Your Life Matters to God

A parable is a simple story that is used to illustrate a moral or spiritual lesson, and the Lord Jesus Christ used them often. The greatest teacher that has ever lived, he understood that there would be some folks that needed to have spiritual lessons broken down in small chewable bites. They weren’t quite ready for the meat and had to have milk instead. The extremely impressive thing is that for those that were ready for the meat, the very same lessons fed them in an undeniable way as well. Take for instance the parable about a lost coin beginning in Luke 15:8. It’s about a woman who losses something very precious to her, and if you’ve ever lost something that means a great deal to you, you’ll know just how she felt.

During the periods that were written about in God’s Word, women were not treated as a man’s equal. Genesis 3:16 gives us some insight about how this came to be. In this verse, God told Eve that the devil would curse her with pain during childbirth, and there would also be a curse of inequality in the marital relationship. This happened because of the influence of darkness and Adam’s and Eve’s decision to succumb to it. As we look around today, the devil is still up to his old tricks. It should come as no surprise to anyone that there’s still a spiritual war going on between good and evil.

Our souls are at stake, because that is what the devil is after—he is after our souls, but he is required to do his evil shenanigans in a legal way. This is an important truth that you and I must know. You see the devil cannot violate God’s laws. In order to harm anyone, he has to do it on legal grounds. Think about it, the devil couldn’t just take all the good stuff God had given to Adam and Eve. If that were the case, he would never have had to trick them into disobeying God. So, the truth is that the devil is always on the prowl, looking for something he can use against God’s people legally.

In the Book of Job in the Old Testament, Job 1:7(NLT) tells us, “Where have you come from?” the LORD asked Satan. Satan answered the LORD, “I have been patrolling the earth, watching everything that’s going on.” The Bible refers to the enemy as the ‘accuser’ because accusing is what the devil does. Looking to find dirt on us, he patrols the earth for something he can use to levy a case and land a curse against us. Its why God warned us in 1Peter 5:8(NLT), “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.”

As a consequence for Eve’s sin against God, the enemy was able to land a curse that caused disharmony and inequality in the relationship with her husband. This persisted in relationships between men and women for thousands of years, then Jesus Christ came to the earth at the time God appointed and rescued us all from the darkness and fear that the enemy caused.

The knowledge of this curse, and understanding the backdrop of what women endured, will allow us to see how distraught the woman was in the parable Jesus taught in Luke 15:8 (NKJV). He said, “Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it?” This woman lost a silver coin, and at a time when women had no rights and couldn’t work, a wedding dowry of coins might have been the only thing she could truly call her own.

It was hers. If anything happened to her husband or if he no longer wanted to be married to her, she would at least have her coins. So, when Jesus Christ said that she lights a lamp, sweeps the entire house, and searches carefully until she finds it, her diligence is very understandable. Luke 15:9 tells us that when she finds the coin, she will call in her friends and neighbors to rejoice with her. Luke 15:10 tells us that in this same way, God’s angels rejoice when one sinner repents and comes to Jesus.

Jesus wants us to understand how heaven rejoices when God’s family is expanded on the earth. Can you imagine? This is beyond wonderful!!! All of this rejoicing is done over each of us, and it demonstrates how much our individual lives and what we do with them matters to God. He doesn’t want you to be mistreated or feel insecure or bad about yourself. God gave His only begotten Son so that you would have the chance to be happy and blessed down here. He desires this so much for you, and the very least you can do is desire it for yourself. ■

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

“Your Life Matters to God”
written by Fran, edited by PMB for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2019. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!

Flashing Red Lights

A few years ago, I met Amy in the courthouse lobby downtown. She had a familiar brand of nervousness and angst. It was a state of being I know quite a bit about, and it pulled my attention straight away. Growing up, my neighborhood was full of abused women, and some of their abusers did things that were more ruthless than I would dare write about here. But these women stayed. Their children were raised seeing their mothers abused, and seeing their fathers pay no price for it. Amy didn’t have any children, but she had witnessed her mother taking verbal and emotional abuse from her father for many years. Her mother rarely defended herself, became lost in many ways, and stayed in the marriage.

Amy was just out of college. She spent her last year as a senior with an obsessive boyfriend who would threaten to do her harm if she ever ended the relationship. He was local to the area where they both attended college, and she landed a really good paying job there after graduating. She tried breaking things off with him several times, and after she moved into her own apartment, she felt she’d have some peace. And it was for a while—it was peaceful, but after a few weeks, the phone calls were non-stop. There were times that he seemed unbelievably sweet and caring, and she found herself forgiving him and allowing him back into her life. For months she tried the ‘let’s be friends’ approach, but he wasn’t having it. And the final straw was when he started showing up at her job; waiting for her after work.

She didn’t want folks at her job in her business, but she had to get security involved. It was then that one of the officers advised her to file a restraining order. It had never occurred to her to take that step, and she was terrified of what might happen when she did. Abusive situations like these are tormenting, and we must know that God doesn’t want this to happen to anyone. He will give us the kind of wisdom and spiritual guidance that will lead us away from danger. He tells us in Proverbs 1:7 that respecting His counsel will build a lasting foundation of true knowledge, but He also warns in this same verse that there will be some people who despise wisdom and discipline, and they have problems because they won’t listen to Him. This is an avoidable mistake.

In His Word, God provides wisdom, and if we will allow ourselves to be guided by His wisdom, we can make good relationship decisions. Through the Lord Jesus Christ, we can love smart. The very first step to loving smart is to make prayer a continual habit pattern. God never gets tired of hearing from us. He loves it! Jesus Christ said in Luke 18:1 that we should always pray. Think about a loving couple that have been together a long time. They know each other so well that they can finish each other’s sentences. They share a communication that is deeper than words. This is because they’ve spent time with one another. They are interested in what the other has to say, so they listen to one another.

Establishing our relationship with Heavenly Father is like this in some ways. The relationship each of us has with God through Christ is a very personal thing. The more we talk to Him, the more intimate our communication and communion with Him becomes. Heavenly Father is a loving God, and He sees things that we simply can’t see or know. Psalm 121:3 says that He’ll keep our feet from falling; He will not let us slip. This is what God will do for us, but if we desire His protection, we can’t exclude Him from our decision making. He’ll warn us, but we must talk with Him often, so we can recognize those flashing red lights of danger that He provides.

It was a very turbulent ordeal for Amy to get away from her abuser, but the restraining order seems to be helping. She is still nervous at times, and constantly looking over her shoulder. We need to know that God offers us His peace and protection. During the toughest times of our lives, He is with us and willing to help. He tells us in 2Corinthians 12:9 that His grace is all we need, and His power works best in weakness. If we trust Him, Heavenly Father will always get us through abusive situations, but He also desires that we’re committed to pray and talk with Him more. When we do this, our spiritual senses will be sharpened, then we’ll be able to recognize His warnings and have the wisdom to heed them. ■

“Flashing Red Lights” written by Fran, edited by PMB for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2019. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!

Have You Ever Tried Running up A Mountain?

The term ‘wholeness’ is one we apply to an individual that is thriving mentally, physically, emotionally, and most importantly, spiritually. The Bible is instrumental in helping us understand what happens when the spiritual part of us is out of whack. All the other parts of us go haywire too. Most people would agree that when it comes to the mental acumen for things like technology and science, humanity has advanced in many areas. One would expect that all the other aspects of our being would keep pace, but in fact they haven’t. This is particularly true regarding our emotional well-being. The times are exceedingly stressful, and although we’ve grown adept to keeping up with technological gizmos, emotionally, we seem to fall further and further behind.

In Hebrews 12:1, the Apostle Paul said that since we’re surrounded by the witness of all these wonderful folks that lived with incredible faith in God, we have no excuse. We have to get busy like they did. After all, they were not perfect. They had flaws, but they ran the race God placed before them and accomplished what He wanted them to do. We all have a race to run; all of us! Paul tells us to go ahead and strip off all that heavy negative stuff that weighs us down so we can run with endurance. Sure, we might become tired, but not easily so; we’ll keep running no matter what, with our eyes continually on the prize.

What’s happening to a lot of folks is that they’re not able to run because they don’t understand they’re in a race. And not only this, they haven’t built up endurance. Why is this such a huge problem? Well, it’s a huge problem because life happens. God designed life to be a constantly moving, everchanging, progressive, and productive dynamic. It doesn’t slow down and wait for anyone. It just keeps going, and if you’re not prepared for the ‘get down’, it will boogie right on passed you. The wonderful people that He tells us about in Hebrews 12:1 had incredible faith, and we know this because they faced incredible obstacles. You can’t have one without the other. Jesus Christ tells us in Romans 8:37 that through him, we’re more than conquerors, but you can’t be a conqueror if there’s nothing to defeat.

Given this, it is inevitable that life will present some mountains. In Mark 11:23(NLT), Jesus Christ used a mountain to teach us about faith. He said, “I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart.” Some of us are dealing with some mountains right now. Maybe you’re in an abusive relationship, and it seems there’s no way out. Perhaps your debt is mounting, and you can’t see a way to get from underneath it. From marriage problems to unrelenting sadness, many of us have what we consider to be mountain size challenges. The good news is that this is the Lord’s specialty. There’s nothing too hard for Him, and He loves to help us.

Sooner or later, we’re going to have to face the reality that the mountain is part of our race. Yep, sure is. I know, it seems insurmountable, every mountain does when you’re looking at it from the ground up. That’s why God tells us to keep our eyes on His love while we’re moving through rough terrain, so we’ll never see the problem bigger than we see Him.

This is not to minimize the difficulties we face in life, because keeping it real, have you ever tried to run up a mountain? What?!!! Try putting the treadmill on the highest maximum incline—it’s no joke, but the thing is, we up the ante on the treadmill because we know it’s going to give us a good workout. Life is given to us by the Creator to do same thing to our faith—to give it a maximum workout. With the treadmill, you can press ‘stop’ and get off. Life doesn’t work quite the same. You can’t ‘get off’ of life unless you take yourself out; and some folks are doing this. They are ending their lives because the pace of life exceeds their emotional acumen to deal with it. God has given us a better way! It’s the way that leads to wholeness.

It’s awesome that we’re making all these technological and scientific advancements, but ‘The Cloud’ ain’t got nothing on the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus Christ is where the action is! Through him, God has equipped us to not just keep pace with life, but to blaze a trail of love that others can follow. God would not give us a race that we’re incapable of running. Let’s get moving by being more committed to Him. Let’s study His Word and pray more. Give the Holy Spirit greater room in your heart. Throw out the welcome mat and ask him to come in and help you prepare. He’ll help you train. Then you’ll have the endurance to run up that mountain and run the race God has placed before you with the victory of faith. ■

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

“Have You Ever Tried Running up A Mountain?”
written by Fran, edited by PMB for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2019. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!

He Will Help You Get Your Treasures Back

One of the most well-known passages of scripture in the Bible is in the Gospel of Matthew. In it, Jesus Christ extends an overwhelmingly generous and loving invitation. In Matthew 11:28-30, he tells us, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” If you’ve never faced a problem or issue in life so troubling that you literally feel imprisoned by it, then the invitation of our Lord and Master may not mean much to you. But if you’re anything like me, and you’ve had your back pinned against the walls of your circumstances and condition a few times, then you will understand and appreciate the lifeline our Redeemer is offering.

Recover
He offers us rest, and it is more than just a temporary reprieve. It is a rest that allows us to recover, be restored, and increase in spiritual strength. Spiritual recovery is so important to us because it brings the healing that only our Lord and Savior can provide. And all we need to do is ask for it. Very often we feel imprisoned by life’s circumstances because our destiny is to be at point C and we’re still at point A. We must remember at all times that we’re spiritual beings having an earth experience. Our body provides the vehicle to move about within the earth, but our spirits provide the opportunity to move with Holy Spirit power according to God’s Will and Plan. So, when we feel as though we’re stuck in life, growing in God’s love, nature, and power is always the solution. This is why Jesus Christ tells us in Matthew 11:29 that the conduit to the rest he offers is to learn about him.

Restore
We have a dastardly evil enemy, and he is the devil. Jesus Christ said in John 10:10 that the devil is a thief whose chief mission is to kill, steal, and destroy. Our Big Brother and Lord would never lie to us. Jesus Christ is truth itself. So, if he tells us that we have a treacherous spiritual enemy, it would be incredibly unwise and catastrophic if we refuse to believe him. He wants us to know about our enemy, and he also wants us to know how to protect ourselves against him. God’s Word places this wisdom in our hands.  

I heard a wonderful believer’s testimony about an encounter he experienced after praying fervently for a friend. His friend was very bound by oppressive situations. They were fracturing his family relationships and depleting his finances. This friend had contemplated suicide and came to this man for prayer. While meditating in the Lord, the believer saw a massive room filled to capacity with every imaginable treasure, and everything in this room was chained. He knew that these were treasures of God’s people that had been stolen by satan. Understand that God will help us get our treasures back.

Heavenly Father told His people in Joel 2:25(NLT), “I will give you back what you lost to the swarming locusts, the hopping locusts, the stripping locusts, and the cutting locusts.” God’s people had lost everything that was important to them, and the locusts in this verse are symbolic of the devil who steals and destroys the things we value. God reminded His people that only He has the power to restore. They had made the terrible mistake of putting their faith in the wrong things, but in order that God could restore them, they needed to turn to Him in obedience and have faith in Him. This is true for us as well. It’s why we need to learn about Jesus Christ in God’s Word, because learning about his love, ministry, and the extraordinary sacrifice he made for us will build our faith.

Increase in spiritual strength
Increasing in spiritual strength is probably the most important aspect of rest. God tells us in Ephesians 6:10 to be strong in Him and in the strength of His might. Life requires His strength, and the more we know about Him the stronger we become. It is important for us to respect that our destinies are etched in stone, so to speak. Our conscious minds are not aware of all that God has slated for us, and it’s why we must trust Him with all our being. He knows where we’re supposed to be, when we’re supposed to be there, and He knows how to get us there. Our propensity is to try and control the journey, and this won’t work. The rest that Jesus Christ offers requires that we give him the wheel. This is a no brainer. We should never hesitate but take the lifeline and rest he offers; we desperately need it.

While we’re in the passenger seat, we’ve got plenty of time to read, study, pray, and mediate on God’s goodness. That’s the whole purpose of rest, to remember what has been done for us through Christ, and to rest in it. You see, there’s a mindset of intentionality that’s expected of us. We must intend to gain spiritual strength as we rest. If that’s not our intention, we won’t have the strength to maintain what God restores. Let’s do our part by resting in the peace that Christ offers. We’ll be amazed at what the Lord does in our circumstances when our hearts are truly committed to spiritually grow and increase our faith in Him. ■

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

“He Will Help You Get Your Treasures Back”
written by Fran, edited by PMB for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2019. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!

A Fresh Start

I was asked recently to pray for a woman that has been in an abusive marriage for over 25 years. Her husband has been abusive in many ways, including habitual infidelity. She’s tried to leave the marriage several times, but each time he has begged for forgiveness and made promises to change his behavior. She has taken him back and continued to suffer through his abuse and cheating. His years of affairs have produced more than one child outside of their marriage. The child support for those kids has diminished college funds and financial support for the children they have together. Now that she’s in her fifties, and after all the lies and everything she’s been through, she says she’s finally going to leave him and give herself a fresh start.

When we think of the word ‘fresh’, we automatically think about newness or something that is different. The mere mention of the word inspires good feelings. We get excited about the possibility of leaving the ‘old, worn out, and no longer useful’ behind us. The harsh reality that stares all of us in the face is that newness doesn’t get it’s beginning from the external, it is birthed internally first. Real and lasting change begins in our hearts and minds. This is an astounding truth that most people ignore.

There are many reasons that a person will remain in an abusive relationship. If children are involved, the abuser may contribute part or all their financial support, making it more challenging to leave the marriage or relationship. Also, both pride and fear can be deterrents to leaving as well. When the abuser has some degree of affluence or prominence in the community, pride can become a stronghold. Fear of abusive retribution and retaliation, as well as the fear of a withdrawal of support, is also very much part of the reason why many people remain in abusive relationships. But these are not the root cause of why a person stays, they are what’s on the surface.

The truth is that God has empowered every individual of sound mind to achieve and accomplish whatever they truly want to do. When we’re relentless or passionate about something, most of us find a way to get what we want done. So, there has to be something deep-seated in someone’s mind and heart to make them feel as though they are unable to be set free. This isn’t a judgment. I was bound by four walls of self-doubt, self-condemnation, and insecurity for many years, so I know the entrapment of a mindset of powerlessness very well. I personally believe it is its own hell, a prison that ensnares countless numbers of individuals who believe there’s no hope.

In 1Timothy 6:12(NLT), God tells us through the Apostle Paul, “Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have confessed so well before many witnesses.” God’s Word is true. It is the Source of any truth that exists in the earth. A thing may be factual, but facts change all the time. Truth is eternal, and it is this fight, the fight to stand on our truth in Christ, that is the greatest fight of all.

Instead of fighting to stand ground on the truth of our strength, ability, and liberty that Christ gave his life to make available to us, we fight for the thing that enslaves us. We fight our strength, ability, and liberty when we don’t believe in them. Jesus Christ tells us in John 8:32 that only the truth will set us free. And the truth is that we will have to give up the mindset of powerlessness for a mindset of hope.

Hope is the first step to a fresh start, but it will require something that only the Lord Jesus Christ can provide in order to back it up. We need the power of the Spirit of God, and we must invite Him to do a work on the inside of us. Without this, we slip back into old ways of thinking and behaving and continue to allow ourselves to suffer. We must acknowledge that we are indeed in a fight, and we will need more than the armor human understanding and skill can provide. We need the whole armor of God, and He freely offers it. He tells us in Ephesians 6:11 to put it on, and therein lies a true fresh start. ■

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

A Fresh Start
written by Fran, edited by PMB for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2019. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!

Untangling A Tangled Mess

My father was a military guy, and he liked order. This rubbed off on my sisters and me. We all tend to get a little antsy when things aren’t in their proper places. I think I’m more tolerable of untidiness than my other siblings. Sometimes I leave dishes in the sink overnight and can go a couple of days without hanging up my clothes, but I recognize and appreciate the discipline of order. When I don’t have it, I’m not as comfortable. The procrastination anxiety of having too much on my plate to manage will ultimately drive me nuts. So, I try not to let things get too out of hand in my living space. I enjoy that ‘feel-good’ sense of calm that you get from cleaning up and having things tidy. If only life could be that way most of the time, we’d be all set.

One can appreciate the ability to compartmentalize, because that’s what we do in life. We can have order in one area, but total chaos in another. We can have confidence in what we’re doing in one aspect of our existence, like our jobs for instance, but when it comes to other areas, we can’t figure out what’s up and what’s down. Very often, this seesaw effect is most apparent in our relationships because intimate connections reveal our greatest vulnerabilities. We’re not perfect. We’re going to make ‘big time’ mistakes. This comes with the human experience. It is important, though, to forgive ourselves for those mistakes. It is equally important for us to recognize, especially in our relationships, that we are in a process of development.

If life proves nothing else, it bears witness to evolution and progress. Life is an ever-changing and evolving dynamic. As believers, this means trusting the reality that life doesn’t end because our physical bodies die. We are born once physically, and then born-again spiritually. The first birth gives us life on earth, and the second birth gives us life in the Spirit through Jesus Christ. The second birth is an eternal reality. Jesus Christ always knew what he came to earth to do, and he also knew the suffering he’d have to endure to make the second birth a reality for humankind. In John 3:14-16, he spoke of his death to Nicodemus and said that he had to be lifted up and crucified on the cross. He said that everyone who believes in his mission, sacrifice and resurrection would receive eternal life.

Eternal life is life that never ends. There’s little to no reason to become better humans if we have no hope of life beyond what we can see day to day. Because our hope is in Christ, we understand that life affords us a choice to become better versions of ourselves through God’s love, and not through negativity or hate. We can choose better because of Christ and what he accomplished, and we can be present in the moment knowing that we are WORKS-in-progress.

God has designed life in such a way that the more we comprehend that it’s Him who does the untangling of life’s messes, the more progress we make. We move ahead by leaps and bounds if our mode of operating is one of not interrupting what God is doing in our lives. He’s teaching us a new and better way of handling life’s hiccups, and the lesson is that we should not use our words and thoughts to block His flow and further tangle things. We block God’s work through doubt and negativity. These are groove killers. They take us out of the realm of faith, and therefore block the process and the progress.

All it takes is one time—just one time for you to speak positive words of hope unrelentingly over a troublesome situation. A commitment to do so will get you hooked by the results it yields. This is achieved by saying what God says, and He says that through the faith of Jesus Christ, all things are possible by believing and trusting Him. Jesus Christ said in Mark 11:23 that we can speak to a mountain and tell it to move and be cast in the sea; if we command this with no doubt in our hearts, that mountain is outta here. If we believe, and don’t doubt in our hearts, we will have what we confess by faith.

This isn’t always an on-the-spot or overnight reality. It’s a process, just as we are a work in process. It takes a lifetime to get some things right down here, and just as we must be patient with our own self-growth and development, we must be patient as we continually apply faith, and not fear, to the situations of life.

God will make our crooked paths straight. If we confess and think anything that doesn’t jive with this truth, then we’re thinking and confessing something that is contrary to who He is and what He has said in His Word. Doing this, falsely thinking and confessing, is dangerous business, and we should want no part in it.

God wouldn’t give us these powerful spiritual tools if life were always easy. We wouldn’t need them if we didn’t make mistakes and if we didn’t need to learn to walk by faith. God has given us His Word so that we walk in the Spirit and in the grace of all that He’s made available to us. Let’s believe that God will untangle the tangled messes of our lives, and let’s trust Him with all our hearts by speaking and thinking in alignment with His power and love. ■

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

“Untangling A Tangled Mess”
written by Fran, edited by PMB for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2019. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!

The Truth of Liberty

Jesus Christ said in John 8:32 that the truth will make us free. This is razor-sharp clarity for any person seeking to live a successful life. If you’ve never struggled with overwhelming sadness, don’t know what it feels like to be all alone, and haven’t had to battle internal thoughts of insecurity and self-doubt, then you might not be able to appreciate the words of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. But if you have indeed had to confront some of these things, then you know what it is to be in mental and emotional bondage. These things can enslave us and make getting up every day feel like a chore instead of a privilege. Jesus Christ offers us a strategy for breaking loose. He tells us that the truth will make us free, because he wants us to know that the quest for our truth is the greatest journey any living person can take.

We waste a lot of valuable time searching for, and often not finding, the thing that is going to bring us the most fulfilment and satisfaction in life. Before I sought the wisdom of God regarding this search for truth and personal fulfilment, I often wondered why this information didn’t come standard with our programming. Seeking the truth, seeking fulfillment, and most importantly seeking a closer relationship with God; why is it necessary to seek what often seems so elusive? In answering this, I’m reminded that with God, we always have to keep it 100; and for those unfamiliar with the vernacular, know that God requires transparency in our approach. None of us can live free by believing a lie. So, when we come before God, we must do so with the intention of laying it all out on the table and surrendering everything to Him. It’s the only way forward.

Jesus Christ tells us in Matthew 6:33 that seeking the Kingdom of God and His righteousness must be priority #1. This allows us to know concretely that there’s something in this ‘seeking’ business that’s very important to God. It’s not complicated. Heavenly Father requires us to engage the process of seeking Him, because our effort to do so demonstrates the importance we place on finding Him. No person diligently seeks or searches for anything unless they value it.  

One of the truths that brought liberty to me in life is understanding that the intensity of our desires to obtain and retain the things we value will be tested, and sometimes severely so. How badly we want the thing and exactly why we want it will be brought to bear. Comprehending this further demonstrates the significance of why God requires us to seek Him, because only He can give us what we need. Jesus Christ said in Luke 8:17 that the secret thing will eventually be brought to the open, and what we do in the dark will be brought to the light. Transparency in our motives, desires, and identity is not negotiable. God has designed the universe in such a way that the truth is its fuel. This means that not only our desires, but again, our ability to steward and hold-on to the things we value most will be put to the test.

The motivation for our desires speaks volumes about who we are. It tells the truth about what is important to us. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 6:21 that wherever the thing we value most is, that’s where we can find our hearts. We are free to seek whatever we desire, but we must recognize that seeking anything outside of love will enslave us. The truth of liberty is that it comes only from seeking love, and 1John 4:8 declares that the God of Heaven above is love. He is the only Source of it.

When we’re frustrated by our circumstances and it seems as if nothing is going right, the truth will bring the liberty that Jesus Christ offers IF we seek it. God is not withholding His blessings. He’s shedding His light where darkness is hiding out. He’s illuminating our path so we can see what He sees. He’s correcting our motivation for desiring certain things so that love becomes the foundation that anchors them. If we’ll humble ourselves, pay attention, and seek His Kingdom first, the things we desire will manifest. They will continue to be a blessing to us and to others as well. ■

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

“The Truth of Liberty”
written by Fran, edited by PMB for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2018. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!