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Monday, September 30, 2013

Feelings or Faith


Do you feel down? Do you feel alone sometimes and wonder where God is? “So do not fear,” God promises, “for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10). Even though you may feel deserted and alone, you are not! You can't trust your feelings. They will betray you. But you can trust what God says in His Word. He will not betray you. His truth is rock-solid, and unchanging. He is the same today, yesterday, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). You may feel afraid. God says, “you don't have to be afraid, because I am your God.” You may feel evil battering you. God says, “I will deliver you from all evil.” Then He says something that will cost you something, but in the cost you will find greater faith. He says to look beyond your feelings and step out in faith. “Trust me,” He says, “and don't be afraid.”

Faith will cost you. It will cost you to trust in something that you cannot see or cannot feel (Hebrews 11:1). It will cost you to trust in God's truth over your feelings. Faith is a decision, and when it is made, feelings will one day fall in line with God's promise. That “one day” will come through training your mind, your heart, your very being to believe in God's Word instead of your feelings. It is a battle to be won. Finally on that “one day” you will discover it is easier to believe in God's Word rather than trust how you feel in a moment of time.

Step out in faith today, and give God a sacrifice of praise (Hebrews 13:15). Praise Him for the promise that His truth is greater than how you feel. Decide to believe in His faithfulness. “Trust me,” He says. “don't worry because I am your God. I will strengthen you, and uphold you. You are never alone.” You can trust in Him over everything else. What an incredible promise!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

HELP ME

“I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” Mark 9:24b

This is the cry of my heart. It reveals areas where I lack faith, but it also reveals how my faith has grown. Sounds like a paradox, doesn't it? "I do believe, Lord, yet I need MORE faith to believe." Think about it. As I grow closer to Him, I know Him more, and understand what His power means in my life. But at the same time I am more conscious that I fall short of complete trust in Him. This is the soul's growth. There is increased ability to believe, and then comes a plea for greater faith. It is a cry to overcome all my unbelief. It is a cry for complete trust in Him. My heart's cry is heard, and He answers my prayer with more faith. He also reveals where I still lack in faith, and imparts the power to walk the path that leads, step by step, upwards and closer to Him.

HIS JOY MY STRENGTH


“The joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10b, NIV).

Love the life He gives. Although it is hard at times, it is a life that is filled with the strength of His joy. Fill your life with His joy at every moment. Take it in as you face the things that claim your day. Breathe in His joy until it washes away all that dispels His peace. 

Lift your face to the sun and breathe His presence into every part of your being. Hear Him in the chirping of morning birds and gentle sounds of insects. See Him in the breeze that clips through the branches of the trees. In the quiet of your moments take all of Him into your tired heart. The beauty of the gift of His creation brings healing to your spirit, and His joy to your heart.

Live a heart-closeness with Him. Healing of body, mind, and spirit comes from the joy and strength He has placed within your heart. Seek Him and His joy will bring the strength that is needed in every moment. You will have His strength to rebuke all that comes against His peace in your life. You will spiritually know, beyond any mental ability to understand, that His joy is truly your strength.

Friday, September 27, 2013

He Hears My Cry


“The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry. The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles” (Psalm 34:15,17, (NIV).

At times I feel alone, but I know He is always with me. He knows how much I love Him, and how I yearn to live a righteous life. Although I try to live a life that is worthy of His sacrifice, sometimes I fail. It is in my failure that I realize how little I am without Him. Immediately I run to Him. and know His forgiveness the minute that I ask. I know His redeeming love the moment I cry out.

No one is perfect. But I am called to live a righteous life. It is forever a journey and a commitment. It is forever a sacrifice of my personal feelings to the Savior who sacrificed His life for me. Will I ever be “wholly righteous”? In His eyes, I can be. In my own, I can never be. Whatever lies before me, I surrender all that I can never be for all I can be in Him.

His constant presence always waits for my prayer. He watches closely to see my need, and hear my cry for help. He rescues me from my trouble in the way He has chosen to rescue menot the way that I decide is best to be rescued. Sometimes I don't understand His choice of rescue, but I know it is for my best. When I cry out He either delivers me from trouble or He gives me the strength to overcome what I face. Although it might not seem true at the time, His powerful strength to overcome what I face is also a great deliverance.

I love the old hymn that imparts “His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me!” He more than watches. He delivers me. He saves me. He grows me. He changes me until righteousness is my greatest reward. And that is the greatest deliverance!





Thursday, September 26, 2013

CHOOSE LIFE


“I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days” (Deuteronomy 30:19-20a, NKJ).


We always have decisions to make. We either make them from a positive attitude or a negative attitude. We either make them willingly or grudgingly. We either make them in His will or out of His will. It is our decision, and the outcome not only effects us, but effects others. “Choose life,” Moses declared to the wavering Israelites, “so that you and your descendants may live.” Our decisions either bring blessing and hope or despair and discouragement. Our decisions speak life or death... not only to us, but for generations to come.


How do I know when my decision is right? It is right when it does not compromise the Word, and it does not compromise my heart in Jesus Christ. If I know Jesus Christ and love Him unwaveringly, my heart desires only to do what He wants. I may not know all the specifics of those wants, but He does. “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans” (Proverbs 16:3, NIV). If I commit my decision to the Lord, the outcome will become His. BUT this truth can only be discovered through a surrendered heart which always seeks Him, serves Him, and loves Him above all else.


Surrendering to Him means more in my life instead of less. His control in my life is better than my own, because it empowers me to choose life and be in His will. My control will only bring death. His control speaks life. It is my decision whether He controls my life or not. Today I surrender my control and choose life, that I may love the Lord my God, that I may obey His voice, and that I may cling to Him for He is my life until the very end.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

LOOK AT ME, REST IN ME

“Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God” (Hebrews 12:2, MESSAGE).

Look at me. Don't look at your circumstance or failure. Don't look at what is wrong with others. Don't tear yourself apart over what are your own imperfections. You know them well, and the enemy has reminded you again and again. You are troubled. I am your rest. You are impatient. I am your patience. You have no peace. I am your peace. I know your heart, and I know you love me. I know you yearn to be stronger in faith. Here I am.... the author of your faith. I will also be the finisher of it. Let me.

Be still and learn of me. Quit struggling. You will know that I am God. Focus your mind on me. I am your life and your purpose. I am your healer, and I am the author of your faith. I will keep you in peace when your mind rests in me. You will grow stronger, and in your journey, you will grow more like me. If you stay in me.... if you rest in me.... if you grow in me....if you seek me continually.... if you serve me obediently, I will give you powerful faith to do great things in my name.

Continually abide in me, and you are not limited by your own limitations. You have become more than your own limitations. You have become all that I have decided you to be. You have found in your weakness that I am your strength. You have discovered that in your strength, I am your joy. You have discovered my peace that your mind can't comprehend. And that is alright, because you don't have to understand. You are at rest in me.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

FREE TO LOVE


“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven” (Luke 6:37).

The inability to forgive someone is really judgment of that person. My anger, and even my hurt, do not give me permission to judge. It certainly does not give me permission to be angry. When I am devastated by someone's action, I have a choice what to do with the disillusionment and hurt. If I allow that hurt to define who I am, unforgiveness will take root in my heart. Then I will be in bondage to my pain.


The Holy Spirit invites us to acknowledge our pain so we might forgive. “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom,” Paul writes (2 Corinthians 3:17). God does not want us in bondage to hurt or disillusionment over someone's failure. That hurt can become our own failure. I have the freedom and power to forgive. God calls us to give our very best, and that will not happen if there is judgment, hurt, and unforgiveness. My very best is to allow His love to flow through me, and to intentionally love with His love....no matter how I feel. His love will eventually change my cold hurting heart into one that is pliable in His hands. Disillusionment and hurt will dissolve, and I will be free from its bondage.


How about you? Are you tired of the pain you feel when another person, either intentionally or unintentionally, hurts you? Let the pain go. Let the disillusionment and hurt go. Make a decision to forgive. Look to Christ as your perfect sacrifice because no one else can be that. Realize that no one is perfect. The Lord “will give you a new heart, and put a new spirit in you, and will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh” (Ezekiel 36:26). Instead of a cold heart of unforgiveness, you can have a heart of flesh that loves with His love. Your heart will be completely His instead of your own. You will be free to love instead of judge. Whom Christ sets free, is abundantly free.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

IF I SEEK HIM

FOR SEPTEMBER 23
 
"And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13).
 
 
If I seek Him I shall find Him. He rewards my journey with the grace of His presence. He is my God, and He will never fail me. His strength and joy will conquer all that comes against me. He is my guide through the pitfalls. No weapon can rise against me. No discipline can tire me. No problem can terrorize. I shall persevere, and hold on. I will make it through this difficulty because I have sought Him in all moments. He is my strength because I have none within myself, and in my lacking, I have discovered His.

WORTH THE RUN

Your life in Christ is a race. It is a race that creates the spiritual growth you need to make it to the end. Hebrews 12 gives clear and inspiring directions. "Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls" (Hebrews 12:2-3, The Message).
 

What would you think of the runner who gave up when faced with the first obstacle in a race? That hurdle is meant to give you a lift upward... not pull you back. It is meant to inspire you to greater growth. Are you ready to really run your race? Will you move forward, facing and springing over each obstacle with greater spiritual growth? Or will you run and hide and never discover the power He wishes to impart?
 
Rise above all obstacles in your race, and reach for His peace and joy. As you run through life with this attitude you will discover His power to carry you forward over life's times of pain. Refuse to remember your failures, and look to your finish line. It is His greatest promise, and is worth the run of your lifetime.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Expect New This Day

"This is the day which the Lord hath made; and we will rejoice and be glad in it" (Psalm 118:24).

Does the thought of a new day bring discouragement to your heart? Do you forget I died for your agony, for your tragedy, and for your pain? Each day is not meant to discourage, but to inspire and lift you above what clouds your day. A new day is my gift to you. It is able to give you a new perspective and new hope. Whatever you face my love and power overcome discouragement and despair. Whatever the world tells you is only what the world tells you. It is not what I know and try to impart to your mind and heart. Rise in each new day, and rejoice in my gift of another opportunity. Trust me, and trust that this day can be the best when you allow me to carry you through it. Daily things done in my strength are able to give you greater faith in my promises. It is a new day! Expect my peace. Expect my love, and expect my promise.

Friday, September 20, 2013

IN HIS TIME

“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31, KJV).
 
There are times when God does not speak. There are times when He reveals nothing in answer to my prayerful heart questions. There are times when He gives no direct guidance. Thankfully, my path is clear enough to know I must grow more in knowledge of Him. I must trust in Him although I do not see or hear. Quiet prayer communion with Him will give me what I need even though I have no answers at the moment.


He may ask me to wait silently, and to expect just the grace of His presence. The wait will bring greater faith. And the result will be comfort and peace in the midst of any storm. I give Him all my struggles and questions and pain and unanswered questions, and in the giving I discover peace beyond what any human mind can comprehend.
 
I will hold unswervingly to the hope I profess, for He who promised is faithful. I will stand rock-solid knowing He has heard my prayer, and He will answer in His time. Having done all I can.... having given all that I am.... leaning on Him.... relying on Him.... I will stand and wait to hear what He says to me. For He is my refuge. For He is my strength. For He is all that I need.
Philippians 4:6-7
Hebrews 10:23

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Press On

“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14).


I will have courage and not fear. Today I start again, and put my old mistakes behind me. He gives me a fresh beginning. I will not worry or be frightened. If His forgiveness was only for the righteous, it wouldn't be needed. Not one of us is perfect. We all have fallen short. But His forgiveness is new every morning.

So why do I worry? He longs to give me that fresh beginning, but my life is dirtied with worry and anxiety. As long as I dwell on what is bad in my life, I cannot see His promise of new life. Why should He help me when my worry would rob me from even recognizing His blessings? In spite of my past or circumstance, He blesses those who put Him before all other things. He blesses a sacrifice of praise.

I press on toward my prize. I forget what has been, and I praise Him for transforming my life. I shall be joyful and realize that with another beginning, I once more step out in faith to trust and believe in His promises that never fail.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

I CAN COUNT ON IT

This is for Sept. 18

I know what I’m doing,” says the Lord, “I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I’ll listen. When you come looking for me, you’ll find me. Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed. I’ll turn things around for you. I’ll bring you back from all the countries into which I drove you, and bring you home to the place from which I sent you off into exile. You can count on it” (Jeremiah 29:11-14, MSG).

I can count on it. He knows what He is doing. I don't have to know His plans, but I do need to trust and have faith in His faithfulness. When I seek Him with all my heart and desire Him more than anything else, I will discover more faith to believe in His promise of deliverance. As I persevere in living each day in His will, I shall receive His promise (Hebrews 10:35-36). He will bring me out of the place where I have suffered and felt abandoned. He has great Joy for me. I can count on it.

My Path

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path (Psalm 119:105).

If His Word guides me, there is no problem or circumstance or difficulty that can rob my joy and faith in Him. He reveals what I must do with all things that arise, but the light of His presence and power must go with me. He is there to comfort and cheer, and not there to reveal future events that I am not meant to handle in my present moment. If I fully trust Him, then I have peace in the present, and no worries beyond it.

As He accompanies me along my path, His light reveals only a few steps. The path, as it twists ahead, is darkened, My future path is dark because the light of His presence lights my way NOW, and when I reach another bend in the path, He will light the way THEN. As the future of today passes into the present of tomorrow, His presence will walk with me. The same light which guided me–the same power–the same peace will continue to guide my way along my path.

His beam reveals the lightened path ahead. I know there is a bend that will come. I will trust His unchanging hand. I have committed my life, and I will never turn back. His light is all I know, and it is all that I need to have strength for whatever lies along my path.

Monday, September 16, 2013

His Rest His Power


He directs my steps. I will go forward trusting in His constant presence. I hear the gentle guidance of His voice, not in my mind, but deep in my spirit. I am at peace because He is in control. I have discovered the peace that passes my human ability to understand.

When I am at rest, I am in His peace. He works His greatest work in me. He can work through my life when His peace has claimed it. I will go forward carefully always taking time to pray and to rest. I will not become frustrated with the work that clouds my mind. I must be still, and know that He is God. If I work in frustration, the result of my work will be just as frustrating. If I work in His peace and in His power, the result will be wonderfully rewarding and fruitful. Discovering His rest before all activity brings His peace no matter what lies ahead.

Work which comes from prayer and rest brings results that are beyond measure! It brings miracles instead of frustration. I can do ALL THINGS through Jesus Christ who gives me His strength. And His strength comes not as a result of struggling to find it. It comes from times of quiet rest and prayer.

Proverbs 16:9
Philippians 4:6-7
Psalm 46:10
Philippians 4:13

Sunday, September 15, 2013

All About Your Soul


“Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful” (I Thessalonians 5:23-24, NLT).

Has the Lord held you fast.....just as He has held others strong through the centuries? Those disciples might have failed except for the power of the Holy Spirit. His Way has been alive and well because many were willing to stand strong no matter what they faced. It has held strong because those who believed in Him were willing to suffer and some to even die for His truth.

Living for Jesus Christ has nothing to do with the body. It is all about the soul. The life you live in Jesus is not about what is comfortable. It is not about how you feel, or even your circumstance. We often choose the easier way... the one less strenuous and risky. He calls us to walk in the way of truth...to be willing to lay down our lives if necessary. It is a hard calling, but it is ours, and it for our utter fulfillment in this life. It brings a Joy that surpasses anything else.

If you live your calling, you are molded by His faithful and unchanging hand. You blossom spiritually through all the struggles you face because He is your power. If you refuse His calling, His purpose in your life is thwarted. If you reject His calling, your spiritual growth is deferred. You discover a sadness that cannot be appeased, and spiritual sorrow that grieves your spirit.

He is not about feeling. He is about truth and commitment. Stand strong in Him. Live what is best for your soul. Be willing to face each obstacle that commitment to Him brings. Your reward will be exceedingly great. Your soul will rejoice that you have not only grown closer to Him, but that in Him, you have discovered more of Him and less of yourself. You have discovered real life. You are called. I am called. If we live for Him, He is faithful.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

MY PROMISE

“Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning” (Psalm 30:5b, NLT).

Whatever I face, I am not alone. He is my warrior. Whatever my personal struggle, I know He is my rock. He stands strong for me. Whatever oppresses, I know that He is my deliverer. He lifts the heavy burden. He redeems all that I have been, and His payment takes care of all of my life.

This is my hope. Whatever sorrow or pain might come my way, it will not last forever. The promise of His peace is real. The sorrow I feel anticipates the joy to come. His strongest children are those who, in the night of weeping, confidently believe in the promise of joy in the morning.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Catch Those Foxes

 
“Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom” (Song of Solomon 2:15, NIV).

Do you struggle with self-control of your thoughts? I have been there! The lack of self-control of your mind is not the result of huge problems that come your way. It comes from letting the little doubts, worries, and small concerns add up. You become so burdened with these accumulated little “foxes” that the vineyard of your mind produces fear instead of faith.

If anything begins to trouble you in the least way, deal with before it grows and overwhelms your mind. Stop and pray. Don't speak your doubt. Bring it immediately to God before you do anything else. Rise up off your knees and leave that initial thought of worry with the Lord. Determine to bring your thoughts captive to the Holy Spirit. Nip those little worries in the bud before they grow out of control in your mind. Train your mind to focus on the Lord, and faith will replace fear with perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3).

You are the Lord's vineyard, and to produce good fruit, you must surrender your mind and allow Him to take care of those little foxes that destroy. Never allow any little worry or doubt to grow out of control. If you do, then your actions will not be determined by the Holy Spirit, but controlled by your run away thoughts of fear. His purpose is to bring forth the greatest potential in your life. Allow Him to prune your mind, and bring you to full harvest.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

ONLY VICTORY

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:37-39, NIV).


If I know in every fiber of my being that God loves me, then I have an overwhelming desire to know Him to the fullest. It is a desire to know Him to a depth that even my mind cannot comprehend. If I seek Him with all my heart I will find greater faith. If I trust in God with greater faith, I will know the depth of His faithfulness because of His loving sacrifice for me. My mind and heart will stand strong knowing that nothing can separate me from His love. He will give me a conquering heart and a steadfast mind. I will stand, and having done all that I can, I will still stand. I will conquer my foes, my fears, and my obstacles, because He is not just with me. He is in me, and He gives me the strength to rise to even greater victories.

I become more than a conqueror. I walk in newness of life and freedom from the past, from fears and circumstance. I walk above that which would destroy me. And in Him there is no failure. There is only victory.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

IT'S ALL ABOUT ME! NO, IT ISN'T!


“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye” (Matthew 7:1-5).

It is so easy to find fault with others and not look for their best. Someone did something wrong. Someone said something that was insensitive. Someone is selfish. Someone doesn't take my feelings into account. The list goes on and on. This is how it is when I want things my way. I have the attitude of “I'm right and you're wrong.”. Actually, when I don’t line up with Scripture and God’s plan, then it is just wrong. It is not my job to judge others. Judging others reveals selfishness, and shows I have no selfless consideration. It is not my job to decide what others do and say. I can't control another person's action, but I can control my reaction externally and internally. Externally I can allow it to just roll off my shoulder instead of turning it into a chip on my shoulder with a bad attitude. Internally I can allow the Holy Spirit to deal with feelings that rise up, and bring them under His control. As Christians we sometimes need to have a hide of a rhinoceros and and heart of a dove.

Satan’s plan is to destroy all of our relationships with others with selfish thoughts and bad attitudes. He especially uses a chip on the shoulder to destroy relationships with family, friends, and especially church family. Some of the biggest misunderstandings are because of something which started as trivial and then grew out-of-hand. Where God builds His kingdom, Satan tries to destroy. Satan will fail when faced with forgiving hearts and minds. He will fail when we recognize the importance of another person's heart. He will fail when we put another person's need before our own. God blessed us with individuality. The plan of your life, and the plan for my life is not going to be the same, but we must live out the love of Jesus in non-judgmental and forgiving relationships.

Are we easily hurt or offended? Do we have feelings of rejection? If we don't allow the Holy Spirit to heal hurts and damaged emotions these feelings can erupt at a moment's notice. Feelings and emotions which are not placed at the foot of the cross can erupt in ugly bitterness. If they aren't crucified with Christ they can conquer our minds and hearts.

There is healing of the hurt of past, the present, and the imagined hurt of the future. The past is gone. The present is what I allow Him to make it, and the future is not mine to know anyway. I will make every effort to be “renewed in the spirit of my mind” everyday (Ephesians 4:23), I will always ask the Lord to show me when I need to change my attitude, and when I need to just forgive. I want to learn the freedom of not needing to have the last word.

Leisa Rayborn and Lynn Lacher

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

GREAT PEACE AND JOY

I know what I’m doing.,” says the Lord, “I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I’ll listen. When you come looking for me, you’ll find me. Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed. I’ll turn things around for you. I’ll bring you back from all the countries into which I drove you, and bring you home to the place from which I sent you off into exile. You can count on it” (Jeremiah 29:11-14, MSG).

He knows what He is doing. I don't have to know His plans, but I do need to trust and have faith in His faithfulness. When I seek Him continually with all my heart and desire Him more than anything else, I will discover more faith to believe in His promise of deliverance. As I persevere living each day in His will, I will not be disappointed. I shall receive His promise (Hebrews 10:35-36). He will bring me out of my desert of loneliness and fearfulness where I have suffered and felt abandoned. He has great JOY and PEACE for me. I can count on Him.

Monday, September 9, 2013

My Choice

“Give, and it will be given to you” (Luke 6:38a).
He is my choice today. I choose to give Him my mind and my heart. I choose to absolutely surrender myself to Him. That choice is not in just words. It is in action. I choose to give Him my time, my priorities, my thoughts, my fears, my preconceptions, my ideas, my judgments, my life. I choose to believe Him only and not my thoughts. I choose His hope over my despair. I choose His peace of mind over my turmoil. I choose His great promises over my own limitations. I choose to give Him all my brokenness and imperfection. 
 
He is Truth. I am not. He is Life. I am not. He is Peace. I have none. He is Joy. I can't manufacture it. He is All, and I am just me. Each day I will lay myself upon His altar, and make an offering of me. It is in the giving away that I shall receive. I shall receive His All instead of the little that I am. And His ALL shall be His loving sacrifice to me.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

A OPEN SPIRIT A HEALED HEART


No one likes to face pain. When I have lived through suffering, my natural instinct is to move on and try to forget it. But God has other plans. What may be my natural instinct is not His. He never wastes my hurt or what I have faced in my life, and He does not want me to just bury it. He wants me to use it for His glory.

How He longs to use the pain I've experienced—the things that I regret—the highs and the lows—the fears and the failures—the very things I want to hide from—to help others! He wants my life open so others might find freedom from their own pain, and I might discover healing for mine.

Being open is a very hard place to be! I want to build a wall to protect myself from my own pain. But building a wall doesn't protect me. It imprisons my heart. It imprisons my spirit. It imprisons healing of not only my own wounds, but those of others. My wall turns my heart into a heart of stone because, in closing myself off, I have shut out the Holy Spirit.

However, when I allow that wall of false protection to tumble down, the Lord turns my pain into victory not only for myself, but for others. “I'll give you a new heart, “the Lord promises, “and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh” (Ezekiel 36:26).

           A heart that yields completely to the Holy Spirit is a heart of tender “spiritual flesh”. It is a heart that is malleable, vulnerable, and not afraid of the pain that often accompanies healing. It is heart that is ready to face the hurt of the past or the present head-on, and allow the Holy Spirit to do whatever is necessary. Willing to deal with whatever must be dealt with, this heart trusts that the Lord who has exposed the pain is capable of healing all that has caused it.

            "Now the Lord is the Spirit,” Paul imparts, “and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Corinthians 3:17). The Holy Spirit will liberate me from any pain, or fear, but I must be willing.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Then There Will Be Peace

“Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name” (Hebrews 13:15, NIV).


Praise. It is my sacrifice and my offering to God. It is that very instance, when in my most difficult circumstance, distress is calmed and there is a hope for peace. Praise dispels worry, and confusion changes into clarity. Praise will ultimately dispel fear of the unknown, and bring His peace and joy.

In praise I am changed. No matter how difficult my problems or my circumstance–no matter how fearful the thought–praise changes my outlook. Praise in the midst of hardship breaks down inner walls. Praise in the midst of fear releases faith. When things are hard—when fear persists—when problems overwhelm, I will seek reasons to be thankful. I will seek to realize His blessings that slip by unobserved. The gift of thanksgiving in my heart—no matter what is going on in my life—is my sacrifice of praise.

Giving God a sacrifice of praise is a mental decision that I will praise Him no matter how I feel. I will discipline myself to praise Him. And one day that sacrifice of praise will no longer be a sacrifice. It will come from a heart that believes He is faithful. My heart and mind shall no longer focus on my pain, or on my fear, but on His faithfulness and His blessings. And then there will peace.

Friday, September 6, 2013

You Belong to Me


“Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10a, KJV).

Be still. Calm your anxious mind. I speak peace. The enemy speaks turmoil. Listen to my voice only. Never allow the voice of the world to deter you or the enemy to destroy. Listen for my voice, and you will never be disappointed. Listen, and anxious thoughts and tired nerves will become rested. I speak rest in tenderness to your turmoil and strife.


My tenderness and the restfulness will heal your scars and make you strong, but it is you who must allow me be your strength and your power. I cannot be your strength if you give me your load, and then take it back. You are the greatest concern of my heart, but so many times you don't allow me to carry what you can't. 


Allow me to love you and carry you. I know your pain, and I am the answer. You do not have the answer. Only I have the answer. But until you let it go, and surrender it, there is nothing I can do. Give it again to me today. Seek me again and again and again until you discover my peace. Allow me to flow through your heart and mind, and heal all that which would tell you that you are unworthy. Never feel at the mercy of the world or the enemy. You are not. You belong to me.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Praying Down Your Stronghold


God desires your heart and mind to understand that Biblical truth can change your life. He yearns for you to seek His indwelling presence and the spiritual fruit which empower personal growth. The Word flows from the life-giving heart of God, and accomplishes the very purpose for which He sent it (Isaiah 55:11). Paul writes, “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds” (II Corinthians 10:4, NIV). If you have ever suffered from fear, you know that it binds your mind in an ironclad grip. The spiritual weapons God provides for its destruction are found in the Bible. “God means what he says. What he says goes. His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey” (Hebrews 4:12, The Message).

God means what He says in His Word. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7, NIV). The power to demolish the stronghold of fear in your mind can be discovered in these verses. Pray this Scripture each time fear comes against you, and realize that there is an ultimate promise in verse 7. It is the peace of God, and it is real.

Lord Jesus, today I give you my fear again. I can't handle it. It tears me into pieces. It is real in my mind and heart. But you tell me that if I give this fear to you I will know your peace in my heart. That peace is your promise, but I just can't seem to get there. I have given this to you over and over again, and still I'm terrorized with worry and doubt. Lord, my fear has become my conviction and it is my stronghold. I want it destroyed, and I need you to help me destroy it. I believe your Word and I want to experience this promise of peace, so I will not give up. You tell me to give you my fear with thanksgiving. If I give it to you with praise then it tells you that I have faith in you. I give you my fear with my mustard seed of faith, Lord God. When the fear hits, I will praise you for taking care of my it. I will praise you for handling what I can't handle. I will give you a sacrifice of praise again and again until one day I will know that my praise is real, and your joy becomes my strength. I shall discover greater faith to trust your faithfulness no matter what I face. I can and will have your supernatural peace, and I will persevere against the enemy until my fear is defeated, and your peace is secured. In Jesus' name.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Living Water


“Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:13-14, NIV).

If I drink of the water that He provides, I will never be thirsty. His living water not only soothes my shattered spirit, but it heals my broken heart because it is living water. It is a spring of water that wells us in my spirit and constantly flows to bring abundant life now and eternal life later.

"Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness," He whispers, "they shall be filled." 

"Oh Lord," I cry, "just as a deer pants for streams of water, my soul pants for you. My soul thirsts only for you." 

If I continually drink of His living waterthe Word of GodHis truthHis Spirit, I will be filled. This is a thirst that shall always be satisfied. No weapon of the enemy that comes against me will succeed. No lie will find soil in which to take root. I believe in His promise, and I know that in Him lies are conquered and truth prevails.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Because of Mama

Today would have been my mother's 88th birthday. My heart aches so much for her sometimes, but then I remember that she is no longer struggling to breathe or in pain. Her life was hard at times, but there was always one true constant. It was her faith in Jesus Christ. She is free in every way now. Jesus is with her in heaven, and she is at peace.

He is also here with me on earth. I do not need to always feel His presence. I know He is with me. To ask for the sensory experience of His presence all the time is, in a way, to ask for proof or for a sign. I do not need a sign. I know His peace that passes understanding even when all around feels so dark. I know in whom I believe, and know He is able to keep me safe no matter what happens.

Anyway, does it matter what I feel? What matters is who He is, and that He shall ever be with me. He is my strength when I feel weak. He is my peace when I feel shaken. Feelings depend upon moods, circumstances, and outward pressures. His peace comes from within my heart. and never from outward temporary relief. I may be influenced by circumstances, but He never is. His promise is always kept. He is with me, and He never forsakes me.

Thank you, Mama, for always sharing your faith and your love. You fought for me. You believed in me. You passed on your fighting heart to me, and your belief in other people's potential. On February 3rd of this year you peacefully passed from this life's fears and struggles to heaven. You passed from this earth strong in spirit just as you always were. You left behind your legacy of faith that always speaks peace no matter what I face. It is because of you that I believe today.

Today I rest in His presence. Today I feel it. Tomorrow I might not. But whatever I feel, I know, that my Redeemer is constant and unchanging. And that is all I need.

Monday, September 2, 2013

The Weapon of Self-Control

“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).

Self-control is really not self-control. It is Holy Spirit control, and it is another weapon to defeat fear. God is faithful to empower you to win the hardest battle in your mind, but you must allow Him to “own” your mind completely. Your greatest surrender comes in your heart and mind. The battle to control any thought or fear is easier if you know what to do to give God control. What relief to let Him fight the battle!

Recognize the fearful thought for what it is‒a.threat to destroy your peace and joy. KNOW GOD'S WORD AND HIS PROMISE that comes against that thought. This is what makes study and knowledge of the Word critical. PRAY GOD'S PROMISE FROM HIS WORD, and tell Him your fear. GIVE YOUR FEAR TO HIM WITH PRAISE because you know He is faithful to take care of it. Now REFUSE TO WORRY about it anymore. When your fear rises to hit you again, keep refusing it. Tell the enemy you have given it to God. Do it over and over again. When you keep bringing your thoughts under God's control, you will eventually defeat Satan's attacks. Those attacks will become just weak attempts. The control of your thoughts will be in God's control. You will completely depend upon Him.

In The Prayer of Jabez, Bruce Wilkinson writes, “God’s power, under us, in us, surging through us, is exactly what turns dependence into unforgettable experiences of completeness.” What makes complete dependence upon the Lord an unforgettable experience? It is when you receive His power that brings completeness, healing, and renewal in the spirit of your mind (Ephesians 4:23).

Sunday, September 1, 2013

PUT ON THE WEAPON OF GOD'S POWER

“God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels. Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out” (Ephesians 6:10-18, The Message).

Fighting the lies of the enemy takes every weapon that God has at your disposal. You put all these weapons together, and you have His power active and strong in your life. You discover these weapons in God's Word which is your “indispensable weapon”. Without these weapons you will fail. Learn them and apply them to your life.

God's truth is the foundation of your belief in Jesus Christ. Without it you have no structure to your life. Without God's truth, you live a life based on emotional response to situations. The Word reveals how to live a righteous life with His response to whatever you face. Without a life of righteousness and holiness you cannot experience the peace that comes through the knowledge of the Word. Living God's truth brings a righteous life, and that righteousness brings the peace of the Holy Spirit. His peace is the anchor which holds you secure when Satan attacks. His peace is alive because of the faith you exhibit in giving your problems to the Lord and trusting Him to handle them. That faith is your shield against the enemy. All these weapons of truth, righteousness, peace, and faith exist because of the salvation you have received. Your salvation is your greatest threat to the enemy. You have been won by God, and Satan has lost you. Hold on to that ultimate weapon, and allow God's truth to grow in your life. Stand firm, and apply God's weapons. Always remember that He is your power, and whatever you face has ALREADY been defeated.

PRAY. Prayer is essential in the ongoing warfare. Prayer is your communication with the Lord who saved you. It is the link that should never be broken. It is your open door to receive all He has for you to stand strong and fight. His power is yours in prayer. He is yours in prayer.

So take all the weapons God has given, and stand firm and strong. NO weapon of the enemy will overcome who you are in Christ.

The Faith of Christ

       I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I liv...