One Flame

Does one person really make a difference? This is something I struggle with when I look at all of the issues that tug on my heart. Does it matter if I get involved in supporting that cause or charity? And the answer I’ve come to is “yes.” One flame can start a forest fire and one light can lead ships to safety.

“All his life Joash did what was pleasing in the LORD’s sight because Jehoiada the priest instructed him. “ – 2 Kings 12:21

One advisor influenced Joash, King of Judah to live and lead in a way that pleased the Lord. I bet no one realized how important Jehoiada was, because he was just one person – an advisor. Did his presence make a difference?

Yes, there’s a big difference when Jehoiada passes away. 2 Chronicles says something similar to 2 Kings 12:21, but note the difference:

“Joash did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight throught the lifetime of Jehoiada the priest.” (24:2).

Something changes when Jehoida passes away and Joash no longer has his godly advice to influence and direct him. Maybe one person doesn’t change the world but throughout Scripture we constantly see the difference one person makes. We, as individuals, can choose to be godly influences. If we’re not choosing to be godly influences, we’re choosing evil.

“But after Jehoiada’s death, the leaders of Judah came and bowed before King Joash and persuaded him to listen to their advice.” – 2 Chronicles 24:17

As a result, King Joash does evil in the Lord’s sight. He turns away despite the many prophets the Lord sent to warn him. One of the last prophets to King Joash was Zechariah, the son of Jehoiada. Now Jehoiada had saved and protected King Joash as a little boy, so I would expect to see some loyalty and even love, but in anger over his message that the Lord abandoned him, King Joash has him stoned to death.  Isn’t that nice, and yet, how many of us have reacted in anger and done harm?

King Joash allowed himself to turn away from the Lord and do evil because one man was gone. All of mankind would have been eliminated if it weren’t for Noah’s faithfulness. Jesus’ genealogy would have been very different if Rahab hadn’t helped the spies. What if Paul hadn’t listened to the Lord and hadn’t preached to the Gentiles?

One person can change the world, but it might not be during our lifetime. Wherever you are in life, you can make a difference. Maybe it’s ministering to your family or workplace or sponsoring a child or fostering or whatever the Lord places on your heart. We are here for a reason. Be the light!

How can you make a difference? We’d love to hear from you! ❤

The Uncertainties of Life

“Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” ~ Proverbs 19:20

Not too long ago, I had a conversation with a Korean who shared that as a male, they have to think a lot about the future in order to eventually provide for their family. That means they need to maintain good scores in middle school, to get into high school, to get into a good university, to get a good paying job, to own a nice house and car, to get married, and then to have a family. For many Koreans, they have to think seriously about this as they enter in middle school. Middle school! But they must prepare ahead because of the competition and culture. To me, it sometimes feels like many of their lives are planned out for them. On the other hand, my case is a bit different.

There is no doubt that I have mentioned this before: I like to make plans. I cannot sit around all day not having something planned out. Even so, I find this making-plans-deal to be a lot more difficult as an adult, especially being a young adult. There is so much I want to accomplish in my life and having the freedom to do so it just as awesome. I can picture myself doing several kinds of jobs, studying several kinds of things, and doing it all for the Lord. However, although I can see myself doing these things for the Lord, they are not necessarily the things the Lord wants.

In both of these cases, all these plans, whether we plan them or they have been planned for us, can be changed in an instant. Why? Because the Lord’s purpose prevails. It is true that we have the choice in our lives, but above all the Lord’s purpose prevails. The future is an uncertain place to be in. Who knows what will happen the next day or the next hour, and even though we plan for the next minute, anything can happen, especially something that has not been planned.

During those times of stress and worry over the future and plans, I often find the Lord telling me to be still. He doesn’t need to add many words. All He has to say is “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10, NIV). Sadly, my mind can’t seem to be still. Interestingly though, being still is also an act of faith. This life is not ours, this world is not ours, and our plans don’t really belong to us. God is the omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient being. What have we to worry about? Ah, so many things. But these “things” should not have to worry us. From experience, the more faith I have in the Lord, the more I see that plans and the future are really nothing. I can prepare as much as I want and have so many desires, yet…God’s plans are better, so much better.

There is another verse in Proverbs that targets planning. It’s no coincidence that this kind of topic is mentioned twice in one book. We always need reminders. Proverbs 16:9 says, “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord established their steps” (NIV). The Lord is still the one to guide and determine and that should be enough comfort for us.

Walking with us

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” – Psalm 23:4

We never walk alone.  Life is a combination of valleys and mountaintops, sometimes at the same time. I love the reassurance that no matter what, the Lord is with us. During the seasons of drought, God is right there with us. During seasons of blessings, He is with us.

I remember talking to a friend who found it difficult to the study the Word and pray when she was going through difficult times. I was shocked because those are the seasons that I press in and lean on Him even more. Maybe He gives us the seasons we need to press into Him even more.

Over the past year, He’s been teaching me how to press into Him no matter what life looks like. Some days are better than others but He knows that I am actively trying and this is where grace comes into play. He knows what we’re going through and He knows our motives. He knows that some days I am going through the motion because it I am trying to remain consistent in my time with Him, so the habit is important.

He is with us. No matter what you’re experiencing He is with you…if you are looking for Him.

What season are you currently in? How do you see God moving in your life? ❤

Who’s Watching?

“He did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight and followed the example of his ancestor David. He did not turn away from doing what was right.” – 2 Kings 22:2 (NLT)

The above verse was in reference to King Josiah. The Lord has instilled me with a thirst to read His Word and I have been caught up in the stories from the Old Testament. When reading 2 Kings, I began to notice a theme. Starting in chapter 8, the majority of the 25 chapters chronicle the kings of Judah and Israel.

Throughout the book you read about whether the king’s reputation. King Josiah had a good reputation with the Lord and was known for his obedience to the Lord. Other kings such as King Ahaziah had a different reputation.

“Ahaziah followed the evil example of King Ahab’s family. He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, just as Ahab’s family had done, for he was related by marriage to the family of Ahab.” – 2 Kings 8:27

You’re being watched and I am not talking about the Lord. The people you encounter are watching you to see how you respond to situations. If you are around children, they are watching you and will mimic you. What example are you giving to the people you encounter? Are you representing the Lord or the world?

When someone shares gossip with you, are you quick to listen and repeat it or are you shutting it down? When someone is rude to you, how do you respond? Christians are called to be different. Our actions and responses are meant to reflect our Father, so the question is if the people watching you start acting like you are they going to reflect God or the world?

       We hope y’all are having a wonderful week! Let us know how you reflect the Lord; we love hearing from y’all! ❤

The Aggressive Approach

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” ~ Ephesians 6:12 NIV

The other day, I was skyping my father about my current work situation and my future. I have recently been struggling about what I should do next like getting my Master’s or getting another job. I told my father that I have been talking a lot with God and verbally telling Him my problems with no response or direction. My father then told me that I had to be more aggressive in my spiritual life. I’m not a little girl anymore and reading the Bible and praying is not enough. I need to do more.

Aggressively pursuing the Lord is like working overtime. We do the typical stuff like reading the Word, praying, going to church, basically what we think is required of us. But when we are aggressive, we do it fervently, more frequently, and more thoroughly. We memorize and proclaim the Word. We pray more than once in a day. Several times! We seek the Lord in a way that causes us to make sacrifices instead of fitting God in our schedule.

I get fired up after having conversations about this or after a really good sermon. But when it comes down to it, the week ends up flying by with nothing accomplished. Unfortunately, this is part of our struggle. There is more than just a physical ailment that can bring us down. The verse above in Ephesians says that our struggles is “against rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (NIV). Little prayers and godly daydreams won’t always help to grow in our relationship with the Lord. We must take advantage of the weapons the Lord has provided us with. Just think: even speaking the Lord’s name makes the demons shutter! (James 2:19) What more could we accomplish if we aggressively pursued the Lord?

When I speak of aggression, I don’t say that we must approach the Lord with anger. How we approach the Lord has to consistently change. As we are growing spiritually mature, we need to contribute more and spend more time with the Lord. Worldly things should not be a part of our lives as much as it used to. It is easy to go through a Netflix marathon but not so much spending hours in prayer. We are no longer children and so our contributions should not be as that of a child but as a mature adult. Philippians 13:11 says, “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me” (NIV). So as Christians, sometimes doing things childishly will not get the results we want. If we want answers from the Lord, to have a stronger relationship, we must aggressively pursue it.

Blaming God

I love the not so admirable people in the Bible, like Eve, because I can relate to their stories and actions. Right after Adam and Eve eat the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge they hide from God. Have you ever tried hiding from God or hiding something from God? In my experience it doesn’t work.

“Have you eaten from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat?” – Genesis 3:11

God knew what they had done but He asked them and instead of confessing, they deflect.They were caught red-handed, and had a chance to confess but instead we watch a typical game of pass the blame. In Genesis verses 11-13 God asks Adam what happened and Adam immediately blames Eve and God.

“The man said, ‘The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.”

I can almost hear you gasp. Who is he to blame God? It was his decision to eat it, wasn’t it? He’s supposed to be the leader. The first time this was brought to my attention I was appalled and judgmental. Then God brought it to my attention that Adam wasn’t alone in blaming God. I too have done the very same thing. When my job became unbearable and overwhelming, I blamed God for not helping me succeed with the launching of the program. He is capable of doing anything, so why didn’t He help me?

Have you ever blamed God for something? It’s easier to look externally instead of internally.

After hearing Adam’s defense, God turns to Eve to give her the opportunity to confess. I imagine her trying to come up with a good excuse since her husband had just thrown her under the bus but all she has is a serpent. It’s the classic “the dog ate my homework” excuse. She immediately blames the serpent and says that he deceived her. I imagine three children all pointing the finger to anyone but them. The sad thing is God already knew what happened. He was giving them a chance to repent but instead they tried to pass the buck.

Poor God. He had given them everything they needed. He had been their friend and companion. He had created everything they needed. He had asked of them just one thing and they failed Him in that. I can’t help but wonder what the story would have been if Adam or Eve just confessed and asked for forgiveness.

Blaming God or people doesn’t change anything except it shows a lack of accountability. We all make mistakes and sometimes we have help in making those mistakes but God wants us to turn to Him and seek His forgiveness so He can bring us healing and peace.

Please comment below and let us know how we can be praying for you ❤