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]!”

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,

photo credit:  chris roth

Faith ~ how to walk in faith?

It’s one thing to describe Faith, but it’s another to walk in faith when you’re the one facing the circumstances of life!  Let me share a couple of examples … from my heart…

Walking by faith testimony ~ if you’ll remember back in June, I blogged about the miracle of my husband’s heart attack.  My husband walked in faith by asking God for guidance; listening for, and following God’s lead; and, going to the ER without fear or dread.  Praise God, 48 hours later my husband was discharged, after they placed a stint in him to repair a 95% blocked vein!  When we think of all the things that could have been, we shout from the rooftop, Praise God!  I encourage you to share your testimony of walking by faith in the comment section ~ to encourage others as well!!

“No unbelief or distrust made him waver (doubtingly question) concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong and was empowered by faith as he gave praise and glory to God.”

Still walking by faith ~ a month after my husband’s health event, I began to feel ill.  I sought medical attention, currently seeing a specialist, who is ordering this test and that to ascertain the challenge.  But, this week as I went through one test, inhaling radioactive gas and (yuck) having radioactive albumin injected into my vein, I recognized fear had crept into my thinking.  What am I dealing with?  What are they putting into me?  At that moment, I realized I had a choice to make.  I could follow the fear and let the unknown consume me, or I could hang on to God, and His truths ~ thus walking by faith!  I thought of all the encouragement I had given others over the last few years, and I recognized I too needed to stand on those same Godly truths.  At that moment, God brought to mind the young shepherd boy, David when he prepared to face the giant Goliath.  Before David stepped out to face (and conquer) Goliath.  He made a bold statement of faith:

“I come to you in the Name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel … This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you…

I too, made a declaration.  I too, come in the Name of the Lord, and I declare my God loves me with an everlasting love, and will never leave me nor forsake me; HE has great plans for me ~ for good, not evil.  HIS will for me is to be healed and whole.  By faith, that unwavering confidence in God, through Jesus Christ, I am believing that God’s Word and promises are true, and I declare my God is greater than anything I may face!  It’s freeing to trust God when you feel vulnerable.  It also weakens the enemy’s grip on your life, for scripture says that every knee must bow at the Name of Jesus.

So, whatever mountain(s) of challenge you face today ~ no matter what it’s called [sickness, financial distress, loss of a loved one, family drama/dysfunction, job loss, disappointment, etc.] you can walk by faith as an overcomer in Christ ~ despite what it looks like or feels like at the moment!  You walk in faith by prayerfully presenting these concerns to God ~ an open, honest conversation between you and God.  (Remember you are speaking to a God who understands and sympathises with your circumstances (Hebrews 4:15).  God’s not asking you to deny what you’re facing or feeling.  But, by faith, He’s asking you to believe, without wavering, that His promises are true and that HE is greater than anything you face.  Declare HIS truths in the face of your challenge, thus walking by faith.

Jesus said “…Do not be afraid; only believe.” (Mark 5:37)

“if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.  (Matthew 17:20)

I encourage you to share your testimony in the comments to encourage others … your walk of faith in God!  And, if you need help knowing God’s truths for you in your current circumstance, please contact me at coachmichelle@charter.net (fromtheheartlifecoach.com)