Destiny

What Do You Do When Life Isn't Fair?

Our culture seems to be obsessed with equality, but in reality, fairness evaluations are just bizarre. They are all about comparison and self-pity and low self-esteem. If you've ever seen kids fighting over whose portion is bigger or better, you know what I'm talking about. You might even have been that kid.

As a mom I am convinced that it is best to parent each child individually, according to their own needs. Life is not fair. Period. We do our kids a disservice when we help them to think otherwise. 

 
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I'm so thankful that life isn't fair, because if it were I would have to have all the same skill sets as everyone else on the planet.  Can you imagine if you had to go to college to get every single type of degree available to be had. Or what if there was only one degree type, and every person had to get it so that no one else felt left out? That would be really boring.

I have been to a country where the end goal was to have everything be completely equal. The thought is that no one should rise above the rest, but that everyone should contribute equally. It simply doesn't work out well. The end result is the government deciding every person's career path so they can assure that society is evenly provided for. This means that if the government decides you should be a teacher, you don't have any choice in the matter. You just have to do it for the good and overall "fairness" of the whole.

Each person is unique. We each have a specific personality with a gift mix all our own.  We each have unique needs with different love languages to give and receive love.

God is the best Father, and He is really good at giving each of us exactly what we need at just the right time. We can rest in Him.

Key Idea: Everyone ends up poor and losing when we make equality our highest goal.

"Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." John 12:1-3

As dearly loved children of God, we really do not need to worry if someone else is getting more than we are. We have a really good Father who really loves us, and that makes it completely normal for us to be filled with peace and contentment instead of striving and comparison.

Breakthrough Must Be Preceded by Action

God has a great purpose for your life. He wants to use you powerfully to impact the people all around you. But in order to step into His purposes for you, you have to actually take a step.

Every time we step into another level with God, it is preceded by a choice we make. For instance, the Bible says that those who look to Him are radiant and their faces are never covered with shame. (Psalm 34:5) The state of shining and being free from shame is preceded by looking to Him.

In Jeremiah 33:3 He says, Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know. This shows us that if we want to get wisdom from God, it has to be preceded by us calling out to Him.

If you want to be free from deception, you have to precede it by taking the action of obeying God's Word. Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. (James 1:22) 

 
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If you want your life to be filled with stability instead of drama, it will be preceded by putting Jesus' teachings into action. Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. (Matthew 7:24)

Even the times when God tells us to be still, require action. When God tells us to be still, He is not wanting us to be apathetic, but to do the hard work of trusting and waiting. Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. (Psalm 46:10)

Destiny Key: How many times are we waiting for God to do something that He's already given us the power to do? Ask Him what action steps He wants you to take this week.

Moving Beyond Admiration

If you’re like me, you want to be wise and avoid making foolish mistakes as much as possible. To do this, we need to remember that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. It is literally the starting point for living well.

The fear of the Lord is a beautiful thing. It causes us to run to God, not away from Him.

These days there is such an emphasis on doing whatever makes you “happy.” This is worldly wisdom and is complete foolishness. Living for momentary pleasure outside of God’s ways is a recipe for disaster, not a happy life.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:7

If you want to live in God’s favor, you must live in radical obedience to Him. Whatever He asks, decide to obey Him.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5

bible-reading

God knows what we need more than we do. We cannot afford to do things our own way. He gave us the Bible as our guidebook for life. Dig into it. Get wisdom.

Don't just be an admirer of Jesus. Follow Him. This is how you fear the Lord.

Destiny Key: If Jesus is your Lord, you must say “yes” to whatever He asks you to do. Saying “No, Lord” is an oxymoron.

 

Good News

I was in my living room close to the window that looks out over my front yard when my husband looked down at his phone and gasped. He had just gotten the news that a friend had just passed away in a freak accident. We were stunned.

The fact is, the older we get the more people we know and love are slipping into eternity. In the past year, a handful of people I know personally have exited this life. You might have lost more friends than me. 

School shootings, winter weather car pileups, and heart attacks. You just never know when your number will be called.

There is coming “A Day.” None of us know which moment will be our last. After we die, each one of us will stand before God alone. We will not have a friend or spouse standing with us for moral support. We will not be able to cast blame for our life’s choices on any other person.

If you are in Christ, you will have Him standing with you, and He will be your Way into your heavenly home.

Psalm 1:5 speaks of people who are NOT in Christ.

Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,

Nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.

Psalm 1:5

  • Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, When that final day comes, unbelievers will not be able to enter God’s throne room with their heads held high.
  • Nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. When we are all gathered into our heavenly home, those who have rejected Christ will not be able to join us.

It is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment. Hebrews 9:27

If you have not surrendered your whole life to Christ, please to do it right now! Give Him every single part of your life. He knows how to take care of you much better than you ever could take care of yourself.

Once you are in Christ, you can live with a completely clean conscience. Jesus made the way for you to be able to hold your head high and have complete confidence as you get to know your heavenly Father intimately.

Jesus' blood changes everything. When you've been washed clean by it, you never have to live under a cloud of guilt again. This is the Good News!

Destiny Key: Absolute obedience to Jesus Christ is the only pathway to true peace. 

*On Tuesday, February 20, 2018, I felt an uncharacteristic urgency to prepare this post. I woke up the next morning to the news that Billy Graham had been promoted to heaven. I don't think that was a coincidence. 

What to Do When You Don't Know What Else to Do

What do you do when you've done everything you know to do, but you still aren't getting your breakthrough? I'm talking about when you have really taken time to make sure that your heart and actions are obedient to the Lord, you've prayed, you've fasted, you've forgiven, and still there's no movement.

When you get to this point, there's only one thing left to do: STAND. You take your stand, and you don't let anything but God move you.

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Stubbornness tends to get a bad rap, but if there was ever an appropriate time to be stubborn, this is it! 

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand... Stand firm then. Ephesians 6:13-14a NIV

To go deeper with this concept, check out the book Sit, Walk, Stand for an inspiring look at Ephesians and the believer's association with Christ, the world, and satan.


Bonus: I've included the following video of a great song to reinforce this concept in your heart and mind as you go about your day.

 
 
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If this post touched you, I'd love to hear about it. Don't forget to share it with your friends as well. 

It Was the Very Wishy-Washy Time of Night...

Many nights at bedtime my mind kicks into high gear with ideas and strategies for how to best do all the things I want to do in life. I feel so inspired that I almost want to skip the whole night and get started right away on the next day. Other nights I start to feel bombarded with doubts. I think we all have a certain time of day that doubts try to creep in.

If I ever feel doubtful it is generally at night before bed. Things that seem like a wonderful challenge during the day tend to be much scarier at bedtime when I'm worn out. I am always the most vulnerable and discouraged at night when I'm tired.

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It is so helpful to know this about myself. I am able to notice when I'm feeling unsure of myself which gives me a chance to choose to set my worries aside and reconsider my life with renewed perspective the next morning.

I have also learned that when I'm feeling doubts creeping in I should never make any important decisions. I would never accomplish anything important in life if I didn't put off decision making until I have a peaceful perspective.

Each day has fresh grace from heaven and sometimes the grace for the day runs out just before it is time to close your eyes and recharge. Things generally are much clearer after a good night's sleep.

When Your Journey Isn't Glamorous...

When you have a big dream, you need to also have a big willingness to stay in the pursuit of it day after day. So, what do you do when you're faced with so many days that feel just plain boring and ordinary?

My husband, Christopher, travels internationally a few times a year to minister in churches and conferences. He always says how it's so exciting until you have to spend all night traveling. He loves preaching and praying for people and seeing God pour out His Spirit. After he's done and heads to the airport, it's not quite so exciting. The discomfort that comes from a lack of sleep and the challenge of trying to find elusive sleep while sitting up in a chair is less than glamorous.

The thing is, you can't minister internationally without going through the hard work of traveling.

Falling in love and getting engaged is thrilling, but a life time of true love includes many days of laundry, housecleaning, and being faithful to show up at work so you can pay the bills.

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Finding out you're going to bring a new life into the world is amazing, and the day the child is born rocks your world like nothing else can. In between the two events you go through days and weeks of uncomfortable growing and waiting.

Raising a child is full of exciting milestones. In between the milestones, you pass through uncountable moments of behavior training and mess cleaning.

I'm always amazed at Olympic athletes who train all day year after year for an event that only lasts 30 seconds! Talk about maintenance! 

Even famous people who are doing the things you dream of doing have maintenance days.  

It can be easy to get lost in the swirl of the maintenance. Don't lose heart, faithfulness always pays off in the end.

God is just so good and so faithful. Even when we get off track or discouraged, He is always weaving everything together to get us back on track.

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. Phil. 1:6
 

DON'T GIVE IN TO APATHY OR BOREDOM.

KEEP STIRRING UP YOUR DREAMS AND ENCOURAGING YOURSELF IN THE LORD!

When Wisdom Turns Into Fear

I like to research and thoroughly think things through before moving forward or making a decision. While this habit is wise, if taken too far it indicates a problem.

The problem comes in when we get so worried about making a wrong choice, that we can't bring ourselves to make a choice at all. This is what the Bible calls being double-minded.

But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. James 1:5-8

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God has all of the wisdom you need to make a good choice. You do not need to be bound by the fear of making the wrong choice. Ask God to help you, then make a choice grounded in peace and move forward knowing that you can readjust if you need to.

Key Idea: A confident person is not paralyzed by the fear of making a mistake, because they realize they can recover from a mistake.

How To Live In God's Favor

If you’re like me, you want to be wise and avoid making foolish mistakes as much as possible. To do this, we need to remember that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. It is literally the starting point to living well.

The fear of the Lord is a beautiful thing. It causes us to run to God, not away from Him.

If you want to live in God’s favor:

1.     Live in radical obedience to Him. Whatever He asks, decide to obey Him.

These days there is such an emphasis on doing whatever makes you “happy.” This is worldly wisdom and is complete foolishness. Living for momentary pleasure outside of God’s ways is a recipe for disaster, not peace and hope.

If Jesus is your Lord, you must say “yes” to whatever He asks you to do. Saying “No, Lord” is an oxymoron.

2.     Put your hope in God’s love for you.

Ask Him to tell you how much He loves you, then live in that reality. If you feel like you don’t hear an answer, remember that He showed His love for you by sending Jesus to die for you. There truly is no greater love.

Pursue God’s favor over your life, just like Jesus grew in favor with God. When God is for you, no man can be against you.

The Lord delights in those who fear him,
    who put their hope in his unfailing love.

Psalm 147:11

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4 Ways to Have Peace From God

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  1. Start each day turning your heart to God in prayer. Most of us like to start off the morning with a hot cup of coffee. Let that first sip be a reminder to turn your heart to God in gratitude.
  2. Be intentional about learning God's ways. The best way to learn God's methods is to read His book. If you don't know where to start, I recommend John chapters 14-16.
  3. Trust that God will lead you each step of your life journey. Choose to shut down all of the "what if's" and believe that God knows what's best for you and is working to bring it about. Your "missteps" will never be too big or messy for Him. 
  4. Determine in Your heart to follow Jesus every day from now on. No matter what anyone else says or does, be a sold out Jesus follower. Jesus has a lot of fans: people who like Him. Don't just "like" Him, make Him your Master.

Here's the audio of a blessing I gave recently at Heartland Church

How to Move Forward Into Your Destiny

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Do you have big dreams but don't know where to start? Maybe you lack the confidence that you will be successful.

You really have to start somewhere. It is like the old question. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

When people ask my husband how he learned to speak Spanish he often responds, "You have to speak bad Spanish before you can speak good Spanish."

His desire to speak other languages is much greater than his desire to not look foolish. This thinking has served him well.

Pride is sometimes what stops us from trying. We don't like to look silly in front of other people, but you simply can not be perfect at something the first time you do it.

You have to be willing to try and fail. Fear of looking like a fool is pride.

God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6).

This is something that I personally struggle with. I much prefer to do everything as "perfectly" as I can the first time around.

I spend hours studying and researching a thing before I do it. I think there is wisdom in preparing well, but at some point you have to stop preparing and move forward.

I have to remind myself that if I am willing to humble myself and take a step forward, grace will come to me.

Everything worth doing is worth doing poorly....at the beginning.

You have to start somewhere. We have to get right up to the starting line and take that first step.

No one is born knowing how to walk gracefully. You literally have to take baby steps.

Key Idea: Take some baby steps towards fulfilling your destiny today!

What To Do When You're Stuck In a Holding Pattern

If you've done everything you know to do and aren't getting the breakthrough that you're feeling is supposed to come, you may be in a holding pattern.

Possible reasons for a holding pattern:

  • the people you are supposed to connect with aren't ready yet
  • the systems and tools you need haven't been invented or released yet
  • the season needs to shift and only the passing of time can shift it
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It reminds me of the feeling I get when winter lasts a couple months longer than normal. There comes a point when all I want is to see a little bit of green come back into the grass or the tips of the green daffodil shoots popping out of the ground. It can seem like spring time will never come.

When you're stuck in a holding pattern it can be so easy to get discouraged. We really have to choose to fight off the urge to give into apathy.

It's good to stay encouraged by keeping an ongoing list of everything you're thankful for. Thankfulness is a really great way to shift your outlook.

Our family takes time every day to say one thing we are thankful for. Sometimes it can feel like just a simple routine, but it is so much more. Thankfulness is a habit that once ingrained, has the power to make your whole life feel full of hope.

If thankfulness doesn't come natural to you, try setting a thankfulness reminder on your phone to go off each day.

Key Idea: Let thankfulness pull you out of apathy and into your next season!

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.

Hebrews 12:28 NIV

Moving From an Idea to a Plan

Whatever God is calling you to do, He will always provide everything you need in order to follow through on it. He is a good Father, and He will not ask you do something, then leave you to do it on your own. Here's where to start...

  1. Get clear on your mission. What problem in the world makes your blood boil? What is your dream testimonial?
  2. Make a short term plan with a few things you can start on right away to get you headed in the right direction.
  3. Imagine what you want your life to look like in five or ten years. Are you putting the right things in place to get there?

It's not enough to get a vision; we need to ask Holy Spirit to help us walk it out. Feeling overwhelmed? You can do this! It's time to cooperate with God.

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. James 1:22


Would you do me a huge favor and take this one minute survey about where you are on the journey to your destiny? This will help me know how to help you.