The Battle is The Lord’s

The LORD will fight for you while you [only need to] keep silent and remain calm.”. EXODUS‬ ‭14:14‬ ‭AMP‬‬

IMG_1454The children of Israel stood trapped … the Red Sea before them, the army of Egypt behind them. There was NOTHING they could do to save themselves! They needed a GOD sized miracle, and they got one. As soon as they stepped out in faith and their feet touched the water, the sea divided and “made a way when there was no way.”

As I read Exodus 14:14 this morning I was reminded of a recent situation where someone was literally spewing their anger toward God at me. Their friend had just lost a two month old baby and of course they were devastated and in shock at the seeming injustice of it all. As the young man continued to accuse God I felt the Lord tell me to be still. “I do not need you to defend me. Do not respond.”

You may not see the connection, but it felt as if I was being verbally attacked as a representative of God. It was not my battle to fight. Had I disobeyed the Lord, I could have done more harm than good.

When we feel helpless, we can be confident in the Lord. We can trust that He will fight FOR us. When we have done all that we can do, our battle becomes the Lord’s. As the Israelites had to step forward toward the sea, we are often called to fight in the war room of prayer.

PRAY:
Father, I thank you that “no weapon formed against me shall prosper.” As my Father, I can trust you to protect and provide for me. Nothing is impossible for You. Help me to recognize when I need to fight and when I need to simply be still and see the salvation of the Lord. When it feels like I am defeated remind me that I am not alone and that You will fight for me.

The Switch – Day Two

Facing Your Fears

“For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”” – Romans 8:15 (NKJV)

img_0811Fear produces bondage. It restrains you from moving forward. Even the bravest person in the world is afraid of something. To fear is human. We are born with an acute stress response known as hyperarousal. You may know it as the Fight-or-Flight response. This was first described by Walter Bradford Cannon as “a physiological reaction that occurs in response to a perceived harmful event, attack, or threat to survival.” The harm only has to be perceived, it doesn’t have to be real. The response is the same.

Jesus’ own disciples experienced fear, even though they had witnessed His miracles time and time again.

“Now when He got into a boat, His disciples followed Him. And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep. Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. So the men marveled, saying, “Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?” – Matthew 8:23-27 (NKJV)  

After Jesus’ death and resurrection these same men would go on to courageously spread the gospel, losing their own lives for it’s sake. What changed? How did they conquer their fear? Could it be that having seen Jesus risen from the dead, they finally grasped what He taught in Matthew 10:28: “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul.”

They moved from operating in fear to operating in faith. This doesn’t mean they pretended there was nothing to fear. They didn’t hide their heads in the sand and pretend all was well. They faced their fear with confidence knowing that God loved them and the reward of eternity with Him far outweighed the temporary pain and hardship of this life.

We too, must learn to face our fears – real or imagined. How much of our lives do we waste worrying over things we cannot control? Fear is a thief. It steals your peace, and if you allow it to, it will steal your purpose.

I am a worrier, but I have found that most of the things I worry about never come to pass. What a waste of time. I am learning to take my cares to the Lord in prayer and trust that His will WILL be done. Faith is the antidote to fear. If you are a worrier, I encourage you to find as many scriptures as you can about trusting God. Write them out, memorize them and use the sword of the Word as your weapon against fear when it attacks.

Prayer: Father, I thank You that You are more powerful than anything I fear. Because You love me, I know no matter what happens in my life, I can trust You. Help me to be a woman of faith, Lord. Help me to see things from the proper perspective. Nothing can compare to the joy that awaits those who serve you.

 

 

 

The Switch – Day One

FEAR = False Evidence Appearing Real

“When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” 1 Corinthians 13:11 (NKJV)

img_1090Fear of the dark is a common childhood fear. You may remember fear striking your heart when your parent reached for the light switch to turn it off. But where does that fear come from? It certainly isn’t based in reality. Some experts believe this fear is encoded in our genetic makeup because our ancestors were at greater risk of being attacked by predators during the night. Freud believed fear of the dark was really seperation anxiety in the absence of the mother. Whatever the reason, it is an intense and irrational fear which we often define as a ‘phobia’. While most children begin to outgrow their fear of the dark at around 9 years of age, at least 5% of adults report still being afraid of the dark.  

 You may be wondering what this has to do with spiritual growth. The Word of God tells us “FEAR NOT” some 365 times. Fear does not come from God, therefore it is something to be overcome.

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” – 2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)

This week we are going to study how to replace fear with faith. According to Pastor Ty Mustafa the switch evolves the moment you overcome your fear. You go from darkness to light. While most of us aren’t afraid of the dark anymore, we are afraid of something. What are the fears you struggle with? Are those fears rooted in experience or are they False Evidence Appearing Real?

Whatever our fears may be the truth is, our circumstances do not define our reality. God’s promises are our reality.

“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” – 2 Corinthians 5:7 (NKJV)

Prayer: Lord, I thank You that You are bigger than my fears. Your Word tells me I am more than a conqueror through Him that loved us.. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Help me Lord, to walk by faith, not by sight. Let Your peace rule and reign in my heart. 

Speak Lord, I’m Listening – Day Four

“(Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, nor was the word of the Lord yet revealed to him.) And the Lord called Samuel again the third time. So he arose and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you did call me.” Then Eli perceived that the Lord had called the boy. – 1 Samuel 3:7-8 (NKJV)

img_0951As we continue our study in Samuel, chapter 3 we see that the Lord persisted in pursuing Samuel, calling on him a third time. This is a beautiful example of God’s patience toward those who don’t know him. If you have been praying for someone who hasn’t given their life to the Lord, don’t give up, and don’t get discouraged. God loves them even more than you do and He will continue to reach out to them. 

I Corinthians 1:18 tells us, “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” It takes the Spirit of God to open the eyes of the blind to the truth of the gospel. Continue to plant seeds of faith and trust that God will send others to water and harvest those seeds.

This should also be an encouragement to believers who have concerns about their inability to hear God clearly. He will continue to pursue you as well. I feel like I go through seasons of time where I hear God more distinctly than others. At times I feel He is silent. I have learned that I cannot trust my feelings. Instead I must trust His Word. He doesn’t punish us by giving us the silent treatment. He is constanting wooing us and calling us to come away with Him.

“He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm,
And carry them in His bosom” Isaiah 40:11 NKJV

The third thing to note in this passage is that it wasn’t until the third time Samuel came to Eli that he realized the Lord was speaking to Samuel. This could be a message in and of itself, but here are a few tidbits to take from this:

  • Don’t rely on someone else to tell you when God is speaking to you.
  • Your pastor (or priest) is a messenger of God to you, but they cannot replace the voice of God in you.
  • God will speak to anyone who is willing to listen. You don’t have to be prophet or an ordained minister to hear from God.
  • God will often use the leaders in your life to ‘confirm’ the voice of God.

Prayer: Lord, I thank You that You pursue me with passion. I praise You because You are worthy of my praise, and it is such an honor to be Your child. Lord, thank You that you feed me like a shepherd, gather me with Your arm and carry me in Your bosom. I am safe and secure in Your loving embrace. 

Thank you Lord, for leaders who speak into my life. I ask You to bless them for their service to You and to the sheep You have given them. Give them wisdom and most importantly Your anointing. Help me Father to be a support and encouragement to them as well. 

Thank You Lord for Your love and desire for relationship. Forgive me for the times I have neglected You or allowed the cares and distractions of the World to steal away time I should have been spending with You. 

Lead, guide and direct my life, Father. Speak Lord – I’m listening.

 

Help is on the Way

img_0992“The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He also will hear their cry and save them.” Psalms 145:18-19 NKJV

When I read the book of Job I am always encouraged by Job’s faithfulness at a time when his own wife advised him to give up, curse God and die. Personally, I know I have a long way to go before reaching that level of faith.

When faced with adversity people often ask, “Why did God allow this to happen?” I cannot answer that question, but I know He is STILL a good God.

Hold tight, help is on the way! Cry out to God. It’s okay to be honest with Him about your fear and doubt. He WILL rescue you. It may not look like you expect or be in your timing, but He will not fail you.

God of the Impossible

imageWhen I think of the detail God poured into creation it astounds me that anyone could believe creation occurred without a divine design.

God’s miracles did not stop with Jesus’ resurrection. In fact, Jesus told His disciples that they would do even GREATER works than He did. I long to see those ‘greater works’ in my lifetime.

If we as believers could truly grasp that we have the same power within us that Jesus demonstrated in His earthly ministry, we could change the world. I believe the problem is we are lacking the child-like faith that moves mountains.

I love hearing stories of the miracles God is doing today. When God shows up and does the impossible the lost are confronted with the reality of who HE is, while believers are refreshed and encouraged in their faith.

He is STILL the God of the impossible. Let’s live a life without limits.

 

 

First Things First

imageWhat are the “all these things” mentioned in this verse? They are the basic necessities of life: food, drink and clothing.

God doesn’t promise He will give us everything we want, but He does promise to supply all our needs IF our focus is on Him instead of things.

He doesn’t want us to waste one moment of our time on worry. We are the most valued of His creation. He is a Father like no other.

Faith is the antidote to worry. Overcome worry with The Word. When you find yourself worrying about a situation dig into God’s Word for scripture’s regarding your situation. Meditate on The Word, memorize The Word, speak The Word out loud.

God already knows your need, and … “He is more than able to supply all your need according to His riches in Glory.” (Philippians 4:19 NKJV)