“Then the LORD spoke to Jonah a second time: “Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh and deliver the message I have given you.” ~Jonah 3:1-2 (NLT)
Thursday, December 29, 2016
What if I’ve totally messed up God’s plan for me?!
I’ve heard this quite a bit lately. There seems to be a fear among God’s lovely ones; that means you and me. The fear is that maybe we’ve done such a bad thing that we totally messed up God’s plan and purpose for us. There are a few who are even stating that because someone did something that was thought of as bad by others, that person can no longer be used by God and their purpose is ruined.
What a load of lies.
Lovelies, God is not mad at you. He’s not mad at me. He knows we aren’t perfect. That’s why Jesus came and paid the ultimate price for us by giving His life for us. Why does that seem so hard to believe? Because it’s just so simple, I guess.
I can tell you that for too many years I lived in fear, guilt, shame, intimidation, and the weight of things other people thought were bad. They kept me frozen in a perpetual state of control where I couldn’t function unless someone else thought it was okay for me to do or say. If someone disagreed with me or my ideas I cowered. I eventually would just lock myself away, sometimes physically but most of the time emotionally and mentally so I wouldn’t have to face the truth. Rather so I wouldn’t have to face what someone else called truth. It was in fact nothing but a lie.
The truth is I was living by someone else’s standards instead of God’s standards. I wasn’t living according to the Word of God, nor was I functioning in the calling God had on my life. I was controlled by outside forces. Maybe you are, too.
Until my healing in 2012, I was nearly non-functioning socially, mentally, and emotionally. Then one day I woke up. I made a decision. I trusted God and He healed me and the rest is a phenomenal journey that I continue even today. Do I still have issues? Yes. Do I still have obstacles? You bet. Am I still intimidated by others? No.
Lovely ones, just because we make a mistake doesn’t mean that God can’t use us. It doesn’t mean that your purpose is re-routed to something different. It’s not. God doesn’t go backwards. We do. God stays the same and so does His Word. When we take a detour He simply waits for us to catch back up. But never does God go back on His Word. If He has a purpose for you (and He does) then nothing you do is going to mess that up or revoke it.
Look at Jonah. God told him to do something and instead of going to do it, Jonah ran. He ran in the opposite direction, as far away from what God told him to do as he could. Because of it, Jonah nearly caused other people harm, he got thrown overboard into the sea during a terrible storm, he got swallowed up by a great fish, and spent three days in the belly of that fish (and he didn’t die). What he did do was have three days and nights to think about what he’d done. That gave him enough time to come to his senses and ask God to forgive him.
The beauty of this story is after Jonah repented (said he was sorry) the fish spit him out on the shore, three days’ journey from the place where God told him to go in the first place. So in essence, God sent this great fish to get Jonah and carry him to his original destination. But get this, when God talked to Jonah again, after he’d disobeyed God and made a huge mistake, look what God said to Jonah:
If you’ll look at the first chapter of Jonah, God told him in verse two, “Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh. Announce my judgment against it because I have seen how wicked its people are.” But after Jonah’s disobedience, God still told Jonah to go deliver His message to the people of Nineveh. This time Jonah obeyed. God’s Word never changed. His purpose for Jonah never changed. It was just delayed for a bit.
What about you? Has God’s purpose for you changed because of the things you’ve done? No. It’s just been delayed. God still loves you. He still has a plan for you. He has a great big plan for you. That has never changed. God is still waiting for you to turn around. That’s allowed, you know. You’re not too old. So don’t let anyone try to tell you because you messed up God’s plan for you is ruined. They don’t know because it’s not their plan or purpose. Your purpose is yours and only God can give it to you, no one else. Remember that, lovely ones. Your purpose is between you and God.
Now brush yourself off, wipe your eyes and straighten your tiara. Take a deep breath and let it out. You may be a little battered and bruised, maybe a little smudge of dirt here and there but that’s okay. Reach out your hand and grab onto the outstretched hand of God. Tell Him sincerely and humbly, “I’m sorry I’m late. Please forgive me.”
Listen as He lovingly says, “I’ve been waiting for you, dear one. Now let’s move forward.” Then follow Him into 2017 and into your purpose. It’s going to be exciting!
Monday, December 19, 2016
It’s almost Christmas! Now, maybe some of you are grumbling about that. Don’t stop reading, keep going! This holiday seems to bring out the Scrooge’s and Grinch’s from all around. I understand that because, for many people Christmas is not a pleasant holiday. It causes sadness, stress, and pressure rather than peace. But it doesn’t have to.
At this time of year, there is so much going on that it’s easy to forget about peace. Many people are experiencing loss, illness, sadness and much more. It’s easy to fall into despair. Yet, it’s when we focus on the Reason we celebrate this time of year that the enemy begins an even bigger assault on all of us in order to take our eyes off Jesus. However, one thing he can’t take from us is our peace.
Although the devil has come to steal, kill, and destroy, we can be encouraged in knowing we have abundant life in Jesus! After all, this is why He came; to give hope. He came to give peace. He came to literally give His life for us so that we could have an abundant life. Oh, but don’t misunderstand, beautiful ones. That abundant life can begin right here and right now. You don’t have to wait until you get to heaven to enjoy abundance.
Many people today are living in a state of stress, regret, and or depression, anxiety, sadness, illness, and pressure of all kinds because these are the things that are being spoken around them, over them, and into them. Though why focus on all of that? I understand that bad stuff happens, especially around the holidays. It’s not fun. It’s hard. It’s sad. And I’m not diminishing it one iota.
What I’m saying is that even though we go through bad stuff in our lives, we can focus on the peace rather than the pressure. We can focus on Jesus rather than our situation. We can redirect our emotions and instead of asking, “Why now?” we can look at Jesus and ask for wisdom and peace to get through it. He promised.
“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” ~John 16:33 (NLT)
We will have trials and sorrows in this world. Because that’s where the devil is prowling around, looking to cause trouble. However, Jesus said that He overcame the world. He died for our sins in this world. So, nothing we go through is too much for us to handle if we are focused on Jesus, our peace, rather than the pressure we’re going through.
Life is tough. I won’t lie about that. I know. I’ve experienced my share of it. But I don’t have to remain focused on the pressure of the circumstances. I can give them to Jesus, because He said I could. He said you could, too.
“Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” ~Matthew 11:28 (NLT)
“I cry out to the LORD; I plead for the LORD’s mercy. I pour out my complaints before him and tell him all my troubles.” ~Psalm 142:1-2 (NLT)
Knowing Jesus wants us to bring our worries, stress, burdens, heavy loads and our pressure to Him certainly gives hope that we aren’t alone, especially during the holidays. I’m glad I can tell Him everything. I’m also glad He listens. But even more than that, I’m really glad that I can have peace rather than pressure every day. So can you. If you’ll just talk to Him, He’ll bend down and listen to you. That’s a promise.
“Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath!” ~Psalm 116:2 (NLT)