Letter of Love

christ the redeemer
Photo by Matheus Bertelli on Pexels.com

Dear Heavenly Father,

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.”

Rejoice, Pray, and Give Thanks Always

fire orange emergency burning
Photo by Little Visuals on Pexels.com

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?

Guilty!

Am I allowing darkness into my mind?

Guilty!

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Inspired by You

white tealight candles lit during nighttime
Photo by Zac Frith on Pexels.com

Dear Heavenly Father,

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!

Deeper Knowledge of Him

beautiful environment field flora
Photo by Mina-Marie Michell on Pexels.com

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PRESENCE VS PRESSURE

bible-blur-christ-christianity-372326Come 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!

 

Standing at the Great Divide

photo of pathway surrounded by fir trees
Photo by James Wheeler on Pexels.com

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.”

My thoughts:

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.

He speaks:

“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).

My thoughts:

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).

 

“LOOK”

background beautiful blossom calm waters
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Journal Entry: March 27, 2020

Spiritual Birthing – Beginning – Start

Matthew 24: 4 (NLT, Study Notes)

…the only sure way to keep from being deceived is to focus on Christ and His words. Don’t look for special signs, and don’t spend time looking at other people. Look at Christ.

Matthew 24:14 (NLT, Study Notes)

…Jesus talked about the end times and final judgment to show His followers the urgency of spreading the Good News of Salvation to everyone. 

After reading the above Study Notes from my Application Bible, the Lord spoke to me:

“You couldn’t understand the importance of “quitting” spiritually. You only feel it physically, so, therefore, you have no job. So, you can feel the impact of quitting. I’m teaching you something spiritually important.

You can’t see its usefulness now, but feel the emotion of it so it will be fruitful later.”

TESTING: ONE, TWO, THREE

view of white clouds and blue sky
Photo by Sindre Strøm on Pexels.com

“No, it happened for the glory of God so that the Son of God will receive glory from this.”
John 11:4, NLT

Yesterday, during a quiet moment of prayer, the Lord impressed upon me that I need to begin writing again. Only this time, I’m to listen closely to Him and write exactly what He says and nothing else. Sounds intriguing!

In the book, “My Utmost for His Highest,” Oswald Chambers writes this:

“Faithfulness to Jesus means that I must step out even when and where I can’t see anything. But faithfulness to my own ideas means that I first clear the way mentally. Faith, however, is not intellectual understanding; faith is a deliberate commitment to the Person of Jesus Christ, even when I can’t see the way ahead.”

In the past several months, my journal has been put to the side and my choice in time alone with God has been reading and prayer instead of writing, reading, and prayer. I am certain that it is in writing that my vision of Him is clearest.

I spent time on my porch yesterday morning and I’d like to share what the Lord brought to me:

March 28, 2020

“Not everyone wants to be your friend.
Not everyone likes you.
You are not made to be friends with the whole world.
You can’t make everyone happy.
You can’t bring peace to people.
You won’t find acceptance in this world.
There will be people who care nothing for you.
There will be others who think the world of you.
This should not make you feel sad, inadequate or inferior.
Keep being you! You are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14, NIV).”

My thoughts are pulled to a friend from high school. I have always admired her ability to press on despite circumstances. I’m praying for her this morning. She was always joyful!

I must keep my eyes on God!
“Look!”
He is my Creator, Sustainer, and Savior.

“Give us this day our daily bread…Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6: 10, 11, NIV).

With a deeper measure, I see that I am really nothing other than a sickly, sinful human. The pride that I once possessed has been taken from me. My only comfort is God! Oh, there is plenty more pride to go but I’ve come down in rank, gently humbled by the Lord, and shown that I will get nowhere grappling and striving in my own strength. It’s exhausting and boring. How easily I am toppled by disappointments and failure.

It is when I look at the Creator, the One who is in control, that life becomes exhilarating,  surprising and much than just manageable. The things that cause a mix-up within me no longer have power. I give them power by allowing my focus to water negative thoughts and feelings! They grow and I’m moved by their will but I’m learning that if I keep my eyes on God, He will be the One to move me! His will not mine! Which one do I want?

The “C” that I received on my Biology quiz and the termination I was handed at my job, God will use to His benefit. All things meant for evil will be turned to good (Genesis 50:20, NIV). Let Him do what only He can do!

It is difficult to move forward into the things God has for us when seeking friendship and validation from everyone we meet. Our hands will be empty every single time. This fullness of heart only comes from the Father. We can’t find it here in this world and if we do, it is only for a time before it disappears. We all disappear but one thing is for sure, nothing will ever separate us for God’s love…” neither death nor life” (Romans 8:38, NIV).

It isn’t because people are careless, hurtful and selfish. I’m just as guilty! It’s the enemy who rules in this world. We can’t see what it is that we are actually doing and if God is not first in our life, we will never see the truth of who He is and who we are! He is the one that opens our eyes; He makes the necessary changes to our hearts in order to be used fully by Him. We aren’t here to satisfy our needs. We are here to enjoy His heavenly Presence, bring glory to His name, and share His love with everyone (This does not mean a friendly, close relationship with everyone! It simply means love without expectations)!

I’m nearing the end of my prayer time but before finishing, the Lord shows me Lazarus’ Profile. He is featured in the Application Study Bible (NLT). It says:

“Even when the curtain of death was between them, Lazarus responded to Jesus’ voice….When all is said and done, only what God accomplished through us will really matter. We will take little credit. Jesus worked in and around Lazarus just as He does with us. We have Christ’s invitation to participate in His work, but we must not forget that He will do much more than we will know. Meanwhile, we delight in what Christ does with the little we have to offer him.”

***

Thank you, Jesus, for hearing our prayers and answering! You are good, faithful and persistent!!

 

 

 

 

LIVE VICTORIOUSLY

person lying on bed holding blanket

As I lay under the weight of many blankets, he came towards me urgently. He knew what the matter was and by his look of concern and determination, he was more than ready to assist.

His brows were furrowed in sympathy, eyes soft and calming, face in full expression of love and protection.

Who did these mighty and capable hands belong to? They were outstretched before he even reached me.

“What’s happened?” he whispered into my ear.

As if he didn’t know!

I mumbled into his broad and pronounced shoulder, “Don’t lift the covers back. I will be exposed!”

In the midst of my garble, he had already put his arms around me and hoisted me into an upright position.  One fluid motion without struggle nor strain! A mere child in his arms!

As I woke from this glorious dream, I immediately found myself in prayer, questioning God:

Who was the person in the dream?
Why his face?
Exposed of what?
Why was my answer unintelligible?

He replied:

You are my child.
I know you.
I know your wants, thoughts, weaknesses, gifts, strengths, purpose and so much more!
I knew before you even knew.
Your constant prayer is to know me.

Oneness!

Your daily cry out to me is to have a relationship where MY requests, movement, words and presence are above all else in your life.

You say, “All of you, Jesus, and nothing of me! Help me!”

I came to you in this dream in the form of this man so that you could see and feel with your human capabilities. At this time, this is the only way you can fully comprehend what it is that I want to show you.

Your heart is drawn to this man because you know him and care for him in the assisted living community. His face is his conversation due to his inability to speak full sentences. He communicates with you through his eyes, the creases in his forehead, the tilt of his head, the movement of arms and hands. You expertly read his body language from the confines of his wheelchair. You know his needs even before he can even tell you!

I chose him to show you my expression towards you!

You were held captive in the weight of the blankets, unable to move, only your head! You were stuck!!

I came to rescue you as I always do and will always do. You didn’t call, but I came. I did not dally, I moved with great purpose. I could not watch you struggle! I am compelled to come because of my love for you!

I was reaching for you before you even knew I was coming. I am always reaching for you and not because I need anything or want anything from you but because I love you!

I call out to you continuously because I long to spend time alone with you! I have wonderful, special moments to give you but I won’t force you! You need to come freely!! To be forced is not love!

I feel your battle from beneath the blanket of your burdens, so I quicken my steps! I heard your heart calling out to me for help. Although you uttered no words, I knew and I came! I see relief flood your face. I can’t help but smile! My child! You knew you were safe even though you could do nothing to save yourself. No amount of self would bring freedom!

You tried, didn’t you? You were so anxious over your weaknesses showing though! You did not want anyone to hear your delicate request, “Don’t expose me!”

I heard you which is all that matters. I understood! I already knew, which is why I came!

In one quick motion, I put you on your feet!

You felt the strength in my arms and hands?
I heard you breathe in my holy fragrance?
Your body went limp in surrender and peace invaded every area of your being!

Oneness!

I am the only ONE who brings this kind of peace!
You did nothing to make this happen!
I brought this gift to you because I want to help you!

I love you!!

As this Good News filled my heart, tears welled up in the corners of my eyes and fell.
Thank you, Jesus, for this visit! You truly are the giver of good gifts!

We are not expected to disentangle ourselves from challenges in life. Our loving Father came down from the heavens in the form of Jesus Christ to rescue us. He came to give us life abundantly, every single day! It is Him that brings victory in all things!

He cares!
He loves us!
We are His children!

Heavenly Father,

Thank you that you are ever-present in our lives, available and always near.
Thank you that you know our needs even before we do. You supply abundantly!
Hallelujah!
Thank you for the precious blood of Jesus!
We can live victoriously every day because of His death, burial, and resurrection.
All honor and glory be to you because you are the God who saves!!
In Jesus Mighty Name,

Amen!

 

 

 

 

IT’S YOUR CHOICE

walking path way tunnel
Photo by Caio Resende

My eyes popped open at 4:30 AM!

I said to the Lord:

“Do you want me to get up? Do you have something to tell me?”

His quick response:

“Do you want to get up and spend time with Me? I’m here waiting! You have a choice.”

I got up! Not promptly but pretty promptly!!

How delightful!

Do I want to get up and spend time with Him?

Absolutely!!

Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life so that you and your descendants might live.

Deuteronomy 30:19 (NLT)