Category: thoughts by Kathy Cheek

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Today, I fought discouragement because I looked at me – instead of God.

I looked at my circumstances instead of looking at Him. But then, I fixed my gaze on Him and by the time evening fell – discouragement had also fallen away.

Looking at our difficult circumstances can often get us into trouble. When we examine what is going on around us, it is easy to think this is bad, this is messed up, and there is no way this can be resolved. The best attitude we can have is to be grateful God can work in any situation! Nothing is too big or too hard for Him, and we don’t have to face any difficult situation alone.

One of the greatest examples in the Bible of more going on than what is seen in the circumstances of a situation is the story of Joseph. His brothers plotted to murder him, but instead of killing him, they put him in a pit, then decided to sell him to slave traders. You know the rest of the story—he ends up falsely imprisoned for years. Now this is a long string of difficult circumstances. Yet, if you read the story in Genesis from chapter 37 to 50, you will repeatedly read that God’s good hand of favor was on Joseph through it all.

You will also read how God delivered Joseph from prison and promoted him to the second in power in the land of Egypt. At God’s prompting, Joseph wisely stores food and prepares for the coming famine. He reunites with his family, and we see the most beautiful aspect of all in this story that has spanned many years of Joseph’s life. Joseph forgives his brothers. What is most remembered and greatly emphasized from this passage is Joseph’s statement to his brothers in Genesis 50.

Genesis 50:20 But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.”

Joseph’s story, as with many others in the Bible, demonstrates to us that God is always working in those things we cannot see…yet. God is working in and through bad circumstances…for good.

Take your eyes off the circumstance and look at God because the circumstance can be overwhelming, until you remind yourself again who God is and who you are in Him.

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

By Kathy Cheek
Used by Permission

From: First Breath of Morning: Where God Waits For You Every Day.

 

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“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge him and he shall direct your paths.”  Proverbs 3:5-6

My life verses are Proverbs 3:5-6. What are life verses? Simply, they are favored verses that hold a deep meaning to us. What do these verses mean to me? They are how I live my life. They guide my life. They are my default verses. When I am faced with choices, struggles, and uncertainties—I run to these verses and apply them to each present situation.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Trust is vital. Trust is faith in action. Trust is the essence of faith and the essence of my walk—my relationship with God. God has built trust deep into my being, and it lies at the core of how I live my life.

And lean not on your own understanding. We need to understand that we are not going to go through life doing things our own way. Not in a trusting relationship with God. We will have a divided heart if we try. That is what I have learned. It was a valuable lesson when I learned to just let go of my own way and go His way. My heavenly Father knows best.

In all your ways acknowledge Him. Believe God is who He says He is and make Him Lord of your life. See His Holiness. See His majesty and power. See every knee bowed low one day. He is God. He is in control. He is sovereign.

And He shall direct your paths. My life is in His hands. As I follow Him I am going where He is leading and this is how I know I am where I am supposed to be and going where I am supposed to be going. Even the twists and turns are sovereignly being navigated by God as I yield my heart and life to His will.

There is power to live the Christian life in these two amazing verses. As you read these familiar verses again today, I pray they plant themselves deep in your heart and grow an unshakable and lasting trust in the Lord your God.

By Kathy Cheek
Used by Permission


If you don’t know Jesus the way that Kathy Cheek does, you can begin a relationship with him today.  The first step is a prayer telling him you believe He is who he says He is and a second step is surrendering control of your will and life to him.  These can be communicated in a simple prayer (prayer is talking to God):

“Lord Jesus, I need You. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive You as my Savior and Lord. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Take control of the throne of my life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be.”

If this prayer expresses the desire of your heart, then you can pray this prayer right now and Christ will come into your life, as He promised.


If you prayed this prayer we would love to hear from you . If you would like to know God deeper we can connect you with an email mentor and/or send you some great links.


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Here are some more links you may find helpful:

Further Reading: 
  1. Knowing Jesus Personally 
    http://www.thoughts-about-god.com/biblestudies/knowing_jesus.pdf
    4 Lessons
    (printable pdf file)
    Lesson 1: Understanding your relationship with Jesus Christ
    Lesson 2: Experiencing God’s love
    Lesson 3: Power for Living (the Holy Spirit)
    Lesson 4: Growing in your relationship with Christ
  2. How to Experience God’s Love and Forgiveness (3 parts)
    https://thoughts-about-god.com/biblestudies_/tc1-love-forgiveness1
  3. Four Spiritual Laws that make sense:https://thoughts-about-god.com/four-laws/

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In our homes with lights aglow, stockings hung with care and cookies baking in the oven, our lives can look like a Christmas card. But sometimes it looks like something else. It can look harsher, colder, and even very lonely. Sometimes, Christmas can be hard. It doesn’t look like a Christmas card, or a happily ending Christmas movie.

What do we do when life is hard and we don’t know what to do?

Hold tight to our faith and keep our trust in God.

Sometimes, there are those things we can never fix and things that we can never change. Sometimes, there are circumstances and trials we’ll never understand, those things we’ll never know the reason why. Sometimes, we face situations that will test our faith and test our trust in God.

Faith is trusting that God is there
And knowing He is always in control.
Faith is staying close to Him
No matter what comes your way,
And believing He will meet your every need.

Faith is knowing that He loves you
And will never leave you or forsake you.
Faith is believing that in all things
He has a purpose and a plan.

Faith is knowing
You don’t have to understand it all
To keep your trust in Him.

Isaiah 41:10
So do not fear, for I am with you; Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

By Kathy Cheek
Used by Permission

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“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

When I try to figure things out all on my own it seems like it becomes more complicated with each angle I attempt to analyze and fix. When I admit it’s not mine to figure out and leave it in God’s hands, a sigh of relief escapes and peace envelops me. When I leave everything in His hands, I find that I am wringing and twisting mine a whole lot less.

Whatever made me think it was mine to figure out? How thankful I am that He asks me to trust Him, seek Him first – and He’ll take care of the rest. When I rest in knowing this, I find a joy and peace I could not know when I was trying to manage everything myself.

I’m often asked how did I find this place of peace and joy and my answer is, I have learned through my life experiences and walk with God that because my life is in His hands, all my worries and cares can be placed there too.

There were painful times in my life long ago that were difficult to endure. There were disappointments I could not understand. There were hurts I could have held on to, but chose to let them go and give it all to the Lord. The faith I have placed in Him gave me the courage and strength to do that.

He taught me to cast all my cares on Him, and He showed me He would bless this step of faith. What a difference it made in my life when I stopped trying to figure everything out myself.

When I let Him have His perfect way – then I found myself in a new place – a place of rest. This new place of quiet rest in my heart was also a place of peace and great contentment. Most of all, the place of rest and confidence I found in the Lord was a place of blessing and joy.

You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. Isaiah 26:3

By Kathy Cheek|
Used by Permission

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“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18  

My personal paraphrase as I inhale the message for these verses deep into my heart is:

Be happy, be praying, be thankful, this is the will of God for us.

The instructions in this scripture passage are often met with difficulty. Life is hard sometimes and that makes it problematic to rejoice always.

We can probably all agree trials often make it hard to be thankful.w1 This is not our natural tendency. Prayer will be our strength and lifeline in our times of worry and trials.

To be happy does not mean there is nothing to worry about. It means we choose to trust God and rest in our relationship with Him.

I do not mean to make light of the troubles we have. Not at all. But I do want to remind us of what we have as believers. We are saved! We belong to God forever! Our sins have been forgiven and paid for by the blood of Jesus. We have the assured and blessed hope of the resurrection. Our future is secure with Him.

A lady I once knew at a church many years ago used to always say that for the born again believer, “Everything else is icing on the cake!”

Our greatest gift is our salvation. Everything else, spouse, family, home, jobs, health…everything else is icing on the cake.

A few months after I first heard her say this, her husband died from injuries sustained in a car accident. She had an eight year old little boy.

Weeks after his funeral, she reminded us with tears in her eyes that we can lose loved ones, our health, our jobs, our homes, but we can’t lose our salvation and we can’t lose God’s love for us. She would still proclaim, “Everything else is icing on the cake.”

Her words then and now remind me to be happy, be praying, and be thankful.

By Kathy Cheek
Used by Permission

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As I recently prayed about an important decision I needed to make, I remembered there was a time when I didn’t. As a young Christian I didn’t even know that I should.

When I was in my early twenties I moved without even praying about it. I loved God and it was not my intention to go the wrong way, I just had not learned yet that we are to seek God as we make choices and decisions. I just plowed ahead completely tossing all wisdom aside.

I was a young Christian and hadn’t been in my Bible much or heard a lot of teaching and I didn’t know to even pray about choices and decisions. I had not been raised in the church and had not learned these important spiritual lessons.

So, I immaturely quit a job and moved out of state just because I was not satisfied with the status quo. Long story short, that move failed and I quickly ended up back in the same town, but without an apartment, furniture, or job. I had to start over.

But it wasn’t that long until my husband came into the picture and I knew exactly why God brought me back.

When I think about God undoing my bad decision and bringing me back and how He brought my husband across my path by moving him to my town and bringing him to my church – I saw His grace and love for me forged deeply across my heart forever.

Oh, I am grateful He covers us with a lot of tender grace in our youth and that He is patient with us as we learn and grow in the ways of the Lord.

God definitely gained my attention through that experience and how He amazingly worked in my life. It was a significant turning point in my spiritual growth that impacted the deepness of faith I walk in today.

God cares about every detail of our lives and He has a plan that is slowly unfolding through the circumstances we experience. We would be wise to seek Him, and pray and also to trust and wait on Him.

Philippians 4:6-7
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

By Kathy Cheek
Used by Permission


Are you at a place in your life where you want to know Jesus and have him in your life?  You can start a life surrendered to Christ today. This is a sample, simple prayer, but the words are powerful and full of meaning.  If  you truly believe them Christ will enter your life and start you on a wonderful journey. (not always easy, but never alone)

Lord Jesus, I want to know You personally. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life to You and ask You to come in as my Savior and Lord. Take control of my life. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be.

It starts now!


If you prayed this prayer we would love to hear from you . If you would like to know God deeper we can connect you with an email mentor and/or send you some great links.


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Blue skies and abundant sunshine – that is my kind of day.

When the skies are cloudy and gray, I must remind myself…the sun is still shining right where it was yesterday when skies were blue.

On the gray days, the sun is still there on the other side of those gray clouds. God perfectly placed it there a mere ninety three million miles from earth just where it needs to be to sustain life on this planet. The sun has not moved.

So is God, still shining, still working, still doing what He does.

Don’t forget that on your cloudy days, He is still there!

Of course we prefer blue skies and sunshine. Of course we love a more visible evidence of His presence and working in our lives.

Here is the truth, for our faith to stretch and grow we must believe He is still there even though there are days when the clouds may appear to block our view.

This is so important to understand. God is still with us on the days when the skies are not blue. There is not a cloud that can dim the power of the sun, or cloud or storm that can lessen the power of our God.

What is the cloud or storm in your life? Health issues, financial matters, marital problems, family problems, trust issues, fear?

We are incapable of moving any clouds one inch for the sun to come shining through again.

But we can move the clouds of fog in our mind that make us feel like He has moved away from us. We must choose to push them away with the truth of God’s Word that He goes with us and never leaves us, whether it is blue skies or a cloudy day.

“For the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”  Deuteronomy 31:6

By Kathy Cheek
Used by Permission
From: www.kathycheek.com

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“It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23

Yes! We are immeasurably blessed! God’s mercy is new every morning and you will know it when you meet with Him each new day.

You will know the slate is clean, with no traces remaining of yesterday. A fresh clean slate holds the promise of a better day to come. The beginning of a brand new day offers a fresh start where you will know there are new beginnings with new opportunities and new horizons.

God’s love is also new every morning. Mercy is often translated in the Bible as loving kindness, and isn’t that the best kind of love? We have a God whose love is patient and kind and His mercy is new and easy to be found when you meet with Him every morning of each new day. His love is full of compassion and His mercy demonstrates His unending love to us.

There have been times when I had a miserable day when I couldn’t wait to just go on to bed knowing that when I woke up the next morning, a new day waited for me. I wanted a new day to do life better.

The amazing truth is that our God’s mercy is available every moment. If I mess up in the morning or in the middle of an afternoon, I can start anew in that exact moment I say, Lord, I’m sorry, I need to hit the refresh button on this day and start again in a place of new mercy.

I am deeply grateful for this mercy that is new every morning, every moment and every day.

By Kathy Cheek
Used by Permission
From: First Breath of Morning: Where God Waits For You Every Day.

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There was a difficult time when I was facing a battle and found myself pressed against a wall of gigantic disbelief.

Yet, God was asking me to believe what I could not find comprehensible to believe. If I was going to know victory in this battle, it would require faith of huge proportions.

Have you ever had a giant of disbelief towering over your circumstances and you are grasping for the faith to believe God will work in a powerful way?

I thought of David as many of us do when faced with giant-sized battles. And in the blink of an eye I could see young David reaching for the five smooth stones and placing one in his slingshot, the others in a pouch. Then God stopped me in my tracks and opened my eyes to see another hand, God’s own hand coming down and wrapping itself in power around David’s hand.

A sudden surge of faith and courage ignited in my soul as I thought about God’s hand sending David’s smooth stone rocketing like a missile toward Goliath. We all know well the glorious end of this story. The giant came crashing to his death and David saw the victory he knew his LORD would bring that day.

I also experienced victory in that moment. I knew in my heart that my giant would be falling too. God’s powerful hand was wrapping around my own and the battle I’d been fighting would soon be the battle I would win! My gigantic disbelief turned to gigantic triumph, all because of the Hand that holds my hand. Once again I was reminded that the battle belongs to the Lord, and it is He who fights for me!

Every time we choose faith in our intimidating circumstances, we are winning the battle. Day by day we can pick up the smooth stones and hurl them at the giants in front of us—toppling them to the ground. God’s hand will guide us and He will bring the victory. Sometimes it is a quick victory and sometimes it is a slower process.

God gave David the victory over Goliath. He can also give us victory against the giants in our lives.

1 Samuel 17:46-50
This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you. And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.  Then all this assembly shall know that the LORD does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the LORD’s, and He will give you into our hands.”  So it was, when the Philistine arose and came and drew near to meet David, that David hurried and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine.  Then David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone; and he slung it and struck the Philistine in his forehead, so that the stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the earth.  So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him. But there was no sword in the hand of David.”

By Kathy Cheek
Used by Permission

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What causes a person to close the door on their relationship with the Lord? Lose faith? What makes some Christians – walk away?

Disappointment
Divorce
Death of a loved one
Financial loss
Rejection
Sickness
Offence

I think most people will experience at least one on this list and probably more than one. I’ve heard many people say one of these was what made them throw up their hands and walk away.

When Life Hurts the Most
When that hurt comes along, this is when it is vital for us to be there for one another – to help each other cling to God instead of turning away, and help bring us back when we lose our way. We need to keep loving, praying, and caring for each other. I cannot emphasize enough how much we must do this for each other in those difficult times in our lives. Satan wants that turning away to happen and he is probably clapping his hands when it does.

God Never Lets Go
For those of us who are God’s children, and something happens that causes us to let go of the grasp we’ve had on His hand and we turn away in anger, hurt, or disbelief – He never lets us go. We’re still His, no matter what. No matter how many years you live your life away from Him, when you breathe your last earthly breath, you are still His child with the everlasting life He died to give you when you accepted His gift of salvation. You will spend eternity in heaven with the Lord who never let you go.

If all God’s children could really grasp that now, and fully understand that He keeps holding onto you even when you “let go” of Him, would it make a difference?

A Choice to Come Back Home
I heard this testimony in a Sunday morning church service and it filled me with such hope for every person that faces deep pain and moves far away from a close walk with the Lord. This young man’s testimony reminded me that God is always calling us back to Him.

It was the testimony a man in his thirties shared about “stepping out of his relationship with the Lord” after a divorce, and almost becoming an alcoholic, until someone he worked with invited him to come to church, and since he was feeling at the end of his rope, he agreed to go with his co-worker to one church service. He beautifully said that when he went to that one church service, “It was like coming home, I felt the joy I remember knowing when I used to walk close with the Lord.” He admitted, he was the one that walked away, but he realized now that God had been there all along waiting for his return.

Romans 8:38-39
For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

By Kathy Cheek
Used by Permission
From:First Breath of Morning: Where God Waits For You Every Day.

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“You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3

Almost everyone I know wants more peace in their lives. Many people that I know are desperately hoping and grasping for what seems altogether impossible in their present situations. They don’t see solutions but just maybe they can find some peace.

If there is a remedy for finding peace in our turmoil-filled lives, it will happen when we see our Holy God as He is, Almighty, all powerful, all-knowing, wholly Sovereign.

We will not learn how to free ourselves of anxiety – until we learn to give Him our worries and believe He will never forsake us no matter what is going on, according to the promise of Deuteronomy 31:6,

Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”

Most worry develops because we cannot fix our problems. We can’t make things happen and we can’t make things stop. When we choose to trust, worry loses its fierce grip from our nervous wringing hands.

We will have peace when we believe the same God who parted seas, loosed prison chains, and used marching men shouting and blowing trumpets to topple a city wall, is the same God who never leaves us in our hour of need. This same God will walk with us in the difficult trials of our lives.

We will have peace when we believe with assured confidence He will carry our burdens and carry us, too. He will take us through, always walking beside us. He is all the help we will ever need. This is why we can find peace when we make the significant choice to trust the Lord.

By Kathy Cheek
Used by Permission


If you have never walked in a relationship with Christ you can start today by committing and submitting your llife to him. You can start this with a simple prayer:

Lord, thank You for dying so we can be set free from all of guilt and sin — no matter how big or small.  Your blood has erased all of our sin. Thank You so much! Lord Jesus, I want to know you personally. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life to you and ask you to come in as my Savior and Lord. Take control of my life. Thank you for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Make me the kind of person you want me to be. Amen


If you prayed this prayer we would love to hear from you . If you would like to know God deeper we can connect you with an email mentor and/or send you some great links.


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“For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.” 2 Corinthians 2:15

When people look at me
Will they see You?
When people talk to me
Will they hear You?

When people come to me
And need the strength
That You can give

Will I show them
You’re the One
The only One they need?

If I’m your hands and feet
Will others know?
If I reach out with love
Will they know it comes from You?

If I step out and show the love
That You have shown to me

Will they come to You
Wanting what they’ve seen in me
Wishing for the same?

If they see You in me
Will they come?
Will they want to know You, Jesus
If they see You in me?

By Kathy Cheek
Used by Permission

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I cried to the Lord with my voice,
And He heard me from His holy hill. Selah
I lay down and slept;
I awoke, for the Lord sustained me.”
Psalm 3:4-5 NKJV

At the end of the day when the day is done, after the setting of the sun … a good night’s sleep is calling your name.

You can already imagine your head softly sinking into your pillow.

You slip that last plate in the dishwasher, wipe off the counter and turn off the kitchen light.

Night has come. Rest awaits you.

Was it a day walked well with the Lord?

Did you talk to Him and rejoice in knowing you are His?

Did you tell Him all your hearts’ desires and trust they are safe in His care?

Did you cast all your worries into His hands, the big and the small and all the in between?

Did you trust Him with that fear that crept into your thoughts uninvited?

Did you acknowledge He is the one who knows what’s best?

At the end of the day when the day is done, was it a day walked well with the Lord?

I will both lie down in peace, and sleep;
For You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.”
Psalm 4:8 NKJV

By Kathy Cheek
Used by Permission

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thoughts by Kathy Cheek Thoughts by Women

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“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”  2 Corinthians 3:18 NKJV

My Sunday evening walk took me past a small lake, calm and blue – reflecting the trees at the edge in still perfection.

My thoughts recalled the message in church that morning which was based on 2 Corinthians 3. Verse 18, the last verse in the chapter is the one my thoughts lingered on.

The thought that like a reflection in glass or a mirror, I can reflect the glory of the Lord – is the result of Christ’s Spirit working in me to make me more like Him.

That it is possible for me to reflect Jesus Christ because He dwells inside of me is a reality almost beyond my comprehension, yet doesn’t make it any less true. But it humbles me.

It should humble every believer and at the same time, it is an indescribable honor and an immeasurable challenge and responsibility. Thankfully, it is His work in us that accomplishes our transformation to make us more like Him, and that work will be accomplished more readily if we are willing vessels.

If we are willing vessels, day by day we will reflect the glory of our Lord.

By Kathy Cheek
Used by Permission

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thoughts by Kathy Cheek Thoughts by Women

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“When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained, What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him? For You have made him a little lower than the angels, and You have crowned him with glory and honor.”  Psalm 8:3-5

There are days I want to say many things about God and faith, His grace and mercy and other aspects of this mysterious relationship we have with Him. But I can’t find the words that will adequately express what is stirring in my heart. The more I think about the privilege we have in walking in relationship with Him the more perplexed explaining it becomes.

The words are hard to find because who can explain God? Why is He mindful of us? Why does He want a close relationship with us? His Spirit that lives inside of me works in secret ways that no one else can explain. Not the highest scholar. Not the greatest theologian. Even the psalmist David grasps for words as he searches deep unto deep–trying to comprehend what cannot be understood.

By faith we understand this mystery is the treasure given us by our unseen God. As He lives in us day by day He continually works in us to build the relationship He designed mankind to have with Him – going all the way back to the garden of Eden in Genesis 3 with Adam and Eve. For the rest of the Bible our story unfolds as we see God still pursuing us, always pursuing us.

Instead of falling for the lies of the enemy and reaching for the forbidden fruit, let us reach for the Lord. Let us reach for God so we can walk in the garden in relationship with Him. Let’s reach for Him to know Him more. 

Psalm 42:1 “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God.  “

Psalm 42:7-8 “Deep calls unto deep at the noise of Your waterfalls; all Your waves and billows have gone over me. The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night His song shall be with me—A prayer to the God of my life.”

By Kathy Cheek
Used by Permission
From:First Breath of Morning: Where God Waits For You Every Day.

 

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thoughts by Kathy Cheek Thoughts by Women