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Making Moves
August 28, 2020
“What do you want me to do for you?”
Luke 18:41
Remember back in 2005 when LeBron James put up 52 points against Milwaukee but still lost the game? Yeah, that's how I feel this week. 

I was stung by a short and sweet rejection for a big, huge, gigantic project. It had been in the works for months. I received "yes" after "yes" until it finally reached a big fat "Nope."  It made me cry which shocked my husband and sons because I'm not much of a crier---not for things like that anyway.

This wasn't just any ol' rejection. It was the kind of rejection that makes you question your goals...the kind that makes you change direction...the kind that makes you quit. It's like putting up 52 on your opponent, but you still lose the game. When that happens, it's easy to believe God is telling you to quit.

That's where I landed. I always do when I'm unclear on what to do next, I woke up ready to go to God with a ton of questions. But this time God came to me before I uttered a single word.   I opened my Prayer Journal for Women  to start my morning and there it was...

"Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and never give up." - Luke 18:1

I KNOW RIGHT???!!  All I could do was smile through the tears. 

Here's what I want you to know and always remember: 

God Shouts When Necessary
I don't like when people say "God shows up" because the Bible tells us that God will never leave us or forsake us. God is always with us. Sometimes he uses a burning bush or a talking donkey. Sometimes God uses something so clear and direct that you know exactly what he is saying to you.  A few weeks ago we talked about "the whisper" but this....finding Luke 18:1 as my daily devotion...this was a shout. 

Keep Praying and Don't Give Up (Luke 18:1-8)
Luke 18 starts with the Parable of the Persistent Widow. Jesus used this story to remind us never to give up, to keep praying. You may have heard it said that you should only pray for something one time and then leave it with God. I'm not sure where that came from, but Jesus teaches the very opposite of this advice. He says to keep praying and don't give up.  

Keep It Real with God (Luke 18:9-14)
The obvious lesson in the next parable is to stay humble and never think you are righteous without God. However, the deeper lesson for me in this passage is to be real with God about who you are, how you feel, and what you struggle with. This passage set me free many years ago. Now I am able to tell God that I am sad, angry, disappointed and want to quit. Straight up! 

When you keep it real with God, He becomes more real to you. 

What thoughts, feelings, or behaviors do you think you're keeping from God? 

Give It All Up for Jesus  (Luke 18:18-30)
This is a big one. It is particularly important for me to remember right now. Nothing is more important than doing what Jesus has asked you to do. In this parable the rich man has done everything according to the laws of Christianity. He's done all the "must do" things. So Jesus asked him to give away all of his money. Yikes!  He didn't want to do that. 

What are you holding on to because you're afraid God won't replace it?  

Tell Him What You Want (Luke 18:35-43)
I reference this parable often when people say "I want whatever God has for me."  Stop! That's a lazy way to avoid the work of finding your purpose. When Jesus asks the blind man, "What do you want me to do for you?" The man was clear and specific. "I want to see!" 

Don't bury your purpose under false humility that ignores the burning desire in your heart. This can keep you from hearing the instruction God wants to give you. 

It's Not What It Looks Like  (Luke 18:31-34)
Believing in Jesus' death and resurrection is obviously the cornerstone of our faith. But what else? 

Jesus asks God three times in the Garden of Gethsemane to deliver him from death. On the cross Jesus cried out, "Why have you forsaken me?" Because that's exactly what it looked like— that God had forsaken him. 

The death and resurrection of Jesus teaches us that God has ways of doing things that we can't even think of. God answered Jesus' prayer to be delivered from death. But, for three days, it looked like God had not answered his prayer. 

* * *

Don't ever give up on God answering your prayers. Ask. Seek. Knock...until the door opens or Jesus returns.
Keep making moves.
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