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Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 60 – Spiritual Growth

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 60

Spiritual Growth

Heavenly Father, you have saved me and called me to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18). Teach me the best ways to mature in You, grow in my faith, and bear much fruit for Your glory. I am wholly Yours. Transform me into the image of Your Son, Jesus Christ, so I may live a life that pleases You.

A Message from God’s Heart to Yours:

My faithful child, you have already been given everything you need to become like Jesus Christ in every way. The One who saved you and gave you His spirit is able to teach you how to live a life that pleases Me. You have been given a new life in Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). All things are possible through Him who strengthens you (Philippians 4:13).

It is up to you to tap in to that divine power in Christ Jesus. Allow Jesus to live His life in and through you. Abandon sin, and rely on the life giving power of Jesus Christ; make Him the Lord of your life. Read God’s Word and listen for His voice within you. He will guide you on an exciting journey of faith and adventure in Him. Grow and mature in your relationship with the Lord by spending time in His Word and obeying the instructions you hear from His lips. Grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18). Grow in relationship with Me and become even more fruitful.

My divine power gives you everything you need for a godly life through your knowledge of Him who called you by His own glory and goodness (2 Peter 1:3). Make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:5-8).

Listen to the voice of My Spirit within. I will teach you everything you need to know to live a godly life. It’s up to you to practice what I teach you. Stay true to the quality of character modeled for you in Christ. I predestined you to be conformed to the image of My Son (Romans 8:29) and reflect My glory in ever increasing measure.

This is how you know that you live in Him and He in you: He has given you of His Spirit (1 John 4:13). Remain in Me, as I also remain in you (John 15:4). Talk to Me, listen to Me, obey Me, read My Word, pay attention to My Spirit within, and walk in the Spirit rather than the flesh. Grow in your knowledge of Me, and allow the Spirit to transform you into My likeness. All these things contribute to your spiritual growth. Remain in Me and the Spirit will produce His fruit in your character. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing (John 15:5). Your spiritual growth is achieved by remaining in relationship with My Spirit. Grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ and His Spirit, and you grow in Me at the same time. It pleases Me very much.

Prayer:

Almighty God, full of grace and mercy, pour out Your love on me today. Allow me to hear Your voice and see glimpses of Your heart for me. Father, show me the stagnant areas in my faith, and help me grow in the grace and knowledge of You. You are my King and the object of my affection. I submit my heart and my will to You, and ask that Your Spirit transform me into the likeness of Your Son, Jesus Christ. Lord, let my life be a fragrant offering daily unto You. Speak to me now as we meet in conversation. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Two-way Conversation with God: 

  • Father, in what areas has my faith lacked growth? (Record what you hear.)

 

  • Jesus, my Friend, what areas of my character does the Spirit need to transform to make me more like you? (Write down all the thoughts He gives you.)

 

  • Holy Spirit, how do you transform me? How do you make me more like Jesus? (Journal all the ideas He gives you.)

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:

Father God, I never want to remain stagnant in my faith. Help me to grow in the image of Christ through the transforming power of Your Spirit. I understand that challenges and trials may produce the most concentrated growth in my spirit. I submit myself to Your leading to transform me however you see fit. I trust that You walk with me in all circumstances and teach me Your ways. Lord, refine me and make me like gold, pure gold (Zechariah 13:9). In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen.

Supporting Scripture:

Zechariah 13:9, “This third I will put into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on My name and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are My people,’ and they will say, ‘The Lord is our God.’”

John 15:5, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing.”

Romans 8:28-30, 28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. 29For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30And those He predestined, He also called; those He called, He also justified; those He justified, He also glorified.

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

Philippians 4:13, I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.

2 Peter 1:2-12, 2Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. 3His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. 4Through these He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. 5For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins. 10Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, 11and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 12So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have.

2 Peter 3:18, Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

1 John 4:13, This is how we know that we live in Him and He in us: He has given us of His Spirit.

Copyright © Sindy Nagel. All Rights Reserved

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 56 – Set Free in Christ

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 56

Set Free in Christ

Lord, what does it mean to be set free in Christ? Sometimes, I still don’t feel free from the power of sin. I want to be free to become all that You created me to be. Lord, how can I claim Your freedom and remain free?

A Message from God’s Heart to Yours:

Child of Mine, when you accepted Christ as your Savior, you became free from the penalty of your sin. Jesus Christ died in your place and paid the wages of your sin (Romans 6:23). You are a new creation in Christ Jesus; the old is gone, the new is here (2 Corinthians 5:17). He has released you from a life of sin. You may now live a life of righteousness through faith in Christ (Philippians 3:9). Christ has made you righteous in My eyes, so that we now may enjoy an intimate relationship. You have the freedom to approach My throne of grace with boldness (Hebrews 4:16).

You were crucified with Christ, so you no longer live, but Christ lives in you. Live by faith in Jesus, who loved you and gave Himself for you (Galatians 2:20). Your old self was crucified with Him, so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with and you would no longer be a slave to sin—you were set free from it (Romans 6:6). You are dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus (Romans 6:11). Sin is no longer your master because you are not under the law, but under My grace (Romans 6:14).

You are free from the power of sin. It is for freedom that Christ has set you free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourself be burdened again by a yoke of slavery (Galatians 5:1). It is up to you to claim this freedom and walk in the victory over sin that the death of Jesus Christ provided for you. You have the authority of Jesus’ name; you have the power of His Spirit within you. You can overcome the desires of the flesh, by the power and authority I have given you. I will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear, but I will provide a way out (1 Corinthians 10:13).

I sent My Son to proclaim good news to the poor, to bind up the brokenhearted, proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners (Isaiah 61:1-2). He is the way and the truth and the life (John 14:6). My divine truth has exposed the lies of Satan. The light of My salvation has released you from the bondage of Satan’s lies. Do not believe the lies of the enemy, when you know the truth of God. Walk in the freedom of the truth. Do not make vows and agreements with the devil, when Christ has freed you from the prison of the evil one. Now you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed (John 8:32, 36). Claim the freedom of the truth and walk in it victoriously.

You are free to become what I created you to be. Allow Jesus to live His life in and through you. Be obedient to whatever He asks you to do. He will demonstrate His love and power through you. Do not be distracted by the world, but focus your attention on Christ. Trust Him to live out His perfect will and plan for you, through you. This happens only when you are walking in close relationship with Him through reading the Bible, praying, and listening to His voice. The most important thing you can do is to put Him first, meet with Him daily, talk to Him and listen to His voice.

I will speak to you in your thoughts and from My Word. The Bible will come alive for you when you tune in to the voice of the Holy Spirit within you. He will remind you of what I say, as well as, reveal and interpret Scripture for you, so you are able to understand My wisdom, My promises, and My will for your life. When you hear and recognize My voice, you experience the life of abundance that Christ came to give you. I want the best for you. I am the best! Be free in Me.

Prayer:

Jesus, my Lord, thank You for dying for me, so that I might live. I submit myself to You and ask that You will live out Your will and plan for me, through me. Allow me to live a life of abundance by clearly hearing Your voice and obeying it. Lord, I am always blessed with so much joy whenever I am obedient to Your requests. Give me the desire to obey Your every command, and connect with You daily in two-way conversation. Lord, speak to me now as we meet to maintain a deeper, more intimate relationship. In Your precious name, I pray. Amen.

Two-way Conversation with God: 

  • Heavenly Father, will you expose one area of my life that I remain in the bondage of sin? Please tell me exactly what I need to be free from in this area. (Record every word you hear in your thoughts. Spend some time now confessing your sin and submitting yourself to God.)

 

  • Jesus, my Savior, please expose one of the enemy’s lies that I have believed or bought in to, and then, set me free with Your truth. (Write down whatever you hear Him say, and claim the freedom He gives you.)

 

  • Holy Spirit, please show me Your plan for me to live in freedom from the sin and bondage I just confessed. Please remind me of the truth in God’s Word and remind me to use it when the enemy attacks me in this area. (Write all the thoughts He gives you on this and record any words or verses from Scripture that come to 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:

Sovereign Lord, Your plans and timing are perfect. I submit my will to Yours, and ask that You would live Your life in and through me. Help me become the creation You had in mind when You formed me in the womb. Before you knew me, You set me apart (Jeremiah 1:5). I am grateful that You purchased my freedom from sin and continue to release me from the bondage of sin and the prison of lies I have believed over the years. Lord, I give You access to all areas of my heart and ask that You transform my life so that I might become the creation You called me to be. Thank You for the abundant blessing I receive by hearing Your voice and living in relationship with You. I am so grateful for everything You do for me. I am blessed to be dead to sin and alive to God in Christ (Romans 6:11). In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

Supporting Scripture:

Psalm 146:7, He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets prisoners free.

Isaiah 61:1-3, 1The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent Me to bind up the brokenhearted, 2to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, 3and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor.

Jeremiah 1:5, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart…”

Luke 4:18-19, 18”The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because He has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, 19to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

John 8:31-36, 31To the Jews who had believed Him, Jesus said, “If you hold to My teaching, you are really My disciples. 32Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 33They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?” 34Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”

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 14:6, Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Romans 6:6-14, 6For we know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—7because anyone who has died has been set free from sin. 8Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him. 9For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, He cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over Him. 10The death He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life He lives, He lives to God. 11In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and offer every part of yourself to Him as an instrument of righteousness. 14For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.

Romans 6:17-18, 17But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. 18You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

Romans 6:22-23, 22But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness , and the result is eternal life. 23For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.Romans 8:1-2, 1Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.

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 3:17-18, 17Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

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

Galatians 2:20, I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

Galatians 5:1, It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Ephesians 2:10, For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Philippians 3:7-9, 7But whatever were gains to me I know consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ 9and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.

Colossians 1:19-22, 19For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him, 20and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through His blood, shed on the cross. 21Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. 22But now He has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in His sight, without blemish and free from accusation.

Hebrews 4:16, Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Revelation 1:5-6, 5and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood, 6and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve His God and Father—to Him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.

Copyright © Sindy Nagel. All Rights Reserved

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 43 – A Stay-In Order: Stay in Me

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 43

A Stay-In Order: Stay in Me

Lord, with this COVID-19 pandemic, our state has issued a stay-in, stay-safe order. It keeps getting extended due to a daily increase in reported cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. Lord, I will give You thanks in the middle of this difficulty, because it has given me more time to spend with You. What a huge gift it has been to rekindle the romance of an intimate relationship with You, my Bridegroom. Lord, what is on Your heart for me to learn and accomplish during this gift of extra time that You have given me?

A Message from God’s Heart to Yours:

My darling, My bride, My heart for you is to do exactly as you have been doing since this stay-in order was established: Stay in Me. What does that mean? Return to Me. Seek Me. Come near to Me. Remain in Me. Hope in Me. Trust in Me. Pray to Me. Believe in Me. Have faith in Me. Talk to Me. Ask Me. Tell Me. Listen to Me. Know all of Me. Love Me. Obey Me. Acknowledge Me. Acclaim Me. Witness for Me. Share Me.

Remain faithful to Me, for I am your husband. I have betrothed you to Me (Hosea 2:19-20). Stay in relationship with Me. Do not lust after other lovers. Do not put your trust in other gods. Do not turn to other pleasures instead of Me. Do not wander from the sheepfold. Do not get lost in obscurity. Do not become independent of Me; but be even more dependent on Me. Stay in Me. I am the Lord, and I love you more than you will ever comprehend. I pray that you will be able to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ for you, that you may know this love that surpasses knowledge and be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:18-19).

I am your Bridegroom. Your greatest joy comes from knowing Me personally and intimately. Know who I am. Know My ways. Know My promises. Know My Word. Stay in relationship with Me. Fear Me in awe and reverence, walk in obedience to Me, love Me, and serve Me with all your heart and all your soul (Deuteronomy 10:12). Put Me ahead of everything else in your life. I want to be first; I am a jealous God (Deuteronomy 4:24). I am protective of our time together and our relationship.

I desire to stay in daily communication with you. Meet Me in the secret place and pursue Me with all your heart. Speak to Me and listen to Me. Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know (Jeremiah 33:3). I want what is best for you. No human mind has conceived what I have prepared for those who love Me (1 Corinthians 2:9). My plans are to prosper you and give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). I will do immeasurably more than all you ask or imagine, according to My power that is at work within you (Ephesians 3:20). I have given you My gift of the Holy Spirit who stays in you; please honor that gift by staying in Me; stay in and stay safe. I care about you, My friend.

Prayer:

My faithful Bridegroom, I love You with all my heart. I will seek You in the morning and wait expectantly to hear Your voice (Psalm 5:3). I, too, desire to communicate with You in a more intimate way. I cherish the time we spend together each morning, and I will be more diligent to remember to speak with You throughout the day. You are my life coach, my daily bread, my living water, my champion, and my friend. I will depend on You to meet all my needs. Lord, please speak to me now in a more personal way, so that I know deeper places of Your heart. In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen.

Two-way Conversation with God: 

  • Father God, I will stay in Please show me the best way to accomplish that in my life and current situation. (Record every thought that enters your mind.)

 

  • Jesus Christ, please reveal Your heart for my relationship with You. What do You desire, and what does it look like for me? (Write down all words and ideas He gives you.)

 

  • Holy Spirit, thank You for staying in me; help me to stay in How do I walk in step with You and remain in constant communication with You? You know me the best. How is this best accomplished in my life? (Journal every impression, every thought, every idea the Holy Spirit prompts you with right now.)

 

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:

Merciful Father, thank You for Your desire for a greater intimacy with me. It is difficult to comprehend the depth of Your love for me, Your child. I am in awe of Your character and Your ways. I am so blessed by You, and I pray I may be that kind of blessing to others on Your behalf. Lord, thank You for Your great love and grace. Please stay in me and let me experience all the fullness of Your heart. Thank You for the abundant life in Your Spirit. In the name of Jesus, my Lord, I pray.Amen.

Supporting Scripture:

Deuteronomy 4:23-24, 23Be careful not to forget the covenant of the Lord your God that He made with you; do not make for yourselves an idol in the form of anything the Lord your God has forbidden. 24For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.

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.

Psalm 5:3, In the morning, Lord, You hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before You and wait expectantly.

Jeremiah 29:11-14, 11“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. 12Then you will call on Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. 14I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.”

Jeremiah 33:3, “Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”

Hosea 2:16, 19-20, “In that day,” declares the Lord, “you will call Me, ‘my husband’; you will no longer call Me ‘my master.’ …I will betroth you to Me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion. I will betroth you in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the Lord.”

1 Corinthians 2:9, However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”—the things God has prepared for those who love Him.

Ephesians 3:16-21, 16I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you wit power through His Spirit in your inner being, 17so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp  how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. 20Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, 21to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Copyright © Sindy Nagel. All Rights Reserved

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 39 – Faith as Small as a Mustard Seed

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 39

Faith as Small as a Mustard Seed

Lord, as with everything, one’s faith is tested in trials and strengthened in a relationship with You. Extreme faith is a gift from the Spirit. And yet, Your word promises it takes only a small amount of faith to do great things. Hardships test the faith and produce perseverance. Is it even possible to increase my faith without the trials? Either way, I have faith in You to work all things together for the good of those who love You (Romans 8:28).

A Message from God’s Heart to Yours:

My beloved friend, when you encounter hardship, exercise your faith. It takes only a speck of faith to accomplish great things. “Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there.’ And it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you” (Matthew 17:19-20). Even a little faith can move mountains.

“Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer” (Matthew 21:21-22). But when you doubt, you are as a wave on the sea, tossed back and forth, double-minded. You should not expect to receive anything you ask for (James 1:7).

Consider it pure joy whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything (James 1:2-4). Faith and trust go hand in hand. Trust in Me with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, submit to Me and I will direct your paths (Proverbs 3:5-6). Listen to My voice and submit yourself to Me. Trust that I am in control of all things; have faith that I will give you anything you ask for in My name.

Faith is a gift from Me. You have been saved through faith by My grace (Ephesians 2:8), and you live by faith every day. There are different kinds of faith. Extreme faith is a gift of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:9). Your faith will make you well. When you ask for healing, believe in it! Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours (Mark 11:24). Nothing is impossible when you believe (Matthew 17:20). Jesus dwells in your heart through faith. He is able to do immeasurably more than all you ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within you (Ephesians 3:20). Have faith and believe it!

When you experience a breakdown in your faith, do not focus on the obstacle in front of you. But fix your eyes upon Jesus. Do not grow weary and lost heart (Hebrews 12:2-3). Do not fix your eyes on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal (2 Corinthians 4:18). There is but One who remains in control of all things; it is I, the Sovereign God, who reigns on high and rules all things and all people at all times. I am trustworthy. I never change. Put your faith and trust in Me; I AM.

Always remember, never will I leave you, never will I forsake you (Hebrews 13:5). I love you deeply and want what is best for you. I am always at work behind the scenes. I have a plan and purpose for you life (Jeremiah 29:11) and I am working all things together for your good (Romans 8:28). You are my beloved child, and I care for you deeply. I desire that you mature in your faith, even if it involves allowing you to endure difficult times to do so. Stand firm in your faith; I will provide the strength and hope to persevere. I know what is best for you, and I will see you through your challenges. Have faith, even as small as a mustard seed!

Prayer:

Father in heaven, thank You for the gift of faith, even though it may be small. Thank You that even a speck of faith can move mountains. You are an awesome, all powerful God, who works through Your weakest people to show Your great strength and power. Almighty God, will you meet with me now and increase my faith and trust in You. Work Your grace and Your power in my life. Give me the confidence I need to trust in You wholeheartedly. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Two-way Conversation with God: 

  • Father God, please share with me how my faith in You works to move mountains. (Record every word and thought He gives you.)

 

  • Jesus, my Lord, I want to have the faith of the centurion (Luke 7:6-10) and the faith of the woman who touched Your robe to be healed (Mark 5:34). Teach me how to have that kind of faith. What must I do? (Write down all thoughts and ideas Jesus gives you in this moment.)

 

  • Holy Spirit, please give me the gift of faith. I want to believe and not doubt. Help me overcome my unbelief (Mark 9:24). Please give to me as You determine. What might that be? (Journal the thoughts and verses the Holy Spirit gives you.)

 

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:

Dear Father in heaven, I am grateful for this conversation that we shared today. Thank You for sharing Your heart on the subject of my faith. Lord, strengthen me with Your gift of faith, and empower me to trust in You completely for all things. Lord, I am so blessed that You call me Your child, You love me beyond my comprehension, and You know what is best for me and carry it out according to Your good and perfect will. Thank You for your love and faithfulness to all generations of those who love You. In Jesus’ precious name, I pray. Amen.

Supporting Scripture:

Proverbs 3:5-6, Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him and He will make your paths straight.

Jeremiah 29:11-14, 11“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. 12Then you will call on Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. 14I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.”

Matthew 9:2, Some men brought to Him a paralyzed man, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the man, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.”

Matthew 9:22, Jesus turned and saw her, “Take heart, daughter,” He said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed at that moment.

Matthew 15:28, Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted,” And her daughter was healed at that moment.

Matthew 17:19-20, Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there.’ And it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

Matthew 21:21-22, 21Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. 22If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”

Mark 4:37-41, 37A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped.  38Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, don’t You care if we drown?” 39He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be Still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. 40He said to His disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” 41They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey Him!”

Mark 5:34, He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”

Mark 9:23-24, 23“’If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” 24Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

Mark 10:52, “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.

Mark 11:22-24, 22“Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. 23“Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. 24Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”

Luke 5:20, When Jesus saw their faith, He said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”

Luke 7:6-10, 6So Jesus went with them. He was not far from the house when the centurion sent friends to say to Him: “Lord, don’t trouble Yourself, for I do not deserve to have You come under my roof. 7That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to You. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. 8For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” 9When Jesus heard this, He was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following Him, He said, “I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.” 10Then the men who had been sent returned to the house and found the servant well.

Luke 7:48-50, 48Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” 49The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” 50Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

Luke 8:48, Then He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”

Luke 17:6, He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.”

Luke 17:19, Then He said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”

Acts 3:16, By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through Him that has completed healed him, as you can all see.

Romans 8:28, And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.

Romans 10:17, Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.

1 Corinthians 12:7-11, 7Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and He distributes them to each one, just as He determines.

1 Corinthians 13:2, If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.

2 Corinthians 4:18, So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

2 Corinthians 5:7, For we live by faith, not by sight.

Ephesians 2:8-9, 8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—9not by works, so that no one can boast.

Ephesians 3:16-21, 16I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, 17so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19and to know His love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. 20Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, 21to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Hebrews 10:22-23, 22Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.

Hebrews 11:1-3, 1Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. 2This is what the ancients were commended for. 3By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what I seen was not made out of what was visible.

Hebrews 12:1-3, 1Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him He endured the cross scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

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

James 1:2-8, 12, 2Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do….12Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love Him.

1 Peter 5:8-11, 8Be alert and of sober mind. 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 the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. 10And the God of grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast. 11To Him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.

Copyright © Sindy Nagel. All Rights Reserved

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 37 – Be Armed for Spiritual Battle

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 37 

Be Armed for Spiritual Battle

Lord, sometimes I can really relate to what Paul said in Romans 7:15, “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” Why do I continue to behave and respond in the flesh, when You have given me new life in the Spirit? What is this battle raging within me that keeps me from living the sanctified life You intended for me? Lord, I confess my sin and ask that You would help me fight this battle and win.

A Message from God’s Heart to Yours:

It is good for you to realize that you are involved in a form of daily spiritual battle between the flesh and the Spirit. Use the Holy Spirit’s power to annihilate the force of sin in your life. Sin has no control over you, unless you allow it to. You are no longer a slave to sin; but Jesus Christ has rescued you and delivered you from all evil (Romans 7:24-25). You are a new creation in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:17). You have the same power living in you that raised Jesus Christ from the dead (Ephesians 1:19-21). The Holy Spirit is your ally and defender. You may exercise His supernatural strength in all your encounters. I am your Warrior God; I help you fight your battles and win them!

Also understand that you live in a continual spiritual warfare of good vs. evil. Every morning, dress yourself for spiritual battle by putting on the full Armor of God, so that you will be able to stand your ground. Gird your waist with the belt of truth, claiming who you are in Christ; you are supernaturally empowered by the indwelling Holy Spirit. With the helmet of salvation, you put on the mind of Christ, giving you wisdom and discernment with regard to your enemy and his attacks. Secure the breastplate of righteousness in place to protect your heart and defend your birthright as a child of God. Hold up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Stand firm with your feet fitted with the sandals of the gospel of peace. Take up and carry the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God so you can fight against the enemy’s lies with the truth of Scripture and God’s promises. Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. Always be alert and keep on praying for all God’s people (Ephesians 6:10-18).

Draw on the dynamic power of the Holy Spirit whenever you find yourself in a diabolical battle. Your enemy’s attacks may be subtle. Sometimes you do not even know you are in a fight until you have lost. Remain alert to the devil’s ways, knowing that he will first go after your weakest areas. 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 (Ephesians 6:12). When you are in a struggle against another human, consider the provocative nature of the evil one. Often times, he is your true opponent. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). Do not fall prey to his devious schemes. Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power (Ephesians 6:10). Live as wise, not as unwise (Ephesians 5:15). Remember that Christ has already defeated Satan, sin, death and the grave. Do not give the devil more power than he is due. Christ has made him powerless. Claim your victory over evil and the evil one, by the shed blood of Jesus on the cross. You are victorious in Jesus Christ. Stand firm and win over evil. You are armed with power from on high to overcome all the power of the enemy (Luke 10;19).  

Prayer:

Dear Jesus, thank You for shedding Your blood on the cross and claiming Your victory over sin, death, and the grave. Thank You for providing me that same victory, as well as, power and authority over all evil and the evil one. I am so grateful that I do not stand alone to battle the forces of evil, but You stand at my side. You are my Warrior God, hiding me in the shadow of Your wings and protecting me from my enemies. Lord, thank You for providing me the Armor of God, so that I may stand firm in battle and remain standing. Thank You for the victory and for the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in me. Please help me be alert to the ways of the enemy and engage in battle with the weapons and authority You provide. Please speak to me now and share Your wisdom with me to better prepare me for anything the enemy throws my way.

Two-way Conversation with God:

  • Loving Father, please expose the broken places in my heart and show me my areas of weakness that the enemy will most certainly go after. (Record all thoughts that come to mind in this moment.)

 

  • Jesus, my Victor, please enlighten me to the truth about my vulnerabilities exposed above. Replace the lies of the enemy with Your truth. Tell me how to defend myself against the enemy attacks in these areas. (Write down all thoughts, ideas, and Scripture verses that come to mind right now.)

 

  • Holy Spirit, please help me be alert to Satan and his ways. Remind me that I struggle not with flesh and blood, but against the evil one. Empower me with the Word of God to fight these attacks. Please give me verses that will combat the enemy when he strikes my weak spots. (Journal all His words and verses He leads you to for this application.)

 

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:

Almighty Lord, thank You for sharing Your wisdom, words, power and protection with me as I fight these daily battles. Lord, I ask that You will daily empower me with Your wisdom and Your Word. Lord, help me always remain alert to the enemy’s ways and recognize each battle I engage in for what it truly is. I claim my victory in You. I claim all power and authority over evil and the evil one, in the name of Jesus Christ, and by His blood. Thank You, Lord. Amen.

Supporting Scripture:

Luke 10:18-19, 18He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.”

Romans 7:14-25, 14We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. 21So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.

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

Ephesians 1:19-21, 19and His incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20He exerted when He raised Christ from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms, 21far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.

Ephesians 5:15-20, 15Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18Do not become drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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.

1 Peter 5:8-11, 8Be alert and of sober mind. 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 the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. 10And the God of grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast. 11To Him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.

Copyright © Sindy Nagel. All Rights Reserved

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 36 – Self-Control

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 36

Self-Control

Father, at times my life feels so out of control. You know that one of my biggest challenges is surrendering to You, so that Your Spirit can produce in me the fruit of self-control. I confess that I am very weak and immature in this spiritual discipline in my life. I need to recognize that I can do none of this in my own power, but truly, it is a fruit produced by the power of the Holy Spirit when I acknowledge Him and submit to His power within me. It’s not what I, myself, can or cannot do. It’s what Your Holy Spirit can do through me. Help me to tap in to this power within me, at all times, especially when I feel weak and indulgent. Give me the willpower to yield to Your voice inside me that steers me away from temptation and sin.

A Message from God’s Heart to Yours:

Jesus liberated you from your sin. He has set you free from the yoke of slavery to sin (Galatians 5:1). Do not give in to the desires of the flesh and do whatever you want (Galatians 5:16-17). Live in step with the Spirit of God, and do not be in conflict with Him. Surrender your sinful nature to God, and instead, He will produce the fruit of righteousness and self-control in your spirit.

Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust in Him and He will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun (Psalm 37:4-6). Delight in Me, and though you may stumble, you will not fall. I will uphold you with My hand (Psalm 37:23-24).

When temptation and sin come knocking at your door, do not open it. Deny yourself and stay safely behind the gate of self-control. Do not allow the thief access to your life. He comes only to steal, kill, and destroy. I have come to give you life to the full (John 10:10). Remain strong in your convictions. Have faith that I can remove all evil strongholds in your life. I will set you free from sin and bondage. I give release to the prisoners and restore sight to the spiritually blind (Isaiah 61:1-3). I bind up the broken places in your heart that cause you to crave that which will not bring you true joy and satisfaction.

Pay attention to My voice within. Claim your victory in the name of Jesus Christ, by His shed blood on the cross. He has already conquered sin on your behalf. You are a new creation. The old has gone, the new is here. Live anew and enjoy your new life of freedom. Walk in the victory of Christ by living in step with His Holy Spirit within you. Maintain your relationship with the Spirit by remaining in continual communication with Him. Do not pretend to be deaf to His voice. Listen and obey; you will receive your reward, and it will be worth so much more than the momentary indulgence and pleasure of disobedience.

Prayer:

Lord, help me be more dependent on you to produce in me the fruit of self-control. I can do none of this in my own strength and power. I have none. My spirit is willing, but my flesh is weak. Strengthen me and empower me to live according to Your good, pleasing, and perfect will. I confess my sin and repent of it as I walk away from the desires of the flesh that try to hold me captive. I claim freedom in the blood of Christ and His death on the cross. He already won the victory and holds the keys to sin, death, and the grave. I am crucified in Christ. I no longer live, but Christ lives in me (Galatians 2:20). He is risen, and I am seated with Him in the heavenly realms. I am a new creation in Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). Lord, show me the person You see when You look at me. Share your heart with me now as we meet and talk. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Two-way Conversation with God: 

  • Righteous Father, please help me understand the importance of submitting myself to the control and empowerment of the Holy Spirit. (Record all His words and thoughts given to you.)

 

  • Jesus, my Friend, teach me how to remain in step with the Spirit and renounce temptation and sin. Then, give me the strong conviction and desire to do this (Write the ideas and impressions He gives you.)

 

  • Holy Spirit, give me the ability to pay attention to Your voice, and then, obey. Open my ears to hear You, and give me the desire to be obedient. Impress on me the reason I need to submit myself to Your leading and direction. (Journal every word and thought you receive.)

 

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:

God, thank You for sharing Your heart with me now. Father, help me to not focus on myself and my power, but fully rely on You and Your power to provide me an escape when I am tempted to exercise a lack of self-control. Produce in me the fruit of self-control, so that I may display the righteousness of a life surrendered to You. Lord, I yield my heart and will to You now. I ask you to remove all ungodly pleasures and strongholds in my life. Forgive me when I am weak; when I stumble, do not let me fall. Thank You for your grace and mercy toward me. As the Holy Spirit sanctifies me, teach me to be more grace-filled and merciful toward others. I ask this in the name of Jesus, my Lord. Amen.

Supporting Scripture:

Psalm 37:4-6, 4Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. 5Commit your way to the Lord, trust in Him and He will do this: 6He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.

Isaiah 61:1-3, 1“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent Me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, 2to proclaim the year of the Lords’ favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, 3and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor.

Psalm 37:23-24, The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in Him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with His hand.

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.”

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

Galatians 2:20, I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

Galatians 5:1, It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Galatians 5:16-17, 16So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17The flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.

Galatians 5:22-23, 22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Copyright © Sindy Nagel. All Rights Reserved

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 35 – Tired & Weary? Rest in Me

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 35

Tired & Weary? Rest in Me

Heavenly Father, why do I wait until I am maxed out physically, emotionally, and spiritually to seek You for renewed strength and increased power. Your Word promises that when I put my hope in You, You will renew my strength. I will soar on wings like eagles, run and not grow weary, walk and not be faint (Isaiah 40:29-31). Help me to seek You at the beginning of my trials, before I run out of fuel, running in my own direction. Lord, I put my faith in You and Your power within Me, to walk me through this challenge. Lord, what do You want me to hear and know today? 

A Message from God’s Heart to Yours:

Come to Me, weary one. Lay down your burdens at My feet. I will carry your heavy load and exchange it for a lighter load to bear. Put your confidence in Me and find rest for your weary soul. My yoke is easy and My burden is light (Matthew 11:28-30). Surrender everything to Me and rest. Leave your worries and your cares in My capable hands. Allow Me to remove the weight of your responsibilities, and give you My perfect peace.

Hold fast to Me. Depend on Me for your every need. When you are weak, it is then you are strong (2 Corinthian 12:10). Trade in your stress, lay it down, and do not take it up again. Replace it with the confidence and joy of trusting in Me for everything you desire and need. My joy is your strength (Nehemiah 8:10). Take hold of the hope set before you and be encouraged. This hope in Jesus Christ is an anchor for the soul, firm and secure (Hebrews 6:18-19).

When you face trials, consider it pure joy, a testing of your faith. Learn to persevere to the finish to grow in your maturity and faith in Me (James 1:2-4). Be strong and courageous (Joshua 1:9). Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior (Isaiah 43:1-3).

Trust Me completely for everything. I am the Sovereign Lord, in control of all things. Submit yourself to Me. I am your helper. Be not afraid (Hebrews 13:6). I will see you through this difficult time. Cast all your anxiety on Me because I care for you (1 Peter 5:7). I will take care of you and allow your soul a break from the stress you endure.

Rest in Me. Be still and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10). Draw near to Me and I will draw near to you (James 4:8). I do not give you more than you can handle. I give generously the power of My Spirit within you. Look within you and find the strength which reinforces your constitution and foundation in Me. I am here. I desire to daily meet with you in a quiet place where I can effectively communicate the depth of My love and concern for you.

You are My beloved child, whom I love. I do not allow you to be overwhelmed when you depend on Me. Rest in Me, My love. I am your shelter and your strong tower. I will rescue you from your present difficulties in due time. Seek Me in the middle of your storms, and find your respite in Me. I will walk you through the valleys and push the mountains aside that stand in your way. I prepare the path I have marked out for you. This is the good way. Walk in it and you will find rest for your soul (Jeremiah 6:16).

Prayer:

Father, thank You for your comforting, encouraging words and promises. I will find rest for my weary soul when I spend some time alone with You. Jesus, as I draw near to You now, please draw near to Me and quiet me with Your love. Speak to my heart directly from Your heart through the voice of the Holy Spirit within me. Lord, I seek You now, to be still and know that You are God. In the quietness of this secret place, allow me to clearly hear a word from You. In the name of Jesus, my Rescuer and my Refuge, I pray. Amen.

Two-way Conversation with God:

 1)  Father in heaven, You are my Rock and Refuge. Please share Your heart with me now. How do I get to that place of shelter and rest in You. What do I need to add or remove from my life to best achieve this? (Write what you hear in your thoughts.)

2)  Jesus, my Savior, will You now reveal the desires of Your heart for me? How do I weather this storm and maintain a resilient spirit and faith? (Record His words and ideas for you.)

3)  Holy Spirit, I tune into Your voice and ask that You would remind me of and direct me to pertinent Scripture right now as we speak. Lord, what do You want me to know from Your Word? (Record all words and passages that come to mind just now.)

 

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:

 Most High, Omnipotent Father, I rejoice in Your sovereign power to demolish all strongholds and restore peace and rest to my soul. Lord, thank You that You walk me through my battles and bring me to a peaceful place of rest in You. Thank You, Great Shepherd, that You carry me, as a lamb in Your arms, away from dangers, foils, and snares, and lead me to the still waters and lush meadows, Your haven of security and well-being. Lord, please prepare and light the way You have marked out for me, and help me run this race with perseverance, fixing my eyes on You only (Hebrews 12:1). In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen.

Supporting Scripture:

Joshua 1:9, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

2 Samuel 22:33, It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure.

Nehemiah 8:10, “…the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

Psalm 27:14, Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.

Psalm 28:7, The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and He helps me.

Psalm 29:11, The Lord gives strength to His people; the Lord blesses His people with peace.

Psalm 46:1, God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

Psalm 46:10-11, 10He says, “Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” 11The Lord almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Psalm 84:5, Blessed are those whose strength is in You…

Psalm 105:4, Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always.

Psalm 118:14, The Lord is my strength and my defense; He has become my salvation.

Isaiah 40:28-31, 28Do 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. 29He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. 30Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall, 31but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Isaiah 41:10, “So 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.”

Isaiah 43:1-3, 1“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine. 2When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. 3For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior (Isaiah 43:1-3).

Isaiah 50:4, The Sovereign Lord has given me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed.

Jeremiah 6:16, This is what the Lord says, “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.”

Habakkuk 3:19, The Sovereign Lord is my strength; He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, He enables me to tread on the heights.

Matthew 11:28-30, 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.”

Romans 8:26, In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.

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.

Galatians 6:9, Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Ephesians 3:16-21, 16I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, 17so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people; to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. 20Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, 21to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Ephesians 6:10, Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.

Colossians 1:9-14, 9For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, 10so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of His holy people in the kingdom of light. 13For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves, 14in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Philippians 4:13, I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.

1 Thessalonians 3:13, May He strengthen you in your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all His holy ones.

2 Thessalonians 3:13, And as for you, brothers and sisters, never tire of doing good.

Hebrews 12:1-3, 1Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Hebrews 6:18-19, 18God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. 19We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.

Hebrews 13:6, So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals to do me?”

James 1:2-4, 2Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

James 4:8, Come near to God and He will come near to you.

1 Peter 4:11, If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

1 Peter 5:6-11, 6Humble yourselves, therefore under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time. 7Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. 8Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around looking for someone to devour. 9Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. 10And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast. 11To Him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.

Copyright © Sindy Nagel. All Rights Reserved

 

 

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 34 – Trade Your Anxiety for His Peace

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 34

 Trade Your Anxiety for His Peace

Sovereign Lord, You are in control of all things. I confess and acknowledge this fact, and yet, many times I forget it, giving way to worry and anxiety instead. Lord, I admit that You will provide for my every need and want. I place my faith and trust in You alone to do so. I trade in my anxiety for Your perfect peace. I lay down my worries, because You are the all-powerful, Almighty God, the one and only supreme ruler over everything. You love me and take care of me. How do I maintain a life and mindset free from anxiety and full of Your peace?

 A Message from God’s Heart to Yours:

My child, give your cares over to Me. I happily take them on. I am the Sovereign Lord, in control of all things, and I will take care of every need you have. Do not worry about your life: what you will eat and drink, the clothes you will wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothes? I know what you need and I will take care of you. Seek first My kingdom and My righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own (Matthew 6:25-34).

Trade in your anxieties and allow Me to replace them with My perfect peace. My peace I give you, not as the world gives. Do not let your heart be troubled and do not be afraid (John 14:27). Leave your worries and your cares at My feet and do not pick them up again. Turn them over to Me. I am the Sovereign Lord, and I will work all things together for the good of those who love Me, who have been called according to My purpose (Romans 8:28). That’s you! I do this for you. 

Lasting peace comes through a relationship with Me. You are My little lamb. I gather you in My arms, carry you close to My heart, and tenderly care for you (Isaiah 40:11). You have access to My peace at all times by the Spirit I have placed in your heart. You have the same power living in you that raised Jesus Christ from the dead (Ephesians 1:19-20). Be confident in My power; trust in Me forever and remain in perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3-4). Remain in Me and find the peace your soul desires.

As you trust completely in Me, be an eager witness to My kindness. Profess your faith and trust until you, yourself, believe it more fully. Tell others of My goodness and grace, love and mercy, faithfulness and peace. You have traded in your anxieties to experience more of My peace. This is monumental. Worry adds nothing to your life; it sucks the life right out of you. But now that you have freed up so much time you used to spend in worry, you may spend more time working for Me, carrying out My plan and purpose for you.

When you place your trust in Me, your cares melt away as the snow on a sunny day. I am the bright Morning Star. I am here to light your way. Fix your mind upon Me, meditate on My Word and My presence, and your troubles will seem to diminish. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to Me. And My peace, which transcends all understanding, will guard your heart and your mind in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:4-7).

Trust Me with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Me, and I will make your paths straight (Proverbs 3:5-6). My timing and purposes are perfect. I am true to My promises and I direct your ways. Cast all your anxiety upon Me because I care for you (1 Peter 5:7). Trade in your heavy load for a lighter one; take My yoke upon you and find rest for your soul (Matthew 11:28-30). Trade in your anxieties for My perfect peace. Make this your daily practice. Resist the temptation to fret and worry; instead claim the peace I freely offer you.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, so many times, I have witnessed Your work behind the scenes orchestrating all things for my good. You deserve all the credit, honor and praise, for your goodness and provision. Worry is the product of not trusting fully in You. Lord, please forgive me of my sin. I confess that I do not trust in You as I should. Lord, show me Your heart right now and make it real to me that You will hold true to Your promises; that I can trust in You completely, and You will not fail me. Help me to hear Your voice and cling to Your promises. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Two-way Conversation with God: 

  • Abba Father, even though I know in my mind that I can experience Your peace, I still resort to worry and anxiety when I feel out of control. Lord, please calm my fears and teach me how to trust completely in You, the Sovereign God who is in control of all things. Share Your heart with me now. (Write down the thoughts He gives you.)

 

  • Prince of Peace, I am so blessed to have You in my life. Thank You for Your peace unlike the world’s, the confidence I have by trusting in You completely. Please tell me more about Your peace that passes all understanding. (Record the words and thoughts you receive from Him.)

 

  • Holy Spirit of God, You are the peace in my heart. Help me remember I have access to Your peace at all times. How may I tap into that lasting peace You so generously provide? (Journal the thoughts He gives you.)

 

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:

Most High God, when I think about it more, it is a relief that I am not really in control of anything; because you are in control of everything. There is a freedom in not being responsible for the outcome of any given situation. You created the heavens and the earth. The wind and waves take their commands from You. You keep me in perfect peace, when I trust in You (Isaiah 26:3). Lord, remind me often of your faithfulness and marvelous deeds. You watch over my life, my coming and going, both now and forevermore (Psalm 121:7-8). I will exalt You and praise Your holy name. I trade in my anxiety for your perfect peace. I cast all my anxiety on You because You care for me (1 Peter 5:7). I am so grateful for Your peace which transcends all my understanding (Philippians 4:7). In the name of Jesus, my Rock and Refuge, I pray. Amen.

Supporting Scripture:

Psalm 71:16-17, 16I will come to proclaim Your mighty acts, Sovereign Lord; I will proclaim Your righteous deeds, Yours alone. 17Since my youth, God, You have taught me, and to this day I declare Your marvelous deeds.

Psalm 73:28, But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all Your deeds.

Psalm 121:7-8, 7The Lord will keep you from all harm—He will watch over your life; 8the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.

Proverbs 3:5-6, 5Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.

Isaiah 25:1, Lord, You are my God; I will exalt You and praise Your name, for in perfect faithfulness You have done wonderful things, things planned long ago.

Isaiah 26:3-4, 3You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in You. 4Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord Himself, is the Rock eternal.

Isaiah 40:10-11, 10See the Sovereign Lord comes with power, and He rules with a mighty arm. See His reward is with Him, and His recompense accompanies Him. 11He tends His flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart, He gently leads those that have young.

Jeremiah 32:17, “Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.”

Ezekiel 12:28, “Therefore say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: None of My words will be delayed any longer; whatever I say will be fulfilled, declares the Sovereign Lord.’”

Daniel 7:27-28, 27“Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of all the kingdoms under heaven will be handed over to the holy people of the Most High. 28His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey Him.”

Matthew 6:25-34, 25“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body; what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? 28And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will He not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Matthew 11:28-30, 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.”

John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

Romans 8:28, And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.

Ephesians 1:18-23, 18I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in His holy people, 19and His incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20He exerted when He raised Christ from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms, 21far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22And God placed all things under His feet and appointed Him to be head over everything for the church, 23which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills everything in every way.

Philippians 4:4-7, 4Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

1 Peter 5:7, Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.

Copyright © Sindy Nagel. All Rights Reserved

 

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 28 – Remain in Me

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 28

Remain in Me

Lord, please show me what it means to remain in You. How do I accomplish this? What practices do I need to put in place to reach this goal?

A Message from God’s Heart to Yours:

My child, My top priority for you is that you stay in relationship with Me. How is this best accomplished? First and foremost, maintain a regular, daily practice of meeting with Me alone in the secret place. The secret place is merely an area in your heart that you reserve for Me exclusively. It may also involve a physical location that you deem our special meeting spot away from noise and distractions, but more accurately, it’s a place in your heart reserved for Me alone—entirely devoted to Me and no one else—a private place. What’s done in secret will be rewarded (Matthew 6:18).

Secondly, remain in My Word. When you linger in My Word, reading it and meditating on it, you will almost always experience Me. My Spirit within you will guide you to Scripture and make it come alive with meaning for you personally, both for your life in general, and for specific circumstances you are going through at any given time. If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you (John 15:7). Hanging out in My Word, saturating your mind with it, is very pleasing to Me. It is a sweet aroma that reaches deep into the middle of My heart. Your efforts will be rewarded as you make your requests known to Me.

Remain in Me and bear much fruit. I am the vine; you are the branch. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing (John 15:5). The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). You are known by your fruit. I, also, am known by your fruit. When you remain in Me and bear My fruit, others are drawn to Me through you. Fruit ripened on the vine has the choicest appearance and the sweetest flavor. Remain in the vine.

Remain in communication with Me through listening prayer. When you pray, go into your inner room where you will be alone with Me (Matthew 6:5-6). I will hear your requests and answer them. Be sure to listen as much as you speak. Leave room in the conversation for Me. I have so many things to tell you. Things you do not yet know, great and unsearchable things (Jeremiah 33:3). You belong to Me, you can hear what I say (John 8:47). You are My sheep, listen to My voice and follow me (John 10:27). Pray continually (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). Listen continually. This is My will for you.

Remain in step with the Spirit by laying down your own passions and desires, and living out Mine (Galatians 5:24-25). Walk by My Spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh (Galatians 5:16). Be led by the Spirit and remain blameless. Be obedient to My commands, allowing the Spirit’s power to enable you to do all things through Christ who strengthens you (Philippians 4:13).

Remain in obedience to Me. Remain in My love by keeping My commands. My greatest commands are these: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. Love your neighbor you love yourself (Matthew 22:37-39). Love each other as I have loved you, by laying down your life for your friends (John 15:12-13). When you keep My commands, I know you love Me, and I will show Myself to you and make My home in you (John 14:20-23). I love you, My child. You are My dwelling place. Keep your heart engaged with Mine.

Prayer:

Thank You, Lord, for Your generous Spirit. You have shown me today how to be more engaged with You. I know You are with me always, but I do not always remember that fact. Please forgive me when I forget You. I know You never forget me. Help me to remain in You more completely by practicing all the steps You communicated to me above. And now I long to hear more messages from Your heart as I enter my inner room, the secret place, to connect with You in a more personal way. In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen.

Two-way Conversation with God: 

  • Abba Father, help me see you and feel your presence during this time of conversation. Lord, speak Your heart to me right now and tell me the great, unsearchable things, I do not yet know. (Write down every word or thought that enters your mind.)

 

  • Jesus, my Friend, please allow me to know and feel Your presence daily in my heart. Let me know how You would like to best engage with me. What shall I do to be more obedient and responsive to Your voice? (Record every thought making it obedient to Christ.)

 

  • Holy Spirit, come and have Your way in me right now. Lead me, guide me, comfort me. Whatever I need to hear from You, Lord, please share it with me now. (Journal all your thoughts to Him and from Him.)

 

Review the Holy Spirit’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:

Dear Father in Heaven, thank You for creating me. Thank You for loving me so much that You sent Your Son, Jesus, to die for me and give me new life through His resurrection. Thank You for Your gift of the Holy Spirit who makes His home in Me and walks me through life, making me more obedient to You. I worship You, Lord, and I lift my voice. O my soul—Rejoice. I honor You and give You all the glory You deserve. I give myself wholly to You, Lord. Receive my feeble attempts to be obedient to Your commands, and teach me how to love You as deeply as You love me. In Jesus’ precious name, I pray Amen.

Supporting Scripture:

Deuteronomy 30:19-20, “…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. For the Lord is your life, and He will give you many years in the land He swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”

Jeremiah 33:2-3, “This is what the Lord says, He who made the earth, the Lord who formed it and established it—the Lord is His name: ‘Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’”

Matthew 6:5-6, “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

Matthew 22:37-40, 37Jesus replied, “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40All the Law and Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Mark 9:7, Then a cloud appeared and covered them, and a voice came from the could: “This is My Son, whom I love. Listen to Him!”

Luke 10:39, She had a sister called Mary, who sat the Lord’s feet listening to what He said.

John 8:47, “Whoever belongs to God hears what God says…”

John 10:27, “My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me.”

John 14:20-23, 20“On that day you will realize that I am in My Father, and you are in Me, and I am in you. 21Whoever has My commands and keeps them is the one who loves Me. The one who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them… 23Anyone who loves Me will obey My teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.”

John 15:4-17, 4“Remain in Me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me. 5I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing. 6If you do not remain in Me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. 9As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you. Now remain in My love. 10If you keep my commands, you will remain in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commands and remain in His love. 11I have told you this so that My joy may be in you and that your joy may be compete. 12My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13Greater 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. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from My Father I have made known to you. 16You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might to and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in My name the Father will give you. 17This is My command: Love each other.”

Galatians 5:16, So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.

Galatians 5:22-26, 22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

Philippians 4:13, I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, 16Rejoice always, 17pray continually, 18give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

1 John 2:24-27, 24As for you, see that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father. 25And this is what He promised us—eternal life. 26I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray. 27As for you, the anointing you received from Him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as His anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in Him.

Copyright © Sindy Nagel. All Rights Reserved