Encouragement for inner turmoil

What causes inner turmoil? That internal struggle and pain? I think one of the things that causes our inner turmoil is our expectations. We dream and picture things, but what happens when it doesn’t go that way, or it costs you much more than you expected? If you do not respond correctly you will experience turmoil. However, belief that God truly will work things out for your good can save you from a lot of that turmoil and agony. We dislike the process and struggle now, but on the other side after you have been processED (changed) you can say to yourself it was good that I was afflicted.

God is blessing you, and who He is making you out to be. God isn’t blessing what you do as much as He is blessing who He created. You may not be able to look around right now and see how you will get out of your current circumstances, but God is blessing you in every circumstance. Sometimes the blessing doesn’t feel like blessing, you have to wait until you get through it to understand that He was using the circumstance to bless you. Don’t give up on who God says you are because of how things look right now. Keep building toward your future.

“Dream it, believe it, write it down, and with the Lord directing your steps walk until it’s real.”-Levi Lumm

Have you ever been told you couldn’t do something?

There have been a lot of things in my life that I have done that someone told me before hand I could not do. With that being said there are still times in my life that I am not confident that I can really succeed in the things that God has told me I will do in His Kingdom. Sometimes I am discouraged by what others say, and sometimes I have an inner struggle about what I can do. I build my confidence in these areas by telling myself that I can do whatever God has called me to do because He is leading me, and empowering me. I remind myself of the things He has already done. Sometimes we get so focused on the gap before us that we forget about the gaps He has already helped us through that are behind us. The road behind us was once full of gulfs that seemed impassable, but now that we are on the other side we forget part of the lesson we learned by making it through. God is always faithful. He was faithful in your past, He is faithful in your present, and He will be faithful in your future.

A simple personal story:

When I was called to help start a new church, I was excited, and ready to see God work through this new church. I was ready to see the Lord build His church, and build a family of believers in this new area. I was ready to take my place in His plan, and do all that He called me to do while I was there. As the church grew, and we implemented structure and culture it was time to do our first set of ministry interviews for our first true church members, and see how we could connect them to what God was doing. One of the first interviews I read (I didn’t personally sit with this particular person) could have been very destructive. To say it simply, this person said that I should be replaced. I would be lying if I said that didn’t sting a little bit, and make me think. However, I didn’t think about it for very long, just a few minutes. It was God that called me there, and His word carries veto power. People can have discouraging words, opinions, and tell you that you can’t do something, or that you should be replaced because they don’t like your style, but none of those things can over rule what God says. God closed that gap, and several years later I am not being replaced, instead I will soon be proud to see a man step up further into the plans the Lord has for him, and I will continue on in the plans He has for me. Seek first His Kingdom, and don’t worry about the naysayers.

My life story is full of this stuff. I grew up on the poor side of town, on the wrong side of the tracks, with the bad family reputation, etc. I have always been told about the things I couldn’t do, but with God all things are possible, and my Father God always tells me about what I CAN do!

Lets look at a little bit different example from 1 Samuel 17. David and Goliath.

Long story short David ends up hearing from the naysayers before he stepped onto the battlefield with Goliath. His brothers, and Saul discouraged him. He was told he couldn’t do it. He was told the gap, or in this case the giant in front of him was too big. David’s response is important. He says I had giants in my past, and the Lord delivered me in my past. I have killed bears, I have killed lions, and with the Lord I will kill this giant too. It is also important to note that David did it from who he was as a person. He didn’t try to be something he wasn’t. He removed the armor that Saul placed on him, and he took the tools of a shepherd on to the battlefield.

The gaps you have crossed, and the giants you have killed in your past are preparation for the ones that are to come. They are reminders that God has delivered you before, He is delivering you now, and He will deliver you in the future. You can do everything He has called you to do because He is limitless, and He never fails you!

Live your life Kingdom first!




What is your vision?

What is your vision? Is it really that important to have a vision, dream, or promise from God? I believe that if we want to live a kingdom first life the answer to that second question is an imperative yes. Proverbs 29:18 says in part “where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained.” Your vision, dream, promise from God is what keeps you within your own banks. A river with no banks is no longer a river. Without restraint you will be without boundaries, and lose sight of who you are, and what you were designed to do. If you do not have a vision, dream, promise from God, today is the day for you to ask Him for one. Let’s look at some more examples of why this is so important.

Many times in scripture you see God announce Himself as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Have you ever considered that it was supposed to be Abraham, Isaac, and Esau? By birth right it should have been Esau, it was his inheritance, and who he was. So what happened? Long story short Esau arrived home from the wilderness tired and hungry from a hunting trip, and gave it up to Jacob. This story is very important for us on our journey. What happens when the fulfillment of your vision, dream, or promise is on the other side of the wilderness? And then another wilderness? From my experience, and my view of watching others, we all find ourselves hunting through the wilderness. While in the wilderness we can get tired, hungry, and quit. We give up the vision, dream, promise that was given to us as an individual just to make it easier. You may end up like the Israelites who caught a glimpse of the promise, but died in the wilderness. This is why your vision, dream, or promise is so important, you need it to survive the wilderness. It gets you through to the other side. You emerge stronger. Now we have to look at that statement-you emerge stronger. We need the wilderness as well. Nothing else will bring growth, maturity, and wisdom to you like the wilderness. James 1:2-4 says “dear brother and sisters, when trouble comes your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. Let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” So I will say you need the wilderness for growth, maturity, wisdom, completeness, but you need your vision, dream, promise to survive the wilderness, and be who He has called you to be as you continue in your destiny.

If you are not confident in your identity, and your vision from your Father people will use you to fulfill their vision, or create a vision they see fit for you. Let’s look at Peter as an example. Jesus had been telling His disciples who He was, and that it was necessary for Him to die, and raise from the dead. (Matthew 16:21) In verse 22 Peter scolded Jesus for saying such things, and that those things should never happen to Him. What Jesus said didn’t fit Peter’s vision for Him; however, Jesus knew who He was, and He knew the plan His Father had for Him. There will people in your life that try to convince you to give up your vision, and many times they will be good people just like Peter.

The circumstances that happen in your life do not change the vision, dream, promise that God has given you. Those circumstances should not change your revelation of God, Your revelation of God should change how you see the circumstances.

Know your vision, dream, promise, and hold onto it. Stay the course, and allow the bumps in the road to grow, and mature you. I will also say one more time if you do not have a vision from your Father, today is the day you ask Him for one.

Live your life kingdom first!