Tag Archive | power

Roadblock #4 – Worry – The Enemy of Trust

Worry does not add anything to our lives; in fact, it sucks the life right out of us. Worry equals not trusting fully in God. When we don’t trust God for everything, we distance ourselves from Him. Not relying completely on God to care for us, protect us, and provide for us, we detach ourselves from Him and His enormous power. God is omniscient: He knows our every need. God is omnipotent: He is the almighty, all-powerful, invincible Lord. God is omnipresent: He never leaves us; He’s always with us. God is the All-Sufficient One: He is enough. God is trustworthy: He will do what He promises.

God does not ask us to have blind faith and complete trust in a human being. He does ask us to put our trust and confidence in Him alone. We can rest in the assurance that He will take care of us. He is the Most High God. He is dependable, reliable, and faithful.

Jesus said, “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 important than food, and the body more important than clothes? …Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” (Matthew 6:25, 27). Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” God wants us to be completely dependent on Him for everything. Not depending on God and trusting in Him completely may put distance between Him and you.

God loves children and speaks to them. Perhaps He does so because children are more dependent. Are you approaching God as a child? Are you dependent on Him? Remember the story of the boy Samuel? After God had spoken to him, Samuel didn’t question God; he listened and obeyed. (See 1 Samuel 3 for the whole story.) God spoke to the boy because he practiced humility and willingly served the Lord. He did not have preconceived ideas about how God would talk to him. Samuel did not practice the freedom of self-sufficiency. He enthusiastically listened to God however God chose to speak to him, and then he obeyed.

This story offers encouragement. God speaks to people of all ages and all spiritual maturity levels. He doesn’t stop calling you just because you don’t recognize Him. He keeps pursuing you until you learn the sound of His voice. He will speak to you when you are still and ready to listen.

And yet, hearing Him is not enough. God looks for people who are dependent on Him, ready to listen to and obey Him. When we practice our independence and do what we please, God may choose not to speak to us. Depending on God and obeying His lead will keep the doors of communication open between you and the Lord.

To hear God’s voice, you must become like a child: humble, with a simple faith and reverence for the Lord. In Matthew 18:3, Jesus says, “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” In Mark 10:15, Jesus says, “I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”

Become like a child and surrender to the work and power of the Holy Spirit within you. Trust God, and depend on Him for everything. Walk in submission to God by being sensitive to the voice of the Holy Spirit and acting in obedience to His instruction.

Trusting in the Lord, rather than in ourselves and others, proves to be the most stress-free way to live. Giving our cares over to God, Who controls all things, prevents us from being stifled in our spiritual growth by depending on our own limited understanding. Put your trust in God today, and acknowledge His supreme influence, power, and authority in your life. Permit yourself to relinquish all control and worry to the One who rules and reigns over everything on earth and in heaven. Purchase your copy of 7 Roadblocks to Hearing God Speak today and trade in the following lies for the truth in God’s Word.

#1: God won’t provide for all my needs.

#2:  I can’t trust God because He let me down in the past.

#3: I need to take care of things myself because God isn’t.

 

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Book Two in Hearing God’s Voice Series

 

 

Roadblock #2 – Fear – The Enemy of Confidence

Apprehension about the unknown can keep us from understanding the mystery of God. But fear is not from God. Second Timothy 1:7 says, “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” I had a fear of God, but not the right kind of fear. Before I got to know God better, apprehension shrouded my desire to speak in conversation with Him. I feared that everything that came out of God’s mouth would convict me. I dreaded His wrath, because I did not know the truth about His character.

God is loving, kind, compassionate, forgiving, faithful, trustworthy, and so much more. He loves us so much He wants to have an intimate relationship with each of us. I had to get to know God more intimately before the only fear I felt toward Him equaled awe and reverence. Psalm 147:11 says, “The Lord delights in those who fear Him, who put their hope in His unfailing love.” God delights when we fear Him with a reverence that acknowledges we can put our trust in Him and depend on Him for everything.

Now that I know God better because of spending time in His Word and listening to His voice, I no longer fear Him with anxiety and apprehension. I can’t wait to speak with Him because He amazes me. I now fear God out of reverence and respect because He has made His loving character known to me through His Word and His voice. I can depend on Him to meet all my needs. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Psalm 111:10).

            Read Acts 9. It’s the story of Saul, later renamed Paul. After the death and resurrection of Christ, Saul threatened to kill Jesus’ disciples and take His followers as prisoners to Jerusalem. As he neared Damascus, however, he saw a light from heaven flash around him. “He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me?’” (Acts 9:4) It was the voice of Jesus. Saul could have fallen from the fear and dread of what was about to happen, or from the awe and reverence of being in the presence of the Lord. As he met the Lord face to face, Saul may have feared his own identity as one who persecuted the Jesus who stood before him.

Is it possible your identity causes you anxiety in communicating with Jesus? If you have accepted Jesus as your Savior, you are a child of God. No longer are you a slave to fear. Psalm 34:4 says, “I sought the Lord, and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears.” However, you may not feel connected to God. Maybe you’ve strayed from living a life that pleases God, and the shame you feel causes you to fear God’s wrath. Perhaps you have stopped attending church, reading the Bible, or praying regularly. As a result, you experience apprehension about how Jesus would relate to you if He spoke to you.

Many times, we claim our identity from external sources in our lives. My identity branded me early in life when I heard my mom repeatedly refer to me as “an accident.” Accidents are unwanted, unexpected events that we don’t plan for and that sometimes cause pain: physical, emotional, or spiritual. I knew my mom had not planned me; therefore, I believed I was unwanted and unloved. My conception and birth had caused my mother undue emotional pain and then emotionally scarred me for much of my life. The external label “accident” spawned an internal insecurity about my identity that stuck with me for more than thirty years.

Another fear that blocked my communication with God was the fear of intimacy. I feared He wouldn’t speak to me; therefore, I didn’t want to experience the pain of rejection. I wasn’t even sure He listened to me when I talked to Him. I hesitated to get emotionally close to God and become too dependent on Him because I feared He would let me down, as others had.

I knew I was a child of God, but I didn’t feel like His child. What if God also viewed me as an accident? What if He didn’t love me either? What if my sins were too big for God to forgive? God wouldn’t speak to me. I was nothing to Him. I was nobody special. Why would He talk to me? Do you ever experience conversations like this within yourself? Are you insecure about your relationship with Jesus? Are you unsure about your identity in Christ? I was. My uncertainties caused me to approach the throne of God with fear and trembling, not in confidence with awe and wonder.

The first time I sat down to listen for God’s voice, I needed reassurance from God that He wasn’t angry with me. I wanted to know how He felt about me. I longed to know who He saw when He looked at me. I craved His attention, positive or negative. I prepared myself for whatever He would say to me. I wanted to know who I was to God and that He had a plan for my life. Battling depression for the second time, I desperately needed a reason to go on.

My depression counseling sessions had turned into spiritual mentoring meetings. My counselor described how he listened to Jesus’s voice and encouraged me to try it. He instructed me to record my conversations with Jesus in a journal. During one session, we talked about how God has His own special name for each of His children. My counselor invited me to consider asking God, “What is your name for me?”

A name is more than a way to identify someone. It’s a birthright; it represents our heritage, our legacy, our inheritance. It becomes our own challenge to make our names good and live up to our full potential as God’s creation. This starts when we seek God for His name for us. We can’t live into our God-given identity and purpose until we understand what that is.

God’s chosen name for you may be different than the name your parents gave you. Many people throughout the Old and New Testaments received their names, name changes, or identity, directly from the mouth of God and Jesus: Abram (Abraham), Sarai (Sarah), Isaac, Jacob (Israel), John the Baptist, Jesus, Simon (Peter), and Saul (Paul), to cite a few.

Considering the possibility that God had a special name for me, I was excited to learn it.  It was the missing link to my identity, my sanity, and my confidence in Christ. One evening, I escaped the noise of my family and retired to my quiet bedroom. This marked the first time that I really tried to hear God speak. I wanted to capture whatever I heard from God that night, so I wrote all my thoughts in a notebook.

I asked God, “What do you think of me? Who am I to you? Do you have a name for me?” I listened intently but heard nothing. I kept asking the same questions but didn’t know what to expect or how the answer would come to me. Would I hear an audible voice? Again I inquired of God, “Who do you see when you look at me? What is your name for me?”

In one very distinct moment, I heard a name whispered in my thoughts. I wrote it down, but I quickly dismissed it, not being able to relate to it at all. I asked God again, “What is your name for me?” Again, the voice in my head repeated the name. Once more, I thought I’d heard it incorrectly. I couldn’t identify with the name. I didn’t understand its meaning. I had expected to hear a name like “beloved one,” similar to the name one of my friend’s had heard.

A third time, I requested God’s name for me. Yet again, God confirmed it in my thoughts, and this time the words took center stage in my head, displayed in all capital letters. Three times God clearly spoke the same name to me in my thoughts. I knew it must be the name He had given me—but I didn’t recognize the meaning behind it.

One way to confirm and comprehend what God says to us is to go to Scripture. Using the concordance in my Bible, I began a two-hour search for all the verses and meanings I could find about the name God had spoken to me. Seeing the name appear in more than twenty-five verses surprised me. As I read each verse and the surrounding passages, a feeling of peace and joy came over me. Emotion overwhelmed me. When I discovered the meaning of God’s name for me, it resonated with me. This name would most likely not mean the same thing to any other person, but it embodied everything I longed to be to God and everything I desired to hear from God at that moment.

That evening, God met me at the bottom of the pit of depression I occupied. He showered me with His loving kindness. He lifted me up out of the darkness and washed off the mud. I connected with Him in a way I never had before. I had a new understanding that God is alive. He’s a loving Father who cares about me and wants to have a relationship with me. I felt special, wanted, and loved by God. I felt important to God, a priority to Him. When I discovered how God felt about me, nothing else mattered. My fear dissipated and my confidence in the Lord replaced it. When I felt loved and wanted by the God of the universe, I had a new reason to live and a new excitement about what the future would hold for me. No longer did I fear spending time with God.

Shortly after I received God’s name for me and began spending more time alone with Him, my church went through a 40 Days of Purpose study from the book The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. From this study, God revealed and confirmed many things to me as He healed me and strengthened me.

God brought to light the reason He created me and His purpose for my life here on earth. He wants me to help set His captives free, like He set me free, by awakening hearts to Him. He wants me to help lead His people to the promised land, which is the abundant life in Christ, through a personal, intimate relationship with Him. He wants me to be a light to the Gentiles, people who do not know God yet. Really, these assignments represent activities He calls all of His children to carry out. It’s what Jesus did when He walked the earth. God’s Word promises, in John 14:12, we will do even greater things than Jesus did. Can you believe it?

If you have not yet heard the voice of God, I encourage you to listen. If you do not yet know God’s name for you, I pray you will ask Him. If you find yourself imprisoned by Satan’s lies about your identity, I invite you to seek God’s truth and let God Himself set you straight.

God is a gentleman. He pursues us, but He doesn’t crash in on us and take us over. In Revelation 3:20, Jesus says, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with Me.” Jesus continually pursues us. He is pursuing you now. He stands at the door to your heart and knocks, saying, “Here I am!” He patiently waits for you to listen, hear His voice, open the door, and let Him in to enjoy intimate relationship with the living God.

Open the door to Jesus. He will come in, sit with you, and eat with you. Are you hungry to hear God’s voice? Are you desperate enough to listen? He waits for your response. Will you open your door, and your ears, to what God has to say to you? He calls you by name. No need to fear God because of who you are or who you are not. You are His child, loved and redeemed by Him. Identify yourself with the name God so carefully chose for you before the world began. Your name is engraved on His palms (see Isaiah 49:16).

Some lies swirling around in our heads evolve from the idea that the only things God will say to you are: He will convict you of your sin, or God will ask you to do something you don’t want to do, or He’s full of only wrath and fury toward you because of your sin. Are these falsehoods feeding your fear of intimacy with God? Get your copy of 7 Roadblocks to Hearing God Speak, and start identifying and eliminating any lies you may be unknowingly investing in.

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Book Two in Hearing God’s Voice Series

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 6 – Enjoy the Rewards – Reward #5

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Reward #5 – Consider the Conviction

One of our responsibilities as Christians is to change our old ways and obey the Holy Spirit’s leading as He empowers us to become more Christ-like. This process is called sanctification. To be sanctified means to be holy, or set apart. Though we live in the world, we are strangers to it. We should act differently than our non-Christian friends do.

Through the work of Christ on the cross, we have been consecrated and made righteous in Him. Our old sinful ways have died with Christ, and now we can lead a new life of righteousness in the resurrected Christ. As Christians, we should appear different to the world. We are made righteous in Christ, and we should choose to live accordingly, so the world may know we belong to God.

Being a new creation is achieved, in part, when the Holy Spirit convicts us of a sin and encourages us to repent and change our ways. When we live as Jesus Christ did, it pleases God, and it provides a witness to a watching world. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”

Our sin separates us from God because He hides His face from wickedness. He sent His own Son, Jesus, to be our sacrificial lamb. Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sin, so we could be reconciled to God. Jesus made us righteous and holy so we could enjoy a relationship with the righteous and holy God. Now He desires that we would set ourselves apart from the world. He wants us to lead lives that stand out from the way the rest of the world operates. He doesn’t expect us to do this on our own, in our own power. He gives us the Holy Spirit, who convicts us of our sin and holds us to a life of righteousness.

In His saving grace, God gives believers a spiritual conscience—the Holy Spirit—who helps us discern right from wrong in His eyes. He convicts us of sin and empowers us to overcome the flesh and change our ways. “But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with Him in spirit” (1 Corinthians 6:17). We are directed to submit our spirit to the leading of God’s Spirit within us.

In order to lead a God-pleasing life, we must read His Word to know what He expects of us. The Bible is very clear on what is sinful and what is righteous in God’s eyes. When we obey Him and yield ourselves to the leading of His Spirit, He recalibrates our moral conscience to recognize sin, and then He helps us steer clear of it. When we do sin, He convicts us.

The Spirit encourages us to make choices that will please God. He reminds us of what we know from God’s written Word, convicts us of our sin, and empowers us to live a life of righteousness. In order to be led by the Holy Spirit, we must tune our ears to the living God inside us. As Jesus said before His death,

“But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. When He comes, He will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.” (John 16:7-11, emphasis mine)

Jesus provided the way to reconciliation with God, and then He provided the way to live a consecrated life by the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus reunited us with God and gave us access to His power, so we may lead a life set apart for Him. It’s up to us to choose. We can lead a life of sin in the flesh or righteousness in the Spirit. If we choose righteousness, you can be sure the Spirit convicts us when we sin.

It’s important to understand the difference between conviction and condemnation. The Holy Spirit convicts us we are guilty of sin so we can confess it, ask God for His forgiveness, and turn from our sinful ways. In contrast, the devil condemns us and causes us to wallow in guilt and shame. The Holy Spirit says, “You did a bad thing,” while our enemy Satan says, “You are a bad person.”  The Holy Spirit encourages or prompts us to confess our sin; Satan accuses our person, attacks our identity, demeans our self-worth, blames us, and charges us for our sin.

When we make a conscious effort to listen to the Spirit of God within us, we hold the keys to life and peace. We must allow our minds to be controlled by Him. Paul says we are obligated to be led by the Spirit. Does Satan continue to hold you in bondage and defeat? Or does God’s Spirit guide you into freedom, victory, and peace? When we obey Him and submit ourselves to His leadership, we will experience life and peace. Consider the conviction of the Holy Spirit when you are reminded of your sin and prompted to repent.

Regularly tuning in to the voice of God, the Holy Spirit within, accomplishes a giant step in the process of sanctification. If we are going to become more like Christ, we must not only listen to the voice of God, we must obey it. When you feel the Spirit prompting you to do or not do something, don’t ignore Him. When you feel a tug on your heart to carry out an assignment from God, no matter how big or small, be quick to comply. When you know the Spirit of God has spoken instructions to you, act upon them as soon as possible.

When a human spirit yields to the control of the Holy Spirit, the result is life and peace. Choose to live in the Spirit and be at peace with God. Listen to His voice, and consider the conviction. Is there a sin you need to confess or turn from? What is the Holy Spirit asking you to do or not do? What behavior do you need to change? What action have you been prompted to take? Perhaps it’s the other type of conviction–to be a witness for Jesus Christ.

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Book One in Hearing God's Voice Series

Book One in Hearing God’s Voice Series

Step 6 – Enjoy the Rewards – Reward #1

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Step 6 – Enjoy the Rewards

Hearing God’s voice for the first time resembles discovering a buried treasure. God’s amazing treasure chest holds at least seven priceless jewels.

7 Rewards of Hearing God’s Voice

Healing

Forgiveness

Encouragement

Instruction

Conviction

Wisdom

Peace

CLICK HERE for your FREE infographic of 7 Rewards of Hearing God’s Voice

Reward #1 – Absorb the Healing

My first depression plagued me most severely. The word shattered best describes the way depression feels to me. I felt shattered into a thousand pieces on the inside, held together only by my skin. I appeared completely normal from the outside, but I felt weak, fragile, and broken on the inside. Looking back, I now know God allowed me to hit rock bottom so I had nowhere else to turn but to Him. He permitted me to hit rock bottom, but He didn’t leave me there alone.

Through Christian counseling, God showed me what kept me from the life He intended for me. I had to confront my past. I had to be delivered from the bondage of my belief in Satan’s lies before I could effectively relate to God and worship Him with all my heart. I did the work of digging into my childhood to figure out what caused me to be stuck in this life.

We all have emotional wounds. Some of them are given to us by people we love and people who love us. My most major emotional wound came from believing lies in the words my mom used about me. I’m sure she didn’t intend to wound me, but Satan used the things she said to deceive me into believing his lies. As a young girl, I remember my mom telling other people of me, “She was an accident.” I heard my mom say I was an accident many, many times. Those words stabbed deep into my little girl heart. Those words gave me my identity:

I am an accident. I am not wanted. I am not loved.

Notice how Satan used the words, “You are an accident,” and twisted them to accuse me of his lies: “You are not wanted; you are not loved.” In John 8:44, Jesus exposed the devil’s ways: “When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” The enemy wanted me to believe lies that would keep me in bondage so I could not become all God wanted me to be, and I fell for it like a boulder plummeting down a mountainside.

Knowing I was unwanted caused me to become a people-pleaser. My entire life was driven by my desire to be needed and loved. My constant striving to satisfy and delight everyone required me to give large chunks of myself away. The more I gave, the more empty, unloved, and unappreciated I felt. My zest for life slowly drained out of me, leaving me unfulfilled and unhappy. I had a decent life, but if it equaled the life God had planned for me, I wasn’t sure I wanted to live. I had everything I needed and wanted, yet I lacked something. What I had was not enough to carry me through emotionally.

By believing the father of lies, I had let the deceit of Satan rule in my heart. God allowed me to experience depression so I would seek Him for help, answers, and healing. God wanted me to confront the emotional wounds from my past so He could wrap me in His blanket of light. God used my counseling as the venue where He performed the emotional healing I needed.

My counselor and I would spend time in inner healing prayer, bringing my wounds before Christ and asking Him to replace the lies I believed with the truth. Jesus showed me His presence in my childhood memories. He Himself told me of His great love for me and revealed the truth about me and the circumstances of my birth. He crushed the lies of the enemy. God planned me from the beginning; I was no accident. He wanted me and loved me.

This experience compelled me to trust Jesus even more. He is the way, the truth, and the life. The voice of Jesus in my memories transformed my life. When you are set straight by the God of the universe, it’s a permanent healing. It’s a healing you can’t get from counseling alone or from anything anyone else says to you. When God Himself meets you in your memories, shows you His presence in your life, speaks about how much He loves you, and couples it with strong, truthful feelings in your heart, it changes everything.

My beliefs about my own identity began to change. It no longer mattered that my mom didn’t want me, because the God of the universe planned me before He created the world. He wants me and loves me. I am His child, created in His image. I am a high priority to Him. My existence is important to Him. He wants to spend forever showing me how much He loves me. I know He feels the same about you.

God does speak to you in your thoughts. He can use your memories to bring you emotional healing and to show you His presence throughout your whole life. Come to Him, and quiet yourself enough to listen to what He has to say. He will enlighten you with His truth, replacing the darkness of the lies you believe.

In John 8:36, Jesus says, “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” I live a new life of freedom—a better life—because Christ set me free from my emotional prison, the bondage of the lies I held onto. That’s what Jesus came here to do—to “set the captives free.” (See Isaiah 61:1-3.) He is the truth.

Jesus Christ already won the battle over Satan, sin, and death with His obedience even unto death on the cross. God raised Jesus from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in heaven to rule over everything here on earth and in all eternity. God saved us by His grace, raised us up with Christ, and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms. Satan has been given his place already. He now resides under the feet of Christ, below His authority and below the authority of Christ’s body, the church, which includes all believers.

I believe in Christ; therefore, I have Jesus’ power and authority over Satan, sin, and death. Through the Holy Spirit living in me, I have the same power that raised Jesus from the dead. If you believe in Jesus, so do you. Exercise authority and stand firm in the finished work of Christ, believing the truth. Resist the devil, and don’t be trapped by His snares of falsehood and temptation. Don’t give him more power than God has given Him. You are alive in Christ! Live in the grace and authority of Christ so you may carry out the work God prepared in advance for you to do. (See Ephesians 2:4-10.)

Through inner healing prayer and conversations with God, He spoke sincere, truthful words to me, healing the deepest wounds of my heart. He exposed my childhood belief in the deceit Satan had fabricated in my heart and mind. He gave me a new identity: “I am a child of God; He wants me and loves me.” Not only did my thinking change, but Jesus Christ Himself engraved it on my heart. He showed me the truth, and the truth set me free. God loves me more than I will ever comprehend, and He wanted me, even before He created the world. He feels the same about you.

God wants you and loves you very much. He desires to spend time with you daily in two-way conversation. Make time to listen to His voice and absorb His healing words.

When you have some time to yourself, seek God and ask Him to replace the lies you believe in your heart with His perfect truth. Ask for His protection from your enemy. Listen to His voice of truth in your thoughts. Confirm what you hear by finding God’s truth in His Word, the Bible. Spend time developing a deeper intimacy with Him. Ask Him what He wants to teach you. Absorb the healing He gives! Then find it in your heart to forgive the one(s) who hurt you.

Click here to order this book now.

Book One in Hearing God's Voice Series

Book One in Hearing God’s Voice Series

 

 

Fight the Good Fight

“Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” (1 Timothy 6:12)

My beloved warrior, take hold of the life to which I have called you. Fight the good fight of the faith. Your battle is not with flesh and blood, but against the powers of this dark world. Stand firm in your faith and do not waver. Dress yourself in the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand your ground. Proudly wear the belt of truth around your waist and be ready to fight for the truth when called upon. Display the breastplate of righteousness for all to see that you belong to Me. Be ready with the gospel of peace and let your feet follow My lead. Grasp the shield of faith with which you can stop the enemy’s arrows of spiritual attack. Put on the helmet of salvation believing that you are saved by My grace, adopted by Me, and therefore, an heir to all that belongs to Me. Claim your power and authority in Jesus’ victorious name. Remain in Me and My Word so that you may draw upon it when you need it. Be ready to fight with the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Use it against all evil. My Word is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. I stand by your side and fight your battles with you. I will never leave you or forget you. My Spirit dwells in you and gives you the authority to break strongholds. Victory is ours, My friend. You have the same Spirit living in you that raised Jesus from the dead. My power in you is unstoppable. I have called you to be My warrior. Fight to win! (See below: Ephesians 6:10-18, Hebrews 4:12, Joshua 1:5, Ephesians 1:17-20)

“For 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. Therefore put on 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. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrow of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And 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 saints.” (Ephesians 6:10-18)

“For the Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)

“No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you or forsake you.” (Joshua 1:5)

“I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know Him better. I pray also 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 the saints, and His incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of His mighty strength, which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 1:17-20)


 

Find Your Way in Me

The Lord has established His throne in heaven, and His kingdom rules over all (Psalm 103:19).

Blessed one, I am your Creator and you are the crown of My creation. You reflect My glory. I adopted you as My very own child. You belong to Me.

I established My throne in heaven and My kingdom rules over all. I am the God of your father and his father before him. My power and authority ruled over all the generations before you and will continue to rule over all generations to come.

I will shepherd you as My sheep. I will gather you in My arms and carry you close to My heart. I will gently lead you down paths already marked out for you. You will listen to Me and follow Me because you know My voice. My ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

I am the Most High; the Sovereign Lord of the universe, ruler of everything in heaven and on earth. I rebuke the wind and the waves. I protect you in the storm. Now rest in Me; I am in control of all things. Trust in Me; I keep My promises. Rely on Me; your strength and power come from Me alone.

You are My child whom I love deeply. Drink from the depths of My love and find your way in Me.

 

Also see:

2 Corinthians 3:18, Ephesians 1:5, Isaiah 40:11, John 10:4, John 10:27, Isaiah 55:9

The Perfect Parent – Encouragement for Moms

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

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

Love

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

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

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

Joy

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

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

Peace

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

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

Patience

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

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

Perseverance

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

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

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

In Summary

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

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

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

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


 

A Labor of Love

Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:58)

My dear children, stand firm in Me. There is no power on earth that will overcome you when you remain in Me. Your victory comes through the Lord Jesus Christ. Stand firm in His victorious power, in the power of the living God within you. Do not be changed by the things of this world. Be moved by My work. Give yourselves fully to the tasks I give you. When you work for Me, your labor is not in vain. You will bring hope to the hopeless, freedom to the captives, healing to the broken-hearted, sight to the blind, hearing to deaf ears, wisdom to the simple-minded, life to the lifeless, and joy to the downcast. Because My Spirit lives in you, you will do even greater things than the Lord Jesus Christ did. Do not work for riches here on earth. Serve Me with dedicated fervor building yourself treasures in heaven. Serve Me in humility and I will lift you up. Your home is not of this world, but I have prepared a place for you in My eternal kingdom. Leave behind a legacy of faith, a heritage of devotion to Me. I am the Lord, and you are My precious child.


 

Inexpressible Joy in the Midst of Pain

1 Peter 1:6-9

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

My precious child, even in the midst of your suffering, you are filled with an inexpressible joy because you believe in me. My joy is your strength. Though you suffer grief in your current trials, your faith is being proven genuine and glorifies my name. I have given you a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. You are shielded by my power, and I hold an inheritance in heaven for you. Do not fear the future. Be strong and courageous, knowing that I do not give you more than you can bear. I will carry you through your battles. Cast your cares upon me, and I will lighten your load. Put your trust in me—anything is possible.

When I woke this morning, my heart played the these lyrics from “Thrive” by Casting Crowns–

“Joy unspeakable, faith unsinkable, love unstoppable, anything is possible.”


 

Here are the song lyrics to “Thrive” by Casting Crowns

Here in this worn and weary land

Where many a dream has died

Like a tree planted by the water

We never will run dry

So living water flowing through

God we thirst for more of You

Fill our hearts and flood our souls

With one desire

Just to know You and to make You known

We lift Your name on High

Shine like the sun made darkness run and hide

We know we were made for so much more

Than ordinary lives

It’s time for us to more than just survive

We were made to thrive

Woah Woah

Into Your word we’re digging deep

To know our Father’s heart

Into the world we’re reaching out

To show them who You are

So living water flowing through

God we thirst for more of You

Fill our hearts and flood our souls

With one desire

Just to know You and to make You known

We lift Your name on High

Shine like the sun made darkness run and hide

We know we were made for so much more

Than ordinary lives

It’s time for us to more than just survive

We were made to thrive

Joy unspeakable, faith unsinkable,

Love unstoppable, anything is possible

Joy unspeakable, faith unsinkable,

Love unstoppable, anything is possible

Joy unspeakable, faith unsinkable,

Love unstoppable, anything is possible

Joy unspeakable, faith unsinkable,

Love unstoppable, anything is possible

Just to know You and to make You known

We lift Your name on High

Shine like the sun made darkness run and hide

We know we were made for so much more

Than ordinary lives

It’s time for us to more than just survive

We were made to thrive Hey!

Woah Woah

Woah Woah

We were made to thrive

Open Up the Floodgates of Heaven

peace in stormLord, you answered my prayer and woke me up with another song in my heart today. The alarm clock in my mind rang out with the bridge from Meredith Andrews’ song Open Up the Heavens:

Show us, show us your glory Show us, show us your power Show us, show us your glory, Lord.

Father, I pray please show us your glory today. Show us your power. Lord, open up the floodgates of heaven and pour out your blessing upon us.

“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty,” and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.” (Malachi 3:10)

My children, ask according to My will and you will receive. Honor Me with your whole tithe and your offerings, and I will throw open the floodgates of heaven, pouring out so much blessing on you that you will not have room enough for it. I am true to My Word. Test Me and see. Tithe the first fruits of your labor, not the leftovers.

Similarly, offer Me the first few minutes of your time each day, not whatever time you have left at the end of the day, if any. I desire a greater intimacy with you. I am a jealous God. I am jealous of your time and devotion. Seek Me in the morning, and you will find Me. I wait with great expectation to hear the sound of your voice calling My name. It’s a pleasing melody to My ears. I desire to meet with you daily and show you My great affection for you. I will build you up in the morning, before the world tries to knock you down. I will give you My strength and courage to face each challenge the day will bring. I will pour out My wisdom and renew your mind for the tasks I give you. I will restore a right spirit within you, so you may shine like a light in a world filled with darkness. A day that begins with Me is a great day. Have a great day, My beloved one!