Are You Willing?

We’re all familiar with Abraham, right? Some time later, God tested Abraham’s faith. “Abraham!” God called. “Yes,” he replied. “Here I am.” “Take your son, your only son—yes, Isaac, whom you love so much—and go to the land of Moriah. Go and sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will show you.” Genesis 22:1-2

So without question, he went, and true to Gods character, He provided a better sacrifice and Isaacs life was spared.

Abraham could have said no. He could have argued with God, questioned the validity of what God was asking, but he didn’t.

Have you ever had God ask you to do something and when you obeyed, the door slammed shut in your face. Did you hear wrong? No. Its been my experience that before God opens big doors, He first tests you to see if you’re willing.

God’s probably not going to uproot your life and send you here, there and everywhere. He’s merely defining your level of willingness to be what He needs you to be. He may be leading you to take vacation in a place you’ve never been just so you can speak into one persons life. Are you willing?

Perhaps it’s stopping at a different gas station so that you can meet someone who needs an encouraging word, stop a suicide, save a life. Are you willing?

We must first learn to listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit and be used where we are before He moves you to your chosen mission field in timbucktoo. Be faithful where you are, in your local church, in your current job. Stop looking for something better or bigger and start listening to that still, small voice where you are.

He may first hit your pocketbook and tell you to give beyond your level of comfort, out of your need. He’ll check your obedience first in the area that’s hardest for you to yield in before He opens bigger doors for you. Obedience is the act or practice of obeying, the dutiful or submissive compliance.

Father, I’m so thankful for your voice. Help me to always be quick to obey, no matter how small or large. “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” Philippians 1:6 NLT

He Chose You

” ‘You are my servant.’ For I have chosen you and will not throw you away. Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” Isaiah 41:9b-10

Someone reading this needs to know that God is madly in love with you. He wants you focused on Him this morning and not the problem that looms large and angry before you. Speak this verse out loud and declare it to your spirit. Personalize it: God has chosen me! I won’t be afraid! He is with me! I won’t be discouraged! He is my God! He will give me strength and help me! He will hold me up with his victorious right hand!

Take that, devil! No weapon formed against me will prosper and every tongue that rises in judgement will be put down. It’s my heritage! You can’t take that from me!

My dear friend, as you go about your day, continue to speak this and remember, there is no problem bigger than your God. He is not just able, but He is willing to help you and deliver you. You can take that to the bank!

Be Encouraged,

Sandy G

Your Guardian

God’s your Guardian, right at your side to protect you—Shielding you from sunstroke, sheltering you from moonstroke. God guards you from every evil, he guards your very life. He guards you when you leave and when you return, he guards you now, he guards you always. Ps 121:5-8 MSG

According to dictionary.com, this word guardian, is a person who guards, protects, or preserves. That’s what God is to you. He’s all around you, above you, beneath you, in you, there is absolutely no way to get away from the fact that God is all about taking care of you. There is absolutely no reason for you to think you’re ever alone, because He’s there.

I don’t know how we as Christians ever thought that by being a child of God’s, we would live a magical life of everything going our way, never having problems or battles. Jesus made it very clear when He said that we would have tribulations, but if we live in Him, we share His victory in conquering this world. It’s our stance in our position that assures us victory over our enemies.

You simply can’t go by how you feel. The more you focus on feelings the less time you focus on God. The devil will always try to distract you from your purpose, but you must shake it off, God’s got this! Place it in His very capable hands and renew your mind in the Word. Begin to speak it outloud. Declare it to the mountain, “God has this! He’s my Guardian! My steps are ordered so back off devil! I will watch as my Guardian wipes the floor with you!”

Remember who you are and whose you are. You’re a child of a mighty Guardian God. If that doesn’t empower you, I don’t know what will.

This Is How I Fight My Battles,

Sandy G

Watch Your Mouth

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit. Proverbs 18:21

In other words, what you say is what you get!

We used to do a little exercise where we’d have someone extend their arm out at their side and have them repeat the words, ‘I am strong, I am strong, I am very, very strong’ 5 times and then try to push their arm down and you couldn’t do it. Then we’d have them say, ‘I am weak, I am weak, I am very very weak!’ the same amount of times and push on their arm and it would go down. No tricks! Even the skeptics were amazed at the results.

So often we think that it really doesn’t matter what we say. ‘I’m just kidding!’ doesn’t negate the fact that the words you speak are out there doing what you sent them to do. You see, we were made in the image and likeness of God and He’s the Master Creator.

Jesus was very clear in Matthew 12:36 when he stated, “And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak.” Again in Matthew 15:11, “It’s not what goes into your mouth that defiles you; you are defiled by the words that come out of your mouth.”

Toxic words come out of our mouth everyday and we get all bent out of shape because of the things that happen in our life and the life of our families. We play the blame game, wagging a finger at God, asking why? But really? Remember the time you damned your children because of something they did? Why should you be surprised at how they act now? Or the times you yelled, “I HATE THIS JOB!” then became upset when the business went under and you lost your job? REALLY? It’s because we pay no attention to our words.

We place no value on the things we speak. If you want to change things in your life you must make consistent changes to the words you speak! How? By training yourself to think right thoughts and speak right words. How? If I have a glass of tea and keep refilling the glass with tea, what will I get? Tea, right? But what if I start putting water in the glass, then what happens? It changes to water. It may take a little while for all the tea to be gone, but eventually, it will be a nice glass of water. So when I fill my mind with the Word of God and learn to speak like He does, love like He does, bless like He does, I become…….yeah, God like.

My prayer today is found in Psalm 19:14, “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.”

Breaking Bad Habits,

Sandy G

Take The Limits Off

Time to take the limits off!

You’ve allowed your limited thinking to determine your destiny for far too long! You plan trips based on your bank account. You’ve allowed your mind to disallow Gods purpose for your life because you qualified yourself based on your lack of education or experience.

Let me ask you this; is the God in you limited? You say no, and yet you have limited Him. How have you limited Him? Are you laying hands on the sick? Raising the dead? Giving everything you have to the poor? When you only do what you feel you’re capable of doing, you’re limiting the God who is alive in you.

The God of limitlessness possibilities and creative ideas lives in you and you don’t trust in His ability to do anything other then what you are comfortable with. Oh, you pay your 10%, but when He says, “Risk it all!” You conveniently block that voice out of your head. “I need it for bills,” when He said He’d supply ALL your needs according to HIS riches.

You see where I’m going here? We’ve limited God based on what we see instead of what we should know about the God who’s in us. We have become passive and safe instead of aggressive and risk-takers.

According to Matthew 25 18-29, Jesus will return for what is His and what we do with what He’s given us, we will give account of. He will ask you, “What did you do with the talents and abilities I gave you?” Hear me today! It’s time we stopped making excuses and stepped up and walked in the power of the Holy Spirit in us.

Trust me when I say this; “I knew you were a mean God and would come back some day and want your powerful Holy Spirit back so here it is. I never used it because! Here it is just the way you gave it to me.” That’s not the answer He’s after.

He will be pleased to hear; “Father, I invested what I had in me into others, trusting you to multiply it. I was faithful with the little, here is yours with interest.” He will say to you, “Thank you faithful one, enter into the joy of the Lord.”

I would rather live on the edge of danger then in a safe and small place. I’d rather look and sound a fool, then never open my mouth and speak His truth in love. I’d rather sit under an open sky then in a box of my own making. There is so much power in me that to harness it would deprive the world around me of light yet undiscovered. What about you?

Let’s Let Him Do More Through Us,

Sandy G

What Worship Does

Worship turns the face of God.

Do you know that each time you worship, especially when you’re going through something hard, it moves His heart? With all that David endured with Saul, he praised the Lord and got Gods favor over his life.

Leah was hated by Jacob and endured years of disdain from him and her sister, Rachel until she realized God had opened her womb and blessed her with sons (Genesis 29). By her 4th one, she turned her praise to God and named him Judah (praise). When she stopped looking for fulfillment from her husband and turned her eyes toward God, her very countenance changed. When she died, she was placed in the honored burial place with Abraham and Sarah.

Praise changes you. You can be a nothing, a nobody, going through the hardest trial you’ve ever faced, but like Leah, God sees you and He’s going to turn things around. You already have Gods attention! You don’t have to do anything to earn His favor, Jesus did that for you with His sacrifice. But when you worship God, it confuses your enemy. He doesn’t know what to do with a Christian who refuses to allow their ‘now’ to determine their future.

I know my God is a big God! I know He is able to far surpass anything I can think or imagine. I’m expecting His blessing on my life! If He did it for others, He will do it for me.

I will bless the Lord! I will worship His Holy Name! He’s bigger than the problems I face. He is so much bigger! Like David I will declare, “Sing to the Lord, all you godly ones! Praise his holy name. For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime! Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.” Psalm 30:4-5

Good Morning To Worship,

Sandy G

Choose Truth

I’ve chosen to obey your truth and walk in the splendor-light of all that you teach me. Psalm 119:30 TPT

We all have choices, don’t we? Some of us have walked a very hard path because we’ve chosen wrong, while others have chosen right and still endured trials and tribulation. You see, what we choose doesn’t always bring us peace, joy and happiness. Sometimes choosing to follow Jesus takes us down uncomfortable paths.

When I chose to obey God’s truth and walk in the light it brought me, the only assurance I had is that He would never leave me and that if I was willing, He would shine that light through me. Light doesn’t shine through vessels that are sealed up, only those that are open. Just as we learned in children church years ago, you can’t hide it under a bushel–you must let it shine.

I choose to not be consumed by my own problems today, but to be an open and shining extension of the Fathers light which I carry. I pray that it shine so brightly that all around may see their way to the most glorious relationship with the God who lavishes me with His love, peace and joy. The kind that isn’t effected by what goes on in the world or my personal life, but that pushes it’s way through, casting out the darkness.

If we would all chose to be that light, can you even imagine how much brighter things would be? You may not be able to change the world, but you can change your corner or the world. The part you are in can be brighter if you’ll allow your brokenness to be the very thing God uses to bring light.

Don’t hide in shame, afraid to share your story! Share your journey so that others may be encouraged by it. You’ll find that when you do, light will burst forth from you onto others.

Shining,

Sandy G

Holy Fire Never Burns Out

Then suddenly, in the middle of the night, they were awakened by the shout ‘Get up! The bridegroom is here! Come out and have an encounter with him!’ So all the girls got up and trimmed their lamps. But the foolish ones were running out of oil, so they said to the five wise ones, ‘Share your oil with us, because our lamps are going out!’

“ ‘We can’t,’ they replied. ‘We don’t have enough for all of us. You’ll have to go and buy some for yourselves!’

“While the five girls were out buying oil, the bridegroom appeared. Those who were ready and waiting were escorted inside with him and the wedding party to enjoy the feast. And then the door was locked. Matthew 25:6-10 Passion Translation

When I read this story of the 10 virgins who camped out waiting for the bridegroom, I see 5 who had planned for the occasion, taking extra oil for their lamps. I also see 5 who didn’t really take it seriously and never truly planned for the occasion. They were good with what they had, never seeing the need for more. The word that comes to mind is complacent.

The dictionary defines this word; Word: Complacent-“pleased, especially with oneself or one’s merits, advantages, situation, etc., often without awareness of some potential danger or defect; self-satisfied.”

Another story comes to mind found in Luke 24:49, 500 were given the promise of power but only 120 (Acts 2) were committed to partner with the power which was promised and wait “until” they received power from on high. The couldn’t see the value and didn’t want to wait for it.

Which group do you fit in with? Satisfied with what you have and where you are, or desperate enough to stay and pray until you get what you’re expecting? Easy or hard? Complacent or desperate? I’m taking inventory of my life, my attitude and my hunger level. This is not a game to me, it’s my life and the outcome depends on my ability to trust in the one who is in me.

So if I appear to be overly focused on the task at hand, please understand that I’m in it to win. The oil I have remains full because of the time I spend in the Word and prayer. I don’t fast 6 days and fill up on Sunday, I fill up each day and party and feast on Sunday. I know this is a challenging word. You don’t have to ‘like’ it, but I hope that when you read it, your self satisfaction turns into desperation for Holy Fire that never burns out.

Burning,

Sandy G

This Is No Surprise To God

The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the Lord upholds him with His hand. Psalm 37:23-24 NKJ

Regardless of your circumstance, God has made a way for you.

I LOVE that the Lord orders our steps and takes great delight in the plans He has for us. Everyday, I think about that, the great God of the universe orders my steps. There’s nothing that escapes Him, nothing is impossible to Him and absolutely nothing takes Him by surprise. Wherever I go, whatever I do, He sees and orders my steps.

The steps of Esther were ordered by God as well. I’m sure when she was herded up with the other young ladies and taken from family and friends, she probably wondered why. But look how God not only favored her and positioned her as queen, but saved a nation, a people, using a mere child bride to do it.

I get so excited when I look at that story of Gods deliverance. Listen to this verse from Esther 8:17 NLT “In every province and city, wherever the king’s decree arrived, the Jews rejoiced and had a great celebration and declared a public festival and holiday. And many of the people of the land became Jews themselves, for they feared what the Jews might do to them.” These were some of the first converts! Can’t beat um, join um!

Thats what God will do with our lives. He brought us down this path so that people from every nation and tribe will be won to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. We are to rejoice, celebrate the goodness of our God, even when we don’t understand the why’s or the when’s, He orders our steps.

Remember that when you walk down your path today. Even when you fall, you won’t stay down because God holds you up.

No Surprise To Him,

Sandy G

When Worship Brings Deliverance

Have you ever faced something that seemed WAY over your ability to deal with? Overwhelmed, broken and defeated, because sometimes things just look impossible! It seems like that, because it’s all we can see. It consumes our vision each time we open our eyes, and it takes up all our thoughts when we close our eyes. Awake or asleep, there’s just no escaping the problem.

King Jehoshaphat faced a similar situation in II Chronicles 20. Verses 6-12 we hear him crying out and reminding God of all He’s done for them and he ends with, “but our eyes are upon You.” Hear what the Lord answered in verse 15b, “Thus says the Lord to you: ‘Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.’ Then he gives them instruction on what to do in verse 17, “You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem!’ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the Lord is with you.”

But the COOLEST part of this story is found in verse 18, “And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem bowed before the Lord, worshiping the Lord.”

Do you see that? When you trust in the Lord with ALL your heart, you will remind God of His promises, wait for His instruction and then WORSHIP Him.

We have a tendency to run and do without being thankful. Jesus healed 10 lepers, only one came back to worship and thank him. The 9 were healed, but only one was made whole. Restoration comes when we worship.

I’m facing an impossible situation today. It’s trying to block my view of the God of the impossible. My options are clear, focus on what I see in the natural or focus on the God who dwells in me and inhabits my praise.

I’m not going to be satisfied with a part of my salvation, I want it all. Shift my attention as I worship You, my King. I’m thankful for your Word over my dilemma that moments before obstructed my view of You. May my worship usher in my victory over my enemies today.

No Other God,

Sandy G