Monday, March 18, 2013

That You May Overflow

Some of the folks adding their creativity to the prayer loft
A Devotional by Margot Ciocco 

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

I like today's verse because I have a day and a couple of very full weeks ahead of me. I'm still getting over what every nasty bug walloped me last week. So in my weakness I could look at all the things that need done and feel overwhelmed. You know "Poor me how will I ever get it all done". First of all that is fear speaking, fear of failing, fear of not measuring up to the expectations of others. It is small minded thinking in which the world revolves around me and what I can accomplish. I choose to resist that junk. 

I know that the many things before me this week are things that God has called and appointed me to do.  There is no way that I can possibly manage and accomplish it all in my own strength. So I will instead look to the Holy Spirit to lead and guide me through. 

I've included some photos of some of the wonderful people who are choosing to take steps of faith to use their gifts for God's glory. I believe He calls each of us to be creative in some manner. We all have to bust through the feelings of self doubt, anxiety, fear, we all need Him to help us take off the masks we hide behind. I am really proud of each of these folks and honored to be working with them. 

May the God of hope fill you.... That speaks to me that we get empty and need to be in a position of being filled and refilled. I have said before that the creativity that flows through me is simply because I make a point to be continually filled. I have learned where the fountain is, it flows from the very presence of God Almighty King of the Universe. It is always available to each of us but many of us are like horses or mules that stubbornly refuse to heed the masters call to come. We've got a mud puddle and we've accepted it as good enough for someone like us. Quit it - he has fresh water go drink some already.

Taylor  -  Wow,  God can use these?
What does he want to fill you with? Joy and peace. Those things come however as you choose to trust him. As I choose to look to him regarding this day and the week ahead of me I will throw off the weight of worry and fear and move forward in his joy.  It is His joy that is my strength. (Nehemiah 8:10). Psalm 42:5 "Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God."  We must make a conscious decision to look at things from a Godly perspective. Is there anything going on in your life that He is un aware of? Is there anything that you are facing that is too big for the Almighty God, King of the Universe to handle? 

Some of you have grown accustomed to living in the darkness of depression. You have become accustomed to anxiety and worry. You may say you want to be delivered of them but the truth of the matter is that if you did you would have to live differently. For God to take those things from you would mean that you would have to enter into new and unexplored territory. When it comes right down to it you are terrified and prefer to remain where you are because even though you are miserable there is a false sort of comfort because at least it is familiar and predictable. As a believer, Jesus has already unlocked your prison doors. He calls to you to come out but you fear that you will be a disappointment to Him and so you stay wrapped in your own self pity and misery. The Christian life is not for wimps. 
Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

Nikki overcoming anxiety to paint for the Lord
Not sure who I'm writing this for - but it is flowing out from me in a very powerful way. He is calling you to overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Hope is like a little seed that if you water it and give it even a little bit of sunshine it will begin to grow and push its way through the darkness and out into the light of His glory. There are dark places in each and everyone of us that we have to allow the light and the love of God to come and fill. We hide them away ashamed of their broken condition. He already knows the condition. He will not force his way into any area of your life. He waits till you decide you want to allow Him into that place. 

So here are some things that I will do as I enter into this very full week. 
• I will not neglect my quiet time with the Lord. 
• I will make my lists of things that need to be done but I will allow for them to be rearranged as needed
• I will not indulge in worry, or self pity. Rather I will decide to trust and overflow with joy and peace. 
• I will graciously include others in what I am doing, choosing to look for, acknowledge and recognize the gift of God in each person I encounter this week. 
• This is the day that the Lord has made and I will rejoice and be glad in it. 
• I will remember that people are always more important than any task or project.
• I will remember that these things the Lord gives me to do are simply tools and nets to catch fish. 

If you are looking for something to stir up your creativity this week I invite you to visit my other blog  The theme this week is Angels. I have some of my mosaic angels and some nice ideas I found on Pinterest. I'd love to include your creativity be it a  poem, drawing, painting, music, or even your awesome angel food cake recipe. It is a challenge to use your creative gifts, whatever they may be to encourage others to be creative and use theirs. 

Lisa moving past self doubt to create for the Lord
I pray that you will overflow this week with the hope, peace and joy that comes from the Lord. I pray that you will allow him into your dark places. I pray you will decide to leave behind the false comfort of worry, shame and fear and step into the new life that the Lord has for you. I pray that you will accept that you never could do it on your own and you always have needed that Holy Spirit to ever even begin to accomplish God's plans and purposes for your life. 

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