In the Moments of Quiet

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 exist 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?

Time with God_blog

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.

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.

When Your Doubts are Greater Than Your Faith Pt. I

When Your Doubts are Greater Than Your Faith Pt. I

It’s easy to say you believe God will come through when you have other options. When the operation is routine and the success rate is 95% our faith isn’t tested so much. When our disease can easily be treated with a pill three times a day there’s not a lot of pressure on our faith. But what do you do when the cancer has spread and is resistant to treatment? How do you trust God when the specialist says it’s gonna take a miracle and he apparently doesn’t believe in miracles? Or when he or she leaves and says I don’t want to be married to you anymore? And there you are with kids and bills and fear of the future. What do you do when all you have left is God?

Trust the Love of God

It was probably the first lesson that you ever learned about God. He loves you.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16, KJV)

God loves us. We hear it but do we believe it? To say God loves you is easy. It would almost be ridiculous to say that he doesn’t because it is the premise or the very foundation of our faith. But to fully comprehend the depth and breadth of his love is a life time of learning. But it begins with simply believing by faith. Sometimes we don’t feel that God loves us because naturally we have come to equate love with some type of feeling. But if you haven’t already discovered—feelings are fleeting and not always reliable. They change with the slightest breeze or shift in circumstances. God’s love doesn’t change. He loves you as much now as he ever will. He loves you perfectly. He loved you when you were messing it up royally, and just as much now as you are trying so desperately to get it right. And this is something you must know in your heart right in the middle of your greatest fight. If you can hold on to this you won’t lose. The enemy will challenge you on it because if can get you to doubt God’s love for you it will change everything. If God is not really for you…well…you may be on your own with this one. Not true! So remind yourself of his love every day.

“We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us.(I John 3:16, NLT)

For those of us who have father issues, sometimes it’s hard to believe in a God that has our back at all time. But it is necessary to begin to comprehend the love of a good father who wants nothing but the best for you. He doesn’t want you sick, broke, sad or confused. These things are not of our father. He does not put bad stuff on you for sport.

“If you make the Lord your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter, no evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your home. For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go. They will hold you up with their hands  so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone. “(Psalms 91: 9-12)

Walk in Love

Now you know that God loves you, are you loving others? I don’t mean your best friend who’s seen you through everything since middle school. I’m not talking about your Momma. I mean the woman who sits across from you at work and never speaks to you and undermines all of your work effort. I’m referring to the neighbor that seems to have a problem with your kind in general. When we refuse to walk in love (even with the unlovable) it can halt our progress or success in every area of our life.

“For through the Spirit we eagerly await by faith the righteousness for which we hope…The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” (Gal. 5:5-6, NIV)

When we are not walking in love we are often walking in judgment or condemnation of another. This glitches our relationship with the One who can bring us out because as we judge we will also be judge.

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.(Matt. 7:1-2)

Just as we receive the love of Christ by faith we love others by faith.

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!

There is an Everyday Victory

There is an Everyday Victory

I love stories of miracles—narratives of spontaneous and sudden help. Miracles give us hope for change and remind us that there is a higher power behind our victories. We can’t argue with the results because we see the change right before us. Oh, the thrill they give us.

But, you may not believe in miracles or maybe you think that they were ‘a thing’ back in Jesus’ day but there’s no one around to perform them anymore.

I believe in miracles.

I’ve witnessed them. I know that the power of God is available to heal or change a situation in an instant. But there is something even greater. Greater you may ask? Yep. Greater.

Signs and Wonders

Jesus’ ministry was all about signs and wonders and miraculous healings and deliverances that sent that nation reeling. But they were just that—signs. And what are signs but an indication, that that which we seek after actually exists.

A few weeks ago when my daughter and I went downtown Nashville looking for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum there were so many surrounding buildings I found myself searching up and around trying to pin down this place to which we’d never been. Suddenly I looked to my right and stretched across the great stone wall leading to the entrance were the words: Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. I was there. The sign attached was not the museum but an indication of that very place. I didn’t have to ask anyone if that was the building. The sign was my indication. The miracles and healings Jesus perform were signs of who he was. For those that were uncertain the signs and wonders said—yes this is the Christ! This is the one the prophets spoke of. Look no further!

 

And great crowds came to him, bringing with them the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute, and many others, and they put them at his feet, and he healed them,  so that the crowd wondered, when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled healthy, the lame walking, and the blind seeing. And they glorified the God of Israel. (Matt. 15:30-31, ESV)

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 And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?

Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see: (Matt. 11:3-4, ESV)

 

So what about now? Where are the miracles? Where are the signs to this present generation that this Christ’s power is yet in the earth?

Miracles are yet being performed. And certainly they are a great sign for those that don’t know him. But for those that know him there is another level of power because Christ lives within us. With this power we can walk in divine health and continuous victory every day. It is the power to speak to mountains in our lives, command them to move and watch them move. Just as he did. Yes, His power lives in us!

 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, (Ephes. 3:20)

Will Satan attack us? Yes. Absolutely. But the greater one lives in us and every day we walk out our faith with this knowledge. We war knowing that we are already victorious. Simply put God is asking us to live in faith and to walk it out day by day by taking authority over the power of the enemy.

Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. (Heb. 10:38)

He wants us to walk in divine health and victory. We do this by using our faith daily. If we are constantly living in sickness or disease and struggle and strife, we may want to examine our walk and our relationship with Christ. You see, we may love him. We may truly love him. But do we know Him and who we are in relationship to Him?

But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. (II Cor. 2:9-10)

Next week I will discuss more about this victory we have in Christ! But for now, know that His power is in you.