My name is Janelle Keith and I’m addicted to coffee. I live in Oklahoma with two cats (don’t judge), and my loving husband, Terry. I have a big story of losing 132 lbs. and am wholly devoted to Jesus, my Savior instead of my sweet savior of chocolate. God uses my passion for writing, speaking life and encouragement, plus positive eating habits as He punches through your heart barriers. We are all under His grace and drawn in by His giant love of each one of us. You can connect with me more here: http://www.thejanellekeith.com.
I can’t even begin to describe how God is working in my life recently. In one word…BIG! I tweeted the other day that we needed to “live our lives in such a way that God is big IN us so that others may meet God BIG in theirs.” Because of what God is working big in me, I strive to learn forward by remaining in God.
Sometimes His “big” comes in the smallest of ways. Many times His holy shifting comes in the smallest of sifting.
I think about a baker who has to sift flour for a homemade cake. Flour, for example, is put through a sieve in order to separate the fine flour from the course particles that might have settled in the flour canister. Employers sift through their stack of applications to find the best candidate for the job. A detective examines and sifts through the evidence at a crime scene or lab to bring an arresting conclusion.
Examination of the smallest of habits benefit in some of the most impacting ways. And sometimes a different perspective can add to our understanding of the situation as a whole. A closer look can be most beneficial in getting to a positive result over a negative spiral.
When looking at our own individual places in the world, we have to remember God’s vision for our lives, instead of our limited point of view. We have to remember this is not about us, it’s about God. It’s about living our lives in such a way that we are the Jesus that others meet first. We all have a part in His plans for the world to know Him and to make His name known. Its about God pruning and bearing, about us being fruitful and letting God’s fruit bear through our lives.
But I know how you feel….it feels obscure out here. It feels lonely out there…it feels like you are the only one who is growing in God and the weight of ministry is heaving and sometimes suffocating. It’s feels like it’s unsuccessful and unproductive. That’s when I know I just need to get sifted and remain in a place for God to get a closer look at my responses to what He is doing in the small places. “The key to change is more of the same.” ~ Steven Furtick.
“Remain in Me” says Jesus in John 15.
When I let God put my habits through His sifting then I must endure the process because I know the results are far worth it. If I’m not willing to endure the small I won’t be in position to receive the big, however God defines the “big” in my life. As God prunes the “me” parts, or cuts back at where growth is needed, I will be in position to see His fruit bearing in my branches, or being a place to bear even more fruit. So even in the way I use my time can come under His microscope for further examination.
I let God take an inward look at me to give me a have a better outlook about where He is leading.
This kind of sifting I can get behind. I have learned that whenever I let God align my heart and mind with His, then the divine assignments come along side the gifts that He has created me with. I have to be honest with you. Some days look very different and feel very mundane. I believe that God is bearing fruit through me that I can’t see right now for reasons I don’t need to understand, but for seasons He has already prepared for me.
“So when you ask me what I have been up to lately?” I might pause before I can answer you. God is into the small shifts of “me” thinking to prepare for bigger shifts in the “better” thinking. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram all boast about your latest nail polish color, the most meaningful quote, or the latest appetite craze. What is missing in those latest posts? The small stuff about the spiritual passion, purpose and potential of our souls.
Sifting through God’s Word and letting His inspiration shift through me brings an element of what’s missing to the “me” generation. God has great plans for us, but indeed I have to submit to His greatness in me before I can see His greatness through me.
The “me” inside becomes small and the sifting shifts the inside of me to reflect God’s BIG changes.
It requires letting God take a closer look at the heart, mind and soul through His holy microscope and putting myself under His examination. Interesting that the only scrutiny that matters to me is from God who could never be scrutinized. That’s a shift in thinking that has benefited large by letting God change my appetite from man’s opinion to His loving opinion of me.
It is a travesty when our lives post about us to a world that needs to know Him. It is shameful when our words give credit to humans. Tragic when the world looks at us and only sees us. Instead of being the supporting actors and Jesus being the star, we often get the roles reversed.
“We want to be co-stars instead of co-laborers with the one Bright Shinning Star.” ~ Christine Caine.
Every day habits now include this simple prayer…Lord, You become greater; and let your grace be more becoming through me. What the Bible doesn’t mention is more fields to work in, but Jesus only asks for more workers for the harvest that is waiting for co-laborers instead of co-stars.