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Are You In the Right Frame of Mind?

In John chapter 5, there was a man who was crippled. For 38 years, he had been lying by the pool of Bethesda, a place where miracles took place constantly. There were actually angels present and whenever an angel would stir the water, the first person who got into the pool would be healed. 

I can imagine the first few months that he was there, he had great expectation, thinking, "This is going to be my day. I'm going to be the one who gets healed today." He was passionate. He had enthusiasm. But a month went by and it didn't happen. He probably got a little bit discouraged. And then three months, and it still doesn't happen and he's more discouraged. Then a year…then five years. Now 38 years later, he is still lying by the pool totally convinced that it's never going to happen.

One day, Jesus came by and asked this man a question. He said, "Sir, do you want to get well?" In a sense, that was an odd question. Of course he wanted to get well. He had been lying by the pool 38 years hoping to get in. But, Jesus wanted to see his attitude.

The way the man responds shows us what his problem was. Instead of saying, "Yes! I want to get well," he began to make all these excuses. He said, "Jesus, I don't have anybody to help me get in the water. I've tried and failed year after year. You know my legs don't work. It's just so unfair. It's just not right." Here Jesus, the Son of God, the One that has the power to heal him is standing right there, but this man is so focused on all the reasons that it's not going to work out.

In life, I've found that you can be at the right place in the wrong frame of mind and miss what God wants to do. Some people have been praying for years and years for a loved one but it looks like it's not doing any good. You've been standing in faith for a marriage to be restored, to accomplish a goal, but it seems like one setback after another. Now you've lost your enthusiasm. You've lost your passion. But I believe, just like in this situation, God is passing by your way today. You are at the right place. The real question is: are you in the right frame of mind? Do you know that this could be your day? 

Don't miss your moment! It may look impossible. But how do you know that God is not just about to turn it around or thrust you to a whole new level? Don't be like this man and sit around 38 years making excuses as to why you can't get well. No, God doesn't want to hear our excuses. He is saying today, "Do you want to be blessed? Do you want to be victorious?" Do you want to live His abundant life?  Then shake off the self-pity and disappointment. Rise up and say, "Today is my day. Now is the time for healing. Now is the time for breakthroughs. I am in the right frame of mind and I expect to see You're power in my life!" 


Your Internal Umpire

Did you know that as believers, each one of us has an internal umpire? You might be wondering why we need an internal umpire, but think about what an umpire does. An umpire lets you know what the rules or boundaries are. An umpire arbitrates matters that may seem unclear. They "call the shots," so to speak. God has given us an internal umpire, the Holy Spirit, to give us boundaries, to show us God's will for our lives, and settle any matters in our hearts that may seem unclear.

Colossians 3:15 in the Amplified says, "Let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds, in that peaceful state]…" 

God has given us His peace as a special gift to rule in our hearts and give us finality in every decision. Like an umpire, His peace lets us know when we're safe and when we're out of bounds. Peace is right for all occasions. When we have peace in our hearts, we are able to discern the perfect will of God for our lives. On the other hand, in the absence of peace, there is turmoil and confusion. Anytime we feel unsettled about something, if we'll go back and make a few minor adjustments, if we listen to the Umpire, we can find the place of peace again. 

The Bible says to seek peace and pursue it eagerly. In other words, it should be our highest priority in any circumstance. Remember when Jesus was on the boat in the midst of the storm? The disciples were fearful and upset, but Jesus was in perfect peace, asleep in the back. When they woke Him up, He simply walked out on deck and said, "Peace, be still." He spoke to the winds and the waves, and they obeyed Him. Because He was in peace, He was able to operate from a place of confidence and authority to speak to the storms that surrounded Him.

Today, eagerly pursue peace. Let it settle the questions of your mind. Remember, if you don't have peace going into a situation, you won't have peace on the other side of it. Whether it's in a relationship, a financial situation, or an opportunity before you, never move forward without the peace of God. Let peace be your final authority because when you walk in His perfect peace, you walk in His perfect will. Listen to your Internal Umpire and stay on the course of blessing God has for your life.

You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace… (Isaiah 55:12, NIV)


When Jesus is in Your Boat

There's a story in the Bible about a time when Jesus and the disciples were ministering, and when the evening came, Jesus decided to get in a boat and head over to the other shore. The disciples went with him, and while they were out, there was a huge storm and water started coming in the boat. 

Isn't life like that sometimes? You are going along, doing your best, ministering and loving other people. You know that Jesus is with you, and you just need a little break. Then all of the sudden, out of nowhere, a storm comes—something unexpected that is all consuming. 

The Bible says the disciples were afraid, but Jesus was asleep through all of this. When they woke Him, Jesus said to them, "Why are you afraid?" Now here they are in a boat, it's windy, it's raining. The waves are crashing, the boat is swaying. Water is coming into the boat. These are fisherman. They've been in storms before, so if they are afraid of this one, it's probably a doozy! I can imagine one of them saying to Jesus, "Are you kidding? Look at what's going on!" Jesus got up and rebuked the wind and the waves saying, "Peace, be still," and the winds and the waves were calmed. 

Not only is this an amazing picture of the power Jesus has over nature, but it also shows His amazing grace and love for us. Most people notice that Jesus questioned the disciples doubt and fear, but in spite of their fear, He still calmed the storm. This tells me that Jesus doesn't expect us to be perfect all the time, but He does expect us to call on Him. He does expect us to "wake Him up" in the middle of our storm. And, He'll use those storms as teachable moments. He doesn't want us to call on Him in fear; He wants us to call on Him in faith. We have nothing to fear when Jesus is in the boat! 

We have to remember that even though there are storms in life, Jesus wants to take us through in peace and bring us out more alive and more powerful than ever before. When you face those storms, remember, Jesus is in your boat! Call on Him! Jesus never said to the disciples, "Why are you waking me up?" He was saying, "Don't wake me up in fear." "Wake me up in faith." Call on Jesus, the Prince of Peace, and let Him bring peace to the storms in your life!

"These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." (John 16:33, NKJV)


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