Image by jainaj via FlickrWelcome friends! I am glad you found my blog and I pray that my writings will guide you to finding peace in the presence of God and thankfulness in your trials so that you can live an abundantly free life in Christ.
The winner of last month's book give-away is Cheryl Bixby! Congratulations! Thank you for your comments. A copy of Jesus Calling is coming your way very soon! I hope this book will be as much of a blessing to you as it has been to me.
I will be giving away another copy of Jesus Calling for the month of January! So, leave a comment on my blog and you will have the chance to win this book.
Now on to my topic:
Everyone's talking about resolutions. Have you made some resolutions for 2011? Will you resolve to lose weight, lose the wrinkles, eat less, exercise more, make more money, pursue happiness or raise successful children? I'm sure you have your own hopes and dreams to add to this list.
Those are all worthwhile resolutions! To phrase it differently, we want to be blessed with all the good things in life and none of the bad! In 2009, my resolution was just to survive. I wanted my marriage to survive, I wanted enough money to pay the bills, I wanted better mental and physical health for my husband and my children. I desired happiness, less stress, more sleep and the ability to laugh, which I found increasingly difficult.
I remember growing up in Florida, my family would often drive over to the beach and my dad would gaze out over the Gulf of Mexico, at sunset, with a far-away look in his eyes. I would ask, "Dad, what are you looking for?" He replied, "I'm waiting for my ship to come in!" I guess that was no more silly than my digging in the sand hoping to find buried treasure!
In 2010, I dug my shovel deep into the Word of God hoping to find a treasure buried there which I had heard about. A treasure that contained abundant riches and blessings and a key to unlock the secret formula for happiness and success. One day, as I was digging, my shovel hit on a promise:
In that moment I realized that the treasure chest was filled with salvation, wisdom and knowledge. They are the true treasures. Proverbs says,He will be the sure foundation for your times,a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge;The fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure.Isaiah 33:6
Blessed is the man (woman) who finds wisdom for it is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. It is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with it. (Proverbs 3:13-14)Knowledge is to help us understand the issues of life and wisdom is to know what to do about them. Looking at the verse in Isaiah, however, I realized that there is a key to unlocking this treasure... the fear of the Lord. So I dug my shovel in again looking for the key. What exactly is the fear of the Lord? Guess what? I found it! Here it is!
Did you know that the fear of the Lord is found in the spoken word? I held the key! It was my very own words! From the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. Whatever we put in, will come out, so turn away from things that don't fill your heart with truth.Come, my children, listen to me;I will teach you the fear of the Lord.Whoever of you loves life andDesires to see many good days.Keep your tongue from eviland your lips from speaking lies.Turn from evil and do good;Seek peace and pursue it. Psalm 34:11-14
I had to take a good hard look at what I was putting into my heart. The biggest thing I allowed into my heart was lies from the enemy. Lies like I need a fully-remodeled house, a nicer car, another nicer car, money to put my kids in all kinds of activities, a summer vacation, a winter vacation, daily coffee at Starbucks, dinner out (frequently), very cool clothes, shoes, accessories and sports equipment for all six of us, etc., etc. When these desires weren't fulfilled, I got angry and I blamed my husband for not living up to my expectations and the lifestyles of the people around me. And the words of destruction started pouring out of my heart and my mouth.
It is not true that God does not want us to have a nice home, nice cars and nice clothes, but what He wanted to teach me is that true happiness does not depend on these things. God wants to give us good things. If we go back to that same chapter in Psalms, look what it says:
This year, I am resolved to seek wisdom since it yields better returns than gold, and I will unlock this treasure by fearing the Lord; in other words, I will be watching my words.Fear the Lord, you his saints,for those who fear him lack nothing!Lions may grow weak and hungry,But those who seek the Lord lackno good thing! Psalm 34: 7-9
The battle is for your mind. Don't let the enemy breathe those lies into your ears where they go straight to your heart and eventually out of your mouth. Do you have your armor on?
My purpose is that (you and I) may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that (we) may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that (we) may know the mystery of God, namely Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Colossians 2:2-3Grace and peace be yours in abundance today~