B Moments, spin

Avoid Putting Your Own Spin on God’s Will

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Hebrews 10:36 (ESV)

Today, I am thinking about how sometimes we can put our own spin on fulfilling God’s will.

In this series, we are talking about embracing God’s will and about how sometimes we can miss the mark. King Saul’s life is a perfect example of this.

One day, Saul was given specific instructions from God to go and destroy the Amalekites. The Amalekites were being killed because of their opposition to the Israelites when they came from Egypt.

Saul was instructed to kill the entire nation, including the cattle, sheep, and donkeys—everything. Yet when Saul mobilized his army of 200,000, he slaughtered the Amalekites but spared the king and kept all the cattle, despite God’s clear instructions.

When Samuel, the prophet, questioned Saul about it, he said that he had obeyed the Lord. In fact, he said that he intended to sacrifice the cattle before the Lord.

However, God didn’t ask Saul to sacrifice; He asked him to obey. Partial obedience is not obedience. Saul fulfilled part of God’s will and put his own spin on the rest.

How often do we do this? We fulfill part of what God is asking us to do and then we try to overcompensate in another area. If that might be you today, let these words inspire you: “…so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.” Hebrews 10:36 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, avoid putting your own spin on God’s will and just embrace it.

B Moments, intervene

God Still Hasn’t Come to My Rescue

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Romans 8:28 (ESV)

Today, I am thinking about how God could intervene, but He hasn’t.

We started the week talking about enduring what feels like unfair treatment by others. Today, we’re exploring what it feels like when the “unfair treatment” is coming from God.

All throughout the Bible, we’ve seen the hand of God take charge and turn around some of the most catastrophic situations—sometimes with only moments to go. For example, when He parted the Red Sea and the Israelites escaped Pharaoh’s army just in the nick of time. We also see God time and again extend His merciful hand to the sinful.

Yet it seems as though God’s hand remained still when it came to Job, a man whom God himself acknowledged as the finest man on earth but still allowed to suffer on so many levels.

You might wonder how God can divinely intervene for others, and yet, as faithful as you have been, remain so passive in a situation close to you. You may even be tempted to tell God that He’s being unfair.

However, it is important to remember two things. First, we should be encouraged that God is always at work. Even when it feels like His position is a passive one, He’s always working.

Second, in the case of Job, God was using his suffering for a higher purpose. The same is true for you. What feels like unfair treatment today is serving a higher purpose for your tomorrow.

Let us be encouraged as we hold onto this timeless verse: “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, know that it’s all for your good.

B Moments, preoccupation

Avoid Paying the Price for Your Preoccupation

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Psalm 55:22 (ESV)

Today, I am thinking about how we can allow ourselves to become preoccupied with the actions of others.

Recently, we’ve been talking about the days leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion. Despite many challenges, Jesus stayed his course. It was two days before the Passover festivities and the leading priests were meeting to determine the best way to secretly capture Jesus and put him to death without causing a riot.

First, it is important to remember that Jesus doesn’t need to be standing in front of you to know what you’re thinking or doing. The Scriptures give us example after example of how Jesus knew a person’s motives in advance.

That being said, Jesus knew exactly when and where these priests were meeting to plan his death. Yet Jesus didn’t isolate himself or have trouble thinking straight because he was so preoccupied with their schemes. Instead, he stayed his own course.

Sometimes, we can become very preoccupied with the actions of others. We’re either preoccupied with what someone will do or can’t get past what they’ve already done. In the end, preoccupation distracts you from staying on purpose.

Therefore, release whatever person or situation that is preoccupying you today into God’s hands and hold onto these words instead: “Cast your burden on the Lord, and He will sustain you; He will never permit the righteous to be moved.” Psalm 55:22 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, remember preoccupation has a high price tag.

B Moments, place

God Is with You, Even There

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Deuteronomy 31:8 (ESV)

Today, I am thinking about how God is with us—even when we’re in a place we don’t want to be.

Sometimes, this place can be physical, like a job or a relationship. Other times, it can be an emotional or spiritual state.

This was the case with Joseph after his brothers sold him into slavery. During that time, Joseph was purchased by a man named Potiphar.

As soon as he arrived at Potiphar’s doorstep as a slave, God’s favor was upon Joseph. Even Potiphar noticed God’s favor on him and ended up putting Joseph in charge of his entire household.

However, this was short-lived because Joseph was falsely accused of a crime, and Potiphar ended up throwing Joseph in jail.

Yet as the Scriptures say, the Lord was with Joseph there too. Joseph now had favor with the chief jailer.

Sometimes, when we find ourselves in a place that seems inconsistent with our overall journey—a place we believe we don’t deserve to be—we become so focused on resisting the place that we miss God’s hand of favor there.

Let us remember that God is with us, even in those seemingly unjustified, dark places, by clinging to these words: “It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, remember He is with you wherever, whenever.

B Moments, reason

There Is More to Your Story

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

Today, I am thinking about when things happen to us that appear to have no rhyme or reason.

Recently, we’ve been studying Joseph’s life. During the time Joseph was in prison, he met the king’s cupbearer.

One day, the cupbearer had a dream, so he asked Joseph to interpret the dream for him. Joseph told him that his dream meant he would be getting out of prison very soon.

In turn, Joseph asked the cupbearer to have pity on him once he was released and to tell the king that he was an innocent man. Yet once the cupbearer got out of prison, he forgot all about Joseph.

In your life, have you ever wrongly believed that you found the solution to your less than ideal situation? You might believe that the reason you met a person was to solve your crisis, but in the end, you may find that the person was not the answer.

During these times, you might wonder why you encountered the person in the first place. You may even conclude that sometimes things happen to you without rhyme or reason.

However, I would encourage you to see things differently because it is not the end of your story. You can see evidence of this in the fact that all of the seemingly unrelated events that Joseph dealt with ultimately ended up being part of a beautiful story.

If you feel like things are just happening to you and not for you, hang on because there is definitely more to your story. As you remember that, hold onto these words: “For I know the plans I have for you…plans to prosper you and not to harm you.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, know that there is more to your story.

B Moments, multi-faceted

Trust God’s Multi-Faceted Plan for You

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

Today, I am thinking about my one-dimensional plan compared to God’s multi-faceted plan for my life.

Recently, we’ve been honoring graduates. We talked about being in between seasons as well as looking back on certain parts of our journey and declaring that every step was worth it. We spoke about how God is constantly working behind the scenes whether we realize it or not. Yet there are also times when God doesn’t fix things when or how we want.

This reminds me of a book signing that I once attended. The author shared that it can sometimes be a part of human nature to look for a silver bullet. In other words, we want every problem in our lives to be solved at once.

He then gave a couple of examples, one being winning the lottery and how we’d like all of our issues to be resolved in one lump sum. Another example he gave was when we have a business idea and assume it would instantly be a huge hit.

Listening to this author caused me to reflect on my own journey. I remember when I used to pray to God and tell Him that I had the faith and He had the power. I thought that with those two things, we would do something magical and all my challenges would melt away.

After praying for this simple solution to every one of my problems, I was dismayed because I felt that I was exercising my faith, yet God wouldn’t grant me that fix-all answer.

However, I have learned that God’s plan is multi-faceted and spans my entire life, whereas my plan is usually one-dimensional and for one season. As you release more of your own plan and embrace God’s, remember these words: “For I know the plans I have for you…plans to prosper you and not to harm you.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, embrace God’s multi-faceted plan for your life.

B Moments, thirst

Your Thirst for Justice Will Be Quenched

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: James 1:12 (ESV)

Today, I am thinking about our thirst for justice.

This week we’ve been focusing on the teachings of Jesus’ sermon on the mount. Today, I am reflecting on Matthew 5:6, which tells us that God blesses those who are hungry and thirsty for justice and that they will receive it in full.

My early career days were spent in sales, which is where I learned that the sales process doesn’t get started until you’ve been told no. This is surely the case for those who hunger and thirst for justice since they endure so much before they are told yes.

When I turn to the Scriptures, this reminds me of what happened to Moses when he went before Pharaoh and asked him to release the Israelites from slavery. In fact, Moses’ situation was even more challenging in some ways because Pharaoh initially told Moses yes before God hardened his heart and turned his answer to no.

It’s very difficult to be told yes and get your hopes up only to eventually be told no. This happened to Moses not once, but ten times. Yet here’s the key: he trusted God at every no.

If you are hungering and thirsting for something yet you are being told no at every turn, do not despair. Remember, Jesus tells us that we will receive it in full. You just have to stay the course.

As you think about that, hold onto these words to keep you going: “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love Him.” James 1:12 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, keep pressing toward your yes.

B Moments, remain steadfast

Remain Steadfast Despite Others’ Disbelief

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Galatians 6:9 (NIV)

Today, I am thinking about how we should remain steadfast, even if we don’t have the support of those closest to us.

Recently we’ve been honoring graduates and talking about being on a new path. Sometimes, when we start something new, we don’t always have the support of those closest to us. This was surely the case for Jesus when it came to his brothers.

While Jesus’ mother, Mary, knew his real identity and his true purpose here on Earth, Jesus’ brothers didn’t believe he was the Messiah until after his Resurrection. Not only did they not believe in him, they even taunted him and made fun of him. They would mock him by saying things such as, “If you can do such wonderful things, then go and prove it to the world.”

Jesus teaches us two key things about how to respond in a situation like this. First, he ignored their criticism and sarcasm. He did not allow their disbelief to stop him from fulfilling his purpose. Second, and most important, he showed appreciation and respect to those who did support his efforts.

Do you have someone close to you who is not supporting you the way you’d like to be supported? If so, love them anyway, as Jesus loved his brothers, and be sure to love and show appreciation for those who are supporting you.

As you do that, remember these words: “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9 (NIV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, remain steadfast even if those closest to you don’t believe.

B Moments, flesh

Your Spirit Is Willing and Your Flesh Is Strong

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Hebrews 2:18 (ESV)

Today, I am thinking about those times when our spirit is willing, but our flesh is weak.

In this series, we’re focusing on how Jesus was prepared for Calvary. Recently, I had a woman share with me that no matter how hard she tried, she just couldn’t change a certain behavior. She prayed about it, she talked about it with her friends, but she just became weak every time the situation presented itself.

This woman’s struggle reminded me of the time when Jesus was in the garden of Gethsemane. Jesus knew this would be the night they would come for him and arrest him. The Scriptures say he was filled with anguish and felt deep distress.

Therefore, he asked his disciples to keep watch while he went to pray. He prayed to God, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will, not mine.”

Jesus then turned to his disciples, only to find them asleep when he had specifically asked them to keep watch. To this, he said, “For though the spirit is willing, the body is weak.”

What’s interesting in this passage is that Jesus shows us how to overcome weakness. In his prayer, he asked that the suffering be taken away, showing his weakness as he knew his suffering was necessary. However, he overcomes that weakness by desiring God’s will over his own.

If your spirit is willing but your flesh remains weak, cling to these words for hope and inspiration: “For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.” Hebrews 2:18 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, your spirit is willing and so is your flesh.

B Moments, compartmentalize

Avoid Compartmentalizing God to the Difficult Times

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Jeremiah 33:3 (ESV)

Today, I am thinking about how we can sometimes compartmentalize God.

Early on in my spiritual walk, I would often seek God for whatever pressing matter I was dealing with at the time. If I had a problem with my career, I’d turn to Him. If I was struggling with my finances, I’d turn to Him. If I had an issue in my marriage, I’d turn to Him.

In other words, I was turning to God in difficult times, which was good. Yet what I’ve learned is that rather than compartmentalizing God to the problem of the day, I need to strive to keep Him at the center of all things in my life, good and bad.

When I turn to the Scriptures, I see this is exactly how Daniel lived. In fact, Daniel even had a method to accomplishing this. He would dedicate a certain place and time each day to praying and meditating.

Daniel teaches us that talking with God in the same place and at the same time every day will help us keep God at the center of our lives instead of simply compartmentalizing Him to our next crisis.

If you don’t already have a dedicated place and time to worship, the Lent season is the perfect time to begin this practice. If you engaged in this practice at one time and need to resume it, this is the perfect time as well.

As you identify your new place and time, remember these words: “Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.” Jeremiah 33:3 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, make God the center of all things in your life.