The Kimberly Joy Blog

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Tag: Obey God

What Is God Saying To Us?

(The Kimberly Joy Show: Rest in God…Obey)

WHAT IS GOD SAYING TO US?
God is saying to us His children, believers in Christ, to rest in Him. What does it mean to rest in God? To rest in God means to have total faith in Him no matter what! No matter what you hear, see, or feel, believe God!

When you sit in a chair, on a couch, or in the seat of a car, do you first check to make sure it will hold you? Perhaps you do if the chair looks weak. However, in most instances, do you check before taking a seat? Personally speaking, I don’t. I just sit down!

Why? I trust that particular seat is going to hold me. I have no worries it may possibly collapse. And guess what? When I sit down, it holds me up!

Although God is by no means a piece of furniture, we should regard Him in the same manner. If you or I have faith that a chair, couch, stool, or bed will hold us up when we rest on it, we have to have faith that God will hold us up when we choose to rest in Him.

Even if God doesn’t move right away, we have to remain steadfast in Him. God doesn’t always move the way we want, when we want, or how we want. Better yet, most times God doesn’t do things the way we expect. Nevertheless, when God does move, it’s always exactly what we need and when we need it. Therefore, it’s in our best interest to rest in Him.

ARE YOU CONTROLLING?
I know resting in God is not always easy because it means relinquishing control. We don’t want to give up control, do we? We want to always know what’s going on.

We want to know what’s going to happen before it happens. We want to know how God is going to move, how He’s going to bless us. But, it doesn’t work that way! Romans 1:17 (King James Version) says:

“…..The just (the righteous or those who are in right standing with God) shall live by faith.”

Living by faith in God is expected. It’s a must! And it can be done, even if you’re used to worrying and taking matters into your own hands. You can learn a new way of living!

As I shared in a recent article, you can find rest in God by worshipping Him. When you worship God you’re letting Him know that you love and trust Him. To worship God is to welcome His presence into your atmosphere. To worship God is to allow Him to have His way in your situation.

You can also find rest in God through prayer. To pray is to make your petitions (needs and desires) known to God. How often do you pray? Is God always the first one you consult with your concerns? I Thessalonians 5:17 says we are to pray without ceasing. In other words, we are to have prayerful attitudes and keep God number one!

HOW DO WE CAUSE OURSELVES GREATER HEARTACHE?
A third way to find rest in God is by simply obeying Him. To trust God is to obey God, and to obey God is to trust God. I find that we as human beings cause ourselves greater heartache when we choose our way over God’s way. Why do we sometimes choose our way? In that moment or situation, we think we know what’s best. We are fooled into believing we know better than God, the Creator, the one who is omnipresent and all-knowing. It sounds absurd when we think about it, doesn’t it? I’m not referring to the moments when we don’t know any better, but the moments when we do know better and still choose to do what we want.

The Bible or the Word of God is our instruction manual for living.

Unfortunately, many fail to follow it. II Timothy 3:16-17 (New Living Translation) say:

“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.”

If we trust and obey God, we will have rest. For example, while attending grad school, I learned I had to have surgery. This was a serious dilemma because the spring quarter had just begun, and I was taking my final class: Statistics. As a matter of fact, it was my second time taking the class. I had dropped it the previous quarter because I had a difficult time following the professor. Since I still had time to withdraw from the class without being penalized, the logical choice was to withdraw and reschedule the next quarter.

Even though withdrawing from the class seemed like a good idea, it wasn’t an easy decision to make because it meant postponing graduation. So, the night before the withdrawal deadline I asked God to tell me what to do. I had made up my mind to withdraw, but just in case it wasn’t necessary to do so, I needed to hear from the One Who knows all. As I slept that night, God clearly spoke to me. He said, “Stay in the class. There will be people who will help you.” When I got up the next morning, I had an overwhelming peace about the situation. I did exactly what God said and stayed in the class.

Fortunately, my professor and several of my classmates (people who didn’t really know me) were more than willing to help me during my recovery. On top of that, the professor decided to make the midterm and final exams both take home, which would allow me to use my book, my notes and get help from my classmates. God came through for me! As I look back on that situation, I realize that if I had chosen to follow my own mind, instead of obeying the voice of God, it would have taken me even longer to receive my Masters degree. Hence, that would have made me sad and caused me unnecessary stress.

Whatever you may be going through right now, I encourage you to give it to God! Worrying and trying to do it your way will not do you or your family any good. Do you realize that worrying and being stressed can send you to an early grave? It may be a hard pill to swallow, but it’s the truth! Needless to say, that doesn’t have to be your story! Everything you need is in the One who created you. So, make the decision today to REST IN GOD!

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What Would Jesus Do?

WHAT WOULD JESUS DO?
“What Would JESUS Do?” Recognize that question? “What Would Jesus Do” is a phrase that first emerged in the 1990s. The purpose of the question is to inspire those of us, who are believers in Christ Jesus, to evaluate our everyday attitudes and behaviors. It is to encourage us to really consider the characteristics of Jesus that are laid out in the Bible, and to decide whether or not we are following His example.

At the height of its popularity, “What Would Jesus Do?” or WWJD, could be seen everywhere—-on bracelets,
t-shirts, hats, coffee mugs, etc.

The whole idea was to remind us that we are to be more like Jesus. Personally, I think WWJD was and still is an excellent idea! We live in a world where we are surrounded by evil and corruption every day. So, as believers, we have to remember that, although we live in the world, we are not to be like the world, look like the world, or act like the world.

Worldly ideas, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors, are the opposite of what pleases God. James 4:4 (NLT) says:

“You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God.”

In the verse, James referred to these early Christians as adulterers. Why? To be unfaithful to God is to commit spiritual adultery. We are unfaithful to God when we choose to disobey Him. Anything that goes against God’s commandments or expectations is considered worldly. One example is sexual immorality. I use this particular example because sex is promoted almost everywhere——on television, in movies, in music, in books, and on the internet.

According to the world or worldly standards, pre-marital sex is acceptable. In some instances, adultery or infidelity is acceptable. Have you ever heard the term “open marriage”? In an “open marriage”, the husband and wife agree that it’s perfectly okay to have sex with other people. Basically, they are inviting adultery into their marriage. Furthermore, homosexuality and bisexuality are also acceptable now, according to WORLDLY standards. However, according to God’s Word, none of these behaviors are acceptable.

Regardless of our personal views or how good certain sexual encounters make our flesh feel, God still does not approve. For example, “Thou shalt not commit adultery” is one of the ten commandments we can find in Exodus 20. Even though it is a commandment of God, many still engage in it. Nevertheless, just because they engage in it, doesn’t make it all right.

DOES GOD CHANGE?

Anything that is popular in today’s society isn’t necessarily popular with God. God doesn’t change, and His Word doesn’t change. Therefore, we believers have to read and STUDY the Bible. I emphasize the word “study” because it’s important that we meditate on the scriptures and apply them to our everyday lives. Simply READING the Bible is not enough.

We have to obey it. When we fail to do so, we can be easily fooled into confusing worldly standards with God’s standards. Psalm 119:11 says:

“Thy Word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee.”

God has provided His Word to help us live right. We are to, thus, hold His Word in our hearts. When you hold something in your heart, you cherish it, right? We are to hold God’s Word in our hearts like a treasure. Psalm 119:105 says:

“Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”

God’s Word is available to guide us in the right direction—–the direction God would have us to go. When we apply the scriptures to our everyday lives, we will find ourselves doing what JESUS would do. In other words, we will find ourselves obeying and pleasing God.

To be a Christian is to be Christ-like or like Jesus Christ. Want to know HOW to be like Jesus? Read the Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. All four books give accounts of Jesus’ time as a man on earth. When we read about Jesus, we learn about His characteristics, which are the characteristics we should strive daily to emulate.

WHAT DOES LOVE LOOK LIKE?
While Jesus lived as a man on earth, He showed LOVE. First, He loved God the Father and spoke highly of Him. He always honored and obeyed God. He also spent quality time with God in prayer. In addition to loving the Father, Jesus loved people, INCLUDING His enemies. For instance, while He was hanging on the cross, Jesus asked God to forgive those who were persecuting Him.

Jesus also showed love by taking time to teach everyone who wanted to hear and receive from Him. When crowds followed Him, He didn’t turn them away. He even fed those who were hungry, like the 4,000 and 5,000.

He healed those who were sick. He showed compassion to those who had been ostracized by other people, like the Samaritan woman He met at the well, and the woman who was brought to Him for committing adultery.

Possessing genuine love, Jesus had no problem being humble. As a matter of fact, He didn’t get into shouting matches with the religious leaders who would publicly oppose Him. He wasn’t concerned about trying to defend or prove Himself to anyone. He didn’t brag about how powerful and wise He was. Instead, He continued giving all the glory to God. All He cared about was doing the will of His Father. In John 6:38, Jesus said:

“For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him [God] who sent Me.”

IS LOVE YOUR MOTIVATION?
Something that is important for us as believers to realize and always remember, is that, although Jesus demonstrated power through healing the sick, casting out demons, resurrecting the dead and other miracles, like turning water into wine, LOVE was always the motivation.

Yes, we believers can and should demonstrate power like Jesus did. In fact, in John 14:12, Jesus said:

“….He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do…”

So, Jesus said that we’re to do more than even what He did. However, if love is NOT the motivation, I Corinthians 13 lets us know that God will not be pleased.

It’s imperative that we do, what I like to call, self-examinations. What do I mean? Periodically, we need to exam our hearts, using the Word of God as the criteria. For instance, you can ask yourself the following questions:

“Am I lining up with God’s Word?”

“Am I doing what God expects or approves of?”

“Am I following the examples of Jesus?”

Once you ask yourself these questions, if you find yourself falling short, then repent and ask God to help you in those areas.

I want to encourage you to take some time and study the four Gospels. When you do, pay close attention to how Jesus conducted Himself in every situation. Then strive to follow His example in your own situations. Christianity is a lifestyle, and you and I are responsible for doing our part. As we do our part, God will do the rest. Philippians 2:12b-13 (NLT) say:

“12b…..Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear.
13 For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him.”

(The Kimberly Joy Show: What Would Jesus Do?)

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P.U.S.H. Chapter One

As you continue on your journey in 2017, I encourage you to P.U.S.H.!

Yep! That’s right!

P.U.S.H.!

Pray…Until…Something…Happens!
I love that phrase! To some it may seem like a cliche, but to me it’s the truth! The first time I heard that phrase, it truly resonated with me! I find that as children of God sometimes we give up on God AND on ourselves too easily! However, what we must understand is that some blessings take more time to manifest than others. We’re on God’s schedule, not our own.

2 Peter 3:8-9:

“8 But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day.
9 The Lord isn’t really being slow about His promise, as some people think. No, He is being patient for your sake.”

So, we may think God is taking too long, but He says He’s right on schedule!

PRAY
The first word in the acronym (P.U.S.H.) is pray.
What does prayer mean to you personally? In other words, in your heart, what does it mean for you to be able to pray to God? Personally speaking, to be able to pray to God means I’m not alone. I can always talk to Him, day or night. How do I know?

Psalms 121:4:

“Indeed, He [God] who watches over Israel [God’s people] never slumbers or sleeps.”

So, I don’t have to feel bad about disturbing God’s sleep when I need to talk. He’s already alert, watching over me.

To be able to pray to God also means I have someone with whom I can share my deepest secrets. How important is that?! And when I share my secrets, I don’t have to worry about being judged or ridiculed. More importantly, when I share my secrets with God I know without any doubt that He won’t tell my business. He won’t get angry with me one day and broadcast what I shared with Him to the entire neighborhood! I can trust Him completely. With God I feel safe.

Let’s consider the dictionary definition of the word pray. I think it’s safe to assume that many people know that to pray means “to communicate with God; to make our petitions (our needs and desires) known to Him.” To take it a step further, as Christians, prayer is part of our covenant relationship with God. In the beginning, we see that God created the first man Adam to have open communication with Him.

Genesis 3:7-10 (This scene takes place after Adam and Eve chose to disobey God by eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil):

“7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
8 And they heard the VOICE of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden.
9 And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?
10 And he said, I heard Thy VOICE in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.”

When God created Adam and Eve, they automatically had an intimate connection with God. So, when they disobeyed God, they felt compelled to hide once they heard God’s voice. They recognized God’s voice because of their relationship and because they had spent time talking with Him. I compare it to a mother who knows her baby’s cry in the midst of other crying babies or a husband who recognizes his wife’s voice in the crowd.

When Adam and Eve sinned, it caused a rift between God and man and brought sin and death into the world. Nevertheless, we can be thankful for Jesus coming to this earth to serve as our Mediator and for bringing us back in right relationship with God our Father!

A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP

II Corinthians 5:17-18a:

“17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
18a And all of this is a gift from God, Who brought us back to Himself through Christ.”

For those of us who now have a personal relationship with God through His Son Jesus, we have direct access to God. Therefore, God expects and WANTS to hear from us. In fact, He loves it when we spend time with Him.

John 10:27:

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”

In order for any of us to KNOW the voice of God, we must spend considerable time with Him in worship, in studying His Word, and in prayer. If we know God and His voice, then when another voice (like the serpent or Satan ) tries to speak to us, even just through our thoughts, we’ll know it’s not God! That’s why spending time with God in prayer must include LISTENING! Prayer is not a time to present a Christmas list to God as if He’s Santa Claus.

EVEN JESUS PRAYED
Matthew 14:22-23:

“22 Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away.
23 And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there.”

Just like in the above verses, throughout the four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, even JESUS spent time alone praying to God. He always acknowledged His Father and never did anything without His consent. As believers, we should follow His example. We must never get to a place where we think we don’t need to pray all the time or pray at all. Even if everything is going well, we should still honor God in prayer because, again, prayer goes beyond just asking God to bless us. Rather, prayer is a time to also listen to God. I believe Jesus spent time alone with God sometimes just listening. That’s how He stayed connected and in tune with God.

SHARPEN THOSE SPIRITUAL EARS
I know from personal experience that spending time with God in prayer sharpens our spiritual ears. For instance, several years ago I was informed by my doctor that I had to have surgery, which included a six week recovery period. However, there was one problem! I had just started a Statistics course as part of my Masters program. In fact, it was my FINAL class! There was no way I was going to be able to attend class, if I had to be on bed rest! The only logical explanation was to drop the course and pick it up the next quarter which would delay graduation. I didn’t want to delay things, but I couldn’t prolong the surgery. The night before I was going to drop the class, I asked God to tell me what to do. If there was any possible way I could stay in the class, GOD would know! That night as I slept I heard the voice of God say, “Stay in the class. There will be people who will help you.”

When I attended the Statistics class the next day, I informed my professor of my situation. He was extremely understanding and suggested I collect email addresses from some of my classmates, so they could assist me while I was out recovering. Not only were they willing to help me, but the professor decided to allow the class to take the midterm and final exams at home, which meant that I could use my books, notes and receive help from classmates.

I’ll never forget that experience! It blew me away to know that I heard God’s voice that clearly! More importantly, not only did I hear His voice, I obeyed Him. Although I didn’t know how things were going to initially work out, I had to trust Him anyway!

KEEP LEARNING
Furthermore, how do you build solid relationships and friendships? You spend time together engaging in meaningful conversations. That’s how you learn each other.

Just like in human relationships, when we spend time with God, we learn Him! To learn God is to know God, and to know God is to love Him even more!

(“The Kimberly Joy Show: P.U.S.H. Pray Until Something Happens”)

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Rest in Me


“Rest in Me,” are the words I often hear God speak. Although the Bible states, “Don’t worry about anything…” (Philippians 4:6a), I still sometimes find myself worrying, not about everything, but about the things my human mind can’t figure out. If I can’t see how or when a situation is going to be resolved, I become uneasy. The uneasiness results from realizing that I’m not in complete control. However, to have faith is to allow GOD to be in control.

Resting in God is not always an easy thing to do. In fact, it can be downright difficult. I believe that many of us, if not all of us, like to feel in control. We want to be in complete control of our jobs, finances, love lives, children, etc. Nevertheless, it doesn’t work that way. If I try to control every circumstance and person in my life, then I’m taking on more than God has designed for me to handle. Have you ever heard the phrase “He’ll never put more on you than you can bear?” This is derived from I Corinthians 10:13 which says, “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, He will show you a way out so that you can endure.”

Temptation is typically defined as “a strong urge or desire to do something, especially something wrong or unwise.” However, in the Bible a temptation is also “a trial or test”. For instance, in Genesis 22, God tempted or tested Abraham when He instructed Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac. God wasn’t trying to persuade Abraham to do something wrong. In fact, later God provided a ram as the real sacrifice (Genesis 22:13). Rather, God put Abraham through this test to prove his faith. James 1:2-3 says, “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.” Verse 12 of the same chapter also says, “God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.” Although God takes us through tests from time to time, as I Corinthians 10:13 assures us, it’s never something designed to overwhelm us because during the tests, we are to depend totally on Him (Proverbs 3:5). So if I find myself becoming overwhelmed and stressed out, it is simply because I haven’t placed it all in God’s hands. I can’t blame anyone but myself!

God says, “Rest in Me.” What does it mean to rest? To rest is “to be free from anxiety or disturbance”. Another definition is “to remain confident”. Therefore, when we rest in God, our minds are at peace because we know that God has our situations under control. As I mentioned, resting in God is not always easy. Nevertheless, it can be done if we put it into practice. The following tips are things I had to put into practice in order to learn how to rest in God.

HOW YOU CAN REST IN GOD

1. Find time to worship God. During the hustle and bustle of the day, find a place to be alone where you can worship God. Believe it or not, I have had some awesome worship experiences in my bathroom and, even, in my car. When my mind is being bombarded with so many thoughts and I find myself becoming sad or angry, worship relieves me. As I sing or listen to a favorite worship song and meditate on the goodness of God, I am reminded that He is my everything. In that moment, He becomes priority, while everything and everyone else take a backseat. Then His love, peace and joy fill my heart. I am no longer bothered by my present circumstance because in the midst of worship, God reassures me that He has my back! In that moment God may even reveal some things to me and give me the answers I’ve been seeking in prayer.

These worship experiences call to mind the story of Paul and Silas who were beaten and thrown in jail for taking a stand for God’s Truth.

Acts 16:25-35:
“Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening. Suddenly, there was a massive earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors immediately flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off! The jailer woke up to see the prison doors wide open. He assumed the prisoners had escaped, so he drew his sword to kill himself. But Paul shouted to him, ‘Stop! Don’t kill yourself! We are all here!’ The jailer called for lights and ran to the dungeon and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. Then he brought them out and asked, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ They replied, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, along with everyone in your household.’ And they shared the word of the Lord with him and with all who lived in his household. Even at that hour of the night, the jailer cared for them and washed their wounds. Then he and everyone in his household were immediately baptized. He brought them into his house and set a meal before them, and he and his entire household rejoiced because they all believed in God. The next morning the city officials sent the police to tell the jailer, ‘Let those men go!'”

Just as Paul and Silas were set free from physical chains, worshipping God sets me free from the thoughts that try to chain my mind.

2. Pray. According to Philippians 4:6, God doesn’t want us to worry about anything, but to pray about everything. No problem is too big for God! Therefore, when we pray we must trust that God hears us and will answer our prayers. If we trust that God honors His children’s prayers, then anxiety should not be present. Prayer and worry do NOT go hand in hand. James 1:6-7 says, “But when you ask [God], you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.”

3. Obey God. To trust God is to obey God. One day I was discussing with a friend that we as humans cause ourselves greater heartache when we choose our way over God’s way. The Bible is our instruction manual for living. Unfortunately, many fail to follow it. II Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.”

If we trust and obey God, we will have rest. For example, during my time in grad school I learned that I had to have surgery. This was a serious dilemma because the spring quarter had just begun and I was taking my final class: Statistics. Since I still had time to withdraw from the class without being penalized, the logical choice was to withdraw and pick up the course the following quarter. Although it seemed like a good idea, it wasn’t an easy decision to make because it meant postponing my graduation. Thus, the night before the withdrawal deadline I asked God to tell me what to do. I had made up my mind to withdraw, but, in case it wasn’t necessary to do so, I needed to hear from the One Who knows all. To my delight, as I slept God clearly spoke to me, “Stay in the class. There will be people who will help you.” Having a sudden peace about the situation, I stayed in the class, and as God reassured me, my professor and several classmates were more than willing to help me. If I had chosen to follow my “sensible” mind, instead of obeying the voice of God, receiving my Masters degree would have been delayed, which, undoubtedly, would have caused me unnecessary distress .

4. Enjoy your life. Best-selling author and Bible teacher Joyce Meyer says, “Learn how to enjoy where you are on the way to where you’re going.” In other words, smile often and laugh as much as possible. Just enjoy the stage at which you are in your life. The apostle Paul says, “…I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength,” (Philippians 4:11-13). To be content doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t desire more because God has more for you. It just means that the desires shouldn’t cause anxiety and stress. When we focus on the Lord, He is guaranteed to give us the desires of our hearts (Psalms 37:4).

Resting in God takes away the pressure that Satan and the world try to place on us. When we give everything to God, He in turn, gives us a peace that the average person can’t comprehend (Philippians 4:7). So, every day I am making it a point to rest in God and gratefully enjoy this life He has graciously given me.

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