Category : Devotion of the Week
Category : Devotion of the Week
Every once in a while, God reminds us of our fragility and mortality. As I look back over my life, I see the close calls. Maybe you have a list as well.
And over the past few weeks, it was the upper respiratory infection that wouldn’t go away.
Two rounds of antibiotics and steroids didn’t kick it. It just got worse as I pushed through being half-sick. But then it took over, and pinned me to the mat. Over the weekend I had to cancel all activities that I was involved in. That included a church commitment, a women’s conference and a board retreat for a Christian media organization that I’m a part of. I hate not following through with my commitments.
But I was forced to rest.
Psalm 23:2–3 says the LORD “makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.”
On Saturday I asked, “After three weeks of battling this nuisance, why can’t I turn the corner like I always do?”
I didn’t like the answer.
On Sunday, in my morning quiet time, I was in Deuteronomy 5 where Moses reiterates the Ten Commandments. Commandment #4 says,
“Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the LORD your God has commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God.”
I have a tendency to push and pack in more than I have time for. I had been convicted about honoring the Sabbath before and do take Sabbath rests more than I used to, but not every week. There is always a message to prepare for or the house to clean. Is this your story? What prevents you from keeping the Sabbath?
I strive to be obedient to God’s word. It is my goal and prayer, but for some reason, this particular command has always been difficult to keep. I feel the LORD is now showing what happens when I don’t activate proactive rest in my life. It’s the rest that refuels and recharges our bodies for the busy schedule ahead.
God’s not saying to stop all our activities. He is just asking us to cease from them for one day, and give that day to Him. Even our beautifully designed bodies are not made to go non-stop 24/7.
Through this experience I found that the LORD doesn’t care about all our commitments, even the ones that honor Him. He is more concerned with our obedience.
Today, I want you to learn from my bad example. Don’t challenge the LORD to force you to rest through sickness or an injury. Be proactive about rest, and watch how your health improves, as well as your energy level.
Still under the weather, Sunday night I woke up praying, “Lord, please heal me.” Then I heard in my spirit, “Your prayer request has been granted.”
Today, I am not 100% but I am almost there, and believe I made the turn Sunday night, when God answered my prayer. I think He knows I’ve finally learned the lesson about proactive rest and that I don’t take His healing for granted.
“If you pay attention to these laws and are careful to follow them, then the LORD your God will keep his covenant of love with you, as he swore to your ancestors. The LORD will keep you free from every disease” (Deuteronomy 7:12, 15). (LBW)
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Have you ever struggled with living up to biblical expectations? Here are some examples from the book of Philippians: “Do not be anxious about anything,” “Rejoice in the Lord always,” and “whatever is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
Those are difficult enough to practice in our lives, but there is another verse in Philippians that you may find hard to live up to as well. It is where I have always believed that I fall a short of the mark: “Let your gentleness be evident to all” (Philippians 4:5).
When people describe me, “gentle” is not the first word that comes to mind. “Enthusiastic” or “Energetic” maybe, but not “gentle.” Because I am a woman who wants to exhibit godliness, it bothers me that I am not demure and reserved like this word seems to imply.
But if you’re like me, and are more boisterous than subdued, I have some good news for you. There is more to the word “gentleness” than meets the eye.
I decided to do a little investigation into the Greek roots of “gentleness” as used here, and found out that this word, “epieikes” also means “moderation,” “readiness to forgive injuries,” “equity in the management of business,” and “sweetness of disposition.” According to the Adam Clarke Commentary, Paul was actually encouraging the Philippians (and us) to keep a restraint on “passions, general soberness of living and all excesses.” In the Greek, “gentleness” can also mean “patience” or “having patience with one another.” One word. Multiple definitions.
So putting this all together, it’s my belief that gentleness as used by Paul doesn’t mean to be a wallflower and never say a word. It doesn’t indicate that it’s not okay to be the life of the party. No, it means to practice a life of moderation and to be patient with one another. Paul is saying, don’t let your actions do anything to divide. It’s important to get along with each other, and one way to do that is by being patient with those around you.
So what do you think? Are you “gentle” after all? In my never-ending quest to be a godly woman, it’s a relief to find out the true meaning of this word and that I can now put a check by the “gentleness” box.
“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it” (Isaiah 30:21).
For those of you old enough to remember the “Gidget” movies, please don’t judge me when I confess that I wanted to be like Gidget at one time in my life. Gidget was a teenage girl who spent her summers at the beach, surfing, and falling in love with surfers. There was something about life on the white sand. It was free and easy. Waking up to a brilliant sunrise and taking that first deep breath of therapeutic salt air was part of the regular morning routine.
As a little girl I used to take a board into my back yard and balance it on a large rock, an effort to teach myself how to surf like Gidget. One time at the beach, I even rented a surfboard and marched out to the water like I knew what I was doing, but never made it to a standing position on the board.
I never did learn how to surf, but today I ride a different kind of wave, the “God wave.” For many years “Riding the God wave” has been my terminology for total surrender to the Lord’s plans for my life. It means I have let go of control and allowed him to carry me where he wants me to serve. Each day, I say, “Use me Lord. I pray for divine appointments, and opportunities to glorify you.”
Dear friends, there is nothing more exciting than riding the “God wave.”
I highly recommend trying it because he will, and can take you places you never dreamed you’d venture.
I used to worry about where I was going to speak, or what I was going to do in ministry, but once I laid my schedule at the altar, my loving heavenly Father opened doors that I could never pry open on my own.
In this week alone, I had the honor of moderating a panel with former U.S. Representative Allen West, Fox News radio host, Todd Starnes and prophecy expert, Dr. Gary Frazier at the Roaring Lambs event, “One Nation Under God.”
Following that event, I interviewed two evangelists, Alejandro and Rebekah Arias who are making a difference by traveling around the globe sharing about Christ. They are a beautiful, anointed couple.
Then two days later, I taught worldwide radio show host, June Hunt, mainline speaker, Debbie Stuart and the staff at Hope for the Heart Ministries about blogging. Hope for the Heart is a powerful ministry that provides biblical counseling via June’s radio show, written materials, and in the near future, blogging.
I am not sharing all this to brag, or to glorify myself. I am telling you that a life of submission and surrender to God is not boring! He loves you and has exciting plans for you. He doesn’t want to steal your fun or stifle you. Today, won’t you try giving your calendar over to your Maker by praying the following prayer:
Dear Lord, I am tired of doing things my way. I desire the life you have planned for me and want to ride the “God wave.” Please take me to the places you want me to go. Help me to listen carefully for your voice that tells me which path to walk in. Thank you, Lord, for the life you have given me, but I am handing it back to you as my gift of surrender to your will. In your Son’s name, I pray. AMEN
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Today I’m going to ask you a simple question.
Do you believe what the Bible says, or not?
If you believe, then it’s a good practice to claim the Word over your life. Take promises found in Scripture then imprint your name on them.
I just found out my book to help the fatherless, The Only Father I Ever Knew…, has made it to the final level in the traditional publishing process, the “Publication and Sales Committee.”
This is a book about my heavenly Father and dedicated to Him. It not only contains my story about being fatherless, but sixteen other testimonies from individuals who suffered father wounds. Each of them share how their heavenly Father was there for them when their earthly father was not, due to death, neglect or abuse.
As powerful people in the publishing world decide the fate of this book within the next couple of weeks, I am believing what the Bible says. I am claiming the following Scripture over my life and this book:
“Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4)
“Yours, Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all” (1 Chronicles 29:11-13).
“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” (Luke 11:13)
“Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible’” (Matthew 19:26).
“The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it” (1 Thessalonians 5:24).
Perhaps you have a situation where these particular verses are applicable. I have learned over the past year that if we want breakthrough, everything must pass through the Father’s hands.
Today, will you join me in prayer asking for God’s favor over this book that has the potential to point countless people to their heavenly Father?
Will you begin claiming Scripture over your own situations?
You can literally insert your name in the passages: “Lisa delights herself in the LORD and he will give her the desires of her heart” (Psalm 37:4).
Will you read the Bible daily and believe what it has to says about you, beautiful child of God?
If you said yes to all the questions, then I am thankful on many counts. These decisions will be beneficial for both of us and have the potential to release God to do what we could have never accomplished in our own power.
Thank you Lord for the power of your Word. We praise you that your Word is living and active and that it applies to us as much today as it did to your people when it was written. We claim the truths in your Word today in the magnificent name of Jesus, AMEN
Do you ever receive fake Facebook friend requests?
I love social media and enjoy keeping up with my friends over the years, but don’t like the barrage of friend requests from people who aren’t legitimate. Someone has pirated his or her image and photos then created a Facebook page. It’s always a true sign that it’s bogus if they have only been on Facebook for a short time, don’t have many friends and post numerous photos of themselves, sometimes standing by a military tank.
Delete friend request.
Yesterday on Twitter, a well-known ministry leader followed me and for a split-second, I thought that was cool until I examined the pastor’s home page. I found he only had a handful of followers and had only been active on Twitter for a short time. The real ministry person had 100,000 followers and followed very few himself. Yup. Someone pirated his image and was tweeting as if they were he. It was another case of stolen identity.
Has someone ever tried to steal your identity?
I am no longer speaking about social media. I am talking about the person you were created to be.
Has anyone ever attempted to confiscate your joy?
Your royal position as a child of God?
1 Peter 2:9 says, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”
If you’ve accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior, you are a daughter or son of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, created in the image of your loving heavenly Father. No one else can offer that It’s a deal that’s sealed in heaven.
Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you” (John 14:27).
Galatians 5:22–23 promises that joy is one of the fruits of the spirit. It’s yours for the taking!
So if you’re feeling low today, ask God to remind you of whom you were created to be, and claim it. There’s only one you, uniquely designed by God for his pleasure. Now that’s real.