Page 6 of 6

Peace Even During Difficulty

Nearly two years ago I was terminated from a job that I no longer felt joy in going to. Honestly I should have left a year and a half before. However, I stayed not listening to God, because I could not see how we could have all the luxuries we do now without it. I know it was selfish! It was a huge mistake and the mistake that I made (as unintentional as it was) was a huge blow to my character…so I thought.

What did I do when confronted with this blow? I spent the first week in the word NON STOP! I read books on dealing with rejection. I dove deeper into my Bible. I even pulled out my old study Bible from m when I first accepted Christ, at the age of eighteen. I played worship music for hours!!

Peace did not leave me in that transition. Why? I was ready to leave that job, I was the one holding onto it. It was my fault that I put myself into that situation. I was bound and determined that I was going to hold true to His Word. Romans 8: 28 says, “So we are convinced that every detail of our lives is continually woven together to fit into God’s perfect plan of bringing good into our lives, for we are his lovers who have been called to fulfill his designed purpose.”(TPT)

God was going to get the glory for this! I did not hide. I did not fall into depression. I did not blame anyone for my circumstances. Did I have moments? Um…I am not perfect, of course I did! They were only allowed to be moments though. Jesus left us a promise:

“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27)

People today define peace as long as things are going their way. We hear “World Peace” as in reference to ending of wars and no crime. Peace is defined in this manner as “Stress-free state of security and calmness that comes when there is no fighting or war.”

Jesus left us a supernatural peace though. A peace that will be there even in the midst of great difficulty.

2 Peter 1:2 (with emphasis added), “May grace (God’s unmerited favor demonstrated through power on your behalf) and a peace (a state of perfect well-being, all necessary good, all spiritual prosperity, and freedom from fears and agitating passions and moral conflicts) be multiplied to your through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.”

There was a time when Jesus was at peace and those that were with him were not. In Mark 4:35-40 we can see that Jesus is with the disciples on a boat and a storm comes up. Jesus, however, is sleeping through it… the disciples were not. Right away in verse thirty five Jesus tells them, “Let us cross over to the other side.” Then He grabs a pillow and takes a nap. Do you not think that Jesus knew that a storm was coming?

Do you not think that God knew a storm was going to come into your life? He knew I would be terminated. Why is is that when things like that happen we going into a lament and shout out to God “Why me?” Then we withhold ourselves thinking we will ease some stress.

I once read a tweet that said, “Today in church a Pastor said this: If you can trust a puzzle company to make sure every piece is in the box to complete the puzzle, then why can’t you trust God that every piece of your life is there for a reason?”

Ephesians 2:10, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

God knows the beginning to the end, not just about earth, but about our individual lives as well. Can I stand in peace through trials?

Lisa Bevere wrote a book called Without Rival. Here are a couple of quotes I pulled out during this time in my life: “Moses learned that destiny is revealed in seasons of confrontation rather than season for comfort.” “The anointing set you apart, but confrontations, storms and trials will set you up.”

“Moses learned that destiny is revealed in seasons of confrontation rather than season for comfort.”

Lisa Bevere

Remember that in times of trials you can hold onto His peace. You are not shouldering this alone.

1 Peter 5:7, “Pour out all your worries and stress upon him and leave them there, for he always tenderly cares for you.” (TPT) The New King James Version tells us to, “cast all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” Whether you lay it down, or you throw it to Him, He cares for us so much that we do not need to feel like the trials are just for us alone. He knows the path to go through them and He will walk every step with us, knowing this we can be at peace.

Draining Days

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, says the Lord.” (Isaiah 55:8 AMPC)

There are days where we allow our thoughts to get control of us. Then what becomes even more draining is when we allow others to tell us their thoughts.

It is so very important to surround yourself with people that will build you up. Job was a cheerleader to many, but those who he surrounded himself were not the same for him.

In Job 4 taken from the Message Translation, “You yourself have done this plenty of times, spoken words that clarify, encouraged those who were about to quit. Your words have put stumbling people on their feet, put fresh hope in people about to collapse. But now you’re the one in trouble – you’re hurting!”

Negative people drain me.

Job allowed himself to be surrounded with those that were speaking the problem. Those kind of people drain us. Find a way to get back to your Hiding Place. Negative people drain me. I have to get myself around some faith talkers. How can you spot a faith talker? When they are going through a hard time they have not stopped praising!

We have to do whatever it takes to get us to a place where we do not stop praising Him. My problems no longer are the biggest thing in my life. I no longer see those areas of lack. All I see is Jesus!

Job’s friends (and I have been guilty of this too) tried to explain God. There is no explaining God. There is no reason that we go through what we go through, other than the devil hates us. If he can get you off track, put you on pause, get you distracted, then he has done what he has set out to do.

Paul even says it himself, “But I need something more! For I know that law but still can’t keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time. It happens so regularly that it’s predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in the delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge. I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question?” (Romans 7:18-24 MSG)

For a moment he sounds a lot like Job. The thing we miss here, is that we want to stop reading. We are like, see, I cannot do this! Paul is not saying we should not surrender to living in constant defeat. What he is doing is expressing anger…he has not received the victory yet. This is a normal reaction.

He continues, “The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but I am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different” (Romans 7:25 MSG).

We are going to have those draining, I do not know if I can make it kind of days. Put your thoughts on Him. It is a choice and it is your choice!

Do not stop expecting

Our church meets on Sunday’s at one thirty in the afternoon. Right now we do not have our own building (we are renting a space from another church and they have Sunday morning services). It was a step of faith for us to do this. The property we owned before had a huge overhead with twenty acres and almost fifty thousand square feet of building. On our last service there we prayed it would bless the next church that bought it. We stepped out in faith and was met open arms with another church in our city. I love it when another church wants to see you succeed, even if it is not building their numbers, they genuinely want the Body of Christ to be stronger and in unity.

How has one thirty worked? It is amazing! It has brought us back, that are wanting to press in more, to a place that we no longer take our relationship with God for granted. How did we get to a placed that we started limiting the time we spend in worship?

“Let joy be your continual feast. Make your life a prayer. And in the midst of everything be always giving thanks, for this is God’s perfect plan for you in Christ Jesus. Never restrain or put out the fire of the Holy Spirit.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-19 TPT)

This life in Christ wants us to keep our minds on Him. When it says to make your life a prayer, it is not meaning that we need to speak prayers twenty four hours a day. It is saying we should be mindful of Him all day. The Holy Spirit is alive and in you. We should expect demonstrations of the Holy Spirit everyday because of that. There are so many opportunities presented us throughout the day if we would just expect to be met by them.

I am not talking about the kookie stuff. I am talking about the unbelievable peace and joy that you rest in as you go throughout the day. The fact that when people look at you they notice that there is something different, and they want that. When they ask you about it you are bold enough to tell them where that comes from. You tell them Jesus is real, a relationship with Him is attainable, and that He is my more than enough.

John 4:23-24 says, “From here on, worshiping the Father will not be a matter of the right place but with the right heart. For God is a Spirit, and he longs to have sincere worshipers who worship and adore him in the realm of the Spirit and truth.” Wherever you go, bring your best self. I am not saying you have to present perfection, but compassion is the best place we are to be. Jesus was full of compassion and we should be too.

You might look at that the reason I say church attendance is so important because of the position I have. I agree, the church is not limited to a building. I do not limit my worship to just doing it in that building, during the hours of one thirty to three thirty on Sundays. I have decided to start my worship at home, in my car, at the gym and wherever I go throughout the day. However, we are still called to be a part of a group of fellow believer’s. We are to make disciples and to make those disciples leaders, to disciple more.

Hebrews 10:24-25 says, “Let us consider (thoughtfully) how we may encourage one another to love and to do good deeds, not forsaking the meeting together (as believers for worship and instruction), as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more (faithfully) as ou see the day (of Christ’s return) approaching.” (AMP)

Do not take your relationship with God for granted and just go through your day to day. My husband is going through a series right now titled “Arise.” It is a challenge to the church to stop sleepwalking through life and start expecting the power of God to manifest every day. He closed last service with this verse: “Then the man brought me by way of the north gate to the front of the temple. I looked and saw the glory of the Lord filling the temple of the Lord, and I fell facedown” (Ezekiel 44:4).

Do not take your relationship with God for granted

and just go through your day to day.

We have already agreed that worship does not only take place in a building. What if we take that and prepare before we get into service (worship at home) and we go into corporate worship expecting to see the glory revealed in others? What if when we get there we have already gotten in the Word? That we are prayed up and our spirit man is so on fire. That the Holy Spirit is so alive in us! Demonstrations are not just expected, but happen on a regular basis!! I know that sounds radical. So my question to you is, since you are now a Christ follower, what do you expect is suppose to happen?

Jeremiah 20:9 from the Message Translation, “The words are fire in my belly, a burning in my bones. I’m worn out trying to hold it in. I can’t do it any longer!”

Say “Yes” to the Adventure

Today on my Facebook Memories I came across an album titled “St. George Island Camping Trip.” This was a trip that a very dear friend of mine, who I can say is one of my best friends, did together with our two boys (since then she has added a few more to her family). We were two boy moms who decided to take our boys camping at the beach. We had never done this before on our own and we were going to do this together. All six of us packed up my minivan and headed to Florida.

I had grown up camping with my parents going to St. Andrews every summer growing up. I wanted to share this experience with my kids. My husband grew up on the mission field in Belize, camping was not a fun adventure idea for him (still isn’t, but is open to buying an RV).

This trip did not go 100% perfect. We struggled to get the canopy tent up on the beach (a good Samaritan came and helped us struggling mamas). The camp site had so much vegetation that mosquitoes were awful and on top of that my van got infested with sand fleas. Oh and I got sick in the middle of the night from the dinner we ate! However, we stayed positive…because we were on an adventure!!

I have been on many other trips without my family since then. I stepped out and went to some Women’s Conferences without anyone else from my church joining me. I started going out and sitting in restaurants by myself to enjoy a meal.

I have visited other cities with other women in ministry. On one such trip we went to Las Vegas. It was the Retreat for Leading and Loving It. A couple of the women and I got brave enough to go to the top of the Stratosphere and get on the rides. Yep I did that one!

Here is the thing though, there is more to life than just these kinds of adventures. There are adventures that God wants to take us on as well. It just happens that all of these experiences I had was because of the relationships I made from saying “Yes” to God. I got out of my comfort zone, because to be honest, I have to fight my introvert tendencies. You know the ones where the voice inside of your head makes excuses as to why you cannot step out into “ministry.” The “I don’t have enough money” excuse. Or how about the “I don’t have enough time” excuse. My all time favorite, “I am too young/old” excuse.

Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord completely, and do not rely on your own opinions. With all your heart rely on him to guide you, and he will lead you in every decision you make. Become intimate with him in whatever you do, and he will lead you wherever you do.”

Stop trying to figure things out on your own. If He put a desire in your heart to do it, then do it…just don’t let it be the pizza talking. How do you know you heard from God in this adventure? Does it line up with His character and nature? How will you know His character and nature? By reading the Word that He gave us.

Stop trying to figure things out on your own.

In the time that the Israelites were in the Wilderness, Moses sent twelve spies into the land that God told them would be their inheritance. Ten of those spies came back with a negative report, but two did not. The two that did not were Joshua and Caleb. They were the only two from that generation to enter into the Promised Land.

Joshua 14:7-12 “I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadesh Barnea to spy out the land, and I brought back word to him as it was in my heart. Nevertheless my brethren who went up with me made the heart of the people melt, but I wholly followed the Lord my God. So Moses swore on that day, say, ‘Surely the land where your foot has trodden shall be your inheritance and your children’s forever, because you have wholly followed the Lord my God.’ And now, behold, the Lord has kept me alive, as He said, these forty-five years, ever since the Lord spoke this word to Moses while Israel wandered in the wilderness; and now, here I am this day, eighty-five years old. As yet I am as strong this day as on that day that Moses sent me; just as my strength was then, so now is my strength for was, both for going out and for coming in. Now therefore, give me this mountain of which the Lord spoke in that day; for you heard in that day how the Anakim were there, and that the cities were great and fortified. It may be that the Lord will be with me, and I shall be able to drive them out as the Lord said.”

That mountain was Caleb’s inheritance because ‘he wholly followed the Lord God of Israel’ (Joshua 14:9). God wants us to actively pursue Him and what He wants us to have. As His follower’s we should boldly say, “Give me my mountain!” when it comes to pursuing the vision that God has given us for our lives. Mountains are not easy to climb, depending on how high it goes, you might have to adjust for the climate change. This could even mean getting out of your comfort zones and entering into other cultures you have never known before.

Hey, if you get some bumps in the process, do not be discouraged. You are on an adventure!

Do not come down until you are ready!

From Nehemiah 6 MSG “I’m doing a great work; I can’t come down. Why should the work come to a standstill just so I can come down and see you?” “They were trying to intimidate us into quitting. They thought, ‘They’ll give up; they never finish it.’ I prayed, ‘Give me strength.'”

It is hard when other people do not meet your passion. There are countless men and women in the Bible that God gave them instruction and people questioned whether they even heard God at all.

Moses is one of my favorite people in the Bible. I can so relate to him! I probably would have reacted the same way to all of the grumbling and complaining as he did in Numbers 20, when he struck the rock, afterGod told him to speak to it. I might have even taken out a couple of people when going for that swing too! Not really, but you know he was thinking it.

In return Moses would not be able to join in with the others in entering the Promised Land. However, he still makes it into the Hall of Faith found in Hebrews 11.

Near the end of Moses life he writes the book of Deuteronomy. In this book he recites over and over the escape out of Egypt and their time in the wilderness. He was so adamant about teaching their children, and for generations to come, all that had happened (Stephen even stands before his accusers in Acts 7 reciting much of this). This all occurred after he was told he could not bring the people into the Promise Land.

Above all, Moses desired God’s presence more than he desired to enter the Promise Land. He was seeking His face. In Exodus 33:18 Moses asks: “Please, show me Your glory.”

Moses desired God’s presence more than he desired to enter the Promise Land.

Exodus 33:21-23 God responds, “Here is a place by Me, and you shall stand on the rock. So it shall be, while My glory passes by, that I will put you into the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand wile I pass by. Then I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen.”

Moses kept going up to the mountain to commune with God. He face would shine so bright after his encounters. Don’t you think while he was up there he could see the Promise Land knowing he would not enter it. Or did he…

Matthew 17:1-3 “Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, let them up on a high mountain by themselves; and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became white as the light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking Him.”

Moses appears with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration, which happens to be in the physical location of the Promise Land. When he desired to see God before, he could only see His back, but now he sees Him face-to-face.

Moses did not give up going on the mountain top and neither should you. Jeremiah 29:13 “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

The Enough-ness of Christ

There are days that I do not feel like I am enough. I have two teenage boys and a husband that works swing shift (every four weeks he rotates from first, to third, to second shift), as well as, we pastor a church together. Early on when he took a job at the plant it was really tough on the boys not having him home during second shift. He would come home after we went to bed and get up after they went to school. I made a lot of mistakes trying to do it on my own at the start.

Galatians 2:21 says, “So that is why I don’t view God’s grace as something minor or peripheral. For if keeping the law could release God’s righteousness to us, the Anointed One would have died for nothng. (TPT)”

God never called me to be enough. Not for my kids, not for my husband and especially not for my church. He called me to be loved. It is in the awareness of my weakness, the more I need His grace. My shortcomings remind my children to keep they eyes fixed on God, not on me. When I struggle it is a glorious display of God’s greatness, not my own.

My shortcomings remind my children to keep they eyes fixed on God, not on me.

We feel pressure to pack the Pinterest perfect lunches, to throw them the most lavish parties and to shower them with the most expensive gifts. We feel pressure to perform for the approval of God. There is pressure to pretend to have it all together and we hide behind closed doors when we do not.

As the Body of Christ we have not done so well at accepting ourselves, therefore, not accepting each other for all of the flaws we have. I cannot be the only one who thinks they have failed when we do not reflect His heart to our children. We cannot give grace, when we have not received grace ourselves.

Charles Spurgeon once said, “I have a great need for Christ. I have a great Christ for my need.”

When we find ourselves crumbling. When we are trying to hold it all together on our own, that’s a good indicator that we have forgotten Christ as first place in our lives. He is the “image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created…and in Him all things hold together. (Colossians 1:15-17)”

God is the One holding it all together. Not us!

My First Step into Surrender

I was 18 when God spoke to me about surrendering my life to Jesus. John and I were already engaged and he had just turned his life back around. A few months before I found out that he was a drug addict and had always been since we met (almost three years of ignorance). When he got totally sold out to Jesus this time, he was a changed man. I did not quite know what to think. As he was ministering one night, God spoke to me. He said, “Amanda, that pedestal you have that boy on, that’s where I belong. Stop basing your future on what is going on in his life. I can love you so much more than He can!” With that I was all in.

“Amanda, that pedestal you have that boy on, that’s where I belong.”

The next step into being “all in” took great courage. I had a deep desire for love. So much so, that I had instigated the sexual aspect of our relationship. Now, I was going to have to tell him that if we were going to go all into this Jesus thing, then we were going to be all in about Him and not about us…that meant no more sex until marriage. Thankfully, John was all in too. That meant he wanted to see me succeed in my relationship with God, so that our eventual marriage would succeed.

I am going to be honest. It was not easy. There was still that desire there for physical love, especially, when you already know what that feels like. I can tell you for a fact, our relationship with God saved our marriage. We were no longer dependent on each other for the “love” feelings. We have a deep love for each other. We know each other’s thoughts, and can even finish each other’s jokes. We know how to build each other up; in turn that means we know what will be the area that we need the most work in.

Why did we do it?

“Jesus fixed his gaze upon the man, with tender love, and said to him, ‘Yet there is still one thing in you lacking. Go, sell all that you have and give the money to the poor. Then all your treasure will be in heaven. After you’ve done this, come back and walk with me.'” (Mark 10:21 TPT)

What was the one thing that could stand between me and God? What was the one thing I was putting in His place? That was John. He did not belong there. As long as I was giving myself to him, I would not be able to keep God in His right place. We put “us” on pause. We still got married, it was just another two and half years after that moment.

Why Desiring for More?

At each place they went, they strengthened the lives of the believers and encouraged them to go deeper in their faith. And they taught them, “It is necessary for us to enter the realm of God’s kingdom, because that’s the only way we will endure our many trials and persecutions.” Acts 14:22

Every day is a new new day to grow deeper in your relationship with God.

My desire is to be an encouragement. I, personally, have been going on a deeper journey with Jesus for the past few years. It was not always like that for me.

I received Christ at 18, married at 20 and became a mother at the age of 23.

This year I turned 40.

Less than two years ago I lost my job due to a mistake. A mistake that I was the sole beneficiary of. A mistake that I did not realize was a mistake until one and a half years after it was made. Before I could rectify it, I was accused of fraud. I tried to show where I did not know that it was an error, there was documentation that I did release that information, but to no avail. The damage to my character had been done.

I asked God “how could I go on from there?” “How can I be an effectual witness for you with my character tarnished?”

“How can I be an effectual witness for you with my character tarnished?”

Your first instinct is to hide. I did just that. I hid in the Word. I ran to my Hiding Place. I emerged wrapped in His Love. I emerged with a boldness to preach and write about how much He desire us! That is what this blog is about. I continually desire fore more, will you?

Icebreaker Question: Who do I relate to in the Bible?

This is one of the my favorite questions I get asked in small group settings. You know, it is your first time meeting a group of people and you are going to spend the next few weeks on a certain topic or doing a certain activity together. We are going to break the ice and talk about people we identify with in the Bible.

I actually identify with two people in the Bible.

The first is Moses.

Years ago, before my husband had to practically rip the mic from my hands on Sundays, I was petrified to speak in front of people.

Years ago, before my husband had to practically rip the mic from my hands on Sundays, I was petrified to speak in front of people. So bad in fact that one time my mother in law pushed the mic in my face to tell about the fundraiser I was having through my day care. People thought that I had such passion for the organization that they were handing me hundred dollar bills, because I was crying so hard telling them about it. So I identified with Moses because of his lack of speaking ability.

Another way I identified with Moses, was not how I was, but how I aspired to be.

Whenever Moses came back down from the mountain after speaking with God his face would glow. Moses spent so much time with God that the people would ask him to wear a veil in their presence because of the glow. My desire is to be like that.

The second person I identify with is Peter.

Peter gets a bad wrap to begin with. He is over zealous. Talks out of turn. Can be hot headed…he cut the ear off of the soldier trying to protect Jesus not knowing how to wield a sword. Then he denies Jesus three times even after telling Jesus (to his face) that he would never do that.

Here is what I love about Peter. He was the first one out of the boat to meet Jesus on the shore.

“Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment (for he had removed it), and plunged into the sea. But the other disciples came in the little boat (for they were not far from land)…” John 21:7b-8a

Then Jesus takes the time to restore Peter. I love this because often times when I mess up I can see Jesus having the same conversation with me.

Taken from John 23:15-19 “Amanda, Do you have great affection for Me?” Me, “Yes, Jesus! You know I have so affection for you.” Jesus, “Then take care of the my children.” “Amanda, do you burn with love for me?” Me, “Jesus, I have so love for you.” Jesus, “Then take care of my people.” “Amanda, do you have great affection for me?” Me, “Jesus, I have already told you how much I love you.” Jesus, “Then feed my people.” Jesus, “Amanda, when you were younger you made your own choices and did as you pleased. Now it is time you grew up and follow after Me!”

We all need that “aha” moment. We get that moment where Jesus speaks directly to us. We start off as children still doing what we want. We make mistakes. Even when we follow after Him we still make them. Just like Jesus did with Peter, He doesn’t throw us away.

I love that story. I can hear Him saying my name. Can you hear Him say yours?

Bass Players Creedo: “Turn it up!”

I guess a “cool” thing I tell people about myself is that I play the bass in our worship band. I have been doing so for the past twenty years.

Now, I do make it clear that I am not trained. I cannot tell you what note something is. I do play with a couple of fingers on the frets at time. I have never been really good at runs.

You see, I cannot sing. When I do, it is really bad. So I need this really loud sound coming from behind me to drown out the horrible noise coming out of my mouth so that others do not get distracted during worship.

Oh, how I love worship though! Right now I am in a season in our church where I am the worship leader. Basically, I pick the songs and tell everyone what time practice is. We talk as a group as we learn new songs and everyone’s ideas are heard. My singers know harmony and are really good at putting that together. I mean, we are no Bethel, but we get in it!

One thing I listen for in churches, when we visit, is whether you can hear the bass drum and the bass player. Then you know you are going to have a good time. Why?

“And pulsing from the thrown were blinding flashes of lightning, crashes of thunder, and voices.” Revelations 4:5a TPT

“After I heard what seemed to be the roar of a great multitude of voices, saying: ‘Hallelujah! Salvation and glory to the power of our God!” Revelations 19:1 TPT

One thing I listen for in churches, when we visit, is whether you can hear the bass drum and the bass player.

These are just two verses that talk about the sounds in heaven. Books I have read describes it that you can feel the sounds in your bones.

Now I have been in places where it was loud and it was not pleasing to the ears, because it was so loud. However, you do not have to be loud to feel the music. When we worship, we should do with everything that is withing us. That is why I love to play the bass during worship.

Worship is a very important part of our daily time with God. He does not demand it of us, but it should be something that comes naturally from our hearts. It is a part of my daily surrender to Him.

King David made it a part of who he was. He was not a perfect king, nor a perfect man, but his heart was for God. Father, help me have a heart like David’s. Your word says, “I will give you a new heart, a tender, responsive heart” (Ezekiel 26:36). Let my heart always be mindful of you.

My father in law likes to say there are eighteen inches between success and failure. Those eighteen inches are from your heart to your mind. Keep yourself in the Word and it will help keep your heart lined up with His.