Tag Archives: Bible

What Is Your Goliath?

22 Mar

Watch Out For The Giants

1 Sam 17:4-7   4 A champion named Goliath , who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. He was over nine feet tall. 5 He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing five thousand shekels; 6 on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelin was slung on his back. 7 His spear shaft was like a weaver’s rod, and its iron point weighed six hundred shekels. His shield bearer went ahead of him.  NIV

I’ve been facing Goliath for several months – circling him with my sling, trying to work up the courage to let God be God, and to trust Him to guide that small stone from my sling to the Goliath that I face. While circling my thoughts run rampant. “What if I miss the target?” “What if I make things worse than they already are?” “Maybe I should just drop this sling and stones and just run.” “There must be another way out.”  Goliath was a giant – he was huge, and scary. His voice thundered and he roared at the soldiers, and they were all afraid. No one had ever escaped this giant. To fight him meant sure death in their eyes.

This story in 1 Samuel describes how we feel when facing the giants we face in our lives today. I have been facing several for months now and have allowed them to beat me down so far that everything seemed hopeless. I admit that reluctantly because now that I have come out of it I am disappointed that I allowed it for so long. It happens slowly – very slowly. That’s why the enemy can beat us down so far. We get our eyes off Jesus and begin to give in to negative thoughts.

How It Happens

Here’s how it happened with me. It wasn’t obvious or intentional. My focus changed gradually to my circumstances and my lack – things I wanted and couldn’t have or make happen. That’s when the reasoning takes over and the doubting. Dread steps in along with fear. Worry takes over working itself up to outright fear.

The trip down wasn’t obvious. Everything seemed to be going along the same as usual – until it wasn’t. I was already praying and doing all I knew to do, thinking I had a handle on everything. I found myself walking around my home asking God what was wrong with me. Depression and lethargy were taking over every moment of my day. This was my Goliath.

So, What Do I Do About It?

I had already been praying and searching for answers – doing all I could to force myself to keep putting one foot in front of the other. I had been fighting a bad chest cold and cough which was making matters worse. After about six weeks I began to feel better which immediately made my outlook better to begin with.

God seemed to be sitting back and letting me flounder. I’m not blaming Him, I just don’t   understand why it takes so long sometimes for me to get it! But – in the process – I am discovering things about myself that need to be fixed. And, so I did.

A couple of days ago I was watching a very old movie that caught my eye, simply called “Goliath.” I knew the story. It caught my eye because many years ago God had nudged me to read and study about David and Goliath. I was going through some traumatic things and His Word in the Bible is always encouraging.

I had heard the story from childhood and all throughout my adult life. I have read it many times. (Hint: Never assume you already know it all or that God’s Word, even though you might have memorized it, isn’t new every morning.) God’s Word is progressive. It IS new every time you read it.

Back to the movie. At first it didn’t seem very exciting – the scene was in a desert with only sand and rocks and soldiers. Didn’t matter – I was multi-tasking – playing solitaire on my tablet. I looked up every now and then to catch a glimpse of the characters. I especially wanted to see who was cast to play David – the young shepherd boy God had anointed to be the next King. I also wanted to take a look at Goliath to see just how big and mean he looked. He looked about like I suspected. But . . .

David – the young shepherd boy who would one day become King as God had decreed and Samuel had anointed – that was a different story. He wasn’t as I imagined him at all. He truly looked like a young teenage boy.

God Doesn’t Look At Things The Way We Do

Saul’s soldiers were dressed in sharp-looking uniforms with great helmets, shields and swords. The opposing group looked very scary and mean. Goliath was taunting God’s men saying awful things about what he was going to do to them, and his mission was accomplished – they were scared. They had heard of his reputation and knew that no one had every survived his attacks. None of the soldiers would volunteer to fight him.

David just happened to be there to deliver food to his brothers. It’s hard to imagine a war where the men are so close that they can yell at one another, but that’s how it was. David heard Goliath taunting the soldiers of God and couldn’t believe that they were allowing him to do so. After all, he was God’s enemy and David couldn’t understand why Goliath was being allowed to  get away with his taunting and his  threats.

Continued . . .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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God Speaks, And He Wants To Talk To Us

26 Oct

And He Wants To Talk To Us

I began to hear God speak to me as a young woman. At first I didn’t recognize it was God speaking.. I would kneel to pray.  At times I  would hear what I can only describe as thoughts floating up from my innermost being – not like I was thinking about something, but like someone was talking to me. I didn’t know at the time that the someone who was actually talking to me was God.  I never had heard of that before and I didn’t understand it at the time.

Of course, I had a mixture of feelings and my mind was racing about what it all meant. I began to read my Bible more and buy Christian books to learn more about God.

The fear was present because of my lack of knowledge about what was happening to me spiritually.  I did not yet know God like He wanted me to. I didn’t know at the time that He wanted me to pray about what I was “hearing”.

I always  kept  my  pen  and  paper  close  so  I could   write   down   what   God   spoke.     It  never   seemed unnatural  to  me  –   at  least  not  until   I began  to  share  it with  others.    Only   then  did  I realize  that  people  thought it strange  that  I  would   say  to them,  “God  told  me”. . .  I was  confused about why everyone wasn’t as excited about it as I was.  It didn’t take long for me to  learn   to be a little less boastful about it but I couldn’t deny it. I wanted to know more about Him.  I began to read and study all the books I could get my hands on.

For    nearly   twenty   years I  have  been  talking   with God  and  writing   down   what  He  says.  I was a secretary back when secretaries took shorthand, so that part seemed natural to me.

God spoke to me at times on  behalf  of others, always to edify and encourage them.  I   was concerned that if I gave them what I had written  down they would think I was “off my rocker.”   But as I sought  God  about  it,  He  reminded   me  that  He  spoke  and inspired all of the words that were recorded in the Bible!

As you read through this,   God may use these words to speak to you.   If He speaks to your heart,   you will know it. I describe it as a quickening in your spirit. The words you read may sort of “jump off the page at you” or seem very significant to you.  When that happens to me, I write it down. If I’m reading the Bible and I read something that causes me to connect to a situation in my life, I realize God is speaking to me. I underline that part of the Scripture and put the date next to it, verifying that it was a promise from God on that day.

If you have a problem with this sort of thing, you aren’t the first.     You need to talk to God about it.   Let Him answer   your questions.  I can’t explain Him or His ways. I love Him and I can’t deny His voice.

John 16:13-15 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not be presenting his own ideas; he will be telling you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future.  14 He will bring me glory by revealing to you whatever he receives from me.  15 All that the Father has is mine; this is what I mean when I say that the Spirit will reveal to you whatever he receives from me.  NLT

Note: The Holy Spirit guides us into all truth in many different ways. He knows us personally. Therefore, He knows just how to get His message to us. He knows what will get our attention. He uses our conscience, the Bible, nature and anything else that will get our attention and convince us of His truth.

The Bible was inspired and written for our edification. It holds a wealth of truth. We can read about the men and women of God and see that we aren’t too different from them, basically. We can learn from their mistakes. We can learn about God’s character. We can even see that the men and women He used to do His work weren’t perfect; they each had their own problems.

When we “hear Him speak” in no way will we hear anything contrary to the Word of God/The Bible. It will either confirm or deny what we believe we have heard. (Some translations are easier to read and understand than others.)

My First E-Book Now Available On Amazon

8 Oct

Book CoverGrief, pain, hardship and tragedy happen to all of us equally. God gives us all the same opportunity to come to Him through Jesus, His Son. There is a misconception that Christians should be free from pain and suffering. They should have it better than everybody else, and that if they are having problems there must be some deep dark sin in their lives.

God is often judged by the circumstances that affect the lives of His followers. If something bad happens to them, it might appear that God failed or that He is punishing them or teaching them a lesson. The misconception is that Christians are loved by God more and therefore He treats them better and gives them more.

God is frequently viewed as a mere option in our world today. Even some Christians view God’s participation in their lives to be necessary only if they are unable to handle something on their own – especially a crisis.

This series of books will visit many of the hard questions asked about God and what it means to be a Christian. Step by Step guidance will help the reader understand how to become a Christian, how to live daily walking and talking with God, and how to understand His will for your life.

Walking with God is a deliberate action taken by those who want to be born again into life everlasting with Him – it requires only believing in Jesus Christ, asking for His forgiveness of our sins, and learning how to live and walk daily with Him in your heart and at your side.

God is very real. He isn’t a figment of our imagination. He isn’t spooky or strange. He is loving and kind. He is good and loves each and every one of us more than we can even understand.

God doesn’t just love Christians. He loves every single person in the world. He doesn’t favor Christians. Christians aren’t better than everyone else. Knowing and following Jesus Christ doesn’t mean a life with no sorrows or pain.
The difference is in our hearts. Walking daily with God and talking to Him at any time you want to is better than having your best earthly friend by your side all the time,and even better than any other person you believe to have everything you want and/or need.

God is the peace you need, and the protection you need, He has the provision you need, and the guidance you need. He can and will direct every step you take, if you let Him. It’s not always easy. That’s where faith and trust come in.

God is the one thing in this life that has never changed and will never change. But, it doesn’t mean He is old fashioned or out of date. There is nothing on this planet that wasn’t already arranged by Him long, long before time, as we know it, began.

The first book in this series is part of my testimony. It starts about the time I graduated from high school. I was raised in a Christian home, went to church because my mother made me, and all I knew of God was that I was supposed to love Him and be good.

As it is said, “Life Happens”. I went to church from the time I was a little girl and accepted Jesus at a Baptist Camp at the age of nine years old, I didn’t really come to know Him until life started invading my space. Those were the times I began to “consider” God – wondering if He was really there and wondering what He wanted from me.

I am now 68 years old. I can tell you it has taken a long life of mistakes, pain, hardship, suffering and grief – just like everyone else I know – Christian or not. The only thing I would change if I had a “do over” would be that I would have worked harder at getting serious about my relationship with God and I would not have worked so hard at doing things my way. I would have spent the necessary time getting to know my maker and letting Him guide me rather than having Him constantly have to bail me out of my troubles and set me back on my feet.That’s life. After this one there’s one in eternity. Where will you spend yours?

Do You Like The Path You’re On?

16 Jul

“You would like your path more if you knew what God is saving you from and/or what He is preparing you for.” I definitely connected with this statement from Pastor’s sermon this past Sunday  It brought to my mind many things that I have experienced in life but didn’t understand at the time. However; walking with God is a walk of faith – there are many things we won’t understand.

My mind tells my heart that if I understood “why” – then I could cope a little better. But, my heart knows better. My heart knows that I serve a God who loves me so much and wants nothing but the best for me. He has proven Himself to me many times – over and over again.

Life can be hard. It has taken me a very long time to realize that the choices I make definitely take me off God’s path at times.  Making some of life’s major decisions without seeking God first cost me years of uncomfortable consequences. Had I sought God and then obeyed His direction, I could have avoided many of the hardships I have faced in my life.

I look back at the hopes and dreams I had, and how I imagined how wonderful my life would be. I regret that I did not have a better understanding of the weight each of my decisions would have on my life – the present and the future. If I could have a “do-over” I wouldn’t do it. But, knowing now what it has taken me a life-time to learn, I would definitely be much more careful and deliberate about how I made my way down life’s paths.

I can see now that some of the things that caused me pain and heartache were my own fault. At the time they were happening, it didn’t seem so. I hate to admit it, but a great deal of my choices in life were decisions I made myself – not wanting advice from anyone or without seeking God first.

I did “pray” on the run – I muttered a quick prayer and told God what I wanted – after I had already jumped into whatever it was I was about to do. I thought my plan for my life was  whatever I wanted it to be. I never realized how self-absorbed I was. I didn’t mean to be. I didn’t realize God had a plan for my life and had I just allowed Him to, He would have directed me into the right path.

That all being said, even when we are on God’s path there can be difficulties. God’s path is not a straight road to a problem free environment. He cares more about our relationship with Him and our spiritual growth than our comfort. Though that may not be music to our ears, God’s ways and His plan for our lives bring great rewards in ways that can’t be imagined or described.

The incredible miracle of it all is that He is with us all along. He watches over us, and is always patient with us. He uses some of the consequences of our obstinate choices to teach us that He loves us and He can still turn our situation into something good.

I am thankful, beyond words, to now have a personal relationship with the God of the universe – the God of Abraham – the way HE intended. Though my path is not always easy mentally, and/or physically – I finally have the peace that I am on His path and that if I stay on it, He will keep me at peace and He will walk with me through every valley – AND – I will overcome any obstacle as long as I put my faith and trust in Him and not try to do it by myself.

God has a plan for each one of us. Don’t waste your time trying to do anything without Him. His Word promises that he will direct our paths, but first we have to talk to Him to find out what that path is. Ps. 199:105 – “Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” NIV

Keep in mind that a lamp provides just enough light on a path to see only what is right in front of us. We don’t have to know what lies ahead. We need to be content to know that when God leads us we can trust Him no matter where that path goes. As long as we let Him lead we can’t go wrong, and even when we don’t understand what is happening we can trust that as long as we are following Him the outcome with be to our benefit.

The key to it all is that His WORD (the Bible) is the lamp – without it we can’t see where we’re going!

Do You Like The Path You’re On?

16 Jul

“You would like your path more if you knew what God is saving you from and/or what He is preparing you for.” I definitely connected with this statement from Pastor’s sermon this past Sunday  It brought to my mind many things that I have experienced in life but didn’t understand at the time. However; walking with God is a walk of faith – there are many things we won’t understand.

My mind tells my heart that if I understood “why” – then I could cope a little better. But, my heart knows better. My heart knows that I serve a God who loves me so much and wants nothing but the best for me. He has proven Himself to me many times – over and over again.

Life can be hard. It has taken me a very long time to realize that the choices I make definitely take me off God’s path at times.  Making some of life’s major decisions without seeking God first cost me years of uncomfortable consequences. Had I sought God and then obeyed His direction, I could have avoided many of the hardships I have faced in my life.

I look back at the hopes and dreams I had, and how I imagined how wonderful my life would be. I regret that I did not have a better understanding of the weight each of my decisions would have on my life – the present and the future. If I could have a “do-over” I wouldn’t do it. But, knowing now what it has taken me a life-time to learn, I would definitely be much more careful and deliberate about how I made my way down life’s paths.

I can see now that some of the things that caused me pain and heartache were my own fault. At the time they were happening, it didn’t seem so. I hate to admit it, but a great deal of my choices in life were decisions I made myself – not wanting advice from anyone or without seeking God first.

I did “pray” on the run – I muttered a quick prayer and told God what I wanted – after I had already jumped into whatever it was I was about to do. I thought my plan for my life was  whatever I wanted it to be. I never realized how self-absorbed I was. I didn’t mean to be. I didn’t realize God had a plan for my life and had I just allowed Him to, He would have directed me into the right path.

That all being said, even when we are on God’s path there can be difficulties. God’s path is not a straight road to a problem free environment. He cares more about our relationship with Him and our spiritual growth than our comfort. Though that may not be music to our ears, God’s ways and His plan for our lives bring great rewards in ways that can’t be imagined or described.

The incredible miracle of it all is that He is with us all along. He watches over us, and is always patient with us. He uses some of the consequences of our obstinate choices to teach us that He loves us and He can still turn our situation into something good.

I am thankful, beyond words, to now have a personal relationship with the God of the universe – the God of Abraham – the way HE intended. Though my path is not always easy mentally, and/or physically – I finally have the peace that I am on His path and that if I stay on it, He will keep me at peace and He will walk with me through every valley – AND – I will overcome any obstacle as long as I put my faith and trust in Him and not try to do it by myself.

God has a plan for each one of us. Don’t waste your time trying to do anything without Him. His Word promises that he will direct our paths, but first we have to talk to Him to find out what that path is. Ps. 199:105 – “Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” NIV

Keep in mind that a lamp provides just enough light on a path to see only what is right in front of us. We don’t have to know what lies ahead. We need to be content to know that when God leads us we can trust Him no matter where that path goes. As long as we let Him lead we can’t go wrong, and even when we don’t understand what is happening we can trust that as long as we are following Him the outcome with be to our benefit.

The key to it all is that His WORD (the Bible) is the lamp – without it we can’t see where we’re going!

A Done Deal

24 Jan

Following is my latest entry to a weekly writing challenge at FaithWriters.com:

Pat Robertson said, “The Bible is not only a book about an ancient people but also a book as current as today’s newspaper headlines.” I would add that the same goes for God. He is not ancient. He is just as relevant today as He was when the Bible was written.

Having said that, let me introduce you to the God of the universe whose being is endless – whose love is endless – whose understanding is endless – and whose forgiveness is endless. He is my creator – my redeemer – my constant companion and my friend. You can have all of this – His love and His friendship, too. God made it simple. All you have to do is ask!

There is no form to fill out, no special requirements, no ceremony required. You don’t have to change anything to make yourself acceptable. Your invitation for Him to come into your heart, and your request for Him to forgive your sins, is all that is required. He loves you just as you are and wants you as His own. He won’t turn you away.

We were all born into a world full of sin and somehow inclined to discriminate about it. We have the idea that there are some sins that aren’t as bad as others. That is just not true. To God, sin is sin.

From the moment – the very moment – you invite Jesus into your heart and ask Him to forgive your sins, it is a done deal! You have a brand new, clean heart and are instantly a part of the family of God – His child. The simplicity of it may be hard to accept. He is, after all, the God of the universe and everything in it.

Jesus paid an enormous price so we wouldn’t have to. He died on the cross to make it happen. I can’t explain it. But, I experience His love, His guidance and His friendship every day.

When you invite Him into your life, you may not feel any different, but you will be. Your heart will be cleansed of all sin and the Holy Spirit of God enters into your clean heart. He then becomes your teacher, your helper and your counselor. He speaks to you by making an impression in your spirit (your heart) of what is true and what is false.

God is a Spirit. We relate to Him with our spirits (hearts), not our souls (emotions), or our bodies (flesh). Being a child of God is all about faith. Living by faith means we don’t make decisions by what we see or by circumstances that may pressure us. We go to God in prayer, and apply our faith. We believe that He hears us and will guide us into all truth by His Holy Spirit as He promised.

The next step is to become acquainted with God. You can get to know Him intimately by reading the Bible. The deep things of God can only be understood by those who have accepted Him.

God inspired men long ago to record the events that were taking place before and after Jesus was born, so we would have examples to follow and could learn about His ways. In Bible times people were ordinary, like us. They made mistakes, big ones. But God loved them enough to use many of them to do great things. We too, can learn how to know God’s will and how to avoid making bad choices as we study His Word and the Holy Spirit reveals truth to us.

You can also talk with God any time – He is always listening. He will communicate with you and He will make certain you recognize His voice in your spirit. As you make decisions, the Holy Spirit will guide you through a situation with peace in your heart or the absence of it, depending on the course of action He wants you to take.

Knowing and experiencing God is like nothing you have ever known. Your relationship with Him will be unique. He will make Himself known to you so that you will experience Him personally and learn just how much He loves you.

Becoming a child of God doesn’t mean that you will have no more adversity. Indeed, you will. But, He will be with you every step of the way. He will never leave you or forsake you. He is yours and you are His through all eternity.

Another Sinner – Used By God!

12 Jun

Lydia was a woman of substance. She grew up in paganism and became disillusioned with it. She wanted more. Lydia had something very special – an open heart. God had a plan for her life and saw to it that she was at the right place at the right time to receive Him into her life.

Scripture tells us that “All things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purposes.” We are all called, some just don’t answer.

Lydia loved her family. It has been determined that she was a widow. We pick up her story when she was away from home on a business trip. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatire, famous for its dyeing trade.

It is interesting to note that Lydia had not yet accepted Christ. She was not a child of God. Or, was she? We have the advantage of seeing Lydia’s story from start to finish, through God’s Holy Scripture. We read it in God’s Word, after the fact. God is omnipotent, He sees it before it happens! As a matter of fact, He orchestrates all of the events.

God is always in control. Sometimes, it doesn’t appear that way to us. Circumstances become overwhelming and we just can’t seem to get a handle on things. We do all we can. We take the steps we know to take. This is the point where Scripture tells us to stand still and see the salvation of the Lord. We are told to rest in Him as we go about our daily routines.

It is too far out of reach for us to understand how God can orchestrate –arrange our lives – everyone – so that all things work together for everyone’s good. Just think about it. That is exactly what He does. Knowing this should help us to rest in Him, as we are told through the Scriptures. We don’t actually take that as a profound direction. But we should. This story of Lydia and Paul will help us understand a little about how God works all things together for good.

Paul was a mighty man of God by the time he met Lydia. He had been forbidden to preach in her hometown. Interestingly, God arranged for Lydia to be on a sales trip in the same city where Paul was ministering. Had she not been away from home she would never have been where God had arranged for her to meet Paul and be introduced to Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior.

On that day, Lydia was at the gate on the Sabbath for her own purposes –to gather with her people to pray. Paul and Silas also journeyed to the gate on that Sabbath. Paul, Silas and Lydia were brought together by the providence of God. This is an example of how God’s plan is working together to bring about good. Paul was shut out of Bithynia and silenced in his journey through Mysia and was now in the same place as was Lydia!

In this case, all circumstances were changed in their lives. God brought them together, and Lydia was introduced to Jesus Christ and became the first European convert. God had prepared Lydia’s heart and opened it to hear and receive Paul’s words.

Why is this story important enough to be in the Bible? Lydia is only mentioned briefly in the Scripture. She was enough of an example for us that she was mentioned by name that we might follow her example.

Meditation upon God’s word is important. If we read through it quickly without understanding, we can miss valuable insights that God has for us. As God gives us revelation to these insights our faith is increased, our trust in God becomes stronger, and we learn more of how to walk in peace and not to fear our future. God is always in control.

God brought His mighty Apostle, Paul, together with this widow proselyte by rearranging both their circumstances. As soon as Lydia heard Paul’s message and believed in Jesus, her heart was at rest. Her destiny had been changed for eternity!

Lydia immediately, with her family, took a stand for Jesus. Her heart was full of excitement and gratitude. She wanted to give back. It did not take weeks or months, it was immediate. The joy of the Lord was now in her heart. Her life had been changed forever. It now had meaning and purpose. Some people never apply the truth they hear. They are hearers only, not doers. Some think what they hear is for others and not for themselves.

Lydia wanted to show her gratitude and invited God’s servants to her home to abide there. God knew Lydia would respond and step forward to provide what his servants needed. Once again, we see God providing for His own.

It is said that actions speak louder than words. Although there aren’t many verses of Scripture in the Bible about Lydia we can learn many things from her example. In fact, Lydia sets an example for all who accept Jesus as Savior and Lord of their lives.

Amazing is the fact that one individual made such an impact that the Holy Spirit inspired the writer of Acts to tell her story. Of major significance here are the actions of Lydia upon her conversion. We get a glimpse of how we are to behave in the world around us to show our love for God in our actions. We don’t have to be someone special. Like Lydia, God can use as in a mighty way even if we are a salesman.

There are many people today who only learn about Jesus through our actions. We are not always free to discuss our beliefs with those we love or those we see on a regular basis. When we do try to “preach” at someone and they are not receptive, we are then scrutinized with our every move, and especially every mistake or failure. This indicates clearly that our actions have made more of an impression than our words.

Additionally, we need to realize that it is the Holy Spirit that convicts – not an individual. It is not our words, or our prayers – really, it’s not even our actions that change a person’s heart. It’s the Holy Spirit of God who tells us in his Word that He knew us while we were being formed in our mother’s womb. Still, our actions as we listen and obey God, following His lead, show the world there is something different about born again believers. Even we, as believers, recognize other believers by their actions, as well as their words.

Continued Tomorrow. . .

If God Promises Me That I Am An Overcomer – Why Do I Still Have Problems?

11 Jun

Spending time daily in prayer and with God’s Word is the answer to developing our relationship with Him and allowing Him access to our hearts so that we can make necessary changes in the way we think and feel about the circumstances that surround us.

God’s Word tells us that in this life we will have trouble, but Jesus came that we might overcome the trouble that faces us in this world. Being a believer is like having on an invisible armor that shields us from every kind of evil that we can imagine. God’s grace is sufficient for everything we need. Our part, our responsibility, is to spend time with our Lord, loving Him, acknowledging Him in all we do. As we keep our mind stayed on Him throughout the day and turn to Him when we have a question or concern, He is there for us.

• 11 For he will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; 12 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. 13 You will tread upon the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

Verses 11 through 13 of Psalms 91 tell us that God commands His angels concerning us, that they are to guard us in all of our ways. It is so! Angels unaware are around us, to guard us, to keep us from harm, to help us when we need it. Verse 13 is God’s way of telling us that He will protect us from the dangers around us that would try to destroy us. Further, he is telling us that we are the ones who will be victorious!

Our God gives us every reason to trust Him. It won’t take long to realize that God is real. He is alive today, here, now! If we will be sensitive to the situations around us every day, we will see God in action on our behalf. We must make a choice to be aware of God’s work in and around us. That is one of the ways we acknowledge God in everything we do.

• 14 “Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue Him; I will protect Him, for he acknowledges my name. 15 He will call upon me, and I will answer Him; I will be with Him in trouble, I will deliver Him and honor Him. 16 With long life will I satisfy Him and show Him my salvation.” NIV

God tells us in verse 14 of Psalms 91, that it is because we love Him that He rescues us, and protects us, because we acknowledge His name. And, in verse 15 He says that if we call upon Him He will be with us in trouble and He will deliver us and honor us. Wow! How awesome is that! Further, He says He will satisfy us with a long life and show us His salvation. This means that God will show us, He will teach us His ways.

This one chapter in the Bible is so powerful! They are not just words – they are WORDS OF LIFE! These are God’s Words – His promises to us. Meditate on these promises – memorize these words and turn to them when any of life’s difficulties try to hinder you in any way.

Acknowledgement of His Word is a powerful way to pray. Repeat this to God in prayer. He encourages us to “prove Him” – meaning God Himself will demonstrate to us that we can trust Him, that His Word is real, it is true – it works! God will confirm to us in many ways that He is listening and that we can trust Him.

If God Promises Me That I Am An Overcomer – Why Do I Still Have Problems?

All throughout history we read of the trials and tribulations of God’s people. They struggled in so many ways. When they were obedient to God, they were victorious. When they were rebellious, they paid consequences.

Some believe that the Old Testament is not relevant to us. That could not be further from the truth! It is in the Old Testament that we learn so much about who God is. The Old Testament is just that – it is a testament, evidence of our beginning. We learn from the recordings of the scribes how the people of that time lived, how God led them, protected them, provided for them and corrected them.

The world has obviously changed – it has progressed in tremendous ways. However; God’s children today are basically the same. We share the same struggles, the same victories, and the same rebellion. The Old Testament was given to us as an example. It is full of truths that will impress upon our hearts what God’s ways are like – yes, they are the same. He tells us He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. – Circumstances may have changed, but basically, the root causes are the same.

How Can I Be Triumphant When Circumstances Are So Difficult?

There are some people who believe that once you accept Jesus and become born again, you are instantly changed into a new personality. Once we accept Jesus and invite Him to rule and reign in our lives our hearts are instantly changed and our names written down in the Lamb’s Book of Life. However; our personalities do not change instantly. At this time our lives do become new and we begin a new way of life. God has no expectations of our becoming immediately changed. He accepted us just as we are. God is aware of our past our present and our future. The blood of Jesus covers our sin — past, present, and future. We are the reason He gave His life upon the cross. It was our sin that sent Him to that cross to die.

It is extremely important that we know right up front that our enemy, satan, will come immediately to try to steal, kill, and destroy. He cannot. We are now in God’s care, under His wings of protection. His Word tells us that “there is therefore, now, no condemnation to those who love the Lord”. This means that we, now being born again, have all of God’s promises, His word, God Himself to protect us. God loves us with an unconditional love. The depths of His understanding are beyond measure. After all, remember, God gave Jesus, His only son, to die on our behalf. With such an act of love and unselfishness as that, how could we question whether or not God will do anything else for us, as long as it is in His will, for our good!

His Word also tells us that God came to give us abundant life. We cannot interpret this to mean, “Oh boy, now I can have whatever I want”. Another important fact we need to understand from the beginning of our new walk is that God’s ways are not like our ways. For this reason, we acknowledge God in all we do day by day.

God is definitely on the cutting edge. We sometimes think we’re way ahead of God, that He is old-fashioned. Nothing could be further from the truth. Walking with God is the most exciting thing you will ever experience in your life. Nothing can compare to it. Having God in our lives is bigger than any problem, any heartache, and any trouble of any kind that we can experience. His love is so dynamic, so powerful, so exciting, and that far exceeds anything else we can think or imagine.

Who’s In Control?

So many people believe that we have no control over how we feel or how we act. Therefore, we can be tossed back and forth, wavering, undecided, and confused. Our feelings may change from one day to the next, depending on our surrounding circumstances. We may give in to whatever circumstances are present at the time. We may be completely unsettled. We could be unpredictable and difficult to be around.

God wants us to be on an even keel. He wants us to trust Him in all things and to be at peace no matter what the situation. It is possible – – it can happen! We may still have questions and that is OK with God. We may have concerns and that is OK. Fear may try to grip us, that is not OK. This is where we call upon God and take Him our questions, our concerns, and even our fears.

Reading and meditating upon God’s Word will allow our hearts to be in a position to receive what God has to say to us. His Holy Spirit will speak to our hearts and bring comfort and possibly, direction. The direction He gives us may simply be to wait on Him. That does not mean that we do nothing. It means continuing our daily lives and allowing Him the time He requires to “make all things work together for good according to His purpose for our lives”.

God Is Not Like Grandma, He’s Not Old Fashioned or Behind the Times!

7 Jun

Many of us don’t think much about the spiritual side of things. We believe we have our lives under control and we are ready for what comes our way. Conversely, we are experiencing more and more stress and frustration. We have been taught by the world around us that we need to be strong. We dare not let anyone see us as weak.

Perhaps our spiritual condition doesn’t seem like much of an issue. Some of us may even think that our spiritual lives are separate from our daily lives. Definitely not! We may try to keep it separate thinking it isn’t part of daily living. Besides, it’s not cool to be spiritual. Exactly the opposite is true. Our spiritual condition (our heart of hearts) is where our true character resides.

• Prov 16:9 “ In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.” NIV

• Matt 15:18-20 “But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart , and these make a man ‘unclean.’ For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what make a man ‘unclean’; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him ‘unclean.” NIV

The ways of God obviously are not the ways of man. If man had his way there would certainly be no suffering. It is imperative that we realize how much we need God every day with every step. We could not take another breath, or another step if He did not allow it. Whether we believe it to be true or not doesn’t matter. Our denial of God’s truth doesn’t invalidate it.

God is always with us, not just for our bedtime prayers, but as we get dressed, eat breakfast, drive to work, and in all else that we do. We can talk with Him at any time about any and every issue. It’s kind of like being at home with a loved one. We are busy in one room and they are busy in another. We know that we can call out to them at any time and they will answer. Only God is not in the other room, He is right with us – wherever we are.

Our conversations with God are not one way. He will speak to our hearts. He will take away our fears and direct us through our every concern, if we will allow Him to.

• John 10:26-27 “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” NIV

God has His own time-table. It most often does not agree with ours. He is not intimidated by our deadlines. Don’t think that just because He does not work like the high-speed internet that He is old-fashioned and out of date. To the contrary, His ways far exceed that. He created the universe out of nothing. He knew us before we were formed in our Mothers’ wombs. He can handle today’s technology. God is actually the one who gave knowledge to the creators of our technology. What? You think they did it on their own?

Scripture tells us that there is nothing new in the world. Technology was part of God’s plan from the beginning. Don’t think for a moment that we have moved on without Him. No, Friends, He is the one who made it all possible. He is not just our Grandma’s God. God’s miracles and ancient stories of the Bible didn’t stop when the Bible was made into a book with a cover. God is the reason we have progressed to where we are today.

• Eccl 1:9 “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” NIV

His ways are not outdated. He is the author and finisher or our faith and the reason that we are who we are. We need to recognize His authority. When we read the Scriptures we will find that events do not just happen on their own. God is the force behind them. He places people where He wants them and uses them according to His plan.

God’s Word, the Holy Bible, still operates in our lives as it did in the lives of those ancient men and women of the Bible. They are not fictional like Winnie the Pooh or Alice in Wonderland. Rest assured you will not meet those characters in heaven one day. However; you will meet many of those ancient men and women of the Bible there. You will hear from their own lips of their awesome adventures.

God is just as real today as He was when all the events of the Bible took place. He walks with us, covers us like a shield. He goes before us, behind us, beside us. We cannot go anywhere that He is not there.

Let Your Faith Be Seen!

12 Jan

Matthew 9:2 says, “When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, ‘Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you'”.

Charles Stanley, in his Life Lessons Bible, notes that it would be hard to “see” faith if it never worked its way out in meaningful action. He said that if our faith does not affect the way we live or ever get noticed by others, then perhaps it is not genuine faith at all.

As I read that in my prayer time this morning, it excited me. Many things came to my mind about faith. For example, many times we feel led by God to do something that may appear strange to others. As they begin to give us “their opinion” we begin to reason and sometimes even allow the words of others to cause us to stumble.

For the record, the word “opinion” is the view of the other person and their view of the worth or of the value of someone or something. And, according to the Thesaurus, another word for opinion is “judgment”. Just sayin’.

This works both ways. Let’s make sure we are not the ones to cause someone to stumble. After all, our opinions are just that – they are our opinions. If we give our opinion we should make sure that the person we are speaking to understands that even though we are giving our opinion on a matter — it is them who is responsible for following God’s direction. We never want to be guilty of overriding God’s direction to someone. That’s a little scary to me.

On the other hand, if we are the one presenting our situation to another about what we believe God is saying to us, we need to leave the consequences to God (another of Charles Stanley’s Life Principles). We can’t know what God is doing in someone’s life. That’s why we are told not to judge others.

I can tell you, I have done some things at God’s leading that have thoroughly convinced others that I may not be of sound mind. But, I have learned to hear the voice of my Lord and Savior and it is Him I want to please. It is important that we share with others and not hide our light under a bushel. God uses us in ways we can’t know. Others are watching and they “see” our faith in action. Then, they “see” when God steps in and takes control.

Let your faith be seen. Don’t be afraid of what others think. Don’t hide your light under a bushel. Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine. I think it’s wonderful when we have others praying for us and they become a part of God’s miracle in our lives. This is how we share one another’s burdens. This is how our faith grows.

Keep in mind that even Moses looked like a failure in men’s eyes, even as he was following God’s direction to the letter. Those around him doubted him and what he said. But, then they “saw” his faith through the works of God.

Ask God today to help you show your faith to others. And, ask Him to help you to encourage others and to be careful of any words of doubt you may speak.

Obviously, all things we hear are not from God. But, let’s not be too quick to judge. That’s why we need prayer and God’s Word to speak to our hearts and show us the truth.

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