Help for Change!

The following is a copy and paste from YouVersion; a devotion that I have been reading. The title is

Finding God In The Change: Fight Fear, Failure and Fatigue

by Ashley Abercombie

I completed the last installment of it today and I would like to give FULL Credit to the Source and share my reading with you. It is that good! Perhaps you would consider YouVersion for yourself.

Every single person alive on planet earth has a dream. A dream requires us to go from here to there, constantly. Transition is a way of life, and we have to accept this for ourselves, so that we can transition throughout life, from birth to death, with faith. We’ve got to remember why we do what we do, as we change from season to season. 

Hebrews 11 is one of those chapters of the Bible that I love, but I also wrestle with the message. What do you mean all these heroes of the faith DIED without receiving the promise? How is that supposed to encourage me exactly? Still, what I really love, especially in the Amplified Classic version of the Bible, is the language. 

“Earnestly and diligently seek; prompted by faith, when there was no visible sign, took heed and diligently and reverently constructed and prepared; Urged on by faith, when he was called, obeyed and went forth to a place which he was destined to receive as an inheritance; waiting expectantly and confidently; Because of faith, she considered God who had given her the promise to be reliable and trustworthy and true to His word; controlled and sustained by their faith.”

The words of expectation and anticipation have me on the edge of my seat. Something really, really good is coming, and I want in on that kind of faith, because truth be told, this is not who I am in transition, most of the time. 

I’ve come to realize, whether or not the heroes of the faith got the promise they prayed for, is not the Hebrews author’s point – the point is how they endured and waited, how they trusted, believed and obeyed God, as they journeyed through life (imperfectly, by the way, because most of them made massive mistakes, or faced huge challenges, in the tension of transition, just like us). 

Pioneering purpose takes work. We must remain diligent, faithful, and trust God, even if there is no visible sign or tangible evidence that the dream will happen for us, or that God will come through. Verse 13 of the faith chapter says, “These people all died controlled and sustained by their faith, but not having received the tangible fulfillment of [God’s] promises, only having seen it and greeted it from a great distance by faith, and all the while acknowledging and confessing that they were strangers and temporary residents and exiles upon the earth.” 

I wonder, if you were to sit and reflect for a moment, what would you say you are controlled and sustained by? 

Sometimes, the adrenaline from stress and fear keeps me going. (I live in Manhattan, for goodness sake, there’s plenty of anxiety to go around.) I’ve also sustained myself through the difficulty of transition by numbing out on entertainment and social media, trying to please people, achieving goals to prove my significance, or completely living in denial. It gets me through… until it doesn’t.  

In the middle of transition, I’ve learned to do my own work. Listen, can I be real with you, here on our last day together? Nobody can read your bible for you. Nobody can listen to God for you. Nobody can replace the lies floating around in your mind with truth for you. Nobody can take your mask off for you. Nobody can decide for you to go deeper in community. Nobody can make you come to church and participate in community. You have to do the work. 

Yes, good preaching helps. Yes, podcasts are awesome. Yes, being around people helps. Yes, reading books is great. Yes, devotionals are incredibly helpful. 

But, when you are in transition, you can’t hang on to leftovers. Somebody else’s word from God won’t carry you through. A revelation, or a prophetic word, somebody gave you is not enough to sustain you. Every Sunday alone in your living room is not going to work. You need a word from God for yourself to keep it moving to the other side of the shift. When you’re in pain and in crisis, you need the word of God to bubble up on the inside of you like a river of living water. And you need people to encourage you, to walk alongside, so you can carry each other through.

I love social media – legit love it. But I cannot live on soundbites. I can’t live on Pinterest quotes. I can’t sustain myself on news coverage and blog articles and Facebook comments. I can’t authentically and genuinely connect with Instastories – they don’t talk back to me, or get to know me. We need real friends that we can touch and see and sit across the table from, and laugh, cry, shoot the breeze, and spur each other on in our purpose.

Don’t let the enemy rob you from the strength a life in the Spirit adds to your life, by settling for somebody else’s snapshots of faith. Do not buy the hype that Jesus is not the way, the truth and the life. He’s still relevant. He’s still the truth. He’s still on point. In this information, digital, post-truth age, we’ve got to remember who is still the source: Jesus. The Master Jesus, the King Jesus. He is all sufficient, matchless and limitless, in his desire and ability to meet our needs.

Friend, you’re going to get through this time of transition. You have what it takes. You can do this hard thing in front of you. You are a person of faith who can transition well. Stay in God’s presence, and allow His purpose to sustain you. 

PRACTICE: God is holding you steady. Sit with your feet flat, and your hands resting on your knees, palms facing up. Take a deep breath. Take as many as you need. Recognize the weight you’ve been carrying. Where do you feel it in your body? Your neck and shoulders? Your lower back and gut? Inhale again, and as you exhale, let go of the weight you’ve been carrying. Ask God for help. You might not be able in your own strength, but by the grace of God, you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength.

 

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