How one small family of four can accumulate so much I do not know, but accumulate we did! We sold our home we have been in since 1991. We raised our children in this house. It is full of wonderful memories.
We got the word we are going to ’close’ on a certain day. We relinquish our home the same day as well. All of this took place in less than a month. I decided I better get myself in gear and started packing a week ago. Overwhelmed doesn’t begin to describe how I felt when I began to look at all we had stuffed into this house.
As I packed the last of it today, the Lord spoke to me and said, “This is what happens to your mind as well, when you don’t spend quiet, listening time with Me. Experiences in the world drop one little thing after another until your mind is so cluttered with junk, I have no room in your mind anymore and you can’t think MY thoughts which are of deliverance and joy.”
It is true. We make time to think about what has happened in the past, what is happening today, how we should have handled it then, what we should have said about things today, and we completely leave Jesus out of the picture. It isn’t long until all those ‘experiences’ replace the word of God and His voice.
I have seen people lose their peace, direction, and hope in life by trying to figure and reason it all out. They look at others who have been through similar things, and how they handled it. They go and find ‘groups’ who talk and talk and talk about their bad experiences over and over and over and nothing changes except they have someone who understands what they have been through, but cannot tell them one thing about how to leave it behind and go forward into a glorious future, free from the shackles of things past.
Don’t get me wrong, these ‘groups’ have their place and I am not against them! But, when your dependence is on a program instead of God to deliver you, you have put your full confidence in the arm of the flesh and flesh will always disappoint you! Only God can give you eternal peace and deliverance in your mind.
Can you imagine how much ‘clean up’ time it takes when we have ignored God and instead given full attention to what we are allowing in our thought life by meditating on things instead of His word for years and years? We depend on our five senses to lead us instead of depending on God.
God and His ways will never make sense to your feelings, but He WILL make sense to your spirit if you are born again because you are connected to Him as an unborn child is to its mother in the womb. She is the life line of that baby. Her nutrients are the baby’s nutrients. Her health directly affects the life of the unborn child. You should be so centered on God and His word, any thing that is contrary or not in agreement with God’s way of being and thinking will become foreign to you and you will reject it. You have His mind because you are connected directly to Him in the spirit!
God tells us not to lean to our own understanding, but in all of our ways acknowledge Him and He will direct our paths(Proverbs 3). His mind becomes our mind, His peace is our peace, His joy is our joy, and we rest from struggling. We no longer struggle with the past because it has been replaced with Gods‘s peace and His vision of the future. We know good things are ahead because there is no fear of evil when we are in Him. There is no fear in love and God is love! (1 John 4:18) We have full confidence all things are working together for our good, according to Romans 8:28. We no longer concentrate on what was, but instead we set our minds on what is and what is ahead!
People or circumstances whether past, present, or possible future should not be the thermostat of our moods nor should they have the ability to alter our state of mind. Set your mind on the things above and keep them set (Colossians 3:2). When you do this, nothing will be able to disturb you or move you off your peace and tranquility that can only be found in God!
Recently someone said something to me that really stung! At first, I thought “What a mean thing to say!” But as I thought more about it, of course my mantra of, ‘this is the devil wanting you to be offended’ came to my mind, followed by ‘don’t let him win!!’ The odd thing was, God pushed that whole mantra away and asked me this, “Did it hurt? Why did it hurt?”
Hurt feelings many times originate from a state of PRIDE! Isn’t it funny what failed satan is the number one thing that traps us? Everything stems back to it. Offense, jealousy, anger, selfishness, and I could go on with a million more sins, but they all originate and stem back to “How dare you treat me this way” or “How dare you not give me my way” to “That is offensive to me”! When you hear a lot of these words “my, mine, I, me” be on the look out for PRIDE! They are telltale signs!
As I thought about what this person said and why it ‘wounded’ me to the core, God told me to look deeper. When something stings it is usually because a wound is superficial or near the surface. If you have a sore and something acidic touches it, it hurts! Something about this person’s comment stung me. Why did it do that? Because what they said had a degree of truth in it and it touched my, oh so sensitive, pride! If there had been no truth to it, it wouldn’t have bothered me. I would have disregarded it, laughed even, knowing it was bunk! But it wasn’t bunk.
Oh, this person had pulled my emotional bandage off and spoke an abrasive truth to me! Nevertheless, abrasive or gentle, it was truth! Without knowing it they had done me a favor…they caused me to face truth in my innermost being. They had not meant to be mean or insensitive, but that is how I took it. Another sign of pride. Love believes the best and I chose to believe the worst! That is not walking in love. The opposite of love is PRIDE! Oh, there is that ugly word, yet again!
As I began to deal with the fact I had let an old sin creep in without realizing it, I had to thank God for this person’s honesty toward me. I also had to choose my attitude about it. Since it had caused me to face my innermost being and what laid there, I had to be grateful. Without truth and repentance you don’t get the blessing of peace, joy, the overflow of the anointing where you pray and before your eyes miracles happen. There is a price for everything and for that kind of power and anointing the price is selflessness! It is putting ‘me’ aside and letting God increase in me. It is letting go of the immature and selfish ‘ID’ and dying to ME!
Did it hurt? Look deeper, dear friend! If it did, more likely than not, you have some soul searching to do yourself! Please God and be honest in your innermost being. It may hurt for a moment, but the benefits of repentance and choosing God’s way are endless. We all have to grow up at some point and the sooner we do the better life will be! I hope after reading this you never see “hurt” quite the same way again. Let it empower you, not disarm y0u.
“Be ye holy for I am holy” is a verse we don’t hear too much anymore. I hear a great deal about God‘s mercy and grace. I hear a lot about His love. I hear a lot about the great future He has planned for us, and all of these things are true! They are quite Biblical but, “Be ye holy for I am holy” is Biblical, too and applies for today as much as it ever has.
You cannot pick apart the Bible and choose what is for “today’s world”. It is ALL for today! God said anyone who added to or took away from the Bible was in danger of hell! Why? Because many times people file everything under “God is a good God and would not send a good person to hell” to “God is a God of grace and everything is lawful” to excuse or permit their own baseness and wills. Neither of these can be supported by the word. The second one is a partial scripture, but many fail to read the rest of it…”NOT ALL THINGS ARE BENEFICIAL”!
1 Peter 1:13-24
13 Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14 as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; 15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”[c]
17 And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear; 18 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. 20 He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you 21 who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.
22 Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit[d] in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, 23 having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever,[e] 24 because
Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.
There is a code of conduct by which we are to pattern our lives after. We are especially to be aware and cautious if we are ministers. We are a “royal priesthood” and in that “priesthood” the Bible tells us there is a higher caliber of behavior we are to not only exhibit, but exhibit due to the condition of our renewed hearts! God isn’t looking for actors! God isn’t looking for people who know the “vernacular” of super Christendom, if you will!
Serving God in Spirit and in truth is getting truthful in the arena of your mind, will, and emotions just as the truth has fully flourished in our redeemed spirits, if we are truly born again. There is an old saying, “We aren’t playing church here, folks!” but, sadly many are today. When the very elect take the Bible when confronted with wrong and twist it with false ”church history” and twisted theology, you have left honoring the truth and have made it YOUR OWN truth! It ceases to have power to save and change at that point because it is no longer the unadulterated word of God, but it is what YOU want it to say in order for it to fit what YOU want to do!
I have heard these very types of people say, “We are not under law! We are no longer under the Old Testament, but a better covenant.” This is true! But God never meant for us to throw the Old Testament and the examples of it out of our lives. I find it amusing those very people, when their lifestyle gets them into trouble, want to quote the Old Testament and what God did to Haman and what He will do to their enemies. They quote what David wrote in Psalm when he was faced with great trouble and people who were out to take his life and kingdom. They want to quote the story of Lot and how he was saved due to Abraham’s prayers, but don’t give it a second thought until trouble comes and these scriptures become “convenient” for them and what they want to see done to so-called “enemies”. Suddenly, the Old Testament becomes “viable”, again!
While we are over in the Old Testament let us remember a foolish king who took holy things from the temple and decided to drink wine from them and party with them! He decided to take what was holy and treated it as common, the way many do with what should be a Godly lifestyle and tremendous respect and gratitude for the gifts God has placed within us. The word tells us a hand came down and wrote on the wall MENE,[d] MENE, TEKEL,[e] UPHARSIN.[f]
When you have a chance, read all of Daniel 5, but for now know what these words mean and let us look at some very important verses that led to this! Daniel 5 tells us,
Belshazzar the king made a great feast for a thousand of his lords, and drank wine in the presence of the thousand. 2 While he tasted the wine, Belshazzar gave the command to bring the gold and silver vessels which his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken from the temple which had been in Jerusalem, that the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines might drink from them. 3 Then they brought the gold vessels that had been taken from the temple of the house of God which had been in Jerusalem; and the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines drank from them. 4 They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold and silver, bronze and iron, wood and stone.
5 In the same hour the fingers of a man’s hand appeared and wrote opposite the lampstand on the plaster of the wall of the king’s palace; and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote. 6 Then the king’s countenance changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his hips were loosened and his knees knocked against each other. 7 The king cried aloud to bring in the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers. The king spoke, saying to the wise men of Babylon, “Whoever reads this writing, and tells me its interpretation, shall be clothed with purple and have a chain of gold around his neck; and he shall be the third ruler in the kingdom.” 8 Now all the king’s wise men came, but they could not read the writing, or make known to the king its interpretation. 9 Then King Belshazzar was greatly troubled, his countenance was changed, and his lords were astonished.
Daniel at this point is called to interpret the writing and the meaning of it follows…
26 This is the interpretation of each word. MENE: God has numbered your kingdom, and finished it; 27 TEKEL: You have been weighed in the balances, and found wanting; 28 PERES: Your kingdom has been divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.”[g] 29 Then Belshazzar gave the command, and they clothed Daniel with purple and put a chain of gold around his neck, and made a proclamation concerning him that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom.
Do you not believe if you abuse the office in which God has placed you, you will not be open to consequences? Do you believe if you treat the supernatural things of God as common in this natural world you will not suffer natural consequences? Belshazzar had a choice. He could have lived humbly, looking to God but instead he was prideful and went too far with his lifestyle, all the while reasoning in his blinded mind that this was okay and he was king and could not be touched! He ruled, what could happen?
Many have made the call of God, the gifts of God, and the responsibilities that come with these very things “common” to themselves saying, “God is merciful and forgives. I am absolved of all guilt. He would rather bless me than punish me, hence grace” but the truth is God has done these things in your spirit, but your soul still lives in this natural world where satan seeks to kill, steal and destroy and he would love to ruin your life and your witness. You will go to heaven, but you will go faster if you don’t obey the supernatural laws of God while you are in a natural world. These laws were put in place to protect you, but you can ignore them just as you can a traffic light and die early due to physical lawlessness, “wrecking” your life!
To live holy is a command! Don’t think you are untouchable because God is full of grace and mercy. Paul wrote we were not to try that grace! Is what you are doing worth your relationship and reward with God? There is a separation coming in these last days. God will not have people whose souls hang in the balance influenced in an ungodly manner by the very ones who have tasted the sweet savor of salvation, but live sloppy lives!
There is an exposing coming of all secret things. It will be as the word tells us where the wicked will become more wicked and the righteous will flourish. Live as God has clothed you to be! Don’t take your robe of righteousness and cover it with the sights and smells of a common cloak by living as all others in a common world and expect the supernatural blessings of God to follow you.
Perry Stone spoke recently of a minister he knew. The man had a powerful ministry! He would pray and cancers would fall to the floor, roots of them still attached! People were set free, salvations taking place as he preached. Miracles, signs and wonders followed this minister’s ministry!
This minister had trouble sleeping and was advised by some people to drink some wine to help him sleep. He began to drink a little wine. When he did, the anointing left his ministry, he became an alcoholic and died in poverty and as a hermit. A little leaven spoils the whole loaf. Learn from other’s examples and don’t be an example of what CAN happen, but what SHOULD AND WILL happen when we live for God, holding His word as our standard in ALL of our conduct! We will be held accountable for what we did on this earth one day! Don’t let the temporary things of this world cost you an eternity of great reward!
Mark 11:22-24 ESV
And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
Matthew 21:22 ESV
And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.
That your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
It was one of those days yesterday! My daughter had her orientation for nursing school. It started out really well! We found out only half of those who applied got in. The professors told us those who sat in the auditorium were very special and were the ‘cream of the crop’. I liked that part.
We dispersed and the parents went to one meeting and the nursing students went to another. We found out she will be going 7 days a week, sometimes 14 hours a day. She is tough and she can handle it. This is just part of being in medicine so we were prepared for that part. When it started to try to turn sour was when I found out in one year college tuition has gone up a thousand dollars per semester! It didn’t help we almost didn’t make the cut off and would have been charged late fees, that her books were 500.00, they didn’t have her uniform that is required in her size and we had to run all over the city to find only pieces of it, or that I only got three hours of sleep last night! Her day ended in tears and so did mine!
As I watched my daughter, who is one of the kindest, most generous souls I know, cry I had to make a decision. Not everything was going as we planned. I had a choice. I could either continue to cry, wonder ‘why God why’, or I could trust God in spite of what I was seeing and set an example for my daughter to do the same!
God reminded me of all the faithful souls that were believing Him for mighty things that died without ever seeing them come to pass in their lifetimes. Did they stop believing because they went to Heaven before the things they prayed for came to pass? NO! They believed until their time here ended and God brought it about, even when they were gone. They could have given up, but the Bible tells us they believed and Jesus found them in faith until the end!
We have that same opportunity. What a testimony to our faith and to others when we believe in spite of what the circumstances tell us. When we are able to close ourselves off from the disappointments of the day and remember how God has always come through for us, even when we saw no end in sight or a light at the end of the tunnel.
God’s word is true no matter what it looks like is happening in my life. My life and the circumstances of it are temporary. God’s word is forever established! I have seen things change on a dime when I praised God through hard times, but I never have seen change when I was moaning and complaining. Thank God, praise and trust bring breakthroughs and nothing about that is ever going to change!
There is an old song we used to sing when I was a little girl. I can only remember a small part of it, but what I remember is powerful to me. I think the song was titled, “He Will Do It Again“. I remember this much…‘Just take a look at where you are now and where you’ve been…Hasn’t He always come through for you, He is the same now as then…you may not know how, you may not know when, but He’ll do it again.”
God bless you, dear reader! You have nothing to fear or dread today, or any day…the God of this universe, if you are a Christian, is your Daddy God! You don’t just know of or about Him…you are His own! How could it NOT work out for you?? You are loved by the most powerful being that exist and when He sees you coming, He runs to meet you! Think about that or awhile and let it sink in really good, as we say in Texas. Yeah…let it sink in really good!
Adapted from rbc.org/
One winter night composer Johann Sebastian Bach was scheduled to debut a new composition. He arrived at the church expecting it to be full. Instead, he learned that no one had come. Without missing a beat, Bach told his musicians that they would still perform as planned. They took their places, Bach raised his baton, and soon the empty church was filled with magnificent music.
New writers are often advised to visualize one person they are writing to as a way of staying focused. I do this when I write devotionals; I try to keep readers in mind because I want to say something they will want to read and that will help them on their spiritual journey.
I doubt that the “devotional writer” David, whose psalms we turn to for comfort and encouragement, had “readers” in mind. The only audience he had in mind was God.
Whether our “deeds,” mentioned in Matthew 6, are works of art or acts of service, we should keep in mind that they’re really between us and God. Whether or not anyone else sees does not matter. He is our audience.