Tag Archive | temptation

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 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 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 7 – I Forgive You

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 7

 I Forgive You

Father, I am so humbled that You would shower me with Your grace and forgiveness. I am nothing but a sinner, and yet, You love me, in spite of my sin. Why? Why do You forgive me again and again, even forget all my sins (Hebrews 8:12)?

 A Message from God’s Heart to Yours:

 I am your Father and Forgiver. I created you with a free will to choose. From the beginning, I allowed humankind the free will to make their own choices and decisions. Unfortunately, humans were deceived by the evil one and chose disobedience. Sin entered the world and clouded the vision of my children. Still, I would have it no other way. I created you with your own free will. Which way will you choose? Obedience or disobedience? Life or death?

 I created you in My image with a mind to reason, a heart to love, and a will to survive. You are a beautiful representation of My character and My love. Yes, your flesh causes you to sin, but your sin does not define you. Your identity is in Christ. You are a new creation in Christ Jesus, the old is gone, the new is here (2 Corinthians 5:17). Claim your new identity as My child and discard your old way of living.

 No temptation will overtake you. I am faithful and will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, I will also provide a way out so that you can endure it (1 Corinthians 10:13). You always have a choice—good or evil, obedience or disobedience. Choose wisely. Do not rely on your own strength, but depend on Me and draw on My power within you.

 When you are tempted, look within your own heart to My Spirit. The Holy Spirit will empower you to choose the right way every time. It’s up to you to claim that power and walk in victory. Do not be overcome by sin and temptation, but overcome sin and temptation by My power and My might. You have the same power living in you that raised Jesus Christ from the dead (Ephesians 1:19-21). Tap into that power and stay on the narrow path that leads to life (Matthew 7:13-14). Choose life!

 Daily dress yourself in My spiritual armor (Ephesians 6:10-18). This too will keep you from falling into temptation and sin. Recognize that evil is all around you. Stand firm in your convictions. Fight the daily battle against the evil one and the powers of darkness. Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit (Zechariah 4:6).

 I love you, My child. I have forgiven you, now you must forgive others as I have forgiven you (Ephesians 4:32).

 Prayer:

 Father in heaven, I am so thankful that You created me to love me and care for me. Thank You for Your forgiveness. Thank You for sending Your Son to die in my place, so that relationship with You is possible. Lord, I feel indebted to You forever. But You would have done it anyway, even if I was the only sinner on earth. Thank You for Your Spirit who empowers me to resist temptation and sin. Thank You for providing a way out. Lord, will you now meet with me and share more of Your heart with me. In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

 Two-way Conversation with God:

  • God, please share your heart with me about sending Your Son to die for me. (Record the thoughts God gives you.)

 

  • Jesus, what were Your thoughts as You willing went to the cross for me? (Write the impressions He places on your heart.)

 

  • Holy Spirit, remind me of an idea or verse from Scripture that will better impact me on the magnitude of God’s forgiveness. (Jot down any word or verse that comes to mind.)

 

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:

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, thank You for meeting with me and taking me into the deep places of Your heart. Thank You for sharing Your truth and promises with me. I value Your wisdom and direction as You teach me Your ways. Thank You for Your love and provision. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Supporting Scripture:

Psalm 32:5, Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.” And you forgave the guilt of my sin.

Zechariah 4:6, So he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.

Matthew 6:12-15, “And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

 Matthew 7:13-14, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter thought it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

Luke 6:37-38, “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

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!

Ephesians 1:7-8, In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that He lavished on us.

Ephesians 1:19-21, and His incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength He exerted when He raised Christ from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms, far 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 4:32, Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Ephesians 6:10-18, Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 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, an 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 arrows 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 Lord’s people.

Colossians 2:13-15, When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; He has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.

Colossians 3:13-14, Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

Hebrews 8:12, “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”

 1 John 1:9, If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Copyright © Sindy Nagel. All Rights Reserved

 

 

Roadblock #6 – Disobedience – The Enemy of Righteousness

It’s pretty simple—disobedience to God is sin. Clearly, sin separates us from God. He despises sin and doesn’t want to be anywhere near it. Isaiah 59:1-2 says, “Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor His ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.” This verse confirms that sin and an unrepentant heart can keep God from hearing you. When He hides His face from you, most likely, He will not speak to you either. Does sin, or disobedience, stand in your way of hearing God’s voice?

Confession of sin is not only required by God—it is necessary for your own peace of mind. Confessing your sin, turning from it, and attempting to lead a clean life of obedience open the door of communication between you and God. In our humanness, we won’t ever be completely free of sin on earth, but we should try to live our lives in a different way than the rest of the world.

Of course, if you’ve never confessed your sin and accepted Jesus as your Savior and Lord, then you already live apart from God, and the Holy Spirit does not occupy your heart. In that case, you should not expect to hear God’s voice within at all.

If that’s you, please click on the Ground Zero link below and view the video in which I share the Gospel of Good News. Learn more about how to invite Jesus into your heart and begin a new relationship with Him. When you do, God’s Holy Spirit, and the ability to hear His voice, are God’s amazing gifts to you.

1 John 1:8-10 says, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar and His word has no place in our lives.” Sounds like it’s not if we sin, but when we sin, confession is required. Then, God is faithful to forgive us and cleanse us. Our full acceptance of His pardon releases us from all guilt and shame for that offense. God remembers our sins no more, so we can forget them also, and strive to do better next time we are tempted.

Ground Zero Video – Click Here to Watch (Hosted at Gumroad.com – Click to “Buy or Rent” the video, then enter 0 as price to watch it for FREE.)

Even after accepting Christ as my Savior and being a Christian for many years, it’s still nearly impossible to live a sin-free life. That’s the goal, but sadly, in my humanness, it’s not achievable on this side of the pearly gates. Jesus is the only person who ever accomplished that feat. One role of the Holy Spirit is to empower me to overcome temptation and resist sin. However, if I am not tuned in constantly, listening to God’s voice within, or if I am not willing to obey Him, I will fall short of God’s glory. Therefore, it’s still possible, on any given day, that disobedience, unconfessed sin, rebellion, or repetitive sin could erect a roadblock that impedes my clear communication with God.

No matter how hard we try to defeat sin, at times, it becomes our master. Thankfully, we serve a High Priest who hears our confessions and daily intercedes on our behalf, restoring our relationships with God the Father. We worship an awesome God who sent His Son to be a sin offering in place of us, and then, He also sent us the gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit to empower us to live our lives according to the Spirit rather than the sinful nature.

Satan has only as much power as we give him. How powerless have you become? Whatever your weakness, it’s time to take back control! All of it! We’ve been given Jesus’ authority over all sin. We have the same power that raised Jesus from the dead, and He lives inside us. Instead of relinquishing our power to the adversary, we must draw on the strength of the Holy Spirit within us to resist temptation and our tendency to believe the lies Satan introduces in our thoughts. We have the ability stand firm in our faith and resist all temptation because the Lord does not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can handle. “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. 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 stand up under it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13) Our brothers and sisters in Christ, who live in all parts of the world, suffer similar trials.

Be vigilant about guarding your heart and your mind. Do not allow the deceiver to carry out his battle plans on your watch. When I stood on the sidelines of life and did not participate in the big game, the devil did not need to concentrate his focus on me. The moment I invited Jesus into my heart and sought a more intimate relationship with Him, I enlisted in the battle of good vs. evil. Choosing God’s side, I put a large target on my back for the dragon, Satan, to take his aim. Satan sat up, took notice, and stepped-up his plan of action to derail me.

Most often, the common battlefield is our mind. Satan will continue to sway us toward disobedience. But Jesus triumphantly conquered this battle for us already. We can claim our victory over sin in the name and blood of Jesus Christ.

Are you ready to stand firm in your faith and embark on a barrier-free journey of intimacy with Jesus? If your desire is to do so, but you feel unprepared, I suggest you beef up your plan of counterattack against temptation and sin by practicing these steps daily:

  1. Confess your sin.
  2. Turn from your disobedient ways.
  3. Immerse yourself in the Word of God. Meditate on it day and night.
  4. Dress yourself in the full armor of God.
  5. Be ready to draw the sword of the Spirit by being prepared with Scripture to battle temptation and lies.
  6. Know your weak spots and vulnerabilities.
  7. Take control of all your thoughts and make them obedient to Christ.
  8. Remove any other roadblocks between you and God.
  9. Listen to the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit all day long.
  10. Obey the voice of God in your thoughts.

Has the devil ever captivated your thoughts with the following deceptions? If not the lies listed below, then identify any other lies regarding sin that you have believed and disprove them with the truth from Scripture.

#1: Your sins are too big for God to forgive.

#2: You need to keep asking for forgiveness for the same sin.

#3: God will never speak to you because of your sin or past.

 Click on the link below to purchase your copy of 7 Roadblocks to Hearing God Speak. Identify the obstacles and the lies that hinder your communication with the Holy Spirit, and then, make an effort to remove and disprove them. This book will get you started in the right direction.

Click here to purchase book today.

Book Two in Hearing God’s Voice Series

Roadblock #3 – Pride – The Enemy of Humility

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

Pride is mentioned in Proverbs 6:16-19 as one of the seven things detestable to God. Pride manifests itself in these forms: arrogance, conceit, self-importance, egotism, vanity, haughty eyes, condescension, scorn, disrespect, snootiness, loftiness, and contemptuousness. The Lord despises proud actions and attitudes. Here are a few of the many verses that describe how God feels about pride:

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

God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. (James 4:6)

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

Though the Lord is on high, He looks upon the lowly, but the proud He knows from afar. (Psalm 138:6)

If you are not hearing God’s voice, you may want to perform a pride inventory in your spirit. Do you practice humility and selflessness, or are you responsible for behaviors that are detestable to God? The verses above assure us that God will punish the proud of heart, and He doesn’t go near individuals who are full of pride. If you hold pride in your heart, confess it and ask God’s forgiveness. Get rid of all pride, arrogance, conceit, self-importance, haughtiness, disrespect, loftiness, and condescension before you seek the Lord to listen to His voice. Treat others as more important than yourself. Assume the position of the lowly, the meek, and the servant. Don’t take it to the extreme so that you resemble a doormat, but approaching the Lord with a contrite heart, in humility, opens the door to receiving God’s words of grace, encouragement, and wisdom.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click here to purchase this book now.

Book Two in Hearing God’s Voice Series

The One Who Lives in You

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world. You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood. (1 John 4:1-6) (Emphasis mine)

My precious child, you belong to me and I live in you. My Spirit that dwells in your heart is greater than the spirit that lives in the world. In Jesus’ name, I have given you power and authority over the spirits of the world. My Spirit of truth in you prevails over the spirits of falsehood that exist around you even now. I instruct you to test every thought that runs through your mind. Is it of the world’s viewpoint, or is it from the God of truth. In me, there is no falsehood. I will not mislead you. I will not condemn you. I will not accuse you. I will not confuse you. I will not lie to you. I am true to my Word in Scripture. I am the God of the universe and I reign over all the world. Test every thought that presents itself and every spirit that influences you. You have the power to overcome evil, darkness, and temptation. Draw on the power of my Spirit within. Submit yourself to me. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to me and I will come near to you.