The JOURNEY – Psalm 34:6 NLT – “In my desperation I prayed and the Lord listened; He saved me from all my troubles.”
Ever been in a really bad place or bad spot? It can be really upsetting and unsettling to be in a place where you can’t see to find your way out.
You cannot only be in a bad place physically, but a bad place emotionally, mentally, or spiritually. When you can’t get out or see a way out, desperation can easily set in. That’s what happened to David. You know David the king? The king who had built a dynamic dynasty now finds himself in deep desperation. How did that happen?
David says how, “In my desperation”. He was not only in it but he owned it; all by himself. It’s easy to slip into a little bit of desperation but David was drowning in it. That may be you today. Drowning in the sea of despair. A lot of people have lost their lives there simply because they didn’t do what David did when he found himself in desperation- Pray.
I think that if there’s one prayer the Lord always hears and answers, its the prayer of despair. Despair brings out the raw honest hurt of a person that isn’t normally there. Want to hear a powerful prayer of despair? Just go to the Word and you’ll find plenty. You’ll also see what David, myself, and so many others saw. You’ll see God deliver you from all of your troubles. The only way out of your drowning sea of despair is to reach up and out to the one who can deliver you – God Almighty Strong and Powerful! Pray and see what happens.
“But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut the door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” -Matthew 6:6
Why do I have a “quiet time” or spend time in the “prayer closet” with God? Why am I in the secret place? The reason we live a life of devotion and go into the secret place is for one reason: It’s where He is. We do not go in there to pray so that we can come out and find Him. We go into the secret place because we are only interested in spending time with Him. We don’t pray to Him in secret so that we can come out feeling validated for ministry. It will never work. Do not apply the principle and miss out on discovering Him.
One of the hardest things to do is to make it a point to live in constant prayer. Add to that certain time slots in the day to dedicate to prayer and you will have your hands full. It’s simple to sign up for anything to help at your church, or even go do something for someone because you get to see the physical fruits of your labor. But going into and living in prayer doesn’t always produce physical fruits that can be seen with the eyes. But what it does do is validate you (not ministry)and empower you to do every single task God lays out before you.
This is all part of the lifestyle of Christianity. Not church, not denomination, but lifestyle. Purpose in you heart to always be in prayer. That is your open line to the Father. So here’s the challenge. Make it a point to be in prayer, constantly and in certain times. After you purpose to do this, then do it!! You will be forever changed.
The JOURNEY- FOCUS – 1Tim.6:11 MSG – “But you, Timothy, man of God: Run for your life from all this.”
I honestly have to admit that its hard for me to focus. It always has been. I’ve always struggled in a crowd or classroom to focus on what was the center of attention. If a person got up, someone was talking, or even a bird flying by a window, it would throw me off focus. Call it ADHD or whatever, but through the years I’ve had to so work hard at focusing, that it almost appears that I’d ignore whoever might even be with me.
Paul is telling Timothy that there are many things that can pull his focus off the most important. The same is true for us. I watch and listen to people get upset, mad, hurt, angry, bitter, and unfocused over things that are distracting them from the most important thing in life; their salvation and call in Christ.
Paul’s words focus in on our lives today “But you, Timothy…”. Put your name in there man or woman of God. “Run from all this” stuff on Facebook, gossip, bickering, politics, and… You know what I see? A lot of people allowing things to rob their focus on the most important, their salvation and call in Christ.
“FOCUS” and quit letting what other people say or do distract you from your relationship with Christ. Paul goes on to say “Pursue a righteous life…” Read what you should be pursuing, focus on those things, and quit allowing other things to distract you. For me, I refuse to allow anyone or anything distract me from my focus. I focus my attention on who saved me and called me and I pray the same for you today. “But you” says “Everyone else may be out of focus, ‘but you’ stay focused.” Stay FOCUSED!
from Family Christian’s blog post on September 22, 2016:
“Math, science, art and history – your kids learn a lot in the classroom but what about at home? As parents who are raising ambassadors for Christ, it’s important to make sure an understanding of God’s Word is part of the equation. That’s why we’ve outlined five lessons to teach your children that align with God’s will for them….
Tell the Truth
We believe something great happens when a child applies the Bible to their life and begins to understand who God has called them to be….”
The JOURNEY – On Track – Philippians 4:1 (MSG) “…Stay on track, steady in God.”
You ever really take the time to watch a train? I’ve always been pretty fascinated by trains. I know it may seem kind of simply boring to some just watching a train go one direction at a relatively slow speed, but I love watching a train. Trains are steady, powerful and dependable. Seldom do you hear of a train wreck, but when you do, it’s not an slight wreck. It’s usually a pretty bad one.
Paul didn’t have trains in mind when He wrote this but, no doubt, he knew what it was to get off track. It’s way too easy to get off track in life. You’re heading full steam through life, everything is going great, and you’re enjoying life. Then you slack off praying, going to church, reading your Bible, staying connected, and being involved. The next thing you know, you’re in a spiritual ditch somewhere with life piled up all around you. Your life wrecked, not because of anyone or anything other than not staying on track and steady in God.
These are simple words to hear but hard words to follow. They’re not hard because of their terminology, they’re hard because they’re subtly easy to get away from. We get busy, we get tired, we get distracted, we get bored, we get into a whole list of things that can easily get us off track and unsettled. We’re always tempted to go our own way and do our own thing. That’s not a life that’s on track.
The only way to stay and know you’re staying on track is to stay steady in God. When you’re steady in Him it’s easy to stay on track. Get away from God and you’re sure to wreck your life. Think of someone you know that used to be on track and look at their life. You would have never thought their life would have jumped track and wrecked but they did.
Never think “you” have it all together. We can only have it together when God is keeping us on track in Him. Want to arrive in heaven together and on track? I do. I’m not going to take any chances. I’m going to do all I can to “Stay on track and steady in God.” I pray you will too.