DianneBarkerDianne Barker here confessing that I sometimes struggle with discouragement. One day while talking with the Lord, I caught myself pouring out my heart about my miserable condition—plagued with a multitude of flaws. I stopped with a jolt. Read More →

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Author, Dianne Barker

Dianne Barker here with encouragement for your journey. Discouragement is a persistent enemy. That’s why I love offering others a sip of nourishment as they travel Perseverance Road.

For most of us, hearing from God isn’t the problem. Our problem is continuing to believe God.

We clearly heard his voice and gladly followed him. And then…the straight path grew narrow and tangled. Exhaustion turned our feet to lead and doubt set up camp.

Lord, is this the road you chose? Did I miss a signpost?

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Author, Dianne Barker

Dianne Barker here with a few words of encouragement. Are you tired of jumping hurdles and pushing past obstacles that seem to impede every step? Here’s an idea. Launch out into the deep and let down your nets!

The Lord told Simon Peter after a disappointing fishing trip, “…Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch” (see Luke 5:1-11).

A crowd had gathered around Jesus by the Lake of Gennesaret to hear his teaching. He got into Peter’s boat and asked him to take it out a little further from the shore. Then he sat down to teach the people.

When he’d finished he told Peter to take the boat out to the deep water and do some more fishing. Peter and his friends were already washing their nets—done for the day.

“Master,” he said, “we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything.” He didn’t argue. He simply stated a fact. His diligent labor had produced nothing.

Go fishing again? The plan seemed absurd…the situation hopeless. With nothing to go on except the word of the Lord, Peter made a decision that, to onlookers, might have seemed irrational.

“Because you say so, I will let down the nets.” He’d try again. Attempt something that appeared unfeasible and impractical. Just because Jesus said do it. He and his buddies caught so many fish that their nets began to brake!

“So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.”

That’s the amazing outcome of obedience.

Are you frustrated, worn out, and downright discouraged because you’ve fished and caught nothing? You’ve trudged through years, devoted to the call of God on your life. Looking back you see little to show for your investment.

Someone whispers, “You’ve done your best, but your work has been unfruitful. Why keep wasting your energy? It’s time to quit.”

I’m familiar with that one-way conversation. It sounds so rational…so convincing. But the one speaking is our enemy—a confirmed liar! Do not give him the time of day!

This place of despair is just the right place for something amazing to happen. Jesus said, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets” (King James Version). Before pushing away from shore…

  • Pray about your dreams—those far-fetched plans of your youth, as yet unfulfilled. Ask the Lord what to pursue to bring him honor. Let his peace guide you.
  • List “starter” steps. And then move forward, one step at a time.
  • Focus on the future, not the past, relying fully on the word of the Lord.

Many years ago the Lord gave me a promise—his plans for my writing and speaking ministry. He didn’t say when this would happen, but the dream kept my faith strong. Life brought so much reality that it seemed my boatload of dreams might sink.

Struggling to keep believing the promise, I looked toward heaven one day and said simply, “What’s next?”

Someone whispered…a plan…specific steps toward the promise he had given long ago! I wrote them down and launched out into the deep–with nothing to go on except the word of the Lord. My boat overflows.

How will you invest the rest of your life? You’ll never know the amazing outcome of obedience until you launch out into the deep and let down your nets.

Dianne Barker is a speaker, radio host, and author of 11 books, including the best-selling Twice Pardoned and award-winning I Don’t Chase the Garbage Truck Down the Street in My Bathrobe Anymore! Organizing for the Maximum Life. She’s a member of Christian Authors Network, Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, and Christian Women in Media. Visit www.diannebarker.com.

 

 

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Author, Dianne Barker

Dianne Barker here…just thinking about my biblical friend Abram.

The Lord had given him huge promises. “I will make you into a great nation…To your offspring I will give this land” (see Gen. 12:2, 7). He kept talking about the future (Gen. 13:14-17), but nothing seemed to be happening. Read More →

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Wrestling the Dream-killer

Author, Dianne Barker

Dianne Barker http://www.diannebarker.com here, wondering…have you wrestled the dream-killer?

Weariness and its family—exhaustion, fatigue, disillusionment—are experts at destroying dreams. Their persuasive whispers can talk us out of doing what we believe God called us to do.

Authors battle weariness on many fronts. We begin a project with enthusiasm but time and trials slay our energy and our expectation.

Who hasn’t felt searing pain when an editor slashed hope of publishing the manuscript we penned in heart’s blood? Who hasn’t stumbled under the weight of marketing demands? Who hasn’t declared, “I give up!”

In such a place, questioning the worth of my work, I heard a soft voice in my spirit. “It’s good and God is in it.” I wrote a note and placed it at my keyboard to keep me focused.

Apostle Paul gave me another boost. “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be firm (steadfast), immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, [always being superior, excelling, doing more than enough in the service of the Lord], knowing and being continually aware that your labor in the Lord is not futile [it is never wasted or to no purpose]” (1 Corinthians 15:58).

Steadfast is one of my favorite words. I found it in 2 Thessalonians 1:4. Paul bragged on the church for their “steadfastness (your unflinching endurance and patience) and your firm faith in the midst of all the persecutions and crushing distresses and afflictions under which you are holding up.”

I found it in Matthew 16:24. Jesus explained to his disciples what following him involved. “If anyone desires to be My disciple let him deny himself [disregard, lose sight of, and forget himself and his own interests] and take up his cross and follow Me [cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to my example in living and, if need be, in dying also].”

I found it in the Hebrews commentary on Moses. “[Motivated] by faith he left Egypt behind him, being unawed and undismayed by the wrath of the king; for he never flinched but held staunchly to his purpose and endured steadfastly as one who gazed on Him Who is invisible” (Hebrews 11:27).

Steadfast. Fixed. Immovable. Unwavering. Never flinching. Holding staunchly to our purpose.

That’s how we wrestle the dream-killer.

Weariness does its most effective work in our thoughts, and that’s where we confront it. When the Lord gives an assignment, here’s our strategy:

  • Respond in obedience, knowing the path may be crooked and rough and our mission threatened by obstacles and detours.
  • Cling steadfastly to Christ, confident He will help us hold up under persecutions and crushing distresses and afflictions.
  • Remain firm in our position, never flinching, holding staunchly to our purpose.
  • Persevere in confidence, knowing in Christ we can abound—be plentiful, thriving, flourishing—for our labor is not wasted.

When you’re facing a rock wall with no way to pass, consider this. The Lord gathered up the waters of the sea so His people could cross on dry land. He fed them manna from heaven and gave them drink from a rock. Never doubt that He can split that stone and make a path for you.

Expect the dream-killer to visit again. But don’t give up. Challenge is dressed in opportunity.

(All Scriptures from The Amplified Bible.)

About Dianne Barker

Dianne Barker is a speaker, radio host, and author of 11 books, including the best-selling Twice Pardoned and award-winning I Don’t Chase the Garbage Truck Down the Street in My Bathrobe Anymore! Organizing for the Maximum Life. She’s a member of Christian Authors Network, Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, and Christian Women in Media. Visit www.diannebarker.com.

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