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.

When You Share Your Faith

When You Share Your Faith

When we talk about sharing our faith many of us get visions of Bible-waving believers or John the Baptist messengers preaching that the kingdom of heaven is at hand. But at the end of the day no one cares how many Bible verses you can quote or how many inspirational phrases you tweet. And on the other hand many of us don’t even bother talking about God at all at the fear of being off putting or too much.

Be a Doer

But the sharing of your faith is most effective in the demonstration of your faith. At its core, at its foundation it is simply about sharing the love of God. And that always takes action in which we connect with someone else.

His love covers the gamut of good deeds and heart felt dealings. It can be as simple as texting a co-worker to say “you are in my prayers”. It could be listening attentively as stranger shares personal information with you—people are crying out to be heard. It is offering hope instead of exchanging instances about how hard things are, how this country is doomed, or comparing illnesses and family drama. It is demonstrating the peace of God and the love of a Father.

You see when we speak in Christianese or try to convince people that we are good church going folk we are at that moment like the long line of believers who go through the symbolic motions of being typically religious. It is boring and ineffective. It is mediocrity in its purest.

When we demonstrate our faith it is a reminder to the cynical, non-believer, the hurting, the doubtful that there is yet hope for mankind because there is a God of love that is real and he is long-suffering. Good things do happen. God loves us and yes he answers prayers.

Every time we behave as the world does we reaffirm what many already believes—mankind is eternally lost and the God above isn’t doing much about it. When you demonstrate your faith you plant that seed of goodness. Another will come along and water with a word of God. Perhaps another will cultivate with an invitation to church or some event. But it starts with your seed. Your seed opens up the heart of someone who may have stopped believing that there is a good God.

Love without action

Demonstration of our faith can be a moment or singular action but it is also a lifestyle. As we walk in love, our demonstration becomes as natural and as much a part of us as our accent or eye color. It becomes woven into our DNA because it is who we are.

In one passage of scripture Jesus said:

“Believe me: I am in my Father and my Father is in me. If you can’t believe that, believe what you see—these works.” (John 14:11, MSG)

Others may not believe what you say, but they believe what you do. And that is demonstrated in and through us every moment of every day.

 

In the Moments of Quiet

In the Moments of Quiet

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 heap 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.

Change the atmosphere: Reflect the Heart of Christmas

Change the atmosphere: Reflect the Heart of Christmas

It’s not uncommon to hear that amidst all of this Christmas cheer and do-gooding others are left with a melancholy that will escort them well into the New Year.

But there is no magic dust that suddenly appears at the first sign of Christmas lights and holly. We are not instantly overcome with joy simply because our favorite radio station is playing holiday tunes for the next 25 days. And to add to our struggle to be merry we feel compelled to buy, buy, spend, spend and give, give. And even giving can’t alleviate sadness if our heart is apart from it.

The good news is that we can change it. We can relieve ourselves of the burden to fake the Christmas cheer. We can change the atmosphere of our hearts to reflect the truth behind this joy that is often so elusive.

 

For unto us a child is born

Embrace the First Gift

The privilege to celebrate the birth of Christ is indeed a gift. It is God’s gift to us. We are living, breathing beings with the opportunity to live forever—to live well in this life and even better in the next. For many this is a hard thing to accept so engulfed are they by circumstances and internal struggles and a lifetime of disappointment. But He says, “I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.” (John 10:10, MSG)

God’s gift is the life force. It is the sustainer of every living thing. It is connected to our very existence and intertwined with our purpose. Without it our world would be dismal indeed. And if we deny the truth of this gift, discount it in any way and override it with our own belief, life song, or truth, we will be on a perpetual search for the meaning of it all:

“Then we will no longer be like children, forever changing our minds about what we believe because someone has told us something different or has cleverly lied to us and made the lie sound like the truth.” (Ephes. 4:14, TLB)

Holidays will become ritualistic, vain tasks to appease the mind of guilt; good deeds will become meaningless actions which simply move us from one season to the next. The cycle will continue year after year.

Embrace the gift of Christ; he is Savior, Redeemer, and Lord. This gift is complete, perfect and it changes the game forever.

 

Game_Changers01_1650 

The Game Changer

Christ is the game changer. When we know Him not only will we live forever but we can reclaim our life here and now. Christmas will become a time when we celebrate someone we know, love and appreciate—Jesus Christ! Who did you think? And because we celebrate him our dark hearts are filled with light. The chasm of our hearts is filled with love, because He is love. We will give and do and bless others not out of obligation but because we are ambassadors of Christ. Part of our life’s purpose is being played out because if God is nothing, he is a giver and giving reflects our Father’s heart. And who doesn’t like to please the Father.

Change the atmosphere of your heart and make it brighter than the brightest star and be filled with more cheer than any song you could ever sing on this Earth.