Decision to change

so-if-you-dont-like-your-life-change-it-how-would-you-change-it-you-decide-theres-no-action-without-quote-1Yesterday’s post might have sounded harsh. While that wasn’t my intention, I am convinced that change will not happen until we decide to change. And we can’t decide to change until we start thinking about change.

I wish that I could live the abundant life that Christ gave me without me having to do  anything. It would be much easier if God just snapped his fingers and everything in my life changed. But it doesn’t happen that way. And you know why? Because I would lose my ever-loving mind! And I would always be afraid that I could lose it as quickly as I got it.

Picture this scenario…..

Y27e7a53525958b9a7e53f88bc9804c22ou get ready to go to bed with your life just as it is everyday. You know that tomorrow there will be laundry and dishes waiting for you when you wake up because you are just too tired to tackle them tonight. Your husband is laying in bed beside you watching some stupid television show with the volume turned up to concert levels. You can hear your kids arguing. And all you want is to get some sleep.a-stunning-picket-fencing-with-yellow-and-white-daisy-flower-also-fieldstone-paving-pathways-to-create-humble-atmosphere

You wake up in the next morning suddenly living in your spotless dream home  with the white picket fence. You feel and look like a million bucks. Your husband has suddenly morphed into  Prince Charming. Your children are acting like little angels.

And you don’t know what to do with yourself! The truth is that you can’t even really enjoy it because you know that tomorrow everything can go back to how it used to be.

This is why God allows us to participate in our own spiritual, relational, and physical transformation. He wants us to be able to enjoy the abundant life that Christ has promised. While He won’t snap his fingers and change everything,  we don’t have to do it on our own. God gives us more than enough grace to work through the changes that we need to make. He gives us wisdom to make better decisions and the self-control to follow through. He gives us peace that passes understanding. He gives us patience and perseverance to see it through. And He loves us with a perfect love that casts out all of our fear.

And all of these gifts come with the decision to change.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hard Testing

As I approach my 51st birthday, I feel that I want to share with you what God is speaking into my spirit instead of talking about weight loss and fitness…..
I’ve mentioned several times in the last few months that I’ve been reading the Complete Jewish Bible. Several weeks ago, I read the Lord’s Prayer  and noticed that Stern translates temptation into “hard testing.” And again, I noticed the same thing as I was reading Luke this morning.
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And do not lead us into hard testing but keep us safe from the Evil One.
For kingship, power and glory are yours forever. Amen.’ (Complete Jewish Bible)

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’ (NIV)

When he arrived, he said to them, “Pray that you won’t be put to the test.”
On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.”

For me this is powerful because I always wondered exactly what Jesus meant when he said don’t lead us into temptation. James 1:13 had taught me,

When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.”
For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;
And yet, Jesus taught us to pray that we not be led into temptation. I had finally settled on praying that Jesus not allow me to be led into temptation or allow temptation to lead me.  But I never, ever gave any thought to praying that  times of hard testing would not come my way. I guess I just thought that I needed to prove myself over and over by passing these tests. And when I failed those tests I was absolutely convinced that I had not only failed myself but had sorely disappointed my Heavenly Father.
Now, I’m certain that I’ve taken (and failed) far many more tests than I was ever meant to take because I wasn’t wise enough to pray that those times of hard testing would not come my way.

Now, I’m learning to pray that those times of testing not come my way. And if they show up as  a pop quiz that I’m given the grace to pass them quite easily.