Encounters With God

God encounters

Exodus 13:21, 22 NKJV And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night. He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day or the pillar of fire by night from before the people.

 

I love to read the stories of God’s presence, protection and provision for His people that are recorded in the Old Testament. I see such encouragement for the challenges that I, as His child, face today when I look back at how He provided for His people in times past. Reading the stories of how God ministered to His people gives me faith to believe for the same for me…..and for you!

 

From these two verses I see that God’s presence, protection and provision is always with me because it was with the Israelites when they were headed into uncharted territory after leaving the bondage they had been under in Egypt. How many times do we face unknown territory and wonder what we should do or say or where we should go? And yet, God is right there to lead, protect and provide what we need.

 

We see another picture of His presence, protection and provision through the ministry of Jesus Christ as He walked on this earth, ministering to the needs of those to which He encountered. In fact, the Word says in Hebrews 1:3 that Jesus is the “express image of His person”, speaking of God the Father. Jesus is and was God the Father in the flesh! He represented the Father to the people through His ministry. In Malachi 3:6, the Word records that God the Father said “For I am the LORD, I do not change;”. And again we see that recorded through the life of Jesus, who is God the Son, in Hebrews 13:8: Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

 

Jesus Himself recorded for us in John 14:16-18 that when He went back to Heaven He would ask the Father to send the Holy Spirit that we might not be left as orphans but would have the presence, protection and provision of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit! We have not been left alone….God is still making provision for His people!

 

God’s Spirit speaks to the hearts of those who need salvation today. He draws them to Jesus that they can be ushered into the family of God through receiving Him as Savior and Lord. He speaks the truth to our hearts to show us God’s right way of doing things. I’ve had people tell me before that receiving Jesus is not “their way”, but what’s really important is not that we try to achieve salvation through our own way, but through His. Only God’s way works!

 

John 1:12, 13 But as many as receiving Him to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

 

Salvation in it’s purest form is being born again, not in a physical form, but of the spirit. We each have a physical man that can be seen as we look upon each other, but the spirit man can’t be seen by the natural eye. That is what John is referring to in this verse. The works of man come from the physical, but the work of God arises from the spirit, being born again, anew through the blood of Jesus and in receiving Him into our hearts, believing that He is God in the flesh and confessing Him as Lord! God’s Spirit draws people to the saving knowledge of Jesus as He convicts them of their need for the Savior!

 

Jesus told Nicodemus in John 3:5, 6 that “unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. “Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

 

That’s the beginning point that each one of us needs to have to be a part of God’s family…..being born again. Then God’s Spirit leads and guides each child of God in the way they should go. He is described in the Amplified Bible as being our Comforter, Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby! He is the person of the Godhead that is in the world today, working the Will of God in the lives of people. He is the One who leads us and guides us into all truth; empowers us to do the Will of the Father, ministers through us to touch and impact other people’s lives for God’s kingdom. He is the One who comforts us when we are hurting, who prays through us when we don’t have words adequate enough to express ourselves, who helps us, strengthens us and fellowships with us! He is the One who baptizes us into the Body of Christ and immerses us into the ministry that God calls us to through anointing us and baptizing us with the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

 

God’s Spirit is a real person. Sometimes we refer to Him as “THE Holy Spirit”, but really His name is just “Holy Spirit” or “Holy Ghost”. He’s not an ethereal vapor, but the third person of the Godhead that makes His home inside our human spirits when we receive Jesus as Savior and Lord! He fills that void within our hearts that is the God-shaped vacuum designed for His presence only. It is through His ministry that we find God’s presence, protection and provision for today’s challenges!

 

1 Corinthians 6:19, 20 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

 

God’s Spirit within our hearts is the guarantee that we belong to the Father and that we have been placed in Christ Jesus through salvation. He is the Promise of the Father as described in Acts 1:4, 5:

 

And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; “for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

 

Holy Spirit in New Testament Church manifestation is like the wind, baptizing believers with tongues of fire and evidences of a new form of speech, utterances that only God understands that we refer to as speaking in tongues; a new boldness to speak of the mighty workings of God and new manifestations of His power through the gifts of His Spirit as described in 1 Corinthians 12 and 14. You can’t see Him because He is Spirit, but you can see the evidences of His operation in your life.

 

It is recorded in Acts 10:38 “how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him”

 

Jesus of Nazareth is Christ’s earthly name. It shows His humanity and how God gave Him the power to minister by anointing Him with His Spirit and “dunamis”, dynamic, explosive power that arises from the Spirit of God to do the things that God had assigned Him to do described as going out to do good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil. It is by the power of God’s Spirit that Jesus was able to go to the cross to secure the payment for the sin of mankind. The purpose that Jesus had in becoming our Savior and Lord was accomplished through the anointing of God’s Spirit. And the anointing of the Spirit that was upon Jesus’ human, earthly life is the same anointing that God places on individuals today that He empowers with His Spirit to do the things that He has called them to do.

 

And so we see God working through the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit for God never changes! He is always with us! Each member of the Godhead is a person of the Trinity with different roles to play in the lives of people; God the Father who is the Creator of all mankind; God the Son who paid for the sin of mankind through His redemptive work on the cross of Calvary; and God the Holy Spirit who draws people to Jesus for salvation and empowers them with His anointing to minister in the name of Jesus; who leads, guides, directs and communes with His people. God is still living and breathing new life; new protection and new provision into His people!

 

In what stage are you in your understanding of who God is, what Jesus did to secure your salvation and who the Holy Spirit is to you and in you? Can you see the role of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit in your life? Are you walking in the fullness of God’s presence, protection and provision today? What member of the Godhead do you need more evidence of in your life?

 

Father, I thank You for the presence, protection and provision of each member of the Godhead in my life. I know You as Father, as Son and Savior and as Holy Spirit. Thank You for meeting my every need through all the roles that You play in my life. Thank you for creating me, for saving me and for living within me! You are my God; my All in All, the One who knows me best and loves me most! Holy Spirit, You live within me and empower me to do the work of ministry that You have given me! Thank You for your fire that burns within me; that fills me to overflowing with Your presence and that anoints me to go forward in the name of Jesus to do the same works that He did. To You, Lord, be the glory, honor and praise! In Jesus’ name Amen.

Will You “Dare To Believe”?

Believe, God is with you

 

 

Judges 6:11-16 NLT Then the angel of the LORD came and sat beneath the oak tree at Ophrah, which belonged to Joash of the clan of Abiezer. Gideon son of Joash had been threshing wheat at the bottom of a winepress to hide the grain from the Midianites. The angel of the LORD appeared to him and said, “Mighty hero, the LORD is with you!” “Sir,” Gideon replied, “if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us? And where are all the miracles our ancestors told us about? Didn’t they say, ‘The LORD brought us up out of Egypt’? But now the LORD has abandoned us and handed us over to the Midianites.” Then the LORD turned to him and said, “Go with the strength you have and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!” “But LORD,” Gideon replied, “how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least in my entire family!” The LORD said to him, “I will be with you. And you will destroy the Midianites as if you were fighting against one man.”

Gideon was so afraid and had such a low self-esteem that he was hiding from his enemy down in the winepress trying to thresh wheat. Wheat was threshed high up on a hill by throwing it up in the air and letting the wind separate and carry away the chaff from the wheat seed. Here he was trying to hide from the enemy and still provide for his family.

Have you ever felt like Gideon? Have you ever felt like the enemy has stolen every thing that you have ever counted important in your life? Have you ever felt like you were the least important person on the face of the earth? Gideon had such a picture of defeat in his mind that he couldn’t see past the “why’s” of what had happened. Maybe “why, God, why?” has become bigger in your mind, as it was in Gideon’s, than the thought of “who, God, who?” should be. God sent a special messenger to Gideon to deliver an important message: “You don’t have to hide from your enemies. I will empower you to defeat them. It is because of My empowering you and sending you out that you will win over the enemy.”

God has that same message to send to you today! He has placed within you the potential for greatness. It is by His strength and empowerment that you can do the things that seem to be impossibilities. Don’t allow a disability or lack of funds to hinder you from doing the great things that God has given you the dreams to fulfill. How do you see yourself? As Gideon, the least of the least? God had a different picture in mind for Gideon to meditate on.

Judges 6:34 NKJV But the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon; then he blew the trumpet, and the Abiezrites gathered behind him.

The original Hebrew text for the phrase, “the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon” actually translates as “the Spirit of the LORD clothed Himself with Gideon”. Gideon was a different person when clothed with the Spirit of the Lord. When Gideon aligned himself with God’s viewpoint of who he was empowered with God’s Spirit he was able to believe that what God had said to him would actually come to pass. He dared to believe that God’s viewpoint of him was greater than anything he thought about himself or could see happening around him. It changed him from the inside out and he began to live out of the truth of God’s word rather than his natural senses.

Judges 8:10-12 NLT By this time Zebah and Zalmunna were in Kardor with the remnant of 15,000 warriors—all that remained of the allied armies of the east—for 120,000 had already been killed. Gideon circled around by the caravan route east of Nobah and Jogbehahm, taking the Midiante army by surprise. Zebah and Zalmunna, the two Midianite kings fled, but Gideon chased them down and capture all their warriors.

Wow, here we see a different picture; the picture of what God had called Gideon to begin with, a Mighty hero; one who had saved his people from their enemies! What a difference it makes when we see ourselves as God sees us and allow Him to empower us to do what we feel is impossible. Gideon had to “dare to believe” that what God said would happen in his life.

What do you need to “dare to believe” for from God today? Are you living out of your past failures and disappoints? Do you have a dream that is unfulfilled? Do you feel as if you are about to go under for the third time? What do you need to change in your life? Is your enemy bigger than your God? Maybe it’s the enemy of poverty, or sickness or mental anguish. Whatever enemy you are fighting you can “dare to believe” God for His delivering power and victory in your very own life and situation. You are no different that Gideon. God is still in the delivering and empowering business! But you must choose to step out and follow Him. Follow His directions even when it looks like it’s an impossibility. God will not force you to believe and He will not drag you out of your complacency or fear. He has a part to play and you do as well! Your part is to believe and act on that faith and His part is to work the miracle as He cloths Himself with you. He is like the hand inside the glove and you are the glove!

The miraculous is awaiting you…..will you “dare to believe” God today?

Father, I thank You for never changing. Your word says that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever! And You have said in Acts 10:34 that You are no respecter of persons. What you have done in one person’s life You will do in another’s. Thank You for being faithful to Your word.

Father, I bring those before You today who need a miracle in their life. I pray that they will reach out to You and believe You for the miraculous. All power is embodied in You; there is nothing that can stand against You and You have said that all things are possible to him who believes. Father, grant them the strength and courage to believe and act on Your word. Empower them for the greatness that You have placed within them. Do the miraculous in Your people today, Father!

Thank You for the victory, Lord. It is as we trust You and follow Your directions that You will move us forward into that good plan that You have for our lives. I pray that this will be their day of deliverance and salvation. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

 

I Believe!

Believe1

John 6:28, 29 NKJV Then they said to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”

There are times in our lives when circumstances seem to cry out for us to DO something. Jesus told His disciples that their doing was not the important part, but that what they believed was the work they were to do. Why would He tell them the work they were to do was to believe in Him?

When we look at the background in which Jesus was instructing His disciples we see that they were seeking fulfillment; they were physically hungry and looking for food that would satisfy their hunger. They were confused about their physical needs being met and Jesus was trying to tell them that the real need they had was spiritual. They didn’t understand that Jesus came to satisfy the hunger of our hearts and that contentment comes only through believing, trusting in Him to fulfill what they needed and that through believing or trusting in Him they would have all that they needed; physically, spiritually, emotionally, mentally and materially. Jesus came that we might have life and that more abundantly. (John 10:10)

Jesus said in Matthew 6:33 that when we seek God’s kingdom, or the spiritual side of life, that the things that we have need of would be added to us; or our needs would be met through His provision as we seek or believe in Him. There is no need for worry when our trust is in Him.

Faith is the bridge

What does it mean to believe? Sometimes we try to measure Bible truths by worldly definitions. The world would say to believe would be to have a mental assent or intellectual understanding of something. But the Biblical definition of “believe” is to have faith (in, upon, or with respect to, a person or thing); to commit to trust or put your trust in that person. Now that moves believing to a whole different level. When we believe with mental assent we keep what we know to be true in our minds. But when we believe by trusting in a person or what that person has said, we move believing to an action and not just head knowledge. As an example: I can look at a chair and say that I believe that it would hold me up when I sit in it and that would be belief as in “head knowledge” based on the construction of the chair, what it looks like and my mental deduction of it’s ability to withstand my weight when I sit on it. But when I believe by the Biblical definition I would sit down in the chair and even lift my feet up off the floor because I trust in it to hold me up. One definition sees from the outside looking in and the other one sees from the inside looking out. Believing by Bible definition is placing my trust in Jesus, in all that He has said and done in relation to my need for provision; spiritually, physically, mentally, emotionally and materially. His promises to me are YES and AMEN according to 2 Corinthians 1:19, 20!

Looking back on John 6:29 where Jesus said that the work they were to do was to “believe” in Him now makes more sense because we understand that believing is an action word rather than a passive state. Action actually flows from a heart that believes in Jesus and what He has said. Thus, the work of God that a believer would do flows from the heart of belief that trusts in what God has said.

Romans 10:8-10 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart,” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Salvation comes through believing or trusting in the Lord Jesus as being the Son of God who was crucified and raised from the dead to give you salvation, righteousness in Him, and is put into practice, or made real in your life through the confession of your mouth of that heart belief.

John 7:38 “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”

The Holy Spirit is resident within each born again believer and flows from their innermost being like rivers of living water when they “believe”. Trusting the Holy Spirit to flow freely from the believer comes as you put your trust in Him to do what He has said.

Mark 16:17, 18 “And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; “they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

Ministry signs flow from the lives of “believers”, not “doubters”. Jesus said in John 14:12 that when we “believe in Him” the works that He did we would do also and even greater works.

John 14:12 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.”

Later in John 6 Jesus went on to tell His disciples that what He had just told them about Him being the Bread of Life sent down from the Father to do His will would drive some away because they didn’t believe and were offended by what He said. He asked those closest to Him, His twelve disciples, if they, too, wanted to go away. But Simon Peter said “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” (John 6:68)

John 6:69 “Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Peter said they had come to “believe and know” that Jesus was who He said He was, the Son of the living God, and that because of that belief there was no other alternative but to follow Him. They had both the “head knowledge” and the “heart trust” in Him, in what He said, to the point of choosing Him above all that they might see or hear going on around them. Their focus was on their trust in Him.

What do you “believe” about Jesus today? Have you placed your trust in Him, first and foremost for salvation, for forgiveness of your sin? If so, what about the “work” of believing? Are you trusting that what He has placed within you, His Spirit, will flow freely from your innermost being? Are you living out of your heart trust in Him or your head knowledge? Ministering in His name flows from those who believe!

As “believers” each of us is at a different level in our faith walk. To believe for forgiveness of sin is where our faith walk begins. Then as we grow we are challenged to “believe” for different aspects of walking by faith. Sometimes we are challenged to “believe” or “trust” Him for other benefits of His redemptive act of dying on the cross for us. It might be a health challenge that we are facing, or a financial loss or setback. In those cases, we can turn to God’s word and find the promise that assures us that His provision is there if we will just “believe”.

Matthew 8:16, 17 When evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: “He Himself took our infirmities And bore our sicknesses.”

Do you need healing for a physical infirmity or a demonic oppression? He healed the sick and delivered the demonized. This is a promise that you can “believe” or “place your trust in”.

Philippians 4:19 And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

“According to” means “in a manner consistent with”! God supplies our need in a manner consistent with His riches by or through Christ Jesus. His riches never run out; He never sustains lack; He always has the supply that is needed to meet our needs and our assurance of that comes by looking at or “believing in” what Christ Jesus did in the finished work of the cross! He traded places with us, becoming sin, sickness and a curse for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. He laid aside His deity to take our place on the cross. We deserved to die in our sin but He chose to trade places with us to die in our place that we might have life and that more abundantly!

Isaiah 43:10-13 NLT “But you are my witnesses, O Israel!” says the LORD. “And you are my servant. You have been chosen to know me, believe in me, and understand that I alone am God. There is no other Savior. First I predicted your deliverance; I declared what I would do, and then I did it—I saved you. No foreign god has ever done this before. You are witnesses that I am the only God,” says the LORD. “From eternity to eternity I am God. No one can oppose what I do. No one can reverse my actions.”

 

Hebrews 1:3 NLT The Son reflects God’s own glory, and everything about him represents God exactly. He sustains the universe by the mighty power of his command. After he died to cleanse us from the stain of sin, he sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God of heaven.

Will you believe today?

Father, I thank You for delivering me from the power of darkness and conveying me into the Son of Your love. I thank You for paying the price, Lord Jesus, for my salvation and I thank You, Holy Spirit, for living within me and flowing from me to effect change in the hearts and lives of people today!

Father, I pray for those who may not know Jesus as Savior and Lord, that today might be their day of salvation, the day when they place their trust in Him as being the One true God who died to take their place on the cross as the punishment for their sin. I ask You to pull down the blinders that Satan has hung over their minds that is blinding them to the light of the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ, that they might come to salvation.

 

I pray also, for those who are struggling with needs today, Father, that they might see You as their need-meeter. And that they would “believe” the promises that You have given in Your word to supply their need. Father, for those who are sick in body I pray that they will “believe” that it is by the stripes of Jesus that they are healed and that they will see that Jesus carried their sicknesses that they might not have to carry them. I pray that Your word will become alive within them and effect the healing of their physical beings.

 

Father, for those who are oppressed by the devil, mentally and emotionally I ask that You would deliver them as they place their trust in You for freedom from all that the devil uses to oppress them. I pray that they would “believe” today that they are free in Christ Jesus!

 

Thank You, Father, for meeting the financial needs of those who may be experiencing loss of job or home or finances. Father, You have made provision for their every need and I thank You for meeting it!

 

Father, these things I bring before You this morning requesting in the name of Jesus and declaring that I believe that I receive when I pray. Amen.

 

Smokescreens

Smokescreens

Smokescreens have long been used as weapons of warfare, to hide the enemy’s movements, tactical maneuvers and equipment that are being used to attack and defeat their enemies. Today, every believer has an enemy who comes to steal, kill and destroy the life that God has planned for them. That enemy is Satan, the devil, our adversary, and the one Jesus refers to in John 10:10 as “the thief”, who comes only “to steal, and to kill, and to destroy”.

 

The smokescreen is designed to block a person’s view, to keep that person from knowing what his enemy is doing and planning as his next strategic move in the war to defeat, to kill and destroy and to win the war. Jesus said that our enemy has only one plan for our lives, which is to steal, kill and destroy. He often sends up smokescreens to keep us from seeing the good plan that God has for each of our lives. That smokescreen may come as a negative doctor’s report, the loss of a loved one, depression, mental illness, a failed marriage or the loss of a job. In all those instances we see loss, the plan to destroy and kill the vision that God has for our lives. Fear, anxiety, loss, sickness, lack and disappointment are all plans that the devil has to steal the abundant life that Jesus died to give us.

 

So, what can we do when these smokescreens arise in front of us? The most important thing we can do is go back to the truth of God’s word. I’ve often had to ask myself this question: “What does God’s word have to say about my situation?”.

 

When sickness comes we can go back to the Word of God which says that God is our Healer. (Ex. 15:26) God brought His people out of Egypt and His word records in Psalm 105:37 that there was “none feeble among them”. He gave Jesus to die for us, who was made sickness and sin for us that we might be healed, spiritually and physically. The Holy Spirit spoke through Matthew that Jesus “Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses” (Matt. 8:16, 17) that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet about Jesus being our sacrifice for sin, sickness and disease. (Isaiah 53:4, 5) Jesus became sin that we might become the righteousness of God in Him and it is by His stripes that we are healed. (2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Pet. 2:24) Sickness is a by-product of sin as there was no sickness in our world until Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden. It was then that sin and sickness came into our lives.

 

Jesus is the exact representation of the Father God, and the Word says in Acts 10:38 “how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.” Jesus’ ministry was that of teaching, preaching and healing. (Matthew 4:23-24; Matthew 9:35) He sent His disciples out to do the same thing: teach, preach, and heal (Matthew 10:1;7, 8) And again we see that when Jesus sent the seventy out He gave them the same instructions: preach and heal the people. (Luke 10:9) In His last instructions to those of us who would believe in Him, Jesus gave what we know as the Great Commission, in which He told us go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature; to cast out demons, speak with new tongues, do battle against demonic forces, and to heal the sick. (Mark 16:15-18)

 

Smokescreens were designed to get our eyes off the vision; to turn our focus from God’s plan to save, heal, deliver and set people free, and to destroy the lives of those who were created in God’s image and likeness and called to spread the good news of His Gospel to all the world.

 

Lack is a smokescreen that goes against God’s word which says that He will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)  God never runs short on His supply and it never runs out. When lack comes knocking on your door, look to see what might have sent it, correct anything you might be doing to hinder the flow of God’s provision and receive Him as your Provider.

 

Fear and mental instability is not God’s plan for your life. It is a smokescreen to get your mind off of the truth of God’s word. 11 Timothy 1:7 says that “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind”. Fear and mental problems, a feeling of hopelessness and no strength to fight the attacks of the enemy all come from the spiritual attack of the devil to steal, kill and destroy because the mind is the battlefield. Instead, God’s word instructs us to set our minds on God and trust in Him and we will have perfect peace and strength. (Isaiah 26:3,4) Paul tells us in Philippians 4:4-8 that if we will not be anxious, but instead pray about everything and think on the things that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely and of a good report that His peace will guard our hearts and minds. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 tells us to take the thoughts that come into our mind that are from the enemy captive and bring them into obedience to the Word of God. We do not have to receive every thought that comes into our minds. God has given us the ability to arrest wrong thoughts and replace them with the right ones.

 

Your children and grandchildren are to be taught of the Lord and experience great peace, (Isaiah 54:13) and they are to be blessed and mighty on the earth (Psalm 112:2) Great are the promises of God for your life; they are all “yes and amen” through Christ Jesus as He is glorified in your life! (2 Corinthians 1:19, 20) God means for you to be the head and not the tail, to be above and not beneath, and to experience His blessings upon your lives. (Deuteronomy 28:1-14)

 

Smokescreens are designed by the enemy to take your mind off of the truth of God’s Word for your life. The way to overcome is to change your focus from what is going on around you to what God says in His word. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life and His words to you are spirit and they are life. (John 14:6; John 6:63) What does He say about you? What does He say about your life? How can you change your focus from what you see happening around you or what you are experiencing in your physical being or the world? Paul describes this in Romans 1:16-18 as living by faith.

 

Romans 1:16-18 NKJV For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”

 

The gospel of Christ is the good news of all that He died to secure for us on the cross: forgiveness of sin, freedom from sickness, lack, demonic oppression and everything that would come against us as His children. But notice that the prerequisite for receiving is through believing. Faith is the vehicle that gets God’s grace into our lives. Everything that Jesus died to give us is included in God’s grace but comes into our lives through our faith. Ephesians 2:8, 9 says that it is “by grace” that we are saved “through faith” because it is a gift of God that can’t be earned through anything that we might do or any way we might perform to try to obtain it. It is free for our receiving and when we say “yes” to Jesus we are saved; born again, freed from the devil’s grasp and delivered from his power to steal, kill and destroy our lives. We then walk it out or as the Word says “live by faith” every day as we depend on His provision as described in His word. God’s word is His revealed will for each of us but if we don’t know the “will” we won’t operate in it’s provisions.

 

Do you know and understand the last “will and testament” of God for your life? It’s found in His word!  Where God’s will is not known, faith cannot be exercised to receive. Hebrews 8:6 says that Jesus is the Mediator of a better covenant that was established on better promises. He is the Intercessor, the One who stands between you and God proclaiming that He died to save you; spirit, soul and body and that when you place your trust in Him you will experience that salvation. Believe and receive; doubt and do without!

Smokescreens2

Smokescreens…..what is the devil throwing up between you and God that is causing you to focus more on the symptoms of destruction rather than the saving grace of God? Place your trust in Him; proclaim His promises in the face of life’s problems and experience the provision that God has made available to you through Christ Jesus, His Son.

 

Romans 8:31, 32 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?

 

God gave His very best when He gave Jesus to die for you. Will you receive Him today as your Savior, Healer, Deliverer and Provider?

 

Father, I come before You today to thank You for providing all that I have need of spirit, soul and body. I thank You for giving Jesus to die for me, to be my Savior, my Healer, my Deliverer, and my Provider. I don’t always understand why things happen the way they do but this one thing I know: that You are good all the time and the devil is bad all the time. Good comes from Your hand and evil comes from the hand of the devil. I thank You for turning those things that he sends to destroy me into good that will be of benefit to me. I pray for those who don’t know Jesus that today might be their day of salvation, the day that they give their hearts to Him. I pray that You will grant those who don’t know Him as Healer, Deliverer, and Provider the understanding that they need to receive Him for all of life’s needs. I pray that today we will walk in a deeper revelation of Who He is to us as believers in Christ Jesus. I ask You to open the eyes of our understanding to see all that You have provided for us in your work of redemption. And I thank You for all that You have died to give us. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Reflections Of The Past

Yesterday and Tomorrow

Genesis 19:26 NKJV But his wife looked back behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.

 

As we come to the close of 2013 many are looking back and wondering what lies ahead. What does God have for our future? Could it be more of the same? Or is it possible that what lies ahead of us is better than what we ever could have imagined? We are at the crossroads between yesterday and tomorrow!

 

In Genesis 19:12-29 we find the story of God delivering Lot and his family from Sodom and Gomorrah before the sin of what was taking place there brought destruction upon the city and its inhabitants. God sent angels in to the city to bring Lot and his family out in order to bring them into a place of safety, a refuge where they could experience His goodness for their lives. Just as He did for the Israelites when bringing them out of Egypt, He brought Lot and his family out of a place of bondage and sin in order to bring them into a place of His provision and goodness. What lay ahead of them was so much better than what was behind, in their past.

 

In this story of Lot’s and his family’s deliverance, we see that Lot’s wife had difficulty leaving her past behind. She was so torn in leaving that as she was being brought out of the city she looked back longingly for what she was leaving behind. The result was that she was so paralyzed at the thought of leaving behind what she had thought as being the “good life” she had experienced in Sodom and Gomorrah that she was preserved right where she was as a pillar of salt. Her affections were for the world she was leaving behind and not what God had for her in the future. God was bringing her out of what she couldn’t see as a destructive lifestyle to bring her into the blessings of His future, but she wanted to stay where she was and it proved to be to her destruction.

 

God is the God of restoration, reconciliation and re-construction! Regardless of whether your year 2013 was a good one or what you consider to be a year of destruction, God has a good future ahead of you. The thing that we must remember is that we can’t fully embrace what God has for us in the future until we turn loose of the past. It’s difficult to walk a straight line if you have your head turned around looking behind you. Lot’s wife made the mistake of desiring what she was leaving behind. She couldn’t see the future for the past. Sometimes we get caught up in what we think is the best we could ever have until we can’t imagine God doing something new that could be better. Many times we won’t turn loose of the past because of following the “popular opinion” of what others think we should or shouldn’t do.

 

As God brought His people out of Egypt, which He defined as the house of bondage (Deuteronomy 5:6), to move them into the Promised Land we see them constantly thinking about what they had left behind. They couldn’t see the future for the remembrance of the past, even though they cried out to God for deliverance from the bondage they were under to the Egyptians, and He delivered them and provided for their every need while on the way to the Promised Land.

 

Numbers 11:4-6 NKJV Now the mixed multitude who were among them yielded to intense craving; so the children of Israel also wept again and said; “Who will give us meat to eat? “We remember the fish which we ate freely in Egypt, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic; “but now our whole being is dried up; there is nothing at all except this manna before our eyes!”

 

The people were blinded by looking behind so that they couldn’t see the opportunities that lay before them!

 

Are you blinded by your past today? Can you see the good that God has promised for your future? He said in Jeremiah 29:11 that He has a good future awaiting you; a plan filled with hope for good that is designed to prosper you and not harm you. He spoke these words to His people while they were yet again in bondage and had no vision of the good future that He had awaiting them. And the same is meant for us today as God never changes and His desires are always to bless and prosper His people; to provide a better future for them than what they are living in at the present.

 

Jeremiah 29:11 NIV “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

 

God is speaking once again to His people today about looking forward into His goodness rather than dwelling on the past. 2014 is upon us; it is uncharted territory and God is opening the door for us into a new future; new goals and new dreams.

New Year, New Goals, New Dreams

Are you ready to lay aside the old and embrace the new? I have chosen to lay aside some aspects of ministry to embrace what only God knows that He has for me in the future. Some don’t understand and are saddened by my decision, but I feel it is the leading of the Lord and must follow what I hear Him saying to me. I know that God will lead by His Spirit and through His word, just as He did of old, leading by His presence as by the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night. He never left them to travel through uncharted territory by themselves. He was always there to provide and protect.

 

Lot’s wife turned into a pillar of salt because she failed to see the goodness and provision of the Lord. She had become “comfortable” in the dysfunction of her life until she longed for what was familiar more than the newness and excitement of the changes that God wanted to bring into her life. She failed to follow Him and chose to live in the past rather than the future. What will it be for you? Will you embrace the new year with total abandonment of the past or will you be constantly looking back wishing things could be as they used to be?

 

I’m excited to be moving into the future! I believe God has good things in store for His people in 2014 and that as I align myself with Him and believe that what He has in store for me will be good I will experience the fullness of all that He has awaiting me in the new year!

Moving Into The Future

Father, I thank You for what You have taught me in 2013 and I look forward to the good future that you have set before me in the upcoming year. I pray that many will come to salvation through your goodness as You have stated in Your word in Romans 2:4 that it is Your goodness that leads man to repentance. I pray that we all might lay aside the past in order to move forward into the good that You have planned for us in the upcoming year. I pray that it will be a year of transformation as we draw close to You and embrace all that You have for us. Father, open the eyes of the blind to see the way that You have set before them. Teach us Your ways, Your right way of doing things, that we might walk closely with You and give us long life, good health, and provision for every need that we might encounter in the upcoming days. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

There Is Hope!

Healing

Jeremiah 17:14 NKJV Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed; Save me, and I shall be saved, For You are my praise.

 

Jeremiah called out to God for healing and then declared that as he was touched he would be healed. When God speaks of healing and declares that He will heal He doesn’t limit it to a certain area or aspect of your life; He speaks of healing as to whatever needs healing in your spirit, soul or body. Jesus died for the whole man and provides salvation and deliverance for whatever area of need that you have.

 

In Exodus 15:26 God declared Himself as the “LORD who heals you.” And in Psalm 103 we see the Psalmist praising God for providing healing for his sin and diseases and for restoring his youth as that of the eagle.

Psalm 103:1-5 NKJV BLESS the LORD, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits; Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

 

The Apostle Matthew wrote in Matthew 8:17 that “He” (Jesus) “took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses” just as Isaiah had prophesied about Jesus many years before His crucifixion.

 

Isaiah 53:4 AMP Surely He has borne our griefs (sicknesses, weaknesses, and distresses) and carried our sorrows and pains [of punishment], yet we [ignorantly] considered Him stricken, smitten, and afflicted by God [as if with leprosy]. But He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole.

 

The Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible records Isaiah as prophesying in Isaiah 53:4 that Jesus “took up our infirmities”, which when translated from the original Hebrew word means that He became diseased, ill, and that he was made to be sick and was afflicted with illness, weakness, affliction, caused to suffer and be wounded for our sicknesses. He carried them to the cross and nailed them there along with our sin. Jesus was made to be everything evil in our lives so that we could be healed, whether it was in our physical being, our mental, emotional or soul realm, or our spiritual man. He carried all aspects of our sickness, spirit, soul and body to the cross and paid the price for our salvation full and complete.

 

I’m so glad that my Jesus is my Savior, Healer, Deliverer and Provider! He did a complete work on the cross for my salvation and I confess Him as my All in All, my El-Shaddai, the All-Sufficient, All-Bountiful One, the One who mightily nourishes, satisfies, protects, and supplies His people. He is mighty to save!

 

I know that not all believe that Jesus saves from illness, and I don’t understand why not all are healed, but this one thing I know: if God said it in His word, I can believe it. I will not judge God’s word by what I see happen around me or whether or not this one is healed or not healed. I will simply believe what He says and leave the works of establishing His word in a person’s life up to Him. I believe!

 

Father, I thank You for providing salvation for me; spirit, soul, and body. I thank You for loving me so much that You gave Your very own Son that I might be free from sin, sickness and disease and poverty and lack. You are the Mighty God, mighty to save Your people from all aspects of sin! Thank You, Lord Jesus, for taking stripes upon Your back to secure my freedom from all that sin entails. You are My Savior, My Healer, My Deliverer and My Provider. I proclaim You as My All in All this morning and I thank You for Your healing touch upon all who need healing, whether it be for forgiveness of sin, for healing in their bodies, mind, emotions or in their finances. Thank You for providing healing for them. I pray that they will believe in You, trust in You and receive that which You have so graciously provided through Your grace. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

 

Learn To Live Care-Free

Learn to live care-free

Luke 10:41, 42 NKJV And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. “But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”

 

As I was praying and meditating on this scripture this morning, I heard the voice of the Lord speaking gently to my heart:

 

“I want you to be without care, My Child. I do not want you to be distracted by the cares of the world in which you live. Have I not commanded you to cast your cares on me? Set yourself free from the burden and weight of sin and care by releasing it to Me. Do not try to shoulder a load for which you were not designed and created to carry. Yoke yourself with Me and trade your care for My ease in life. Yield your will to Mine and learn My ways, My right way of living. Do not speak of the worries of your life for I am here to provide for your every need. You have no cares as long as you release them to Me. But if you continue to try to shoulder them yourself, you will continue to be heavyhearted for you can do nothing about them. It is not within your power to change those about which you worry. That is My place; My responsibility. Your responsibility is to pray about them and cast them on Me. My responsibility is to change the people and situations that you are concerned about. In this manner you will learn how to live care-free. Trust Me for I am well able to care for those things and people that you commit unto Me. Again I say, learn to live care-free, for I do not want you to live under the burden of your cares.”

 

May you find peace in the word of the Lord this morning!

 

Scriptures used by the Lord in relaying this word to us:

 

Luke 10:41, 42

1 Cor. 7:32a

1 Peter 5:6, 7

Matthew 11:28-30

Matthew 6:31-34

2 Timothy 1:12

 

Thank You, Father, for speaking this word to my heart this morning. I pray that all who are weighed down by the cares of this life will release them to You and allow You to teach them how to live without care. Thank You for Your provision for all of life! In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Feelings

Feelings

This morning I just have a “feeling” that someone needs some encouragement regarding their emotions and what they have going on inside of them. David, the Psalmist, said it this way in Psalm 55:4-8:

 

My heart is severely pained within me, And the terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fearfulness and trembling have come upon me. And horror has overwhemed me. So I said, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest. Indeed, I would wander far off, And remain in the wilderness. Selah I would hasten my escape From the windy storm and tempest.”

 

Does it feel like a storm and tempest is raging in your life? Are you overwhelmed with life and wish that you had wings like a dove to fly away to a restful place? Sometimes our feelings deceive us into thinking that we are stuck in a situation with no way out. Those types of emotions definitely do not lead to success and victory and yet God promises that we are more than conquerors through Him who loves us! (Romans 8:37) It’s easy to get “caught up” in our emotions and feel like things will never be any different. But God offers encouragement throughout His word for which we can anchor our faith!

 

Later in Psalm 55 David gave a key to overcoming our emotions and setting our course on solid footing.

 

Psalm 55:16-18 As for me, I will call upon God, And the LORD shall save me. Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, And He shall hear my voice. He has redeemed my soul in peace from the battle that was against me, For there were many against me.

 

David had a lot going on in His life. He was chased by Saul, hid in caves and fought against his enemies for approximately 15 years after he was anointed as King over Israel, but before he actually took his throne and was crowned as the King. I’m sure he had occasion to “feel” as if God’s word to him was not true and that he would never see the promise of kingship manifested in his life. We can look through the scriptures at the record of that time and see a whole range of emotions that he experienced during those years of running, hiding and fighting.

 

At one point in David’s life he returned to the city where he lived and found that his wife and children, and all their possessions, as well as the wives, children and possessions of all his men had been stolen by their enemies and there was nothing left of their town. Emotions ran high that day for David and his men.

 

1 Samuel 30:4 Then David and the people who were with him lifted up their voices and wept, until they had no more power to weep.

 

The lifted up their voices and wept until they had no more power to weep. They were exhausted from the fighting and returned to find all that they had was gone. Their emotions were overwhelming! Even his men turned against him at that time.

 

1 Samuel 30:6 Now David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every many for his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God.

 

When we experience such deep emotions our ability to think and reason things out is often colored and affected by the fear, grief and anxiety of the moment. David was grieved over the loss of his family and possessions, but even more so when he realized that his men were thinking of stoning him over something that he had no control over. It appeared that everyone that David cared about was gone, whether physically or emotionally, they had been removed from him and he was all alone.

 

But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God! What does it mean to “strengthen” yourself? The Amplified Bible says that David “encouraged and strengthened himself in the Lord his God”. Sometimes we have to take the initiative to get out of the pit of despair ourselves by encouraging ourselves in the Lord. We find an admonition to do just that in Isaiah 60:1 in the Amplified Bible.

 

Isaiah 60:1 AMP ARISE [from the depression and prostration in which circumstances have kept you – rise to a new life]! Shine (be radiant with the glory of the Lord), for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you!

 

I remember when my former husband passed away after such a short marriage. I had no more than finished sending out thank you notes for wedding gifts when I found myself planning a funeral. I was, to say the least, depressed and discouraged. Not only had I lost the man I loved, but also the dream of my future with the man that I felt God had given me as a godly mate. I was devastated and found myself lying in bed at night wondering how I could end the pain and torment that I was experiencing. My grief had overwhelmed me and I had thoughts that I would never have thought about had I not been so caught up in my emotions. I realized that I had to do something drastic in order to position myself to win over the fear, grief and devastation that I was enduring. I had to encourage myself in the Lord just as David did. It was then that I began to take a step of faith towards what I knew was right instead of letting my emotions overwhelm me and carry me down to the depths of despair.

 

My friend, if you are experiencing emotions that seem overwhelming with fear and anxiety over your life or things that “could” happen, you will have to take steps toward freeing yourself from those heavy thoughts and feelings. You will have to encourage yourself in the Lord as well.

 

One way to do this is by putting on some praise and worship music and then entering into that song with the singers. Another way is through seeking the Lord in prayer and listening for His loving voice as He shares with you His good plans for your future. God does have a good plan for you, just as He had for me when I lost my husband. There is life after disaster! There is hope in the midst of the storms of life. God offers salvation from sin, sickness and poverty and lack. He has provided for every need that you have or will ever experience in your life. He is the way-maker! But you have a part to play in His plan for your life as well as Him. He has provided it, but through hope and expectancy you will receive it. It is by faith that we walk through the life that He has planned for us. We don’t see what lies ahead but we trust Him to provide for our every need.

 

When David was experiencing all those emotions that we spoke of in Psalm 55 he went on to say this:

 

Psalm 55:22 Cast your burden on the LORD, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.

 

Cast, throw your cares on the Lord; trust Him to carry the load of your emotions, your fears, anxieties and questions about tomorrow. He will sustain you! That word for sustain is the Hebrew word “chul” and it means to maintain, nourish, provide food, bear hold up, protect, support, defend; to supply the means necessary for living.

 

God’s part is to maintain, nourish, provide food, bear, hold up, protect, support, defend and supply the means necessary for living your life! He has a big part to play in what you are going through. But your part is to cast your cares on Him, to trust Him to do His part in caring for you.

 

And one more thing is necessary for you to succeed and win over the emotions of despair and defeat. God told David to go after his enemies, to take back what the devil had stolen from him when he took their wives, children and possessions. He told him to “Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all.” (1 Samuel 30:8)

 

You see, God doesn’t want you to live “under your circumstances”. He wants you to succeed, to win, be the the over comer that He has created you to be. He is the God of restoration! His word proclaims us as “more than conquerors” through His love.

 

Romans 8:31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

 

God is for you, my Friend! He has not given up on you nor has He thrown you under the bus to be run over by life’s problems!

 

Faith is the victory that overcomes the world!

 

1 John 5:4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.

 

Don’t give up to despair…don’t let your “feelings” dictate where you go in life. Rise up on the inside and let your determination to win be seen on the outside. Victory is yours through Christ Jesus.

 

“Feelings come and feelings go,

But this one thing I’m sure I know….

That God is fair in all He does,

His word is true and His ways are just.

 

So place your trust in God above;

Lean into Him and trust His love.

He will not fail to see you through,

And you’ll be blessed in all you do.”

~A. S. 11-26-13

Once you start praising the Lord and fighting this fight of faith you will find that the attacks that the enemy sends against you to discourage you will become less and less as you become stronger and stronger. We see this said about David’s fight against Saul and his ultimate crowning as King of Israel in 2 Samuel 3:1:

 

Now there was a long war between the house of Saul and the house of David. But David grew stronger and stronger, and the house of Saul grew weaker and weaker.

 

David had his battles to fight against his enemy Saul, but we can see recorded in this scripture that as he stood up to his enemy and fought the battle of faith, his enemy grew weaker and weaker. And David’s strength increased! Your strength to fight the battles of life will increase also as you place your trust in God and stand up and fight for what He has said is yours!

 

Father, I thank You for giving us the victory in Christ Jesus. Father, You have planned for us to win over the emotions that so often try to hold us back from receiving all that You have paid for us on the cross! Thank You for showing us the way out, the way to victory, through our faith in You. I pray this morning for those who are fighting depression and discouragement. Father, I ask You to give them the strength to rise up on the inside and let their faith be seen on the outside. Father, show them how to “encourage” themselves in You, Lord. Give them a glimpse of the good plan that You have for their future. Show them that You have a bigger picture in mind for them than what they are experiencing right now. Grant them a new vision of life after despair! In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

 

 

Teach Me To Number My Days

Psalm 90 12

Psalm 90:12 NKJV So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom.

 

I woke up this morning with this verse of scripture running through my mind. So, I knew the Lord wanted to say something to me about “numbering my days”. As I researched this verse the Lord lead me to some other scriptures that pertain to this same thought. Let’s look at a few and some key words in the scriptures.

 

Number – Hebrew word manah – Strong’s #4487 – a primitive root; properly, to weigh out; by implication, to allot or constitute officially; also to enumerate or enroll; – appoint, count, number prepare, set, tell.

 

The word for “number” means to weigh our time, to prepare our days and to appoint our time for a certain set course or purpose. The purpose is that we might gain a heart of wisdom in knowing how to live as God would have us according to His plan for our lives.

 

The New Living Translation says this: Teach us to make the most of our time, so that we may grow in wisdom.

 

I don’t know about you, but my heart’s desire is to live out my life to the fullest of God’s plan and purpose for me. As I continued to study, the Lord took me to Psalm 39:4-7:

 

NLT – “LORD, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered; and that my life is fleeing away. My life is no longer than the width of my hand. An entire lifetime is just a moment to you; human existence is but a breath.” We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing. We heap up wealth for someone else to spend. And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you.”

 

Are you rushing around and not accomplishing anything? Do you “fritter” your time away, so to speak, with no set direction or purpose and then at the end of the day wonder where the time went? Life is so short in comparison to eternity. Our lives are no longer than the width of our hand as God sees them. The writer of this Psalm states that we are “merely moving shadows”. How quickly does a shadow move? As soon as the object that the sun is shining on moves the shadow follows it. Life is said to be like a vapor in James 4:14. And the Lord says that we continually seek after things, wealth that someone else gets to spend and are always looking for hope for a satisfying life that can only be found in Him.

 

Let’s camp out a little while in Psalm 39:4-7 as I feel God has something more to say to us about this portion of scripture. The New King James Version of Psalm 39:4 says “LORD, make me to know my end, And what is the measure of my days, that I may know how frail I am.

 

Measure – Hebrew word Middah – Strong’s #4060 means I) – measure, stature, size, garment. A) measure, act of measurement…B) measurement, size; C) measured portion, extent; D) garment.

 

Measure is used 37 times in the definition of the Hebrew word, middah. I believe what God is saying is that we should understand that our lives are brief and fleeting and that we can be here today and gone tomorrow; so we should make the most of the days that we have, not wandering around wondering what we should do or seeking those things that don’t bring satisfaction, but being knowledgeable of the plan of God for our lives and living disciplined lives in order to fulfill all that He has called us, as believers, to do. We should be knowledgeable of the extent or measured portion of life that we are given!

 

Ephesians 5:15-17 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

 

Walk – Greek word peripateo – Strong’s 4043 – means I). To walk; A) to make one’s way; progress; to make due use of opportunities. B) Hebrew for, to live; to regulate one’s life; to conduct one’s self; to pass one’s life.

 

With this defintion of “walk” we see that there is a progression that we should be experiencing in our lives; it’s not day by day living, taking what comes along, but a means of living by regulating our time and conducting our affairs with intention and purpose. Looking on in the verse we see the word “circumspectly” which in the Greek is the word “akribos” meaning exactly, accurately, diligently. We are to conduct our lives in a way that is exact, accurate and diligent according to God’s plan and purpose as we come to know what the will of the Lord is. God desires for us to know what His will is and to walk exactly according to it, diligently and accurately. Why?

 

Because according to verse 16 the “days are evil”. What does it mean in saying that the days are “evil”? Well, the Greek word for “evil” is poneros and it means full of labors, annoyances and hardships; bad, of a bad nature or condition. Any one of us can look around us at the happenings in our world and see that we live in a day and age where there are lots of pressures, annoyances and hardships. We live in precarious times where peril and persecutions are getting to be more prevalent every day; Christians are being persecuted more and more for their faith in Christ Jesus. These are perilous days as are spoken of in 2 Timothy 3:1:

 

But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come:

 

Perilous – Greek word chalepos – Strong’s #5478 means harsh, savage, difficult, dangerous, painful, fierce, grievous, hard to deal with.

 

The days we are living in are harsh, difficult, painful at times, and hard to deal with. When we are simply going through the motions of life without any direction we are susceptible to whatever the devil throws at us. But when we are living diligently, with wisdom in knowing God’s will and purpose, we are alert and watchful for the enemy’s attacks. We can be “wise as serpents, and harmless as doves” as Jesus instructed His disciples that they were to be in their interaction with those they would meet out in the world. (Matt. 10:16)

 

As believers in Christ Jesus, we are to be aware that we have a purpose in living to fulfill the course of His will for our lifetimes. In living each day we should be seeking His will, what He would have us to do and how He would have us to walk it out. We are to “redeem” or buy back the time meaning that we are to be aware of not wasting our time, but using wisdom in how we conduct our affairs. We are to walk diligently, regulating our lives making due use of opportunities by understanding what the will of the Lord is, because the days are full of labors, annoyances and hardships; of a time full of peril to Christian faith and steadfastness.

 

Are you wondering today what God’s will is for your life? Romans 12:2 tells us that if you “do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” that you will be able to “prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” We can know God’s will by spending time in His word and using it as our pattern for living life instead of what we see and hear out in the world. If we renew our minds to God’s word He will reveal His will through it! We can KNOW what God expects of us and the will and purpose for each of our lives by spending time with Him.

prayer

As I finished my study time, I offered up a prayer for the Lord to enlighten my heart to understand fully what He was saying to me. He responded through His still, small voice to my heart:

 

“Be about Your Father’s business, My Child, just as I was. I did not come to serve My own interests, but to do His will. Even as a young child I talked with those in the temple because I was conducting My Father’s business. Choose your time by seeking My will for your life and follow My directions for the management of your days. Only I know the length of your life, the number of your days and how much time you have left to do Your Father’s will. Seek Me and live uprightly for your days are numbered – they are recorded in My book. I know your end from your beginning. You can’t even see into tomorrow or even what may happen later in your day, but I can. Walk closely with Me and I will direct your path.”

 

Father, I thank You for directing my steps, for ordering my days and for leading me in the way that I should go for each day of my life. I pray that I might be more diligent in seeking the specifics of each day to be able to accurately and diligently walk according to Your plan and purpose.

 

Father, I pray for those who may be struggling with not knowing Your will and purpose for their lives. I know, Father, that first and foremost You desire for all to come to salvation, to acknowledge Jesus as their own personal Lord and Savior and to begin living life to the fullest according to Your plan for them. I pray that each one reading this blog will come to the saving knowledge of Jesus, to be saved to be able to live eternity with You when they die. Convict their hearts of their need for Jesus; let them see that He died to save them from an eternity apart from You and bring them into the Kingdom of God. May today be their day of salvation.

 

And Father, for those who are struggling with not know what to do with their days or how to walk according to Your plan for their lives, I pray that You will draw them into a deep, personal relationship with You where they can hear Your voice clearly to know what and how to live their lives to the fullest of the plan that You have for each one of them. Thank You, Father, for hearing and answering my prayer as I offer it up in the name of Jesus. Amen.