God's Roadmap

Now may the Lord Jesus Christ and our Father God, who loved us and in his wonderful grace gave us eternal comfort and a beautiful hope that cannot fail, encourage your hearts and inspire you with strength to always do and speak what is good and beautiful in his eyes (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 TPT).

Saturday, February 22, 2020

10 Reasons Multi-tasking Does Not Bring Success

by Barbara Latta
Multi-tasking has become the buzz word for success.  
The more we try to do, the better we think we will appear to an employer, teacher or co-worker. 
The thought that multi-tasking means a person is more successful, intelligent or organized is a myth. 
Here are 10 reasons why multi-tasking does not bring success:

Saturday, February 15, 2020

5 Ways to be Deeply Rooted in the Love of God

by Barbara Latta

We celebrate Valentine’s Day with expressions of love. We give gifts, dinners, chocolate and flowers. But no matter what we do for each other, our love cannot compare to the love God shows to the world. He sent the valentine of heaven to us in the form of Jesus.

God doesn’t deal with us the way we deal with each other.  He doesn’t just display love, He is love. Love is His very being. He created the world because of love.

It’s not supposed to be hard, but our minds get in the way. Every time we mess up we think we need to run from God until we clean ourselves up and become worthy to approach His throne again. But if we could clean ourselves up, we wouldn’t need a Savior. The best place to be after committing sin is in the arms of the Father.

But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more (Romans 5:20b).

As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us (Psalm 103:12).

God’s unconditional love was shown to us while we were still dirty, rotten sinners (Romans 5:8). He showed the one and only kind of real love when he gave Jesus to us as a gift wrapped in a little baby to grow into the man who would have all the foul sin of the world placed upon him.

That was action, not emotion.

Because He loved us, we can love Him (I John 4:10). And because He loved us, we can love others. Not with a feeling, but with a showing, a doing, a becoming what He made us to be.

Here are 5 ways to to be deeply rooted in the love He has for us:
  • Find the scriptures about God’s love and write them down.
  • Meditate on these verses every day saying them out loud. 
  • Make it personal by inserting our own name as they are read.
  • No matter how we feel, it is important to believe the Word is true.  God doesn’t lie and when He says he loves us, it means he loves us. His love is not dependent upon our works. This is important to remember when emotions say otherwise.
  • Stay in communication with Him. When we go days or weeks without praying or reading His Word, the culture we are surrounded with will take over. Listening to God should be our priority.

The Bible is full of favorite verses, but this one says so much:  For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come. Nor height, not depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:39).

The valentine of heaven wasn’t a card sent through an angelic mailbox. It was blood running down a wooden cross to soak into the cursed earth. One drop would have been enough, but He used it all to show us He goes over and beyond and does much more than we need.  He paid the highest cost and we were given the freest gift.

What does this love mean to you? Join the conversation and share your thoughts.

Saturday, February 8, 2020

The Enemy of Compromise

by Barbara Latta

Compromise. It’s one enemy we all face at some point in our lives.
The enemy of compromise

People break their word, fudge a little on taxes, don’t tell the complete truth or go along with the latest craze, even if that craze is destructive, because it’s the cool thing to do. And compromise can go further. It can lead to crime and immorality and start a never-ending spiral of disintegration in life.
Four men from long ago named Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah faced the choice of compromise.

They were young Jewish men who were taken captive by King Nebuchadnezzar when he besieged Jerusalem. These males could have been as young as teenagers when they were taken from their home and families. Their parents may have even been killed. Nebuchadnezzar chose youths in whom was no defect, who were good-looking, showing intelligence in every branch of wisdom, endowed with understanding and discerning knowledge, and who had the ability in serving in the king’s court (Daniel 1:4 NASB).

The king wanted the best of the lot to serve him. He was ruling the entire known world at that time. He ordered the chief of his officials to “teach them the literature and language of the Chaldeans”. The goal was to get the Hebrew culture out of them and indoctrinate these young men into the ways of Babylon. They were given the Babylonian names of Belteshazzar, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Over time the king promoted them to areas of administration over his kingdom.

The king’s ego got the best of him and he created an image of himself made of gold. Every person in the province was commanded to bow and worship the statue when certain music was heard.

Daniel is not present in this story, but his three friends refused to bow to the image of gold and king threw them into a fiery furnace. They had resolved in their hearts they would not sway from their faith in the one true God, even though they were surrounded by an idol worshipping culture and had been taught all its ways.

Their spirit of excellence and faith kept them from compromise because they made the decision at the beginning of their captivity that they would not become like those around them.

God is still God and His mighty power will be shown.
We sometimes miss the cruelty of their situation. They were taken from what was familiar, given food to eat that was against their beliefs, and they were made eunuchs. This means they were castrated. There was no hope of them ever having marriage and a family. It would feel life was over.
But they had a strong faith in God and they resolved to not compromise.

The world has not changed in its anti-god spirit since the beginning of time. Satan’s greatest weapon is doubt, unbelief and compromise. If he can’t get us to totally reject God, he tempts us with compromise because he twists that lie until it doesn’t seem so bad.

But compromise leads to decisions that can cause death in emotions, relationships, finances and spiritual death.

We are faced today with social media, politics, the entertainment industry, advertising and the opinions of other people. All these elements vie for our attention and try to sway us to their way of thinking with the promise of acceptance. If we don’t resolve in our hearts what we will stand for, we are bait for the influence of the world that will draw us away from godly decisions. And isn’t this the goal? To indoctrinate an anti-god system into schools and government, the same way the Chaldeans were doing?

Daniel, Hananiah, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego didn’t compromise. And, yes, they paid a price. Daniel was later thrown into a den of lions and the other three were thrown into a fire. God preserved them and showed His mighty power to King Nebuchadnezzar. But they had decided that even if they were not saved from the physical death they faced, they were still not going to compromise.

Our decisions are the same. Standing strong will bring opposition and persecution. We may not always be rescued in the way we want, but we know that God is still God and His mighty power will be shown.

These Hebrew men are examples to us today of how having an excellent spirit within us that is free of
Babylonian culture enticed compromise
compromise will keep us strong when we face tribulation. In America, we have not faced what they experienced, but there are thousands world-wide who have. Christians are persecuted all over the world because they refuse to bow to compromise and deny their faith. Many are killed.

But Americans are faced with threats and legislation we have never experienced before. Compromise abounds in the education and political system that fights against the freedom to pray, preach and read the Bible in public places. The slimy fingers of compromise have slithered into the pulpit of some churches, and pastors refuse to preach the true gospel for fear of losing church members, offerings and tax statuses.

As individuals, we must decide where we stand. I must ask myself if I will follow in the footsteps of four faithful Hebrew men who refused to give in even when death faced them. I hope I can be as strong as they were with whatever I am challenged with.

But the only weapon any of us have against the enemy of compromise is the Word of God. We can’t be strong without His food, fellowshipping with Him and hearing His instructions.

Compromise is an enemy we all face and we must decide how to handle it.

Please feel free to join the conversation and share your thoughts.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Consistency is the Key to Change

by Barbara Latta

And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not to men knowing that from the Lord you
Consistency is the key to change
will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ
(Colossians 3:23-24 NKJV).

Are you ever frustrated because change in your life avoids you? Do you have hit and miss regularity in tasks, study or goals?

I have struggled with working in consistency for a long time. Maybe I had too many projects, or maybe I was just experiencing lack of discipline. 

One day while reading about laboring to rest in Hebrews, I meditated on that lesson and thought more deeply about God’s rest. Resting means listening, absorbing and turning off everything but God’s Word.

When I rested, I could hear. And what I heard in my spirit was, Consistency is the key.

Consistency is the key? What does that mean, Lord?

Then I remembered that I had been asking Him why my life was filled with so much frustration. It was because I wasn’t disciplined and consistent in anything I was doing. My writing was in bits and pieces, not in a scheduled time like I hear all the successful writing teachers say we should do. Bible reading was when I had time in the morning, or a quick devotion at lunch and the exercise…well let’s just say the treadmill makes a good storage rack.

Consistency and diligence can be twin characteristics. According to the dictionary, consistency is harmony or conduct of practice with profession[1] and the word diligence is defined as steady, earnest and energetic effort: persevering application [2].

My loving heavenly Father was telling me that achievement depended on steadfastness in whatever goal is being pursued. 
Paul lived a life of consistent discipline. Even when he was terrorizing Christians, he never wavered from his goal. His misplaced passion pushed him toward what he thought was a defense of God. After encountering Christ, that same passion was now guided in the right direction. When he was persecuted, he didn’t give in. He didn’t forget the task God had laid upon his shoulders and the world at that time was turned upside down because of his influence. Diligence in his work caused him to write most of the New Testament and his words are still impacting us today.

He wrote from prison. Chains and bonds didn’t stop him. He continued to travel. Shipwrecks and storms didn’t stop him. He was told to keep quiet. Threats didn’t stop him.

He pushed through the hardships of life and pressed toward the prize of the high calling of Christ (Philippians 3:14).

We are all given a high calling from Christ. We are not the Paul’s and Peter’s but we do have a sphere of influence. What we do in our personal lives will spill over into relationships. Constant faithfulness in following Christ and His Words will determine how powerful that impression will be.

The most consistent person who ever lived was Jesus. We have no better example of life and discipline. When people were pulling him in every direction, He still took the time to spend with His Father because it was the most important thing in His life—even when it meant losing sleep and praying all night (Luke 6:12).

If consistency and diligence reign, it’s easier to put priorities in order. When Christ is the most important person in our lives, we can hear what He is saying. Consistency drowns out distractions, strengthens resolve against attacks and builds new habits that can last a lifetime.

The power of consistency has shown me the key to success, and a rewarded life has been my prize.

What have you learned about consistency in your life? Join the conversation and share your thoughts.

This post is an excerpt from my contribution in the Lighthouse Bible Studies compilation, The Power to Make a Difference which is a collection of short Bible studies written by 27 authors. It is available at Amazon and Lighthouse Bible Studies

Visit my Amazon author page here.