Raising the Dead

Do you have dreams that seem dead? Is there something you were believing for, but this extended season of silence has you believing they are gone? It might be that you think your dream is too big? Perhaps circumstances have destroyed the possibilities?

We have a God of resurrection power. His ways are not our ways. Redemption of a dream may not look the way you expected. What you thought was dead may be lying dormant or through another door that you’re denying. With one word, Jesus can bring dead dreams back to life.

If this is something God wants for your life, then there is NO WAY He designed it for you to do on your own.

dead things to life, God raises dead things, dreams, dead dreams, dream on, lean on God, your dreams are not deadGod plants dreams that are beyond your reach of doing on your own. He whispers audacious, crazy, and unimaginable ideas to your timid heart in hope that the impossibility of the idea would drive your dependence on Him.

The things that have you afraid are designed to buckle your knees. Feelings of fear might have your thoughts caught in a knotted up net of your own limitations. You are not created to carry the burden. God knows you can’t do this on your own.

Your weakness reveals the need for God’s strength.

The purpose of a ‘walking on water’ dream is to draw you out of the boat and into deeper waters with Him. Do you trust Jesus when he says, ‘do not be afraid’?

He hears your desperation. Bring your unbearable requests to the One who gave them to you. Trust is a beautiful thing when grace is there to catch you when you fall.

Through the hesitancy when you want to grip tighter to the things you can see, God is speaking into your pain and asking you to open your hand, release your heart, and trust Him with all that you can’t. Trust He has possibilities for your problems and back doors out of your brokenness.

God has something significant He wants to do in you, through you. And in His power, the Almighty will be the one accomplishing it, not you.

The Process of Preparation

What God promised will come to pass. Sometimes, it just takes longer than you expected.

Often when God plants a dream in your heart, He sends you back to the shepherd’s field to work out the things below the surface; character, faithfulness, humility, patience, obedience.

God's plan, my plan, God is preparing you, the process of preparationYou might be ready for what you have in mind, but you may not be ready for what God has in mind.

His plans are bigger than your willing heart can fathom. He not only knows where He’s taking you, He knows what it’s going to take to keep you there.

As much as you want this dream to happen sooner, if it came before you were ready, the blessing would be more of a burden.

Did you know that a Chinese bamboo plant spends its first four years establishing a root system underground? It barely shows any progress above ground during this time, but in the fifth year the plant shoots up to 80 feet in the air. What makes the fifth year possible is the four years of preparation.

You might not see progress on the surface of your life, but the roots are growing down deep inside. When God knows you’re prepared, your ‘suddenly’ will happen.

Hope Gives Way To Strength

Sometimes crazy gets the breakthrough.

When you’ve been waiting and believing and trusting for a miracle, some days can just drain you. You might wake up thinking, ‘This is going to be the day’! The evening comes and you return with nothing more than the weight of requests unanswered and an exhausted spirit.hope, strength, trishakeehn.com

I want you to know that it’s okay to still get loud about these miracles. Your worship can turn the tide of the battle in your favor.

This kind of praise confuses the enemy because you haven’t received your miracle yet but here you are praising and shouting and lifting up the name of the only one who can turn your situation around.

The enemy wants to mute your praise because the currency of the miraculous is in your mouth. How loud would you get if your miracle was on the other side of your praises?

Get desperate about your requests when doubt creeps in. When you are so low that you feel you can’t get any lower and there’s no reason for you to believe that God is going to do anything about it…

Lift your voice. Hope will rise on the inside.

Hope when it doesn’t make sense. Hope in the midst of fear. Hope when the situation gets worse because hope gives way to strength. The Lord didn’t bring you this far to leave you. There’s a miracle with your name on it.

It’s time to get loud for your ‘all of a sudden…’ Your miracle is right behind you.

Say Yes To Your Own Ideas

say yes, your ideas, trishakeehn.comThose who have never run a race in their lives are happy to give you all the reasons why you can’t win yours. Start a new habit of saying yes to your own ideas. Count all the ways you can and will achieve these dreams and then add one more because there will always be that voice rattling off why you can’t or won’t.

You may have never crossed a finish line, yet. Here’s the key to silencing the voice whispering defeat over your plans… simply start. Break the heartstrings your old nature and say yes. Even if your soul throbs with the lonely, gushing groans of Gethsemane.

So what is your passion? Where do your desires find rest? What are the names of those stars that illuminate your blackest of nights? When you close your eyes, what wakes the spirit and quenches your thirsty soul? What is your undoing? Then say yes to that.

Take one step today. And take one more tomorrow. Ask yourself, “Am I content to leave it at that?” And, if not, address “Where do I go from here?”

The scars will testify that you at least tried. Your ideas matter.

Consider That It Might Be God

When circumstances in your life start to shift, at least consider that it might be God.
 
considering God, listening to God, God's voice, trishakeehn.comWhen you are confused or curious about the way things are going and which direction to walk in, ask God if there’s something he’d like to say to you.
 
And be willing to trust Him.
 
Sometimes it’s the heart we’re bringing into the throne room that’s holding us back from hearing God’s voice. If you haven’t followed through on His nudges in the past, what’s inviting God to share the plans He has for your life?
 
Agree in advance that you will be faithful with the follow through. Then open your hands, open your heart, and be attentive to any small way he might use to communicate with you. Listen and keep your eyes open. What’s the downside?
 
It is these little acts of obedience that invite God’s power to fully flow in our lives.
And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left. – Isaiah 30:21

The One Thing That Lasts Forever

Bill Hybels quote, trishakeehn.com, see where God takes you, push the throttle, challenge to live, life wide open to GodWhat are you going to do with your life that will last forever? How will you outlive your earthly accomplishments? Here’s what I know: people are the only thing that makes it to the next life.

This is your one and only life. What are you going to do with it?

Some need to give up the chase for more money, more accomplishments, and more thrill-seeking tales. Others need to make the choice to just let go of control and self doubt. How much clearance does God really have to call the shots in your life?

Bill Hybels says, “I challenge you to push the throttle as far as you can push it, and live your life wide open to God. See where He takes you. I have a feeling you’ll never regret it.”

The God of a Con-Artist

God is not just the God of good people. He is a God over all the failures and mess ups in humanity and He’s asking you to be something you think you cannot be and He wants you to do something you think you cannot do.

In Exodus 3, Moses was tending sheep when an angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. Moses looked up and saw the bush burning, yet the brush was not consumed.

God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And Moses said, “Here I am.” God instructed Moses to take off his sandals on the holy ground. And then God shared this, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.”

Wait, Wait, Wait… the God of Jacob?

Abraham was a friend of God. Abraham believed God and it was counted unto him as righteousness.

Isaac was the promised miracle child. Isaac was a holy birth to a dead womb and the consequences of his father’s faith. Isaac was the culmination of Abraham’s faith.

But Jacob? Jacob’s name means trickster. Jacob was a con-artist and the black sheep of the family. Jacob was a disgrace to the holy dynasty.

It is shocking that God would be the God of Jacob. It is the anti-thesis of religion and an embarrassment to the church. Jacob was a mess. Jacob had a chaotic past and lived some questionable situations. Jacob didn’t always tell the truth. He was a result of a long line of con-artists.

Why would God associate himself with the character of Jacob? Maybe because there is a little Jacob in all of us.

In this place in the bible, God was trying to convince Moses that he could be used. Moses had murdered a man in Egypt and had been living as an outlaw for 40 years. Moses was stuck on his stutter. Moses didn’t think he could be used by God to speak to kings because he couldn’t talk right.

God is not just the God of those who live righteous all the days of their life and are virgins on their wedding day. He’s not just the God of the people who don’t smoke or get drunk.

There may be something you think disqualifies you from being used by God, but God is reminding you that He is the God of the Jacob too. He is the God of anyone who has made mistakes, been to jail, had an abortion, gone through bankruptcy, went through divorce, or was addicted to drugs and drinking. God is a God of rejected people, not just the pure and prestigious.

God called you and equipped you. God is going to use you with your deficiencies, your vulnerabilities and those insecurities. If you’ve been wounded, hurt, ostracized, and rejected, none of this will keep you from being used by God. You don’t need to try to fit in with people. God can use you right where you’re at. This is the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.

This is your time to step up, and take back what the enemy stole from you. Take back your joy, your peace, your spirit, and your confidence. Your eyes have not seen nor have your ears heard how the Lord is going to use you. God is getting ready to take you into another dimension of your destination.

If you have a story stocked with years of mistakes, mishaps, setbacks, rejection, and pain, I want you to know the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is your God too. You are a recipient of God’s mercy and saving grace. Things in your life may have been delayed, but I want you to know that you haven’t been denied!

This post, The God of Jacob by Trisha Keehn, appeared first on LiftUpYourDay.com

Don’t Let This Day Get Away

awaken your dreams, rediscover your passion, live today, reconnect with what is importantIn the rush of things spinning in your mind, my hope is that you have a chance to ‘live’ today. To be inspired to stop and look around with fresh eyes. To break out of the routine. To reconnect with all the things that are truly important to you. And to savor the joy and beauty around you.

My prayer is that you have an opportunity to reawaken your dreams, and rediscover your passion. God has exciting things for you in the future; don’t miss out on the wonderful gifts He has for you today.

Slowing Down Saves Time

What I’m learning is how to live for longer stretches in the sweet seasons. Some hard choices have cleared a path for this space, like the bittersweet disconnect with a temptation to get twisted up in the minute by minute updates.

quiet place, rest, solitude, nevadaIt’s easy for me to get busy with my desires, someone else’s needs and the rest of the world’s suggestions. The fallout of that is a stressed out mind and a painfully stretched heart. My relationships work better when there’s carved out space to listen and laugh unbridled for hours.

We can save everyone some time by slowing down. When we live out of this sanctuary in our soul, we are more careful with conversations. We pause in places that a hurried life rushes past. We yield when there are question marks.

Mostly though, it’s the inner dialogue that consumes me the most. The endless chatter of my own thoughts. Which is why I must pump the brakes from time to time.

You can’t lead the world around you if you can’t harness your own soul. The core of your life incorporates your mind, your capacity to think, your emotions, your capacity to feel and even your capacity to choose. This is what makes our life so unique. The soul is the distinctness God gave us.

We work hard to take care of the framework on our house; the parts people can see. What are we doing for the gears that keep the lights on?

And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul? (Matthew 16:26)

Often we equate slowing down as missing out. But truthfully, when we merge into a slower lane, there is margin to savor the simple moments, like the sun throwing back the clouds at dawn and the crackle of a good campfire. This is grace. Grace with ourselves and grace with all those around us.

Even When…

Jesus is still there

In the story of those two men heading to Emmaus (Luke 24), Jesus walks up behind them on that dusty road and asks what the two are discussing.

“Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” one of them says.

“What things?” Jesus asks. 

The men didn’t recognize this guest and go on to tell him about Jesus of Nazareth; his teaching and the powerful miracles he performed, the crucifixion three days ago and the wild stories about an empty tomb, though no one has seen Jesus.

Even when you walk away to wherever Emmaus is for you, a nightclub, the bar, another city, or in the middle of ‘nowhere’, Jesus isn’t far from you. He will meet you on that dusty road in the midst of your troubled heart and ask questions to help you sort out what doesn’t make sense.

We might look for Jesus in a moment of tragedy, an existential experience or at the crossroads in life but often don’t recognize His presence in the midst of our struggles. So you take a walk along a dusty road or have dinner with friends. Maybe you go back to work. When Jesus showed up after His resurrection, it was in these very common places for people.

where will this road lead you, dusty roads in life, our escape in life, Jesus asks us the tough questions, trishakeehn.com, will this satisfy youWe spend most of our lives escaping. We throw our hands up at our jobs, hurtful friends, and even our families. We run or keep it stuffed inside.

Eventually there will be questions. Jesus will ask you about where this road is leading and whether it’s enough to keep you satisfied. 

Consider it all joy when you go through trials of many kinds. (James 1:4)

Disappointment and defeat are the tools God uses to show you the way. Your difficulties are designed to produce perseverance and build up your faith.

Often we let the trials tear us down, though God means them for our good. Your trials grow you by developing character. We need to have enough courage to live in the struggles.

We’re not going to get to our destination any quicker by worrying, complaining or being frustrated.

When you place your joy in the source of your strength, Jesus, and not in the circumstance. you will survive and even thrive in the struggle. Even in the pain, these conflicts will be counted as your joy for what it is increasing in you, not decreasing.

Don’t let the defeat tear you down. God created you to go from strength to strength in these situations, not a mindset of struggle to struggle. 

Lastly, pay attention to your life, to the people, to the things that happen to you. This is how to experience Jesus. Don’t force it by reading into situations too much. Maybe just lean in with your ears when your thoughts want to speak. Or linger a little longer in a place of rest when reminders of the undone pull at your attention.

Here in the hard parts of life, beautiful and terrible things will happen. It’s easier to escape it, but don’t be afraid. Jesus is right there in your midst.