"Faith is taking the first step, even when you don't see the whole staircase." ~Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Challenging Changes

Let's visualize for just a moment. What if........ absolutely, positively, nothing in your life ever changed? Personally, I think I would go crazy if nothing ever changed in my life. Change (for the better) is good, and it is something that all people need a little of over our lifetime. Making changes is also something that our Father does well, as He changes and transforms us according to what He sees our needs are. These changes, however, are not always comfortable or easy for us. In fact, they usually present themselves as a challenge.

In the last post, I posed the question "Are We Really Ready???" for what God has in store for us for 2010 and the rest of our future. At the end of 2009, we reflected upon our year. Many of us thought of all the tough situations that we had overcome throughout another year. Some of us even found how these situations and circumstances helped us to grow and develop into the person that we were by the end of the year. We realized that those difficult challenges brought about a change in us.

Any person can testify that new challenges come in all sizes each day. What we as Christians should do with our challenges is to look at them as an opportunity for change. Each challenge brings about the opportunity to learn something new about our Father. Each challenge brings about the opportunity to apply the Word in our daily lives. Each challenge brings about another opportunity to defeat the enemy and grow closer to Christ. Each challenge brings about an opportunity to change...for the better!

A challenge is just what it says it is...a CHALLENGE! Challenges are not easy. Challenges are not fun. Challenges are a way for Christ to grow in us. Without challenges, we become complacent Christians. In complacency, nothing new is birthed and your spiritual growth is at a standstill. Think of it this way....If God called you to your heavenly home today, would He find the same person that He saved years, or maybe even months ago? If so, there has been very little change that has occurred in your spiritual life. Does this mean that we are perfect? Absolutely Not!!! But what this does mean is that we are serious about becoming what God has in HIS WILL for us to become, and doing what God his in HIS WILL for us to do.

I can see many ways that I have grown spiritually, and each one of those areas have grown because of a challenge that I had to endure. I have learned how to apply the scripture to my life because of challenges. I have learned more about the character of God through challenges. And, I have learned more about who God created me to be through challenges. And, I know that I have many more challenges to face, because I have many more changes to make and growing to do. God is the only constant in our lives. He will comfort and guide us in each and every challenging change that He brings us to. And, even when you may not understand your challenging change, just remember that God's thoughts are so powerful that we cannot even begin to think on His level. He created us, and He always knows what is best for us!

Hebrews 13:8 I am the same yesterday and today and forever" (NIV)

In the end, I want to hear my Father say those two sweet words..."Well Done!" Well done for enduring your challenges and facing your changes. Well done for being obedient unto my will and My Word. Well done for striving and surviving. Well Done, my child, well done! How sweet it is to make changes that please God... Let us welcome God's changes for us with open arms today!

Spiritual Reflections

1. As you reflect over your spiritual life, what are some ways that you know God has changed and transformed you?

2. As we know, we should constantly be working toward being more like Christ. What areas in your life require change in order for you to be more Christ like?

3. Are you currently facing any challenging changes? If so, how are you currently responding to the challenging changes in your life?

4. Write a few lines praising God for the challenges in your life that brought about a positive change.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Are We Really Ready???

I would first like to begin by welcoming back all daily readers, and to welcome any new readers to the Journey to Destiny. I am very excited about what God has in store for The Journey to Destiny! I hope that you are as well! Blessed reading wishes to you all!!!

Throughout conversations that I had with many people about their outlook on the New Year, most were optimistic and full of positivity. From Facebook connection, to family, and even friends I ran into over the holidays, almost everyone stated that they could not wait to see what God was going to do for them in 2010! Wow, I thought. What faith!

I began to question myself as to if I was ready for what God has for me and my family in 2010. What that is, I am unsure of, but the question lingered in my mind like the melody of a song that would not end. Am I really ready for what God has in store for me?

I began to think about how my mysterious Father works. He is unpredictable and what He has coming at us next, cannot be determined. With this fact in front of me, I began to reflect upon my life. I thought about all of the "stuff" that I just didn't see coming, both positive and negative. I reflected upon how God was with me every step of the way, even when I was unable to feel His presence. I reflected on how he brought me to, and through lots of "stuff". I also decided that I had no desire to revisit some of the uncomfortable "stuff" that I had endured with the help of God. Then it hit me like a large boulder! I MUST have some uncomfortable, pressing, difficult, and even treacherous journey experiences in 2010! I must do this to continue my growth in Christ! (You may be thinking that that was a no brainer thought, but sometimes Christians forget that the life we have is not our own, but the Lord's. I know I am not alone on this one.)

Because our life is not our own, but God's, we must live according to His will. Even if we feel that we know what our purpose is for our earthly years, we should still be in constant conversation asking God to reveal His will for our lives to us. The reason behind this is that there is a process to reach and work in your purpose. If we follow our own process and not that of God's, we will always end up in a heap of a mess! Then we have to go begging God to clean it all up.

I cannot tell you what God has for you in 2010. I cannot promise that it will be pleasant, or peaceful. What I can do, however, is encourage you to prepare for what is ahead, positive and negative. And the only way to do this is to cover yourself in the Word by reading your Bible consistently, and by staying in constant conversation with our Father. You see, with the Word scripted on your heart, and God's ear leaned your way, you are ready for ANYTHING headed your way! You will be able to stay humble in times of great accomplishment, and continue to honor God when you feel like you are living in Hell. You can praise Him when you feel good, and when you don't. You can have joy in staying dedicated to God, while dealing with difficult people. Your prayers and the Word of God can help you see sunshine through rain showers, and will cover you so when the rain stops; you will not be soaked with sorrow over a situation!

All of us have different preparations that we should be making in order to endure and enjoy life, come what may. What I need to do to prepare may not be what you need to do. Ask God what it is that you need to do to ultimately become closer to Him and to grow spiritually. Despite what this year may hold, I know that all things are going to work together for my growth! And that, my friends, is something to shout about!

Spiritual Reflection Questions

1. Have I asked God lately what He has in store for me? If yes, jot down what you asked Him. If not, jot down what you want to know about what is to come in your life.

2. Write down the desires of your heart. What do you want to happen for you in 2010?

3. Are you prepared for ANYTHING in 2010? Why or Why not?

4. List at least one way that you would like to grow in Christ. Develop a plan for how you will do this. (This must be something that is somewhat in our control.) For example: I want to study and read my Bible more. My plan may be that I set aside a daily "appointment" time for Bible study and meditation each day.

5. Praise God in advance for one thing that you have faith that will happen in 2010.

I hope you enjoy the reflection questions. Please feel free to provide feedback to me on. I pray that each of you are blessed by this experience.

In His Love.......LaVetta