As we enter 2023, the mantra remains the same for us all. Keep pushing forward in Jesus Christ, no matter the circumstances. Even when things are going well, there is a need to stay prayed up and focused on Jesus. There is an enemy who seeks to steal, kill, and destroy.
John 10:10 – “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.”
Walking with Jesus gives us wisdom, courage and strength so that we are not blindsided. There are times when we are not aware that there is a force in the background in our lives trying to take us out.
Walking with God is about trusting Him and believing His Word for your life. His promises are yes and Amen. Look to the future through the Word of God.
Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know the plans I have for you,“ says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
This is one of my favorite Scriptures. If you have read a few of my posts, you will see that I refer to this Scripture often. Why? Because it gives me peace. It builds my trust in God. Through Jesus Christ, God has already proven that He loves us. If He has already given us eternal life, would He not even more be faithful to us to give us life more abundant?
John 10:10 – “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.”
Repeating his Scripture, there are two sides to this coin. Jesus came to give us a better life here also. He didn’t say He came to erase every trial or every challenge. In growth, we have a better life. Growing in Him…in grace.
I was thinking about the previous post on November 27th, Change, and wanted to expound on that a little. Affirmations help us change; however, only if you believe what you are saying to yourself. Sure, repetition is key as we move forward in growth. It is important to understand that faith is a critical key to changing.
I use Bible promises for my affirmations. I will tell you though that I didn’t begin to see the transformation until I believed what God said about me and His promises to me. Psalm 18:30 – “This God-His way is perfect, the word of the Lord proves true; He is a shield for all those who take refuge in Him.”
It truly was the supplement I needed to continue truly growing. The repetition of the affirmations is like reinforcing the glue. Belief is what makes it stick. It is the glue. Even if we fall down (miss a day), we get back up and continue moving forward on our journey.
Believing what you speak to yourself determines what you believe. What are you believing that is impacting your ability to change? Something to ponder regarding your growth, your goals and your life.
Expounding on peace from my post on Monday, I want to encourage looking for the real and eternal peace, the peace of God. This peace is founded on the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. John 14:27 – “I am, leaving you with a gift-peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” NLT
Two of the critical elements of this peace from Jesus is trust and faith. You have to have faith in the words of Jesus and you have to trust that He keeps His word. When compared to the fragile and unstable peace of the world, this is the real thing. The peace of this world is not stable. Here today, gone tomorrow. The peace of God is never-changing and eternal. How can you question something unchanging and eternal?
Philippians 4:6-7 – “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” NLT
Real peace takes commitment to Christ. Reading the word of God daily keeps me focused on Jesus. My peace is based on reading and knowing His word; trusting that He keeps His word; and, that He will bring it to pass in His time. Isaiah 26:3 says, “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You, all whose thoughts are fixed on You!” This is a promise from God and the promises of God are “Yes, and Amen”. He “will keep in perfect peace”. No question.
Today, I want to talk about surrender. Surrendering to God is difficult, at best for most of us. Most of us don’t surrender until we come face to face with things being totally out of our control. Still surrender is challenging. Then, we realize we need to trust God whether we like it or not. We need to surrender.
Is surrender about trust? Why is it so hard for us to surrender to God? Do you trust Him? Is it because He’s not physically tangible? You can’t reach out and touch Him like you can the person close to you that you love? Doubting Thomas. Remember him?
John 20:25 NLT – He said “I will not believe until I see the nail wounds in His hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.”
Are the trees, the birds, the sky, the moon, the seasons not enough physical evidence? Even humanity? Why won’t you trust God with your heart? The One who created your heart. Is your resistance to surrender because you want to maintain control?
Trust. What does that word really mean to you? The dictionary says it means a firm belief in the reliability or truth or strength, etc., of a person or a thing. The only real truth standing the test of time is God’s truth, His word. Trust also means a confident expectation. The word of God is the same yesterday, today and forever because it is truth. Truth does not change. Facts do. What other thing can you have a confident (trust) expectation in?
Proverbs 4:23 -“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.
This Scripture has come up several times over the past month. It is a reminder to be diligent about what we put in our hearts and minds. I went to the Strong’s Concordance and went to the Hebrew and Aramaic dictionary and looked up “heart.
This dictionary defined “heart” as: “The heart includes not only the motives, the feelings, affections and desires, but also the will, the aims, the principles, the thoughts, and the intellect of man.” The Hebrew and Aramaic word is Leb.
It is taken for granted in our culture that what we expose ourselves to, certain environments (digital, physical, musical), isn’t that big of a deal. It is, my friend. What we allow in our minds on a regular basis does have a huge impact. It’s gradual over time. Looking at the definition above, when you access your feelings, affections and desires, where do they come from? Are they things you truly want to bless you or are they there because of what you have been exposed to recently and regularly?
What’s on your heart? Is your heart in tune with God? I ask this because the Word of God says our hearts are deceptive. When God is not the priority of our hearts, our hearts will deceive us. Jeremiah 17:9: “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?” God does. In the case of what you expose yourself to, it can be very deceptive. What we take in impacts us beyond just the surface. This affects our thoughts and feelings. It alters our desires.
There are so many Scriptures on the heart in the Word of God. It is a necessary thing to read them and guard your heart.
This post follows my post from Thursday. As I stated there, it was a rough week full of challenges. However, I have recouped. I would like to offer thanks to the bloggers who post the Word of God and share the timely truths that get us back on the right track. Although I do have my own Bible and read it, it is nice when the written word comes from those who speak the Gospel in what they write. I have been truly blessed the last couple of days reading the reminders that help us stay on track. Although I have been very busy, it is nice to be able to read the blogs when dashing here and there. Below are some posts worth reading to be re-energized to run this race.
There are some key points that I would like to put in this writing. It is so important to remember that the thoughts we entertain determine how we function on a day-to-day basis. I was really thinking the negative thoughts about my situation. I realized that although I am a believer, it is easy to fall back in to the habits that we have so deeply ingrained in our psyche. Hence, the flesh has risen again. I thought I had that under control. No, not really. It takes a daily, moment by moment walk with the Lord. You think you’ve got it handled and bam! Out of nowhere it seems those old habits reappear. I held a funeral for them, dead and thought buried for good.
The enemy takes advantage of this opportunity by adding fuel to the fire with more negative thoughts. We are the product of our daily habits. I found that I had slipped in the practices that had me right on track. Consumed by the “necessities” of life, like paying bills, etc. I found myself drowning. Although temporary, it is necessary for me to put this in the forefront to remember what happened. I am not sure when it happened, just how it happened. We find ourselves getting too busy for the right things on a daily basis. I pray in my car all the time. But what I wasn’t doing was the concentrated prayer. Setting time aside not to be distracted by the traffic, the drivers or the customers. Drive by prayer. Not good.
That is not saying that God has not spoken to me, He most certainly has. It is necessary to give God the time, praise and worship He deserves without the extras. This is where we build strength and staying power. I say this because multi-tasking has become such the thing to do these days. You cannot do just one thing at a time. I believe it may be because our jobs now require that you do four things at once because it has to be done yesterday, we have lost the pleasure of enjoying what we do. With single parents having to do so many things just to provide a decent life for the families, we can’t afford to do one thing at a time, do it well and enjoy it. So we think. However, when the rat race becomes overwhelming, we have no choice but to stop and slow down. Revisit the priorities and take a stand.
Today was a day for me to do just one job and it afforded me the opportunity to really meditate on what God has been saying to me. First of all, He has not left. He is still Jehovah-Jireh, my provider. He is still my comforter and my helper in time of need. He is still the one who knows my days and He is still the one who closes and opens doors. Although I have a lot coming at me, I still have the victory, thank you, Lord. He is bigger than any storm.
Finally, the book review for The Confident Woman by Joyce Meyer. It has been a bit of time since reading the book. However, in dealing with the challenges that I was facing, the book truly helped me to keep my thoughts focused on the Word of God. Not only that, some of the information included was added to my daily spiritual declarations.
The book is broken down into two parts. The first part deals with confidence and includes historical information on the feminist movement. It is very interesting reading and includes contributions women have made to all aspects of life including education, science and politics. Joyce does a great job of breaking down things with simplicity and humor. She expertly applies Biblical principles from the Word of God to define what it means to be a confident woman in Christ. Her testimony is a catalyst from which she gives relative truth. Continue reading A Confident Woman_Book Review
Fight … Surely the fight of faith is a fight worth having.
I 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.”
It 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.