Swallowed Alive

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Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. Jonah 1:17

Have you ever been swallowed alive because you took a left when God told you to turn right? I don’t believe there’s a man or woman alive that can relate to this big fish story, however many of us have taken the path of least resistance and lived to regret it.

So many times our obedience is based on ‘what’s in it for me’ thinking instead of ‘I owe you my life’ actuality. We take time to think rather than being quick to obey.

It’s how Eve traded her life in the garden for a life of death and pain. It’s how Samson lost sight of his mission due to lust for a woman. It’s what happens to each of us when our desire for money or self gratification trumps our need for God.

But God in His great love and mercy sent a great fish to swallow Jonah because His desire to warn and save people from death was greater. It’s the reason He sent His own Son, Jesus, as a final price for redemption.

I heard someone bitterly say, “Why would God allow such a travesty to happen to so many people?” That’s not the nature of God. He will repeatedly send warnings in one way or another, but it’s up to us to heed the warnings.

That’s like trying to blame the government for the deaths of so many in a natural disaster. People are always warned to leave, but they don’t always heed the warning. If it happens in this natural realm, how much more does it happen in the Spirit realm?

So many have hardened their hearts toward God, but have unrealistic expectations for Him to rescue them from their own choices.

That’s why Jonah was swallowed by the fish. During that time of misery, being burned by the stomach acid in the fishes belly, Jonah realized that God needed Him to give a message so He said yes. The moment God heard the ‘yes’, the fish puked him up on the beach. He told the people to repent, they listened and repented and the whole city was saved.

What about your city? What about your neighborhood? How willing are you to look a fool so that others would be saved? Yes there will be those who ignore. There will be others who will laugh at you and label you ‘crazy’, but at least you tried to warn them. Better to try and fail than to never try at all.

God, don’t send a fish to redirect me! I open my ears to hear Your voice that not one soul will be lost on my watch.  I simply say yes to Your voice knowing that You will go ahead of me to prepare their hearts to receive the warning. It’s in Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

Until Tomorrow,

Sandy G

Where Do You Go For Answers?

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People are known in this same way. Out of the virtue stored in their hearts, good and upright people will produce good fruit. But out of the evil hidden in their hearts, evil ones will produce what is evil. For the overflow of what has been stored in your heart will be seen by your fruit and will be heard in your words. Luke 6:45 TPT

Where do you go when you need an answer? Siri? Facebook? Twitter? Your pastor? Your mom or dad? A friend? Google? I understand you can get most things answered on Google but are they the most accurate answers?

The first place to look for any answer is in the Word of God. It troubles my spirit when I see people living for facebook posts but it’s a rare thing when they crack open their Bible. They post a myriad of wise or funny posts and they’ll spend hours reading about what’s going on in everyone’s lives, but if you ask them what the Word says about this or that, they shrug their shoulders.

You produce what is in your heart so I would ask you this question; What have you hidden in your heart? If you are what you eat, than making healthy choices with what your mind consumes should be a priority when making choices in what you’re reading or watching.

David said it well in Psalm 119:11; Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You. 

If you don’t have time to read, listen. If you don’t have time to listen, change your lifestyle. When I made the excuse that I don’t have time, I chose to get up a 1/2 hour earlier to make God a priority. Best decision I’ve ever made in my life because now, I have treasure in me that keeps producing.

When I start my mornings right, the entire day is filled with nuggets that God sheds new light on and reveals to me how to apply it to my every day life. One Word from the Lord shifts the atmosphere, brings hope and strength and spills over onto others. Just look, it’s spilling over onto you!

Father, may the words of my mouth, my meditation-thoughts, and every movement of my heart be always pure and pleasing, acceptable before your eyes, my only Redeemer, my Protector-God. (Psalm 19:14 TPT)

Until Tomorrow,

Sandy G

Mondays Expression

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O God, you are my God, and I long for you. My whole being desires you; like a dry, worn-out, and waterless land, my soul is thirsty for you. Let me see you in the sanctuary; let me see how mighty and glorious you are. Your constant love is better than life itself, and so I will praise you. I will give you thanks as long as I live; I will raise my hands to you in prayer. My soul will feast and be satisfied, and I will sing glad songs of praise to you. Psalm 63:1-5

This morning I wrote a similar song as I journaled my thoughts to the King. I believe that this is why God had such close relationship with David, calling him ‘the apple of His eye’. It’s the love songs, the pouring out of ones heart to someone, that creates strong bonds of relationship.

Think of your closest friend who has seen you at your worst and best. The exchange of deepest dreams, the look of love, the understanding glance. If you’ve been friends for years, you just ‘know’ when something’s wrong, when their heart is heavy, when they just need a friend.

Well, that’s who God longs to be to us, but unless we trust to share our deepest wounds and our greatest joys with Him, we will never develop that ‘knowing’ trust I’m talking about. With each other, that kind of relationship can take a long time to develop, but with God, it takes a moment.

Start in the Psalms and read it out loud to the Lord just as David spoke the words long ago.  Make them your own hearts cry. Weep before Him. Close your eyes and picture Him wrapping you in His arms of love. Now rest in that place and know that His love for you is constant, never changing, always present, even when you don’t ‘feel’ He’s there.

“For He, God Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. I will not, I will not, I will not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let you down relax My hold on you! Assuredly not!” Hebrews 13:5b Amp.

There is nothing to get you through your day like an encounter with God. Relax! He’s got this!

Until Tomorrow,

Sandy G

Fridays Fulfillment

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He will not ignore forever all the needs of the poor, for those in need shall not always be crushed. Their hopes shall be fulfilled, for God sees it all! Psalm 9:18 TPT

I believe God highlighted this verse to me this morning, not because I alone needed to see it, but because you who are reading it needed the reminder as well. God may allow it to go on for a season, but He won’t ignore your cries for help. He said that those in need won’t always be crushed or oppressed by their financial concerns.

Good news! God sees it all! Your hope shall be fulfilled! That’s why I titled this blog, Fridays Fulfillment, because indeed it shall be. Not because it’s your earthly payday, but because you’ve placed your hope in the Lord.

But those who wait for Yahweh’s grace will experience divine strength. They will rise up on soaring wings and fly like eagles, run their race without growing weary, and walk through life without giving up. Isaiah 40:31 TPT

The eyes of the Lord are upon even the weakest worshipers who love him— those who wait in hope and expectation for the strong, steady love of God. Psalm 33:18 TPT

The Lord alone is our radiant hope and we trust in him with all our hearts. His wrap-around presence will strengthen us. Psalm 33:20 TPT

It doesn’t matter if your situation is your own making or a result of an evil plot, cry out to God, the God of more than enough! The God who fulfills His promises in ways that only He can get the glory for it. It will not be by your hand, but by your hope. Miracles are a God thing, not a man thing.

Whether it’s 30 minutes of waiting or 30 years of waiting, the same God who fulfilled His promise to send a Savior will fulfill His promise to you. Each time you’re tempted to be overcome with fear, shift your focus back on Jesus. Each time your enemy whispers, “It’s never going to happen for you!” shift your focus back onto Jesus.

When cynicism tries to trump optimism, shift your focus back onto Jesus. When lies try to win over truth, remind the devil what is written and shift your focus back to Jesus, the author and finisher of your faith.

Remind yourself that if he can place a coin in a fish’s mouth to pay taxes, I’m thinking there’s no limit to His ability to fulfill His promises to you. It’s never about the means, it’s about who you place your hope in. He is well able to deliver on His promises to you.

Thank You God that in the waiting, You are with me. You will never leave me or forsake me. You will fulfill every promise You’ve made to me and I will try to wait patiently for it. I’ll more than likely need Your help with the ‘patient’ part. With all that is in me and all that I am, I will glorify Your Name Jesus, Amen.

Have a wonderful weekend as you wait,

Sandy G

Messiah’s Mission

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The mighty Spirit of Lord Yahweh is wrapped around me because Yahweh has anointed me, as a messenger to preach good news to the poor. He sent me to heal the wounds of the brokenhearted, to tell captives, “You are free,” and to tell prisoners, “Be free from your darkness.” Isaiah 61:1 TPT

Hundreds of years before it happened, God had Isaiah prophesy Messiah’s mission so that the world would know what He was sent to do. Yet when He appeared and even repeated these words in the temple (Luke 4:18-19), no one recognized that the one who spoke them, was the Messiah.

Even today as they’re read, we hear them, but do we truly understand them? He came to preach good news to the poor. What would be good news to the poor? You won’t be poor no more!

2 Corinthians 8:9 TPT says it like this: For you have experienced the extravagant grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that although he was infinitely rich, he impoverished himself for our sake, so that by his poverty, we could become rich beyond measure.

He simply showed them that wealth isn’t measured monetarily, but it’s measured in the way God sees you when He looks at you. You are heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ. Everything He has, you’ve been given access to because you’re His sons and daughters. How liberating!

To heal the wounds of the broken hearted. Have you ever experienced a broken heart? I sure have! Betrayal, dismissal, devalued, unwanted, undervalued, unworthy, misunderstood and the list goes on. But He came so that I could have the kind of life that takes place when I understand the way He sees me, not the way others see me. When I hear that He sent His Word (John 1:1 Jesus in the flesh) and healed me, and delivered me from all my diseases, He didn’t just touch my body, He touched my mind. He healed my emotions, the very wounds of my broken heart.

And last but certainly not least, He set the captives free. He spoke those words, “You are free,” and to tell prisoners, “Be free from your darkness.” If you’ve ever spent any time in bondage to anything, you will appreciate the freedom that comes with the declaration from Jesus Himself that you are free!

Whatever darkness you’re facing right now, His Words are still hovering over your situation, waiting for you to release them to Him so that He can replace it with a freedom you’ve never experienced before. He didn’t just come to save you from sin, but from every kind of bondage that would try to hold or hinder you from being everything He died for you to be.

Every time fear grips you, freedom is a cry away. “Jesus, I believe! Deal with my unbelief! Thank You that Father said, “Who the Son sets free is free indeed!” I believe You are the Son of God and that You came to bring me freedom from my own perceptions. You came to heal and deliver me from the limitations I allow others to put on me and those I put on myself. I will not compare my walk with others, this is a journey I’m taking with You and You have great plans for my life. Have Your way with me. In Jesus’ mighty name, Amen.”

Until Tomorrow,

Sandy G

 

Numilicious

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Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him! Psalm 34:8

Other translations state; Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him. What does that look like? Dictionary.com says it this way; a place of shelter, protection, or safety; anything to which one has recourse for aid, resource or escape. 

I believe that’s what the Lord wants us to constantly remember, He is all of this for us and more. It doesn’t deny the fear, it invites Him to be bigger than the fear. It doesn’t deny the worry, it invites Him to step into the worry and overcome it. It exalts Him as bigger than anything that would come against us.

Complete and total trust in God says there is nothing bigger than He is. No sickness or disease, no poverty or lack, no earthly thing can exalt itself against the hand of God. Blessed is the man who trusts in God. That my friend is the way I want to live.

I’ve been invited to some pretty nice restaurants to partake of some pretty good food. The comments are always, “See! What did I tell you? It’s good, right?” This is what David is saying to us today, “Taste and see!” Because once you taste of His goodness, you will see there’s nothing that can compare with His numilicious provision.

Regardless of what’s on your plate right now, God’s got something better for you. 1 Corinthians 2:9 TPT says; Things never discovered or heard of before, things beyond our ability to imagine—these are the many things God has in store for all his lovers.

Be fully persuaded to trust in God. He’s always working behind the scenes to create unimaginable successes for you. His love for you transcends every other love. Even when you don’t see it, He’s working. Even when you don’t feel it, He’s working. He never stops working and it’s simply nummy!

Until Tomorrow,

Sandy G

 

Choices & Keys

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Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life

 Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies. Philippians 4:6-8 The Message Bible

Every now and than, I need to be reminded that my mind is being cluttered with things I shouldn’t be thinking about. That’s what these verses did for me this morning. It’s as if Paul himself said, “Sandy, don’t go there! It’s futile to play out scenarios like that! Instead think on Jesus and all He’s done for you.”

Because without those reminders, I’d be burrowing down a rabbit hole and forgetting how to get myself back out again. It’s a constant struggle, this battlefield of the mind thing. If you’re human and reading this, you’ll admit that there are times when your thoughts just get carried away and develop a world of their own.

But guess what? God always provides a way out, a 2nd choice, an obvious detour to change direction and move away from the hole we’re burrowing into. Our choice. Always. We must choose well.

“Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!  You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life. And if you love and obey the Lord, you will live long in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” Deuteronomy 20:19-20 NLT

It’s always our choice but like any good teacher, He gives us the answer up front, we just have to listen and be wise to choose well. Just know this, there is no one to blame but you for the choices you make. Your pass or fail grade is on you, He’s already given you the keys to success and all the ammunition you need to succeed.

Until Tomorrow,

Sandy G