Avoid Dissensions and Factions

Proverbs and Galatians spoke right to today’s culture and climate. God’s Word always delivers the truth and sometimes pokes us awake.

I knew we had found the church God had for us in Omaha when I learned the heartbeat of the church: develop self-feeders, people who read the Bible for themselves every single day. Today’s readings from our church reading guide were perfect for what we see today in this climate and culture.

“Mockers inflame a city but the wise turn away anger.” Proverbs 29:8

“A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man holds it in check.” Proverbs 29:11

“When the wicked increase rebellion increases, but the righteous will see their downfall.” Proverbs 29:16
(I confess I felt guilty when this verse made me feel better. But keep reading with me and you will see why I let that guilt go.)

“An angry man stirs up conflict and a hot tempered man increases rebellion.” Proverbs 29:22

“A person’s pride will humble him but a humble spirit will gain honor.” Proverbs 29:23

“The fear of man is a snare but the one who trusts in the Lord is protected.” Proverbs 29:25

“An unjust man is detestable to the righteous, and one whose way is upright is detestable to the wicked.” Proverbs 29:27 (Well doesn’t that just explain why when we post about Jesus or anything in line with His teachings we receive such pushback)

Ok, now let’s move to Galatians.
“You were running well. Who prevented you from obeying the truth? This persuasion did not come from the One who called you. A little yeast leavens the whole lump of dough. I have confidence in the Lord you will not accept any other view. But whoever it is that is confusing you will pay the penalty.” Galatians 5:7-10

Here’s where I let go of my guilt over wanting to see the downfall of the wicked. Paul continues explaining to the Galatians why they weren’t bound to the Jewish law of circumcision because the cross fulfilled all the law and now they lived under grace. But Paul says this and I have to admit, I love when I see a little fire and sarcasm from Paul. “I wish those who are disturbing you might also get themselves castrated!”

Then in verses 16-18 we are instructed to walk by the Spirit and not by the flesh. To be sure we knew the difference, Paul calls it out directly to us. Emphasis added by me….
“Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity, idolatry, sorcery, HATREDS, STRIFE, jealousy, OUTBURSTS OF ANGER, SELFISH AMBITIONS, DISSENSIONS, FACTIONS, ENVY, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar. I tell you about these things in advance – as I told you before- that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:19-21

Believers!!!
The definition of
dissension: disagreement that leads to discord.
factions: a small organized dissenting group within a larger one, especially in politics.

Please don’t miss this. It’s in the bible for a reason.

“Believers” everywhere are splitting by joining dissensions and factions. We are called to a higher standard.
We have the mind of Christ. We are called to live in unity.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, we must also follow the Spirit. We must not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.” Galatians 5:22-26

God’s Word changes me every single day. It convicts me when I’ve been walking in my flesh. It guides me back to His heart. It shows me the better path. It fills me with joy I can’t get in the world.

Sheep Among Wolves and Peace and Safety

I’m still catching you guys up on the posts I’ve shared on social media…..

“Look, I’m sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as serpents and as harmless as doves.” Matthew 10:16

Don’t speak to a fool, for he will despise the insight of your words. Proverbs 23:9

Two verses that stuck out to me today.

I read a few headlines. I’ve stopped giving my time to the articles when the title makes obvious it’s purely propaganda. I read some comments on the threads though. People are angry and mostly waste their time and energy engaging with foolish thinking. Wisdom and foolishness don’t speak the same language.

But one comment stood out to me. A lady said how interesting to see how the evil act of one man brought on (thanks again media) insane riots filled with acts of hatred that are no better than the act that sparked the fire. And how that started a movement to break down law enforcement. All the while the media still beats the drum of fear of this super scary virus they’ve warned us will be the thing that destroys us. This all leads somewhere. We know this right?

Fear will destroy us. Fear will absolutely destroy us if we allow it to.

I saw an article about climbing case numbers while posting a picture of a couple dining at a restaurant. There is an agenda. I hope we are wise as serpents and innocent as doves. I pray we have learned a lesson in this season about how the media operates, the power of group think, and the damage and control of fear that happens overnight.

One thing I’ve really noticed in this season is how bandwagon we really are. Like sheep led to slaughter. I’ve watched sheep loaded on a trailer taken to slaughter. It’s no different watching group think and bandwagon jumpers in our current culture.

I wish we could start a movement like happened this week where people muted in order to listen and learn to instead of muting themselves we’d mute the media, including and especially, right here on social media.

I actually did mute some people I follow because I was tired of their bashing of our President. Mute is a button we may need to use more often to maintain our love for people.

But I fear we are addicted to the intoxicating effects of fear and drama. We seem to thrive on living in a state of shock, awe, and outrage.

Love is intoxicating as well. It offers something that lasts. It actually changes people and cultures. But it’s not sensational and never makes the front page. Because it often looks so simple. Like the neighbor that sits on the porch with her elderly neighbor and listens to her heart. Or the friend who chooses to overlook an offense and live free of resentment in the relationship. Or the man who noticed the distressed bystander and stopped to see how he could help. Or the people giving hours to clean up vandalism from riots.

Maybe the next big social media movement will be to share and spread allllllll the amazing stories of hope and love instead of the ones of fear and hate. Fear and hate are here til Jesus returns and establishes His reign. And for everyday we have left on this earth, we can show love too. I wish those stories spread like wildfire.

Love is so much easier than hate. But we can’t show love when we’ve not experienced love. And there lies the problem. There’s an entire world that has never experienced the radical love of Jesus. They can’t show love because love comes from God. That’s why Jesus gave us the job to tell
the whole world about His love.

Nothing other than Jesus can change the human heart. Until lives are changed by Jesus, true cultural change won’t happen.

We shouldn’t be shocked that a world that doesn’t know Jesus acts in vile ways. We shouldn’t be shocked by the things we see when we realize that apart from Jesus we can do no good thing.

Let’s get busy!! The solution we aren’t talking about has already been given thousands of years ago. Jesus. Jesus. All we need is Jesus. We are spinning our wheels and getting nowhere because we are ignoring the true source of power.

God is love. Love wins in the end.


Have you read The Giver by Lois Lowry? It’s pretty intriguing.

They live in a world of conformity. A world that has no choices. A world of “sameness”. No one and nothing is unique or different. All the same. No color. No choices because what if people made a wrong choice. It’s for their safety and their own good.

The phrase that we hear whether covid or riots is “be safe”. Spirits of fear are roaring and roaming beasts.

There’s a term we are to be on the lookout for. Peace and safety.

1 Thessalonians 5:3
While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.

Believers, the verse before tells us we don’t need to be given a date and time bc we know how to read the seasons and signs. Then verse 3 tells us what people will be saying right before Jesus comes like a thief in the night. A thief in the night for the unbeliever! This should not take us by surprise.

Are your ears tuned to the propaganda right now? Or are they tuned to Jesus? Friends, he’s asking the church to WAKE UP. Wake up and get about His business. That business isn’t long social justice posts. That business is going to your offended brother and seeking forgiveness. That business is releasing bitterness and offering forgiveness. That business is using our finances to help the poor and needy. That business is to stop the scroll and sit with our children and retell the most amazing rescue story ever told. That business is to hold that foster baby in your arms and tell her she is known and loved. That business is to get down on our knees and pray for the voiceless. That business is to notice the person at the store with empty eyes, smile, tell them they are loved. That business is to tell the world about Jesus.

Much of the church is asleep, lulled by complacency and deception.

2020 has been awful. For the believer, we have a job. Resist evil, advance God’s kingdom. Resist and advance. All with the hope and excitement that any day we are called out of the battle to our heavenly home.

For the unbeliever, 2020 is nothing, nothing, nothing compared to what the 7 years will bring when you see all the Christians have disappeared from planet Earth. It wasn’t an alien. It wasn’t a conspiracy. It was Jesus taking us away from the destruction to come. During that time people will beg for death and not find relief of death.

One will come offering peace and safety. He’s a liar and deceiver. But the majority will believe his lies. I never understood that until 2020. We’ve never witnessed greater deception and its blinding effects.

Here’s the good news. If you are breathing right now and don’t know Jesus, today can change everything for you. It’s all a position of the heart. The day that changed my life, I prayed a simple prayer: Dear Jesus- I confess I’m a sinner. I need a Savior. Forgive me of my sins, wash me clean. From this day forward I want to follow you. You are the Lord of my life. Fill me with your Holy Spirit and lead me by your love to love others.

If you believe in your heart and confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord you will be saved. Romans 10:9

If you prayed today to receive Jesus go tell someone!!!! Find someone to mentor you! Message me so I can pray for you as well.

Believer, it’s so time. Time to wake up, pray for wisdom, protection from deception, and courage to love radically. Our lamps better be lit. Don’t darken those screens anymore. Shine his light and be ready.

Do Facts Matter? Light vs Dark. Agitation over evil.

As promised I’m sharing here on the blog posts I’ve written on various social media platforms. I’ll be sharing these throughout the week in the event you’ve been on a social media fast. Happy reading!


Remember the line from A Few Good Men…..”You can’t handle the truth!”

Last year I heard Dennis Prager of PragerU speak and he talked about how this culture of today doesn’t care about facts. It’s all based on feelings and emotions. I didn’t really get it then. Boy do I get it now.

Facts matter little. Feelings are everything. And everything is offensive.

Galatians 4:16 “Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth?” Paul wrote to the Galatian church, who seemed to love him when he said what they wanted to hear, but when he spoke the truth, which didn’t tickle their ears, they turned on him like an enemy.

Friends, that’s what’s happening now. Stand firm in the truth. The world can’t handle the truth, can’t stand the truth. But God’s Word never fails!


For a week God has been drawing me to the word light and the comparison of light and dark. I feel the heavy weight of the darkness of this world and He draws me back to His light.

Psalm 36:5-9
“Lord, Your faithful love reaches to heaven,
Your faithfulness to the clouds.
Your righteousness is like the highest mountains;
Your judgments, like the deepest sea.
Lord, You preserve man and beast.
God, Your faithful love is so valuable
that people take refuge in the shadow of Your wings.
They are filled from the abundance of Your house;
You let them drink from Your refreshing stream,
for with You is life’s fountain. In your light we will see light.”

Now more than ever we must fix our gaze on Him. Y’all, I feel the world has lost its mind. It’s so overwhelming and heartbreaking I can barely take it. Then I read His Word. Not a social media post, not the latest opinion thread, not the outrage. Just His Word. I’m beyond over hearing how everyone has figured out the best way to eradicate sin and evil in the human heart. Jesus is the only way. Like it or not, man can’t cure the wickedness in the heart of man. But Jesus died for it that we may be saved. He is good! He is faithful!!! In Him is the light this dark world needs.

Read all Psalm 36 today. Human wickedness and God’s love ??????


Oh man…..God knew the state of my heart this morning and He dealt with it by His Word.

I’ve been agitated. Agitated since March, whether covid or now race wars and civil unrest, at the deception, the lies, the fear, the evil, all of it.

Proverbs 24:19-20 says “Don’t be agitated by evildoers, and don’t envy the wicked.For the evil have no future; the lamp of the wicked will be put out.” I followed the cross-reference for these verses to Psalm 37. Do yourself a favor. Open your Bible (or open on your screen) and read all of Psalm 37. Here’s some of my favorites from that passage.

Trust in the Lord and do what is good; dwell in the land and live securely. Vs.3
Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him, and He will act, making your righteousness shine like the dawn, your justice like the noonday. Vs 5-6

Be silent before the Lord and wait expectantly for Him; do not be agitated by one who prospers in his way, by the man who carries out evil plans. Refrain from anger and give up your rage; do not be agitated-it can only bring harm. For evildoers will be destroyed, but those who put their hope in the Lord will inherit the land. Vs.7-9

The wicked person schemes against the righteous and gnashes his teeth at him. The Lord laughs at him because He sees that his day is coming. Vs.12-13

I needed to read Psalm 37 today. If you are struggling in this season because you feel our world is drowning in evil right now, go read it. You will feel so much better.

 

 

 

 

Reclaiming peace by silencing the clamoring world

I’ve learned to trust that voice when it whispers a suggestion to silence the clamoring of the world. My soul reached a point of fatigue. The constant barrage of fake news and the assault of emotionally charged stories with a sole purpose to incite us persevered.

The prior week, God showed me the word strength repeatedly.

Psalm 84:5 “Happy are the people whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.”

Psalm 18:39 “You have clothed me with strength for battle.”

2 Cor 1:21 “Now it is God who strengthens us, with you, in Christ and has anointed us.”

Psalm 118:14 “The Lord is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation.”

Psalm 138:3 “On the day I called, You answered me, you increased strength within me.”

Here’s what I’d noticed within myself – I was short-fused, quick tempered, irritable, highly anxious, and angry. I found myself reading the news and scrolling Facebook before spending time quietly with God. Then I’d enter my time with God mad that the world seemed to have lost its mind, angry at the state of disunity in our country, sad at the attacks waged on each other, and anxious about what all this means for our future.

I’d become as distracted as ever. Physically I shared the same space with my kids, but mentally and emotionally I focused on all the information my brain consumed around the clock.

Our souls were not created to handle the amount of information we are fed.

I love learning. I love being informed. Both of these became idols in my life.

I need Jesus today more than I ever have before. We never stop needing Him, but it’s easy to live in a way that pushes Him into the background.

I knew what I needed. A fast. A fast is the only way I’m able to break the addictions and idols that attempt to take root.

For a week I listened as God asked me to come back to Him to find the strength my soul needed for the calling He’s placed on my life. My flesh battled for control. I never want anything other than Christ to have control over me. So I said yes to God to come away from the news, the media reports, the documentaries, the constant stream of information, and the strong opinions filling my social media feeds.

As always happens when I fast from social media and screens in general, I feel like a new human. My chest moved out of my throat. My heart rate slowed to a normal pace. My skin stopped itching. I began to feel love and compassion for other humans again. But the best part, I began to hear God with clarity again.

Before the fast my prayer continued to be “God give me clarity.” All the news is so confusing. Who do we believe? What would you have us to do?

I don’t trust a single media source. One publication one day says the sky is falling. The very next day, the same source reports something that is the complete opposite. God is unchanging. He is full truth. He is faithful. He is just. He is good. Always. I simply need to focus on Him.

As I considered a fast, God gave me several dreams confirming a break would bring the refreshment and clarity I longed for.

So I posted a “see ya later” on social media. I deleted the apps from my phone to remove all temptation. And I haven’t read a single thing in the news in days. And I feel AMAZING!!!

I know this isn’t sustainable, but it is necessary.

The morning following my fast, I had coffee with a friend. We hugged, we chatted, we caught up, and I left feeling God’s sweetness poured out. The same night my family had dinner at a restaurant downtown. It was the 2nd time Steve and I ate in a restaurant since they began opening back up. It felt so normal and exciting, and I enjoyed that night more than I’ve enjoyed a dinner out in a long time. Over the weekend, I shopped in a few favorite stores. Again I was so thankful for the reopening of stores and restaurants. To see people, to interact, even to have small talk, which I usually despise, all of it I hope never to take for granted again!

Saturday night we had friends over for dinner. It’s the first time we’ve had people over since all the Covid chaos began months ago. Community is what we’ve missed the most. We hugged, and laughed, and ate, and played games, and stayed up much too late, but we dared not end a moment too soon. One thing I’ve learned in this season is we never know when a moment in time will be a last or a last for a long time.

My hope is to cherish people, relationships, community, physical contact, and freedom with a renewed spirit.

I know it’s likely time for my fast to end, but I’ve found ending a fast from the online world is harder than starting one. Enjoying real life again is so liberating. The joy the world stole was restored. And I’m so incredibly thankful.

During my time of fast, I asked God if I should silence everything or if there was an audiobook I should listen to which would be beneficial rather than informational. He brought to mind a book I’ve stored away on an app in my phone. The title is Competing Spectacles – Treasuring Christ in a Media Age, by Tony Reinke.


Within minutes I knew this was the message God needed me to hear in response to the cry of my heart regarding the state of our media’s handling of Covid and all the conflicting news we receive daily, which leads people to living in states of fear, stress, and confusion.

In a news age when blatant shock is the only surefire strategy for gaining viewers, cable news feeds our collective panic, and outrage becomes good business for the newsmakers who can keep our collective cortisol level, our stress hormone, high enough to maintain a constant fight or flight urgency. Christians must guard against these spectacle tactics that manipulate our senses.”

“We are now more media obese than we are physically obese and we are not happier. We are lonelier. We are more depressed.”

“Creation spectacles also demand a response for our worship. We are all made to experience awe, and God’s creation is eager to magnify the Creator in our eyes.” (We must escape screens to experience this.)

“We redeem time by reclaiming our attention.”

Our attention is ours to give as we see fit. The media has a job, steal our attention and keep it. They will use any and all methods, but mostly fear, shock, and awe. It’s how they keep us coming back. I’m over it.

I have a choice to give them my outrage or not. I’m tired of the news deciding I need to feel outraged, angry, sad, confused, or terrified.

I’m taking back my attention. I’m living out the life God has given me. He has called me to live life abundantly here and now.

I’ve been pondering the various aspects of Ecclesiastes 3, particularly “a time to speak and a time to remain silent.” I’ve asked God to clearly reveal to me if I’m to speak or remain silent as it relates to this Covid season of media manipulation. I want to share one of the ways He confirmed.

First, to clarify, I’m not claiming Covid isn’t real. I’ve been quite vocal on social media about this. It’s as real as any flu strain or other virus. For particular people, it’s extremely dangerous, as is the flu. It’s our media I’m so upset with. And I feel many don’t see what I feel God has revealed to me about the psychological war waged on us.

In Competing Spectacles, Tony Reinke says, “Christians must call out worthless things for what they are. We should boldly stand up and expose spectacles of politics, warfare, entertainment, and social media when we sense they are lies, propaganda, or flesh-driven. In the age of the spectacle, few people can see through the mirage of the spectacle industry to call out worthless things. Christians can speak and must speak prophetically to de-mask spectacles as the powerless things they really are. We are called to pull back the curtain and reveal the demonic forces that stand behind nefarious spectacles that dominate our age…”

Maybe you can relate. Maybe your soul is media-wearied too. Maybe this covid season has really placed a heavy burden of stress and fear and you are ready to reclaim the peace Christ promises. Maybe a fast would be good for you too? I’ve never taken a fast and wished I’d stayed plugged in instead.

 

 

Are we like a frog in hot water

I have a story to share and a point to make. Stick with me.

After 3 months of undergoing a full bathroom renovation, I anxiously anticipated my first bath in the new tub. The tub is much smaller than our previous so it filled quickly. I stepped in and instantly hopped right back out. It was scalding hot! The water didn’t feel terribly hot from the spout. As it filled, the water temperature seemed not a big deal. But enough of that in the tub created an environment I wanted no part of. I realized I’d have a learning curve with our new settings.

By the time I took my second bath, I’d learned my lesson. I adjusted the temperature handle much lower. I stepped in. The water was much cooler than I prefer, but I could sit in it comfortably. Sitting in the cool water, I adjusted the temperature as it filled to much hotter. Because I was comfortable and had accepted how it felt, I could tolerate it. I stayed in while the too hot water was added. As the temperatures mixed, the water warmed rapidly. But I was already comfortable in that water so felt no need to hop out as I did when stepping directly into that too hot water only one short bath ago.

As I soaked, I envisioned the frog analogy we all know quite well. If you want to cook a frog you don’t put him directly into boiling water because he will sense the danger and jump right out. Instead put him in a somewhat comfortable environment. Make him think he’s safe. Then slowly increase the temperature on him. Before he has time to realize he’s in danger, he’s cooked. You trick the frog.

My nature is the opposite of a bandwagon jumper. When I see the masses go toward something, my inclination is to pause and assess. At the same time, I’m not rebellious. I’m very much a rule-follower. Over the years I’ve realized God has given me a strong sense of discernment. It almost feels like an internal alarm that begins to sound. When it sounds, I have learned to pay attention.

I’ve also realized that some people lie. Some people have evil motives and agendas. People are human, so they can make severe mistakes even with no poor intentions.

But what I’ve really learned in the last several years is that spiritual warfare is more real than you can imagine. And if our eyes were opened for 5 seconds to what happens in the realm we can’t see, we’d be shocked silent. Or shocked to the point of being unable to remain silent.

That’s kind of where I am these days. My discernment alarm has been sounding for awhile. God began to wake me up to a few things in 2015, but I got comfortable again and stopped really praying or caring quite honestly about what felt so pressing in 2015/2016.

Do you believe in good versus evil? If so then you will understand what I’m sharing here.

In the commentary of my CBS bible study workbook there is an apply what you’ve learned section which reads:
“All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing” (Edmund Burke). Evil (and satan) must be actively resisted, or it will take over any earthly territory that is not claimed by Christ and His followers. This is true not only in the world around us, but within our own lives. If we do not submit ourselves to God (James 4:7), the devil will not flee-he will hang around harassing and enticing us. We should not allow ourselves to be complacent regarding evil, “so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs: (2 Cor 2:11).”

Satan has schemes and plans. And part of that is to steal freedom, to make us slaves through this physical realm, but ultimately slaves to his desires.

Christ came that we should be free. God has never shown that freedom should not be a goal. He led His people out of slavery into the promised land. Christ came to set us free from death. Galatians 5:1 says “It is for freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm then and do not be burdened by a yolk of slavery again.”

Until Jesus returns for a 2nd time, which He will, we are called to advance His Kingdom here on earth. To advance His Kingdom, we must push back the darkness. We must resist the enemy. We simply can’t stand still and do nothing.

A call has gone out over the entire world. Repent. Turn back to God.
He is truly our only hope. No doctor, no vaccine, no medicine, no government, no man. In Christ alone. In Christ alone.

In our current situation, our nation is once again divided. Matthew 12:25 tells us “Knowing their thoughts, He told them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is headed for destruction, and no city or house divided against itself will stand.”

We are in information overload right now. We each bring to the discussion various perspectives and sets of knowledge and experience. We each carry different burdens to bear. My prayer is that we see our national and world situation with a common goal – the absolute best for humanity.

The burden I seem to bear these days is a call out to awaken our nation to stand for our freedoms, our civil liberties, which people fought and died for. Jesus died for my eternal freedom. Americans have died for our national freedoms.

What I see happening is us sitting in lukewarm bathwater, comfortable enough, accepting a new normal, while the temperature is increasing as freedoms are removed one tiny chip at a time.

Remember this famous quote by Patrick Henry: “Give me liberty or give me death”? Why do you think he said that? Maybe because life without freedom isn’t life at all?

Right now fear is leading many of us. We are isolated, which is a common tool the enemy uses. When I started homeschooling, I felt isolated and entered into a depression that lasted several weeks. Satan tormented me. A close friend told me to get out and reconnect with people so satan wouldn’t be so influential in my thoughts.

We are at war, and we must realize it. We’ve always been at war. Satan never stopped fighting for what he wants. He comes to steal, kill, destroy. Why do you think God tells us this in the Bible? Why do you think we are told in Ephesians 6 to put on the armor of God?

I can’t sit back and watch satan advance. Jesus may come today or in 1,000 years. For each breath I have, I want to advance the Kingdom. To advance, someone must retreat or be pushed back.

Repent. Pray. Stand firm. Suit up in your armor. Move forward. Don’t retreat. Advance.

Ask God what your assignment is. He will tell you. We won’t all have the same assignment. Together, united for His Kingdom, freedom wins.

How do we carry a burden well?

How do we carry a burden well?

Every day during this pandemic I’ve asked God why I’m handling this the way I am. Is there something wrong with me? Why do my friends on social media seem so happy and positive? Is my faith weaker? Am I fearful? Do I not trust and wait well?

I open my eyes, and my thoughts begin to swirl. I’m feeling fatigued mentally and emotionally. I hurt when others hurt. I tend to take on the feelings of others far too easily.

Today I began my day the same as I do each day, coffee and God. I sat in the silence lacking the motivation to crack open His Word. I just needed to sit.

We start with prayer

I opened my journal and began writing to God. Side note: journaling keeps me from a wandering mind during prayer. Here’s what I wrote:

Lord, What is it you want me to do in this season? What do you want me to hear from you? Give me ears to hear and eyes to see. Lord, I want to represent you well. Teach me when to speak and when to be silent.

I’d also journaled to God how overwhelmed I felt with burdens from this world and how I wake feeling a racing heart.

We listen and watch for His reply

I then reached for my favorite devotion. I think you know the one (insert wink emoji), My Utmost For His Highest by Oswald Chambers. The day was April 13th, the key verse: Psalm 55:22 Cast thy cares upon the Lord.

“We must distinguish between the burden bearing that is right and the burden bearing that is wrong. We ought never to bear the burden of sin or of doubt, but there are burdens placed on us by God which He does not intend to lift off, He wants us to roll them back on Him.”

We engage in dialogue with God

I stopped and journaled my prayer:

Lord, reveal to me which burdens are right and which are wrong. Teach me to roll the burdens back to You.

I went back to reading the devotion by Chambers.

” If we undertake work for God and get out of touch with Him, the sense of responsibility will be overwhelmingly crushing; but if we roll back on God that which He has put upon us, He takes away the responsibility by bringing in the realization of Himself.”

“Many workers have gone out with high courage and fine impulses, but with no intimate fellowship with Jesus Christ, and before long they are crushed.”

I picked up my pen with a gasp. Lord, I want intimate fellowship with You. Keep me from being crushed by giving me the wisom to stay intimately connected to You.

Back to Chambers.

“They do not know what to do with the burden, it produces weariness, and people say, ‘What an embittered end to such a beginning!”

Back to my journal. LORD! Teach me to roll my burden back to You. Keep me from becoming weary and protect me from an embittered end.

Back to the devotion, which feels as a direct rebuke and letter of instruction from God to me.

“Roll thy burden upon the Lord- you have been bearing it all; deliberately put one end on the shoulders of God. ‘The government shall be upon His shoulders.’ Commit to God ‘that He hath given thee’; not fling it off, but put it over onto Him and yourself with it, and the burden is lightened by the sense of companionship. Never disassociate yourself from the burden.”

Lord, this devotion feels like the most kind and tender gift to me. You desire to carry the burden but I keep picking it up alone. Lord, teach me to pray. Amen.

We reflect on the conversation

As I open-mouth reflected, I realized the burden I feel is given to me by God. The problem is that I forget to give Him the proper load. I trudge along dragging the burden when all the while He has open hands to help me. He is the load carrier. I can be His companion.

As I questioned the burden I feel for our nation, I sensed God telling me He has given me this burden for a reason, not to fling off, but He’s asking me to rely on Him and stay in intimate relationship with Him. The government is on His shoulders, not mine. I can pray. I can share and lead and encourage and point back to the cross.

I share because I trust God speaks to each of us in intimate ways. I share to encourage you to hear God’s voice intimately. I also share because I believe we see our own stories in between the lines of another’s story.