What Happens in the Quiet Time with God?

What Happens in the Quiet Time with God?

First published December 31, 2015:

 

If you are like me you are on a constant move from the moment your feet hit the floor. From the kids, to the hubby (or wife), work and so on your ‘to dos’ are heaped upon a plate that is overflowing. Perhaps as you are dressing or in the car on the way to work or school you breathe a quick ‘thank you’ to God, call it your morning prayer time and keep it moving. I know the feeling as I’ve done it more times than I care to admit.

Now prayer doesn’t have to be a 90-minute knee-bending event or a drawn out session where we dump on God our every woe. But it is important that we crave out some quiet time with God–have a conversation before the day begins to wear away.

Prep Time

I’m not a huge sports fan, but I know others that are and from my understanding before the coach send his players out there to face the opponent he takes time to encourage, uplift and direct and yes, pray. He prepares them for the challenge, to mentally fortify them with what is necessary to win. This isn’t the time to scrimmage or lift weights, no. You see the coach understands that the game is both mental and physical and if either is lacking, the opponent can easily undercut. For us this life is more spiritual than natural. Anything that has or will materialize exists spiritually first. We must prepare. Moving in our day unprepared leaves us open to the enemy and his tactics.

Coach Prepping Team

The bible says the devil is as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. (I Pet. 5:8) He is seeking—a slow calculating search for those that are open, inattentive, unaware. Prayer is our preparation—our scrimmage, pep talk, rally, conditioning period. It is the time we equip ourselves to deal with those spiritual influences that will surely challenge us throughout the day. It helps us to divert stress, escape danger and receive direction. We cannot blame anyone when we make a wrong decision if we did not first seek the Master. (Prvb. 3:6)

God walks to talk with you

A friend of mine has a daughter with whom he was estranged from for some years. When they finally reconnected she was on a perpetual quest to get everything she could from him. She only appeared when she wanted money, gifts or a place to stay. Once she had what she was after, she was gone. When he couldn’t provide what she asked for, she pouted like a two-year-old ranting that if he was a real father he would make it happen.

God is a real father and he will do for us. But God is about relationship. He wants to talk with you, hear your voice and hear your praises. Our prayer is not all about a list of wants( although he is a God of provision). It’s about communing with our Lord, finding out his heart so that ours may align with it. It is a time we check with him on today’s agenda. How many tragedies would be averted it we’d only checked with God?

God sometimes will give the preverbal tap on the shoulder sometime during the day, to tell us to take a different turn, but how much more so if our hearts are already open to hear him. If the world’s voice is louder than his, we’ve missed something.

Talk to him. Share your heart and then let him share his. Sing a sweet love song, He, like us loves to hear the sound of His name.

But there isn’t any time

There is always time, but it is our priorities that we must adjust. Twenty-four hours is twenty-four hours no matter who you are. Time spent with God may make the difference in wrong decisions, tragedies and bad moods. Time with God is never wasted, no matter how we may waste away the rest of the time.

Take the time. You will be glad you did and so will He.

Become Blinded by the Truth

When Your Doubts are Greater Than Your Faith II

When Your Doubts are Greater Than Your Faith II

Last week we focused on several ways we can combat the enemies to our faith. We all experience doubts sometime, but God has provided us with the answers we need so that we always come out on the winning side. Be blessed!

 

Know the Will of God Regarding Your Situation

So you’re not sure whether God wants you healed. Maybe this is the way you’re supposed to…go? Or maybe He is punishing you for something you did?(remember in college when…) Or maybe God has favorites (avid church goers or those that give tons of money to various causes). Yeah? Really? Find the Word to back that up. His Word is his will and it never changes. (By the way, you won’t find anything in His Word about wanting to keep us sick or to punish us. Trust me sin is its own punishment). Find the word and believe it. Take it to heart. It may seem ineffective at first–like empty words on a page. Go back to it again and again. Now read it again.  Meditate on it. I can remember reading passages as tears dripped on to the pages. I was broken and hoping that this Word would free me. And I read it again until His truth begin to stir within and bring life to those dry places. The fears and doubts begin to dissolved. It didn’t happen over night or even over the course of a week (Although it may happen quickly for you). But when we have strongholds on our thinking, or in other words we’ve been thinking wrong for so long, we have to make a determined and deliberate effort to change our way of thinking. Our thinking must become parallel to God’s way of thinking, otherwise God’s provisions will be there waiting for us and we won’t have a heart to receive them because we will be blinded from the truth.

“We tear down arguments and every arrogant obstacle that is raised up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to make it obey Christ.” (II Cor. 10:5, NIV)

Watch Your Mouth!

What are you saying about that problem? Are you agreeing with the doctor and getting your affairs in order? Are you quoting God’s Word one day and then recounting how bad and hopeless this thing is the next? Like with integers the negative and the positive cancel each other out. If you can’t say anything positive then wait to say anything until you can.

What is God saying to you?

You can quote verses all day if we’d like, but if God has spoken to you specific instructions about your situation, your words will have little effect. I knew a woman whose husband was a heavy drinker. She would quote Bible verses and pray over and for him daily. But one day God simply spoke to her and told her not to say another word to him about his drinking–just show him love. But she wouldn’t stop. She would nag, threaten and use manipulative tactics to try to get him to stop. You’re killing yourself and your family. She would say. I’m only telling you to stop because I love you! She’d try to sit quietly or ignore it for a while, but she just wouldn’t let it go. Simple instructions—don’t say another word to him about his drinking. But the smell of liquor and the language and drunkenness drove her to a fit. And because she had put herself in God’s way, she limited his ability to do anything about it. Not only that, it played a part on her health and sense of well-being and she literally grew sick with worry and frustration over time.

Jesus said He only did what my father told him to do. You notice that Jesus didn’t heal the same way every time. Sometimes he simply laid his hands on the person. Other times he spoke the word or commanded the condition to leave. I was always hearing from His father. I mean, the very act of submitting to the cross represented his obedience to His father. Obedience is key. Jesus’s ear was open to that voice. Is your ear open? Are you listening and obeying?

“He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be

done.” (Matt. 26:42, NIV)

 

 

Read the Word of God

Get into the greatest book ever written. It’s really as simple as that. God often speaks to us. But he’s got this book that contains his truth, his will, his way. He wants us to read it; it is a love letter of His redemptive plan. You want something fresh and new? Read it. It’s alive and relevant to your situation. You need something of old, tried and true? Read it. It has not changed.

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Heb. 4:11, KJV)

Don’t Give Up

Whelp. I’m done. Maybe it’s God’s will for me to go this way. Momma had it and went peacefully in her sleep. Auntie had it. She didn’t put up a fight, but checked out gracefully.

Is it God’s will or are you simply giving in because you’re too tired for the fight.

So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. (Gal. 6:9, NLT)

Listen, this battle, this situation is not just about you. It’s about all those that will come after you. It’s about those that are watching you and are really hoping that this Jesus thing really works because they haven’t seen the power of God played out.

Jesus came with signs and wonders because he wanted people to see and know the power of the living God. Well, now he works in and through us. We show the world that his power is still awesome to save and heal and get you through stuff that seems impossible. The world is watching us. Are we giving them something good and true to watch? Are we displaying an accurate representation of the power of God? If we’re falling out and giving up are we strong ambassadors for Christ?
Get up with sweat on your brow and tears in your eyes. Get up when everything in you is telling you to stay down. Get up and believe. Believe when everything in you doubts. Believe because someone else needs to believe.

There is an Everyday Victory: Part II

Living in everyday victory is not about God performing miracles every time we get in a jam. It is about us taking authority over that which God has entrusted us.

I think of the years my husband and I struggled financially as we pursued careers. We never had enough money for this or that and we were either borrowing or making arrangements to pay this bill or that bill or simply living without. We were always praying for some miraculous deliverance. And often God came through in a great way. But eventually it was pretty clear that our struggle was not because God wasn’t churning out miracles fast enough, but it was indicative of deeper, more complicated problems. It was a house that was too much for us, there were financial situations that we’d gotten ourselves into years prior and were still paying the price. There were times that we moved too quickly, not consulting God on our move or simply ignoring that unction because we wanted what we wanted. Getting back into a place of financial peace meant reconciling some long standing, missteps and changing our way of thinking. We had to find out what the Word said about financial health. We had to know Him and the power of His truth about it.

 Renew Your Mind with the Word

We didn’t need another miracle, we needed a revelation. And that revelation came by renewing our minds with the Word of God. God wants us to live and walk and breathe in his revealed word. It is revealed to us as we walk with Him daily. It is revealed to us as we listen and give place to the Holy Spirit that lives on the inside of us so that we may hear him all the time.  Jesus came so that we could live in victory. And that, my friend, is the greatest miracle.

Think of it, when we set out on a new journey we carry a map or listen to our GPS, following it as we go along. It is only when we (as we humans do) get off track, take a wrong turn that we have to stop and get special directions and have our path clarified. That often means going back a mile or two or it may mean continuing on ahead. Or perhaps there was construction and we missed the detour. But we wouldn’t expect that we’d have to pull over every five miles to be redirected; perhaps we would occasionally but not all the time.

Our healing, our victory often has to be walked out step by step. It means conquering fears, speaking the Word. It means casting down thoughts and imaginations that are contrary to the Word. It means clinging and holding on to the truth as if our lives depended on it. It may mean making natural changes in our daily lives.

For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds (2 Cor. 10:4)

But…I just… Can’t

So often our problems feel everlasting. It feels as though they will surely consume us. We want to hold up the white flag in surrender. It’s as if God has gone on a long journey and forgotten us. It feels as if God just isn’t going to come through this time—for whatever reason. He’s God, he just does that sometime, we think. But that would make him a liar. If he lies to you then that would make his entire Word one tall tale. And we know that is not true!

So you don’t feel like you have victory. I’ve been there. Many days I don’t feel anything. But we must regroup and command our feelings to line up with the truth. As we walk and meditate in this truth, our feelings will follow. Remember that our weapons cannot be seen with the natural eye. And the truth is our real enemy cannot be seen with the natural eye either. This battle is spiritual. God has equipped us with everything we need to live and walk in victory. Yeah, he loves us just that much. He wants you to live in victory more than you probably know.

Maybe your faith is tainted by unbelief. You want to believe. You just…don’t. Well, confess it (he already knows anyway). Now get back into that Word and stay in it until His truth is the only thing you believe and His face is all you see. His grace will carry you. He wants this for you real bad. But it is your choice to walk in it.

And whether our victory comes by miracle or a process with many ebbs and flow—we already know how this ends (yep spoiler alert)—we win. As long as you don’t give up, you win. You are the victor!

The Truth about an Unchangeable God

The Truth about an Unchangeable God

I get it. The world is in a constant state of transition–perpetual progression toward ultimate enlightenment, or something to that effect. The thing is, change is certain and we are expected to keep up or be left behind like some obsolete artifact.

And how blessed am I that I have a 14-year-old daughter who prides herself on being part of a generation that gets it? She constantly reminds me that she is not moved or shocked by the behavior of popular culture. It’s just the way it is, she says in one breath. And in the next she adds, You need to keep up. Quietly I mumble that I don’t want to keep up. You see I realize that there are things I don’t need to know or be subjected to because I am grounded in the truth that I possess.  I am open to change but not if it is contrary to truth. God is truth. He doesn’t change. Oh, there are many that would disagree with that statement. There are others that wish he would change. But they really don’t want that.

 Great is his faithfulness; his loving-kindness begins afresh each day. (Lam. 3:23)

He is perfect. What else could he be? We, on the other hand are subject to external sources and soulish desires. What is good to us today may be detestable to us tomorrow. But we can depend on God to be all that he is today and forever. He doesn’t bend or move or sway with popular culture or changing world views. They will transition forward and back again. He is not shaken by the times. He created time. But His unchangeable nature makes our changes less scary. We don’t have to fear the future or be shattered by tragedy or hard times or calamity. He is our anchor and solid rock. When we are shaken we remember that we are grounded in Him and we become stable. He is our source of truth in a world where truth is unreliable and questionable. And in our moments of confusion we can look to him to reassure us of where we should stand.

It is because of He is unchangeable that we know we will be O.K. We will make it. We will be victorious. We will see the end of our faith. He has promised that to us. And that will not change.