Meditation Monday: “The Things you Do When No one is Watching”

God Gold of the Day

But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. ‘

Matthew 6:6

Since we’ve been talking a lot recently on “praising God” and what that looks like in our lives even in the tough times, I have a question for you today!

How are you praising God when you’re alone? What’s easy to do is to praise God on social media posts or in conversation with others because we are people who like to fit in and say the right things. Jesus here in Matthew 6, is teaching a lesson about how not to handle your business with God and in the verse above (v.6), how to handle your time with God. Jesus mentions how the religious leaders of this time praise God, pray and do things in public settings because what they are seeking is the praise of men. They want to be looked at as “holy,” and “good” to all the people around them but look what Jesus says about that;

‘”And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.Matthew 6:5

Jesus warns us not to worry about or focus on doing things such as prayer purely for the praise of others, why? Because what Jesus tells us in verse 6 is what makes the difference in our lives. Just like anything else, it’s the things you do when nobody is around or watching you that mold you and make you into the person God wants you to be. And on top of that, that time with God should never be out of any incentive towards others, our hearts should be purely focused on God, spending time with Him and praising Him, not to praise anyone with our use of energy or time but the God who makes all things happen in our lives!

It’s just like an athlete, it’s not the work they do on the field in front of others that transforms them into big time players who make big time plays when the game is on. It’s what they do when no one is watching, it’s how they intentionally spend time training their bodies and minds, working out, putting up extra shots. It’s simply the work they do in secret that comes to light when the crowd is around them and they get in the game.

How are we taking this same approach? How are we investing our time and energy when no one is looking to God? How are we praying and talking to God by ourselves, just us and Him, spending intentional time communicating and listening to the Father? These are questions we need to ask and need to find ways to make priorities in our life because what Jesus says here is how we can best get to know God, it’s in this time alone with God that He shapes and molds us with His truth. It’s in this time that God pours into us His wisdom and His truth in ways that when we get back in the public arena of life, this time we spent investing ourselves to God will come to light and people will take notice way more by the way you are speaking and living what God is up to in your life than a facebook post will ever show them!

How are praising God when no one is watching?

Coronavirus God Gold

God Gold of the day

“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

 “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”

Ephesians 6:18

Throwback Thursday: Real Talk

God Gold of the day

Here’s another “old gold” for you from a couple of years in the past! WOW!! I’m going to go ahead and warn you, this is some real talk so buckle up your seat belts and get ready for a trip to yesterday’s Gold that still holds just as much value today as it ever has!!! Hope you have a great day and praying this God Gold challenges and encourages you in your faith!

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”

James 5:16

 

A big revelation in my life the past few weeks has been confession and people around me that encourage me through it, being honest and real about their sins or tough circumstances in their life and because of God working through those people He’s started opening me up to be more real in confession. Still got a lot more real to get but whether it’s my sin or whether it’s my faith, taking the lid off my bad along with speaking of God’s goodness, with each real and honest confession my view and relationship with God becomes bigger and a little clearer. I’ve always struggled with getting real with myself so getting real out loud to others is the scariest thing I’ve ever done. Hanging with my buddy Troy the other night coming off a lot of deep, real talks about faith, I felt the urge to pray before he left. So, I was like “man can I pray before you leave?” He gave me a quick yes but before I prayed, I started explaining myself, why I felt the need to pray, trying to make it seem acceptable to do. How crazy is it that with one of my best friends I felt the need to explain myself wanting to pray even after we spit God Gold back and forth for the past few hours and he said yeah go ahead man when I asked.

I guess it’s just so unusual in the world we live in to pray out loud with someone unless you’re at the dinner table or at church, I couldn’t understand why I had gotten to that level, why anybody could especially when we live in the Bible Belt where we got a church on every corner, we are in one of the most acceptable places in the world to pray and share our faith and sins in a real way like it’s no big deal. I’m only speaking for myself cause I don’t know how you handle this but how come with knowing all that and having real sins/problems along with others around me going through their own personal struggles, why don’t I confess and pray more either by myself or with people around me? There’s Christians in other parts of the world that would be killed for praying and speaking of Christ to others.

Being too comfortable in our sins and in our faith, saying well I don’t have too much sin. but did you hear about what’s his name getting in trouble last weekend? We all have sin, we all have problems, and if we’re real about what we believe to ourselves and others God will open you up to your brokenness and His goodness. Instead of hiding our “little” sin and talking about other’s sins, come to terms with the fact you are a sinner and so is the next guy then take it to God. Pray for that person, speak openly with the people God’s placed in your life about it and pray with them no matter how weird it may seem to do it’s not weird at all to God and that’s all that really matters. We have no idea how much confession and prayer can change someone’s life and even your own until we break down our comfortable, “I’m not that bad” walls and open ourselves up to God. Thank God I’ve recently started some demolition on my walls thanks to some guys showing me these truths by example.

Don’t hold back on your walls and maybe it’ll help someone will start doing the same to theirs!

The Conversations that Change Your Life

God Gold of the day

““Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”

‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:6-7‬

I can’t begin to tell you how thankful I am for you and these daily messages! Getting the chance to share with you how genuinely good God is and then hearing responses of how God is working in your life, there’s really nothing better! The coolest part of these messages is getting to share with you my first hand experiences with what God is doing in my life and I know, sometimes I get caught up in the experience and forget the whole purpose for these messages in the first place. The only purpose of sharing any of these messages with you is with the hopes and prayers that you too will be touched and moved in your own personal relationship with God! I’m as excited as ever today to share with you Gods truth along with my experience because after seeing and feeling how awesome God is and the way He works, I want nothing more than you to have that same life altering, fulfilling experience with God! I’m just extremely thankful to share with you the greatest and most powerful truths you’ll ever hear about the most loving and awesome God you could ever come to know! Buckle up your seatbelts as we head into the mine!

These verses are pretty popular among the Christian faith, you may have heard them before and there’s probably one big theme you get from them. Prayer. Prayer is just what we do right? It’s what we are supposed to do as followers of Christ right? The answer is yes but it’s not something that we’re just “supposed” to do, it’s those prayerful conversations with God that we should do because of our desperate need for Him in our lives. I’ve been through quite a process of growth myself with prayer but thankfully enough, I’ve had experiences lately where my only and best option was to turn to God.

The truth is we face anxieties, we face pain and struggle, we face many things in our life that we’re not in control of. But the cool thing about our relationship with God, we have prayer! Even though we’re not in control and we have all these things that weigh us down daily and burden us, God gives us the opportunity to come to Him with those burdens! We have the chance to go to the One who IS in full control of every situation or struggle we could ever encounter. That just goes to show here in these verses, Paul gives the believers in Philippi advice that holds life changing power. And it’s simple, so no matter where you are in your faith, it’s a truth that is what it is. There’s nothing to read into it, this truth just speaks what God wants us to know and believe!

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.

You see what I mean? Simple right? Instead of getting caught up in all the worries of your life and all the things that bring so much negative energy into your hearts and minds, just DON’T! I know that can be hard at times to give up a habit of worrying about things but it’s like any other habit, just continue to let go of it more and more and replace it with prayer. Worry about NOTHING! Pray about EVERYTHING!!! Maybe you’re thinking a though that I’ve thought many of times, “what’s praying really going to do to help?” Well, I’ve learned lately that it’s not the act of praying that changes anything, nothing we could say or do will ever amount to a hill of beans in our life. The answers, help and peace you seek, comes in not how much you pray or how you pray, it comes from WHO you’re praying to!!!

The next part of the verses expounds on this simple truth and gives us our replacement for spending our time filled with worry!

“Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”

Tell God what you need, don’t just sugarcoat it and hide what you truly need. I fail in this way too often, just like we have this mindset of our relationships with others in this world that we don’t want them to see us sweat or know we’re struggling. We don’t have to, it says to go to God with your needs, don’t just pray about some things that you think God may want to hear! Pray about EVERYTHING!!! No matter what it is, the truth of the matter is, you can hide your true needs from God all day long But He already knows every worry and every struggle you have so what’s the point? If we have this golden opportunity to take our worries and struggles to the God who is more powerful than anything of this world, so much so that He created this whole world, why don’t we take that option? Why don’t we take our tough situations to God? There’s a list of reasons why we don’t but none of them matter or even compare to why we should!!!

Think about who you’re praying to….let that sink in that you’re praying to the God of the universe! Don’t let that scare you to say “all the right things” because He is your Father, you’re in a relationship with Him. He wants to know what your worries are because He loves you so much that He doesn’t want to see you struggle with them any longer, He wants to lighten your load and be the place that you cast all your worries!!!

God wants to give you peace, not just any peace but His heavenly, holy, and powerful peace! A type of peace that is completely unexplainable and unimaginable by our small human minds! If it’s something small or something big, Gods got peace that goes way beyond whatever size your worry is!

Prayer has been something I’ve practiced for quite a long time but lately it’s taken on a different look in my life and thank God for the trials and struggles that I’ve went through that pushed me towards this real, raw and personal conversations with God! Prayer has gotten personal for me, for one, I’ve learned more about the importance of knowing WHO I’m praying to, who God is and all the power and goodness that He brings through His presence!!! Then secondly, I have monitored myself, I’ve tried to make sure that I’m not just praying because I’m “supposed” to and not trying to say all the right things but truly taking my needs before God. It’s been hard because some of those needs go against all my pride and fleshly desires want to admit, but in it I’ve learned the most beautiful part of spending that time talking to God. Surrender. To worry means we’re thinking of our problems in our terms, how we can fix it, or what we should do. But God’s peace and power shows up when we realize that we can’t handle these worries and we surely can’t fix it! It’s been in the moments of taking some deep breaths to pause my mind from racing thoughts and just being still before such a holy and powerful God, it’s in those moments I’ve learned what surrender is, literally saying; “God I give you this worry or this problem because I can’t do anything with it, I’m in great need of you God and your salvation bringing presence in my life.” Simply saying, “God I can’t but I come to you because I know you can.”

It’s been the most humbling process I’ve ever been through but the more I learn how to surrender and take my hands off the wheel, the more I’ve seen God do things in my life that I could’ve never imagined doing on my own. It’s been through prayer that I’ve seen the most broken parts of myself that I’ve struggled and battled with for years, I’ve seen God breaking through all my failures and giving me the strength to walk away from any temptation or struggle that comes my way. Through prayer I’ve watched walls of selfish desires that I’ve enjoyed building over the years being broken down piece by piece, some of those walls that were keeping me from ever seeing or expediting the fullness of life that God had waiting for me on the other side. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever tried to explain and I don’t tell you this to say “look at me.” Actually the opposite, “LOOK AT GOD!!” I have nothing to say, praying isn’t something we have to do, it’s something we need to do, and it’s not us praying that changes anything, it’s understanding WHO we are praying to that makes the difference and gives us faith to continue striving forward with peace in the middle of lives storms.

If you want to see how stinkin powerful and good God is, then stop worrying and pray! Take those needs to God and watch all the amazing things He will do in and through you! After being so hopeless and so broken over some situations in my own life, my desperation for help led me to God, and in Him I have found more than I could’ve ever asked for or hoped! You don’t have to sit in those worries any longer, so don’t! Take them to the only One who can do anything about them and He has peace that will fill you in ways that are unexplainable. Prayer is more than what we “should,” those conversations with God are essential to our lives, it’s in those conversations that God will change your life from the inside out! Don’t worry bout it, just talk to God! He’s got some good stuff there waiting on you!!!

Meditate

God Gold of the Day

The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.””

‭‭Zephaniah‬ ‭3:17‬ ‭

Coming off of SEEK WEEK, I couldn’t help but challenge you to continue in this spiritual discipline. It had been quite a journey for myself to build the habit of waking up and having that quiet time with the Lord. It’s honestly been a struggle but now after doing it for a couple of months, I feel like I wouldn’t make it without that time.

After God has grown me in that habit, it’s seemed like the next step has been to be intentional with that time. It’s not as easy as it sounds to “be still” before God but I’ve been spending some time giving it my best shot. It’s tough at times but from the times of stopping long enough to do it, experiencing God more deeply through my daily life I wouldn’t recommend anything else for you. It is more than just Day changing, it’s growth sprouting out like a plant that’s been ready to bloom, it’s the beginning of a change that will bring you closer to God and change your life, along with the lives around you. This past week I did something that felt super weird but just bare with me, it may sound crazy but it was actually the most refreshing and boosting thing I’ve ever done.

After reading this verse, then praying over it slowly, as I read really letting the truth in those words sink in. Then I just closed my eyes, leaned my head back, took some deep breathes, and didn’t talk to God like usual, I just shut up. I sat quiet and still before God, even with my ADD and wild thoughts, my mind was still, my thoughts were clear. I opened my eyes and I was ready to begin my day!

I don’t want you to read that and think it sounds like some kind of hippy meditation method, and just pass by this. Instead of being so active during your quiet time, doing all the talking and the thinking with God, just shut up and spend some time meditating on God’s Word, let Him speak into your heart and life. It may sound crazy but hey, God thrives with crazy, so give this a try today! Whatever it takes to seek Him deeper, it’s well worth it!!!!