I have spent much time in the last week praying God's Word back to Him in intercession for the people I love. Through that, I realized this: God wants to and CAN change them, but most of all, He longs to change ME!
I get irritated sometimes. I am short tempered at times. I worry too much. I doubt. I avoid my issues. Sometimes I'm rude.
BUT...I long to be everything God wants me to be!
So, today, I invite you to not only pray for others in your life, as well as the situations that only God can fix, but also for God to change you!
I took 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 and started praying it daily, putting my name in place of the word Love. Then I do the same thing for my children and other people I am praying for. So, here is a practical way to pray these verses back to God.
[Heaven] is patient. [Heaven] is kind. [Heaven] does not envy. [Heaven] does not boast. [Heaven] is not proud. [Heaven] is not rude. [Heaven] is not self-seeking. [Heaven] is not easily angered. [Heaven] keeps no records of wrongs. [Heaven] does not delight in evil, but [Heaven] rejoices in the Truth! [Heaven] always protects. [Heaven] always trusts. [Heaven] always hopes. [Heaven] always perseveres.
God loves it when we pray His Word back to Him because we pray His Will. He loves to answer prayers that are prayed according to His Will. Try it. Watch God start softening your heart, as well as your family member's hearts. God's word does not return void!
Sometimes I cry. Sometimes I get weak. Sometimes I feel broken. Sometimes I sob. Sometimes I sleep. Sometimes I want to give up. Sometimes I can't breathe. Sometimes the pain is too intense. Sometimes I seem stronger than what I am.
those are the times Jesus holds my heart
those are the times Jesus renews my strength
those are the times I crawl up on Jesus' lap
those are the times I lay my burdens down at Jesus' feet.
He gives me strength for one more day! He fills my heart up once again! He reassures me of His love & acceptance! He enables me to pick my sword up & fight! He breathes His Spirit into me! He tells me great & unsearchable things! He renews my faith! He pulls me to my feet! He gives me more hope & love to give away!
I can hold my sword up high... and fight the good fight! I can smile and encourage others again! I can stand firm in His promises! I can be a testimony of His faithfulness!
That is why I get up every morning and stand for those things that look impossible to others (sometimes even myself!). That is why I keep writing and encouraging others to press on! That is why I press on...so that YOU will press on!
I press on because I KNOW God is a Promise Keeper!!! The Bible says so!
I press on because I WANT the prize He has promised me!
I press on because I don't EVER WANT to go back to living without Him!
Praying that you will continue to press on when you feel weary from the battle.
~Jesus, you know the pain and weariness of the battle we face daily. You know what it's like to be tempted by the enemy to give up. When you were praying by yourself, the devil tried to take your eyes off the goal by promising you things if only You would turn to him. Yet, You totally relied on Your Father to provide for all of Your needs! Teach us, even in our weariness, to declare: "It is written_______" when the enemy tries to get us to quit doing what it is YOU have called us to do! Thank you that YOUR strength becomes perfect in our weakness! Thank You that with YOU, ALL things are possible! Thank You that You go before us, walk beside us, and are our rear guard in every circumstance we encounter! Thank You that weeping remains for a only a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning!!! In Jesus' precious name, Amen~
You can sit back and twiddle your fingers, getting trampled on by your circumstances and the enemy, OR you can be active and aggressive in PRAYER, and receive the victory and the promises that are RIGHTFULLY yours because of Jesus Christ!
Matthew 11:12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force
Like it or not, believe it or not, we have an enemy who wants to steal, kill, and destroy from you! You can agree or disagree, but the fact is that there is good, and there is evil! God vs. Satan (Devil). If he can keep you from believing that he exists, or even from believing that God exists, then you've already been defeated! Sorry, true story. We don't need to focus on "Oh, no, Satan is big and horrible and...", because TRUTH is that the very spoken name of Jesus Christ crushes him. Yes, he does things to wreak havoc, BUT my God is BIGGER!!! MORE powerful! MORE effective!!! When you speak the Word of God, the Bible, you are not only praying God's Word back to God, you are also defeating your enemy.
Here's the amazing thing! He's already been defeated! If you are a child of God (accepted Jesus into your heart), then 1 John 4:4 says, "You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world."
Once you realize the things you are believing are lies (because the truth is the Bible!), you can claim this verse and start demanding your repayment. Proverbs 6:31 "If he (a thief, which is what Satan is) is caught, he MUST pay seven fold." THAT means He owes you EVERYTHING that He's stolen or has tried to steal from your life: health, children, joy, marriages, friendships, love, jobs, finances, etc. PLUS MORE!
Call forth... Romans 4:17 ..."He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed- The God who gives life to the dead & calls things that ARE NOT as IF THEY WERE!
Are you tired of wavering back and forth in unbelief?
Have you lost your joy in the journey?
Are you tired of fighting day in and day out with YOURself?
God has MORE for us! More than just waking up, doing life, and ending our day in sleep. He has VICTORY here on earth for us! He has JOY unspeakable! He has PEACE! He has FULFILLMENT for us...NOW, not just in eternity.
I don't know about you, but I WANT IT! I WANT ALL THAT GOD SAYS I CAN HAVE! HERE...& NOW...TODAY...AND FOREVER!
You need to speak to the storms in your life TODAY. You need to aggressively go after it in prayer. You need to tell the devil where to go...directly back to hell. You need to saturate yourself in the Word of God. You need to take God AT HIS WORD and quit letting others tell you what you SHOULD BE doing. You need to get so close to God that you KNOW His voice without a doubt!
How do you do this? You open your Bible! You read your Bible! God's Word doesn't return void (Isaiah 55:11) which means that it WILL accomplish what it says it will. Every scripture you read or post or pray MAKES A DIFFERENCE in the Spiritual realm. EVERYtime. NO exceptions.
Ephesians 6 describes how to put on the armor of God. Read it. Memorize it. Use it. Do it. It mentions the sword of the Spirit being the Word of God. Picture a battle with swords. A sword can pierce. A sword can slice. A sword is a weapon. Sword of Spirit=Bible...get it? Speak the Word of God OUTLOUD!!!
God has already won this battle for you! He has already defeated your enemies! He has already given you those things you have asked Him for! When Jesus died on the cross, He said, "It is Finished!!!" Done. Completed. End of story. Declare scripture back to God. Jesus is the One who said it. He doesn't lie. He wants YOU to believe it and receive it and declare it!
In our own strength, we can do NOTHING, but God's power, the resurrection power through Jesus Christ, can do EVERYTHING!!! Search the Bible on how God "showed up" and how Jesus performed miracles. Look at these verses on how the Holy Spirit "showed up". He came with force. Speak boldly and "show up" in prayer with a heavenly violence through Jesus Christ!
Acts 2:1-3 1When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent windcame from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.
Acts 16:25-26 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody's chains came loose.
Have you ever gone to a place where you could look out and see over a city or an area? We have a place here called Grandad's Bluff. You can drive up the bluff about a mile, park your vehicle, walk to the peak, and look over our city. It's beautiful. It's breathtaking.
When I was in high school, I could go up there, and look to the north, where I could spot my apartment complex. I was able to point out my school, my friend's houses, and different businesses in the area. I could look across the Mississippi River, which borders our city in Wisconsin and see the next city in Minnesota.
Even though I still only live miles from it, I haven't been there for a couple years. As I was doing my devotions this morning, God brought that "look-out point" back to my mind. I know it's there, but because I take it for granted, I have forgotten the beauty of the view from there. It's usually not a conscious thought of "Oh, there's Granddad's Bluff!" I drive, go on my way, and don't give it a second glance.
This picture above is the view from below. We know where it is because of the flag at the top. We can see it from afar and know that's where Grandad's Bluff is.
This flag is huge! So huge that it can be seen as a marker for Grandad's Bluff from many miles away.
Ever get tired of trying to do good only to mess up more?
Ever feel like you can "do and do and do"... yet get NOwhere, NOwhere, NOwhere?
I am SOOOOOOOOO there! Right now, as I type! I'm throwing in the towel! Done! Done! Done!
No matter how hard I TRY... I JUST CAN'T DO IT ANYMORE!
I'm tired of the lies! I'm tired of the games! I'm tired of the competitions! I'm tired of not "being good enough!" I'm tired of "trying" to be the person I THINK I should be!!! I'm tired of trying to please everyone! I'm tired of "doing" what I FEEL needs to be done & failing miserably!
Now, before you jump either off my blog, or to the comment box to shout encouragement to me, let me share something with you.
Last night, I cried and wailed to God about a situation in my life. I got angry. I got quiet. I cried. I yelled. I got sad. I cried some more. I went to bed snuggled in the arms of Jesus.
When I woke up this morning, I thought of my situation from last night. Sadness instantly filled my soul, as well as anger at God. I told him again my thoughts on the situation, and finally, in sheer frustration, I told Him...
"I'm done! I can't do this anymore! It's too hard, too painful, and I keep messing up things worse! No matter how hard I try, I can't keep my mouth closed, and my heart hurts way too much to go on!"
Then...the most amazing thing happened! I could almost sense the tension leaving my body as (I believe) He reached out to hold my heart. If I could hear God audibly (which I don't), but if I could, I would have heard Him gently whispering this to me in that moment...
"Finally...I can work now..."
There are times that we hang onto things too tightly, and we "work" ourselves into the situation or promise God has given us...instead of letting GOD work the situation into our lives. When we do that, it is tiring! We usually mess things up worse! We try and try and try to make the puzzle pieces fit because we KNOW that's how it's supposed to be, BUT until GOD gives you the RIGHT puzzle piece.....
...You will fail... ...You will tire... ...You will grow weary... ...You will ultimately "give up" the dream... ...INSTEAD of giving up your efforts to make the dream happen!
When you allow GOD to work the dream into YOUR life...it just comes...at the right time! God shows up at your doorstep with a beautifully wrapped present in His arms, and says..."Child, this is for you!" AND you KNOW it was SO WORTH the wait!
The people I am writing for today need to know this:
God wants YOU to learn to REST in His promises AND REST in His arms! If God has said it, He will fulfill it, BUT this is the TIME for Him to work in YOUR life so you are ready to open that gift when He shows up with it! So get your eyes off the circumstances, your hands off the situation, and get your focus back on Jesus...He has many gifts of love & revelation for you that need to be opened before He hands you the one you think you NEED NOW!
Sometimes we get so busy "trying" to be the person we "think" we are SUPPOSED TO BE or "doing" the things we "think" we are SUPPOSED TO DO that we forget to draw from the well of life- Jesus Christ.
If you are hungry, thirsty, cold, and weary from your journey, snuggle up with Jesus, and draw from the well of water that He offers. RESTING means to lean on...BE STILL means don't move...
Some of us are too busy "DOING" that we forget to just "BE"... We get too busy "DOING" the "Martha" role... that we need to be reminded to simply "BE" in the "Mary" role... sitting at the feet of Jesus and enjoying the presence of Jesus... instead of preparing for the arrival of Jesus... who is already there... next to you... as you read these words... simply waiting for you to be "un-busy" enough to enjoy His presence...
He's there... sitting next to you... wanting to tell you wonderful things... and waiting for you to put down the "broom" of "doing" & "BE" the heavenly "dustpan" that He desires to fill with refreshment, good things, and every good and perfect gift.
...for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things. Psalm 107:9
There are different things people are going through right now, but I am finding that people are lonely...for different reasons. Maybe you have lost someone dear to you, either in death or separation. Maybe you are in ministry and you are dealing with something that you can only go to God with. Maybe you have broken-up with someone you love. Maybe you are just-plain-lonely...even in a room full of people.
In my journey, I am lonely for a different reason. All of my life, I have run to people with every problem and every circumstance BEFORE and (in some cases) INSTEAD of God. I have found my comfort in people...in people's words and encouragement...in their embrace...in just simply "talking" about it...
This has left me listening to the advice of other people... often leading me to follow their well-meaning advice... Which has caused me to seek people rather than God...
I'm not saying it's good to isolate yourself, trust me, I've been there enough too, but for me, right now, I am on a journey of hearing God's voice. Because He is my Shepherd, and I am His sheep, I hear His voice. I used to run to the "wise" people or people with a prophetic gifting for the answer...not the confirmation! There is a huge difference!
I NEEDED them to tell me what to do, because I was sooooooooo convinced if they told me what to do, then all would be good. Many times, I went with their voice rather than the soft, still nudging of the Spirit of God within me, because "they" could hear God better than I!!! What I am finding to be truth is this: "The same Spirit that lives inside of them...lives inside of me!"
Again, I'm not saying that confirmation isn't needed, but if you constantly run to other people for the ANSWER, you may miss out on what GOD wants to tell you!!! True story:) So, if you need confirmation, go AFTER you have spoken to God...
What I am also finding in this lonely new journey is that by the time I've poured my heart out to God, either in prayer or in my journal, I don't need to run to people, because He's either already answered me or comforted me. I still occasionally go to people, but not with EVERYthing that I used to. I know some of the closest people to me feel "left out of the loop" right now, because I'm not calling them every 5 minutes everyday with my concerns, complaints, and moaning and groaning. I'm sorry for that...but I'm not sorry for the journey I am on with God...
In the desert, I find my God... walking hand in hand with me... He hears my every cry and plea... Oh, what a wonderful place to be...
I run to the cross and there I find... Him waiting for me... wanting to touch my heart and mind.
He holds me tight... He takes my load... He restores my hope... on this long and winding road...
I'm not afraid... to walk alone... as long as HE'S there... to meet me at the throne!!!
If you are feeling lonely, call out to Jesus! He truly does satisfy your deepest longings and desires, but most of all, His Spirit comforts more than anything OR ANYONE here on earth ever can. He has created, in us, a place where only He can fill, and that's why we are left feeling lonely when we try to fill that place in our heart with anything other than HIM!
Jesus~Please be near to all who read this today! Meet them right where they are at as they cry out to you. You hold every one of our tears...You can take every one of our fears...and give us YOUR comfort and peace in return. I thank YOU for YOUR amazing love that You cover us in, especially when we don't feel like we deserve it. Thank You, Lord, for hearing the cries of those reaching out to You right now. Show them Your tangible love as You have shown me...Amen~
I will NEVER leave you, nor forsake you! Hebrews 13:5
My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. Psalm 62:1
Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him Psalm 62:5
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28
all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest"
Do you ever get discouraged? I do...
Do you ever feel sad? I do...
Do you ever feel like "giving up?" I do...
Do you ever just want to sleep your life away? I do...
Do you ever lose your focus? I do.
Do you get tired of waiting for God to answer? I do.
I used to "go" there and STAY there for long periods of time to the point that I really couldn't function. I couldn't be the mom my kids needed. I couldn't keep my house clean. I couldn't face people outside my home. I would isolate myself from the outside world; not answering the phone, not reaching out to people, etc.
All I could do was sleep...
Even a year 1/2 ago, That is how I survived!
Every once in awhile, I resort back to that mode of survival. This m0rning, I woke up, and felt that old aching pulling at my soul...driving me back to bed with my head buried under the covers. I lay there for awhile, staring at the clock, and rehearsing doubt in my mind...over and over...until I dozed off to "dream-land".
Before I did, however, Isaiah 35 came to my mind. Not knowing that passage off the top of my head, I grabbed the Bible sitting next to my bed, and looked it up. God spoke to my heart as He drew me to similar verses that I found in a different chapter earlier this morning...
Although I still CHOSE to succumb to a morning of despair and isolation under my covers, God still CHOSE to "show up" and speak life and hope to my heart! He sought me out...knowing I would still choose to sleep...and CHOSE to encourage me anyway!
I woke a couple hours later to my heart jumping out of my chest with the sound of the phone. I sat up...tried to collect my thoughts...and attempted to decipher the dream I woke up from...(all while ignoring the phone! Sorry Mr. Eye Dr. for not answering my phone! Thank you for letting me know my contacts were in.)
I got up, went for my coffee...still trying to process what was going through my mind. I started going through my phone to see my missed calls/texts, when suddenly, it hit me....
"I've been played!!!"
I allowed circumstances to dictate an outcome! I allowed despair to rule in my heart! I allowed myself to lose focus by focusing on that which I see instead of that which I cannot see! I allowed life to steal my joy....(and my morning!) AGAIN!!!
At this point, I was feeling MORE discouraged because I "gave in" to old behaviors and patterns. As my soul was being dragged down farther, I remembered this...
"Hey, I don't HAVE to stay here!!!"
Well, that's easy to say, but that requires work on my part. Pretending to be happy and thankful until I feel that way. Choosing to speak positively. Blah, blah, blah...
I sat down with my Bible, and re-evaluated Isaiah 35, which God gave me before I fell asleep. Ha! I looked back at my journal and the other verses He gave me earlier. Ha! I began to get excited. (Not much...but enough to decide to stay awake and out of bed!)
I kept looking and I prayed these verses back to God. Ha! My heart was feeling hope again. I put on some worship music even though I really didn't feel like it. Ha! Something lifted. I felt a little better. I re-read my journal and promises that God HAS given me. Ha! I was getting re-energized again!
I started declaring things as if they already were in existence! WOW! I was really feeling good! I started praying and praising God for what I have and for what He's already done! WooHoo! I was feeling great!
I started singing to the worship music that played (that I really didn't want to put on in the first place!) and my soul soared in the presence of God. He was filling my heart with HIS hope and joy and faith!
Within 1/2 hour, I WAS EXCITED...AND HOPEFUL...AND RENEWED...AND READY AGAIN FOR THIS THING CALLED LIFE...
ALL because I CHOSE to turn to God, instead of my feelings & circumstances. Now, nothing has changed in my circumstances, except I KNOW THAT I KNOW THAT I KNOW that God is working! He is working in ways that I can't even imagine or comprehend! THAT excites me!
Put on the garment of praise (especially when you don't FEEL like it!) for the spirit of heaviness!!!
Isaiah 61:3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.
Recapture~ To capture again...recover by capture...retake...to bring back by remembering...seize...take hold of...obtain...
This sounds like an action word. One which requires movement...forceful...taking of...purposeful...involves strategy...not a passive activity...
What do you need to recapture in your life today? Is it joy of the Lord? Freedom from bondage or addiction? A grateful attitude? A childlike faith? A servant's heart? Smiles and laughter? Quietness? Stillness? Quality time with your family or with your children? Your position in Christ? Lost hope or dreams? A slender figure? Finances?
Whatever it may be, God doesn't expect you to do alone.
He does, however, expect us to do our part. We are God's warriors and we are strong in and because of Christ Jesus.
Do you ever realize how fighting for justice or getting your kids to obey is not always an easy process? It takes commitment, discipline, consistency, and persistence. The same is true of life.
Joel 3:9 Proclaim this among the nations: Prepare for war! Rouse the warriors! Let all the fighting men draw near and attack.
It is time to quit complaining and making excuses on why we are not doing the things God is asking us to do. It's time to recapture those things in your life that God has given you authority and power over. You are not helpless or weak, because HE is strong. You are not a prisoner of your situation because HE has redeemed you by the blood of the lamb. You are not a victim, but..."more than a conquerer."
Let's proclaim that we are children of God, we are going to stand, we are going to make a difference, and we are going to recapture those things in which the enemy has tried to steal from us!