How to Enjoy the Journey

Holidays are some of my favorite days because regardless of what holiday we’re celebrating they always end up being days centered around family as well. Father’s Day is always a favorite because well, I love being a dad! Honestly it’s one of the best things in the world! I love being there when my kids wake up and I love laying them down to sleep. I love just watching them, listening to them, spending time with them. I love sharing moments together and making memories with them.

Last years Father’s Day started something like this…when I woke up I was showered with gifts! Specifically two different kinds of gifts.

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Are you really connected or have you bought a lie?

In a world that advertises it’s so connected through technology and social media I would argue that we have never been so unconnected before! Sure innovation has given us some amazing capabilities and brought some pretty sweet new tech but it has also stolen so much from us and we’ve allowed it to! How many lives have been taken because drivers are busy texting and not paying attention to the road? How many marriages have ended in divorce because of feeling unloved, not valued or not paid attention to? It starts with something small but it builds and builds until they become non responsive. Think about it, how many times does your wife have to call your name when you’re watching a football game or how many times did your wife not hear what you were saying because she was focused looking at her phone? How often have your kids not listened because they were on their devices (and have you’re kids learned this from you)? The problem is real! Sure we can easily point the blame but the problem isn’t the new technology, the problem stems from the human heart. It’s so easy for us to get distracted, forget what’s most important in life and cruise on autopilot living life but really just going through the motions…

Don’t settle with going through the motions, don’t live life half heartedly – not really present in the moment, for that is no kind of life at all! Too many have believed the lie that, “I’m multitasking” or “I’m getting more done!” Are you? Are you really? When’s the last time you REALLY connected in conversation with another soul? (It doesn’t happen when our minds are on other things).

I’ve done it before, in person and on the phone. There’s times I’ve had to ask friends and family members to repeat themselves because I wasn’t really listening the first time (I was too busy being distracted and often times those distractions were trivial and meaningless). And so I ask, “Are you trading the most meaningful things in life with those that are meaningless?” May I challenge you today to put your phone down, shut the TV off, stop daydreaming and really listen and engage with the people close to you today. People know when they’re getting your full attention and they know when they’re not! Life is too short to waste, so don’t waste it being busy and please don’t waste it by not really being present around those who desperately need you to be present!

It’s what the Apostle Paul talked about, we can do a whole lot of great things in life but if we don’t have love we have nothing! There is a more excellent way and it is the way of love! I feel most loved by people who listen to me, you know what I mean, people who know you, listen to you and love you! These people are gems! They’ve nailed one of the greatest commandments, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” They’ve discovered that life is all about relationships (especially with those right in front of you)!

A quote that often comes to mind is this, “Wherever you are, be there!” I believe this is true worship! When I read scriptures like “Whatever you do, do it ALL for the glory of God” or “Whatever you do or say, do it ALL in the name of the Lord Jesus” it confirms it! Jesus said the greatest commandment was to “Love the Lord your God with ALL your heart, soul, mind and strength!” Do you see what God is saying to us in all these verses? There is a more excellent way, it is the way of love and love listens, love engages, love responds, in whatever love does it gives everything it has, it uses ALL of the heart! And so I challenge you today, wherever you are be there! Whatever you have to do, do it (with ALL your heart)! For when we begin to make this our daily practice we begin to experience ALL that God has intended for us. Let’s experience ALL that God has for us, let’s fully enjoy our closest relationships, let’s use ALL our heart, let’s be, “All in!”

Blessings,

John

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10

(Scriptures referenced: 1 Corinthians 10:31, 13:1-8, Colossians 3:17, Mark 12:30-31)

For more on this topic click here to watch a short video.

 

PS I would be remiss if I didn’t share with you the regular encouragement I send out each week. If you would like to be encouraged regularly then subscribe to receive my devotionals via email @ http://www.johnsilkauskasministries.com/about/

Goodbye Guilt

Last week I stayed at my sisters house in Ohio for a couple days while visiting. I loved every minute of it being with family (even the early wake up calls from my beautiful niece and nephew). Every time I walked by their entry way I noticed this wonderful piece of Art (actually created by my sister) which read,

“No guilt in life, no fear in death—

This is the power of Christ in me;

From life’s first cry to final breath,

Jesus commands my destiny.”

I’ve always loved this song (In Christ Alone) but I really loved this verse and that it was in the center of her house for all to see! I can imagine ten years from now when her children are teenagers and the Holy Spirit brings these truths to remembrance to help them in times of trouble or twenty five years from now when they’re singing this verse over their own children (by the way, never underestimate the power of truth and love that is sown into the heart of a child)!

Well, ever since I read that it’s stuck with me! God has brought it to my attention everyday sometimes two to three times a day! And at the same time I’ve also felt guilt for no apparent reason (condemnation and false accusations from the enemy). Not only that, I’ve picked up on the feelings of guilt from others. It’s like fear and guilt are in the air.

So, I want to speak to these things right now (so if you’re feeling fear or guilt and know others who are as well I kindly ask that you will agree with me in prayer). “God, I speak to the lies of fear and guilt that the enemy is sowing and right now in Jesus name I take authority over them! They have no place in the hearts of your children. Rather in place of those things I speak joy and peace! I pray that our hearts will overflow with your love and goodness. Bring a confidence in knowing that we are loved, forgiven and saved! Who the sons sets free is free indeed and God we are free! Thank you Lord, and it’s in Jesus name we pray, amen!”

Remember: No guilt in life and no fear in death!

Blessings,

John

Things I pray daily…

Over the last few years God has put several things on my heart to pray regularly. Well today God put it on my heart to share them with you. These prayers have served me well and have truly blessed me, my family and my circle of influence. My prayer is that you would adopt them into your own prayer life that they may bless and serve you as well.

Oh yeah, one more thing! Many of my prayers are declarations (formal announcements of the beginning of a state or condition). The reason for this is over the years I’ve come to understand that there is great power in spoken faith! Jesus said in Mark 11:23-24, “For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” I want to point out two very important things: first Jesus taught us to speak directly to our mountain (problem or situation) and second Jesus taught us to believe as if we’ve already received what we’re believing for. Therefore when I pray, I often speak directly to my circumstances AND many times I also pray with a thanksgiving as if God has already done what I’m thanking Him for.

Things I pray daily:

  • God, thank you for your favor
  • Thank you for a greater influence in people’s lives
  • Thank you for increase in favor, intimacy, ministry, opportunity, provision, joy and peace
  • Thank you for blessing my family and creating a hunger within us for more of you
  • Thank you for blessing my family with divine health
  • I take authority over everything that is coming against me and my family in Jesus name!
  • I speak to any and all debt be paid in full! Be cancelled and dissolved in Jesus name!
  • Thank you for the spirit of wisdom and revelation for me and my family
  • Thank you for the ministry you’ve given to me, draw every heart that this ministry reaches closer to you Jesus

These are just a few of the prayers I pray often. Besides praying these and others I often listen to what the Spirit is saying and pray as He leads me. I also take time to simply rest in God’s presence and allow Him to love on me and wash over me. This is how I stay encouraged and refreshed. And it is through what I’ve mentioned above and the grace of God that these things have come to pass and are coming to pass. It’s through my personal walk with God that has caused me to grow in my faith and identity as His beloved son. And as I’ve grown in these revelations, God has given me authority to speak into other people’s lives so that the more I grow the more I see the many others grow as well.

I pray this blesses you today (and the next time you pray).

Blessings!

John

What God Has Been Saying To Me Lately

I’ve walked with the Lord for over fifteen years now, I’ve experience accelerated growth in my walk with Him in different seasons and there have also been times where I’ve felt stagnant in my walk with the Lord. Today I write to you to share what the Lord has been teaching me over the last few weeks.

Over the last couple years he has been bringing life to the many seeds of His Word that have been sown into my heart over my early years of walking with Him. And over the last few weeks I’ve sensed Him literally breathing life into my Spirit. He’s stirring His promises in my heart and bringing His words to my remembrance. He’s giving me new revelations of who He is, who I am and what He is doing in the earth today.

More than ever before I sense Him calling me to Himself! He is jealous for my time. He desires that I come away and pray. There are times I resist His leadership believing the enemy’s lies that I’m too busy and I have to much to do. But there are other times that I yield to His leadership, I come into His presence and I am filled with peace, joy and purpose. And it is in these times where great revelation flows from heaven to earth, from God’s heart to mine.

So here is what I feel the Lord saying to me in these days:

-Be still and know that I am God

-Rest in my and in my love for you

-Keep doing what you’re doing

-Don’t worry about what’s happening around you, pray and trust me

-Wait on me and I’ll give you instructions

-I am leading you with the promptings of your heart

-Be faithful with all that I’ve given to you

-Do not be afraid, rather be strong and courageous

-Take authority over all that is coming against you and your family

-Use my Son’s name for there is great power and authority in the name of Jesus

-I am preparing you for the days ahead

-Breakthrough is coming

-Step out in Faith

-Bless your family

-Declare my words over every area of your life

-Rise above the many distractions around you

-Trust me, I am raising you up

I share these things with you today to encourage you and I believe many of the things He is saying to me, He is also saying to you. I encourage you to take a moment right now and ask God, “What are you saying to me?” Allow His to speak to your heart and richly bless you today! I’m going to do the same and I’m going to meditate on what He’s already said and continues to say.

Blessings,

John

PS If you’re wanting to read more on this here are two posts on discerning God’s voice Seeking Answers and How God Speaks. And if you’re really wanting to grow in learning to hear God’s voice listen to my Free Audio Course “Hearing God’s Voice”