Waiting On The Lord

Isaiah 40 31

Isaiah 40:31 AMP But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired.

As I arose this morning and looked out over the valley I felt impressed to sit a while on the deck and just take in the beauty of God’s creation around me. The sun was rising over the mountain top in the east and there was a gentle breeze blowing up through the valley below. Our first hummingbird of the season flew in to the feeder for breakfast and I sat in awe of the majesty and power of My God who created all this for my enjoyment. As I reflected on His greatness the scripture in Isaiah 40:27-31 came to my mind and I was reminded of how great My God really is. In this portion of scripture we are reminded that the same God that created the world, that set the sun, moon and stars in their rightful place is the God that controls our lives. He is the One who hears our cries for help and answers; He is the One who never grows tired or weary, who never needs someone else to give Him understanding and who always gives to us the strength and power that we need to accomplish the tasks that lie ahead of us.

Isaiah 40:29 He gives power to the faint and weary, and to him who has no might He increases strength [causing it to multiply and making it to abound].

Power – Hebrew word koach – meaning strength; power; force; ability. The basic meaning of koah is an ability to do something.

When you come to the Lord in need of strength and ability in any area of your life, He will give you that power to meet the need that you have. When you are weary, He is the One who will increase your strength, causing it to multiply. God is the need-meeter, who never runs short or lacks the ability to provide you with whatever strength or power you need to accomplish the challenges in your life.

The key to receiving from God is found in verse 31 in the word “wait”. Now this isn’t waiting in the sense that we Westerners think that means that we go to God and then have to sit and hope that He will come through with answering our request, not knowing when or if it will be answered. No, the Hebrew word for “wait” is qavah and it means to wait for, look for, and expect. It expresses the idea of “waiting hopefully” and the root of this word means “to bind together”. Waiting in the Western definition of the word “wait” often really says, “We hope He will come through for us, but we don’t really know whether He will or not so we’ll just have to wait and see”. But the Biblical definition of this word for “wait” means that we expect Him to do what He has promised. Several translations use the word “hope” in place of “wait”. There’s no doubt in our minds that He is going to do it and we are waiting expectantly for the arrival of His answer at any moment. We rest in the assurance that He will do what He has promised.

A few years ago I was going to visit my children and grandchildren when my son called and wanted to know our estimated time of arrival. He said my little granddaughter had been standing by the window watching the driveway for about a half an hour waiting to see Grandma come. She knew that I had said I would be there and she was excitedly “waiting” for my arrival. She based her expectation on what I had said, never questioning whether Grandma would keep her word or not. She just believed and acted on that belief by “waiting” and “expectantly watching” for the promise to come into manifestation.

That’s the picture that I get when I think about what God means when He says that when we “wait” upon Him we shall be renewed in strength. Our “waiting” is actually “resting” in His promise to do what He has said He will do, knowing that He keeps His promises, just like He causes the sun to rise in the morning and the moon to rise at night; just like He never faints or grows weary Himself, but is always there with an understanding heart, ready to meet our every need. That’s the God that we serve, who gives power and ability to do what we need to do and meets us with the strength that we need to accomplish the challenges of life that we encounter.

Will you wait on the Lord this morning, expecting Him to do what He has promised in His Word. That’s the basis for our waiting; knowing that we have the promises of God that are “yes” and “amen”, so be it, in Christ Jesus! (2 Cor. 1:20)

Confession for today based on God’s Word: I will wait on God, expecting Him to do as He has promised on my behalf, knowing that He does not grow weary or faint and He will do what He has said. While I wait, I will rest in His goodness, not worrying or fretting over what I have asked of Him, but knowing that He provides the strength and ability that I need to accomplish the tasks ahead of me.

Prayer for today: Father, I thank You for Who You are to me. You are my God, my personal Father, the One who created all things for my enjoyment and who continues to hold the world and all things together by the word of Your power. You are great and greatly to be praised! I thank You for the strength that You give me when I wait on You, Lord. I thank You for providing the ability that I need to meet the challenges that lie before me. Lord, I give You praise and honor and glory for Your goodness to me. Thank You for going before me into this day! In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

Hebrews 12:1-4 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin.

Oh Father, I look to You today for all that I need for You are my Source and Provision. You are the One that I lean on; that I cling to and rely on. Without You in my life I am nothing and can do nothing. Thank You, Lord, for taking care of the things that concern me. Thank You for providing for my every need. You are awesome in this place, Mighty God! Help me, Lord, to look away from the things that try to hold me back from being all that You’ve called me to be. Show me the way to take when problems arise that try to steal my focus away from You. Strengthen me for the journey, Father.

“Turn your eyes upon Me, Child, and look for me in every situation. For whatever you look upon will become the biggest in your life. Your focus becomes what you think about; the primary importance in your life. If you magnify the problem it will become bigger but if you magnify Me I will take pre-eminence over all that is happening around you. Look at Me, Child. Look into My eyes and see the love that I have for you. You are My focus. I gave everything that I had for you. You were on My mind when those soldiers were beating Me and nailing My body to that tree. You were My focus. I love You, My Child. I will perfect that which concerns you. Don’t focus on how big your problems are. Focus on how big You God is and watch Me show Myself strong on your behalf. Watch Me move mountains in answer to your call. Call unto Me, Child, and I will show you great and mighty things that you have never known. I will open the eyes of your understanding when you listen to My voice and place your trust in Me. I am the Great I AM; there is nothing too difficult for Me. Do not allow the cares of this life to weigh you down for I care for you. I will help you when you look unto Me for I am the author and finisher of your faith.”

 

 

 

 

Everyone Needs To Take Time To Rest!

Mark 6:30-32 Then the apostles gathered to Jesus and told Him all things, both what they had done and what they had taught. And He said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat. So they departed to a deserted place in the boat by themselves.

Once the word about the miracles that Jesus was doing and how He had empowered His apostles to do those same things, the people flocked to them. The multitudes came from all over to hear and receive the life that they offered. Healings abounded and many received the miracle working power of God through them. They found themselves constantly ministering to the needs of the people until they had no time for themselves to rest. Many times they didn’t even have time to sit down and eat a meal because the needs of the people were so great. In this particular instance after the apostles had been out ministering Jesus sensed their need for rest so He took them away to a deserted place where He thought they could get by themselves to have some time to rest and refresh themselves for the days ahead.

Rest – Greek word anapauo – Strong’s #373 means “to make to cease.” The word describes a cessation from toil, a refreshment, an intermission.

Everyone needs time away from the demands of life to catch their breath, to relax and to enjoy a little “down” time. A lot of ministers will take Monday off after having such a demanding ministry day on Sunday. God, the Father, said that man should work six days and then take a day for rest.

Exodus 31:15-17 ‘Work shall be done for six days, but the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. ‘Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant. ‘It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.’”

Rested – Hebrew word shabat – Strong’s #7673 means to stop, to rest, to cease, to end. This verb is of great importance in the Old Testament, mainly because of the noun that is formed from it: shabbat, or as we say, “Sabbath.” The shabbat is the day when all work ceases, and Israel rests and meditates on the glories of God’s creation (heaven and Earth), just as God rested on that first Sabbath (Gen. 2:1-3)

God worked in making His creation for six days and then He took a day for resting and refreshing Himself. He knew that His man would need that same “down” time to give his spirit, soul and body the refreshment they need to be able to handle the demands of life. We now live in a society that goes constantly; people rarely take time to just do nothing but be with the Lord. They are pulled in all different directions by the high demands of life. Some work even on Sundays which is the Lord’s day and supposed to be a day of rest. And even when they take time off to rest their vacations are so filled with activities or work that they do at home that they never get to the place where they feel rested from being away from work. They simply exchange one form of work for another.

It is when people continue in the high demands placed on themselves that their bodies become stressed and eventually break down under the pressure. Their emotions are pulled in different directions and Christians can experience instability in their spiritual walk with the Lord because the demands on their bodies have become so great.

In 1 Kings 19 we read the story of Elijah running into the wilderness fleeing from Jezebel who wanted to kill him for the ministry he had done in exposing her and the false prophets that were leading the people astray. We find that because of his extreme fatigue his whole emotional outlook towards ministering for the Lord became skewed. He was tired and emotionally drained and listen to what he said to the Lord because of it:

1 Kings 19:1-4 And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, also how he had executed all the prophets with the sword. Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah saying, “So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time.” and when he saw that, he arose and ran for his life, and went to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there. But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he prayed that he might die, and said, “It is enough! Now, LORD, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!”

Elijah was tired, stressed and emotionally drained. He had confronted all the prophets of Jezebel and ministered mightily in exposing them and revealing God to the people as the One true God. He hand of the Lord was upon him to end the drought they had been experiencing for three years. He had run ahead of Ahab to beat the abundance of rain that was coming as he spoke according to God’s word to end the drought and bring rain upon the land once again. His ministry was flourishing and he was exhausted as he met the attacks of the enemy. He spoke to the Lord of wanting to die because he simply was worn out from working in the ministry.

God didn’t condemn him or reject him for feeling the way he felt. But instead He caused him to lie down and rest. After the rest he sent an angel to minister refreshment to him.

1 Kings 19:5-7 Then as he lay and slept under a broom tree, suddenly an angel touched him, and said to him, “Arise and eat.” Then he looked, and there by his head was a cake baked on coals, and a jar of water. So he ate and drank and lay down again. And the angel of the LORD came back the second time, and touched him, and said, “Arise and eat, because the journey is too great for you.”

God ministered to him in his time of fatigue. He sent an angel to provide foot for him after he slept. The Father knew that he needed time to rest and be refreshed before he could continue on doing what He had called him to do. People need time to rest and be refreshed or they will burn out under the demands of life. It was only after Elijah had taken time to rest and have proper nourishment that he would be able to go back into the high demands of ministry that God had given him.

Are you tired this morning? Do you feel that life is overwhelming you? Maybe you just need some time away from it’s demands to rest and refresh yourself; to get the proper perspective about what is taking place.

Friends, I have written a daily devotional blog pretty much every day for the last six months and I am tired. I realize that I need to take some time off periodically so I have some time away from the demands of ministry. Not only have I written this blog, but I have also continued to pursue my college degree through this time as well as teaching as requested by my Pastor on Wednesday nights. I am going to take some time off to rest. I may continue to have a daily blog for you as I feel lead to share, but if I am not here every day please don’t think that I have deserted you; I am simply taking the day off. I will seek the Lord for what to share and if I have a shortened blog for that day I will still present it to you. I know that many of you count on me for your devotional life and I feel the pressure of being responsible to feed the sheep in this manner. Please know that my heart is to share God’s word with you and to encourage you in your daily walk with the Lord. Thank you for your continued support and encouragement to me through your comments, prayers and personal words of encouragement. I appreciate each one of you!

Father, I thank you for the opportunity to minister Your word to the people. I thank You for the avenue You have given me to share what I feel You have placed on my heart with others. And I thank You for their faithfulness in reading and commenting on my blogs. They have been faithful supporters of the work that I feel that You have called me to do in this place. I ask You now, to meet their every need. Fill them with the spiritual manna that they need to build up their spirit man to meet the demands of life. Give them the strength that they need to fight the battles that the enemy brings into their lives. Love them through me, Lord, and give me the word from Your word that will lighten their load and encourage them. Thank You, Father, for times of rest and refreshment. I pray that as I rest You will fill me to overflowing with what You want me to share with them. I love ministering Your healing balm to those that You have placed within my sphere of influence and I thank You for the opportunity to speak into their lives what You would have me share with them. I pray Your blessing on each reader this morning that comes to this blog to find spiritual nourishment. Grant them the blessing of knowing You, Lord. Fill them to overflowing with Your very presence and give them rest from their labors. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

 

Like A Tree Planted By The River

1 Corinthians 1:18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

Those who are perishing don’t understand the power of God revealed through the cross of Christ Jesus! To them it is foolishness! But to those of us who are being saved it is powerful! It is the only way to live. I can look back through the years and see how Jesus lifted me up out of situations that would have destroyed me had I not had the power of God in my life. He is my life and breath and my reason for living. It is because of Christ Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross of Calvary that I will spend eternity in His presence; worshiping at His feet, proclaiming the praises of my Savior! And for life now, as it is on this earth, He is my strength and deliverance; my fortress in the time of trouble; my refuge from the storm. It is under His wings that I take refuge until the storm passes by.

Jeremiah understood that a person needed God’s power and strength to live life effectively when he penned these words in the book of Jeremiah:

Jeremiah 17:5: Thus says the LORD: “Cursed is the man who trust in man And makes flesh his strength, Whose heart departs from the LORD. For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, And shall not see when good comes, But shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, In a salt land which is not inhabited.”

Jeremiah understood that those who don’t know the Lord only have their flesh to trust in. They don’t know God and as a result do not have hope in someone greater than themselves. They may seem to have a measure of success as some of them actually practice Biblical principles, not realizing that there are spiritual laws that when put into motion will bring the desired results, but on a whole, they will not prosper because they don’t recognize God as their Source. When good comes their way, they often don’t recognize it and it slips through their fingers. They are like a shrub in the desert, blown about by the wind with no root system. Even though rain comes periodically in the desert it doesn’t last long and the plants are not nourished from it. They have no anchor for their soul; no direction for their lives, but simply exist from day to day wondering and worrying about the future.

Jeremiah went on to say in Jeremiah 17:7-8 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, And whose hope is the LORD. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, Which spreads out its roots by the river, And will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, And will not be anxious in the year of drought, Nor will cease from yielding fruit.”

Here we have the contrast between the man who trusts in himself and the one who trusts in the Lord. The man who trusts in the Lord knows that his hope is in God. This man understands that the power of God is real and he depends on it. He prospers like a tree planted by the water, with its roots firmly planted by the river. He doesn’t have to worry when the heat of the summer comes, or when the pressure is on him because his Source will never dry up. His leaf will always be green because he is plugged in to the power Source. His thoughts are not anxious when the economy turns sour, nor does he stop serving the Lord because of fear. He simply draws from the power of God in his life and continues doing what a tree does; being green and fruitful.

We live in trying times. We, as a nation, are experiencing some things that trouble me and many are struck with fear for the future. But I realize who my Source is and am plugged in to Him so I will not fear nor be anxious for what might lie ahead. The power of God is greater than any man, or government, or nation, or anything the evil one might try to throw at us. God is all-powerful! He is greater than anything that could possibly arise that would try to destroy His people.

Paul went on to say in 1 Corinthians 1:19-25 NLT As the Scriptures say, “I will destroy human wisdom and discard their most brilliant ideas.” So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world’s brilliant debaters? God has made them all look foolish and has shown their wisdom to be useless nonsense. Since God in His wisdom saw to it that the world would never find Him through human wisdom He has used our foolish preaching to save all who believe. God’s way seems foolish to the Jews because they want a sign from heaven to prove it is true. And it is foolish to the Greeks because they believe only what agrees with their own wisdom. So when we preach that Christ was crucified, the Jews are offended, and the Gentiles say it’s all nonsense. But to those called by God to salvation, both Jews and Gentiles, Christ is the mighty power of God and the wonderful wisdom of God. This “foolish” plan of God is far wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is far stronger than the greatest of human strength.

God has a plan for our lives. It includes salvation; deliverance; healing; and prosperity. He knows exactly where each one of us is in our everyday walk of life. We might not always understand why things happen the way they do, but we can know that God is more powerful than any of man’s plans or ways of success. Even at His weakest, if that is possible, He is stronger than any human and wiser than any of man’s ideas or thoughts.

Proverbs 21:1 NKJV The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, Like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes.

God is still in control! He can change a person’s heart just as easily as changing the course of a river. He created all things including each and every human being. God knows where you are! He knows your situation and the trials that you are facing. Just one word from God can change your entire life. He is all-powerful; He is omniscient or all-seeing; and He is omnipresent or all-present. He is God; there is none above Him and none beside Him. Will you place your trust in Him today?

Father, I thank You for Your power to overcome any and all adversity that comes into our lives. You are greater, Lord, that anything that we might encounter. I pray for those this morning who may be fearful of the future. I ask You, Lord, to touch them and give them revelation knowledge of Who You are and want to be in their lives. I pray that they will surrender their hearts to You and look unto Jesus for their strength in the times of trouble. Father, You can change our lives with just one word. I pray that You will do that for each one of us as we trust in You. Move in our lives as only You can, Father. Bring deliverance and healing for those who are sick and oppressed. Make provision for those who are suffering lack and forgive those who have transgressed against You. You are all powerful; there is nothing too difficult for You. You are all-present and all-seeing; there is nothing that You do not see and You are always with us. Thank You, Father, for rescuing us from the evil one. Thank You for setting us free from sin, sickness and disease and poverty and lack. I pray for wisdom, Lord, that we might know how to live our lives according to Your ways. And I ask that You would give us courage to choose right over wrong. Forgive us for our wicked ways, Father, and bring healing to our land. Thank You, Father. I pray these things in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

 

 

The Prize Awaits Us!

Proverbs 29:18 Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; But happy is he who keeps the law.

Vision – do you have a vision for your life? Do you have a dream or a goal that you are working towards. This verse describes it as a revelation or as in the Hebrew meaning of the word, a prophetic vision, dream, oracle or prophecy. Has God given you a specific direction for your life that culminates in a certain goal or dream? Everyone needs a vision for direction to live life to the fullest. Whether it is for a certain weight or size or healthy living goal, a dream for a godly marriage, a certain financial status or a position in your career. Without a vision people cast off restraint.

What does it meant to cast off restraint? Well, the best way I can explain it is that when a person casts off restraint they no longer work towards a certain goal, they simply do what feels good, or what seems to be the thought for the moment. They remove all boundaries and go with the flow of what feels like the thing to do. They are like a boat without a motor simply drifting through life driven by whatever current comes their way. All motivation to achieve results is gone and life becomes whatever it makes of itself. They are controlled by circumstances, situations, feelings and are driven and tossed about on the sea of life! Depression often becomes their best friend and the hopelessness that comes with it paints a life of defeat and failure. They are on a spiral downward towards destruction. And what brought all this upon them? The lack of vision….nothing to work towards; idleness and lack of motivation!

Have you ever been in this type of a situation? Sometimes life deals us a hand that’s difficult to play. We feel controlled by what has happened in our lives or by an inability to work through the challenges that we face. But God’s word goes on to say in that same verse, “But happy is he who keeps the law”. There is an answer for every situation that you may encounter in the word of God. He has a plan to bring you into wholeness and set you on course to achieve the goals and dreams that you may have once had. You might paraphrase that statement as “happy is he whose vision and focus is on hearing and doing what God has said.” It is as we find the promises in God’s word that applies to our situation and then apply them to our lives that vision is restored and we are happy once again. The key to hearing and doing God’s word that brings the results that we desire is making the choice. We all get to make the choice to either get on board with God’s plan for our lives or continue to float through life driven by whatever comes our way.

Joshua put it this way: Joshua 24:15 “And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”

Joshua said they needed to make a decision one way or the other, to either serve the Lord or some other god, but he had already made his choice and his family was going to serve…..the LORD! We all have choices to make. Will we choose good or bad, to live or die, stay in bondage or seek the Lord for deliverance. The choices that we make today will affect the quality of our tomorrows! A pond without an outlet becomes a stagnant pool. Indecision leads to stagnation and ineffective living!

What can you do if you’ve lost your drive; your vision or dream? First, decide to make a change. Pray and ask God to restore your vision; to give you the motivation that you need to get started again. Then seek His direction for a plan of action to help you achieve your goals. Where do you want to be next year at this time? Next, begin to make systematic changes that will move you toward the achievement that you have set your eyes upon. And lastly, continue to do the things that you have set before you as your plan of action.

Jesus knew that God’s plan for His life was to go to the cross to purchase the redemption of mankind. He had to overcome all His fleshly desires to avoid the pain and ultimate separation from His heavenly Father to secure our salvation. The word describes His determination to go all the way to Calvary in Luke 9:51, 52:

Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem, and sent messengers before His face. And as they went, they entered a village of the Samaritans, to prepare for Him.

Jesus steadfastly set His face; He was determined to finish His course, to purchase our salvation. He prepared for it by sending messengers before Him to prepare the way for Him. He had a plan and He was determined to complete what God had called Him to do. It was prophesied in Isaiah that this point in time would come and He would have to be determined to finish His course.

Isaiah 50:7 “For the Lord GOD will help Me; Therefore I will not be disgraced; Therefore I have set My face like a flint, And I know that I will not be ashamed.

Jesus knew that the key to winning was depending on His heavenly Father to help Him and then being determined to carry out His life’s purpose. He set His face like a flint. Flint is describes in Noah Webster’s 1828 dictionary as being very hard, strikes fire with steel, and is an ingredient in glass. It is said to be anything proverbially hard; not impressible. In other words, it is an attitude of determination that can’t be distracted by any outside influence. Jesus was determined to do what God had called Him to do. He drew His strength from His fellowship with the Father. He understood that His flesh was going to try to rebel because that’s the weakness that resides within each one of us as human beings. But He countered the weakness with prayer.

Matthew 26:41 “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

We will experience those same temptations to give in, to quit, to not complete our mission. But if we will pray and stay in the Word,leaning on God’s Spirit, we will have the strength to overcome and win. Battles will come against us. If you are striving to achieve a certain weight or size you will be tempted to eat things that are not on your plan for healthy living. When you marry and live day by day with that one special someone, eventually there will be disagreements and the temptation comes to throw in the towel; to give up and go your separate ways. Where will you get your strength to continue towards your goal of that life-long commitment? If you are working towards financial freedom the temptation will come to deviate from your plan for success by purchasing something on credit that adds more debt instead of subtracting from the debt that you already have. Temptations come in all forms and sizes. But winning is achievable if you don’t give up or quit or cave in when that temptation comes. What will you do?

Hebrews 12:1, 2 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Turn your focus back on Jesus who is the author and finisher of your faith. He will lead you into the victory. Lay aside the things that have held you back, even the sin that might have been the problem that has gotten you off course. Remember, Jesus had to fight the temptation to give up just like us. But He won by looking past the pain to the joy that would come as He made the way for all of mankind to live in relationship with Father God. He pushed through the disgrace and the pain to reach the prize! You and I can do that too, if we will keep the right perspective and continue to make the right choices. The desired results, the goal, the prize is waiting. The question is: Will we reach out and grab it?

 

Father, I thank You for giving us the strength to win! Father, You have said that when people lose the vision they cast off restraints. I pray, Father, for those who may have lost their dream to the circumstances of life. I pray that You will restore their vision, Father. Give them back the motivation that they once had to succeed and achieve their dreams. Show them how to achieve those goals that they once had. Father, You have equipped each one of us with the tools that we need to succeed. Help us to be determined to win. Strengthen us by Your Spirit within us and give us a glimpse of the good things ahead of us when we strive to achieve our goals. Thank You, Lord, for renewing our vision and determination. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

Sharper Than A Sword!

2 Timothy 3:16,17 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Jesus said in Matthew 4:4 that “’Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’” Well, there’s so much meat in these two scriptures that we could chew for days and be spiritually nourished. But for today I just want to give you a little better understanding from looking at a few words in these verses about the importance of feeding on His Scriptures.

To begin with, the verse starts out with ALL Scripture is given by inspiration of God. What does ALL mean? It means every word, regardless of it’s grammatical placing in the sentence or verse, has a specific reason for being in God’s word. It has a place in our lives to give us spiritual nourishment. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God.

Scripture – Greek word “graphe” – Strong’s #1124 – means a document, anything written, the holy writ, the Scriptures. Graphe points to the divine author with the idea that what is written remains forever identified as the living voice of God.

The Scriptures are and will forever be identified as the “living voice of God”. The word “inspiration” means that it is God-breathed! God’s word is so important to us because it is God-breathed; His very own voice speaking to us to give us strength and nourishment for our spirit man!

The verse goes on to say that the Scriptures are profitable to us! Profitable means that it is useful to us. It brings gain into our lives. The Word goes on to say that the profit it gives is in four different areas: doctrine, reproof, correction and instruction in righteousness. So, let’s look at these four words a little more in detail so we can gain a greater understanding of the importance of God’s word.

Doctrine – Greek word didaskalia – Strong’s # – means that which is taught.

Doctrine, in God’s word means the teaching of God. It is His principles and precepts spoken out of His mouth that is alive and powerful to work for our good, to our advantage.

Reproof – Greek word elegehos – Strong’s #1650 – means proof, conviction, evidence.

God’s word proves itself; it never goes against what other Scriptures on the same subject would reveal. It convicts our hearts and gives evidence of the way we should be living. Another translation says it rebukes or tests us bringing conviction where it’s needed to convince us of the way we should be living.

Correction – Greek word epanorthisis – Strong’s #1882 – means a restoration to an upright or right state which brings a person to an improvement of life and character.

When we are headed down the wrong path, God’s word will correct us so that we are restored to a right way of living. It improves our lives; our character and our position bringing us into right thinking. The word of God shows us how to stay on the right path.

Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.

Instruction – Greek word paideia – Strong’s #3809 – means education or training; chastening, instruction, nurture.

The word of God educates and trains us through discipline and nurture. This word gives the implication of the training of a child where all forms of instruction are applied: education, training, correcting, disciplining, instructing and nurturing. God’s voice as it is breathed into our hearts trains us in how we are to live in righteousness; His right way of living.

Righteousness – Greek word dikaiosyne – Strong’s #1466 – means that which is consistent with God’s nature and promises; God’s right way of doing things.

The Word of God teaches us, tests us on what we learn, convicts us when we are wrong, convinces us of the correct way of living, restores us to the right path of life, improves our character and our position in Christ Jesus, and trains us through every means used to bring up a child. The Word teaches and trains us in how to live according to God’s way of thinking; His right way of doing things that are beneficial or advantageous to our character as a Christian. It is profitable to us; bringing us gain in our lives. God’s Word is His living voice recorded for all to see and as we read it and apply it to our lives we are changed!

The last part of verse 17 says the reason we need God’s word in our lives is because it brings us to completion and fully equips us for every good work. It gives us the equipment that we need to fulfill the plan that God has for our lives. God’s word gives us what we need to do the work that He has called us to do. It prepares us for life, not just for this moment, but for what lies ahead so we will be ready to meet His calling.

Have you had your next meal from God’s word yet? Why not jump in there and eat until your filled and satisfied?

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Father, I thank You for Your word. I thank You that it is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword. Father, I thank You that it goes deep into our hearts and divides between our soul and our spirit; it divides and cuts out those motives and thoughts that do not line up with Your will and desire for us to live our lives. Thank You for it’s ability to pierce through the darkest thoughts in our minds. I pray, this morning, that we will all dig in and study Your word, taking it into our hearts and I ask that You would cause it to sink deep into our hearts and change us. Father, we need the words that You have breathed Your life into. We need the life that it brings to us to give us spiritual nourishment. Please speak to our hearts and help us overcome the inconsistencies in our lives. Thank You, Father, for hearing and answering my prayer. I believe that I receive when I pray according to Your word. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

 

The Monster Within

Romans 6:16-19 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness.

We all have battles that we fight that often seem to be won and then we find them raising their ugly heads up once again. Paul fought for victory over sin and told about it in Romans chapter 7. After Jesus had won His battle with the devil in the wilderness the Word tells us in Luke 4:13 that the devil “departed from Him until an opportune time”. Our enemy knows our weaknesses and watches us to see when the “opportune” times are that he can come back and tempt us again. He thinks maybe this time he will win. I was praying one time about overcoming the temptation to eat simple carbohydrates that seem to set off a ravenous monster within me that only desires more, more MORE. This is what the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart.

Child, whatever you yield yourself to will control you. If you yield yourself to Me I will have control over you; but when you present your members to those things that are bad for you then they take control of you and lead you in the way that they want you to go; the way of death. I lead you in the way of life. It’s your choice; you choose this day whom you will serve. That which leads you to life or that which leads you to death. The controlling right comes as you make the choice.”

The thing that made the most impact on me in my response from the Lord is “the controlling right comes as you make the choice”. We are all presented with temptations, but we are not controlled by the temptations; we are controlled when we yield to the temptation and allow it to take over and lead us in the direction it wants us to go. When we make the right choices then we are lead in the right direction. The choice is the turning point in every temptation.

Paul experienced a problem with re-occurring sin in his life and wanting to do what he knew was right but having to fight the desires of his flesh.  The principle for victory that he describes over sin is found in Jesus Christ. It is the same for each one of us as we battle the temptations that arise in our lives. The flesh always wants self-gratification, but the Spirit will lead us to make wise choices that please the Father.

Romans 7:24, 25 NLT Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord…

He later said in Philippians 4:13 NLT For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need.

Paul again described the way to live free from the lusts of the flesh in Galatians 4:16:

I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.

So what does Paul mean by “walk in the Spirit”? He means to walk yielded to the Holy Spirit’s direction in your life; always being aware that what you yield your flesh to will produce either good or bad in your life. He went on to explain that the works that the flesh produce are totally opposite to the good that the Holy Spirit brings into our lives.

So, as I continued to pray about the temptation placed before me this is what I heard the Lord say:

If you do not choose the food then it has no power over you, but when you open the door through your choice it will come in to accommodate your desire. Depend on Me for the strength to overcome and I will help you close the door on the addictive power of food. See yourself as the winner that I have created you to be. Make healthy choices and drive food addictions out of your life. I will help you for I know what foods your body needs to be healthy. Do not depend solely on your own understanding for I know the hidden additives in the food that trigger your own food sensitivities.”

God cares about the things that we care about. He is here through His Spirit to help us make right choices that will produce the desired results in our lives. But many times we try to win the battles on our own terms, through our own abilities. That’s not God’s way. He wants us to fight in the strength that He provides because that’s the only way to defeat the enemy for good.

Ephesians 6:10, 11 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

It is through God’s power that we win the battles. He knows exactly what type of weapons we need to fight effectively. But if we never consult Him for the strategy that will bring the victory we will continue to fight ineffectively and struggle with the attacks that the enemy brings against us.

Father, I thank You for showing me that the victory lies in staying in close contact with You regarding the food choices that I make. Thank You for giving me the victory through Your Spirit within me. I know that I can do all things through Your strength. Father, I pray for my friends this morning who may be struggling with temptations in their lives. I ask You to fill them with the wisdom and knowledge that they need to know how to win the battle before them. Father, by Your Spirit, give them the victory and show them how to fight effectively to win. Thank You, Father. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

 

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