Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Road Trips with God



“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” Hebrews 4:12 

One of my favorite quality and quantity activities with my husband and three boys is traveling. When the boys were younger, we would play a game called "yellow car" to keep the boys entertained. We would search for yellow cars on the road, and whoever yelled out "yellow car" first would get a point. However, there was really no way of avoiding the cries from the backseat, "are we there yet", or the "he's in my space" arguments. The journey of traveling as a family of five was not always a pleasant one, but those are the times I will treasure forever. It was during the journey that I had my family's undivided attention to talk to and to get to know more about their lives. We would get frustrated with each other, but the time together and the destination outweighed the ups and downs of so much togetherness in a small space.

Our traveling with small children reminds me somewhat of my journey with God. The road has not been the easiest, and I have often asked God, "Are we there yet?". Through my walk with God, I have learned to look for a lesson or building of character moments. . . but sometimes the road that He took me down was so long and hard, and it forced me to be dependent on God for strength and perseverance because I couldn't do it on my own. Over the years, I have walked the road of grief, financial uncertainty, job loss, cancer, and relationship struggles. As much as I would like to avoid the bumps in the God-lead journeys, I know they are necessary. Through my rough walks, I have learned how God works and who He is. . . I have also built a relationship with Him. Without those ups and downs. . .and long "road trips", I would not have  learned to depend on God's Word for guidance, strength, and comfort . . . and so much more.

"So is my word that goes out from my mouth:    It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire   and achieve the purpose for which I sent it" Isaiah 55:11

Trying to survive the journey of life, I have learned to get in the Word, talk to God, and allow God to talk to me. The Word gives me peace and direction. . .His Word is living and shows me where to go in those forks in the road. When I am feeling lost or confused, digging into God's Word brings me to a place of revelation. . . I no longer feel alone on the bumpy road, and I seem to find direction that brings peace with the journey.

John 1:1 tells us that, "The Word is God". If we read a little further in verse 14 of the first chapter of John, we also learn that "The Word becomes flesh". . . The flesh is our Savior Jesus Christ. This means that THE WORD IS LIVING.

There are times that I wanted God to appear in a burning bush or hear that deep voice from the sky telling me what to do in a certain situation or answer that question, “Are we there yet?” . . . when will my mountain move? . . . what job do you want me to take? Many times I have cried out . . . “Where are you God?”

When I figured out God was alive and well in His Word waiting for me to come visit, I also figured out how to "hear" God. God’s Word is alive and waiting to guide us on an incredible journey towards an amazing destination.

The Living Word has several functions, but we can begin by concentrating on these:

1. TESTIFY:

"You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me..."John 5:39

All throughout the Living Word there are testimonies and parables testifying of WHO our God is and WHAT He has done for us and capable of doing for us. As we dig into the Living Word we will learn about our mighty God and get to know Him more intimately. Knowing how our God works allows us to grow more confident in His works and have faith as we wait to hear from Him; we begin to understand His directions and wisdom.  

2. GIVE WISDOM:

"And that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus." Timothy 3:15

"For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding" Proverbs 2:6

Staying in God's Word will give you wisdom for your journey of life. God knows you and knows your days ahead. When you study scripture, you allow God to give you wisdom for the circumstances and events that we have not yet encountered. By memorizing scripture, we are able to recall God's wisdom and pray His Word at any moment. Through prayer and God's Living Word we are armed with a "double-edged sword" that will cut through anything we are walking through. 

3. REGENERATE NEW LIFE:

"For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God" 1 Peter 1:23

God gives us physical life when we are born from the womb of our mother. Physical life comes from sinful seeds that will eventually end in death which separates us from this earth. However, our Spiritual life comes from eternal seeds that will live on for eternity when it is rooted in the faith of Christ. God will forgive our sins and gives us a new life. . . a new spiritual life when we come to Him through the salvation of Jesus Christ. 

4. INTERACTIVE

"Some became fools through their rebellious ways and suffered affliction because of their iniquities. They loathed all food and drew near the gates of death. Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He sent out his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave" 
Psalm 107:17-20

Wherever we are at in our lives, God can meet us in His Word and heal us. Even when we are rebellious in our ways, God wants us to find him. We can find God when we intentionally get in His Word. Getting into God's Living Word becomes an interactive way of inviting God into your life to restore broken relationships, break chains of addiction, provide for financial distress, or heal painful memories.      

Today's Journal and Reflection: Where are you heading on your journey of life? Are you allowing God to take the road trip with you? Are you asking God, "Are we there yet?". . . if so, where are you wanting to go and why? Are you needing wisdom and new life from God? Wherever you are in life today, God will want to hear from you and take the road trip with you.  






God Goes Before Us

"The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." Deuteronomy 31:8


We had been trying to sell our inflatable rental business for years. We were so close several times, but the deal would always fall through. It was years of trying to sell the business, and we just assumed that God wanted us to continue with the rentals because we were able to meet new people in our community and pray for the people who we rented to. But what we did not know and completely comprehend at the time was the fact that God was going ahead of us and knew exactly when the inflatables would bless another family's finances, and ours at the same time. 

A couple that had just been relocated to our town because of a flood in their city were looking for a business to bless their family's budget. Our inflatables were able to do that for them. . . but what they did not know and what we did not know was that the money we put in the bank for savings was actually part of a bigger plan that my husband and I had no clue about. We sold the inflatables in April of 2017, and we were so excited to have money to make our Dave Ramsey three month emergency fund a reality. However, in May 2017, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Here is where I began to see just how God goes before us even when we are praying in desperation for our own timing. There were so many times I had prayed and asked, or pleaded, for God to sell the inflatables and bless our savings account with financial freedom. But God answered "no" several times because He knew that hospitals and doctors require large sums of money before breast cancer procedures and surgeries can happen. If we did not have the inflatable money at this exact time, we would have been struggling to find the money for my breast cancer surgery and treatment. God had gone before us and knew exactly what we needed before we had even come to the large and steep scary mountain of cancer. . . 

"I will go before you and will level the mountains; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron." Isaiah 45:2

Through the storm of breast cancer, I saw God's character and how God had been preparing a rainbow for me to walk across. How he had leveled the mountains, so I would not have to climb the rough terrain, and He broke down the gates and allowed me to peacefully and restfully walk the journey of breast cancer. I would have never asked for a storm like this, but without it, I would not have experienced the power of God going before me, and I would not have had this opportunity to grow in my relationship with God. 

Have you ever gone through a rough time and had a friend or family member stick by your side listening to you or helping you with advice. . . and through this time you grew closer to your friend or family member and as a result shared a bond? That's what I gained with God when He walked before me, with me, and behind me during my breast cancer journey. I saw God's true character. . . and grew in my faith and courage for the next challenge in this fallen world! God does not promise life to be easy, but God does promise to walk before us and with us. 

Now, because of my breast cancer journey, I can go forth faithfully in confidence knowing that God has already been where I am going.  I learned about God's character and it is now easier to put complete trust in Him. 

I have not always had this courage within my faith. I have worried, and still do until I get my mind grounded in God's promises. Having courage within your faith takes time with God. Once you experience God's Grace and Mercy and you grow in your relationship with God, the courage will be built in your faith of walking with God. . . confidence that God has already prepared the path. This kind of confidence and faith takes lots of courage, but with that courage comes peace and rest trusting that God knows exactly how your circumstances will turn out before you even begin the journey down that road. 


Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid or terrified of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you." Deuteronomy 31:6 


Today's Journal and Reflection: Have you been praying for answers and you feel as if you are not being heard? What do you fear if your prayer is not answered on your timeline? Does God's promises help you find confidence while you wait for God to reveal His plan? Why/Why not? By staying in God's Word, you can find more about God's character and how He has worked in other's lives. . . He is the same today as He was yesterday when He performed miracles that are documented in the Bible.