Faith Impressions Gel Press

Devotionals

Devotional – Summer 2021

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Summer 2021 Quarterly Devotional

“The Journey of finding Knowledge”

I don’t know about you, but I don’t like NOT knowing things.

That actress in this movie we’re watching look familiar? I Gotta hop on IMDB and see what other movie I know her from.

Watching the Olympics and wonder how many gold medals Simone Biles has versus her next competition? Hello Google.

Because I can’t translate imperial to the metric system? SEARCH: How many miles in an 8k race?

You get my point.  

And maybe you are like me.

The very act of NOT knowing something leads me into a sense of unease and sometimes borderline panic.

For me, it stems from childhood trauma. Of moving 13 times between birth and high school graduation and the feeling of never having a firm foundation.

 For you, like my daughter, it might stem from a simple hormonal imbalance.

No matter where the root comes from, it can be so easy to allow this “need to know or else” mentality to seep into our relationship with Christ.

The “Mystery” of God

There are many references to God and his plan being called a “mystery” {Romans 11:25, 1 Corinthians 2:7, Ephesian 5:32, 1 Timothy 3:16} and it can be so easy to read that word “mystery” and give up.

I mean… the very meaning of mystery is something that “remains unexplained or unknown.”

BUT… if we look at the verses and words that surround the word mystery, we see that it is not meant to be used in the same way as the traditional definition {bold added for emphasis}:

  • Romans 11:25 says “ I want you to understand this mystery, dear brothers and sisters so that you will not feel proud about yourself.”
  • 1 Corinthians 2:7 “ No, the wisdom we speak of is the mystery of God – his plan that was previously hidden, even though he made it for our ultimate glory before the world began.
  • Ephesians 5:32 says “This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ, and the church are one” but if we back up one verse, the “mystery” referred here is explained in verse 31 “As scripture says a man will leave his father and his mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united in one.
  • 1 Timothy 3:16 “without questions this is the great mystery of our faith, Christ was revealed in a human body, and vindicated by the Spirit. He was seen by angels and announced by nations. He was believed in throughout the world and taken to glory in heaven.”

In every instance here, the mystery is explained.

What does that tell us?

God wants us to HAVE understanding and not live in fear of the unknown.

His “mysteries” are not meant to be goodness hidden from us, but rather a chance to stand in awe of his amazing power and plan as we grow closer to him.

Easier said than done…right?

After living most of my life in the realm of anxiety and panic, I know it is not an easy switch to flick off and just “magically” be ok with not having all the answers.

It takes practice and daily choosing steps to gaining knowledge.

And knowledge goes a long way to releasing the fear and panic that can take root in your heart during times of the unknown.

Psalm 34:4 says, “I sought the Lord and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.”

FIRST…. ASK

It all starts with an ask.

Ephesians 1:17 says “Asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God.”

Did you know that studies show that the average 4-year-old asks 200-300 questions a day? {and all the parents say “oh yeah… I believe that! LOL}

Why do they ask so many questions? Because they are taking an ACTIVE role in their own learning.

The same should go for us in our faith. We are CHILDREN of God, and we need to be taking an active role in growing our faith. We can’t just rely on our pastor on Sunday to keep us fed and happy.

As a long-distance runner, I cannot rely on the food I ate yesterday to sustain me through the race today. No… I must constantly be taking in calories, or I will not survive the race.

How do I know how many calories to eat?

I did the research. I asked the questions. I did the math.

I took an active learning role in making sure that I survived that 40 miles.

Too often we live in a place of fear when it comes to asking God questions. Like somehow it taints our faith to have questions.

But did you know…even Jesus questioned God!

Look at Mark 15:34. When Christ was hanging on the cross, preparing to release his spirit back to heaven for all the sins of the world, he says these words: “My God, My God, why has thou forsaken me?”

With one of his last breathes he asked God “why?”

Here is the question I want you to ask yourself: if the person who is the poster child for Christianity had a moment of questioning, why can’t I?

Second…TEST

When we are in a season of learning and building faith, it can be easy to rush the process and think we are learning when we really aren’t.

It’s because our brain is wired to see new evidence as confirmation of existing beliefs or theories. It’s called confirmation bias.

A perfect example is when you are thinking about buying a new car and you are thinking of getting, say, a Toyota Sequoia (that’s what I drive!) Once you start leaning towards that IDEA of the Sequoia, your brain will bring that visual to the top of your subconscious and you will start to see Sequoias as you have never seen before.

Your brain is trying to “confirm” your “bias” that the Sequoia is the right choice by making you see things that have always been there, but you never noticed before you started thinking about buying one.

And too often, that happens to us when we are seeking Godly wisdom.

We are asking God for wisdom and direction, so we begin to see everything around us as evidence for or against, depending on which way we were leaning to begin with.

Solomon says it the best in Proverbs 18:17 “The first to speak in court seems right- until the cross-examination begins.”

Everything that is related to your situation is not evidence. It is not the answer.

Understanding the difference is called “discernment” meaning “to perceive by sight or some other sense or by intellect.”

Discernment sometimes means-testing what is coming your way to see if it lines up with what God is actually saying.

1 Thessalonians 5:19-21 says “Do not stifle the Holy Spirit. Do not scoff at prophecies. But TEST {bold added} everything and hold on to what is good.”

My pastor has recently been doing a series on hearing the voice of God and gave us 3 “tests” you should put decisions through on your way to discerning whether or not they are from God:

  • Does it line up with the Bible? God will never contradict himself so if it is contrary to scripture, it fails the test.
  • Does Godly counsel agree? Not every decision needs to be brought to others, but when you are in the midst of heavy decision-making Godly counsel can be a sounding board and a source of wisdom that you don’t currently have.
  • Do you have peace? This one can be the hard one because it’s difficult sometimes to know if it’s a lack of Godly peace in a situation or if it’s earthly fears/nerves you are feeling. That is where the other 2 tests come into play.

Still unsure? Throw out the fleece-like Gideon.

In Judges 6, Gideon is called by God to lead his people into battle, and he is freaked out and can not find peace. He is full of earthly panic.

He asks God for a sign… in the morning to make this fleece damp with dew and the floor around it completely dry. God does the miracle…Gideon should be good, right?

Nope. In Judges 6:39 he literally says “Do not be angry with me. Let me ask just one more request. Allow me one more test with the fleece, but this time make the fleece dry and let the ground be covered with dew.”

And. God. Did. It.

Like we talked about in the “ask” step, God isn’t offended by our questions and requests.

Sometimes the noise of the world is so loud that it is hard to hear God speaking.

God gave Gideon 2 positive answers to his tests, but notice after that, Gideon didn’t test God again. He took God at his word from there on out.

As we move through tests and find answers it becomes easier and easier to hear the voice of God and we begin to question and test less because he have already seen his faithfulness and we know he will do it again.

HOWEVER…A WORD OF CAUTION….

Yes… God answered Gideon’s test when he answered, but instant answers aren’t always going to happen.

Why?

James 4:3 says “when you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with the wrong motives”

Keep that in mind when you are throwing your proverbial fleece before the Lord… why are you testing the Lord? Is it actual uncertainty or is it you already have the answer, but you just want another one?

Third… Patience

The ugly word of humanity.

None of us want to wait. It’s not fun and the feeling of limbo can throw off the whole equilibrium of our lives.

I mean… I have a little device in my pocket that can tell me just about everything I want to know in just a few short clicks.

A comedian once said this “There use to be a time when we just didn’t know things and we had to be ok with that. Now we can find information so fast that knowing and not-knowing are the same. We will never know the thrill of finding out the answer to a long-awaited question.”

Pretty accurate right?

Think of those old-school cameras. The ones where you had to send the film off to be developed (for those young ’uns reading this… yes… that used to be a thing!) You waited in anticipation to see how your pictures came out.

There was no “taking 20 pictures to get one good one” because those prints and film got expensive real fast! You had to sit in the unknown and wait and hope.

The same goes for us sometimes when we are waiting for wisdom and knowledge.

We must sit and wait and hope.

Solomon wrote in Proverbs “Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly.” And while the “unknown” might not always lead you to anger, it can lead you to other negative emotions like fear, distrust, depression, loneliness, resentment, and a feeling of being overwhelmed.

The only way to fight those emotions is to find peace in the unknown. To say to God “I don’t know, and you haven’t told me yet, but I am going to go on with my life in hope and faith until you do.”

The famous Russian author Leo Tolstoy wrote in his epic novel War and Peace “The two strongest of all warriors are these- time and Patience.”

The battle for our minds requires time and patience as we wait upon the Lord to answer us or respond to our tests.

And as we wait, we can’t let the waiting become the focus of our lives. To hold us hostage to that decision in the waiting.

We have to learn to function, grow, and move forward in the waiting.

That sometimes means making changes to our lives so that we can find peace in the waiting.

Maybe changing your friend group.

Maybe changing who you follow on social media.

Maybe it’s changing what you read or what you watch for entertainment.

If you are single and desperately wanting to get married, decide whether watching all those gushy Hallmark movies is doing you more harm than good.

If you are desperate for children, but it isn’t happening for you right now, is watching “Baby Story” on TLC feeding your peace or feeding your fear?

If your marriage is in jeopardy, is the group of divorcees the healthiest group of people for you to hang out with?

These are only questions you can answer, and they are hard ones, but if you really want peace in the waiting, you must fight for it.

Ask. Test. Patience.

Seems simple enough, right?

I wish.

A workout YouTuber I watch said once, regarding weight loss, “Just because it’s simple doesn’t mean it’s easy.”

Yes. The simple steps of weight loss are to eat less and move more, but the nuances of how that fits into your personal situation and life and health make it not easy.

The same goes for searching for wisdom and knowledge in our daily Christian walk.

Yes, ask. Yes, test. Yes, have patience, but none of these are always easy to do in the whirlwind of the storm of human emotions and interaction with the rest of humanity.

It takes intentional thought and intentional action.

Journaling Questions

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  1. Have I allowed lack of knowledge to lead me to place of negativity, like anger, fear, distrust, depression, loneliness, resentment, and a feeling of being overwhelmed?
  2. Why am I testing God? Is it because I know the answer, but don’t like it, or do I truly need confirmation?
  3. Have I sought Godly counsel? If no, why not?
  4. Am I OK in the “not-knowing?” If yes, what does that feel like? {write it down to use as a faith builder later!} If no, what needs to change for me to find peace in the waiting? {maybe it’s the friends I am with, maybe it’s what I am reading/watching, maybe it’s who I follow on social media}
  5. Do I ask God the hard questions? If no, why? What do I have to fear by doing so?

*PROJECT* 

Materials

  • Faith Impressions by Keri Sallee for Gel Press – Border Plate
  • Gel Press Impressables – 7in Square in Square
  • Gel Press 4in Economy Brayer
  • Amsterdam Standard Acrylics Paint {Primary Magenta, Turquoise Green, Greenish Yellow & Oxide Black}
  • Brother P-Touch Laber Printer
  • Dylusions Spray Ink (White Linen)
  • DecoArt Media – Shimmer Mister (Yellow)
  • Gelly Roll – Sakura (White)
  • Interleaved Journaling Bible

Steps:

  1. Start by Gathering Your Supplies!
  2. Add your favorite colors is three dots on your Faith Impressions Gel Press border plate.
  3. Blend the colors however you like! I like to use my brayer out my colors individually, cleaning my brayer in between each color, and then do a few finishing swipes to add a little blend.
  4. Next, grab your favorite Gel Press Impressable or another texture maker! I am using the 7 in “Square in Square” Impressable. To create texture and add color at the same time, I use my Gel Press Brayer to apply Oxide Black Amsterdam paint to my Impressable and then press it into my wet paint on my border plate.

TIP: A Gel Press plate make a great palette for braying out paint to transfer!


To make it easier to place into the seam of my Interleaved Bible, I removed my border plate from my acrylic block and pressed it down onto my blank page.

One stripe done!!

I repeated these steps 2 more times to create my background, making sure to mix up the order of my colors so that I didn’t end of with horizontal stripes of the same colors. 

TIP: A quick and easy way to make a title for any project is to use a label maker!!

Now to add a few finishing touches! I added a few splatters of White and Yellow Spray Ink.

To finish the page off and give it a little “pop” I took a white Gelly Roll pen and added highlight lines to the black lines of my background and around my title.

AND WE ARE FINISHED!!! 

Thanks for joining me today!!

You can continue the journey with us by joining our Facebook Groups and following us on Instagram! {info below}

XOXO

KERI

Faith Impressions Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/gpfaithimpressions/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gelpress1

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/gelpress

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