Press Into His Presence!

Cindy Gunter RushtonWhat are you looking for? What do you really want? Do you know?

God offers us exactly what we have been craving!

We search for it in soooo many places and end up empty, burn-out, used, abused, tired, weary, lost. If that is not enough, the enemy knows what God offers and the satisfaction we would find in that. His greatest work is setting up counterfeits to lure us away from all God has for us.

Today, the call is to turn our eyes away from that lure…to stop searching everywhere but that place where we already know we will find what we really want–In His Presence…and to press into His presence! His sweet, sweet presence!!

In His presence, we find all we are looking for! In His presence, we can stop our frenzy pursuit of stuff, fame, education, notoriety, position, possessions. Without His presence, these things vie for our attention and lure us away to a life that is less than God’s very best. We miss the power. We miss the provision. We miss the healing. We miss the love, acceptance, peace, joy, satisfaction. These are all here before us waiting for us to enjoy. They are awaiting us in lavish portions!

Today, God is gently calling us to come apart, taste and see how very very good He is. He wants to be and become all you will ever need. Everything! EVERYTHING! Everything we will ever need!

Come to Him! Then…watch out for what He has in store for you!! Seek FIRST the Kingdom of God (God’s design, God’s way of doing things, god’s lifestyle, God’s culture, God’s atmosphere, God’s presence, God’s provision, God’s healing, God’s rule/lordship) …and ALL THESE THINGS WILL BE ADDED UNTO YOU!

Today, press past the lesser…the lure…the limits…grasp on to all that Christ died to give you!!

Time to Soak…Time to Slow Burn!

Cindy Gunter Rushton

Feel something tugging at your heart and soul? Feel a gentle nudge to a great unknown? Feel on the brink of something you have never known?

God is calling you into a time of soaking, slow soaking… but beware–the enemy wants it too! You are standing at a fork in the road. Your choices completely determine what lies around the bend.

God wants for you to soak in His Spirit and turn Him loose to burn in all areas of your life–heart, soul, relationships, self, stuff, work, ministry. He wants completely access with no areas closed off from Him. He wants to do a great work. That great work requires a season of soaking in the Spirit and letting Him get to the deep places that have been blocked off from Him. That great work requires a season of releasing Him to burn away all that is holding you back from the greatness that is your calling, your life purpose, and ultimately, your destiny!

God wants you to soak…to bask…to enter into a slow burn.

Satan does too. He wants for you to put yourself into all of the wrong things. He wants you busy with the mundane. He wants you tired and weary from the busyness of a lot of very good things. Good, but wrong things! He will work on you slowly…slowly soaking in, slowly burning into the depths of your being. Small compromises. Small compromises that are slowly burning you and burning you out. Small compromises that are slowly soaking in deep into your spirit and soul. Bit-by-bit until he has got you!  The chains have you bound and you have no idea how to break free.

But God!

God is calling you home! God is calling you into His arms. He desires for you to run into His open arms and just fall in! Rest! Be still! BE! Soak. Let Him burn away all that must go…

…the pain

…the heartache

…the disappointments

…the rejection

…the abandonment

…the loneliness

…the anger

…the bitterness

…the unforgiveness

…the brokenness

…the mourning

…the counterfeit

…the fake and unreal

…the ashes

…the heaviness

…the grief

…the ruins

…the desolation

…the shame

…the guilt

…the fear

…the condemnation

…the poverty

…the affliction

…the depression

…the despair

Yes! He is calling you to let His fire burn!

Burn!

Burn away pain!

Burn away heartache!

Burn away disappointments!

Burn away rejection!

Burn away abandonment!

Burn away loneliness!

Burn away anger!

Burn away bitterness!

Burn away unforgiveness!

Burn away brokenness!

Burn away mourning!

Burn away all counterfeits!

Burn away fake!

Burn away all unreal!

Burn away ashes!

Burn away heaviness!

Burn away grief!

Burn away ruin!

Burn away desolation!

Burn away shame!

Burn away guilt!

Burn away fear!

Burn away condemnation!

Burn away poverty!

Burn away all affliction!

Burn away depression!

Burn away despair!

And…just soak! 

Soak!

Soak in healing!

Soak in peace!

Soak in joy..deep, abiding, true joy!

Soak in wholeness!

Soak in freedom and liberty!

Soak in comfort!

Soak in consolation!

Soak in beauty!

Soak in praise!

Soak in purpose!

Soak in hope!

Soak in redemption!

Soak in resurrection!

Soak in God’s glory!

Soak in strength!

Soak in justice–God’s justice!

Soak in truth!

Soak in righteousness!

Soak in pardon!

Soak in grace!

Soak in love!

Mourning days are over! You are entering a sweet, sweet place! A place without distraction or diversion. A place of abiding. A place of abundance.

Hear Him beckoning… “Come to Me,” says the Lord. “I have a sweetness in the land for you to taste and you will taste and see that I am good. Pull aside to be with me. Pull aside to be ONE with Me. Pull aside to be intimate with me alone and I will do a work in you — a work of beautiful. Feel it. Feel it now. It is sweet. You will find all that you have been looking for IN ME! No cheap substitutes. No counterfeits! You will find me! I will never leave you or forsake you. I will watch out for you. I will never hurt you or betray you. I am the One you have been looking for. I will satisfy.”

Mourning days are over! Depression days are over! Get back up! Get back up again! What was dead is now alive. Your very best days are ahead.

Character that is Not Counterfeit

Cindy Gunter RushtonCharacter. Godly character. There is a lot of talk about character. There is even a lot of ACTION about character. There are even full curriculum and businesses developed around the topic of character.

We so want it. But!

The problem with that is that character is not something we can just “put on”. It is not good behavior. Character is not a checklist or a wall chart. Character is not a discipline or a work that we can do for the Lord or others. Those are all counterfeits of the real thing.

True godly character is the nature of God flowing through us. We work and work with disciplines and things we think we can DO, trying to have qualities of good character but it is sooo much bigger than that.

True godly character only comes when we allow God full access to every area of our life. It only happens when we allow HIM to flow in and through us. It only happens when we surrender to the complete conformity and transformation that God has to offer…that “entire renewal” of our minds that we see in Romans 12: 1-2 (Amplified)…

I appeal to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].

The Message Version says it like this…

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

Love it! This is what we really want–change from the inside-out. That is real change. That is real godly character.

Of course, this is also the tough part for those of us who think we can make it happen ourselves. We may SAY we don’t think like this but our actions show what we really think and believe. We have to let go and let God loose to do what only He can do. This requires a work that starts on the inside and works through every “room” of our heart and soul. It requires of each of us a total sacrifice every single day of everything inside and outside. It requires that we let God loose to do that sweet, sweet work that He wants to do inside of us.

It can’t happen when we are working, working, working to make it happen ourselves in that pursuit of godliness. It can’t happen when we have compromise and “pet sins” ruling and reigning in our lives. It is that place where we realize we can’t live the life we want apart from total surrender to the Lord of lords and total renewal of our minds. That means soaking in His Word and letting His Spirit access every area of our lives to do his great work in us.

When we dare to let Him loose, we will become the real, authentic, contagious godly men and women we desire to be and not settle for anything less. Only then can we be all He designed for us to be. That is that sweet place where we truly HAVE godly character. Character that is no longer a counterfeit.

A Matter of Priority

Cindy Gunter RushtonOh! Why can’t I get around to working out? And, planning my meals? And, resting? Why is there such a battle?

Sure, I INTEND to get around to it. Boy, do I INTEND. But, how does it get from an idea, an intention and get ait into my lifestyle?

Well, looks like there is one big key–it is a matter of priority!

I know how to stick to my priorities. I know how to get things done. I am really good at it. But what do you do when you have neglected something as vital as getting fit and healthy? And, neglected it for over 18 years? How do you get going again? How do you make it happen? How do you get out of your comfort zone? How do you get out of the “default setting” that keeps you stuck? Those have been my questions the past few months.

Relate?

Boy, this is the story of my life! A story that I want to change. A story that needs a new dialogue…a new background…a new plot!

I really don’t think that is possible without some hard, deep, and relentless work! It is going to take uprooting those deep roots that take me back to default. It is going to take more than another resolution–it is going to take transformation! Transformation from the old-Cindy to the new-Cindy. Transformation spirit, soul AND body!

Where does that even begin? Well, for me, I think that begins with getting real with myself and asking (and answering honestly), “Is THIS a priority?” Yup! That is a perfect place to begin!

I can SAY that I want to get fit and healthy. I can also add my goal to my big list of things to do. I can plan my healthy meals. I can set my bed-time at a decent hour. BUT, none of this is going to happen if this is not a real priority–a non-negotiable priority!

Let’s face it, I DO what I really believe in.
I MAKE it happen.
It gets done.
It is non-negotiable.
I am intentional.
It gets on the agenda.
It happens regardless of anything going on around me.
There are NO EXCUSES that can derail it!

So, if I am going through day after day or week after week or month after month or year after year and I NEVER make time to get fit and healthy, what is really going on? You know, don’t you? It is NOT a priority for me. It is still an option. It is a “nice” thing to do…some day. It is a wish. It is a fluttery feeling in my stomach. But it is NOT a priority for me.

If it has not made it to the to-do list…
If it hasn’t made it to the schedule…
If it has just taunted me..
If it has made me feel guilty, condemned, and full of shame…
If it is just another failed resolution…
Is it REALLY a priority?

Do you see it? I imagine that you can answer that one very easily. I imagine that you can see the problem clearly. By now, you are probably screaming out–DO IT GIRL! The answer is clear. The plan looks obvious. But…

How about you?
Do you relate?
Have you been wanting to do it but there is always SOMETHING else?
Or, maybe YOUR THING is something completely different…

…Writing that book
…Getting out of debt
…Stepping out with that business
…Dating again
…Getting back in church
…Reading your Bible daily
…Getting your education
…Remodeling your home
…Reaching for that goal…that dream…that resolution
…AND, YOUR THING!!

It is June. One of those resolutions still not a reality? Nagging at you? Got that sick feeling in your gut? Feeling like all of the sudden I am picking on you?

Well, take a few moments and ask yourself, “Is THIS a priority?”

Ready to step it up? Ready to make it happen? Ready to finally crush it? Today is the day of NEW beginnings. No more settling for default. No more letting the days…weeks…months…and years slip by. No more regret. Today is the day to step up and step out. Today is the day to make that thing a priority, a non-negotiable priority. After all, sit is all as simple as a matter of priority.

Let’s rock it!

What’s Your Next Step???

Cindy2015It is a brand new year!

Are you moving strong…or, still stuck?

Are you ready…or, are you a bit reluctant?

Busting at the seams to kick off your New Year…or, are you just sick at the thought of yet another year?

Reaching your resolutions…or…are they already a bust?

Are there things that you would really like to see changed by January 2013? TODAY is the day to make that commitment! If you sincerely want to see change, you have to begin today!

Sunday was a MILESTONE. Did you miss it? It is not too late! Pull away for a bit today. Set your resolutions. Set reachable resolutions.

1. Start with an honest evaluation!

Where are you?
Are you where you want to be?
What do you want?
What do you need?
What is it going to take to get where you want to be?
Are there things that you want to see changed?

Don’t get locked into the same old, same old repetive behaviours. Don’t get stuck in the same old rut. If we are not moving forward, reaching for resolutions, goals, and dreams, we are not living the life that Christ died to give us. Where are you now?

2. Set goals!

Today, set a goal! It is your NEXT STEP. You may not be able to get where you want to go TODAY…or this week…or this month…or even this year. However, don’t let that keep you stuck in a rut!

Today, look at where you want to go. Get a vision! Can you reach it? Do you believe that you can? Well, set goals, steps, to get there. Don’t think it is possible? Well, ask yourself–what IS possible? What do you think you CAN DO? Let’s set goals to get moving toward that! Don’t let yourself get stuck! Set goals that will make your proud!

Test your goals all along the way– is it….

  • Small–Small enough to reach with ONE STEP? Baby steps?
  • Clear–Can you see how to get there or is it still FUZZY? Make sure it is FOCUSED!
  • Purposeful–We must have PURPOSE or otherwise we will fail, fade out, give in to excuses, get distracted, quit, go astray, procrastinate, get off track and misdirected, and GET STUCK!
  • Actionable–A goal that you CAN and WILL dare to take action, massive action, to accomplish NOW. Not a wish. Something that you are READY TO DO.
  • Specific–What, why, and by when? Describe it? Be specific about what you want, why you want it, when you want it done! BE SPECIFIC–the more specific the more likely you will be to reach it!
  • Definable–It isn’t a goal unless you can define what you want. Otherwise, it is just a WISH.
  • Definitive–Get an idea of when you can accomplish it! Set a deadline! No more maybe’s or someday’s. Let’s set a date! Let’s set a deadline of when you can do THIS!
  • Reachable, doable, attainable–No more self-sabotage! Self-sabotage is when we set a goal that we KNOW is just impossible from where we are. We let ourselves down. Then, we get into a place where we don’t believe ourselves any more. Don’t self-sabotage! Set goals that are just out of reach and get moving toward them. You can attain it! You can do it! You can reach it!
  • Realistic–No more pie in the sky goals! Slow down and get realistic! Otherwise, your goals and resolutions will frustrate you and discourage you. You will LOSE your motivation! Let’s set smaller, REAL goals.
  • Measurable–Be EXACT and VERY SPECIFIC about what you want! You need to be able to measure it. Otherwise, you won’t know what is neeeded. Also, you will never know when you have got there!
  • WRITTEN–Write it out! Write it out TODAY! “Goals not in writing are just wishes.” Brain dump! Get those goals out of your head and onto paper! Put them on your calendar. Plan it out–with LOTS OF MARGIN! Put them into your to-do’s each day. Focus on each task until done!

3. Get MOVING!

So many people never even try to reach for their resolutions, goals and dreams.

  • They immediately discard them.
  • They don’t slow down to truly SET THEM.
  • They trip up and quit.
  • They can’t seem to work them in.
  • And, many never get going because they never take that first step.

I have been asking God to show me when I am not moving forward in an area, to help me know that first step, and to give me the power to get moving. That first step is the key! In fact, my preacher said this weekend that the hardest part of working out is “to tie your tennis shoes.” Why? It is that FIRST STEP!

My dear friend, what is that FIRST STEP?

I know it can be scary. I know it can be intimidating. But, today, ask God to show you those areas where you have not been moving forward–building a godly marriage, quiet times, ministering to the hearts of your children, getting out of debt, building a business of your own, getting fit and healthy, getting your home decluttered, etc. Ask Him to show you what He wants for you to do and to show you that first step so you can get up and get moving–He will! Ask him to empower you and give you everything you need as you step out. My sweet friend, HE WILL! Just get started with that first step! GET MOVING!

My dear friend, you have a NEW year ahead of you! It is time for a NEW BEGINNING! Dare to set your resolutions this year. Don’t let this year slip by. You CAN do it! Set those resolutions. Set goals to take you step-by-step toward your resolutions. Keep them before you. MOVE OUT! Celebrate your victories all along the way! You will reach your resolutions one step at a time–what is your step today?