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Prepare for the Unexpected

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You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13

Struggles-disruptions-setbacks. Not exactly the words we want weaved into our lives. Those major disappointments and seasons of tragedy seem to always show up. Crazy annoying interruptions-revealing true faith and reliance on God. We quickly discover the construction of our foundation: solid or shaky.

The enemy tried hard for almost five solid years to “pop every balloon” in my life. Such a BRAT!

However, each storm in the dark valley allowed me an opportunity to grow. I was determined to take every life circumstance and place it under God’s authority. I began seeking God every second of my life. Honestly, the Lord probably said, “Okay girl, it is time to make a change! Grow up and take your journey to eternity more serious.” I started with living out one scripture a week. Then I began a small ladies’ group on Saturday mornings to hold me accountable to praying, reading and studying. I reexamined my priorities and struggled to find my individualized plan. Then in 2018, God gave me a spiritual growth plan! A chance to rebuild my foundation.

Have you watched the War Room? It became very evident to me in the fall of 2017 that I needed a battle plan. Ed Young, in his book Battle Plan, states that just as God has a plan for your life so does Satan. This was hard to hear–I knew it was time to work on my spiritual maturity and find a better way to stand strong!

Our intentional pursuit needs a growth plan because in this world we will faces battles. Rick Warren says that our growth plan must have incremental steps 

1. First, Know Christ in order to…

2. Love Christ

3. Grow in Christ

4. Serve Christ

5. Share Christ

Chip Ingram, in his book God As He Longs for You to See Him, states five specific actions to take when seeking God.

1. Accept, learn, treasure, and store up His word. (Defense-Sword)

2. Submit to God and have a desire to be taught by God. (Refined)

3. Develop a passionate prayer life.

4. Make your quest for God a priority each day. (Battle plan)

5. Seek God with all our heart. (put on God’s armor)

A battle plan begins with knowing our purpose, establishing our priorities, living out scripture, relying upon the Holy Spirit, surrendering to lifetime refinement from God, and determining personal growth and needs. Also, you have to determine what you are willing to do. My spiritual growth plan began when I made this affirmation:

I am COMMITTED to spiritual maturity.

I am WILLING to learn and apply the knowledge God has in store for me.

I am DEVOTED to living for God.

“Living the rest of your life for the glory of God will require a change in your priorities, your schedule, your relationships, and everything else.” -Rick Warren 

It required a commitment. God revealed to me that this was the only way to real growth and to develop a steadfast faith. I discovered it was part of my calling and my chance to show sincere obedience. God longed to extend strength, hope, love, wisdom, and good battle skills. He deemed me His mighty warrior and now it was up to me to keep my sword sharp and my heart open to His training. Preparing for the unexpected struggles, disruptions, and setbacks. Why? Because they will still come my way.

How are you preparing for the unexpected?

Where do you want to be with God six months from now? What do you want to be able to do when the next storm hits? Remember, we cannot see everything that is happening nor see the future. But God sees everything. Press in, trust Him, learn His attributes, cling to His promises, carry out His commands, and draw close to your eternal Father. He is so good and He will come through.

Scripture reference:

Hebrews 6:1-2

Ephesians 4:15

1 Corinthians 13:11

Colossians 1:9-10

2 Peter 3:17-18

Hebrews 5:14

BOOK REVIEW: Find Your Brave

Wagner, H. (2016). Find Your Brave. Colorado Springs, CO: WaterBrook Press.

SUMMARY: Wagner bases the book upon Acts 27 and Paul’s encounter with a fierce storm while he is prisoner on a ship along with her own personal struggles in life to deliver a survival guide for followers of Christ. Her words are backed by Scripture. There are many ways suggested to approach and endure difficult times. Wagner gives readers practical steps in identifying a storm, how to discover the source of it, and how to handle each element.

The book directly addresses keeping God first and trusting in His power rather than your own. Wagner is very frank about ways to navigate your way through rough waters by discussing certain aspects such as hope, courage, and perseverance. She gives examples of how that is possible and how to grow in the power of the Lord. Wagner even provides Scriptures to speak over your situations in the back of the book along with group discussion questions if using the book in a small group setting.

My $.02: We all face hardship during our lives. I know when the 5 year pit came I was truly unprepared. However, from the experience was birthed Refining and the ministry God has placed in my hands today. I have read of countless others who have been given a struggle to bear witness to the miraculous power, love, and healing of God.

During the storm it is not always easy to know or carry out the survival skills based on biblical truth. Most of the time you are just trying to survive. This book gives readers great insight to the type of storm they are enduring and practical steps to handling life during and after the hardship. It is a good read for anyone but especially encouraging for anyone in the middle of a raging storm. I especially enjoyed the Scriptures given to pray over your situation. The book is worth every penny.

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