Wednesday, September 5, 2012


Sometimes it’s easy to surrender to Christ and other times it’s not. I love those easy days, but what about the ones where I don’t feel like surrendering? You know how it goes—where you’re like: “Yup, I know what’s the right thing to do, but to be honest, I just really don’t feel like doing it. Yeah, I know I’m in a bit of a mess making some wrong decisions and I know what I’m supposed to do, but I’m just kinda enjoying the mess I’m making at the moment.” 
In moments like these this is the worst time to run from God, because did you know that he’s looking upon you with the hugest smile and love even in the midst of your junky choices? He actually loves when you draw near to him during these times of craziness!!! But here’s the kicker--which I’m sure you’ve heard before--so let’s “cliché it” for a moment: God loves you exactly the way you are right now, but he loves you WAY TOO MUCH to let you stay the same. So when you start to notice the nudge of God wanting to re-arrange the inner house’s furniture a bit (you’re the house; your ways of doing things is the furniture) let him in! Yes, God is a redeeming God--but also know this--before he wants to be known as a God that wants to cleanse and redeem you he wants to be known as a loving father who madly and passionately loves you, pursues you, thinks about you, and is incredibly & wildly enraptured by you.
Let’s get back quick to the conversation mentioned above where we’re in a position of enjoying junky choices. Personally, if it wasn’t for me FIRST knowing and having the out-of-this-world revelation of God’s passionate love for me, I probably wouldn’t really care about a God who was ONLY concerned about how pure and holy I was acting. I mean seriously, can you imagine having a parent who didn’t love you at all, but only talked to you or noticed you when you were doing something wrong in order to fix you? 
Yeah, well God is not that parent. Is God a redeeming God who cleanses us of our sin by the power of the shed blood of Jesus? Yes and thank God. But just a sweet reminder that he’s looking at you with his love for you first and foremost before he is concerned with molding you into his image of beautiful righteousness. So, THIS is what helps me surrender to Christ and what he wants for me—knowing him, knowing his love. And when I deep down know this, it is all the more a pleasure to surrender to this almighty God who is beyond worthy of my love. If the greatest lover that ever existed wants my surrender, I’d be a fool not to give it to him. Yep, a love-sick, dearly beloved, child of God signing out now.   
Scripture of the Day: “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” –Romans 8: 37-39.
by: Maggie Shunk

Monday, September 3, 2012


I believe that many of the issues we face have been because we failed to ASK God, FIRST!  Some of our challenges and struggles could have been avoided altogether.  Do any come to mind right now?!

In Joshua 9, the Israelites and Joshua made a decision where they failed to ASK FIRST. The Gibeonites, their enemies, heard the report that the Israelites were taking everyone down and they didn’t want to be next. So they devised a deceptive ploy to get the Israelites to be their allies. They pretended to be from a far away place (when in fact they only lived 3 days away), lowly and helpless. Not only did the Israelites respond by giving them some of their own bread and provisions, they entered into a full-blown peace treaty with them!! God sat by quietly and allowed them to do so because they didn’t follow His known order – ASK FIRST. The Israelites lives were not their own. They were God’s chosen people and every decision they made was to be approved by Him. Even though it seems like they were doing a good deed to help those in need, their decision cost them greatly! Once they found out that these “far away foreigners” were in fact their enemy neighbors, the covenant had already been made and could not be undone!

In the very next chapter, the drama unfolds big time. The Gibeonites’ enemies were now assembled against Israel because of their alliance and the Israelites had to fight a battle that would have otherwise not been theirs. However, this time, Joshua received God’s word of victory on the issue BEFORE he jumped into action. That made all the difference!
Years and generations later, Saul, the rebellious, lawless king, destroyed the Gibeonites and because of this, God’s judgment fell on the Israelites. Even though the Israelites were deceived by the Gibeonites, they were still required by God to honor the oath that they had made. David inquired of the Lord on how to rectify the situation and it required him to make some very difficult decisions. Undoing something is ALWAYS more complicated than doing it.  Don't believe me?
Well, on average, it takes about 1-2 hours to get a tattoo, but it can take 6 months to 1.5 years to completely remove it! It’s also about 10 times more costly and much, much more painful. The same can be said for retail transactions. It takes about 2 seconds for the clerk to swipe your credit card and the bank to put a hold on your money, but if you want a refund, it can take almost a week! Sometimes God has to allow the consequences of our actions to fall on our own shoulders so that we will learn the lesson and avoid repeating it.  ASK HIM FIRST!
The next time a decision is required of you, ask the Holy Spirit now to remind you to pause and ASK FIRST. Unnecessary battles and frustration can be avoided when we follow God’s divine order!
He is ruler of our lives, if in fact we have given Him our life, so let Him rule.  ASK THE KING FIRST. RECEIVE YOUR ORDERS.  ACT AND SEE VICTORY IN ALL YOU DO!