Tag Archive | destruction

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 54 – Satan, the Destroyer

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 54

Satan, the Destroyer

Lord, some Christ followers today do not believe that Satan is still a real threat and influencer. What do You say? Are we really in a daily battle with our enemy, the devil? How do we recognize his attacks? Can we put the blame on him when we sin? How do we discern his voice in our thoughts?

A Message from God’s Heart to Yours:

Child of God, you are a new creation in Christ Jesus. The old has gone; the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17). You may not place blame on Satan for your sin. Sin does not control you unless you allow it. I have given you the free will to choose right from wrong. It is your decision to obey or disobey Me; to follow My Word or disregard it. Satan is still a real influencer of humanity against Me. To believe anything less could cost you your life—your marriage, your family, your finances, your friendships, or your relationship with Me. Do not let down your guard. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy (John 10:10) but Jesus came to give you life in the full. I have provided you a way out of any temptation by the power of the Holy Spirit in you. He helps you say ‘No’ to sin. Be sensitive to My voice within. I lead you not into temptation; I deliver you from the evil one (Matthew 6:13).

Satan speaks to you in your thoughts. He does not know your thoughts, but he interjects his thoughts into your mind. He leads the whole world astray. He is the accuser (Revelation 12:9-10) and his accusations are shaming and condemning. His voice is harsh and condescending. His words are manipulative and wounding. He uses Scripture to deceive, and he distorts the truth. His language is disturbing and confusing. He plants ideas in your mind trying to keep you from living a life of purity and righteousness in Christ. He will stop at nothing to weaken your faith and damage your relationship with Me, your spouse, your family, your friends—anyone and anything important to you. Remain alert to his ways. He is the destroyer of all good things.

Satan is a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44). He deceives you with altered versions of the truth. When you believe in his lies and give way to his deceit, you take a step toward him and away from Me. You do not want to put yourself in this position, walking down a path to destruction, like a sheep being led to the slaughter. You are more than a conqueror. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate you from My love that is in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:31-39).

Make no mistake though. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith (1 Peter 5:8-9). Otherwise, your enemy will deceive you and destroy your life. Your struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Daily dress yourself in the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything to stand (Ephesians 6:10-18). Pray in the spirit on all occasions with all kinds of requests.

Submit yourself, then, to Me. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to Me, and I will come near to you (James 4:7-8). I have given you My Spirit. You may rely fully on Me. No temptation will overtake you; I am faithful, I will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it (1 Corinthians 10:13). Be strong in Me and in My mighty power (Ephesians 6:10).

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank You that I can rely on Your Holy Spirit, Your promises and the truth in Your Word to make choices and decisions according to Your will. Thank You for leading me not into temptation but delivering me from the evil one. Please make me ultra-sensitive to discerning the thoughts from the devil. When he attempts to lead me astray, remind me of the truth, and help me stand firm in my faith. Lord, please speak to me now regarding my personal battle with the enemy and how I can be victorious in the daily struggle he engages me in. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Two-way Conversation with God: 

  • Father God, please show me ways the devil is currently attacking me. What are my areas of weakness? (Write down whatever comes to mind just now.)

 

  • Jesus, it is said, ‘when I am weak, then I am strong’ (2 Corinthians 12:10). Please show me how You fortify my weakest walls against my enemy, the devil? What shall I do to protect myself? (Record every word and thought Christ gives you.)

 

  • Holy Spirit, please identify ways the devil masquerades as an angel of light to me? How am I currently being deceived by him? (Journal all the ideas that run through your mind.)

 

Review God’s thoughts and impressions you’ve sensed and written above. What Scripture comes to mind as you review your notes? Use the concordance of your Bible to look up an impression from God’s Word. Record the verse or passage here. Write all insights and encouragement the Holy Spirit illumines for you as you read God’s Word right now.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank You that whenever I am tempted, you always give me a way out, by the power of Your Holy Spirit within me. Help me to recognize Your voice and draw on Your assistance every time. I hear that I am in a continual battle with the enemy, but I do not always recognize it when I am in the middle of the battle. Help me to be more sensitive to the devil’s deceitful ways and war tactics. Let me engage in battle with the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, as my weapon of choice. Give me the time to daily read and meditate on your Word, so that your Spirit will be able to remind me of it when I need it. Holy Spirit, please bring to my memory the exact Scripture I need, at the exact moment I need it, along with the power and authority to overcome the evil one in the name of Jesus Christ, by His blood. Thank You for the victory over sin, death, and the grave. In the name of Jesus Christ, and by the power of His blood, I ask all this. Amen.

Supporting Scripture:

Matthew 4:5-7, 5Then the devil took Him to the holy city and had Him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6“If You are the Son of God,” he said, “throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He will command His angels concerning You, and they will lift You up in their hands, so that You will not strike Your foot against a stone.’” 7Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

Matthew 6:13, “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”

Matthew 13:24-25, 24Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in His field. 25But while everyone was sleeping, His enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away.”

Matthew 13:36-39, 36Then He left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to Him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.” 37He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. 38The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, 39and the enemy who sows them is the devil.”

Luke 22:31-32, 31Jesus said, “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. 32But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”

John 8:44, He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

John 10:10, The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

John 13:2, The evening meal was being served and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus.

1 Corinthians 10:13, No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful: He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

2 Corinthians 5:17, Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

2 Corinthians 11:14-15, 14And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10, 9But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Ephesians 4:26-27, 26In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27and do not give the devil a foothold.

Ephesians 6:10-18, 10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, an after you have done everything to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

2 Timothy 2:24-26, 24And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 25Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do His will.

Hebrews 2:14-18, 14Since the children have flesh and blood, He too shared in their humanity so that by His death He might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—15and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. 16For surely it is not angels He helps, but Abraham’s descendants. 17For this reason He had to be made like His brothers in every way, in order that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that He might make atonement for the sins of the people. 18Because He Himself suffered when He was tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted.

James 4:7-8, 7Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8Come near to God, and He will come near to you.

1 Peter 5:8-9, 8Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. 9Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

2 John :7-8, 7I say this because many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist. 8Watch out that you do not lose what you have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully.

Revelation 12:9-17, 9The great dragon was hurled down—that the ancient serpent called the devil or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with Him.10Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of His Messiah. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. 11They triumphed over him 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. 12Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.” 13When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. 14The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the wilderness, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent’s reach. 15Then from His mouth the serpent spewed water like a river, to overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent. 16But the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. 17Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring—those who keep God’s commandments and hold fast their testimony about Jesus.

Copyright © Sindy Nagel. All Rights Reserved

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 53 – Be Humble

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 53

Be Humble

Lord, please give me a picture of what it means to be humble. What would You have me do walk in greater humility? How do You want me to serve others? I confess that I am prideful, and I request that expose my pride every time it surfaces. Help me to see the error of my ways.

A Message from God’s Heart to Yours:

Dear one, I am your Father in heaven, the Sovereign Lord of all, everlasting God, Creator of the ends of the earth (Isaiah 40:28). I speak and even the wind and waves obey My voice (Mark 4:41). I rule and reign over heaven and earth, yet I gave the life of My Son for you. Jesus Christ is the picture of humility. He humbled Himself, taking on flesh of a man, in order to reconcile you to Me so that we could share an intimate relationship. He came to earth not to be served, but to serve (Matthew 20:26).

Jesus, My Son, bore the weight of all the sins of humankind: past, present, and future; once for all. This is real—it’s a personal sacrifice—He humbled Himself and died for your sin. He laid down His life in exchange for yours. He suffered the worst possible death, hanging on a cross—a sentence reserved for the worst of criminals. He did it willingly in obedience to His Father’s will. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends (John 15:13). You are My friend, and My Son did this for you.

I now ask you to do the same: lay down your life for Me. Humble yourself and I will lift you up (James 4:10). Serve one another in love (Galatians 5:13). Value others above yourself, not looking to your own interests but to the interests of the others (Philippians 2:3-4). Set your heart and mind on things above (Colossians 3:1-2), not on earthly things of your own desire. I favor the humble and contrite in spirit (Isaiah 66:2). Clothe yourself with humility toward others, because, I oppose the proud but show favor to the humble (1 Peter 5:5).

In your heart, you make your plans, but it is I, the Lord, who establishes your steps (Proverbs 16:9). Your own plans may fail, but My plans for you are better than you can conceive or imagine. Lay down your pride. Do not be so independent; but be dependent on Me. I hate pride and arrogance (Proverbs 8:13). Pride brings a person low, but the lowly in spirit gain honor (Proverbs 29:23). Sow pride and reap destruction; sow humility and reap honor. Love Me with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind. Love your neighbor as yourself. Do this and live (Luke 10:27-28). I do not say love yourself only and take pride in yourself, but love Me first with your whole heart and love others as you have been loved by Me—unconditionally.

Prayer:

Thank You, Lord. I have a better understanding of humility. Please help me walk out your desires. I submit myself to Your Spirit and ask that He would guide me, convict me, and empower me to live according to Your will. May my words and actions be a beautiful aroma to Your senses. Please continue to speak to me even more personally now as we meet one-on-one. Thank You so much. In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen.

Two-way Conversation with God: 

  • Father, please list some specific ways I have been prideful recently. (Record every thought He gives you.)

 

  • Jesus, you are the ultimate example of humility. Help me remember all you’ve done that I might live in a similar manner and bring glory to Your name. Lord, in what areas do I need to get rid of pride? (Write everything you think and hear.)

 

  • Holy Spirit, bring Your conviction upon my heart. I confess that my pride shows through in these ways that you have convicted me with just now:_______________ (fill in the blank). Please forgive me and help me live into the new creation You made me when I accepted You as my Savior and Lord.

Review God’s thoughts and impressions you’ve sensed and written above. What Scripture comes to mind as you review your notes? Use the concordance of your Bible to look up an impression from God’s Word. Record the verse or passage here. Write all insights and encouragement the Holy Spirit illumines for you as you read God’s Word right now.

Prayer:

Jesus, thank You for humbling Yourself and taking on the nature of a man, so that You would be the perfect sacrifice to bring me into a saving relationship with my heavenly Father. Thank You for exposing my pride. Please help me to live in Your humility and victory demonstrated on the cross. As I become the lowly in spirit—the servant—may You become greater and be glorified in me. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Supporting Scripture:

Deuteronomy 10:12, And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to Him, to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?

1 Samuel 3:10, The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!”

Psalm 25:9, He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them His way.

Psalm 149:4, For the Lord takes delight in His people; He crowns the humble with victory.

Proverbs 8:13, To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.

Proverbs 11:2, When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdonm.

Proverbs 16:5, The Lord detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished.

Proverbs 16:9, In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.

Proverbs 22:4, Humility is the fear of the Lord; its wages are riches and honor and life.

Proverbs 29:23, Pride brings a person low, but the lowly in spirit gain honor.

Isaiah 40:28, Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and His understanding no one can fathom.

Isaiah 57:15, For this is what the high and exalted One says—He who lives forever, whose name is holy: “I live in a high and holy place, but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.”

Isaiah 66:2, “These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at My word.”

Zephaniah 2:3, Seek the Lord, all you humble of the land, you who do what He commands. Seek righteousness, seek humility; perhaps you will be sheltered on the day of the Lord’s anger.

Matthew 11:28, 28“Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Matthew 20:26, “Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”

Matthew 23:12, “For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Mark 4:41, They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey Him!”

Luke 10:27-28, 27He answered, “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’ and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 28You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied, “Do this and you will live.”

Luke 14:11, “For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Luke 22:27, “For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.”

John 12:26, “Whoever serves Me must follow Me; and where I am, My servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.”

John 15:13-14, 13“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14You are My friends if you do what I command.”

2 Corinthians 10:1, By the humility and gentleness of Christ, I appeal to you—I, Paul, who am “timid” when fact to face with you, but “bold” toward you when away!

Galatians 5:13-14, 13You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather; serve one another humbly in love. 14For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Ephesians 4:2, Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.

Philippians 2:3-11, 3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. 5In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: 6Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to His own advantage; 7rather, He made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! 9Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name 10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and 11every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Colossians 3:1-2, 1Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

Colossians 3:23-24, 23Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

James 4:6-8, 6But He gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” 7Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8Come near to God and He will come near to you.

James 4:10, Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up.

1 Peter 5:5-6, 5In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble” (Proverbs 3:34). 6Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time.

Copyright © Sindy Nagel. All Rights Reserved

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 40 – Praise Him in the Storms 

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 40

Praise Him in the Storms 

Lord, where have you been during the storms of my life?

A Message from God’s Heart to Yours:

My child, I have been there with you through each one, you just didn’t always know it. 

The raindrops that fall during your storms are My tears falling to the earth. I cry with you each time you cry. The lightning that you see flash across the dark sky of your storms is from My heart breaking in two for you. My heart aches for you each time I see you suffer through trials and tribulations. The thunder you hear during your storms is from My anger. I am angry when the people I have created cause you hurt and pain. I am angry when the enemy attacks you and wounds you. 

The winds that blow through your storms are the breaths of My sighs moving through the earth.  I sigh with compassion when I think of My beloved children going through the pain of daily struggles with relationships, disease, divorce, sin and death. When the waves on the seas crash against your boat and toss it to and fro in your storms, I am there to make sure the waves are not bigger than your vessel can handle. My hand is upon you.

When you feel you can’t last another day, I allow you to rest in My arms and I renew you with the strength you need to go on. When you wonder and ask why I would allow you to go through these storms, I do not get angry. It has not been easy for Me to watch you go through these tough times. You’re My child and I love you. I want to rescue you from each storm. But in My infinite wisdom, I allow you to endure the pain and suffering to bring you closer to Me. I want to build your character and mature your faith so that I may use you to help others through their storms. 

It is during these storms that I hope you will realize how much you need Me. I am waiting for you to cry out to Me so that I can extend My grace to you. My grace is sufficient for you (2 Corinthians 12:9). I will pull you through. I am also waiting for you to seek help from others, so that I can use them to be like Christ to you. Let down the walls of pride and reach out for assistance.

It is during these times, that I hope you’ll turn to Me. My heart breaks when My people turn to other things to comfort themselves, like:  food, alcohol, drugs, gambling, sex, money, and material possessions. I want to be your God, your one and only God. I am your anchor of hope in the storm. I am your stronghold; your rock and refuge (2 Samuel 22:2-3). Take your shelter in the shadow of My wings (Psalm 36:7). I will protect you from all evil and the evil one.

It is during these storms that I am waiting to show you how much you mean to Me and whom I can be to you, but sometimes you don’t allow Me to. You don’t give Me the time with you I need to accomplish this or your pride gets in the way. You want to be so independent and in control of your own life. You want to get yourself out of your own messes in your own way. You run ahead of Me. You do not want to rely on Me or on the fellowship of believers to help you get through the tough times.

In My word, I tell you how I feel about pride. I hate pride. Pride comes before a fall (Proverbs 16:18). With pride comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom (Proverbs 11:2). I oppose the proud, but give grace to the humble (James 4:6). When you are weak, it is then that I show My power in you (2 Corinthians 12:10).  When you share your needs with Me and with My faithful ones, you are not revealing your weakness, but your strength. By asking for help and prayers, you are being humble, so that you may experience all My grace and all My wisdom. But when you try to do it all on your own, you leave Me no room to help.

Do not forsake Me, for I will never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5). I have proven that. I am the God who saved Noah from the flood (See Genesis 6). I saved the three Hebrew boys from the fiery furnace (See Daniel 3). I saved Daniel from the mouths of hungry lions (See Daniel 6). I was with David when he fought the giant (See 1 Samuel 17). I released Joseph from Pharaoh’s prison (See Genesis 41). I saved Isaac from being sacrificed on the altar (See Genesis 22). I delivered Jonah from the belly of the fish (See Jonah 2). And I will see you through your storms too. Please notice that I did not keep these people from going through their struggles, but I did not forget about them; I was with them. I allowed them to go through their storms for their own good and then rescued them. And I will rescue you too, in My perfect timing, if you will let Me.

Praise Me in the storms. I love you and I will take care of you. I will rebuke the winds and the waves (Matthew 8:26). I do not allow you to endure more than you can handle, however, by the power of My Spirit within, you can handle a lot. Fix your eyes on Me and I will see you to the end of the storm. I am with you always, even to the end of the age (Matthew 28:20). I am with you in every storm. I set My rainbow in the clouds as My promise to you, that never again will waters become a flood to destroy all life. You will survive your storms. I will see to it because I love you.

Prayer:

Lord, I praise You in the storm. I praise You that You do not leave me alone. I praise You in Your sanctuary, in Your mighty heavens. I praise You for Your acts of power; for Your surpassing greatness. Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord. (Psalm 150:1-2, 6). With all the breath in me, I praise You, Lord. I praise You because You listen to my cries and quiet me with Your love. Please allow me to hear some more of Your heart right now, Lord. Speak to me in the stillness of this room as we sit together in conversation. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Two-way Conversation with God: 

  • Father God, what stirs Your heart into action during my storms? (Record all the thoughts you have.)

 

  • Jesus, my faithful Savior, thank You for rebuking the winds and waves in my storms, and restoring the calm. Lord, please show me where You are in the storm. (Write the ideas and words that come to mind for you.)

 

  • Holy Spirit, I know You are with me always. Please help me feel Your presence and Your love in the midst of this tempest. Please describe the work You are doing in me through this current challenge. (Journal everything you hear in your thoughts.)

Review God’s thoughts and impressions you’ve sensed and written above. What Scripture comes to mind as you review your notes? Use the concordance of your Bible to look up an impression from God’s Word. Record the verse or passage here. Write all insights and encouragement the Holy Spirit illumines for you as you read God’s Word right now.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank You for speaking to my heart even now. I praise You in this storm, Lord. You are worthy of all my praise. I thank You for Your work in me as I learn to depend on You for all things, in good times and bad. Lord, I confess my pride of independence and ask You to forgive my shortcomings. I submit my spirit to Yours, and ask that You continue to mature me to be more like Jesus. I ask this in His name. Amen.

Supporting Scripture:

2 Samuel 22:2-3, 2He said: “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; 3my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior—from violent people You save me.”

Psalm 17:7-9, 7Show me the wonders of Your great love, You who save by Your right hand those who take refuge in You from their foes. 8Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings 9from the wicked who are out to destroy me, from my mortal enemies who surround me.

Psalm 36:7, How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.

Psalm 107:28-31, 28Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He brought them out of their distress. 29He stilled to storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. 30They were glad when it grew calm, and He guided them to their desired haven. 31Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for mankind.

Psalm 150:1-2,6, 1Praise the Lord. Praise God in His sanctuary; praise Him in His mighty heavens. 2Praise Him for His acts of power; praise Him for His surpassing greatness…6Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord.

Proverbs 11:2, When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.

Proverbs 16:18, Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.

Matthew 8:23-27, 23Then He got into the boat and His disciples followed Him. 24Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25The disciples went and woke Him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” 26He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. 27The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey Him!”

Matthew 28:20, “…And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

2 Corinthians 12:9-10, 9But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Hebrews 13:5, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

James 4:6-8, 6But He gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” 7Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8Come near to God and He will come near to you.

Copyright © Sindy Nagel. All Rights Reserved

Roadblock #3 – Pride – The Enemy of Humility

Independence, control, and comparison. Those words don’t sound prideful when spoken individually. 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.

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)

If you are not hearing God’s 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. 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.

Unfortunately, pride comes much too naturally to all of us, including me. Read about the fall of humankind in Genesis 3. From the very beginning of time, self-importance snuck into human desire. Satan tempted Eve with the idea that she could be all-knowing and wise, like God, if she ate the fruit from the forbidden tree. Deceived by the devil, Eve ate some and gave some to Adam. Pride initiated a sinful response when the evil one presented his temptation.

The need for independence and superiority continues to be the cause of some of our sin today. Proverbs 16:18 says, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” The truth of this verse rang loudly in the Garden of Eden. It still rings true thousands of years later.

Another example of haughtiness is found in Ezekiel 28, the prophecy against the king of Tyre. In verse 17, the Sovereign Lord says, “Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. So I threw you to the earth; I made a spectacle of you before kings.” God detested his arrogance. The king’s pride preceded his destruction.

In Proverbs 8:13, the wise Solomon says, “To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.” Fear in this case is the same reverence for the Lord that we talked about in the previous blog. When you respect the Lord, you will detest all pride and arrogance, as He does. Yet arrogance sneaks into all areas of life. Recall that pride inventory we talked about? It may be necessary to make that assessment daily, even hourly.

If pride in any form resides in your life, don’t expect to be close to God and hear from Him regularly. Psalm 138:6 says, “Though the Lord is on high, He looks upon the lowly, but the proud He knows from afar.” As another passage I’ve already quoted says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and He will come near to you” (James 4:6-8). God spends time with humble people who submit themselves to Him and make time for Him. God distances Himself from the self-righteous, prideful, judgmental person.

When the needle on the pride-o-meter registers anywhere on the gauge, take action immediately to dispose of all forms of pride. Humble yourself before the Lord. Submit yourself to Him and exalt Him, rather than yourself. Show the Lord how much you trust in Him for everything. Relinquish your control to the Most High. Place the desires of others ahead of your own. Do not judge any person or behavior. Assume the servant position in God’s kingdom.

Do you struggle with judging others or promoting yourself to a higher pedestal? What alerts you of your arrogance? I can tell you truly, when I do not practice the humility of a servant, I should not expect God will speak to me. No matter my standing or position in the world, I am but an unworthy sinner, forgiven and saved by God’s grace alone. I am no better than anyone else. If I do not treat others better than myself, God has no business with me, and therefore no reason to talk to me.

Anytime I have seated myself on the judgment throne with regard to another human being, God has given me an opportunity to experience the same affliction, position, or experience as the one I judged. Very soon I’ve gained a new appreciation and respect for the one I condemned because I have walked down a similar path. Becoming the object of my own pride rapidly and effectively cuts me down to size. When the roadblock of pride comes down, my reception of God’s voice dramatically improves.

The Bible provides many significant illustrations of humility. Jesus, God’s own Son, displayed the ultimate humility when He left His throne in heaven and came to earth to be the sacrificial Lamb and die for our sins. Another dramatic demonstration of Christ’s servanthood took place when He washed the feet of His disciples. We can imitate this kind of humility when we selflessly serve our own subordinates, or, better yet, those we judge. This foot washing can be accomplished literally or figuratively. Think of a way you might take an unassuming position with someone you lead, manage, or influence. Is there any type of metaphorical foot washing you could perform for him or her? Maybe picking up a towel and basin of water is what you really need.

Let’s examine some of the enemy’s deceit in our thoughts, which gives birth to overconfidence. You might believe you can take care of yourself; you know what’s best for you. Or, you might think you are in control of your own life. Is it possible that thinking you are better than someone else for any reason could be hampering your clear reception of God’s voice in your thoughts? Grab your copy of 7 Roadblocks to Hearing God’s Voice today, and begin identifying what stands in your way of hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit, who makes your heart His home.

Click here to purchase this book now.

Book Two in Hearing God’s Voice Series

Now Choose Life

Deuteronomy 30:19-20

This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. 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.

I have made it very simple for you—you may have life and prosperity or death and destruction. You choose. You can love Me, walk in My ways, and keep My commands. On this path, I will bless you and prosper you with true life. Or you can turn away from Me, disobey Me, and worship other gods, which will surely cause death and destruction to your soul. Choose Me and live. Do not choose Me, and you will reap what you sow. I desire close relationship with you through daily two-way conversation. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live. Love Me, listen to My voice, and hold fast to Me, for I am your life.


 

I Will Not Lead You Astray

See link to Greg Olsen’s “Take My Hand” artwork on my Facebook page.

“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)

Good morning, my child. I am the good shepherd. I look after my sheep. I call them each by name, and they follow me because they know my voice. You are my sheep; you know my voice. Listen to me. I will not lead you astray. Let me go ahead of you and prepare the way for you. Follow me wherever I lead you. I will remove the obstacles that impede your travel. I will clear the path and mark out the best way for you to go. The road is narrow that leads to life. All other roads lead to destruction. I want the best for you. I will lead you on the path of life. I never said it would be easy. Truly, it will be worth any hardships you have to endure. Remember, I am with you always. You never walk alone. Take my hand. We’ll travel this journey together. You are my precious child. I know you by name.