Wait…

Being asked to wait works against our human nature; we’re born for action! No wonder the past year has been so difficult for many. I am often unwilling to wait because it feels like I’m not acting responsibly.

In looking back on my waiting experiences, I can see that as I practice waiting, I am growing in patience and humility. Patience involves trust. Placement of trust is important — ask yourself: Who am I Trusting? By learning to trust God while waiting we see that He IS at work in our life.

Throughout scripture we are told to trust in God and wait patiently upon Him. This does not mean inaction. With investments there’s a term called progressive passive income. It’s when you make an initial investment and over time it progressively grows; by waiting, you allow time to multiply your investment. So, it is with certain aspects of our spiritual life. We take action by investing, or turning over our life to God’s care, and there are seasons when we wait. It may appear to be lackadaisical, but in actuality, passive growth or compounding is occurring. How, what, or whom, we are willing to invest (or leave with) with God will determine the growth we experience.

Can you look back upon your life and see where this passive growth has occurred? When I consider the most difficult long-term waits in my life, I see now that God was doing some of His most important work in me. I just needed to Step Back and wait upon Him. Areas that I have made major investments in and then had to wait are: waiting to having children, our adoption process, marriage issues, marital separation, and divorce. Now I am also waiting, for the forgiveness and healing process to multiply. Yes, there’s pain in waiting, but remember God is working in the midst of it.

Seasons…

There are seasons that seem slow to us. Investing in prayer, fasting, giving, and faithfulness can feel like nothing is really happening. But God is always working in some way in us as we trust Him. Using our season of waiting to grow our relationship with Him is wise. We can learn valuable lessons during this time and find contentment and peace in the process.

Psalm 27:14 Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord.

Isaiah 40:31 But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

Galatians 6:9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

Psalm 37:7 Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!

Psalm 62:5 For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken.

Micah 7:7 But as for me, I will look to the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me.

Photo credit: Google Images

Nancy Demary

Being asked to wait works against our human nature; we’re born for action! No wonder the past year has been so difficult for many. I am often unwilling to wait because it feels like I’m not acting responsibly.

In looking back on my waiting experiences, I can see that as I practice waiting, I am growing in patience and humility. Patience involves trust. Placement of trust is important — ask yourself: Who am I Trusting? By learning to trust God while waiting we see that He IS at work in our life.

Throughout scripture we are told to trust in God and wait patiently upon Him. This does not mean inaction. With investments there’s a term called progressive passive income. It’s when you make an initial investment and over time it progressively grows; by waiting, you allow time to multiply your investment. So, it is with certain aspects of…

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Recipe for Relief

While living in Romania, I would find joy in the morning by sitting on the porch reading God’s Word and watching Gabriel herd his sheep, and goats, down the lane. I would think about Jesus, our gentle Shepherd, and it would bring me peace. We can find ourselves at times in emotional and spiritual struggle and I hope this article brings relief to your mind during these times.

The Recipe

Read God’s Word often and ask the Holy Spirit to help you trust the Father and understand what He has written. Put on the armor of God and pray as the scriptures instructs us. Resist temptation and keep your heart clean.

Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. (Luke 24:45)

Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints… (Ephesians 6:18)

Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41)

Walk humbly before God and thank Him for opening your eyes to see Him. Our real enemy is Satan, the deceiver, those who oppose God are still blind. Pray that their eyes may be opened to Truth from God.

But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. (2Corinthians 4:3-4)

Trust your Heavenly Father, He is at work in ways much higher than we know. He is in control and has authority over this world and He will bring justice in His time. Acknowledge His will above your own and pray as Jesus taught us in Matthew 6:9-15.

Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then should the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so?” (Matthew 26:52-54).

Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” (Romans 12:19)

Fast (Isaiah 58) and pray, financially support, and speak on behalf of those who are truly oppressed. Extend yourself to those in legitimate need: children of poverty, refugees fleeing war, orphans, children in foster-care, widows without means of support (no family), preborn babies and their parents who are considering aborting them, and the families of those unjustly imprisoned for their faith.

Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause. Isaiah 1:17.

Understand that God is allowing each heart to be revealed. God, our creator and sustainer, is warning us all (our entire world) to reflect and consider if we will submit to Him or not (individuals and governments). He is a loving Father and gave everything to extend mercy to us, but at some point, because He is also a just Creator, His righteous judgement will come. But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. (Romans 2:5)

Remember: For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” (I Peter 3:12)

 Photo Credit: flickr.com/Turatti

The Wind of the Spirit

Nancy Demary

dandelions-691928__480Romans 8:14-15 (AMP) “ For all who are allowing themselves to be led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.  For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading again to fear [of God’s judgment], but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons [the Spirit producing sonship] by which we [joyfully] cry, “Abba! Father!”

As God’s adopted children, knowing our position in the Kingdom of God gives us the confidence we need to overcome fear.  Remember who your Father is — Creator, Sustainer, and Ruler of heaven and earth!  Romans, Chapter 8 declares that as obedient children in God’s family we can be free from condemnation and live as His own adopted children, available to freely serve our Father as He created us to.  Fear is a major hindrance that binds us from this freedom.

Fear is used by the enemy of our soul…

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There’s Room for You

Nancy Demary

Christmas AloneAs we consider Christmas, I’d like to remind you that there is room for you close to God’s heart. He desires a relationship with us and awaits your reciprocal desire for Him. His extension of love by giving Jesus Christ as our deliverer is the greatest expression of love He could show.

Christmas alone 2This time of year can feel cruel to many people. A time when love, laughter, and Christmas cheer is promoted, many feel lonely and isolated. There are so many stories that could be shared as to why, yet I’d rather focus on how to remedy this condition.

I received a Christmas card telling of someone dear to me who is facing consequences for their addiction to gambling. It is heartbreaking to see how families of those habituated to some life-dominating problem are drawn into the sad drama of someone else’s poor choices. We feel helpless, and if…

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Compassion

You do not know God by being compassionate, you become compassionate by knowing God.

How do I know if I am a compassionate person? Well, comparing ourselves among ourselves is not how we determine this. Rather, we should look at what Paul teaches in Colossians about compassion and see how we’re doing.

Jesus Christ is the perfect example of compassion. Mark 6:34 says, “And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.”

Use Discernment

There is so much need in our world that giving should be a part of our everyday lives. We give by serving, teaching, helping, and by sharing God’s love found in His Word with those around us. We should not only give to those who may return something to us, but we are encouraged to give to those who may never know us as their benefactor.

By nature, we are self-centered. In order for us to be truly compassionate we need an infusion of God’s divine nature (2Peter 1:4). Do you remember the parable Jesus spoke in Matthew 18: 23-35? He used an example of a king who was owed money, yet the servant was unable to repay him, so he begged for mercy and the king had compassion upon him and forgave him the debt he owed. But that same servant then turned around and went to someone who owed much less to him, and demanded that his borrower repay him everything he owed. The question the king then posed is: Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you? It’s a picture of God’s generous mercy and compassion toward us, yet we often fail to do the same for others.

Self-Check

One way to tell if you are compassionate toward others is seen in your dedication to bringing hope to another soul. This can be done in a variety of ways, it helps to check your audit trail to see how your doing.

Do you carry a lifestyle of debt because of self-consumption? Compare your ongoing spending to how much are you giving out weekly or monthly to others? Following your treasure trail is a good way of determining your compassion level. Money is a primary root that shows what is growing from your tree.

A heart that is free of unforgiveness and bitterness is another. Has God forgiven you, yet you fail to forgive others?

Is your life consumned with your job, your house, your people and your interests? Or do you intentionally care for others with your time, talent and treasure?

God initiates

Our Father had compassion upon us when we weren’t even aware that we needed it. Think about salvation, how long did it take for you to realize that you desperately needed what God was offering you? Once the reality of your need was revealed, how did you respond?

God is the proactive, compassionate one in our world. When we express compassion to another it’s because He has first extended it to us and then puts His virtue into our hearts. Sometimes we express compassion for our own purposes, at other times God uses us for His divine plan.

Do you remember in Exodus 2:6 where it tells of Pharaoh’s daughter extending compassion toward the baby found in the river? “And when she had opened it, she saw the child: and, behold, the babe wept. And she had compassion on him, and said, this is one of the Hebrews’ children.” God placed compassion into the daughter of Pharaoh in order to save Moses’ life.

When we look at God’s compassion toward us, His creation, we see that it is His desire to multiply Himself and His character in our world through our lives. He demonstrated His compassion to us in offering salvation. John 3:16-17 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” Your response will determine your ability to increase in compassion to others.

Our Response

So, how do I know if I am a compassionate person? For the believer, we find in Colossians what Paul indicates our response to God’s compassion to us should be.

Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.

So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world. Because of these sins, the anger of God is coming. You used to do these things when your life was still part of this world. But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language. Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds. 10 Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him. 11 In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us.

12 Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy (compassion), kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.

16 Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. 17 And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father. (Colossians 3:1-17).

Wow! That’s a lot right there. For the Christian, this is our script; here we have the goals for our life. It involves putting off our former, sinful ways and taking on the new way of life patterned after Christ. Look at what it says. It may feel impossible to be transformed as Paul writes here, but slowly you will if you allow the Holy Spirit to work in you.

Use Wisdom

Remember there are two kingdoms that believers are a part of simultaneously: the kingdom of this world and God’s Kingdom. They will never be reconciled prior to Jesus Christ’s coming to judge this world. So, do not become confused as to why there cannot be unity between the two: one is ruled by fallen principalities (Satan and his demons) the other by God (and His angels). We are daily caught in the tension between the two, as Jesus demonstrated and taught us.

We need to exercise wisdom concerning compassion we offer. Even within God’s kingdom, you’ll encounter those who are not in pursuit of what Paul is talking about. So, be careful as you attempt to care for someone as this could become a problem if you are not grounded firmly in scripture. Let me explain.

There are well-meaning, “compassionate” people who serve as enablers (aka codependents). By that I mean they want to do good for everybody, even to the point of being snared into a trap of the enemy (Jude 21-23). They find their fulfillment by taking on another’s responsibility and are used wrongfully. On both sides this becomes a form of idolatry. A very self-centered person, knowingly or not, will latch onto to an enabler. If you find yourself in relationship with someone like this, slow things down, and ask someone to help you discern the relationship. Your “compassion” may be serving to further feed their “flesh” that really needs to die (Col. 3:5-6).

I remember twenty years ago while living in Romania, I needed a pastor to help me with compassion as it pertained to beggars on the street. He explained scenarios in which the beggars make much more money by their “trade” than doing ligitimate work each day as the scripture teaches. Rather than humbling themselves and asking for help from God through the church, they deceive others. My “compassion” was fueling an unhealthy begging situation for this person and the upcoming generations. We can see this in our country through our social welfare system and how it has rendered many to become beggars.

As we exercise compassion, let us walk in humility and follow the Master’s pattern in scripture. Discern, learn from scripture, use wisdom to bring glory to God, He alone rightly deserves praise for any good that we have done.