I am an ordinary, not-so-special person who God chose to bless with a very special, extraordinary son. God uses this path He’s placed me on to show me things, teach, grow and change me. I can’t do any of this without Him – I’m way too selfish. Sometimes I don’t want to do it even with Him.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9
You are God – there is no other.
You are God – there is none like You.
Almighty is Your Name.
You are the first and the last.
Alpha and Omega.
Beginning and end.
I am the Lord’s servant.
His splendor displayed.
My reward is with my God.
He is my strength.
Light of the world brings salvation.
Redeemed and Holy.
Despised and abhorred.
Princes bow down.
The Lord is faithful.
The Lord Most High chooses broken tools to build His kingdom. Click To Tweet
Reassigns the desolate.
Sets captives free.
Hunger and thirst no more.
Pastures grow on barren hills.
Deserts flow streams.
Compassionate guide leads to springs of living water.
Comfort for the afflicted.
Mountains become level.
Heavens and earth shout for joy.
He engraves me upon Holy Hands.
Those who hope in the Lord won’t be disappointed.
He contends with those who contend with me.
Carries me close to His heart.
Helps me in times of trouble.
Upholds me with His righteous, right Hand.
The Lord is my Savior and Redeemer.
He tends the flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart; He gently leads those who have young. Isaiah 40:11
Father God, Lord Jesus, Thank you. Thank you for who You are – for Your amazing love that knows no bounds. There’s nothing you haven’t done to redeem me and make a You way – You went all the way to the cross – conquered sin and death. The length and depth and breadth of Your love is incomprehensible. Sometimes the world and it’s people discourage me – the expectations, judgments and broken bridges. The hurt, disappointment and wounding by people I love. Yet You tell me not to worry. You tell me do not fear. You tell me in this life I will have trouble but You have overcome the world. Thank you, Lord that you never leave me alone in the mess of life. Help me to stand strong and live for You. Grow Your love and grace. Grow my ability to live by faith and stand on the promises of Your Word. You never lie or let me down. Thank you for the hope of Heaven and all You sacrificed to provide the gift of salvation. I love You Father God, Lord Jesus. In Your Holy, Matchless Name I Pray, Amen.
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace. Ephesians 1:7
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Scarlet turned to snow.
“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
Rebellion met with red.
Nothing is greater than His blood.
Nothing it won’t restore, reconcile, redeem.
Covenant blood poured out for many.
Sin drenched with love.
By His stripes, I am healed.
Lost and found.
No condemnation in Christ Jesus.
Darkness domain delivery.
Child of light.
Child of life.
Child of the living God.
Old skin won’t hold new wine.
Sin of self.
Pride of life.
New life requires death.
Put off former ways.
Love as I’ve been loved.
Forgive as I’ve been forgiven.
The enemy comes to kill, steal and destroy.
Detour of destruction.
My heart’s Occupant is greater than the world’s lion.
No weapon formed against me can prosper.
Jesus overcame the world.
The Lord my God fights for me, I need only to be still. Click To Tweet
He promises to strengthen and help.
Provide in old age.
Holy Hand of blessing upholds.
Refuge provided in the shelter of His wings.
Rock and Redeemer.
If the Lord for me, who can be against me?
Spirit sword slices.
Pierces and divides.
Joints and marrow.
Lights my path.
Grass withers and flowers fade.
The Word of God stands forever.
Former things pass away.
Word’s washing water.
Lean not on human understanding.
For God so loved the world He gave.
Bread of life.
All sufficient grace, mercy, love.
Love that never fails.
Belief begets action.
I can do all things through Christ.
My strength and shield.
Faith comes through hearing.
Worship in witness.
Kingdom key holders.
Repent and believe.
Knock and be answered.
Seek and find.
Foundation of the world.
The Lord’s throne established.
Narrow path of life.
Trial and tribulation.
Faith and faithful.
Obedience demonstrates belief.
The kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Heart’s desires revealed – time, treasure, talent.
Earthly treasures rust and decay.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done – on earth and inside of me.
Father God, Lord Jesus, Thank you for loving me. Thank you for all you endured to pay the price for my sin. Help me to love and forgive like you do. Help me to live and give my life for you. I pray You reveal anyone I need to forgive and let me never forget the price You paid. Thank you that you never leave or forsake me. Thank you for who You are – mighty to save, patient, full of grace and mercy, kind and compassionate. I pray to live the gospel message of service and sacrificial love for others. I pray to be bold and step out in faith and uncertainty. Your love never fails and You always meet me in the storm and when I’m brave, on top of the water. I love you Jesus. In Your Precious, Matchless Name, Amen.
A man went bear hunting. Soon, a large, brown bear came lumbering across his path searching for berries. The hunter had the bear in his sights and began to squeeze the trigger.
What happened next was unexpected.
The bear turned and asked, “Excuse me. Isn’t it better to talk than shoot? Why don’t we try to negotiate this matter?”
The surprised hunter lowered his gun and said, “Okay….I guess I’m open to that.”
“What do you want exactly?” the bear inquired.
“I want a fur coat more than anything,” the hunter replied. “I’m very cold.”
The bear thought for a moment. “Okay, I think I understand – we are getting somewhere. How about if we reach some kind of compromise? Let me tell you what I am looking for – I want a full stomach.”
The hunter put down his gun while he and the bear walked into the woods to continue the negotiation.
A little while later, the bear emerged alone, negotiations successful – the hunter got his fur coat and the bear had a full stomach.
It’s a siren’s song.
A primrose path leading to destruction.
A lie that says I can have what I want and still please God.
The Bible is full of stories and warnings about people whose compromise lead to downfall and death.
You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth? That kind of persuasion does not come from the One who calls you. A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough.” Galatians 5:7-9
Satan, that lion-ous bear prowls around looking for someone to devour and destroy often comes as a lullaby.
“Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
“That’s from the Old Testament….it’s not really meant for today.”
“God understands I’m human and humans sin.”
“God knows what I’ve been through – He knows I need this right now.”
“God is love – He loves me the way I am – He wired me this way – He doesn’t expect me to change.”
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1
Satan’s lure says it’s okay, it’s a small thing.
The Lord knows my heart.
The heart is deceitful above all things.
Lover of lies.
Devil in details.
I don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings so I lie.
Make up an excuse.
I get what I want without conflict or controversy.
I want an evening of fun and acceptance so I don’t mention Christ or the gospel.
Deny with Silence.
Ignore God’s Word.
Do what I want and decide it’s okay based on my own standard.
It’s only a few drinks, a couple of minor swear words.
I’m not hurting anyone.
Sorcery of self.
He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father Amaziah had done. The high places, however were not removed; the people continued to offer sacrifices and burn incense there. The Lord afflicted the king with leprosy until the day he died and he lived in a separate house. Jotham, the king’s son had charge of the palace and governed the people of the land. 2 Kings 15:3-5
After a succession of kings who did evil in the eyes of the Lord, finally there was one who did what was right.
He did what was right – except for one thing.
A compromise with cost.
King Jeroboam lost his ability to be with people and live in the palace. He was unable to fulfill his role as king and ultimately lost his life to an incurable, terminal, flesh eating disease – leprosy.
It’s an agreement where both parties get what neither wanted.
Harmony wrapped in harm.
It seems like such a small thing.
I do the big stuff – tithe, attend church, share the gospel.
An unnoticeable white lie doesn’t matter.
You can’t be a little bit pregnant.
Anger is murder.
Lusty looks adultery.
My Heavenly Father remembers how one bite, one compromise changed everything.
Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:58
Stand for truth.
Stand for love.
Love that’s patient, kind.
Love that keeps no record of wrongs.
Love that’s willing to speak truth and say no.
Unconformed to the world.
Transformed and renewed.
Strong and courageous.
Fighting the good fight of faith.
Children of God anchored in the Word of God – not tossed to and fro by false doctrine and human cunning.
Temptation comes and I hold up my shield, slice with spirit, powered by prayer.
My head and heart protected.
The Lord my God walks with me, goes before me and is my rear guard.
No weapon formed against me can prosper.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Nothing is impossible with God.
Let me be a worker who speaks the Word of truth.
He who promised is faithful.
In this life, there is trouble and hardship, suffering and loss but I stand without fear.
Jesus Christ, the One who redeems and saves overcame the world.
The battle I fight has already been won.
Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. Colossians 2:6-7
Father God, Lord Jesus, I don’t want to be mostly Yours, I want to be all Yours. Forgive me for the times I’ve shrunk back. Forgive me for choosing me – my comfort, will and way over You. I choose You Jesus – I give You my life and choose to follow You. Give up what I want for what You have. Grow me, transform me, help me stand strong in the face of adversity and persecution. Reveal any ways I am compromising. I love You Jesus. Help me live for You and obey Your commands. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for your unconditional, saving love. Thank you for all you endured to redeem me. You are worthy and worth anything I must lay down or pick up. Eternity with You is worth any price I must pay here on earth. Thank you that You never leave or forsake me. Help me to be Your light on a hill. Help me to speak truth in love and point people to You. In Your Precious, Holy, Matchless Name, Amen.
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
Father God, Lord Jesus, Thank you for Your Word that gives everything I need to live by faith. I choose to fix my eyes on You and what’s eternal. Help me to know and love You better. Show me what I need to give up – anything creating a barrier to You. Thank you for Your promises and assurances that Heaven is real and this world isn’t all there is. You are good. Thank you for your hope and future. Thank you I can trust what You say is true. I give You my life and press into all You have – both good and hardship. You are worthy and worth everything I have to give. Thank You for loving me. Give me eyes to see and ears to hear what You would say to me. Give me the mind of Christ and let my life glorify and honor You. In Your Precious, Holy,
Fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true.
Bear and abide.
Branch attached to vine.
Fruit bearing branches pruned.
Encouraged to bear even more.
Heart’s produce praises God.
Acknowledges His Name.
Father glorifying fruit.
Spirit of life and peace.
Humility and gentleness.
Love bearing fruit full of sap and green.
Grapes never gathered from thorn bushes.
Figs won’t grow from thistles.
Good trees grow good fruit.
Taste and see that the Lord is good.
Feast without fear.
Those who seek Him lack nothing.
Many are the afflictions of the righteous.
The Lord delivers them all.
Redeems the life of His servants.
No condemnation in Christ Jesus.
Tree of everlasting life.
God gives love because He is love.
Love that never fails.
His joy is my strength.
Patiently He waits.
His peace passes understanding.
Abundant in goodness, He is sun and shield.
Father of lights never changes.
Promises kept for a thousand generations.
He Establishes and guards.
Shield of salvation.
Refiner and purifier.
His gentleness makes the good great.
The Lord's kindness leads to repentance, the path back to Him. Click To Tweet
Blessed are those who mourn, the meek and poor in spirit.
Earth is their inheritance.
Servant of God.
Steward of Grace.
Let us not grow weary.
Harvest is coming.
All things are possible through Christ who strengthens.
His fruit leads to sanctification and eternal life.
Walk in His ways.
We are His workmanship, His poem.
Know the Tree
Elohim, The One and only Supreme God.
Yahweh, The Lord, I AM the One true God.
Abba, Daddy, fully trusted.
El Elyon, God Most High, in control and mighty over all.
El Roi, the God who sees us – the lonely, the lost and unloved.
El Shaddai, God Almighty, the Mighty One, rest and refuge.
Yahweh Yireh, the Lord provides.
Yahweh Nissi, The Lord is my banner, my protection, leadership and deliverance.
Jehovah Rapha, the Lord who heals.
Yahweh Shalom, the Lord is peace.
To His Name be the glory for love that never fails.
Never leaves or forsakes.
Sufficient is His grace.
The Lord is strength and song.
Courage when weak.
Light and salvation.
Beginning and end.
Mighty to save.
My portion forever.
And this is eternal life, that they know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. John 17:3
Father God, Lord Jesus, Thank you for who You are. Thank You for Your Word that reveals Your character and amazing love. Help me set myself aside and love like You – without condition. Forgive me for the ways I fall short. Forgive my selfish, self-centered attempts to control masked as caring. Forgive my impatience and lack of self control. Lord, I pray the life You’ve given me honors and glorifies You. Thank you for kindness and patience. I pray You continue to grow and change me. Thank you for never giving up or walking away. You are the Mighty One, the One who sees, my provider, healer, rest and refuge. Thank you for all the ways You bless this life. Help me to know and love You better so I can share what You’ve given me with others. In Jesus’ Precious, Holy Name, Amen.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
It wasn’t intentional.
It was an accommodation.
I didn’t want to be that Christian. The one who makes sure everyone knows they don’t drink or let their kids watch certain movies.
The one people roll eyes over as they walk away.
I wanted my non-Christian friends to feel comfortable and develop a relationship – so I had opportunity to share Jesus – that’s what I told myself.
The truth – I wanted to be liked and fit in.
I didn’t offer to pray very often and I rarely brought up Jesus.
I didn’t want to turn them off.
People more or less know where I stand and if they’re interested, they’ll ask.
Anyway, I didn’t feel the Holy Spirit prompting so I didn’t need to share the gospel – at least that’s what others in the church said.
Never mind Jesus commands me to share it everywhere.
It created a problem.
I became one person with Christian friends and at church, then someone else with non-believing friends and neighbors.
Around Christians, I was bold in speech and prayer.
I remained silent with those who didn’t believe or ask.
Worse, I laughed at their jokes, occasionally participated in gossip and let my language slip.
God has a name for this – He calls it double minded.
But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do. James 1:6-8
Actions reveal what I truly believe.
A word study on “believe” reveal the Hebrew means to stand firm – it means more than just knowing something is true. Other translations say “to live by” or “trust”
When I attempt to manage people, places and things apart from God, it reveals weak or non-existent trust and faith.
A lack of belief.
It’s sort of simple – if I believe Jesus and His Word, I live it.
I share the gospel.
I don’t do what’s right in my own eyes or manage and decide apart from God.
One who is double-minded has no defined direction and as a result, doesn’t get anywhere.
I like to call it being a “free spirit.”
It means I don’t follow rules and tend to be rebellious – I used to take pride in it.
This defining quality has become a liability, a struggle, an obstacle as I endeavor to allow the Lord to transform my heart into one that’s obedient.
Having two minds – one for me and one for the Lord causes constant internal conflict.
It creates confusion in thoughts, actions and behavior.
Certain and doubting.
Walking in two directions at once.
Striving to serve both Savior and self.
Jesus tells me I can’t serve two masters.
I must choose whoM I serve or be blown and tossed by the wind.
Ineffective and unstable.
The Word says when I follow Christ I will be persecuted and hated.
Ridiculed and rejected.
Suffer as He suffered.
For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake. Philippians 1:29
And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. Matthew 10:38
I’m double minded because I want it both ways.
I want to accept Christ but not His suffering.
I want eternity in Heaven without becoming inconvenienced.
I want to be liked and fit in, not rejected and ridiculed.
The biggest deception is a one time prayer by itself unlocks eternal life. Click To Tweet Trusting Jesus means giving up what I want for what He has.
Trusting He is enough.
Obeying His Word even when it’s hard and causes hardship.
Spending time listening and praying – developing relationship and allowing Him to change my heart.
What I love.
What I live for.
It’s a giving up and laying down.
Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life and only a few find it. Matthew 7:13-14
I can’t live my way by my rules and enter Heaven.
Jesus isn’t a hall pass.
He tells me what it means to believe:
He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In My Name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their bare hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people and they will get well.” Mark 16:15-18
Preach the gospel – to everyone.
Publicly proclaim Him through baptism.
Drive out demons in Jesus’ Name.
Heal the sick.
I notice He doesn’t add “If it’s your spiritual gift.”
Or “When the Spirit moves you.”
Or “Pray about it first” the way western church culture does.
Jesus says to believe means I step out in faith, trusting He will show up.
It means laying hands on someone who’s ill, praying healing in Jesus’ Name then trusting the Lord and continuing to trust if it isn’t immediate or obvious.
It means being weird and an outcast.
If I’m following Jesus, I Don’t Conform to the world so I don’t fit in.
It’s a hard word.
Jesus Himself tells us to count the cost.
He says most cannot accept the teaching.
His mercy and grace cover imperfect attempts.
The cure for two minds is found in His Word.
The more I seek Him, the more I know Him.
The more I know Him, the more I trust Him.
The more I trust Him, the more I’m willing to do.
As I obey and follow, He encourages and guides me.
The Lord, my God, is for me.
a loving Father never blesses a path leading to destruction.
He equips and enables.
Protects and provides.
Corrects and forgives.
He is the way, the truth and the life.
His free gift is one of atonement and exchange.
In love and mercy, He exchanges His life for mine.
Replaces ruined rags with robes of righteousness.
Forgives my sin.
Calls me His Own.
Jesus gave everything….and so must I.
Then He said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for Me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?” – Jesus, Luke 9:23-25
Father God, Lord Jesus, Thank you for loving me. Thank you for allowing me to see the truth and believe. You saved me not just for my own sake but so I can tell others that they might also see and be saved. I pray for courage and strength to be faithful to You and the call for every believer. Help me shine Your light of truth wherever You send me and not shrink back. Help me make the most of every opportunity. Thank you for grace and forgiveness when I lose my way, remain silent or get distracted by the things of this world. You are compassionate, patient and slow to anger. You are good, just, true and Your love is without end. Help me to know you and love you better. Give me awareness in the moments you provide to share who You are in gentleness and love. In Jesus’ Holy Name, Amen.
For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the One who helps you.” Isaiah 41:13
Come to Me – I give rest to those who labor.
The heavily laden.
The burdens you carry I never intended.
Lay it down, let it go.
I long to gather you close.
Learn from Me, for I am gentle.
Humble in heart.
My steadfast love endures forever.
When the cares of your heart are many, I cheer your soul.
Call out to Me when in distress.
I AM near the brokenhearted and save those crushed in spirit. Click To Tweet
Do not fear or be dismayed.
I give rest to souls.
I AM a stronghold in times of trouble.
I lead beside still waters.
Provide restoration and resurrection.
Ride out your storm in the shelter of the Most High.
Abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
Refuge and fortress.
Shield of faithfulness.
Cover of Holy wings.
Pulled out of destruction’s pit and miry bog.
Feet set on rock, steps secure.
All things work for good.
Perfect peace found in trust.
The Lord never grows weary or forsakes His people.
His way is whirlwind and storm.
The dust of His feet are clouds.
His grace is sufficient.
Let your heart not be troubled.
The shepherd rests His flock.
A multitude of sin covered by love.
Justified by faith.
Redeemed and restored.
Rest for the weary.
Heaven is His throne.
No weapon can prosper.
As far as the east is from the west, transgressions are removed.
The world is full of trial and trouble but do not fear.
Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace, Lord of Lords, Word Made Man, the Great I AM has overcome the world.
They triumphed over him (satan) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. Revelation 12:11
Father God, Lord Jesus, Thank you. Thank you that You give rest for my soul. A soul that gets weary. A soul that sometimes aches with all that is wrong in the world. Thank you that I can rest in the assurance of who You are. You promise to protect, provide and care for me. In You I find peace and rest and joy. I need what You offer. Help me to trust Your will and way. Help me to worship while I wait. You are a good Father so I know Your plans and purpose are good. Help me surrender my ways for Yours. I can’t worry and have faith – they are incompatible. Thank you for your grace and mercy. Thank you for trials that draw me closer to You and teach me lessons of trust. Help me to know You and love You better. In Your Precious, Amazing, Holy Name, Amen.
The struggle isn’t against flesh and blood but a dark world’s power.
Self or Spirit.
It’s a red dawn.
Christ gives me strength to do all things.
Enlisted Savior soldier.
Know His Word and stand my ground.
Stand against accusation and condemnation.
Stand against lies.
Stand against temptation.
Stand against sin that twists, destroys and blinds.
A shield of faith quenches arrows of deception, shame and guilt.
Living shield grows as I trust God’s Word.
Belief becomes action.
God’s promises and Word is an impenetrable fortress.
Mind renew-er, thought captivator.
Praying God’s Word and promises is spiritual ammunition.
Ammunition that breaks chains and sets captives free.
Ammunition releasing God’s angel army.
Life changing ammunition.
A saber of light.
It’s a soul battle with eternity at stake.
The Lord provides all that's needed to find the narrow path. Click To Tweet
Encouragement to persevere.
Instructions in His Word.
The wages of sin is death but God’s free gift is eternal life in Christ Jesus.
His house has many rooms.
His Name endures forever.
The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.
The old is gone, the new is here.
Christ’s love compels.
He died for all.
Ministry of reconciliation creates ambassadors.
God’s appeal now through me.
Temple of truth.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9
Father God, Lord Jesus, Thank you. Thank you that you are faithful, good, true. I trust you and Your Word are the truth, the way and the life. The battle is already won but the enemy blinds and deceives, causing casualties. I pray You keep me on the narrow path and bring me back when I wander and stray. I pray You use me to shine Your light of truth so others see You for who You are – the Savior and Messiah. Thank you, Lord for equipping me for battle – I pray I remember to use the armor you graciously provide. Give me eyes to see and ears to hear what You would say to me. Thank you for the gift of salvation and eternal life. Thank you for your sacrifice and unconditional love – You alone are worthy. In Your precious, Holy, matchless Name, Amen.
The good Shepherd gathers lambs into arms of strength.
Carries them close to His heart.
Gently leads beside green pasture and still waters.
Leaves the ninety-nine to go after one who is lost.
One who wandered away.
One who falls into wolf territory.
Lays down His life for the sheep.
Those in His care hear the Shepherd’s voice.
To Him the gatekeeper opens.
He leads them out by name.
Goes before them.
The sheep know His voice and follow.
One flock, one Shepherd.
They shall not want.
His rod and staff comfort and protect.
He never leaves or looks away.
Spirit of truth guides all into truth.
Anyone who follows must deny self.
Take up my cross daily – the one crafted perfectingly for me.
Grace and mercy of God.
Lose to gain.
His Word renews and transforms lives and minds.
The world is heartache, loss and trouble.
He gives peace that passes understanding.
Hope that holds.
The God who never fails, never fails.
I need not fear, for He, Jesus, the Word made Man, the Son of God, has overcome the world.
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:1-2
Father God, Lord Jesus, Thank you. Thank you for doing what I could never do – pay the price for my sin. Through Your sinless life and atoning death on the cross, I am a redeemed child of God. A sheep in Your flock. Amazing grace. Help me to take up my cross daily and live the faith of who You are. Help me to listen and obey. Help me to follow by faith. Walk as You walk. Forgive me for the ways I fall short. Thank You that You love me enough to pursue me and bring me back when I wander and lose my way. Your love knows no end and never fails. I can always count on You – You never lie or abandon me. Thank you that Your word says when I cry out to You, You not only hear me but draw near and answer. Help me to know You and love You better. In Your Precious, Holy, Matchless Name, Amen.
Bright morning sun has me squinting hard as I bend down to peer through the open window of a car now coasted to a stop beside my dog, Lucy.
“What’s going on?” my neighbor asks. I pause considering an obligatory response then plunge forward in a current of honesty. “Walking in anger and unforgiveness.” He doesn’t miss a beat, “That’s all of us.”
Trials are a test – not pass or fail but to improve strength and reveal weakness.
I’ve been walking through a year long trial and what’s revealed is a tangle of sin briers and self around a heart that loves Jesus.
A will that wants and demands it’s own way.
A belief if I am faithful to God He owes me.
A spirit of rebellion revealed through a tantrum of anger and unforgiveness.
Lashing out when wounded or deprived.
A grace girl who fully embraces love, mercy and forgiveness but not giving up and putting down.
A body that worships the cross but refuses to climb up and extend limbs across beams.
Demanding the Creator serve created.
A heart full of wants instead of what He values.
For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. Galatians 5:17
It’s a set up, a conspiracy, a game of kingdom keep away with an eternal price.
God warns about an enemy that prowls like a lion waiting to pounce and destroy.
He warns the battle isn’t against flesh and blood but of spirit.
He asks and reminds – what good is it to gain the whole world yet lose your soul?
I spin my wheels in the muck and mud of self.
I can’t gain traction.
A sitting duck for even the lamest lion.
Until I hold back nothing, give everything and refuse to allow anything to come between me and the Savior, I will continue to strain, strive and struggle.
I’m learning through trial and desperate need how desperately I need Him.
To live in His promises and trust His Word.
To wait instead of racing ahead.
Listen instead of decide what I think.
Obey instead of go my own way.
Actions speak louder than words.
What I do reveals what I believe.
But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” James 2:18
Heavy burdens of sin and self cause me to sit stuck.
Block my view.
Following requires intention and attention.
Focus and gaze.
When I look away, I lose sight of the one I’m walking behind.
Pursue the pursuer.
Speed of light.
Put down my burden for His yoke.
Heavy for light.
Give to gain.
In freewill I choose His way and will.
So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God and God abides in him. 1 John 4:16
In my circumstances.
In my trial.
His strength for my weakness.
Laying down anything opposed to Him.
He is the Lord Almighty.
Creator of Heaven and earth.
Stars and storms.
Waves and whales.
He makes all things new.
When I clench my hands and heart around what I want but don’t receive, it’s an offense to the God who has given so much.
How does an ungrateful heart praise it’s maker?
Anger and unforgiveness contaminate my life’s soul.
Deadly toxin toxifies.
Poisons me and others I love.
A silent killer.
“It’s just me…it’s how I am”
I am….a distortion of the Great I AM – self attempting to be God and rule the life He gave.
It got Lucifer evicted from Heaven.
An attempt to replace Father with finance, love, worldly acceptance.
Control people and circumstaces.
Take His glory for my own.
Make Him the middle man.
God will not be mocked or ruled.
Love lets go.
Lets go of what I want for what He has.
Lets go of expectations and my own design.
Lets go of the need to be right and valued by people, places and things.
Worships the Creator not the created.
Bows before the King.
Goes low discovering a servant’s heart and childlike faith.
Placing my hand in His.
Going wherever He leads.
Looking to Him for provision, approval and love.
Following His footsteps – daughter after Dad.
Trusting the wait – that desert of now and not yet.
Complete instructions contained in His Word.
When I seek with a heart that’s sincere, He always shows up and gives me all I need – even extras I didn’t ask for – He calls it blessing.
The Lord, my God goes before me, walks beside me, never leaves me.
Makes a way where there is no way.
Binds up broken hearts and repays what locusts ate away.
Gives hope and futures.
Takes me home, debt paid, life everlasting.
Tetelestai – it is finished.
but I gave them this command: Obey Me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in obedience to all I command you, that it may go well with you. Jeremiah 7:3
Father God, Lord Jesus, Thank you. Thank you for Your great love that never fails. Thank you for Your patience and compassion. Forgive me for going my own way and seeking my will over Yours – for being demanding dust. Thank You that You are slow to anger and offer forgiveness when I turn back to You. Thank you for Your perfect plan – a plan and way so much better than my own. I trust You. You are good and mighty to save. Thank you for Your faithfulness. Thank you for your care, protection and provision. You are God Almighty and You, the Alpha and Omega, beginning and the end, come after me when I wander away. Thank you for Your unending love. I want to live Your way and will, not mine. Lead me, Lord. I surrender who I am for what you have – my greatest desire is to serve and follow You. In Jesus’ Holy, matchless, saving Name, Amen.