuals from His vantage point. That's why offense is a choice... that's a whole different topic!
Things aren't perfect, people aren't perfect, departments and auxiliaries aren't perfect... but GOD knows all of the details. Making the commitment to be where God has placed you, to serve with the anointing and ability that God has available for you gives you such an awesome advantage. When things come up, when people bring information to you, when you see things that don't quite add up, it is so comforting to be able to say, "But I know his heart... I know her heart..." rather than to jump to conclusions, hop on the bandwagon, and commence to participate in murdering someone's character or reputations. OOOPS! Did I say that? Yup, I did! That's another topic, too!
Be encouraged as you strive to be that mighty weapon in the hand of God. Realize that each day affords us the opportunity to be an instrument, to be a light, and to be a testimony for others to view. God has already equipped you to be successful where you are. So take advantage of the provisions that have already made for you to be a reflection of Him as you act and interact with your leaders, and as you deal with the situations and circumstances that confront you. You are already a winner
Sometimes you have to check yourself to see if everything is still intact. The enemy will often decide to send a barrage of situations, circumstances, reports, and incidents your way in the hopes that you will fold under the pressure. When this occurs, we should do a "check" and make sure we are still standing tall, firm, and confidently on what the Word says about everything that is going on in our lives. We already know that we've won, but that doesn't mean things will be easy from the beginning of the race all the way to the finish line. Make sure, however, that you are mindful of the fact that though WE don't know what lies ahead along the way, our Father does and He's already taken care of the situation. That's where that trust factor really has to kick in. Relying on Him, knowing He will not leave us out there deserted, and seeking His wisdom concerning the situations will bring about the desired results; we will become equipped to complete the journey with boldness and in a way that brings God glory not only at the end, but as we make our way to the finish line.
Once we've checked everything, we should stand, and continue to stand with great expectation that the best is yet to come and this, too, shall pass. Let's GO!!!
Audrea Winbush Lott