Knowing If Your Faith is Up to Par

Ever tried to figure out if you had enough faith to get the job done? Maybe you’re a bit like Bryan. He looks like he has faith. If you need a prayer warrior you’d want him in your corner. The guy can pray up a storm. Bold prayers. Spot-on prayers. He knows what he’s doing.

Ahh, but when Bryan is alone and left to fend for himself, guess what? He doesn’t believe in his own prayers. It’s not prayers that indicate faith – it’s something else.

We know the Bible says, “Without faith it’s impossible to please God.” But how much faith is the right amount? Let’s find out if you’ve got enough faith.

Here’s How to Check Your Faith Level:

Listen not just to what you pray – listen to what you SAY. What you say indicates what you believe. If what slips out of your mouth when you’re not praying doesn’t match up with what God’s Word promises, then you really don’t have faith in God’s promises.

Matt 12:34 says,

Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

You will spontaneously speak what you believe. If you want to know how much faith you have just listen to what oozes out of your lips. The Psalmist writes in chapter 116 verse 10, “I believed, therefore I spoke.” What you really believe dictates what you say.

Some questions to ask yourself:

  • What do you say when you are under pressure?
  • What do you say when you are upset?
  • What do you say when no one else is around?
  • What do you say under your breath?

Here’s the deal – What seeps out of your mouth is what you really believe. 

Remember the story where Jesus and the disciples were caught in a storm? It’s in Mark 4:38. Waves were pouring into their boat threatening to sink it. Petrified, they woke Jesus up and said in a panic, “Don’t you care that we are going to drown?”

Drown? Really?! Didn’t they realize they were with Jesus, the guy who could save them? Weren’t they just listening to him explain how the kingdom worked and watching him do miracles up and down the street?

You would think hanging around Jesus and watching him in action would boost faith. But when the boat started rocking, what came out of their mouths revealed how much faith they had: “Don’t you care that we are going to drown?”

Do you see what they said and what it revealed? They said, “we are going to drown.” That’s what they believed. That’s not faith!

If you want to know how much faith you really have, listen to what comes out of your mouth when you’re not praying. It’s a dead give-a-way!

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Are you God-Possessed? Here’s How to Tell
Wouldn’t you love to be so full of God that people could actually describe you as being God-possessed?! Wow! What a compliment! But how can you tell if you or anyone else is REALLY God – possessed? Take a look and I’ll show you…

God is love. 1 John 4:8

 Ok, so if you have love, God is in you. True? You could say, you are God-possessed if you are love-possessed. God is operating inside you. But how can you tell if you have God’s kind of love in you?

You might think, “If I feel love welling up inside of me so that would mean I have love.”

Not so fast!

The question is not – Do you feel love?

The question is – Are you releasing love to those who are faithless, hopeless, and starving for true love?

God didn’t just feel love for us. He released his love for us. And this is how he did it…

 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 NLT

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.  John 3:16 NLT

His love was proved by what he gave. He released.

Love: It’s not about feeling it. It’s about releasing it.

  • Are you loving people today who don’t deserve your love?
  • Are you loving people today who are hard to love?
  • Are you loving people today who don’t love you?
  • What about tomorrow?

Consider what Jesus said about releasing love:

So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. John 13:34 NLT

I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. From John 15: 9, 10, 12, 13 NLT

You can’t release what you don’t have.

If your releasing love, it’s inside you.

You’re possessed…by God!

 

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Got a dream you desperately need to come true? Want your desires fulfilled? Of course you do. But let me rock your thinking for a moment. Think God is waiting for you to get things right before he gives you the desires of your heart?

I hope not. Cause if that’s so….you’ll be waiting a looooooong time!

God fulfills our dreams and desires based on his deeds not ours.

Psalms 37:4 says:

Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. (NIV)

NOT…

When God is delighted with you he will give you the desires of your heart.

Nope. Not how it goes.

Read this slowly:

God already delights in you.
He’s not waiting on you to get it right.
He’s waiting on you to delight in him.

Got that? It’s not based on your performance. You can’t do enough to get God to make your dreams come true. He just wants to be your delight.

A Snapshot of Delight

My favorite moment every day is early in the morning when my husband and I first get up. While everyone else is still snoozing away we sneak in an extra long hug as the coffee is brewing. Ahhhh, I delight in his hugs. It’s something I treasure. Morning breath, unshaven face (his not mine), and his arms around mine starts my day in a delightful way.

How can you define delight? It’s being taken with something. Allowing the sweetness and the goodness of someone or something to enrich your life. And when you find something delightful, you give it priority. So if you delight in God, you’ll give him priority. Look at how this provides a win-win for you…

Seek first God’s kingdom and what God wants. Then all your other needs will be met as well. Matthew 6:33 (NCV)

We can paraphrase this and combine it with the verse in Psalms:

Seeking God first is delighting in him and it moves him to provide you with everything your heart desires. (Author’s paraphrase)

How does this work?

When you delight in God something amazing happens. Your desire actually begins to mimic his. You end up desiring what he wants you to desire. Something goes off inside of you that screams, “His way is best!” God plants his longings deep in your heart and you want them so bad you crave his will and BAM! His desire becomes your desire.

Your Delight in God is More Important Than Your “Do”

It’s got nothing to do with what you “do”. You can’t work your way into getting the desires of your heart. Your good works aren’t going to work your way into God’s favor. Look at this verse below…The reward goes to those who seek him and delight in him, not to those who work their butt off trying to be perfect and righteous.

And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him. Hebrews 11:6 (NLT)

If you diligently seek the Lord, a.k.a. – “delight in him” he will reward you and give you the desires of your heart.

So if you want to increase the likelihood that God will give you the desires of your heart, trade your “DO” for “DELIGHT”.

Dreams. Check!

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Want to learn how to be a great friend and make your friendships life changing?

This Sunday, join me and my friend, Dr. Kathy Harkema for a guest radio appearance. We’ll share our story – building a friendship that has truly transformed our lives.

You’ll discover:

  • The crazy risk we took in friendship and how it paid off.
  • The friendship benefits we have tasted and how you can enjoy them as well.
  • How we face conflict in our friendship without bloodshed & how you can too.
  • How we’ve learned to appreciate each other’s differences instead of letting them drive us crazy – there’s hope for you and your friend!
  • How you can maintain a friendship so it won’t die.
  • What forgiveness looks like and how you can offer it to your friend.
  • And…you can learn from our friendship mistakes so you don’t have to make your own!

Join us for friendship advice and inspiration this Sunday on The Healing Touch Radio Broadcast. We’ll be live on the air from 7 am to 8 am August 5th.

Tune in on your 1220am station or listen online www.Magica1220am.com

Help us spread the word by sharing this post.  Tweet it, Facebook it, & Digg it. You can use the handy little buttons below the post. Thanks – cause you’ll be helping people with their friendships!

Watch our videos giving you tips, inspiration, and encouragement  for your friendships. Check out the Friendship Doctors  YouTube Channel.

We’d also love to have you pop on over to our blog at the Friendship Doctors! We’ve got articles sharing our ups and downs and everything inbetween. Learn how friendship can be  a life changing journey!

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Video: How My Hunger For God Helped Me Lose Weight – It Can Work For You Too!

Video: Have you ever struggled to lose weight? Me too. Take a little stroll with me back in time. I share an incredible weight lose strategy that I picked up on that blew my mind. I explain how my hunger for God actually changed the way I hungered for food. Watch this video and you can do the same starting today.

Click here to watch video: How My Hunger For God Helped Me Lose Weight – It Can Work For You Too!

After watching, come back and share your weight loss strategies with us in the comment section. We’re all ears!

 


Don’t Be Fooled By Your Scars – Here’s What They Reveal About You

You live. You breath, therefore you have scars. Some can be seen by others, and some scars are under your skin. But they are there, aren’t they? Ever been tempted to believe your scars are proof that God wasn’t looking out for you? Me too. Don’t misinterpret your scars, they reveal God’s grip on you. Let me explain.

It’s amazing how brain dead I get sometimes. I actually have bouts of thinking that go completely against what God’s Word tells me is true. Things like…

  • God’s not looking out for me or he wouldn’t have allowed me to go through this.
  • God doesn’t love me because he hasn’t given me what I think he should have given me.
  • God doesn’t really reward right living because he could have rescued me from this situation, but he chose not to.

Look, if you have ever uttered, “God, I trust you with my life.” Well then my dear, you have set yourself up for notgetting everything you want in exchange for what God knows is better. It’s your own fault!

When you trust your creator to the extent you would abandon every comfort you know in exchange for what he knows is better – you get scars. But don’t misinterpret the scars. They reveal God’s grip on you.

The Boy & The Gator

I heard a story that was in the news about a little boy tackled by an alligator. He decided to go for a swim in the swimming hole behind his house. He jumped into the water not realizing that an alligator was swimming toward him. His mom was in the house looking out the window and saw the gator headed her son’s way.

She ran to the water screaming to get her boy’s attention. Her son swam toward her but the gator was quicker. Just as the boy reached for his mom’s hands, the gator grabbed his legs. The mom and the gator played tug-of-war, neither willing to loosen their grip on the boy. The gator was much stronger than the mom, but she had more determination.

A farmer driving by, heard her screams, popped out of his truck with his rifle and shot the gator. After weeks in the hospital, the little boy survived. His legs were severely scared by the gator attack. There were deep scratches where his mother’s fingernails dug into his skin because she was hanging on with such a tight grip.

The news reporter asked the boy if he could see his scars. The boy lifted up his pant legs. But then with great pride said, “But look at my arms. I have great scars on my arms too…because my Mom wouldn’t let go.”

The boy’s scars revealed his mom’s grip on him and the fact that she didn’t let go. Take a look at your scars. But don’t misinterpret them, they reveal God’s grip on you.

Look Back

During the difficulties, even during your struggles, you knew God had you in his grip. You could feel his hand on yours. Take a moment or two and reflect on what God has done. And what he has brought you through. Your scars are a reminder that he could have let you go and fed you to the gators, but he chose not to! You were salvaged. Don’t misinterpret the scar, it’s proof that God was on the scene and he didn’t let go of you.

[God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down ( relax My hold on you)! [ Assuredly not!] Hebrews 13:5b AMP

God Left His Son with Scars Too

You’ve probably heard about the scars Jesus has. In the struggle, he too felt abandoned. He too asked for his father to come to the rescue: “Father if it be your will, take this cup from me.” But God didn’t get Jesus out of that situation.

He allowed the pain, the mistreatment, and the abuse that left scars. The scars that represent the pain and agony of a necessary suffering. Suffering that left a mark, but brought greater good. God’s glory. And salvation for you and I.

I’ll say it again. Don’t misinterpret your scars, they reveal God’s grip on you. And his glory.

Share the story of your scars with someone today. And smile when you say, “But look at these scars, they are there because my God wouldn’t let go of me!”

Want to share your story here? Go for it. Show us your scars in the comment section.

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How Cutting Corners Comes with a Heavenly Price Tag
I heard about a guy who is a great Christian. Loves God with all of his heart. Well, sort of. You see, at first glance he loves God with all of his heart. But take a second glance and you’ll see how he cuts corners. See if you’re in anyway like him.

This guy doesn’t like seat belts. They save lives, yes? Of course. And he knows that. But he chooses to not wear his. But what about that little dinging sound that would be a constant irritant if he didn’t buckle up when he got in his vehicle? Oh, no problem. He found a work around for that.

He went to the junkyard and bought a seatbelt. Brought it home and cut the belt part off of the buckle part. Took the junkyard buckle piece and snapped it into the buckle part in his truck. No dinging sound does he get even if he doesn’t buckle up because he fooled his truck into thinking he’s buckled up.

For now, he’s found a way to beat the system. Only if a cop stops him, will he have some explaining to do. And who knows, by not doing as directed, he may just loose his life. Cause, you know, seat belts do save lives!

Let’s take this into the realm of Godly living. There are folks who will do exactly the same thing with what they read in God’s Word. For some reason, they think it’s ok for them to cut corners.

Not feeling the 10 commandments today? No sweat. As long as you can find a way to cut the corner without sounding an alarm, you’re good. Not feeling like honoring your mother or father today? No biggie, you can do that under the radar too. Not feeling the whole idea of paying Caesar what belongs to Caesar (aka Uncle Sam)? Ok, as long as no one at the IRS finds out, your secret is safe! Not feeling the idea of telling your spouse where you really were last night? Hey, as long as it doesn’t hurt your marriage, and no one mentions it, your good, right?

Not so fast.

Scripture says to be doers of the word and not just hearers of the word.

God’s System Can’t Be Beat

You can’t fool God into thinking you’ve buckled up when you haven’t.  You may look all tidy and compliant from the outside of the car. But God sees the real you on the inside. And you may not hear the chime go off when you don’t do what’s right, but God does. And let’s be clear, we’re not just talking about seatbelts here. Paul lays it out in Romans 12:1-2 where he says:

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering…Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it… (Message)

And then as far as who sees…

2 Chronicles 16:9 says…
The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to them. (NLT)

Buckle up your spirit man and do what’s right even when no one’s looking. Because in case you haven’t noticed, God’s always looking even when man isn’t. And he’s dishing out strength to those who do right.

The Heavenly Price Tag:

Look, I am coming soon, bringing my reward with me to repay all people according to their deeds. (Revelation 22:12 NLT)

 

Enough said? Yep. Buckle up baby!

That’s righteousness. When you buckle up on the inside, you’ll buckle up on the outside. And you’ll be safe in God’s eyes. Play it right. And you’ll be all-right.

Prayer Booster: God I really want to do what’s right in your eyes, even when no one else is looking but you. Help me to do what’s right simply because it’s the right thing to do. I am deciding today to honor you in all areas of my life. Amen.

Where have you been challenged to cut corners in your life? Share with us in the comment section.


How Just One Minute in the Word Can Make a Huge Difference in Your Day

You may not always have gobs and gobs of time to read the Bible every day. But let me share how even just one little minute reading your Bible can make a big difference in your day.

Consider the Illinois man who left the snow-filled streets of Chicago for a vacation in Florida. His wife was on a business trip and was planning to meet him there the next day. When he reached his hotel, he decided to send his wife a quick e-mail.

Unable to find the scrap of paper on which he had written her e-mail address, he did his best to type it in from memory. Unfortunately, he missed one letter and his note was directed instead to an elderly preacher’s wife, whose husband had passed away only the day before.

When the grieving widow checked her email, she took one look at the monitor, let out a piercing scream, and fell to the floor in a dead faint. Hearing the scream, her family rushed into the room and saw this note on the computer screen:

Dearest wife,

Just checked in. Everything is prepared for your arrival tomorrow.

P.S. Sure is hot down here!

The absence of just one little thing can make a big difference, can’t it?! So can the addition of one little thing. My friend was telling me how she didn’t have much time the other morning to read her Bible. She only had a minute. So she took one minute in the Word. That’s all it took. That one little minute set her day up – the right way.

She shared how one tiny bite of the Word is like a tiny bite of food. Think about it, even just a small bite of food contributes to our well-being. It nourishes. It tastes good. It delivers vitamins to our body. The same happens with just one bite of scripture.

God’s Word is so powerful that even just one tiny bite has value. It’s nutrition-packed! So the next time you’re tempted to beat yourself up because you don’t have time to read a whole section or a whole chapter in your Bible. Don’t! Just take a bite.

That one little bite can encourage you, lift you up, set you up, and keep you going. Just one word. Sometimes that’s all it takes.

Here are a few ideas on how to sneak in a bite of the Word:

  • If you have one minute to spare before you get to work, grab your smart phone
    and grab a bite. (YouVersion Bible app is my favorite Smartphone app.)

  • Got a pocket Bible? Stash it in your purse, briefcase, or backpack before you head out the door.
    Then you will be prepared to take advantage of a break in your day when you can munch on the Word.

  • Have a few minutes while your waiting in line picking the kids up? Grab a bite.
  • Waiting on your next appointment, your doctor, or in line at the grocery store? Grab a bite.
  • Standing over the stove cooking dinner? Grab a bite before you grab a bite!
  • If all else fails, and you’ve found yourself at the end of the day ready to plop into bed and you
    still haven’t had a bite of scripture that day…take just 60 seconds and grab a bite!

    One bite is better than no bite at all. Even just one tiny bite of the Bible will do your body good!

    Anywhere. Anytime. Grab a bite of scripture.

    Bon Appétit!

    How has just one tiny bite of your Bible make a difference in your day? What are some ways you can come up with to sneak in a bite of scripture?  Let us know in the comment section!

    (Story credit: LOL Text: Daily Funny Texts and Jokes, Appstore. Image of food: Google Images)