Child-like expectation …

Have you ever watched a child, excitedly sharing their stories with someone they love and trust?  They are filled with so much passion, expression and joy!  And, as we listen and respond, they hang onto every word we say!  Oh, that look in their eyes … that innocence … and that expectation!  Think about it for a moment …

That, my friend, is what God is seeking from us … that relationship ~ sharing our heart with Him, no matter what we are thinking/feeling; and then that childlike faith [trusting, humble, and forgiving] ~ hanging on to His every Word.  He longs for that openness and expectancy on our part ~ to seek Him and believe ~ to receive His perfect love, His perfect healing, His perfect wisdom, everything we need!

“unless you repent [that is, change your inner self—your old way of thinking, live changed lives], and become like children [trusting, humble, and forgiving] … ” Matthew 18:3 Amplified

I have a friend who is inspiring me and why I am blogging today.  This young lady, a new believer, recently received a diagnosis of cancer.  To watch her faith grow exponentially, to see her ability to find joy In Christ, in the midst of reports of chemo and radiation; to hear her talk of the blessings, in the midst of this whirlwind … increases my faith, as I share God’s Word with her!!!

“Now faith is the assurance (title deed, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed), and the evidence of things not seen [the conviction of their reality—faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses].”
Hebrews 11:1

What are we hoping for in that scripture?  As we read throughout the Bible, we find God’s promises for us, through Jesus Christ.  And, as we excitedly find out what He says …. we can stand in faith … the assurance of things hoped for … but not yet seen.

Take courage, whatever you face, God says HE is with you, HE will never leave you, HE is your refuge …. what are you hoping for that aligns with HIS Word/promises?

“… and the prayer of faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.”  James 5:15 Amplified

“But without faith, it is impossible to [walk with God and] please Him, for whoever comes [near] to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists, and that He rewards those who [earnestly and diligently] seek Him.”  Hebrews 11:6

Seek HIM with that child-like faith ~ expectation, anticipation … for HE loves you and will walk with you no matter how difficult the journey!

God’s Love and Blessings,
Michelle

A reality check … Raw and real …

My dear friend, Pastor Terry Hoggard and his wife frequently make a ministry video blog which they call – Raw and Unedited.  I feel like my blog today is just that … raw … and real.

You may recall last month I referenced Psalm 91 … resting ‘in the shadow of the Almighty.’   Shortly after writing, I re-read the entire chapter … about how God will protect us as we stand in His shadow ~ His refuge, … but … to my stunned amazement, I heard deep inside of me ‘right, like that’s going to happen.’  WHAT WAS THAT … here I am, a believing woman who encourages others In Christ … where did that thought come from … what did that say about my faith?  WOW, I was blown away!

And, since hypocrisy is a hot button for me, I couldn’t encourage anyone else until I figured this out.  The root question became … did I really believe what the Word of God says?  I thought of that scripture in Mark where the …

 “father of the boy cried out [with a desperate, piercing cry], saying, “I do believe; help [me overcome] my unbelief.”

Unbelief … yikes, I’m so thankful God loves me all of the time, and, I thank Him for revealing this to me!  So I asked God for help to better understand … and my focus went to the beginning and end of Psalm 91.  It starts out saying:

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will remain secure and rest in the shadow of the Almighty [whose power no enemy can withstand].
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust [with great confidence, and on whom I rely]!”
Amplified

that means …

  • we need to dwell [like a permanent resident] …
  • we need to truly recognize Him as our refuge [condition of being safe or sheltered from pursuit, danger, or trouble] … and 
  • we need to put our trust in Him [confidence, rely on] ~ that’s the relationship he wants with us!! 

Think of your shadow as you stand in the sun, it wouldn’t take much to be out of the shadow, right?  God says stay close to me … under my wings, in my shadow …  that is where we will find refuge; envision me holding you in the palm of my hands.

 But, if we choose to focus on the pain in/around us, we ‘move out’ of the dwelling place!  

So Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus.  But when he saw [the effects of] the wind, he was frightened, and he began to sink, and he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus extended His hand and caught him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”

Believing and dwelling all ties together!  What are you believing God for?  While you wait, are you ‘dwelling’ in His presence, seeing him as your ‘refuge’ and ‘trusting’ Him.  Truly believing with every breath in you!!

“If you’ll hold on to me for dear life,” says God,
    “I’ll get you out of any trouble.
I’ll give you the best of care
    if you’ll only get to know and trust me.
Call me and I’ll answer, be at your side in bad times;
    I’ll rescue you, then throw you a party.
I’ll give you a long life,
    give you a long drink of salvation!”
Psalm 91 (the message version)

I encourage you, as God has encouraged me through His Word, hold on and hang out with God Almighty.  And, just like Abraham …

“he did not doubt or waver in unbelief concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong and empowered by faith, giving glory to God,  being fully convinced that God had the power to do what He had promised.”  Romans 4:20  

God’s Love and Blessings,
Michelle
coachfromtheheart@gmail.com

photo credit:  chris roth

Trusting Relationship

Relationships are such an integral part of our lives ~ and we long for those quality relationships ~ the ones where we can share honestly from our heart, request and listen to their wisdom, and depend on  ~ developing an unbreakable trust .  Often times though, true relationships are hard to come by; and many of us have been hurt so deeply by ‘relationships’ we mistrusted.  Yet, there is One for which we were created and can trust beyond compare!

Relationship is described in Merriam-Webster as ~ ‘The way in which two or more people … talk to, behave toward, and deal with each other; are connected

Our relationship with God can be so intimate, when we take away traditions and religion and just talk to ~ connect and commune ~ with Him, one on one.  He longs for us to be in relationship with Him.  Think of the beginning of mankind, when He formed us and ‘breathed the breath or spirit of life into us!’ (Gen 2:7).  Think about the Love He has for us ~ that truly unconditional love ~ to the point of laying down His Son’s life for us!

And, then He teaches us to seek Him, to abide in Him, to ask Him, to believe by faith.  And, in return He responds with I will … listen, answer, comfort, guide your steps, provide, I will make a way… when you seek me with ALL of your heart and mind!  Sometimes it’s hard to allow ourselves the freedom to receive God’s love because we’ve been so hurt in this world ~ but allow yourself a moment to reach out to Him.  God hears your cries!  Your part is to seek Him, and to stop long enough to fellowship with Him.

Kari Jobe’s song ~ The More I Seek You ~ in part says it this way:

 “The more I find you, 
the more I love you

I wanna sit at your feet,
drink from the cup in your hand.
Lay back against you and breath,
hear your heart beat

This love is so deep,
it’s more than I can stand.
I melt in your peace, it’s overwhelming…”

Don’t you want that peace in the midst of the calamity of life?  Will you, for a moment stop and envision yourself sitting at the feet of God, drinking in His Love, His Wisdom, His peace; laying down all of your concerns at His feet, trusting Him … and just sit back and hear His heart beat.  Psalm 46:10 says: “Be still, and know that I am God!”  

This is how we know we’re living steadily and deeply in him, and he in us: He’s given us life from his life, from his very own Spirit. Also, we’ve seen for ourselves and continue to state openly that the Father sent his Son as Savior of the world. Everyone who confesses that Jesus is God’s Son participates continuously in an intimate relationship with God. We know it so well, we’ve embraced it heart and soul,
this love that comes from God.”
1 John 4:13-16 The Message

Have a blessed day In Christ,
Michelle
coachfromtheheart@gmail.com

Where do you run?

When you were a child, did you ever hide behind a long drape at home or on the school stage? And, maybe even at times, grab the edge of the long drape and swirl around until you were completely enveloped by the drape, believing you were safely hidden? Or, did you ever run and hide around mom or dad’s legs in a shy or fearful moment?  As children we may have felt safe and protected in those hide-away places.

But now as adults, where do you run when sad, scared, angry, or inconsolable because of the challenges faced?  When you don’t understand ‘why’ something traumatic just happened to a loved one; when everything is out of your control, and you don’t know what to do or say?  Where do you run and seek safety, counsel/guidance and love?   Do you remember then, as always, that God is your true, constant and ever ready friend?

“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty
[Whose power no foe can withstand].
I will say of the Lord, He is my Refuge and my Fortress,
my God;
on Him I lean and rely, and in Him I [confidently] trust!
(Psalm 91:1-2 Amplified)

Dwelling in the ‘secret place of the Most High’, is spending time with God and sharing your heart with Him ~ talking about your dreams and visions, as well as everything that’s causing you pain or concern; and being able to ask those ‘why’ questions.  It is ongoing time with God in prayer, getting to know Him through scriptures, asking for and listening to Him speak wisdom, guidance and love into your life.

When you walk closely with Him, He securely upholds you, guides you and there is a tremendous sense of comfort/security!  Because you’re dwelling ‘under the shadow.’ If you think of a shadow, it doesn’t take many steps before you’ve stepped beyond the shadow, right? He’s asking you to stay close to Him always, and when you do, He promises safety/refuge!

“Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God’s voice in everything you do,
everywhere you go;
he’s the one who will keep you on track.
Don’t assume that you know it all.
Run to God!   Run from evil!
Your body will glow with health,
your very bones will vibrate with life!”
Proverbs 3:5-8 (The Message)

Staying close to God/developing a trust relationship with Him is personal, and requires time, just like developing any quality/true friendship.  It’s not a church attendance thing, it’s relationship building.  I am so grateful to God that when I look to Him, even in those doubting, questioning times, He is always faithful to show me truth, comfort me and answer those important questions, and I know He is there for you too … right now!
I encourage you to get to know your heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ!
And, if I can help you, please contact me at coachmichelle@charter.net.

God’s Love and Blessings,
Michelle

Absolute Confidence in One True Friend …

We each have our few select friends in whom we confide all things ~ those we trust to understand our hearts, to give us wise counsel, to hold our hand if we need it or nudge us forward.  Our true friends are very dear to us and we cherish our time with them.

But, sometimes, we forget that God is our most dear, true friend in whom we can have absolute confidence, reliance, certitude and trust!  Do you perceive God as your true friend ~ the One in whom you can share your heartache as well as your hopes/dreams?  Have you ever sat down with Him and talked with Him as you would a dear friend?  And have you benefited from HIS wise counsel as He guided your steps in life?

God desires a relationship, fellowship, two-way communication with you!  And, as believers in Jesus Christ, He said He would send us a “… Comforter, Counselor, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Strengthener, Standby … in whom we can have close fellowship …”  John 16:7.  Remember, God cares about every little detail of your life; He created you, and is available to you 24/7 ~ HE listens and He loves you with an everlasting love!!!

“And this is the confidence (the assurance, the privilege of boldness) which we have in Him:

[we are sure] that IF we ask anything (make any request) according to His will (in agreement with His own plan), He listens to and hears us.” 1 John 5:14

What’s His will and His plan, you may say?  Well, that requires us to get to know Him (isn’t that what friends do?)  And we get to know Him through reading the Bible, (learning about His character and His promises), and through prayer.

And it continues to say:

“And if (since) we [positively] know that He listens to us in whatever we ask, we also know [with settled and absolute knowledge] that we have [granted us as our present possessions] the requests made of Him. 1 John 5:15

This says we HAVE the requests made of HIM, present tense.  Faith says “NOW … the evidence of things not seen.”

So, I encourage you ~ spend time with your very best friend, God ~ through Jesus Christ!  Get to know Him, and allow Him to fill you with His unconditional love; heal your brokenness; guide you with His wisdom.  You can do so with absolute confidence in this One True Friend!

God’s Love and Blessings to all!
Michelle Lord Samples
From the Heart

If I can be of encouragement to you through God’s Word, please contact me at coachmichelle@charter.net
Website:  www.fromtheheartlifecoach.com

“but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today…” Hebrews 3:13