When God Won’t Listen

When God Won't ListenI remember where I was when I realized I didn’t know more than God. I had a very difficult situation in my life that was the sole focus of my prayer life and requiring the majority of my emotional energy. I felt plagued by this problem. Up to that point all my energy had gone into trying to convince God to change my circumstance. I was sure this painful situation was an oversight by Him. I thought, “Surely God did not actually intend for me to have to go through this problem. If I can just get Him to see things my way, God will realize He messed up and relieve me of my pain.” I spent a lot of time pleading with God and bringing the necessary evidence before Him to win my case. However, the situation was not changing. One day while I was out for a run and bringing my problem to God yet again, a thought came into my mind that was so clearly from God I nearly stopped dead in my tracks. I heard God say to me,

“Julia, I know better than you, and I know what I’m doing.”

Until that encounter with God, I realized I had essentially been telling God what to do. My prayer-life had been focused on trying to get God to change my situation. After this moment my prayers changed from “God change my situation” to “God change me.” My entire perspective changed when God revealed to me that this painful circumstance was not a mistake or oversight but had a purpose in my life. I began to pray, “God, teach me whatever I’m supposed to learn so I never have to learn this again.” Interestingly enough, when the focus of my prayer life changed to “God, change me”, the situation ended up also being changed.

God doesn’t accidentally let things happen. He has a plan and a purpose for everything that comes into our lives. In John 16:33 Jesus says, “ These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”

Peace does not come from a change in a situation but from change in perspective.

God has told us what to expect in this life- grief, pain, sadness, and times of uncertainty; but the good news of the gospel is we have the ability to have peace in the midst of all of it. We serve a God who has a purpose for our situation and says to all who are listening, “Trust me, I know what I’m doing.”

About the Writer:
Julia is a counselor at Meier Clinics where she specializes in treating teenagers and women struggling with eating disorders, depression, anxiety & self-harm. She is the Girl’s Ministry Associate for the Student Ministry at First Baptist Dallas and a professional youth speaker for Just Say Yes. Julia has served in student ministry alongside her husband for the past 7 years. Julia has a heart to see people experience the same freedom through Christ that she has experienced!

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Where’s Wyatt

When my son was a baby, he would pull his blanket over his eyes and we would say “where’s Wyatt?” He would pull down his blanket and smile and laugh. This was a fun game. As he grew into a toddler, the game “where’s Wyatt?” took on a new meaning. Our families quickly learned to begin searching for Wyatt anytime one of us asked that question. Wyatt has a very curious mind and when he gets focused on something, he just goes.

Wyatt was 3 years old when First Baptist Dallas opened the new Worship Center andWhere's Wyatt Children’s Building. It was Easter Sunday and it had been a fabulous morning of worship and praise. The whole church was buzzing with excitement and there were people everywhere. My husband and I picked the boys up from their new classes on the first floor. We went down the hall to play on the playground, and I took pictures of the boys. I took a few pictures of Wyatt and then asked him to put a toy back so we could go see the fountain. I took a picture of my husband and our other son. I turned to check on Wyatt, but I didn’t see him. He was gone. I immediately went into frantic search mode.

I tried to stay calm, but my heart was pounding and worst case scenarios were flying through my head. I hurried down the hall, peeking into rooms and asking every friend I passed if they had seen him. Nothing. I reached the main hall and told a lady at the front desk that we couldn’t find Wyatt. She radioed for more help. Elevators. Wyatt has always been obsessed with elevators. I rushed toward the elevators in the building, then in the parking garage. He wasn’t there.

Fountain! I had told him we were going there next. As I headed out the front doors, there he was, walking back across the street with an unknown lady holding his hand. Tears of relief began to form in my eyes as I scooped him up. Then the fear sank in. He had crossed a downtown Dallas street, by himself. My husband and I were shaken to our core.

That night, after he fell asleep, I knelt beside his bed to pray. My worrisome heart prayed and gave Wyatt to God. I knew this would not be the last time Wyatt wandered off. The only thing I could do was submit Wyatt to God’s will. I prayed for his protection and safety. I prayed for God to remove the overwhelming fear from my heart and replace it with peace. Not just peace, but the Peace of God.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

About the Writer:
Meghan is a former art teacher who feels blessed to now be a stay-at-home mom to her two boys. She loves volunteering at her sons’ school and with the First Baptist Dallas Women’s Ministry and First Impressions Team. She is passionate about art, cooking, working out, and playing volleyball.

The Path to Peace

Do you often find yourself feeling frazzled, wishing that you could find a peace for a few moments? Our lives are constantly bombarded with the demands of others. We live in a society where media of all types beckons for our attention. We long for peace but we struggle to find it.The Path to Peace

Do you want your home to be peaceful? You have to work to create peace in your home, but it probably is not the kind of work that immediately comes to mind. Creating peace in our lives is not about our work but about allowing God to work and being still before Him.

Philippians 4:6-7 says: Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

The first step to creating peace is to put God in the proper place in your life. If we spend time with Him on a daily basis, reading and studying His Word and sharing our requests with Him, we are on the path to creating peace. We must allow God to be God and to follow the priorities that He sets out for us rather than giving in to the roar of the world that beckons us.

We as women are planners and project managers. We can juggle multiple things at once and make it look easy. We love being in control and being good managers of our lives and our homes, but sometimes our desires for control get in the way of trusting God and allowing Him the control that He desires to have in our lives.

Proverbs 16:9 says: The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.  If we understand that God planned our days prior to our birth (Psalm 139:16), then we can rest in the fact that His plan is the one we need to follow. When we willingly follow the plans that God has for our lives, we are on the path to peace.

If you truly want the peace of God in your life, you will need to trust Him and allow Him to be God. You will need to refrain from trying to help Him out by pushing your own agenda. You will need to be still and know that He is God.

About the Writer:
Anna leads the W.E. C.A.R.E. team for the Women’s Ministry of First Baptist Dallas, a widow, a mom, a grandmother and grateful to the Lord for giving her opportunities to share with other women in several ministries through First Baptist Dallas.

Peace of God

It was an average Monday morning, I was getting my three kids ready for school and in a quick quiet moment as I dressed the Lord spoke clearly, almost in what seemed an audible way and said, “Whatever happens today, trust Me.” This didn’t freak me out at all, almost to the contrary. Such peace came over me in that moment. It was as if God was giving me a heads up and who doesn’t love that? I knew this day, this moment, was coming because for months the Lord had been preparing me for something. I knew this because I was closely walking with Him daily, all day. Listening to His direction, studying His word and praying, continually praying. What I understood was God’s timing is not my timing and until all of the pieces were in place, I would need to wait until He was ready to show me the next step.

Just then around 10:30a.m., I hear what sounded as if someone was breaking into the house through the garage door. Nobody was home except me, so I came out of my bedroom gripping in my right hand, a large, silver candelabra, yelling out “Who’s there?” At that moment my heart drops when I see his face, and the look in his eyes when he said, “I got laid off.” As my husband and I lock eyes, a peace came over me, recalling the words that had so clearly been whispered into my ear just hours earlier, “Whatever happens today, trust Me.”

Before me stood my husband completely defeated and blindsided; our sole provider, now without a job or a way to support his wife and three kids. As the days have turned into weeks, we are leaning on our true Sole Provider, Christ. The key – we continue to trust God even when everything screams for us to doubt His goodness. The verse that comes to mind each time my faith begins to waiver and my peace waning is:

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13”

PRAYI know during this time our family is without income our faith will be tested, our endurance will grow stronger; and we will have a peace that many will not understand, a peace that surpasses all understanding, which can only come from The Lord.

About the Writer:
Tamie is a stay at home wife and mommy of three kids with autism. She is a member of First Baptist Dallas and enjoys spending time hanging out at home with her family or a quiet dinner with girlfriends. Tamie is passionate about encouraging other woman in their daily walk with the Lord.

Experiencing the Peace of God

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:6-7)  

Have you ever felt the strong sense of peace from God? I can still remember the night my grandfather died, and we were all gathered at his home, my home for the first six years of my life. With my daughters and husband sleeping in a nearby room, and Mom and my aunt resting, being exhausted from the stress of the moment; my cousin and I took the after midnight shift sitting up with “Daddy H” fearfully anticipating the inevitable moment of his death. As we prayed together, his passing was almost unnoticeable, very peaceful yet unforgettable as he went to be with the Father. That night and throughout the following days, His loving grace and supernatural peace surrounded us.

All of us have those moments, negative situations out of or our control, when we feel hopeless, with no place to turn but to Him.  As believers, it is through Him we can experience the peace that surpasses understanding.

If you break apart the verse above, Paul gives us the keys, or steps to obtaining the supernatural peace given to us through the Holy Spirit.

  • Don’t worry about anything. Dr. Robert Jeffress recommends taking a sheet of paper and to make a list of everything you are worried about. Then cross out the word “worry” at the top and write in “prayer”. Or in other words, turn your worry list into a prayer list.
  • Pray about everything, as in the recent movie starring Priscilla Shirer, we should all have a “War Room” in which we can open our hearts in privacy to our Father in heaven.
  • Supplication, ask God or make your requests known, even though He is omniscient and already knows, He wants us to be submissive to His will and ask for His help.
  • Be thankful! Remember all He has provided, and the times in the past He has been near, always anticipating a loving God’s reply.
  • Finally, when we take all these steps, Paul explains the peace of God, through the Holy Spirit, will guard our feelings and thoughts.

In an excerpt from his book, Winning the War with Worry, Dr. Robert Jeffress reminds us how to respond.

Presence of God   “The moment we are faced with a negative circumstance, we can choose to respond in one of two ways:

  • We can choose to worry about the situation, or
  • We can choose to believe God is in control of this circumstance and will take care of us.”

About the writer:
Beverly has been an educator, administrator, and educational sales representative, Sunday school teacher, and mentor; but most importantly is a wife, mother, and grandmother with a passion for sharing Christ.