Moving Forward in Him

faith-is-not-a-feelingToday I thank God for His mercy, grace and provision. Although the lenses from which I few seemed to be clouded, scratched up, etc., I know that He is faithful. As I listen to Him, I am being obedient to take the day to write, rest and leave things in His hands. I am so grateful. Didn’t have to be here today, literally. And, since my dog experience, this is more real than ever before. Not sure why, but things don’t always hit home until something happens so close to home that it cannot be avoided.

Left Behind.jpgThat said, I want to talk about moving forward from the things of this world to the matters of heaven. People are dying senselessly, the crazy presidential race has become a farce regardless of who you want to vote for and making a decent living seems to be a challenge in a class all by itself. (What happened to the middle class?) The Word of God says that things will continually wax worse and worse until Christ returns. Are you prepared? I had to ask myself this serious question. Am I? Are my thoughts consumed with what is going on in the world today or making sure that I am following Christ? This is not about not caring for people in this world. This is about being ready. I know many of you know about the Left Behind novels and what that means Scripturally. While this point may seem irrelevant or invalid to some, the question to ask is if it is true, will you be left behind? If it is not true, no loss.

Yes, I did read this series. I was able to follow along in Scripture with this selection and it was very intriguing. Another favorite on my Christian fiction list. And very indicative of those sitting on that proverbial fence. Personally, I would rather take a chance on it being true and being prepared than not. First Thessalonians speaks this way about the subject.

1 Thessalonians 4:15-18
15)For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will be no means precede those who are asleep. 16) For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17) Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall aways be with the Lord. 18)Therefore comfort one another with these words.

I am compelled to speak this truth today. We are to comfort each other with the matters of heaven and not be consumed by the things going on in the world. While it is necessary and even expedient to pray for those in the world, it is the hope that we have in Christ that needs the focus. Of course, being led by the Holy Spirit, He will speak to you what He hears from the Lord. He will also pray as needed (Romans 8:26-27) so that what needs to be accomplished in the heavenly realm is done. But, brothers and sisters, we truly need to be praying others into heaven by diligent obedience to the Holy Spirit.

Romans 8:26-27
26)Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27)Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

God has us covered on all sides. We need to trust and obey.

Today’s Thoughts…Jehovah-Jireh

20160423_174620Spent most of the afternoon enjoying the writings of my blogging community. I so enjoy reminders of faith, hope and love. As well, the various tips and information that help and encourage along this spiritual and writing journey. I have included some of the posts here for you to have your own reading pleasure.

Regurgitated Church

Fairy Tale Endings

Moments of True Blessing

A short walk with my Canon

Calibrating the Mind

There is a lot going on in the world today, from the death of the iconic artists to the crazy presidential race. In the midst of it all, I did take time to be grateful for the small things. The image above is one of those things. I absolutely love the beauty of nature and this image was one that gave me pleasure. I took the image at a customer’s home, with her permission, of course. Taking a minute or two from my driving to capture nature’s beauty.

In having to make a decision on a second job inside or outside, I chose the outside. It is a second driving job and though it has the pros as well as the cons, I realized that I do not want to give up my writing or photography. I would not have the opportunity to capture as many of the beautiful images that I see on an inside job for most of the day. It was a challenging decision in that I have to wait a little longer and I do have some urgency for additional finances. In the grand scheme of things, wisdom in decision-making is considering the long-term as well as the short-term results of our decisions.

Trusting God as my provider means that I can make a decision based on Him and not my circumstances. I trust Him to take care of me and provide even when I can’t see how. I’m still here, aren’t I? That means God has provided.

I also thought about my commitment to my writing. There are sacrifices for what God has called me to do. I do notice also that in the transforming of my mind to the things of God, the anxiety is lessening to nil. When it rises, I immediately see that my flesh wants to take control but it doesn’t have to. Transforming my mind means, to me, that I am trusting Him for the unseen things for my life. That I am trusting Him for what He has given me and honoring Him with it. And, that I am standing on who He is in my life, Jehovah-Jireh, my provider.

Free Flow Friday…What Does My Billboard Say?

Sandra's-BillboardFree Flow Fridays…What’s your sign?

My billboard would say that I am always working on improvement. My personality gives me the freedom to accept that change is necessary in some areas. That freedom doesn’t mean it has been easy. After fellowship with my Father in Heaven, I then move forward. There have been times when the changes were necessary and other times when the change was not needed. I have discovered that in trying to make sure everyone understands me created difficult moments for me when they didn’t understand. I have also learned that there have been many moments when I didn’t understand myself.
Continue reading Free Flow Friday…What Does My Billboard Say?

A Fight Worth Having

Fight … Surely the fight of faith is a fight worth having.

Fight_1I believe all of us know what the word fight means. It is to contend or struggle in war, battle, single combat. It is a conflict or struggle. It is a vigorous effort in the face of difficulty. Holding our own in this world is a daunting task. However, God knew that we couldn’t do this alone or without Him, and because He loves us so much, He sent Jesus to die for us and Jesus left us His Holy Spirit to arm us. Let us fight the good fight of faith! God gave us all that we need including the descriptive details of what this looks like in Ephesians 6. There are no excuses other than we just don’t want to. I believe that equipping ourselves daily-yes, daily-with the Word of God is one of the first and very critical steps in fighting this fight.

Ephesians 6:10-18 – “(10)A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. (11) Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. (12)For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. (13)Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will be standing firm. (14)Stand your ground putting on the belt of truth and the body of armor of God’s righteousness. (15)For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. (16)In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. (17) Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (18)Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.”

Faith_2It is imperative that we get this. God is so detailed in how He gives us His Word that we should be excited. He has covered all the bases. Are you wearing your full armor in this battle? Fighting the good fight of faith is about the unseen. It is not necessary to have faith in what you already see because you see it. The unseen world, or the heavenly realm is just as real as the natural. The enemy seeks to steal, kill and destroy by any means necessary and he certainly will use the supernatural realm to try to stop us from walking by faith. You have no ammunition that can fight the enemy when you do not have God’s armor. Those negative thoughts will come and those testy situations from the enemy are used to wear us down. However, we are not to be weary in well-doing. If you don’t put on the armor, you get weaker the more you get hit. Ask any veteran about the true art of war. To fight the battle, you have to be prepared. God is so gracious to us because He has given us explicit instructions on how to fight this thing. The battle is truly not ours anyway but the Lord’s. We are His soldiers. Make no mistake because Jesus has given us the victory in His death and resurrection. The requirement from us is to fight in faith here on earth. The extent of His love is so phenomenal because He still gives us free will to say yes. God gave us Christ to save us, gave us His Holy Spirit for power in the resurrection and the Word of God to arm us. How much more can we ask for? The enemy certainly has a clue of the value of you standing in faith for your purpose in the kingdom of God. I now ask again, “Are you wearing your full armor in this battle? Is not this a fight worth fighting for? ” Our eternity is based on the answer.

 

Faith that Grows

Devotion – John 4:46-54 (NLT)

Faith is a gift that grows as we use it.  How do we recognize if we are walking in faith?  We say we believe, but our actions of anxiety do not portray the faith we say we have. (Phil. 4:6 – “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.  Tell God what you  need, and thank Him for all He has done.”  Do we believe God enough (the faith of a mustard seed) to “prepare our field for rain”  or to “move the mountain?”  (Matt. 17:20 – “You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them, “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard see, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move.  Nothing would be impossible.”)

This devotion speaks about the father who believed Jesus for his son’s healing. Before he even made it home, his son was healed because of his trust in the words that Jesus spoke to him.  Verse 50 says “Then Jesus told him, ‘Go back home.  Your son will live.” How much do we believe Jesus for our children’s healing?  I believe that because there is so much emotional disorder in our society today, our children are suffering in such a major way.  Do we really believe Jesus for their healing?

As I walk through my own journey of emotional disorder in my family, I must say there are days I am challenged. But as I write today, I am challenged to stand on the Word of God; to practice this faith I have in reality.  As this father did, trust in the Words of Jesus.  We mature or grow in this walk of faith as we  practice it, trusting and praising.

Praises are evidence of trust.  Why?  Because praise reveals confidence, hope, believing that God is not only willing but able to meet our every need.  He is worthy to be praised!

Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible New Living Translation, copyright  1965, 2004.  Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, IL 60189.