Tag Archive | control

Independence (a.k.a. Pride)

4 PrideThe other day I overheard a single woman proudly state that she had always been able to take care of herself and provide for herself. Fantastic! I’m sure she made her parents proud also. After all, isn’t that one measure of successful parenting—that your children prosper financially, support themselves, and move out of the nest? Is there anything wrong with being pleased with yourself for exerting an independent, self-sufficient spirit? Hard work is an excellent virtue and should be rewarded, right?

Independence, control, and comparison. Those words don’t sound prideful when spoken alone. However, when we rely on ourselves for everything and don’t depend on God for anything, He could view this independent spirit as arrogance or overconfidence. Likewise, it often feels good to be in complete control of ourselves, our lives, an event, a situation, another person, or his actions. The haughty monster of pride rears its ugly head in the condescending creature of control. And when we compare ourselves to others and always come out on top, a conceited nature triumphs over humility in our souls. Be careful—this sounds a bit like sitting in the judgment seat, and that’s not a position you want to claim for yourself. Judgment is reserved for Almighty God alone.

A narrow boundary exists between independence and pride, and it’s not a line you want to cross. Pride is mentioned in Proverbs 6:16-19 as one of the seven things detestable to God. Pride manifests itself in these forms: arrogance, conceit, self-importance, egotism, vanity, haughty eyes, condescension, scorn, disrespect, snootiness, loftiness, and contemptuousness. The Lord despises proud actions and attitudes. Here are a few of the many verses that describe how God feels about pride:

  • Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. (Proverbs 16:18)
  • God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. (James 4:6)
  • The Lord detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished. (Proverbs 16:5)
  • Though the Lord is on high, He looks upon the lowly, but the proud He knows from afar. (Psalm 138:6)

Pride erects a roadblock between you and God. If you are having trouble feeling close to God and hearing His voice, you may want to perform a pride inventory in your spirit. Do you practice humility and selflessness, or are you responsible for behaviors that are detestable to God? The verses above assure us that God will punish the proud of heart, and He doesn’t go near individuals who are full of pride.

Instead of commending yourself for your independence, turn it around, and express your full gratitude to God for His faithful provision. He created you, gifted you, provided a job for you, and rewarded you for your hard work. The truth is you are not as independent as you may think. You are completely dependent on God, because He is in control of all things.

Remove the barrier that may stand in your way of communicating with God. If you hold pride in your heart, confess it and ask God’s forgiveness. Get rid of all pride, arrogance, conceit, self-importance, haughtiness, disrespect, loftiness, and condescension before you seek the Lord to listen to His voice. Treat others as more important than yourself. Assume the position of the lowly, the meek, and the servant. Don’t take it to the extreme so that you resemble a doormat, but approaching the Lord with a contrite heart, in humility, opens the door to receiving God’s words of grace, encouragement, and wisdom.

 Pray:

Almighty God, thank You for loving me and desiring a relationship with me despite my prideful ways. Please forgive me for acting in a manner that is detestable to You. I lay down all arrogance, pride, conceit, and self-righteousness at Your feet, Lord. I trade in my haughty spirit for a spirit of humility and submission. I will try not to pass judgment on others, nor put myself on a pedestal above anyone else. Help me listen to and obey the direction of Your Holy Spirit as He guides me to adopt the heart of a servant and strive to act more like Jesus. I lift You up as the Sovereign Lord, Who rules over everything on earth and in heaven. Father, please help me to seek You for direction in everything I do and put Your desires and the interests of others ahead of my own. I cannot do any of this on my own without the power and strength of Jesus Christ. Please grant me the ability and the blessing of hearing Your voice. I ask all this in Jesus’ name. Amen.  

Thanksgiving or Giving Thanks

Heavenly Father, Almighty King–

Thank you for Thanksgiving. Thank you for a day that reminds us to be thankful for the many blessings you have given us. Thank you for…

Dying on the cross for me.

Your forgiveness and providing newness of life.

Your Word which is a lamp to my feet.

The gift of Your Holy Spirit Who lives in me.

The ability to hear Your voice within my thoughts.

Your goodness and faithfulness.

Your unconditional love.

Your guidance and protection.

Your perfect joy and peace, even in the midst of struggles.

My excellent husband and partner in life.

My children and the many gifts you have given them.

A godly husband for my daughter and a profession she loves.

A beautiful mind for my son and the ability to pursue the career of his choosing.

Faithful family and friends with whom we can share our lives.

My home and its furnishings, clothes to wear, and food to eat.

A church where I can worship You and fellowship with other Christ followers.

A country and constitution that still upholds the freedom of religion.

A new direction in federal government.

The promise that You are in control and will use everything for our good and Yours.

In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

 

 

The Perfect Parent – Encouragement for Moms

“Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to His voice, and hold fast to Him.” (Deuteronomy 30:20, NIV)

My precious daughter, you are the apple of My eye. I am captivated by your beauty, both inside and out. You are made in My image. I am the God of love, joy, peace, patience, and perseverance. These are the same attributes you need most to parent your children well.

Love

My love for you is unconditional. I love you no matter what you do or don’t do, what you say or don’t say. Nothing you do can make Me love you less. Nothing you do can make Me love you more. My great love for you is unchangeable. I love you longer, higher, deeper, and wider than you will ever grasp.

Likewise, you must love your children in the same manner. Love them no matter what they do or don’t do, what they say or don’t say. Nothing they do or don’t do should make you love them less.

My love for them shines through you, when your love for them is unwavering. Let them see My great love for them in your words and actions.

Joy

My joy is your strength. Seek Me and I will fill you with joy and peace as you trust in Me wholeheartedly. By the power of My Holy Spirit, you will overflow with joy in all areas of life, even in the difficult times.

Children bring great joy to a home. Savor the joyful times, and recall them when facing the challenges. A spirit of hope and joy is the result of confidence in Me. Trust in Me with all your heart, and find sweet joy in your faith. When you know and believe I am in control of all things, the heaviness in your heart fades and gives way to joy and expectation. I will not fail you. Trust in Me, joyfully, and draw on the strength My Spirit brings you.

Peace

Jesus is the Prince of Peace. When you accept Jesus into your heart and walk with Him, His Spirit lives inside you. You have the peace of Christ living in you. To experience peace, simply look deep within your heart and you will find it. Get in touch with My Spirit that dwells in you, and find the peace you long for.

This is the peace that passes all comprehension. You may experience My peace, even in the midst of your trials and challenges. When you are angry and frustrated with your children, seek My peace within. No matter the current test, spend a few moments alone with Me, and draw on My peace. I am with you always. Then deal with your children from a spirit of peacefulness.

Patience

Where there is wisdom, patience is found. When you seek My wisdom for childrearing, you will discover a greater measure of endurance for the task. In wisdom, you will handle the challenges with patient tolerance and unwavering determination.

The outcome of your confrontation will be determined by your patience in the battle. When your patience is tested to its limits, reach within your soul and receive power from My Holy Spirit. Breathe a silent prayer to Me and receive what you are in need of at the moment. Pause to take a deep breath, inhaling My peace and exhaling more patience.

Perseverance

Parenting requires perseverance and consistency. Let Me determine your steps, and then, devote yourself to the cause. Trust in Me with all your heart. Do not operate solely from your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Me and I will instruct you on the right course. (See Proverbs 3:5-6)

When you seek Me and listen to My voice, I will direct all your steps, big and small. Ask Me, and I will let you in on the plans I have laid out for you. Then you may parent with confidence and a firm resolve, knowing that your wisdom comes from Me. Persist in the major battles, and let go of the minor conflicts. Draw on the strength of My Spirit as you proceed on the path of My will for you and your children.

Battles with children are a test of the wills. Whose desire shall prevail? When you are confident that your desires align with My will, persevere in the battle. Press on toward the goal, and do not surrender.

In Summary

You cannot do any of this successfully in your own strength. You must rely on Me. I am the vine, you are the branch. Remain in Me, and I will remain in you. Apart from Me you can do nothing. (See John 15) Remain in close relationship with Me by spending time with Me. Yes, talk to Me, but also, listen to Me. I have so much to say to you.

When you make time to listen to Me, you will receive My encouragement, my wisdom, and my guidance for all areas of your life, including your parenting. I am waiting patiently for you to seek Me, know Me, listen to My voice, and hold fast to Me. I am the perfect parent and I will help you parent well.

Make Me your first priority. Seek Me before everything else. Spend time with Me daily, away from all noise and confusion. Draw your wisdom, strength, and power from Me. Receive your hope and confidence from your Father above.

Emotionally and spiritually healthy children come from emotionally and spiritually healthy parents. Maintain a healthy, spiritually intimate relationship with Me that will be seen and passed down to your children and their children. It is My greatest desire to be in constant two-way communication and relationship with each of My children, including you. Learn to listen to My voice and receive everything you stand in need of. Now choose life and hold fast to Me.


 

Watch out!

Then Jesus said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of His possessions.” (Luke 12:15)

You have heard it said, “You are what you eat.” I say also, “You are what you possess.” In this world, a man’s life is about his possessions. However, in the world to come, there is no place for them. Rather than storing up for yourselves treasures on earth, grow your investment in the heavenly realm. Instead of working toward financial wealth, focus your efforts on spiritual richness. The more time you spend laboring to pay for your material possessions, the less time you may spend with Me. Do not build bigger barns to store your abundance, but use your wealth to feed the poor and house the homeless. I extended My rich mercy by laying down My life to save yours. Would you be willing to lay down your rich life to extend kindness and blessing to those who are less fortunate? Are you prideful, greedy, and stingy? Or do you possess an abundance of humility, generosity, and mercy? You are what you possess. Are you in control of your possessions or do they control you?

Do not fear, I am with You

In the Arms of His Love by Greg OlsenSo do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand…For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. (Isaiah 41:10 & 13)

Lord, you woke me this morning with these words from the Shoulders song by For King and Country, playing in my mind: “I will feel no fear. I know that You are near.”

Lord, what do you want me to know about this?

My darling child, I want you to know that I love you and I am with you. I am always near whenever you are afraid. I will strengthen you. I will take hold of your hand and lead you out of your fear. There is no fear when you know you are loved by me. I will protect you and take care of you. Be afraid of nothing, for I have redeemed you and called you by name; you are mine. Nothing will overtake you; nothing will harm you. You are my child, whom I love dearly. Be strong and do not fear the days ahead. I am in control. I have your best interests in mind. Trust me with your whole heart. I will help you and take care of you. I hold you close to my heart. I love you more than you know.

Artwork Credit: Be Not Afraid © Greg Olsen. Used with Permission. For more information visit, www.GregOlsen.com


 

For King & Country – Shoulders Lyrics

Artist: For King & Country Album: Run Wild. Live Free. Love Strong.

When confusion’s my companion

And despair holds me for ransom

I will feel no fear

I know that You are near

When I’m caught deep in the valley

With chaos for my company

I’ll find my comfort here

‘Cause I know that You are near

[Chorus:]

My help comes from You

You’re right here, pulling me through

You carry my weakness, my sickness, my brokenness

all on Your shoulders

Your shoulders

My help comes from You

You are my rest, my rescue

I don’t have to see to believe that

You’re lifting me up on Your shoulders

Your shoulders

You mend what once was shattered

And You turn my tears to laughter

Your forgiveness is my fortress

Oh Your mercy is relentless

[Chorus]

My help is from You

Don’t have to see it to believe it

My help is from you

Don’t have to see it, ‘cause I know, ‘cause I know it’s true

[Chorus]

My help is from You

Don’t have to see it to believe it

My help is from you

Don’t have to see it, ‘cause I know, ‘cause I know it’s true

Read more at http://www.songlyrics.com/for-king-country/shoulders-lyrics/#XzHBam3OEqkKc2gG.99

 

No Greater Love

Jesus on crossIn John 15:9-14, Jesus says this, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.”

You are my child—not only my child, but also my friend. No one loves you more than I do. I love you so much that I laid down my life for you. Will you now lay down your life for me and do as I commanded you? Love each other as I have loved you. You cannot do this without my help.

At one time or another, love requires sacrifice. Whether it’s laying down your life, your selfish desires, your control, your obsessions, or your possessions, love requires sacrifice and submission. In loving each other, you will need to serve each other, submit to each other, and place each other’s needs ahead of your own. This is sacrificial love. I would not ask you to do anything I have not already done.

When you love each other as I have loved you, my joy will be in you and your joy will be complete. No greater reward is there for your obedience than a joyful heart. This is lasting joy, not temporary happiness. With joy, comes the peace of knowing that you live a life that is pleasing to me. Abide in me and I will abide in you. Love others and remain in my love. Remain in me and experience the love, peace, and joy of the full life I intended for you.

Phillips, Craig & Dean – What Kind of Love is This Lyrics

Artist: Phillips, Craig & Dean

What kind of love is this that climbs the hill That bears the cross, that takes the nails? What kind of love is this that takes my place That gives His life and clears my name? Oh, I want to know what kind of love is this?

What kind of love is this that gives His Son That bears the sin of everyone? What kind of love is this that cries alone That tastes of death to bring me home? Oh, I want to know what kind of love is this?

It’s wonderful, it’s glorious It’s full of grace and full of mercy Powerful, it’s marvelous That’s what this love is That’s what God’s love is

What kind of love is this that fills my soul That lifts me up and makes me whole? What kind of love is this that gives me hope That dries my tears and brings me joy? Oh, I want to know what kind of love this is?

Jesus, Jesus He’s full of grace and full of mercy Jesus, my Jesus This is what love is That’s what God’s love is

Read more at http://www.songlyrics.com/phillips-craig-dean/what-kind-of-love-is-this-lyrics/#qO9UHewt5xStwYWj.99

 


 

 

 

Your Will, Your Way

Lord, the other morning, you woke me up to the Rush of Fools song Lay Me Down with the chorus playing over and over in my mind:

It will be my joy to say Your will, Your way. It will be my joy to say Your will, Your way. It will be my joy to say Your will, Your way. Always.

May these words forever be the song and attitude of my heart. I am here to please You alone, not myself and others. I want to do Your will, Your way. May I always be yielded to You and seek Your will in everything I do and say. Let those words marinate my soul and imprint on my mind. Lord, Your way is perfect. You are my shield and my refuge. You arm me with strength and make my way perfect. I am yours. Lead me where you want me to go and keep me in your perfect will, your perfect way. It will be my joy to say, “Your will, Your way!”

“As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him. For who is God besides the Lord? And who is the Rock except our God? It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect.” (2 Samuel 22:31-33)

My child, I am the Way. My way is perfect. When you are surrendered to me, I will make your way perfect too. Seek me and my will for everything you do. I have a plan for you. I know what is best for you. I will be your strength and your refuge. I will lead you in the way everlasting. Yield your heart, your mind, and your body to me. I am in control. I am your stronghold. I am your Rock. I will take care of you. PA191596

Thank You, God

 

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God, thank you for creating me,

The heavens, earth, and deep blue sea.

Lord, thank you for the sun above.

Thank you for your endless love.

I’m grateful for your perfect peace,

And provision for my sin release.

 

Thank you for my Savior’s birth.

For sending Jesus to the earth,

To pay the debt for all my sin,

And give me new life to begin.

The old has gone, the new is here.

His perfect love casts out my fear.

 

Lord, thank you for the Holy Spirit

Who speaks to me so I can hear it.

Who tells me of your love for me

And convicts me of iniquity.

He counsels me, He is my guide.

Through trials He walks close beside.

 

Amazing God, the Three-in-One,

The Father, Spirit, and the Son,

I give you the glory you are due

You are the One God who is true.

My heart belongs to you alone.

My body is your earthly home.

 

You heal my hurts, you restore my soul.

You rebuild me, and you make me whole.

You turn my sorrows into laughter,

And give me new life ever after.

I’m sealed for your redemption day.

When you return and take me away.

 

Until that day, I’ll walk with you,

Read your Word, and obey it too.

I’ll listen to your voice within,

And try to live life without sin.

I’ll follow where you choose to lead.

You are my God and Lord indeed.

 

I love you, Lord, with all my soul.

My life I give you, take control.

Do with me what you have planned.

I submit to you and take your hand.

Lead me down paths that are straight,

And use me for the work you create.

 

Put One Foot in Front of the Other

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.” (Jeremiah 29:11-14)

Daughter of the King—You are seeing the fruits of your labor. You have been faithful to completing this task I have given you. Your obedience is appreciated. You have done your part for the moment. The next step is in my hands. Leave it to me. I am in control. I am with you. Listen to me and follow my lead. I will make things happen for you in a way that I will receive all the glory. I have chosen you for a reason. Be patient. I will act when the time is right. Keep pressing forward. Do not be overwhelmed. Put one foot in front of the other each day and make progress in the work I have for you. Your reward will be worth the wait. I am in control of all things. You are in my sight. I will not leave you alone to face the wolves of this world. They will bow down to me. Remain humble and obedient to your call. I will produce fruit ten-, fifty-, one-hundred fold. It matters not that you have a small following. You have a great God who is in your court cheering for you. Be faithful and committed to your work. The time may come when your time will go. Remain true to me and maintain your relationship with me. Do not forget who has called you to this. Tune in to me. I will let you in on my plans. My plan is to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you hope and a future. Your future is secure with me.

You Know My Voice

“The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.” (John 10:2-4)

Precious daughter, do not get swallowed up in the broad spectrum of the task I have given you. I do not send you alone into the world. I am with you always. Turn your eyes upon Jesus, and focus your undivided attention on him. He is the Good Shepherd. He will not allow you lose your way. His eyes are fixed on you. Remember your position. Follow the Shepherd. Do not attempt to lead. When you walk ahead of him, you may find yourself ensnared in the enemy’s trap. You expose yourself to unnecessary dangers. You may fall into the ditch that I know is there, but you do not see it. Remain in the wing of my protection. Do not run ahead; do not wander off the path I have laid out for you. Seek me for every step you take. I will light your way in the darkness of the unknown. Take my hand and allow me to lead. Give control over to me, and listen to my will for you. My ways are higher than your ways. I know what lies ahead. I have your best interests in mind. You know my voice. Listen to it and follow me, my love. I will lead you in the way everlasting.