Keep Hope Alive

 

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Quiet your heart in his presence and pray; keep hope alive as you long for God to come through for you. And don’t think for a moment that the wicked in their prosperity
are better off than you. Psalm 37:7 TPT

I’m sure I’m not the only person in the world that has gone through a prolonged battle. I’m pretty sure that most of us have faced situations where we’ve called out to God for a breakthrough, a miracle for something, right? Have you ever wondered if He plays favorites? If maybe while you were screwing up somewhere, He sent your answer and you missed it?

These are the times I read me some Psalms because I’m pretty sure that there is nothing I’ve faced or am facing that David hasn’t experienced himself. As a boy he was not his fathers favorite, in fact when the prophet Samuel called for all his sons to be gathered, he didn’t bother calling for David. No value there! It wasn’t until the prophet tried the rest of his boys that he finally admitted he had one more.

I thank God that at least my mom and dad didn’t forget me or think less of me. Perhaps they wondered what I’d end up being or doing, but thinking how it could have been stirs my hope up in the Lord.

I’m pretty sure that when he took the head off Goliath, he wasn’t thinking that it would be the cause of jealousy and he’d be running for his life, stuck with a bunch of disgruntled people as his followers.

His own children turned on him and tried to take over the kingdom. He didn’t know how to be a father, he just repeated what he’d learned from his own. It gives me hope that my children haven’t tried to kill me or run me out of my home. My point is, it could be worse!

He committed adultery. He murdered. He cried out to God and repented and even before Jesus came and shed his blood, God forgave him and blessed him. Regardless of how long it takes, I will put my hope in the Lord. As David said throughout the Psalms, He’s my strong tower, my fortress, my help in time of trouble. My enemies may be many, but my God is bigger and He will never leave me nor forsake me.

My hope is in You oh God! I will trust in You as my source, my supply, my help, my deliverer. In Your presence is fullness of joy. You’re the peace to my storm, my daily bread when I’m hungry, my living water when I thirst. My heart pants for You, desperate for the sweet sound of Your voice. I will be still in Your presence and quiet my soul as I wait for the answer, for my breakthrough. You will not disappoint. I will hope in You. Amen

And Suddenly He Acted

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From the beginning I revealed to you what would happen. These words came out of my mouth, and I made them known. Suddenly, I acted, and they happened. Isa 48:3.

Why should we be surprised when what God said actually happens? I think sometimes we get hung up on the timing of it all rather than the fact that it happens. Truth is, we can’t see further then the hand in front of our face. Anything past the ‘now’ is out of our sight line.

When we see a problem, we think it needs to be fixed now. But when God sees that same problem, He sees the purpose for it later on. We’re anxious for it to be done with instead of allowing the process to work things out of us, to learn and grow through it.

Remember that pressure on coal creates diamonds inside. Pressure on olives exposes the oil inside. Pressure on us also exposes what’s in us. It should thrust us into the arms of our Father who sees all, knows all and understands all. It should build our character, refine our peace and cause joy to overflow because we trust in the God who loves us.

Remember the saying, ‘A watched pot never boils’? Stop looking for it to happen and trust that God has it all planned out. Continue your journey with your eyes fixed on Father, He sees everything you don’t. He knows the pitfalls, the traps and schemes and if you’re following Him, you’ll avoid all of that.

Don’t think for a moment that God won’t do what He said He would. It’s only a matter of time before you see it. Distractions WILL come and try to get you to quit but DON’T DO IT! I’m here today to encourage you. Regardless of how bleak the horizon looks, the storm you see can be blown away in an instant. Stop staring in fear at what is in front of you! Look past it to your big God who is just beyond that.

Father, thank you that whatever I go through today you have purpose for it. I won’t allow my feelings to get hurt or to even entertain the idea that You just don’t care, because I know that is a big fat lie from the pit of hell. You said that if I know the truth it will set me free, so thank You for revealing Your truth to me. I give You thanks and Your praise will ever be on my lips. It’s in Jesus’ name and for Your glory, Amen.

The Mind & Mouth Connection

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“You have minds like a snake pit! How do you suppose what you say is worth anything when you are so foul-minded? It’s your heart, not the dictionary, that gives meaning to your words. A good person produces good deeds and words season after season. An evil person is a blight on the orchard. Let me tell you something: Every one of these careless words is going to come back to haunt you. There will be a time of Reckoning. Words are powerful; take them seriously. Words can be your salvation. Words can also be your damnation.” Matthew 12:34-37

Jesus sure did say it like he saw it, didn’t he? The whole ‘minds like a snake pit’ and ‘foul-minded’ is such a visual reference. It shows how easy it is to allow the evil one access to our thought life and cause us to speak those thoughts out loud, creating destructive pathways away from God and His purposes.

The King James version says; for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. If your heart is fearful, you will speak fear. If your heart is full of unbelief, your words will reflect that. The sad fact is that if words produced a garden, many of us would have weeds or poisonous plants in abundance.

If we know that Satans strategy is to steal our blessing, kill our dreams and destroy our hope and future by corrupting our thought life so that we spew opposite words than what God desires us to think and say, wouldn’t we guard our minds and hearts?

Regardless of what your enemy has planned for you, the only way you give him power is with your mouth. Know this, God’s plans are to prosper you and give you great success. He is for you not against you. Turn a deaf ear to the lies of your adversary and speak in agreement with God’s Word. It never fails!

Father, help me to guard my mind against thoughts that would try to oppose what You’ve said. May I place the truth of Your Word above all else that I may not sin against You. Put Your hand over my mouth before I utter things that would bring you shame. It’s in Jesus’ name, Amen.

It’s Not My Idea

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So Jesus responded, “I don’t teach my own ideas, but the truth revealed to me by the One who sent me.  If you want to test my teachings and discover where I received them, first be passionate to do God’s will, and then you will be able to discern if my teachings are from the heart of God or from my own opinions.” John 7:16-18 TPT

It’s Gods desire that we know Him in all of His fullness. He wants us to know His nature, His heart and the things He cares about. The more we search for Him, the more we discover who He is. He reveals Himself to those who want to know more about Him. Some things you can read from the Book, but some things you’ll never discover until His Spirit reveals them to you.

Jesus didn’t teach his own ideas, but the truth that His Father revealed to Him. He found His secret place and stayed there regardless of where He physically traveled. He recognized that the Spirit of God came upon Him when John baptized Him. He tapped into that and yielded Himself to the revelation He brought.

How do we think we can teach until we’ve sat with the Teacher? How can we receive food until we sit at the table? How can we partake of that food without proper utensils and how will it satisfy unless we’re hungry.

Matthew 10:7-8, Jesus said; And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’  Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.

When God teaches me things, I freely give them away. Some will reject them and some will grab hold of them. It’s not up to me to withhold, but to freely give. People will never know they’re hungry until you introduce them to good food. After that, they will either want more or go their merry way.

It wasn’t my idea to blog. Dear Lord there are times when it’s read by so few I wonder if it’s really worth it but then I hear the Lord say, “What does it matter to you? It’s only obedience I’m asking of you. Besides, you’re merely journaling what I’m teaching you and being the fire starter I’ve called you to be.”

What about you? Are you willing to go into all the world and share the news that Jesus shared? Are you willing to look the fool to bring hope to those who are lost? It’s not about your ideas on how you should do it. No, it’s about you listening to how the Holy Spirit wants you to deliver the message. Don’t get in such a script that you’re not relevant to reach out to those who’ve never heard. He knows what you should say to reach that one better then you do!

Father, I like your ideas! They are so much better than anything I could drum up on my own. Walt’s always telling me to turn my mind off, but I know You can speak to me in the most unusual ways and I’ll listen and obey. That’s just how You made me and I’m Your daughter. It’s in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Clearing Your Head Space

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You are responsible for what you allow into your head. You can receive or reject it, your choice. What you allow determines who you become. Some of us have been thinking on the wrong things WAY too long. It’s confused us into believing we are less than God created us to be; kings and priests.

II Corinthians 10:3-5 GW says; Of course we are human, but we don’t fight like humans. The weapons we use in our fight are not made by humans. Rather, they are powerful weapons from God. With them we destroy people’s defenses, that is, their arguments and all their intellectual arrogance that oppose the knowledge of God. We take every thought captive so that it is obedient to Christ.

Every thought! Sometimes you have to say, “Hold up there! That thought doesn’t line up with the Word of God so I’m not receiving it!” You have to search and find the scripture that is true and speak it out instead of the lie the enemy is feeding you.

“Oh you probably need a knee replacement.” is a thought you may have or a suggestion from a doctor. It’s ok, they’re only going by what they know. You can agree with that or you can choose Gods plan A and  stand on this Word, “He sent His Word and healed me and delivered me from all my diseases. By the stripes Jesus bore, I’m healed!”

“You have 3 months to live!” can be answered by, “With long life I’ll be satisfied and He will show me His salvation. I choose to abide by the unfailing, irrevocable Word of God! Will the Word be tested? YES! But if you stand the test and trust in Him, the bible says satan will leave. Not for good, but he knows those who refuse to waiver.

Father, Your Word says in 1 Samuel 22:31; As for God, His way is perfect; The Word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him.  Thank You Lord that today and always, Your Word will manifest healing in my body, mind, finances and future. You have big plans for me and I will be available whenever you need me. I love You so much Lord. It’s in Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

 

Don’t Just Walk By

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On every street corner, under every viaduct and in places around the city, the homeless stand, sit or gather with sign in hand asking for money, food, a job or something. At times it’s overwhelming to see so much need. It used to be the church was responsible to take care of the poor, but some churches can barely take care of their own parishioners.

I don’t like to be duped but at the same time, how can I turn a blind eye or a deaf ear to the what I see and hear around me? I struggle sometimes with the knowing. I work hard for my money so I’m careful where I invest it. I could just give through a local charity or church and trust that they do the right thing with it and I do, but what about me? What about those I come into contact with?

This morning as I thought about this I realized that it’s not up to me to judge the motives or whether they’re really homeless, hungry or destitute. It doesn’t matter because when I do it as unto Jesus, he takes care of all the rest. I’ve watched as widows made sandwiches at lunch time and give them to drunks and drug addicts and wondered why? Because they are someones son, someones daughter that’s lost their way. They still need to eat and they still need to be loved. Is that so hard to do?

Then I read this: For when you saw me hungry, you fed me. When you found me thirsty, you gave me something to drink. When I had no place to stay, you invited me in,  and when I was poorly clothed, you covered me. When I was sick, you tenderly cared for me, and when I was in prison you visited me.’

“Then the godly will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty and give you food and something to drink?  When did we see you with no place to stay and invite you in? When did we see you poorly clothed and cover you? When did we see you sick and tenderly care for you, or in prison and visit you?’

“And the King will answer them, ‘Don’t you know? When you cared for one of the least important of these my little ones, my true brothers and sisters, you demonstrated love for me.’ Matthew 25:35-40

My youngest daughter Shannon, told me a story of a young lady who was walking the neighborhood where she lived. It had just snowed a few inches and she was preparing to clear the driveway when this woman walked up to her and asked, “Can I shovel your drive for you?” She quickly said yes but that she only had $10 to give her. The young lady eagerly took the shovel and cleared the drive. As Shannon went in to get the $10 from her wallet, she discovered it was a $20 and brought it out to her. I seriously believe that when she decided to be generous, God was generous to her and changed the $10 to a $20.

I need to stop being skeptical and choose to give. I need to stop analyzing and just follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit. To do it all in the name of Jesus is no greater way. To be friendly to those in need, a listener, a lover, to remember they are Gods child whether they realize it yet or not. He loves them and so should we.

Father, thank you for the reminder. I will not disappoint you again. Send someone my way so that I can be Your hands extended, Your arms to hold, Your ears to listen and Your mouth to encourage. It’s all in Your name and for Your glory, Amen.

No Leftovers For Me!

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“God’s kingdom is like ten young virgins who took oil lamps and went out to greet the bridegroom. Five were silly and five were smart. The silly virgins took lamps, but no extra oil. The smart virgins took jars of oil to feed their lamps. The bridegroom didn’t show up when they expected him, and they all fell asleep.

“In the middle of the night someone yelled out, ‘He’s here! The bride-groom’s here! Go out and greet him!’

“The ten virgins got up and got their lamps ready. The silly virgins said to the smart ones, ‘Our lamps are going out; lend us some of your oil.’

“They answered, ‘There might not be enough to go around; go buy your own.’

“They did, but while they were out buying oil, the bridegroom arrived. When everyone who was there to greet him had gone into the wedding feast, the door was locked.

“Much later, the other virgins, the silly ones, showed up and knocked on the door, saying, ‘Master, we’re here. Let us in.’

“He answered, ‘Do I know you? I don’t think I know you.’

“So stay alert. You have no idea when he might arrive.”

As I was researching about the oil, I ran across this verse from Exodus 30:31 AMPC; “And say to the Israelites, This is a holy anointing oil [symbol of the Holy Spirit], sacred to Me alone throughout your generations.” So if you go back and read this parable that Jesus gave with this definition in mind, the wise virgins weren’t just full of the Holy Spirit, they had reserves.

This word reserve means put aside or withheld for a future need. Can you imagine having so much of the Spirit in you that there’s a constant flow of oil in, on and through your life? It’s available for your present needs and your future needs. Anytime you need wisdom, the Spirit of the Lord gives it to you. Anytime you need counsel, the Holy Spirit leads you into all truth.

The silly virgins are those who are so preoccupied with other things, they don’t find the time to or think it important to spend time in the presence of God being filled with His Spirit. Their thoughts are on immediate things, forgetting that what they fill themselves with will also be readily available for their future needs. They think if they need a word, they can run to someone who is full of Oil and get from them but my friend, that’s not how it works.

Oh you can get advise from me or anyone, but who better to get it from then the Holy Spirit? Not only will He show you things, He will confirm it to you. He gently teaches you so that it leaves a lasting impression and always brings it back to your remembrance when you need it most.

I don’t want someone else’s leftovers. I want fresh oil. I want to taste and see for myself, not take a bite off your plate.  What the Holy Spirit gives to me is for me, wouldn’t you rather have a meal prepared just for you? Exactly what will satisfy you, just what you like, custom made to order?

And when He returns, those filled with His Holy Spirit will also be recognized and joined with Him forever.

The [Holy] Spirit and the bride (the church, the true Christians) say, Come! And let him who is listening say, Come! And let everyone come who is thirsty [who is painfully conscious of his need of those things by which the soul is refreshed, supported, and strengthened]; and whoever [earnestly] desires to do it, let him come, take, appropriate, and drink the water of Life without cost. Revelations 22:17 AMPC

Amen