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!
Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations…
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
But I said to you, “You will possess their land; I will give it to you as an inheritance, a land flowing with milk and honey.” I am the LORD your God, who has set you apart from the nations.
Know that the LORD has set apart the godly for himself; the LORD will hear when I call to him.
Do you ever feel lonely, isolated, alone? Do you ever wonder “where have all the people gone”? I think these are natural thoughts from time to time, but we need to think about the root of why we are thinking them, not trying to find the answer to the questions and the feelings they can bring.
When you are a Christian, finding the root of what you are thinking about and who the source of the thought is, is critical. Satan comes as an angel of light, and if we don’t put a hedge up around our minds and our thinking, he can easily come in appearing to be an innocent sheep, when he is a wolf in sheep’s clothing!
I had a pastor’s wife years ago who had struggled with her thought life. She was and is one of the wisest ladies I know. I have never seen anyone in my life hear from God as she does! How did she go from fighting tormenting thoughts to being a loving, praying powerhouse for God? She began to ask a simple question when thoughts began to flood her mind. That question was and still is, “Who’s talking?” When she began to take every single thought “captive” that didn’t bring her joy or honor and praise to God, she knew who the source of that thought was. Soon, she and the Holy Spirit were in control of her thinking and she hasn’t stopped propelling into the things of the spirit since.
Satan loves to come and tell you how useless you are, how nobody ever calls, how you are all by yourself, but have you ever stopped to wonder why you are really alone? Or could you be ‘set apart‘? I have found when I am having extended periods of ‘alone time’ it is because God wants me to be alone with Him. If I will go into prayer and praise during these times, I find there are mighty plans, purposes, and direction God is wanting to talk to me about. He is in the still small voice when we are “set apart” from the crowds, not in the noisy restaurants, shopping malls, or the movies where it is loud and we are concentrated on anything and everything but Him. When we realize we haven’t been left alone by friends and family, but we are being set apart from the crowds for prayer, our whole perspective changes on being by ourselves! We are never alone because God is with us, and that is when He is ready to have time with you!
Take advantage of these ‘set apart’ times, precious reader. This is where you get the ‘mind of Christ‘ and where the Holy Spirit will pray out vital things to your present and to you and your family’s future! You will actually become excited the phone DIDN’T ring, because you know now what that means. A blessing and the instruction you need to have it fully is coming your way!
God bless you, dear reader!! I will see you soon! Simply, Juliana
I think we all know by now what has happened to Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty! Up until now, Christians have made themselves clear about how we see things. We hate the sin but love the sinner. But people who are not Christians want you to think our message is hate the sinner and the sin. They accuse us of intolerance, bigotry, and being judgemental. How convenient, because Christians don’t want to be “offensive” so when the accusations start flying, they have had a tendency to shut down. I mean we don’t want to offend anyone…do we?
Jesus got angry! If you will notice, the only time Jesus was ever angry was when God or the church was being attacked! He never defended Himself, but He defended the Father and the church! Remember what He did to the money changers in the Temple? He didn’t go to them and say, “I really wish you wouldn’t gamble and buy and sell in God’s house. Please, could you go someplace else and do this? I would really appreciate it if you would! But, if me saying this offends you, please accept my apologies and stay.” UMMM…NOOO!! The whips came out and He beat them out of there! He then made a statement verbally, not just physically. The statement is found in Matthew 21…
12 And Jesus went into the temple ([e]whole temple enclosure) and drove out all who bought and sold in the [f]sacred place, and He turned over the [g]four-footed tables of the money changers and the chairs of those who sold doves.
13 He said to them, The Scripture says, My house shall be called a house of prayer; but you have made it a den of robbers.
Does Jesus sound “tolerant” here? Does Jesus seem offended by what He is seeing happen in the church? Does Jesus ignore it? Is He afraid to confront the sin of the people? Jesus is perfect and always has been! Why are we not following His example in this? Why are we all about love, kindness, gentleness when it comes to God and Christianity being attacked?? Yes, we are to be loving, kind, and gentle, but when the very message of the gospel is being attacked as HATE SPEECH then it is time, fellow Christian, to get offended!! Offended at the devil and his tactics! Don’t slip into the shadows and hope it will go away! The devil isn’t backing down, why are you?? If people can be offended at your message then why can’t you be offended with theirs when it is against God? My ultimate question is, how can you not be??
George Duffield, Jr. wrote this song in the 1600s. It is one that speaks of conflict, how to face it, and what will happen when we do. I hope we all take it to heart! Stand up for Jesus, and stand with people who are courageous and brave like Phil Robertson in refusing to compromise the gospel’s message in the face of earthly loss! How proud God must be today of Phil Robertson and others like him!
STAND UP FOR JESUS
Amplified Bible (AMP)
2 Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations.
3 Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience.
4 But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing.
Have you ever felt as though someone is enjoying YOUR blessing as you look on “empty-handed”? Oh, we don’t dare admit that even for a second we wonder if God has been unfair to us!! We don’t admit it, because even though it does look like someone else is basking in what we have fasted, prayed, and believed for, that which seems so elusive to us came so easily to them instead. Deep down we know God is fair! So what has happened here?
I have seen beautiful young ladies, full of the Holy Spirit who lead godly lives and are true to God through and through pray for a mate and wait for years for that mate to come. Then I see Christian men who seem to be attracted to girls that will never bring anything but misery. They marry them (careful guys, everything that glistens is NOT gold!), and sure enough, the godly girls sit on the sidelines at the reception, happy for their friend but wondering why their time never seems to arrive.
I have wondered what is going on in my life with my home. I have never been one who really dreams of a particular type of house. I would see others telling me of what they wanted, how they would arrange it, all the new architectural designs, the best kitchens, huge walk in closets that are the size of my family room and I am and will always be happy for them, but that was never my priority.
One day as I looked at my starter home I had been in for over 25 years, I began to dream. Oh, it had hit me, too! I wanted a closet my husband and I could fit into at the same time. I wanted a kitchen he didn’t have to shut the refrigerator door for me to put something in the dishwasher and vice versa! I began to pray, thanking God for the home I have, but letting Him know my desires, too.
We put the house on the market and in a month it “sold” and in a 2 week period, the “sale” fell through. That wasn’t too bad…I cried the night I found out and the morning after for about 10 minutes, but I have been dry-eyed since. What got me was the fact ladies I taught when they were in the fourth grade are living in MY dream home!! Don’t get me wrong! I am so happy for them and they deserve it, but my question to God was, why don’t I have mine, yet? God is always so patient with me. He gently spoke to me and said, “Juliana, that is not the only beautiful home I have to give. My reserves are full and there is plenty for you!”
We can so easily listen to satan when he whispers, “God likes them better! You aren’t ever going to have certain things, you might as well forget it…you have never been anyone’s “favorite”, even now!” Oh, and he doesn’t fail to bring up things that have happened to you in life to “prove his point”! But the fact of the matter is this…we are ALL God’s favorite! Nobody is more special or loved more than another. Just because your blessing didn’t come and someone else’s did doesn’t mean yours isn’t coming!! Satan is seeing if you will continue to stand, or throw it all out the window. God isn’t “seeing” what you will do. He knows! He wants you to know what you will choose!
Tests are not about what God needs to know about you. God already knows what you are going to do because He knows you better than you know yourself. Tests are to show YOU what YOU are made of, or what you need to develop in. In my case, I needed to develop perseverance and let patience have its perfect work. Was I going to get upset with God and tell Him how I have stood in faith, I am not getting any younger, and just why can others have things in their 20s I have waited 30 years for? Or, was I going to rejoice, not covet, and continue to believe my blessing was on its way and will be better than what I could ask for because I HAD sought God, loved Him, know Him personally, and because of that I know His character and I know He isn’t cruel, nor will he short change me.
Most of the time where problems come in is when we seek the gifts instead of the giver. If you don’t know God as your Father, you will liken him to an earthly authority figure that was in your life. Maybe your father wasn’t a kind man. Maybe your father abandoned you and your mom was so busy trying to provide for the family you were inadvertently pushed to the side. There could be a thousand scenarios and I cannot possibly list them all. But, whatever the case God is not a man that He should lie, as the Word tells us. He has spoken it and He WILL do it! God doesn’t have human frailties like people do. His character is unmarred and you can fully and blindly trust Him!
No matter how much we have heard this before, sometimes we need to rehearse it over and over in our minds until it isn’t just head knowledge, but true revelation…something we know that we know that we know, as my Paw-Paw used to always say. Gloria Copeland always says, “In consistency lays power”. It has to eventually come if you are believing according to God’s word. If you are believing according to His word then you are believing according to His will and if you are believing according to His will you will have what you have asked for IF YOU DOUBT NOT IN YOUR HEART! (1 John 5:14-15)
Dare to believe, dear reader!! Be assured your answer will come even though you don’t you see it now. This is true faith and that is the catalyst to answered prayer!
Blessings to you!! I will see you soon!
Amplified Bible (AMP)
22 Jesus answered him, I tell you, not up to seven times, but seventy times seven!
23 Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a human king who wished to settle accounts with his attendants.
24 When he began the accounting, one was brought to him who owed him 10,000 talents [probably about $10,000,000],
25 And because he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and his children and everything that he possessed, and payment to be made.
26 So the attendant fell on his knees, begging him, Have patience with me and I will pay you everything.
27 And his master’s heart was moved with compassion, and he released him and forgave him [cancelling] the debt.
28 But that same attendant, as he went out, found one of his fellow attendants who owed him a hundred denarii [about twenty dollars]; and he caught him by the throat and said, Pay what you owe!
29 So his fellow attendant fell down and begged him earnestly, Give me time, and I will pay you all!
30 But he was unwilling, and he went out and had him put in prison till he should pay the debt.
31 When his fellow attendants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed, and they went and told everything that had taken place to their master.
32 Then his master called him and said to him, You contemptible and wicked attendant! I forgave and cancelled all that [great] debt of yours because you begged me to.
33 And should you not have had pity and mercy on your fellow attendant, as I had pity and mercy on you?
34 And in wrath his master turned him over to the torturers (the jailers), till he should pay all that he owed.
35 So also My heavenly Father will deal with every one of you if you do not freely forgive your brother from your heart his offenses.
There are things the Lord has shown during my time of prayer that I, again, am going to use my blog to keep a personal journal to note. I am learning so much about myself, and that I am not alone in some things I thought. I have heard others who have had some the same misconceptions I have had.
One of the main things I hear from people who refuse to go to church, much less become part of the body of the church, is there is such hypocrisy in the church they want no part of it.
I find it funny there are hypocrites and gossips and backstabbing in the workplace, yet these same people never think twice about going to work! They show up everyday, give their job 110 per cent, and hold their hand out for the paycheck and start over the next week. Where is the hypocrisy now? How sad, and what a tremendous misconception. Just because someone goes to church and/or is in church leadership does not put that person in a glorified body that cannot make a mistake! People are still people until we die and go to heaven.
A true Christian and true Christian leaders are still in a natural body, just you and I are, and just as you and I are capable of messing up, they can also make mistakes, misjudge situations, and not always walk in full wisdom. They are going to sometimes say and do things that aren’t the wisest things to say and do, BUT that is the way with ALL people!
I use to be of the attitude, as naïve as it is, that if you were a “leader” you were above mistakes. I put unrealistic expectations on people and got hurt and disappointed many times because I have yet to find the perfect person, especially in myself! If I can give grace and mercy to myself for MY shortcomings, failures, and missteps then I must give the same mercy and grace when others aren’t perfect. Where the hypocrisy comes in is when I don’t give the SAME mercy and grace to others that I heaped richly upon myself.
There are things people have done that could have easily been an offense with me. I may have been misunderstood, but in their shoes, would I have misunderstood the same matter? Would I have felt and reacted the way they did? Nine times out of ten the answer has been yes, I would have. Should they have chosen that reaction? Nine out of ten times, no but I was no better! Things look much different from other perspectives. Don’t let offense in, not in the least bit!! It will deplete your prayer life of God‘s power and eventually change you to someone you would never want to be!! Satan doesn’t come to make you better! He always comes to destroy you, your future, and all good things in your life and the good things that were to come! That is why the Bible calls him the thief!
When sin is purposeful, known, and enjoyed that is one thing, but when someone errs in judgement of what is the best thing to do or not do, say or not say, that is a very different situation entirely! Be a person known for great grace and great mercy! That is what I pray to be, too!
Blessings and grace to you, dear reader! I will see you next time!