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The Word For Today

Struggle necessary in the process



'I will instruct you.' Psalm 32:8 NKJV

Why are you still here? When Jesus saved you, why didn't he simply take you to Heaven to be with him? Because he's not only interested in your final destination; he wants to do a work in you and through you on the way to it. We get impatient when it comes to God's will for our lives. We just want to get there! But a great deal of time usually elapses between when God calls us and when we've fulfilled his will for our lives. And until we accept that, we're not ready to go anywhere! We need to understand that the journey is an important process.

It matters to God what you become on the way to where you're going. And following him in obedience through unknowns, trials and difficulties is an integral and indispensable part of your preparation. God uses the journey to teach you faith, refine your character and equip you for greater challenges that lie ahead. In fact, if you're in the process of seeking God's will right now, you're already fulfilling part of it in your life. God said, 'I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go' (Psalm 32:8 NKJV). Don't make the mistake of thinking that because you don't know all you'd like to, you're not making progress. Something is happening right now. Your faith is being stretched, your patience is being developed, your doubts are being confronted and conquered, and your relationship with God is growing deeper.

He always prepares us in advance for what he has planned ahead for us. Yes, the struggle is uncomfortable - but it's a necessary part of the process.

Soulfood: Josh 5, Josh 6, Josh 7, Josh 8:1-29, John 14:15-25, Ps 118:19-29, Pro 28:5-8

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Feeling overwhelmed today



'I am worn out from sighing and can find no rest.' Jeremiah 45:3 NLT

Even the people we most admire in Scripture experienced times when they felt 'worn out' yet unable to rest.

Jeremiah said, 'I am overwhelmed with trouble! Haven't I had enough pain already? And now the Lord has added more! I am worn out from sighing and can find no rest' (Jeremiah 45:3 NLT). The psalmist put it this way: 'I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living' (Psalm 27:13 NKJV). Then he goes on to say: 'I cry to you for help when my heart is overwhelmed. Lead me to the towering rock of safety, for you are my safe refuge, a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me. Let me live forever in your sanctuary, safe beneath the shelter of your wings' (Psalm 61:2-4 NLT)!

If you're feeling overwhelmed today, take a minute to pray this prayer: 'Lord, it feels like the weight of the world is on my shoulders and I know this isn't your will. Teach me to cast my worries and concerns on you, knowing that you have promised to take care of me (see 1 Peter 5:7). Give me courage to change the things I can, grace to accept the things I can't, and wisdom to know the difference. Never let me become so busy that I forsake my quiet time with you. Teach me to be still and know that you're my God (see Psalm 46:10). Thank you for being my refuge; a very present help in this time of trouble (see Psalm 46:1). In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.'

Soulfood: Josh 1-4, John 14:1-14, Ps 118:10-18, Pro 28:1-4

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Understanding the stages



'In due season he will honour you.' Psalm 37:34 TLB

In farming, there's a time for sowing, a time for growing and a time for reaping. It's the same in God's Kingdom.

One missionary tells of hearing a group of seasoned leaders discussing their shared experiences, from which a fascinating five-stage process emerged. Stage 1: The birth of the vision. Initially each of them was given a vision by the Holy Spirit, accompanied by an excitement and abiding awareness that it was from God. Stage 2: The preparation. This is the stage where dreams are often aborted because we don't want to do the necessary preparation. When God gives you a vision, there must be some action on your part or it will never amount to anything more than a passing daydream. Stage 3: The wilderness and the struggle. One of our biggest misconceptions is that if something is really from God, there'll be no struggle involved. That's a myth! You can almost guarantee a significant amount of struggle will be required. This stage is the proving ground of our faithfulness, and there's no substitute. Stage 4: The realisation of the vision. This is where we finally get to enjoy the fruits of our diligent preparation and God's faithfulness. Stage 5: New beginnings and vision. These leaders all found themselves challenged again with fresh vision from the Holy Spirit. As a result, they concluded that their lives had been a continual cycle of ever-expanding vision, and as God entrusted them with more, it would take even greater amounts of preparation and times of battle would still occur.

Now you understand the stages of your vision!

Soulfood: 3 John 1, Jude 1, John 13:31-38, Ps 118:1-9, Pro 27:23-27

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