Friday, December 2, 2011

God Renews Me

"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power." - Ephesians 6:10 NIV

As I mentioned yesterday, since Thanksgiving I've had no energy or desire to do anything except sleep. After shopping on Black Friday, I came home and slept. We drove up north on Saturday and I slept through most of the drive, which took all day. Sunday, after church, I came home to get some things done that needed my attention but took a 3-hour nap instead. Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday, I napped off and on, mostly on, getting dressed only when it was time to pick up my granddaughter from school. What in the world was wrong with me? I've never been this tired!!

God finally got through to me Wednesday evening as I was heading to bed early, despite having napped through most of the day. I had been putting Him last in my priorities, making excuses as to why I didn't have time to get my Bible study done and shirking in my prayers. I realized if I wanted to get back to "normal", if I wanted to get my energy back and not feel so tired and lazy, I had to give God control. I had to get back into my routine of putting Him first and letting the rest of the day fall under His power. So, yesterday morning I did just that. And I have to praise God for answered prayer! He renewed my strength; He re-energized me. I felt like the Energizer Bunny yesterday!! I washed the dishes, wrote my grocery list, cut coupons, did my Prayer Study for Life group, got through most of the email I've let slide the last few days and didn't even think about taking a nap. Hallelujah!! Some of you may say, "Oh, that's just a coincidence. You've been sleeping for most of the past few days; of course you have energy now!" Well, I don't believe in coincidence. I believe in the power of God and answered prayer and I KNOW that's exactly what happened!!

Isaiah 40:31 NIV says, "Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint." When I'm tired and weary, He will strengthen me. When I'm discouraged and defeated, He will lift me up. When I'm anxious and fearful, He will give me courage. When I'm worried, He will comfort me. I can run this race called life, knowing that whatever I face, God is with me. All I have to do is turn to Him and ask and He will renew me. Thank You God!!

"If we are whimpering, and sniveling, and begging to be spared the discipline of life that is sent to knock some smatterings of manhood into us, the answer to that prayer may never come at all. Thank God! If you are not bleating to get off, but asking to be given grace and strength to see this through with honour, "The very day" you pray that prayer, the answer always comes." - A. J. Gossip

Dear Lord, Thank You for renewing my strength and energy. When I rely on You and Your promises, You always come through for me. I lift up to You praise and worship for answered prayer, strength, comfort, courage, hope and peace. All come from You. Let me draw energy from You today and may Your will take priority over my own. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Am I Listening?

"But whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm." - Proverbs 1:33 NIV

I haven't been listening to God lately. I've been allowing Satan to place distractions in my way when it comes to Bible study and this blog. First it was out-of-town relatives visiting...I had to make sure they were entertained and taken care of. Then it was getting ready for Thanksgiving...I had to make sure the house was clean and my part of the cooking was done. Then Thanksgiving itself...I had a houseful of guests to feed and make comfortable. Then Black Friday shopping and a trip up north. Since then, all I've want to do is sleep. Oh yes, Satan has placed plenty of distractions in the way...but I've let him.

It's not that God, through the Holy Spirit, otherwise called my conscience, hasn't been talking to me. He has. I've chosen not to listen. I may have skipped a day or two of Bible study but I've gotten caught up. I've prayed each day, just not as long as I usually do. I thank Him for my blessings, just not as often as I should. AND...I'm making excuses for my behavior and my choices.

I've been having trouble prioritizing my days because I'm trying to do it myself and not allowing God to have priority in my life. Instead of praying and getting into His Word first thing each day, I've chosen to sleep or throw a load of laundry in the wash or do the dishes I left in the sink from the night before or play on my phone or........anything but spend time with God FIRST. No wonder I've been in a's one of my own making.

It's amazing how much more I get done, how much more energy I have and how much smoother my day goes when I listen to and spend time with the Lord first!! I know this to be a fact, yet I've made the choice the last few weeks to push Him aside for my own selfish pursuits. God's voice has been getting louder and louder and I'm now making the choice to listen again. I like how my day unfolds when He's in charge. With His help, I made the decision to pray, do my Bible study and blog before anything else this morning. He lead me to several verses this morning that have brought peace and joy to my soul and have reminded me that He is in charge and I have so much to be thankful for. He reminded me that He is with me constantly and that, if I will be still and listen, He will lead me. Am I listening? I'm so glad to be able to say today that I am.

"Just as in prayer it is not we who momentarily catch His attention, but He ours, so when we fail to hear His voice, it is not because He is not speaking so much as that we are not listening. We must recognize that all things are in God and that God is in all things, and we must learn to be very attentive, in order to hear God speaking in His ordinary tone without any special accent." - Charles H. Brent

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for never giving up on me. Thank You for Your Holy Spirit who works in me even when I resist. Guide me to hear and listen to You each day. I always want to put You first. Help me to resist Satan and the distractions he places into my life. Guide me each day through prayer, Your Word and the Holy Spirit. In Jesus' name I ask, Amen.