But forget all that–it is nothing compared to what I am going to do.
For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
I will make a pathway through the wilderness.
I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.
Isaiah 43:18-19 (NLT)
My prayer time is way off. I imagine I have felt like this in the past, actually, I have because I often look back to previous days to see if there was something I did that caused the lack of focus. I will try to read or write the answer to my disconnection but I’m not feeling the need to do this which is quite unusual.
I feel clear and it is certainly not from anything I did. I am confident in the Blood of Jesus; this is a new thing! Hallelujah! I do not feel the need to take inventory of the past couple of weeks in search of words or actions that would lead to ill feelings. This is a mighty miracle in itself; something like this can only point to God and His desire to make all things new!
It’s been four days of cloudiness regarding my “normal” prayer time. It has bothered me up until this morning. I was quite concerned that I was squeezing Him out. I have been praying each night that He would keep this from happening. I cannot see what is all around me but He can. So, if evil is lurking and the intention is to put a wedge between God and me, send the enemy packing immediately, gather me up, and set me straight.
After prayer this morning, I am somewhat aware of the Lord’s new thing. Details I do not have but I have the direction I need to leave concern alone and press forward with what I do know. The Lord is expanding on His teaching of the importance of prayer. He is moving me from my usual sort of prayer time into a time of patience and self-discipline. The reason for this is because I rely on my books more than I do on Him. I look to devotions and spiritual authors for my answers, help, understanding, and encouragement. I can never entirely know the mind of God but I do know something has shifted.
I guess I feel that sitting quietly without reading or writing is lazy. If I am not doing anything, I am feeling wasteful and spoon-fed. Here I am Lord, what do you have for me today and if I take no action in seeking Him then I am taking advantage of His goodness!
Forgive me of this thought, Father! It does feel so peaceful to sit and talk to you but I cannot help but feel that I must reciprocate by reading or writing. I am feeling a little unsteady!
In this moment of insight, I find I am seeking God to show me in writing or reading, a confirmation of this self-discipline of just sitting quietly with Him without action on my part. His only request is to turn my heart in His direction. I am not trusting His voice as I am designed to. “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27, NLT).
An investigation is my normal start to the morning and prayer follows! I’m backward! Is a personal relationship with you really this easy? Is it my sinful state that manipulates your blessing of intimacy into something that I can understand. Are you not Lord, God Almighty, creator of Heaven and Earth? You are so much bigger than me and to understand you would be to drop you down to my level so that I could clearly see you. I do not want this kind of god! I want the God who I saw in my dream years ago, the God who held a jumbo jet in the palm of His hand, and compared to that hand, the jet was a child’s toy. Small and insignificant! This, you are not!
Each morning, I quickly get to my desk to sit with you but instead of saying good morning to my Father, I say good morning to my spiritual authors. “Good morning Mr. Spurgeon and Mr. Oswald. How are you today? What do you have for me today?” Well hello, Mr. Murray! How are you this fine morning? Will you teach me about prayer?”
Help me God to sit quietly with you. Let this time of filling come from only you. Let me not seek other resources because they are there right before my eyes. I see the book, I read the words, and by your mercy and grace, they jump to life and create newness within me. Have I made them gods? Forgive me and tear them down, in the Name of Jesus! Yes, wonderful sources but you have to be my Source. My dependency needs to be in you without interference from books. I want you to be my Source!
You are taking the training wheels off my bike, aren’t you? Hold me up, Father! Don’t let me fall. Don’t let my mind wander into fruitless territory. Teach me as you have done in the past. As I sought answers in my books, you have taken full advantage of my faithfulness to books and used them for your good. Oh, the things I’ve learned from my favorite godly authors! I do love them all but I love you more!
Thank you! You never leave us, your persistence never grows lazy, your pursuit is with fierce zeal. Almighty God, keep our eyes drawn to you and continue to work all kinds of miracles in our hearts, not seeking anything from this world, but only you! How truly wonderful you are! When we put our trust and faith in you, we instantly become changed. Although this is a gradual change it brings immediate hope in YOU! You are much bigger than we are. There is nothing that outlasts you! No matter where we are in life, or who we have become, or what we chase after…you are there fighting victoriously for our renewal in the blood of Jesus Christ!
You never promise that this will be easy but how doable it is because each day you give us just what we need (2 Corinthians 9:8). You are our Provider who gets us ready for all life has to throw at us. It is unkind out there; hardships are a challenge! All that we have comes directly from you, whether we see this or not. One day, all will become clear. The world we see is not all there is. There is so much more to take hold of; it starts with you. There is work that we are responsible for. It isn’t for favor or rewards. It isn’t for your love and Salvation because this is a gift to us by the death and resurrection of your Son, Jesus Christ.
Our work or rather our pleasure is spending time with you, getting to know you on a personal level. Relationship with you requires time and just as we spend time with others, we must do the very same thing with you. We can never know anyone with a glance. It requires a commitment to the new friendship. To know you is certainly a daily commitment that is helped along by you. Yes, it is a challenge to sit before you, Father, because at first, you are not visible. This all changes as we learn more about you. As you begin to tilt our hearts in your direction, a new vision appears and we see ever so clearly and as we see, we begin to feel and that is when the holy fire desire presents itself (Psalm 146:8).
Charles Spurgeon (2013) writes of the Holy Spirit’s work in our life. He is the one who takes our eyes from ourselves and places them on Jesus. The enemy has plans that are completely opposite to our Heavenly Father’s. Satan wants us to look at ourselves, see our weaknesses, failures, and all the rest. His aim is to drive a wedge between God and His children. This takes all glory from God and places it on the evil one. We begin to worship his ways instead of God’s.
Forgive us, Father, for allowing the enemy to take hold. Free us from the snare of this viciousness and deceit and fill those places with the Holy Spirit. Bring the fruit of your Spirit (Galatians 5:22) into those dark and haunted spots. Only you can do this, Father. Lower us and show us just how powerful and lovely you are. If we’d only take a moment and give you praise and whole-hearted devoted love. Lord change our hearts and the hearts of our family, friends, and all people. Give each a heart that will love you fully (Deuteronomy 30:6). Let there be no holes within us. Filled, sealed, and saved by the blood of Jesus Christ. Do this now, in the mighty name of Jesus, Amen!
Can you imagine possessing a jammed-packed heart of love for our Father! Life would be so very different. It is coming! Wait and see (Revelation 22:12)!
We are told in Hebrews 12:1 to strip off all those things that trip us up, the sin that brings slowness to the race God has set before us. The Good News, we don’t have to do this on our own. He does not expect this of us. He will do it and by personal testimony, one of His ways is by simply spending time with Him. As we sit in quiet, enjoying His Presence, reading Scripture, thanking, worshipping, and praising Him, He is at work. He is with us and He is doing so much more than we could ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20). He is a multitasker; He is perfection at work. He desires his children to sit before Him, loving Him.
He is our Father, Savior, Friend, Guide, Defender and so much more. We are created for God. We are the objects of His love. His plans are for good! Trust Him and lean into Him! He will not disappoint you. I promise! Give Him time, He will bless you with wisdom, understanding, and a deeper knowledge of Him (Ephesians 1:17). What more do we need? So, what are those things in life that deter you from running your race? Tell God everything you need to run in freedom and give Him thanks for all He has done to help you run to victory (Philippians 4:6).
Pursue Him each day. He brings gifts every time, gifts that will never be given by another. His peace, love, joy, and the promise of eternal life which can only come from Him. It is all guaranteed to His children. Chase after Him because He is God because He loves you (1 John 3:1), He is the creator of Heaven and Earth and before He spoke Heaven and Earth into existence, His Spirit was hovering over the surface of the water (Genesis 1:1-2). How awesome is this!! The Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the One who is, the One who always was, and the One who is still to come (Revelation 12:13).
Jesus came to this world so we could have the privilege of spending time with God. God is Holy–without blemish, all-knowing, all-powerful, and present everywhere. We, however, are not! We are born into a life of sin, selfishness, and we are very hungry individuals. We know what we like. Our flesh reminds of this every day, sometimes many times throughout the day. Our flesh will not give up until we exhale our last breath. We are filthy and we need cleansing and this only comes from the blood of Jesus. His death, burial, and resurrection is what washes us clean and makes us presentable to our Father. This is nothing we do. He has done great things, not us! He doesn’t expect us to clean ourselves! It is impossible!
God doesn’t see us when He looks at us. He doesn’t see the weight we carry due to the life we choose to lead. He only sees Jesus. If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved (Romans 10:9-10).
Spend daily time with God. He will teach you all things (John 14:26). He will open your eyes just as He’s done for so many others (2 Kings 6:16-17). We are all equal in the eyes of God. There are no favorites (Deuteronomy 10:17-18). Your life will never be the same.
There will be moments of awkwardness when sitting with God. Distractions, impure thoughts, doubt that He’s even there, and maybe even feelings of foolishness but be persistent as He is with you. He will change that empty space and capture you. He has special ways for just you. His plan for you is made especially for you. He is invested in you and He has so much to share with you. He will take hold of you and before you even know it, you are anticipating your next quiet time with Him. This is my prayer for all of us that as we draw near to God, He will draw near to us and that He will spark a flame within us that is unquenchable.
“For he is the living God,
and he will endure forever.
His kingdom will never be destroyed,
and his rule will never end.
He rescues and saves his people;
he performs miraculous signs and wonders
in the heavens and on earth…”
New Living Translation. (2015). Life application study bible. Tyndale.
Spurgeon, C.H. (2003). Morning and evening. [A. Begg, Ed.]. Crossway.
2 Corinthians 9:8 “And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.”
Psalm 146:8 “The Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are weighed down. The Lord loves the godly.”
Galatians 5:22 “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things.”
Deuteronomy 30:6 “The LORD your God will change your heart and the hearts of all your descendants so that you will love him with all your heart and soul and so you may live.”
Revelation 22:12-13 “Look, I am coming soon, bringing my reward with me to repay all people according to their deeds. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”
Hebrews 12:1 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.”
Ephesians 3:20 “Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.”
Ephesians 1:17 “…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.”
Philippians 4:6 “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.”
1 John 3:1 “See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him.”
Genesis 1:1-2 “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep water. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.”
Romans 10:9-10 “If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved.”
John 14:26 “But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative–that is, the Holy Spirit–he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.”
2 Kings 6:16-17 “Don’t be afraid!” Elisha told him. ‘For there are more on our side than on theirs!’ Then Elisha prayed, ‘O LORD, open his eyes and let him see!’ The LORD opened the young man’s eyes, and when he looked up, he saw that the hillside around Elisha was filled with horses and chariots of fire.”
Deuteronomy 10:17-18 “For the LORD your God is the God of gods and Lord of lords. He is the great God, the mighty and awesome God, who shows no partiality and cannot be bribed.”
Thank you for your faithfulness, your tender care, and your gentle hand upon us. Thank you for guiding and protecting each one. You are so good and I pray that you would help each one in all areas of life. Father, you know all that is happening in our hearts and in this world and I pray that you come alongside and provide. Each morning, we come to you in great faith, knowing you have made our way clear and perfect. Open our hearts to receive you and this word that you have divinely given. Thank you and may it bless each one in abundance. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
June 22, 2020
I woke up late on this particular morning and quickly headed to my desk to spend time in prayer. The last week or so was stressful and the attacks of the enemy were somewhat strong. I was bound and determined not to come before Jesus with complaints of weakness. We are told we can go to God with anything but I did not want to spend time this particular morning in a pitiful state. If you follow my blog, you already know how familiar I am with pitiful. October of 2017 was my first entry and I’ve just recently turned a corner, praise God. To be quite honest, my agendas with God have grown smaller and I’ve come to understand that I no longer what to unload on Him; I would rather He unload on me.
Just to confirm that we are given permission to unleash the entirety of our heart, regardless of the content, here is Philippians 4:6-7 (New Living Translation), “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”
It is through prayer, the Bible, and other spiritual books by men and women who love Jesus, that I receive inspiration from God. As I pray and read, my heart is open to the touch of God. I am listening for His voice. My time with Him usually begins in a weakened state. I have no words, I am confused with myself and my daily purpose, and overwhelmed with those typical thoughts that we humans have to contend with at various times in our life. Sometimes, I sit at my desk and gaze out the window, speaking to Him through my heart. I wait patiently for His movement!
Something new is on the horizon and the Lord has let me know in bits and pieces. It started out as a thought and has since developed into teaching and now it is a part of me that I pray over daily. Today’s blog post is an application to what He has been showing me; I pray He leads the charge and blesses all involved. I pray that we all experience God in a way we never have before.
“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. The power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the new heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come” (Ephesians 1:18-22, New Internation Version).
Unaware of God’s direction in this time of quiet, I surrendered all up to Him and prayed for His will and purpose! In this moment of writing, I am reminded of Exodus 33:22-23, (NLT):
“As my glorious presence passes by, I will hide you in the crevice of the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove my hand and let you see me from behind. But my face will not be seen.”
The featured Scripture from Charles H. Spurgeon’s book, “Morning and Evening” (2003), is from Zechariah 6:13 which says, “It is he who shall build the temple of the Lord and shall bear royal honor.”
As I read the devotion, here is what the Lord placed in my heart:
“Christ himself is the builder of His spiritual temple, and He has built it on the mountains of His unchangeable affection, His omnipotent grace, and His infallible truthfulness…the materials need to be prepared. All this is Christ’s own work. Each individual believer is being prepared and polished and made ready for his place in the temple, but Christ’s own hand performs the preparation-work. Our prayers and efforts cannot make us ready for heaven, apart from the hand of Jesus, who fashions our hearts correctly. Neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron was heard because it all arrived perfectly ready for the exact spot it was to occupy, so it is with the temple that Jesus built; the preparation is all done on earth.”
After reading this devotion, I went to Zechariah 6:13 and read the Scripture from the New Living Translation Bible which says:
“Yes, he will build the temple of the Lord. Then he will receive royal honor and will rule as king from his throne. He will also serve as priest from his throne, and there will be perfect harmony between his two roles.”
After reading this Scripture, I really did not feel the touch of God and began to seek around the Scripture and noticed the parallel Scriptures (which is something the Lord just taught me. I had no idea what those Scriptures were in the margin of my Bible. They were always there but it wasn’t until now that the Lord explained). One of the parallel Scriptures for 6:13 was Pslam 110:4 and it says, “the Lord has taken an oath and will not break his vow…”(NLT).
Wonderful reassurance that what God says holds true; He will not renege!
I flipped back to Zechariah 6:13 to investigate the other parallel Scriptures and Isaiah 9:6 was next in line. It says:
“For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (NLT).
In reading this Scripture, I felt the Lord’s Presence and His touch to stay right here and I read around those verses which were vv. 2-5 and v. 7:
“The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine. You will enlarge the nation of Israel, and its people will rejoice. They will rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest and like warriors dividing the plunder. For you will break the yoke of slavery and lift the heavy burden from their shoulders. You will break the oppressor’s rod, just as you did when you destroyed the army of Midian. The boots of the warrior and the uniforms bloodstained by war will all be burned. They will be fuel for the fire…His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor, David, for all eternity. The passionate commitment of the LORD of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen.”
Again, great hope that the Lord is ruling with fairness and justice. What we see now in this world is not a surprise to God. He sees everything that is happening and He will come forth and bring peace! He is the only One who can!
I especially liked the verse that spoke of breaking the yoke of slavery and lifting heavy burdens from their shoulders. This is when the quiet time turned personal. The Lord is actually holding me very close and giving me the answer to an unspoken prayer. I did not come to Him with this. He came to me with it! This is how good He is. “…for your Father knows what you need before you ask him” (Matthew 6:8).
And because “yoke of slavery and heavy burdens” spoke to my heart, I went to the parallel Scripture to learn more which is from Isaiah 49:26:
“I will feed your enemies with their own flesh. They will be drunk with rivers of their own blood. All the world will know that I, the LORD, am your Savior and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Israel.”
I took this Scripture and applied it to the enemy. All the chaos he tries to cause in our lives, it does not go unnoticed. Almighty God, the Creator of Heaven and Earth, sees what he is up to and God will have the final say. We do not have to succumb to the tactics of the evil one. We are, indeed, overcomers because we are children of God, given the power and authority by the blood of Jesus and by His Resurrection.
When I read Isaiah 49:26, I was infused with tremendous hope, not only in God’s victory over Satan but also in God’s victory that the desire in my heart, to be a reflection of God’s glory to all those around me, will come to fruition just as He said. Being yoked in slavery is not an option. We are covered by the blood of Jesus and to remain stooped over in bondage detracts from the work that Jesus did on the cross. I did not sit down in quiet this very morning to rehash my sins, to feel condemned and pitiful. I came to fully submerge in the Presence of God.
After reading Isaiah 49:26, I was on a mission to understand God’s wisdom on a deeper level. I took out The Moody Bible Commentary and looked up Isaiah 9:2-7:
“Though those who refuse to live in accordance with the Word of the Lord will live in continual distress (8:22)…”
Again, I felt the Lord give me pause and direct me to Isaiah 8:22 (NLT) but instead of reading just that verse, I backed up and started at v. 20:
“Look to God’s instructions and teachings! People who contradict his word are completely in the dark. They will go from one place to another weary and hungry. And because they are hungry, they will rage and curse their king and their God. They will look up to heaven and down at the earth, but wherever they look, there will be trouble and anguish and dark despair. They will be thrown out into the darkness” (Isaiah 8:20-22).
In reading this, I felt a little troubled because I often feel this way. Roaming from place to place in search of something that will combat the darkness and all I really need is to sit down and be still in the Presence of the Lord. Seeking anything else will only cause more anguish!
I noticed on the opposite page of Isaiah 8:20-22, a previous highlighted study note from Isaiah 8:11-15. The Lord must have carried me to this teaching before but I didn’t grasp it as I should of, so He brought me around again.
“Fear is a powerful enemy of our faith and a strong deterrent to the believer’s peace of mind. Fear of war, terrorist attacks, disease, and pollution can rob us of our trust in God. God is our shelter and hiding place (4:6)” (NLT).
After reading this, I sat quietly and talked with God and it was at this point that I began to realize the point of this quiet time. It is my fear of death. It haunts me and it always has. As a child, I remember waking in the middle of the night and having terrifying panic attacks! On one certain day, I will no longer be here. I will be gone, forever! A paralyzing thought for a child and I have carried this with me. It is not as powerful but the fear is still there!
“Don’t call everything a conspiracy, like they do, and don’t live in dread of what frightens them. Make the LORD of Heaven’s Armies holy in your life. He is the one you should fear. He is the one who should make you tremble. He will keep you safe. But to Israel and Judah, he will be a stone that makes people stumble, a rock that makes them fall. And for the people of Jerusalem, he will be a trap and a snare. Many will stumble and fall, never to rise again. They will be snared and captured. Preserve the teaching of God; entrust his instructions to those who follow me. I will wait for the LORD, who has turned away from the descendants of Jacob. I will put my hope in him” (vv.12-17).
Back to the previously referenced Study Note:
“For the people of Judah, fear of invasion was a constant threat. They had powerful enemies on their doorstep. Yet Isaiah said, ‘The LORD of Heaven’s Armies…is the one you should fear…He will keep you safe.’ Ask him to drive inappropriate fear from your heart and to help you fear only him.”
And because Isaiah 4:6 was included in the Study Note, I went to it which provided additional encouragement and strength:
“He will provide a canopy of cloud during the day and smoke and flaming fire at night, covering the glorious land. It will be a shelter from daytime heat and a hiding place from storms and rain.”
I flipped back to the Study Note once again and as I sat and pondered this time with God, I felt the nudge to share it with my small group and with my long-time best friend. I wished them all a good morning and prayed God’s blessing over them. I thanked God for His sweet and gentle care of us. I then prayed the Lord would help us get His wisdom deep down into our hearts so the enemy could no longer push us around. “We love you, Jesus, Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies! The whole earth is filled with His glory” (Isaiah 6:3).
After sending that text to my friends, I could feel the quiet time ending but took one last look The Moody Bible Commentary regarding Isaiah 8:11-18:
“…reveals God’s encouragement to Isaiah to remain separate from the rest of Judah. He must not fear what the people fear, or get caught up in conspiracy theories. Instead, the Lord exhorted Isaiah to fear Him and to regard Him as holy. Isaiah must remember God as Isaiah saw Him in his initial vision, sitting on His great throne among the seraphim praising Him with the refrain of “Holy, Holy, Holy” (6:3) ringing out. By fearing God and regarding Him as holy, Isaiah recognized God as His sanctuary…sanctuary generally denoting the place of God’s dwelling, with connotations of strength and refuge…”
The commentary goes on but I felt stopped at that moment and drawn back to Charles H. Spurgeon’s devotion which I wrote about at the start of this post.
“When we reach heaven, there will be no sanctifying us there, no squaring us with affliction, no maturing us with suffering. No, we must be made ready here–and all that Christ will do He will do now; and when He has done it, we will be ferried by a loving hand across the stream of death and brought to the heavenly Jerusalem, to live as eternal pillars in the temple of our Lord.”
I couldn’t help but repeat “ferried by a loving hand across the stream of death,” over and over until my heart received this divine message.
Thank you, Heavenly Father, that you know our needs before we do. Thank you, for your constant care and delight in us. How wonderful you are! Father, sink this message deep within us and grow it into powerful fruit in order to bring glory and honor to you, all by the power of the Holy Spirit! Thank you for hearing our prayers and answering. Thank you for listening tenderly and compassionately even when we have no words to speak. Thank you! It’s in Jesus’ Name we pray, Amen!!
Faculty of Moody Bible Institute. (2014). The moody bible commentary. (M. Rydelnik & M. Vanlaningham, Eds). Moody Publishers.
New International Version. (2013). The pursuit of God bible: A.W. Tozier. Hendrickson Publishers Edition.
New Living Translation. (2015). Life application study bible. Tyndale.
Spurgeon, C. H. (2003). Morning and evening. (A. Begg, Ed). Crossway.
How thankful and joyful I am to be sitting here with you this morning! Your steadfast love never ceases, your mercies never come to an end, they are new every morning. Great is your faithfulness (Lamentations 3:22-23, ESV).
Lord, you are my God; I will magnify and praise your name. In perfect faithfulness, you have done wonderful things, things you planned long ago (Isaiah 25:1, NIV). How truly blessed we are! You are our Father in heaven: watching, guarding, loving, saving, and healing! Thank you! Let everything that has breath praise you, Heavenly Father (Psalm 150:6) and because your love is better than life, let the words from our mouth always glorify you. Let us praise you as long as we live. Lift our hands to always be praising you (Psalm 63:3-4).
Thank you, Lord, you are my strength, my shield and my heart trusts you. I cannot help but jump for joy in knowing that you are always with me and for me (Psalm 28:7). Come Holy Spirit of Truth, instruct and teach me in the way I should go, keep your eye upon me and give me your holy counsel so I should neither look to the left nor the right but always to you (Proverbs 4:25-27). Everything pales in comparison to you! How completely filled I am by your love! I lack nothing because of your goodness! Hallelujah!
I specifically pray for the sick this morning Father. There are so many struggling with disease. Let not their flesh and heart fail, be their strength and their portion, bring comfort and peace, speak words of love and hope into their hearts. Show your beauty, Heavenly Father, to those who are brought low in sickness.
Father, heal the sick, lay your holy, heavenly, healing hand upon them, and give them new life. Bring restoration to those parts that are compromised. These afflictions are not from you so we command the enemy to let loose in the Name of Jesus and we pray, that you, Father, would fill those spaces with your presence now. Take up those vacancies and live and reign there so that no weapon formed against them shall prosper (Isaiah 54:17, NKJV).
The unfolding of your words gives light (Psalm 119:130, NIV); whatever you say will be fulfilled (Ezekiel 12:28), what leaves your mouth will not return empty. You will accomplish what you desire and achieve the purpose for which you sent it (Isaiah 55:11).
Lord, we wait patiently but expectantly on you. We put our trust in you! Father, heal the Covid, cancer, autism, cerebral palsy, degenerative hips, Alzheimer’s, ALS, neuropathy, and diabetes; heal addiction and mental illness; depression, fear, anxiety, bipolar, schizophrenia, heal marriages and family discord between siblings and parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, heal the overweight, the high cholesterol, and heart disease, heal this country: bring peace, harmony, compassion, and respect into this world and most importantly, heal the lost. I pray each would come to know you. Draw them to you now, In Jesus’ Name! Touch each one and speak the word:
“I will restore your health and heal your wounds, declares the Lord” (Jeremiah 30:17).
“I have seen their ways, but I will heal them; I will guide them and restore comfort…Peace, peace to those far and near, says the Lord. I will heal them” (Isaiah 57:18-19).
I believe in my heart, Almighty God: Jehovah-Rapha, you’ve spoken and those with disease are now without! Each has felt your miraculous touch and newness has come. Thank you, Father, for hearing my prayer and answering. You are so faithful!
You are compassionate and gracious, an unshakable confidence, ever-present, available, and always near. Thank you, Father! How lost and empty I would be without you.
You are my Source of strength, provision, my shade and shelter, shield and protector, my Redeemer. How precious and vital you are! I can do nothing without you; I am helpless and fruitless without your hand upon me.
You are worthy of the highest praise and I give this most willingly to you now and forever! On my knees before you, with every breath that I take, I praise you, Lord! May my life continuously reflect your glorious light to all those around me. May I always walk in faith and obedience, your guidance and protection surrounding me as I go.
In my sinful and sorry state, you sent your one and only Son to die for me, for all, so that not one would perish but would have eternal life with you (John 3:16). Cleanse and comfort me. Bring me wholly into your sweet and everlasting peace. There is no place on this earth that I would rather be than in the presence of my Creator, my faithful and true, trustworthy Father! How gentle and kind you are to me.
Thank you, Jesus, for all my many blessings. Thank you for my in-law family who has loved and accepted me from day one. Not really knowing anything about me, they welcomed me into the family as if I had always been there. A great, big bear hug from my father-in-law and I knew my long-ago prayers were answered. How grateful I am at that young of an age, you heard me, and you answered. Hallelujah!!
I pray for my family, my friends, and all the billions of people in this world. Father, only you can move hearts so I pray now that you open them and help each one to receive you. Show up in a mighty and undeniable way, bowl them over with your love and beauty and power so that not one disproving word may escape their mouth. Each would drop to the floor in absolute amazement of your Holy Presence. May they cry tears of joy and sing words of awe at your feet. We need you now; this world needs you now!! Come Holy Father and do only what you can do. There is none other like you!
I pray for a Holy Spirit awakening for all. Let us look upon each other with love, kindness, and respect. You, Father, are love, so pour into your children so we can pour into others. Give us boldness and courage to proclaim your Word. Teach us to speak and act as only Jesus would do. Change us, fill us, move us, and help us to bring your Holy Fire to this place!
For you are the “Alpha and the Omega-the beginning and the end, the One who is, who always was, and who is still to come-the Almighty One (Revelation 1:8).
I pray this in Jesus’ precious Name, Amen!
Inspired by God and Sylvia Gunter’s, “Prayer Portions.”
This past weekend, I experienced a moment of disappointment which turned into grumbling and irritation. What should have been a time of great joy and fellowship turned into a crash of faith. Without giving too many details, I will just say I quenched the Holy Spirit. There was Holy Spirit fire within me, all was going well, I had my assignment, I pursued the two in front of me, and then all hell broke loose. On the sidelines there was the enemy and he came at me full force and I let him. I turned my attention to what he was doing, instead of what God was doing. The fire went out in an instant and I was left with embers! The flesh took over, I complained, pointed out faults, and left the scene disheartened, irritated, and empty.
I prayed for forgiveness because I knew I was in the wrong but couldn’t quite understand what the issues were. I did not feel as if I were being fair to the other parties involved but couldn’t place a finger on my letdown. I shared my details with a friend, we commiserated, and then stood in agreement that the Lord would show me what exactly went wrong. I certainly did not want to fall into that trap again.
This happened on Sunday and today is Tuesday. He heard our prayers and He’s answered. Thank you, Jesus!
“Do not stifle the Holy Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 5:19, New Living Translation).
The study notes on this verse say, “We should not stifle the Holy Spirit’s work in any one’s life but encourage the full expression of these gifts to benefit the whole body of Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:19, NLT Application Study Notes).”
Gifts meaning spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12).
The Lord directed my service to a certain area and I went there. When I approached the place, the Holy Spirit rose up within me and I was set to give gifts and did. I knew what the plan was, praise God, and I went. As soon as the enemy’s distraction began, I felt his pull and went his way, leaving my post, cold and empty! Now, the Lord certainly doesn’t need to be present in any situation. He will accomplish His will, plan, and purpose without us but I certainly don’t want to be left out. I want to be part of His work, not for favor, but because of the exchange between He and I and the others. It is God’s hand moving and there is nothing comparable to it. It is intoxication at its best!
I encourage service because it brings change to one’s heart. God just opens up all kinds of new doors when our focus becomes Him and the ones standing before us. No longer staring at ourselves but at the needs of another human being. Ask God to show you where to help. He will tell you!
“Always be joyful. Never stop praying” (1 Thessalonians 5:16, NLT).
This “stifling” was nothing God did, for He is always with us. It is what I did. I broke the connection. I looked away from Him. I stifled the Holy Spirit.
I look back on Sunday and remember with great clarity the Holy Spirit fire, then the instant letdown: loss of warmth, my reach towards others gone, not upward but inward, and struggling with negative thoughts and emotions. The blessing yanked away and given elsewhere. We can not serve God and Kingdom effectively when our heart is elsewhere. We can not be fully used by God if we aren’t looking in His direction.
If I am wrong in this, please correct me! I don’t have it all figured out. I’m learning and growing just as you are.
“Do not quench the Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 5:19, English Standard Version).
The Moody Bible Commentary defines quenching as, “to cause something or someone to cease functioning; to stifle, smother, suppress” (2014, p. 1889).
It also quotes, “Rejoice, pray and give thanks.” “Hold fast to that which is good, given from the Lord, but abstain from every form of evil” (2014, p. 1889).
The Lord instructs me to “pay attention to the Holy Spirit fire and watch what you do to stifle Him because this is not the first time you have done this.”
He is right! I can look back and see all sorts of dead moments in God-inspired opportunities.
Am I allowing negativity and grumbling to stand between God and me?
Am I allowing darkness into my mind?
The Lord says, “Rejoice, pray and give thanks! See what happens when you head in this direction.”
Lord, help me recognize light and dark. Help me always remain joyful and move me out of the way so the Holy Spirit can lead. I am a bump in the road. I don’t want to be a “stumbling block or a hindrance in the way” of another (Romans 14:13, ESV). In heartfelt devotion to you, bring to my remembrance to always rejoice, pray, and give thanks.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Rydelnik, M., & Vanlaningham, M. (2014). The Moody Bible Commentary: A one-volume commentary on the whole Bible by the Faculty of Moody Bible Insitute.
Help me transfer from my worldly faith to your faith. Help me see all things through your eyes. Not that I see the logic in this or that but instead I see by faith, your logic. Make the change from “my” to “yours.” Make the change from passive to active. Nothing matters but your purpose for me, your love, your glory, your pleasing communion.
What am I born to do? Make this happen. Move me out of the way and do what only you can do (Isaiah 43:11-21, New Living Translation). Not my will but your will. Give me supernatural wisdom and words to speak of you, out loud!
Whisper in my ear as we spend time alone together in the dark. Tell me wonderful and glorious things so I can shout to crowds just how beautiful, kind, and caring you are (Matthew 10:27, NLT). How awesome your love is for all of us. Help me remember everything that you disclose to me. Let there be no concern about my character, needs, and desires but only you. Surrender me to you, Father.
I have no life without you! As Ecclesiastes reminds me, my life is meaningless without your Holy Presence. “It is like chasing the wind” (Ecclesiastes 1:2, NLT). You are my daily bread (Matthew 6:11, King James Bible) and how blessed and reassuring it is to turn to you each day, all day! You lift my head, draw my eye and heart to you. I am elevated from worldly circumstances and gently placed in your peace. You rock me to sleep at night when evil tries to make its way in. You are victorious, always, in chasing him away.
I can do all things through Jesus Christ who gives me strength (Philippians 4:14, NLT). Strength to do all the things you have called me to. I am not here for me. I am here for you! Put my heart right in this. None of me, everything from you! How dull and uneventful I am without you. You bring such joy and amazement to my heart. Life is good! Even when challenged, life is good.
I trust you and when I sing of your promises, I melt because I know, without doubt, you will keep them. There is no wavering in your hand. You are not like us. You are “the Alpha and the Omega the beginning and the end…the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come-the Almighty One (Revelation 1:8, NLT).
Oh Father, refresh and refill your Holy Spirit within me! I’m alive in Him. I’m ready to do the things you put me here to do. Make all things in opposition bow now, in the Name of Jesus (Philippians 2:9-11, NLT). No arguments, only love and obedience, Abba Father! Take rational thinking from me and help me move in fluid motion with you. One being, your hands, and feet, your words bursting forth from my mouth, “rivers of living water “(John 7:37-39, NLT)! Inspire and shout! Use me to proclaim your Holy Word with no consideration at the moment but only you. Help me to love people as Jesus loves! My only thoughts that each would receive, know, and follow you.
I love you, Jesus!
I remember whispering these very words, for the first time, as if it were yesterday. I had just pulled into Summit Place. I turned off the car and looked out into the distance and I said, “I love you, Jesus.” It felt funny and hollow. “Help me to love you,” I pleaded! I say it now and it is natural and full. Praise God for hearing our prayers and answering!
Make this love, that you’ve nurtured so perfectly, uncontainable. Let it pour right on out of me. Let others feel this special kind of love. Draw them to you! Consume us in your pure and truthful love. No masking but a direct line into our hearts. Let us feel nothing but you! How brilliant and sweeping this kind of love is!
Father, what do you have for me this morning, today, every day. Let me not waste a single second of my life, here. Let me not miss out on the opportunities you put before me. How disappointing and disheartening it is to look back and see what I declined to do for you. Forgive me, Father, for turning the other way! Give me boldness and peace as I head forth in your direction. Keep me from looking back! I do not want to be a pillar of salt (Genesis 19:26, NLT).
Open my entire being to your Presence and let me do as only you’d have me do. “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10, King James Bible). All for your glory.
Thank you, Father, that I am part of your Master Plan! I love you! In Jesus’ mighty name I pray, amen!
How many times have you sat down in quiet with God and felt disconnected? There were no words to pray, Scripture ran together and made no sense, distractions were constant, and your focus was on the day before you!
I cannot begin to tell you how much this has happened to me! This morning would be one of those moments. Instead of grappling with what it was that I’ve done to cause God’s silence, I just sat. I didn’t look for things to confess, I didn’t stress that there was possibly something I was missing; I just sat! There is nothing wrong with simply sitting with God. This is a great posture to be in! We may feel speechless, tired, helpless, bored, and condemned but I can assure you that sitting is active. God knows our hearts and it is in the silence that we cry out the loudest. There is spiritual movement even when we feel as if nothing has changed.
His Presence does not depend on what we do or say! His will, plan, and purpose in this world cannot be manipulated nor altered. We are not that big and it is fruitless to even begin down this line of thinking. God doesn’t move in our lives because we’ve been good. It’s His love for us that keeps Him present and not because He needs us, only because He loves us. His love cannot be compared to the “love” we receive from others. His is pure and unconditional. It never changes, it is constant!
What great peace this brings to my heart. I pray it is doing the same to yours! Let’s stop searching the catalog of our minds for the things we’ve done and instead just sit, fully knowing, that God is with us and that He loves us! No matter what, He loves us! There is no magic button to gain His love! It’s been there, it will stay there, and nothing can steal it away. He won’t allow this!
I read a simple sentence from the Megathemes in Ezra this morning. It said, “It is not enough to say we believe; we must make the changes God requires (Ezra, New Living Translation).”
I found this to be a loaded statement! This wouldn’t be the first time I’ve read something like this in the Bible and immediately felt like I had to take corrective action, now.
We don’t do anything! We cannot change on our own. We cannot make those required changes in our own strength. God doesn’t expect us to do this. He knows we are powerless to His word. Why do we expect this of ourselves? Change of mind is hard but a change of heart is impossible without divine intervention.
I believe the change He requires is simply looking in His direction. It’s admitting to the fact that we are weak and in need of Him. He is our Father! That is what a father does; he sees his child’s need and he steps forth to help. Our Heavenly Father does the very same thing! Most people do not enjoy watching another struggle. We want to help because the struggle pulls at our heart. Imagine the pull on God’s heart! He sees where we are headed, He knows the outcome, and He comes alongside to prevent disaster. Even when we are in the midst of a challenge, He is there, and He is working in our favor because that is what our Father does. We don’t deserve it but He gives it and for this, we give Him praise and thanks.
There is a difference between a change of mind and a change of heart. We can exert willpower and stop habits, behaviors, and hang-ups. The length of time is unknown. This type of work is a battle with some days harder than others. There are those who hold out until the bitter end but something is missing in those trials to maintain freedom and it is God!
We are alone in our fight because we choose to do it ourselves!
A change of heart comes with peace! There is guidance and grace in a heart change. It is full of promises.
Yes, work is required on our part but it doesn’t involve guilt, shame, depression, anxiety, or condemnation; this is what the change in mind brings forth.
Our work is simply our faith in God. He puts perseverance, hope, love, and a deeper knowledge of Him in our hearts as He diligently works in removing those things that don’t belong to Him.
Next time you read your Bible, insert the word “God” in place of “I” or “you.” I guarantee, if you read with your heart and not your mind, you will feel His peace.
God works in the heart, the enemy works in the mind.
Let’s take a look at the statement from Ezra again from God’s perspective!
Instead of saying, “…we must make the changes God requires,” let’s say instead, “…God must make the changes God requires!”
Did you feel His peace? I sure did!
The Bible I use is the Application Study Bible (New Living Translation) and you can find the statement that I quoted from Ezra under Megathemes in the Faith and Action section, last paragraph and last sentence.
Come reverently expecting, in need of Abba Father, not because of materialistic/worldly wants but first and foremost because you want Him and only Him!
2 Corinthians 1:21 (NLT, Study Notes)
“The Holy Spirit guarantees that we belong to God and will receive all of His benefits (Ephesians 1:13, 14). The Holy Spirit guarantees that Salvation is ours now and that we will receive so much more when Christ returns. The great comfort and power the Holy Spirit gives in this life is a foretaste or down payment (“first installment”) of the benefits of our eternal life in God’s presence…”
Today’s Journal Entry (April 30, 2020):
Is it correct to pray, “God, bring me into your Presence?” Isn’t He always with us? Yes, He is!
There is a difference in sitting at my desk and sitting at my desk in the atmosphere of God. I don’t feel always feel in the Spirit. Is anyone always in the Spirit?
To call upon Him to come sit with me, seems a bit demanding! Wouldn’t it be respectful and loving to pray that He brings me into His presence? Isn’t this acknowledging that He is the one who is in control of the transfer? I do nothing, He does everything! He takes me from just sitting at my desk to His spiritual atmosphere, as I am now.
“Thank you, Jesus!”
If He doesn’t make it happen, it won’t happen. He is the power! It feels more like a summons, therefore, I think to pray that He brings me, is a better posture before Him. It feels good! I feel surrendered and at His mercy and grace instead of me sitting down in my chair and taking charge: my thoughts and agenda.
“Here I am, Lord! What is it that you have to say?”
Isn’t it preferable to a child of God to hear from their Father instead of the child dictating to their Father?
“Correct me, Jesus, if I am wrong! I sit before you to learn. Help me to see your ways, not my own!”
I most certainly want to be in this spiritual state when sharing Him with others, whether I am leading a group, counseling, writing, or whatever work the Lord has called me to. It’s no good to do any of this without the Lord’s power, guidance, and protection. It is a must to be in the Spirit! This feels peaceful and the Lord taught me long ago, that if there is peace, it is from Him. If there is frustration or friction, it comes from the enemy. I believe I’m on the right course! Praise God!
When a believer dies, this spiritual transfer becomes permanent. There is no battle between flesh and Spirit and it is because of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He came to give us life! Hallelujah!
Galatians 5:1 (NLT, Study Notes):
“Christ died to set us free from sin and from a long list of laws and regulations. Christ came to set us free-not to do whatever we want because that would lead us back into slavery to our selfish desires. Rather, thanks to Christ, we are now free and able to do what was impossible before-to live unselfishly. Those who appeal to their freedom so that they can have their own way or indulge their own desires are falling back into sin. But it is also wrong to put a burden of law-keeping on Christians. We must stand against those who would enslave us with rules, methods, or special conditions for being saved or growing in Christ.”
Galatians 5:2-4 (NLT, Study Notes)
“Trying to be saved by keeping the law and being saved by grace are two entirely different approaches. ‘Christ will be of no benefit to you’ means that Christ’s provision for our salvation will not help us if we are trying to save ourselves. Obeying the law does not make it any easier for God to save us. All we can do is accept his gracious gift through faith. Our deeds of service must never be used to try to earn God’s love or favor.”
Romans 5: 1-5 (NLT, Study Notes):
“…it helps to keep in mind the two-sided reality of Christian life. On the one hand, we are complete in Christ (our acceptance with him is secure). On the other hand, we are growing in Christ (we are becoming more and more like him). At one and the same time, we have a status of kings and the duties of slaves. We feel both the presence of Christ and the pressure of sin. We enjoy the peace that comes from being made right with God, but we still face daily problems that often help us grow. If we remember these two sides of the Christian life, we will not grow discouraged as we face temptation and problems. Instead, we will learn to depend on the power available to us from Christ, who lives in us by the Holy Spirit.
Galatian”s Study Notes added per the Lord’s direction. I had finished my entry but He wasn’t finished. Always beneficial to sit quietly before Him, pray He opens your heart so that you don’t miss out on His wisdom and opportunities.
Study Notes taken from the Application Study Bible, New Living Translation. My first copy was given to me from a sister in Christ and God has used it mightily in my time with Him. I’m now on a second copy! He never fails to speak to me through His Word, and He will do the same for you! I encourage you to read your Bible daily. He has much to share with you!
Missed opportunities…such as sharing God with a desperate, hurting acquaintance. Much time spent together. I clearly saw personal struggles and her need for help. God’s help! Why would He give me Divine Opportunites in my disobedience? She’s no longer here! How heartbroken I felt when I heard this news. Was there something I should have said to her as we conversed about the weather and daily life?
I pondered this unfortunate event for several days until a mentor told me that God is not so small that He wouldn’t have come to her in those last moments and announced Himself…a last worldly intervention by Him to bring His daughter into His peace and comfort. God doesn’t need me to complete His work here on this earth. He will accomplish what He’s set out to do and I’m not a necessary part of His plan. I am, however, part of His plan but it’s my choice in whether I want to participate! This I want, but there is something that needs to happen before this deeper life with Christ will begin.
Oswald Chambers calls it the “Great Divide.” I believe this is where I’m standing at this moment. From his book, “My Utmost for His Highest,” Oswald writes:
“The battle is lost or won in the secret places of the will before God, never first in the external world. The Spirit of God apprehends me and I am obliged to get alone with God and fight the battle out before Him. Until this is done, I lose every time. The battle may take one minute or a year, that will depend on me, not on God; but it must be wrestled out alone before God, and I must resolutely go through the hell of a renunciation before Him…In dealing with other people, the line to take is to push them to an issue of will. That is the way abandonment begins. Every now and again, not often, but sometimes God brings us to a point of climax. That is the Great Divide in the life; from that point, we either go towards a more and more dilatory and useless type of Christian life, or we become more and more ablaze for the glory of God…”
Journal Entry: April 6, 2020
Father…what can I write and share with someone? I pray to be fed by you but I also pray I can feed others with what you’ve given me.
After a time of prayer, I hear His voice:
“You have to lay it down. In order to move forward into the bigger things I have for you, you have to lay it down. It can be no other way.”
I look everywhere else but to God. I look at the things I can do. I make excuses. I call it Freedom; it is nothing.
“It is time to switch your loyalty. It is time to see what is false and what is True. Do you want this divine job or not? You know where your strength comes from. You know I’m here. You tell people this all the time. ‘He will neither fail or forsake you.’ Believe this for yourself!”
Father…I owe you an apology. I’ve made a big mess out of things. Out of fear and panic, I made wrong decisions. Instead of coming to you, I took matters into my own hands. This only caused grief, sorrow, disappointments, and ultimately missed opportunities with you. I am sorry! Out of obedience and fear of you, I pray for forgiveness. I pray for strength. I pray for your help. Until I exert the muscle to “lay it down,” I will sit in the belly of the whale (Jonah, Holy Bible).
I cannot carry out divine purposes when I’m carrying out personal satisfaction on this earth. It just won’t work. Always a child of God, Salvation guaranteed but nothing deeper than this. Nothing will ever separate us from God’s love (Romans 8:38, 39) but I want more. My heart is in an incontrollable state it desires more! It just isn’t satisfied in this current position! I do not want to sit on the sidelines eating popcorn, content. I’m made for so much more. We are all made for so much more (John 15:16, The Passion Translations)!
The Lord’s warning:
“Close your windows! If you don’t, the enemy will come in!”
And then He showed me Scripture:
1 Corinthians 13:11 (TPT)
When I was a child, I spoke about childish matters, for I saw things like a child and reasoned like a child. But the day came when I matured, and I set aside my childish ways.
1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (New Living Translation)
Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.
April 7, 2020
Father…I have heard you, “You have to lay it down.” Thank you for the strength to do just that. You carry me through. I stick close to you, I will be victorious by the power of the Holy Spirit. This time is different. This time you are my Savior. I choose you. I put down childish things and look to you. No expectations, only closeness with you each day!
Romans 8:37 (King James Bible)
Nay, in all things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
How does God accomplish His will on earth? He does it largely through people willing to obey Him. We are to offer ourselves as doers of God’s will, asking Him to guide, lead and give us the means to accomplish His purposes. He is our Sustainer and Provider and we must trust Him daily to provide what He knows we need (Matthew 6:10, Study Notes from Application Bible).