Walking On A Narrow Path!

How do you get through a narrow path and dark places of your life? Do you stay there feeling self-pity and overwhelmed with fear? Or do you keep moving forward with hope? You must go through darkness sometimes in life to know that you’re in need of light. And that light leads you through those narrow paths eventually to specious ground.

The road that I was traveling narrowed until I felt as if the walls were closing in on me,image just as I saw myself struggling the same way in my vision. Seems like I was walking along the edge of the mountain, balancing on a very thin, threadlike trail.  Some people walked ahead of me and some behind. Some excited at the thrill that this passage was offering, others struggling to pass through on the narrow path. Sometimes living on life’s edge seems very exciting. But it can be costly and harmful to us and to those around us. Just as playing with fire will eventually burn us, living life too close the the edge will likely cause us to fall. A scar on the soul is far worse than on the face.

” Can man carry fire next to his chest and his clothes not be burned?” ( Proverbs 6:27 )

While I was determined to get out of the narrow passage and away from the ledge (the toxic environment in my daily life) and climb the path ahead, God was lovingly teaching me important lessons: how to trust Him, how to keep focused on the steps in front of me, and how He never lets go of my hand.

The smile never fades from my face, even in tearful moments, because the Lord lifts me up at every step. Even through the darkest times, His light is always shining on those who put their trust in Him.

Obviously, we all have trials in our lives. Pain and problems are part of life, and they’re opportunities to show our trust in God. Some of His greatest gifts come wrapped in trials. As we unwrap them, we begin to see God’s abundant blessings, even in difficult moments. If we are patient and pray continually, our perseverance will bring us joy.

Sometimes difficult moments dimmed my vision, like a blanket of fog settling over the road and I could barely see anything ahead. The fog represented regrets of the past and fears of an uncertain future. I needed to pay more attention to God and feel His presence with each step. As I began talking to God, praising Him and thanking Him for His faithfulness, the fog became a protection, calling me back to the present moment, causing me to slow down and not get ahead of God. This verse is a powerful prayer.

(Psalm 43:3)
“O Lord, send out Your light and Your truth, let them lead me; Let them bring me to Your Holy hill and to Your Holy dwelling.”

He will hear us and guard our hearts and minds with His truth and Love. God is so gracious – He gently takes us from place to place, and from glory to glory to show us that His love endures forever. He corrects and disciplines us, just as a father does with his child.

Just as I began to think that everything was going to be okay, I turned a corner and something stirred within me. Feelings of guilt and regret surfaced. Oh no, Lord! Why? Can I please just have a break?! I wanted to give up on myself, I was tired of not getting it right. In this time of confusion, I had to shield myself with His word. At this point I began memorizing these two verses. They gave me strength to persevere in facing life’s challenges. These verses became my lifeline and support. I say it again, the Lord is my lifeline and support.

(Psalm 23:2-4)
“The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 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 139: 23-24)
“Search me, O God, and know my heart! Test me and know my anxious thoughts!
And see if there be any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

The word of God became my strength. Without it I was in a deep and dark place, so lost that I couldn’t recognize the true Light through the dark clouds of fear and isolation. Why doesn’t God just take the darkness away and make us right with Him? That would be very easy but we would never learn anything from it. Hardship will bear good fruit.

(James 1:4) says; “Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

image

You and I both know this with confident by now that even in the darkness God’s light guides and leads us through a narrow path. Always and forever……

 

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“Moments Of Doubt”

What do you do when you become doubtful about something or there is a flash of uncertainty nibbling at your belief? Are you paralyzed by doubt or do you seek the truth? Doubtfulness is a common experience that we all face. If you’re a true seeker, God will always lead you away from doubtful thoughts. He may use trusted people, great teachers, and His word to speak to you. He’s the only one who knows your heart and hears your thoughts. Here is the story of my moment of doubt. I was young in my faith, and circumstances around me caused me to doubt God’s presence with me. But God graciously spoke to me in a dream through my grandma….. God gifted me with a vision of her, assuring me that the path I was travelling was definitely the right one.

image

At times, I noticed God answered my prayers immediately, causing me to be grateful, excited and ready to tell everyone about His goodness. Then there were those other times when my prayers languished and answers seemed miles away. I was anxious and had growing doubts that I wouldn’t be able to make it to the top of the high place shown to me in my vision. I was desperate to know if the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph would come to rescue me. Or, would my enemy (Satan) devour me like a roaring lion?

Just like in the Bible story of Thomas the famous doubter, (a frightened follower of Jesus in the days following His death), I wasn’t sure the Lord was with me on every step of my journey. Thomas refused to believe that the crucified Lord was alive unless he could see and touch Jesus himself. ( John 20:25-28 ). When Jesus appeared to him after His resurrection in the flesh, Thomas finally believed that He was risen from the dead.

The Lord said to him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” ( John 20:29 )

But God was always with me. He gently rebuked me, reminding me of His previous miracles, including how He had spoken to me through the sweet words of my youngest daughter. We humans so quickly forget what has been done for us. O, my Redeemer, How can I be such a fool as to forget your goodness? I pray for Your protection of my mind and guard my heart with Your word.

The day that I offered my heart to God in prayer was the day that He sent His Holy Spirit to come and live in me – He took up residence in my heart. God was the one who was now roaring like a lion in my soul! I thought to myself, “Why would I take the advice of skeptics and false teachers, whose stories I always find contradictory? Instead, I should search the Bible to see what it has to say.” Doubt is the language of Satan and the enemy of human soul. Satan tries anything to defeat us and destroy our lives; his job is to whispers lies into our ears. The word of God says that if we doubt while we ask for anything from Him, we will not receive what we ask.

“He who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.”
(James 1:6 ). But when we ask with faith, all things are possible.

Here is a quote by Rick Warren which I love for its simplicity and truth, ” Believe your beliefs and doubt your doubts”. In other words, don’t doubt what you believe and don’t believe your natural impulse to doubt. It makes perfect sense.

We all experience occasional doubt: even those who have strong faith in God struggle with uncertainty at times. Whenever doubt comes knocking at the door of my soul, I use this verse as a weapon. (Mark 9:24) “O Lord, I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief.”

I have learned that the antidote for doubt is faith. And faith comes by hearing God’s message. The Bible is full of God’s messages. His word is the testimony of His past works, which is gives us reason to trust Him in the present. To overcome my doubts and have faith in God, I have to study the Bible. Once I understand what God has done in the past, what He has promised for the present, and what I can expect from Him in the future, I will be able to move forward with faith and not with doubt.

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD shun evil.” (Proverbs 3:5-7)

God not only gave me His word to rely on, but He also spoke to me through visions of my loved ones who are already in heaven. You might say, “Of course He did!” and find it hard to believe but that is how God chose to communicate with me in this instance.

In my dream, my grandma handed me a full and large stem of red grapes and she poured sweet jam on top of it. Traditionally, it’s an honor when a person who is deceased gives you a gift in a dream. God used this dream to confirm for me the path that I was on, I didn’t need to be afraid or doubtful. It was as if my grandma, residing in heaven, handed me a reward (the fruit of heaven). After this dream, all the walls of doubt that I had felt went crashing down.

One Christian website states, “God has chosen to communicate with mankind through dreams. He guides and counsels us through our dreams. He establishes covenants with us through our dreams. He grants us gifts in our dreams. He utilized dreams from Genesis to Revelation, and declared that He would continue to use them in the last days. When you total up all dreams and visions in the Bible, and all the stories and actions which come out of these dreams and visions, you have about one-third of the Bible, which is equal to the size of the New Testament.”

(Mark 11:23) “Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him.”

Just a final thought about dreams – God will never contradict what He says in the Bible through one of our dreams or visions. His precious Word always has the final say.

On my journey, The Moment of Doubt was now behind me, but I was closely approaching a “Narrow Path” ahead.

Meet me right here next time. Have a wonderful week!

“Moments Of Doubt”

What do you do when you become doubtful about something or there is a flash of uncertainty nibbling at your belief? Are you paralyzed by doubt or do you seek the truth? Doubtfulness is a common experience that we all face. If you’re a true seeker, God will always lead you away from doubtful thoughts. He may use trusted people, great teachers, and His word to speak to you. He’s the only one who knows your heart and hears your thoughts. Here is the story of my moment of doubt. I was young in my faith, and circumstances around me caused me to doubt God’s presence with me. But God graciously spoke to me in a dream through my grandma….. God gifted me with a vision of her, assuring me that the path I was travelling was definitely the right one.

image

At times, I noticed God answered my prayers immediately, causing me to be grateful, excited and ready to tell everyone about His goodness. Then there were those other times when my prayers languished and answers seemed miles away. I was anxious and had growing doubts that I wouldn’t be able to make it to the top of the high place shown to me in my vision. I was desperate to know if the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph would come to rescue me. Or, would my enemy (Satan) devour me like a roaring lion?

Just like in the Bible story of Thomas the famous doubter, (a frightened follower of Jesus in the days following His death), I wasn’t sure the Lord was with me on every step of my journey. Thomas refused to believe that the crucified Lord was alive unless he could see and touch Jesus himself. ( John 20:25-28 ). When Jesus appeared to him after His resurrection in the flesh, Thomas finally believed that He was risen from the dead.

The Lord said to him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” ( John 20:29 )

But God was always with me. He gently rebuked me, reminding me of His previous miracles, including how He had spoken to me through the sweet words of my youngest daughter. We humans so quickly forget what has been done for us. O, my Redeemer, How can I be such a fool as to forget your goodness? I pray for Your protection of my mind and guard my heart with Your word.

The day that I offered my heart to God in prayer was the day that He sent His Holy Spirit to come and live in me – He took up residence in my heart. God was the one who was now roaring like a lion in my soul! I thought to myself, “Why would I take the advice of skeptics and false teachers, whose stories I always find contradictory? Instead, I should search the Bible to see what it has to say.” Doubt is the language of Satan and the enemy of human soul. Satan tries anything to defeat us and destroy our lives; his job is to whispers lies into our ears. The word of God says that if we doubt while we ask for anything from Him, we will not receive what we ask.

“He who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.”
(James 1:6 ). But when we ask with faith, all things are possible.

Here is a quote by Rick Warren which I love for its simplicity and truth, ” Believe your beliefs and doubt your doubts”. In other words, don’t doubt what you believe and don’t believe your natural impulse to doubt. It makes perfect sense.

We all experience occasional doubt: even those who have strong faith in God struggle with uncertainty at times. Whenever doubt comes knocking at the door of my soul, I use this verse as a weapon. (Mark 9:24) “O Lord, I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief.”

I have learned that the antidote for doubt is faith. And faith comes by hearing God’s message. The Bible is full of God’s messages. His word is the testimony of His past works, which is gives us reason to trust Him in the present. To overcome my doubts and have faith in God, I have to study the Bible. Once I understand what God has done in the past, what He has promised for the present, and what I can expect from Him in the future, I will be able to move forward with faith and not with doubt.

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD shun evil.” (Proverbs 3:5-7)

God not only gave me His word to rely on, but He also spoke to me through visions of my loved ones who are already in heaven. You might say, “Of course He did!” and find it hard to believe but that is how God chose to communicate with me in this instance.

 

In my dream, my grandma handed me a full and large stem of red grapes and she poured sweet jam on top of it. Traditionally, it’s an honor when a person who is deceased gives you a gift in a dream. God used this dream to confirm for me the path that I was on, I didn’t need to be afraid or doubtful. It was as if my grandma, residing in heaven, handed me a reward (the fruit of heaven). After this dream, all the walls of doubt that I had felt went crashing down.

One Christian website states, “God has chosen to communicate with mankind through dreams. He guides and counsels us through our dreams. He establishes covenants with us through our dreams. He grants us gifts in our dreams. He utilized dreams from Genesis to Revelation, and declared that He would continue to use them in the last days. When you total up all dreams and visions in the Bible, and all the stories and actions which come out of these dreams and visions, you have about one-third of the Bible, which is equal to the size of the New Testament.”

(Mark 11:23) “Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him.”

Just a final thought about dreams – God will never contradict what He says in the Bible through one of our dreams or visions. His precious Word always has the final say.

On my journey, The Moment of Doubt was now behind me, but I was closely approaching a “Narrow Path” ahead.

Meet me right here next time. Have a wonderful week