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NOT ON OUR OWN...

"O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways."

Psalm 139:1-3




I began teaching my children independence at an early age. By no means was the reasoning behind this because I did not want to help them, or I was too busy, or even because I wanted them to hurry and grow up. I taught them independence because I wanted them to be confident in themselves and their abilities. I wanted them to be proud of the things that they were able to accomplish as they grew up. Not because I did it for them, but because they were able to use their God-given abilities to achieve things for themselves. I wanted them to practice age-appropriate decision-making skills. And I wanted them to take responsibility for the choices they made.


Now, with that being said; I always wanted them to know that if they had a problem or needed my help, they could look to me or their dad. And though all three of my kiddos possess various levels of independence, the outcome when they were hurt, sad, or found themselves in some sort of predicament was always the same –They would run to their dad and me with tear-streaked faces crying for help. They knew that they could be independent and still want or need our help. They had confidence that we would be there in an instant. Because truth is, as much as they knew themselves, as parents we know them better. Not only do we know them better, but we also have a greater amount of knowledge and experience in the world around them. Hence the reason that they view us as a reliable source that they can depend on.


And while I am proud of my children for their independence, I want their self-reliance to be appropriately positioned to the person that can always help in every situation. As visitors on this earth, we only have a small portion of knowledge and control of the world around us. Therefore, the problem with total self-reliance is that we have limited ability to see the picture in its entirety. We typically see what’s right in front of us. This fact hinders the possibility of having an accurate perspective and typically leads to poor decision-making when we become totally self-reliant and trust only in our understanding and abilities.


“O LORD, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways.” Psalm 139:1-3

I love my children with a love I never understood until they made their appearance into my world. I know all the details of their character and their appearance. I know their likes and their interests, their strengths, and their weaknesses. And though I was gifted the ability to be a mom to all three of them while they walk this earth, I did not create them. I do not know how many hairs are on their heads and I most definitely do not know the number of their days. You see, as much as I love that they trust me and know that they can rely on me, I cannot be their ultimate source of truth. Because just like the limitations of their view of the big picture, mine is only partial as well. And just like their sinful human nature, I possess the same flawed nature. My reliance must be on the one that created me just as theirs should be. When they are confronted with life’s toughest questions, their truth must come from God’s Word, the maker, and sustainer of everything.


“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”

The best gift that I will ever be able to give to these three children of mine, is not my love, affection, or attention. Yes, those are all necessarily wonderful things that we should offer freely to our children while they journey through life. They need them to grow and thrive. They need them to feel safe and cared for. It is the responsibility and gift of being a parent. However, the most important thing I can ever offer to them is the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. It affects their lives, not only here, but in eternity. It is of most importance, that they know, believe, and trust in the fact that they were created by design at the perfect time, by a perfect God, with a perfect plan. Our creator makes no mistakes. Even on days when the logic of life causes confusion, and the questions just continue to visit our thoughts, our confidence can rest in the truth of His Word. There are no mishaps in perfection.


So, while independence can be a positive attribute, total reliance on our parents, our spouse, our friends, or even our own self is disillusionment and will leave you disappointed. The dilemma in this comes from the fact that we are flawed and filled with imperfection. We do not have the ability to see everything, and we absolutely do not have the ability to be in more than one place at a time. The omnipresence and the understanding of every aspect of life belongs exclusively to God himself.


The truth is that obedience is not actually obedience unless there is complete surrender to Christ. We must know and believe that without God, we are lost and without hope. We must believe that His ways are perfect, and His plan is trustworthy. We will never have the ability to move mountains, part the waters, calm the storms, or cause the sun to rise. We must only trust and walk in obedience. Have you exhausted yourself at the foot of the mountain attempting to “do life” on your own strengths? There is such freedom in allowing Christ to be your everything.


“Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, Be taken up and thrown into the sea, and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him.” Mark 11:23

I ask you today to reflect on your life...

Are there people or things that you have put your trust in instead of God?

Have you surrendered your life completely to God?

Have you promised to follow Him in obedience wherever that may be?

Have you handed over your life to the One that gave it to you and cried out, “Lord, I’m yours…all yours”?

I pray that if you have not, today would be the day.



 

Spiritual Disciplines


Spiritual Disciplines have been such a ginormous part of my growth in Christ. These disciplines changed my daily walk with the Lord and have taught me about reliance and dependence on Him! My prayer is that this space can help deepen your knowledge and understanding by teaching you to lean in closer to God. With that being said, my goal is to incorporate these disciplines slowly so that you can gain a clear picture and understanding of each one as well as learn how to incorporate them into your daily walk with the Lord. Here is a list of the 8 disciplines that we will cover. If these disciplines are already a regular part of your day, now is a great opportunity to reach out to a friend that could use some help learning and growing.


  • Bible Study

  • Memorization

  • Meditation

  • Prayer

  • Worship

  • Evangelism

  • Fasting

  • Solitude

We have now covered the eight tangible spiritual disciplines that growing in God focuses on.IF you missed any of these, please go back and review them in the past blogs.

This week's Bible Study:

Psalm 136-150

MONDAY: Psalm 136-137

TUESDAY: Psalm 138-139

WEDNESDAY: Psalm 140-141

Thursday: Psalm 142-143

Friday: psalm 144-145

Saturday: psalm 146-147

Sunday: psalm 148-150


 


This week's verse to memorize and meditate on:

Psalm 139:1-3

O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up;

you discern my thoughts from afar.

You search out my path and my lying down

and are acquainted with all my ways.




 

Tips and challenges this week:

  1. If you have not already, begin implementing spiritual disciplines into your daily walk with God.

  2. Some like to begin by adding one at a time.

  3. Dig deeper and gain a better understanding of the meaning and purpose behind each discipline.

  4. Find an accountability partner that can encourage you in your time spent with the Lord. (For help with this, check out our accountability groups. Scan the QR code at the bottom of this page for more information.)





 

Private Facebook Discussion Group

Would you like to dig a little deeper into your weekly reading and spiritual disciplines? Join our Facebook group where we learn, grow and encourage one another.



 
Questions?

If you have questions or things that you don't understand, please email them to me and I will add them to the Q&A section. I can't promise you that I will have all of the answers, but I can promise I will do my best to find them if I don't have them.


 

Growing in God

Would you like a tool to encourage your growth in God? Check out my newly released 12-month spiritual disciplines book/journal. This journal will give you a brief understanding of 8 tangible spiritual disciplines as well as give you a space to implement these disciplines into your daily walk with God.


 






Are you searching for an accountability partner or a group? A person that can encourage you in your walk with the Lord? joyfully HIS has made this option available to you. Scan the QR code for more information or to sign up.






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