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August 2008
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October 2008

Accepting the Do-Over

Since therefore it remains that some must enter it, and those to whom it was first preached did not enter because of disobedience, again He designates a certain day, saying in David, "Today," after such a long time, as it has been said: "Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts." ~ He 4:6-7 NKJV

God gives us many do-overs to start anew.  He's been giving them out all through biblically recorded history.  In the passage above we see King David being quoted in Psalm 95 by the writer of Hebrews.  David, approximately 400 years after Joshua and the Israelites failed to enter their promised land (or "rest") the first time, spoke of another change for God's people to enter into rest.

God is still waiting for his people to come back to him and he still waits today.  He is still giving out do-overs!  Unfortunately, we get caught in a cycle of defeat by not making good use of our do-over, and fail to enter the spiritual rest that God promises us.  Our unbelief, not trusting God, keeps us defeated.

Generally, there are four keys to overcoming our unbelief:

1) Forgive your past mistakes.  God has forgiven you.  Forgive yourself and start fresh.

2) Remember your past victories.   Intentionally recall a time in the past where God has come through for you.  He will do it again!

3) Trust God's promises.  The Bible is filled with truths to hold on to.  God will do what He says because He cannot lie.

4) Trust God's power.  God created the universe. He can create a new beginning and craft a solution to your problems.

The bottom line is that each day is a new day and no matter where we are in our lives, God will give us another chance to believe in Him.  Most importantly, He is worthy of our trust. We can pray to Him with confidence, "I can't _________________, but You can _______________."  When we master that prayer, we are on our way to the "rest" God desires for us.

Points to ponder:

  • What are you the most tired of struggling with in your daily life?
  • What kinds of things do you tend to work out on your own?
  • At what times do you say you trust God, yet in reality still hold on tightly to your problems?

Note: This post is excerpted from a portion of a new retreat I'm presenting this weekend entitled "The Work of Rest".  If you are interested in learning more about it or would be interested in booking it at your church, please contact me.

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Janna Rust is a Professional Coach and Speaker dedicated to encouraging others towards lives God intends for them.  For more information, visit her at www.purposefulpartnerships.com.


Blessed by Waiting

Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion.  For the LORD is a God of justice.  Blessed are all who wait for him! (Isaiah 30:18 NIV)

I wonder if there is a support group somewhere for well-intentioned, God-seeking impatient people.  I'm sure you know the type.  Maybe you are one of them, sincerely wanting to do God's work, but sometimes jumping in with your own plans and getting ahead of God's timing, accomplishing a lot of good things, but missing out on the best God has to offer.  I know a few of those people, and admittedly I'm one of them at times. 

God says repeatedly that we should wait on and trust in him.  Through the prophet Isaiah, God chastises the people of Israel for carrying out plans that weren't of Him.  They were forging ahead, trusting in man-made provisions for their security and God reminded them of the futility of their ways.  He then offered a standing invitation to return to Him for their needs and for future blessing as he stated in Isaiah 30:18, "Blessed are all who wait for him!"

We will be blessed by waiting on God.  While we view our world from ground level, He looks at the world from a "helicopter" view.  Not only does He see how all things are working together, but He also knows what skills and character qualities we need to be able to carry out His plans.  He knows when we will be able to most effectively carry out His will.  We don't.

When we jump ahead we miss the best for our lives and create more struggles.  Because we jump ahead, thinking we are ready but really aren't, we struggle with both the inefficiencies of our underdeveloped character as well as the inefficiencies caused by all of the external "pieces" of the plan not being available yet.  However when we wait on God's timing, He will take care of those kinds of details for us.   We may still face opposition in executing the plan, but it will definitely be easier His way.  That's why we will be blessed by waiting.  Perhaps by waiting we will even "get there" quicker.

To Ponder:

1) In what area of your life are you getting impatient with God?

2) In this area, how will you benefit from waiting on God?  What work does He have yet to do in you or in the situation?

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Janna Rust is a Professional Coach and Speaker dedicated to encouraging others towards lives God intends for them.  For more information, visit her at www.purposefulpartnerships.com.


The Strengthening Touch of God

Have you ever felt so weary from life, whether it is home, work, worry or ministry, that you just felt that you couldn't take one more step?  That you felt all strength was zapped from you?   I think Daniel felt this way in Chapter 10 after he was left alone to have another troubling vision. (10:7)

Now imagine being on the ground, face down and feeling a comforting touch... 

Suddenly, a hand touched me, which made me tremble on my knees and on the palms of my hands.  And he said to me, "O Daniel, man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright, for I have now been sent to you."  While he was speaking this word to me, I stood trembling.  (Dan 10:10-11 NKJV)

This touch occurred to Daniel three different times in the chapter.  After hearing words from the "angel" in v12-14, Daniel again turned his face to the ground, speechless.  The vision had overwhelmed him and no strength was left in him.  This time, "suddenly, one having the likeness of the sons of men" touched his lips, allowing Daniel to speak. (v16).  Daniel spoke but ran out of steam again and for the third time, God (in the form of angel or preincarnate Christ - you decide) touched and strengthened him.

Then again, the one having the likeness of a man touched me and strengthened me.  And he said,"O man greatly beloved, fear not! Peace be to you; be strong, yes, be strong!  (Dan 10:18-19 NKJV)

Admittedly, Daniel was strengthened after this exhortation!  Wouldn't you be, if Jesus Himself told you to get up and face life?   Did you know that Jesus tells us personally to keep pressing on all of the time in His Word?  I find that so awesome how he personally speaks to me. I pray that He speaks to you too, all who are weary and void of strength:

Isaiah 40:28-31 28Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. 29He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.    30Even the youths