Life Advice From Pastures and Thrones

Day 1

“Trust in the Lord”

Read Proverbs 3:1-12

To trust in the Lord means to suspend feelings or other conclusions as the chief deciding factor, but rather to lean into God’s word to guide our life.  That’s easy to say outside of actually walking it out.  It also is not something we just arrive at and then click into autopilot, but rather involves us constantly, even daily, returning and reminding ourselves of that decision. It’s not a goal so much as it is a process.  In this passage, the writer calls us to suspend the natural reaction of believing we are wise, but humbling ourselves to God.  The writer also talks about finances after talking about trusting God.  He ends by talking about processing discipline in life in light of trusting God.  

Why is that last lesson there?  What is the struggle of understanding what is discipline from God’s caring for us and what is opposition in forces working against us?

How have you struggled recently to trust God in the area of finances?  How have you seen God do incredible things in the area of finances?

What is the difference between trusting in the Lord with all of your heart and leaning on your own understanding?

How do these thoughts become a prayer for your life today?

Day 2

“Delight in the Lord”

Read Psalm 112:1-10

Have you ever had someone tell you to try something and you will love it, and then you don’t?  When I think about this point, it feels a bit like this.  How do you tell someone to delight in something?  Isn’t that just a natural thing?  If you like it you will delight in it, right?  Which is the point, is it not?  How could you not “taste and see” that the Lord is good? (Psalm 34)  It’s not an acquired taste…but rather it is in our very nature that when we experience good, we like it.  That’s the definition of good.  God is good.  So to tell someone to delight in the Lord is really just about telling us to give our attention and time where it belongs.  I am so confident about this with the Bible, which is what this Psalm is seeming to talk about. Sit and spend time with God’s word, and you will discover it has been well worth the effort.  

How would you describe the idea of delighting in the Lord?

How do you delight yourself in the Lord specifically?

Which of these ideas that the Psalm talks about as a benefit from delighting in God’s word have you actually experienced?

How could you share this with someone today?

Day 3

“Commit to the Lord”

Read Psalm 37

Commitment to someone or something is the same thing as giving up control, to an extent.  Maybe that is why the struggle seems so real for people to be committed to anything.  In the real world level of commitment, we say that we will submit our heart and ways to God, and that is easy enough, as long as it keeps going the way that we think it should.  The moment that it seems to totter or roll, we will put our hands back on our lives to steady it and at least get this one thing navigated.  Isn’t that still commitment?  I mean, I just took over this one thing because it needed a little help and I felt like I was gambling a lot that could have crashed down.  The story the Bible seems to tell is that He is faithful.  He is always faithful.

When was the last time you struggled with committing your way to God?

List three ways you have clearly seen in your life that God is faithful and comes through.
List two areas you are concerned about right now that you have even the smallest amount of worry that things may not come through.

How do you encourage your heart that God is faithful in this moment and trust Him?

How does this become your prayer for today?

Day 4

“Be still in the Lord”

Read Mark 4:35-41

This is such a great story for so many reasons.  For some reason, it is what comes to my mind when I think about this idea.  I guess because it feels really close to home when I consider it all.  My life is filled with all sorts of things and there seems to never be a chance to just sit around and daydream.  We have replaced that idea with mindless filling of social media, television, or whatever your drug of choice is.  We are afraid of what could enter our minds or what does enter our minds if we are not aiming them constantly at something.  It is like our minds become a constant storm of all sorts of things.  The idea of just sitting and being still with our minds on the Lord is such a strange idea and something that we rarely practice.  In my thoughts, this story translates over to the storms in my head as well.  It is there that Jesus also speaks the words of “Peace, be still.” In the moments of peace, it is easier to focus on just who it is that is in the boat with me than when I am constantly tossed around and feeling like I need to adjust to what is happening to me.  

When was the last time you just sat in peace and spent time with God? How did you do that?  Why did you do that?

How could you do this today?  What would need to happen or what is in the way?

Why do you think that we tend to fight against the idea of just being still in the Lord?

Share some of the thoughts about this struggle on the app and how you plan to deal with it today.

Day 5

“Refrain from anger”

Read James 1:19-27

Verse 19 is one of those verses that I constantly return to, reminding myself that I need to change and adjust.  It seems to be just hanging out there by itself while the rest of this section changes gears to talk about following God’s word after listening to it.  But if I think about the anger reaction (obviously we are not talking about a righteous anger here), isn’t that the problem of hearing God’s word and now doing it?  The world we live in is a reaction heavy world.  We are trained to react and have a reaction to everything around us, and even when we read about it in the news, that gives us enough information to have an opinion about it, make a conclusion based off of our opinion, and then to react as if everyone else that is not of our opinion is way off the mark.  Forget about the news and social media though, what about closer to home?

What is it that anger blocks in our relationship with God?

Think about the last time that you got angry with someone close to you and reacted out of that anger.  Think through what happened and how would hearing God’s word and doing it change that situation?

Anger comes in how do you slow down that trigger to think through how to walk out situations?
How does this fit into your prayers for the day you are about to face?
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