Fasting, Inspiration, Prayer, Uncategorized

Day 5: “Healthy Vessel”

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.

You anoint my head with oil;

my cup overflows.

Psalm 23:5 (NIV)

You have spent the first several days reflecting inward. What does it mean to set aside time for prayer and fasting? What are you filling yourself with now that you’re creating more space for Jesus? You’re dreaming and thinking more intentionally. Your appetite is craving MORE of God and as you fill up your spiritual fuel tank, you will eventually begin to see an overflow. Those drained moments of quick-tempered distractedness will start to wain. You won’t find your wick being so short, lighting on fire with one more little annoyance (the straw that breaks the camel’s back, so to speak). No; instead, what has been flowing into your spirit will begin to show outwardly.

Start to self correct when the Holy Spirit brings to your attention anything out of alignment with him. Repent quickly if you find yourself gossiping, worrying, judging. These traits will become diminished as you continue to focus on inputting everything God has for you over these 21 days. You’re going to bring forth wisdom in situations in which you were formerly stumped. Your word of encouragement to a friend will be prophetic and timely. Your patience with your children is extended beyond its prior shrunken borders. Your capacity for dreaming and believing God’s promises has expanded.

As you form new habits, spend more time in prayer, and focus your attention on God, you widen the rim of your vessel. What you once saw as an enemy to your sanity is washed over with the oil of gladness that the Lord has poured into your spirit. You can’t help but laugh at how serious you took yourself last week. Now, you have a heavenly perspective and what’s in you is starting to flow outward. Keep going as this is just the beginning.

* Read 2 Kings 4:1-7 and envision yourself as one of the vessels of oil that the widow brought home. What more are you asking God to fill you with as you seek him? As long as you make room, he will continue to fill you.

Australia, Faith, Inspiration, Lift Church, Uncategorized

A Cup Check

My whole life, I’ve battled the “glass half empty” mentality.  This will come as a surprise if you know me because I am generally full of joy and positive about everything.  My natural tendency, however, is to see things as a “realist.”  I think that is  my excuse for worrying.  It’s rooted in fear and doubt.  It comes from a desire to protect myself; playing out the worst case scenario somehow makes me think I can handle it better if it comes.  It’s not the way any Christian should look at life.

The word of God is full of His promises to us.  It’s full of descriptions and examples of His character and faithfulness to His people.  There is NO natural reason for any of us to ever walk in doom and gloom.  Or to expect bad things to happen.  I have spent a lot of time taking my thoughts captive as the Bible tells us to do in 2 Corinthians 10:5.

In order to see the glass “half full” there must be a conscious effort to choose my response to negative situations in life.  Although I’m not always perfect, I have found the greatest way to battle any negativity is to choose an attitude of gratitude.  Concentrating on the goodness of God and giving Him credit for each and every blessing overrides any sadness, depression, fear, or anxiety.

I can fill my own cup with a spirit of gratefulness.  I think this must be what James was referring to when he said to “consider it pure joy when you face trials” (James 1).  No one really is happy when he faces a problem.  But I can find something of joy in every circumstance and the perseverance I’m building is certainly something to celebrate!

Many of us have experienced inexplicable tragedies or pain that is unbearable.  It’s hard to see the cup half full during these times.  A good friend of mine years ago was walking through a dark time in her life after her husband left her.  It was difficult and lonely yet I never heard one negative word come out of her mouth.  She never spoke ill of her ex-husband.  When I asked how she remained positive despite her circumstances, she taught me something amazing.

She said it would do no good for her to hate him or to feel sorry for herself.  She actually prayed for him everyday.  On days when life was really hard she would take out her journal and literally make a list of things for which she was thankful. Writing down “my bed, my pillow, my breakfast, my car” might be the only things she could come up with some days.  This attitude of gratefulness would crowd out any fear, anger, depression, and/or doubts about her future.  I am forever grateful for what she taught me in that moment.

As my family is in a season of transition, I could easily let my cup dry up and be enslaved by anxiety and fear.  Instead, I wake up everyday and thank God for my blessings.  He fills my cup.

This morning, I was overwhelmed with gratefulness for my children, my health, my most loving husband.  I thanked God that we will move to Australia debt free and able to start a new life without financial stress.  I thanked Him for choosing us to start Lift Church.  Most of all, I thanked Him for my salvation and my relationship with my creator who loves me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.  You anoint my head with oil; my CUP overflows. Psalm 23:5