June 30, 2011

Get Up

The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.
The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you. 
Romans 15:20

Been going through some "things" that have given pause to much time to seek God, reflect, and deal with the issues of my heart.  Felt knocked down... bruised, and broken.  Defeated.  Knowing that these feelings are not of God, but of the enemy, the enemy of our souls, but not quite knowing how to overcome them---I've just said nothing.  . . . just seeking God and waiting.  

Greater is HE Who is in us than he who is in the world, right?  Right!  And GOD has promised victory!  

Today I noticed something... of course it was the Holy Spirit that revealed this to me.  In the verse above, the God of peace (not confusion or suffering or pain, but PEACE) will SOON crush Satan.  But notice where Satan will be... UNDER OUR FEET!  

How can Satan be under my feet if I'm knocked down, flat on my back, feeling defeated?   Could it mean that perhaps I must BE UP, on MY FEET, so that GOD will GRANT the victory!??  

OH FATHER, Please grant the strength and courage for us to stand up when we've been knocked down.  In standing up, our faith will be renewed, our courage to move forward will increase, and we know that the faith and courage comes not from US, but from YOU!   So we humbly ask for Your grace and strength to stand up, even now!  In Jesus' Name, Amen!

"My comfort in my suffering is this:  Your promise renews my life."  Psalm 119:50

"He knows just what it means to be alone---to feel rejected, forsaken, deserted, even in death.  The One who endured the loneliness of the cross is the One who comes to comfort you when you're alone."
B.J. Hoff

June 21, 2011

A Word for the Oppressed

The LORD executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed.
Psalm 103:6  (KJV)

For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, said the LORD; I will set him in safety from him that puffs at him. 
Psalm 12:5  (AKJV)

Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe.  Proverbs 29:25 (AKJV)

Hold you me up, and I shall be safe: and I will have respect to your statutes continually.  Psalm 119:117 (AKJV)

For with God nothing shall be impossible.  Luke 1:37 (KJV)

"This is the way God sees your problem. Turn what faith you have loose in the middle of this great promise and go on to victory. Father, I look to Your Word, and I pray that You will meet the need of each of us, no matter how hopeless it may appear, in the name of Jesus, Amen. 
And Thank You."  
(Prayer by Herschel B. Dean,
from "The Golden Treasury of Bible Wisdom")

June 10, 2011

In the Dark? Here's the Key...

Who is among you that feareth the LORD, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light?  let him trust in the name of the LORD, and stay upon His God.  Isaiah 50:10

Have you found yourself to be in the dark about something? Wondering where God is taking you, or what He is up to.  Wondering how things will ever work out?    Have you remained ever faithful in your healthy fear (respect) for the LORD?  And you're still obeying His voice, as He speaks?  Yet ... there you are, still in the dark....having no light?

Take heart my friend!    As soon as I read this verse in my devotional today, I noticed that I had written "2010" on the corner of the page.  Here I am, exactly one year later, and still wondering how in the world this particular situation (that I've not mentioned. . . . YET) will ever work out.   But I have found HOPE!  I have found the secret to NOT losing hope!  You can too!  It's right here in the Word  

  • continue to fear the LORD...respect Him.... be "afraid" to hurt Him or let Him down.  That will keep you on the right path.
  • Continue to obey Him as He does speak words of guidance to you..Obey immediately, or else you'll become sluggish in your walk with Him. Obey at Once in each little tiny step throughout your day.
And, if you're like me, still in darkness, not sure about things, the command for us today is:
  • trust in the name of the LORD.   TRUST in the POWERFUL NAME of the LORD.  The One and ONLY Lord.  The One that at just the SOUND of His name, every knee will bow and tongue will confess that HE IS LORD.  TRUST IN our Precious LORD's name!  ONLY!  Not in money, not in other people....in nothing else BUT His lovely name!
  • STAY UPON Your God.    Rest on Him.  Rely upon Him.  The Hebrew transliteration is "shaan" which means to Lean, to support oneself upon.  Lean Upon the strong arm of the LORD.  Rest upon Your God.  Did you realize that HE is YOUR God!?  How personal is this?  Isn't this wonderful?  Not only is HE the Creator of the universe, my dears, but He is YOUR Very own, One and Only, Loving, Tender, Compassionate, Forgiving, Patient, Gentle, Sweet, Strong, Heavenly Father---He is Yours!  And you, my friend, and I, are HIS!
So....keep on walking, obeying, trusting, relying on Him...SOONER or LATER, He shall shed His wonderful LIGHT upon your path!  and upon YOU!

"...the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace." 
Numbers 6:25-26

Praise You Father, for bringing hope and encouragement to us who are following You, yet still "in the dark" about things.  We know that You tell us if we walk with You we will walk in Light...and we fellowship with YOU, Who IS the LIGHT of the World. . .we thank You that You understand we have the desire to understand things . . .and yet we are unable to.  Thank You for encouraging us to keep on walking in the direction You are leading, as we know You have said You will lead "the blind in a way that they have not been before."  How very scary to be blind, and in unfamiliar territory!  Help us continue to obey You, and trust and fully rely upon YOU!  We thank You for when You WILL break forth the Son-shine, we shall see what this was all about!  And we pray it will be for Your glory!!  And for our good!
In Jesus' Name, Amen.

June 8, 2011

Flat Lined Faith

And Jesus said to them, "Because of your unbelief: for truly I say to you, If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, 'Remove hence to yonder place;' and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible to you."  Matthew 17:20
Are you facing any obstacle that seems impossible to overcome?  Has this caused you to feel "negative" and view life through the eyes of a pessimist? 
See no evil; See nothing BUT evil; Half-way-see-no-evil!

Jesus told his disciples to SPEAK to "their mountain" even with faith the size of a tiny mustard seed.   What words are being uttered from your mouth today?  "This is impossible."  "I can't do this."  "This is totally unfair."  "This makes absolutely no sense."  Negative thoughts that are "uttered into the air" are pollutants, aren't they?   Of course they are!  They not only make living difficult for others around us, but the negativity also causes our faith to flat line...just like the negative (-) sign is a small "flat line." 

Look at Mark 16:3 "And they SAID among themselves, 'Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?'."   They were anticipating a potentially REAL problem.  Heading out to the tomb, they anticipated the huge stone being there and them not being able to move it.  How many of us borrow trouble?  And when we borrow trouble, we not only get trouble, we are charged lots of interest in the form of stomach ulcers, lost sleep, family problems, anxious spirits, and unconfessed sin in our hearts from a lack of faith in God. 

Read the very next verse (Mark 16:4) "And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great."  So, once they were within "viewing distance" from the tomb, they realized the problem was NO longer a problem...it had been rolled away. 

Are you looking into the foreseeable future and anticipating a huge obstacle?  I have been too.  But, let's not question the size of the problem, okay?  We can at least admit that there's a "P.P.O." ~ "Potentially Problematic Obstacle," but still have faith that God is already aware of and has already remedied the problem.  All we have to do is keep on walking in that direction

Let's look up to the LORD, and view this from the perspective of the cross.  The LORD overcame death and our sin just so we can face any problem in life, through the power of His shed blood on Calvary.   Is there anything that is impossible for our God?  No, there is nothing that He can not and has not already overcome. 
Isn't it special that when we look to the LORD and the cross on Calvary, we can now see a positive sign? +
No more flat lined faith!!! :)

Number 13:30 gives us a wonderful example of positive faith! "And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, 'Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it'." 

There's a mountain that God wants you and I to overcome this very day...this very hour.  It could be a matter of obedience to a calling, or a need to overcome a particular stronghold...either way, let us go UP (and that's a positive thing to do) AT ONCE, and possess it!  He's already given it to us....all we have to do is claim this particular victory as ours and then go UP at once and possess it!  We are WELL able to overcome it. . .
but not by OUR might...but by HIS Spirit!  (Zech. 4:6)

Infuse the air around you with positive faith and not "flat lined faith."   Having trouble finding something positive to say?   Psalm 34:1  "I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth."   Commit that verse to memory and quote it, out loud, over and over, believing that HIS Praise shall be in your mouth---and that takes the pressure off in case you're having trouble finding the right "praise words" to speak.  He'll give you the words to praise Him and speak to your mountains in faith! :)
What a gift!  God will give you the praise and faith
to speak to those mountains!
Whatcha waitin' for?  Time to start talkin'! :)
What's that I hear?  
The sound from the rhythm of a heart beating once again!   
Oh Father, we ask for You to place Your praise on our lips and keep our mouths full of Your praise, continually.  THANK YOU for giving us the faith to speak to these "mountains"...believing that when we arrive, we'll find the obstacle already removed!! 
In Jesus' Name, Amen!

June 3, 2011

Goodness and Mercy

Surely Goodness and Mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever. 
Psalm 23:6

I've been thinking about our Good Shepherd and how much He cares for us. . . or maybe I should say I've been TRYING to comprehend how much He truly cares. . .and of course, my mind can not grasp His love.  I'm so thankful that He understands we have this treasure of salvation in "earthen vessels."   I'm sure you're familiar with Psalm 23 and the words of David--how he compares the LORD to being our Shepherd.   The chapter may have just a few verses, but they're so full of "goodies," it's something that should be thought about, mulled over, and digested slowly but surely over time in order to receive its fullest blessings.

Have you ever thought about God's goodness and Mercy?  How come they are mentioned here as "following" us all the days of our lives?   Well, I wonder could it be that God's goodness and mercy are like the Shepherd's two "herding dogs"---keeping the sheep in line?   If I've ever messed up and gotten out of line, the enemy tends to make me feel discouraged and even timid about going to the Lord for forgiveness.  But it's God's goodness and mercy that will get me back in line every time!  :)  

How about you?  Are you feeling like you've stepped out of line and now the ole enemy is causing you to hesitate in going back to the Lord for forgiveness?   Look over your "shoulder"---do you see God's Goodness and Mercy?  They're on your trail!  Quickly get yourself back in line by going to His Word and repenting...He's sure to forgive and give mercy! 

Thank the LORD, that no matter what season you're in--whether it be "spring" or "summer," and you're growing spiritually by leaps and bounds ~OR~ you're feeling like you're "falling" away and your heart is even growing cold----no matter what season you're in spiritually---The Goodness and Mercy of God remain ever faithful as your guide, to keep you on track!  Trust Him.  God is soooo good, isn't He?   Thank the LORD!  :)

Thank You, Father, for your goodness and mercy and for being our Great Shepherd Who will lead us in plain paths of righteousness for Your Name's sake.  Help us to follow You as we listen for Your tender voice. 
In Jesus' Name, Amen.