Claiming Your Promised Land

RESTNotes

As I compiled RESTNotes, the devotional guide to my book, Words That Change Everything, other commitments and obligations kept getting in the way.

Plus, I was exhausted because I had just completed my book. And that process birthed more challenges than I’d like to admit.

Also, my husband, Dan, had just retired. And I was ready for some REST and time off, too.

Lord, I’ll never keep up with all my commitments!

I thought of the story in Matthew where the Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness to be tested by the devil. After that trial, “the devil left him, and angels came and attended him” (Matt. 4:11 niv).

Even Jesus grew weary in his battles. And he called on his heavenly Father to give him the words to defeat his accuser. But he also experienced the spiritual comfort provided by his Father.

I’m thankful that I can trust the Lord to provide that same kind of comfort for me.

All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. We have plenty of hard times that come from following the Messiah, but no more so than the good times of his healing comfort—we get a full measure of that, too. (2 Cor. 1:3–5 The Message)

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Raising the White Flag

RESTNotes

 

Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? “Father, save me from this hour?” No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. (John 12:27 NIV)

I believed that God was leading me to write for publication. But soon after I finished the first leg of my journey, doubt and fear undermined my confidence.

Attending college in my forties changed all my plans. But after spending five years in the academic world, I sensed God renewing my initial call to write for publication. So I signed up for my first Christian writers’ conference in New Mexico.

When the day arrived to leave for the event, I didn’t know how long Mother would survive; she was terminally ill. Plus, I also struggled with my family relationships because of my intense focus on completing my degrees in writing during the past few years.

Okay, Lord, I give up. All of my plans seem impossible. I can’t do this anymore. If you want me to abandon this calling, I will.

I thought of Jesus as he chose to submit to God’s will in the Garden of Gethsemane. “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done” (Matt. 26:42 NIV).

Sometimes obedience feels like sacrifice. But when I think about the sacrifices that Jesus made, I can’t help but be thankful that he has given me the opportunity to serve him, even if it means making costly decisions.

Red Flags

Are you willing to obey God’s direction and trust him with all of your dreams and plans? As you focus on your times of surrender to God, can you recall your initial responses? What emotional reactions in your life came to mind as you read this chapter?

GraceTalk

What promises from God’s Word have helped you during a time of accepting God’s direction for your life?

Reflection

Consider one of your own moments of surrender. How and when was this challenge was resolved?

This excerpt taken from my eBook, RESTNotes. Be sure to get your FREE copy today!

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