Entering an Application Season Requires Commitment

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<p value="<amp-fit-text layout="fixed-height" min-font-size="6" max-font-size="72" height="80"><br><strong>Our Application Season requires our commitment to relinquish our plans and strategies for God’s plan for our lives.</strong> This does not mean we are to sit back and wait for God to do everything, it means that before we do anything we must think about how we will accomplish what we plan to do and ask God for guidance. This includes reacting to situations and circumstances that may be driven by our own actions, as well as those out of our control. The immediate response for many is to snap back, which is waged through our fleshly desires to get back, or harm through words and deeds; cheating to succeed, telling white lies, skipping steps.
Our Application Season requires our commitment to relinquish our plans and strategies for God’s plan for our lives. This does not mean we are to sit back and wait for God to do everything, it means that before we do anything we must think about how we will accomplish what we plan to do and ask God for guidance. This includes reacting to situations and circumstances that may be driven by our own actions, as well as those out of our control. The immediate response for many is to snap back, which is waged through our fleshly desires to get back, or harm through words and deeds; cheating to succeed, telling white lies, skipping steps.

Applying Jesus’ attitude and character to how we approach life is a process. As we more frequently depend on His attitude and character, you will find that the process speeds up, you learn to immediately go into prayer and over time you will respond to life situations according to God’s will and way in a more involuntary manner, in short it becomes who you are, and rather than acting impetuously you act according to the Word of God, you act in a Christlike manner, exuding His demeanor, and if you fail, you immediately repent and attempt to do better the next time.

Scriptures About Commitment (ESV, openbible.info)

Psalm 37:5 – “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.”

Proverbs 16:3 – “Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.”

Galatians 6:9 –  “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”

John 8:12 – “Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.””

Ephesians 4:29 –  “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”

Romans 12:1-2 – “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

Main Point

Commitment is never easy. It requires that you do not take short cuts as you change/renew/convert your attitude and character. It is intentional. It is important to build a strong scriptural foundation. If you do not begin with the fundamentals, how do you know what Christ’s attitude, values, and character are? Just as children look to their parents, we must look to the Word of God for direction, wisdom, knowledge, and insight. But do not wait until you finished building a spiritual foundation. Begin today, remember, each day is a new day. Ask God for direction, and you will become more confident in praying and responding to His instructions. You will learn to feel comfortable in knowing that God intimately knows you and knows that you are growing in the Word. He will speak to you through ways you can understand. There have been times that while I was in prayer, God simply shared a Bible reference, such as – Psalm 63, often a scripture that I had not read, and had no idea what He was telling me until I read it. Once you have read the scripture, it all came together. God is amazing! He is the author and finisher, the alpha and omega, the Way maker, our counselor, and finisher of our faith. If you recall the first Application Season entry, I mentioned Isaiah who wrote, “Listen and hear my voice; pay attention and hear what I say. “ 

“Trust GOD from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for GOD ’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to GOD! Run from evil! 

Dear friend, guard wisdom and understanding with your life; don’t for a minute lose sight of them. They’ll keep your soul alive and well, they’ll keep you fit. No need to panic over alarms or surprises, or predictions that doomsday’s just around the corner, Because GOD will be right there with you; he’ll keep you safe and sound.”

Proverbs 3:5-12, 21-26 MSG

Bibleversestogo.com

Listen to God. Commit to this Application Season establishing the new you. Guard your thinking, use common sense and learn to become Christlike in nature, demonstrating God’s love in everything you do.

As we go through this APPLICATION SEASON together, ask God to personally relate each scripture that speaks to you and ask Him to explain how it applies to your life today. Interestingly, you will find that a scripture can speak to you in different ways during different seasons of your life. The Bible is an ever-evolving book unfolding new treasures as we become more like Christ. The Word meets us at the point  of our need is at the time. When praying, ask God what your next steps are in changing your attitude and character to align to His Word and Will, and believe me, He will provide the next steps. In many cases you will be asked to mobilize what you have learned within a short time of discussing it. Sometimes you will succeed and others times you will fall short, but each strengthens your walk and your character, each step places you closer to becoming like Christ.

References — openbible.info; biblegateway.com

Image — bibleversestogo.com; thepreachersword.com

Comfort In Uncertainty

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When we are lost, we seek inward. When we are confused we seek God. Isn’t it amazing that we rely on Him and Him alone when things get tough.

~ Lisa Blair

Do you ever feel alone? Have you found yourself unable to figure things out? I have. We are in a time of uncertainty. We may have a job, roof our our head, and food on the table today, but uncertain about tomorrow, or you may have already been displaced as the result of the pandemic, loss of jobs, or storms, fires, or earthquakes. UNCERTAINTY IS THE TERM OF THE MOMENT. Absolutely nothing is as we understand it, but the WORD OF GOD. There is only one thing we can rely on and that’s His Word. It is our refuge, our safe haven, our tower against the storms of life.

The pandemic has ravaged the world as we know it. It has forced us to stop looking outward and begin looking inward at our relationship with God. I have met so many people who have been displaced from their pre-pandemic lives and have found freedom amongst the muck that has ravaged their lives.

Many are joining bible study Zooms, many are seeking introspection and their relationship with the Lord. Still others have decided to invest in themselves and not things, and are moving to less expensive cities and states. Many have regained connections with family members. And, many have found God and received Him as their Lord and Savior, hoping to come out of this in a strong relationship with our Father and a design for their futures that provide relationships outlined in the Bible as their basis for new life.

There is always a silver lining in every cloud. The timing for its appearance is governed by God. He knows the plans He has for us to prosper us and give us strength. He will provide for our basic needs as we travel through tough times, blessings will appear in many forms. Awareness of his blessings small and large were often overlooked and assumed to be something we made happen in the past. I think, for many, we are just beginning to recognize that our blessings come from God to meet all of our needs.

As we move forward, our lives may look different, we are shedding the past, those things that became idols and stole our time from the Lord. The new day will clearly focus on God and our relationship with Him. Our lives will experience His inner peace. We will find calm in the middle of storms, and we will be surrounded by His Grace and Mercies.

Images – Google Images

Do Not Lose Heart

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We will age and fade away but as we do so, we are being spiritually renewed day-by-day.

~ Lisa Blair

Our faith becomes stronger with the renewing of our minds. We mature as Christians, God’s children, and grow in the Word. We receive salvation, are forgiven of our sins (overcome our sin nature), are healed from backsliding, and choose obedience to and dependence on God over my own free-will.

Resource – YouVersion, Bible.com; Google Images

Choose To Walk In The Light

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God tells us there will be dark times, but we do not have to allow the dark to absorb us; nor do we need to enter into a state of darkness and depression. Yes, these are dire times, how many thought we would live in a global pandemic, isolated due to sheltering-in-place, and uncertain of the future? Not many I would imagine, especially if we live in the United States, where we feel immune to all of the world’s woes.

Non-believers live in a state of darkness, but (the) believers who find themselves in a catatonic state caused by the pandemic, also find themselves in a state of darkness. Do you depend entirely upon God, or do you speak the words but rely on your wisdom? Those who live in the Light, live with God who is in the Light, and is Light. John writes in I John 1:7, ESV, “But if we are living in the Light, as God is in the Light, then we have fellowship with each other.”

The Light removes the sense of isolation that sheltering-in-place causes. Being in the Light means that God is with you in the Light. He is present in your life and in constant communication with you. He cleanses you from your sins. Sin is anything that is not of God, such as depression (not diagnosed), timidity, feelings of failure, uncertainty, and more. Satan likes nothing more than separating us from our Father and curtailing our fellowship with other believers.

If you watch the news, people are finding ways to communicate and find a sense of light, but are they really in the Light, or is it an imitation of Light manufactured by the carnality of needing to be with others. Pure Light comes from God, and despite our circumstances, we remain in the Light. His Light provides peace and a sense of calm amid the global pandemic we find ourselves in today. His Light is truth that He is always with us and will not forsake us in any situation that evolves.

When we allow ourselves to doubt God because we are overwhelmed by the darkness that pulls us in, we are in effect calling God a liar. The gospel truth is – God is truth and truth ensures our salvation. If we know we are saved and abide in the Word, we are abiding in His Light. We are not controlled by the desires of this world. “If we say we have fellowship with Him while we walk in darkness we lie and do not live according to the truth.” (John Piper) No pandemic can separate us from God.

Think of this pandemic as our testing ground. We proclaim to be Christians but does our behavior confirm our relationship with the Lord, or suggest that there is no relationship? We either have a relationship with Christ or we do not, it is black and white, no grey areas. Do we falter or do we stand? Do we allow the uncertainty of death and destruction to overpower us or do we rest in the truth that God is all power and all truth? Do we stand in the Light or do we watch the darkness slowly engulf us?

One certain way to remain in the Light is to maintain fellowship with other believers, who can support us when we doubt or fall from the truth joining those who live in fear and a state of desperation. Truth gives us hope not to despair, our faith ensures us that there is life after this one we are currently experiencing.

“If we have truly accepted Jesus as our Savior, we have done so by taking His Word into our hearts and accepting it as the agent of our salvation (James 1:21). We must be prepared on an ongoing basis to use it to make necessary ‘course corrections’ and keep us in His Light – or as the case may be, get us out of Satan’s darkness as quickly as possible.” (Hal Hammons)

The Light will give you peace in the darkness. Choose to walk in the Light.

Image – Google Images

Scripture – Biblegateway.com

Resources – Let Us Walk in the Light of God. John Piper. desiringgod.org. February 1985; God Is Light. Hal Hammons. Bible.com. February 2010

Trials and Patience

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God gave us the tools to survive through life’s challenges. Strong faith will allow you to experience peace in the midst of the struggle.

~ Lisa Blair

Trials produce patience and patience is reinforced through faith. If you are faithful, you will experience the joy of the Lord and not become bitter and discouraged through the trial. You will rest in God’s peace and weather the storm.