Tag Archive | Faith

Avoid the Mistake

Read Judges 7:1 through 8:35

Does the following scenario point to any common details in people’s lives?

Do people often pray hard and study Scripture in order to seek God’s provision when struggling financially? Do these same people attend church weekly and ask other believers to pray for their needs. As their accounts increase to a comfortable amount, do they begin getting an early start on their workdays to put in more hours at the office. Do they cut back on prayer and Bible study.

Gideon made the gold into an ephod, which he placed in Ophrah, his town. All Israel prostituted themselves by worshiping it there, and it became a snare to Gideon and his family (Judges 8:27).

Gideon, as a young and inexperienced warrior, was called by God to engage a vast invading army. Gideon’s life had been tough, and his circumstances forced him to draw close to God. But, with the enemy’s defeat and the rich spoils of the battle, Gideon misused his blessing.

Prayer Suggestion: When you enjoy a season of success, pray even harder that God will keep you in a deep relationship with himself.

 

by Gospel Publishing House

GPH_Gospel Publishing House

Christian Life Is A Battleground

Greg Laurie Daily

 

 

 

 

At Every Turn

Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. ~ Ephesians 6:17

During the Korean War, a unit known as Baker Company was separated from the regiment, and enemy forces were advancing on them. For several hours, no word came from Baker Company. Finally, radio contact was made, and when asked for a report of their situation, Baker Company replied, “The enemy is to the east of us. The enemy is to the west of us. The enemy is to the south of us. The enemy is to the north of us.” Then, after a brief pause, a voice continued, “And this time, we’re not going to let them escape.”

It seems that way in the life of the believer. The Enemy is at every turn. Yet some Christians don’t realize that the Christian life is not a playground but a battleground. They are oblivious to the fact that a war is raging. And in this war, they are either winning or losing.

In a battle, it’s always better to be an aggressor instead of a defender because the defender is simply waiting for the enemy’s next attack, hoping he will survive. If we, as believers, are always defending, then the Devil is in the superior position. But if we are attacking, then we are in the superior position. When the apostle Paul wrote about the armor of God in Ephesians 6, he mentioned one offensive weapon: “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (verse 17, NLT).

Make no mistake about it: there is authority and power in the Word of God. God’s Word sticks. God’s Word breaks through. God’s Word impacts. When the Enemy has you surrounded, keep him on the defensive with the Word of God.

His Plan Will Stand

You Are Closer Than You ThinkTODAY’S SCRIPTURE

“There are many plans in a man’s heart, nevertheless the LORD’s counsel — that will stand.”  (Proverbs 19:21, NKJV)

 TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria

God is strategic. He has laid out an exact plan for our lives right down to the smallest details. He knows the people you need to meet in order to fulfill your destiny. He knows who is going to give you a good break and who is going to put in a good word for you. He knows when someone is going to need to be there to help you out of a difficult time. God has it all figured out. He is not vague or approximate. He is orchestrating your life right down to the very second, causing you to be at the right place at the right time so you can meet the right people that He has ordained before the foundation of the world.

You probably can look over your life and see how, time after time, God directed your steps to the exact moment. If you had been ten seconds earlier or ten seconds later, things would have played out differently. That’s God orchestrating His plan. That’s God ordering your steps. All you have to do is stay faithful to Him and follow His leading because in the end, His plan will stand!

A PRAYER FOR TODAY

Father, thank You for orchestrating my life. I trust that my times are in Your hands. I trust that You are working things out for my good as I keep my faith and hope in You in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Joel & Victoria Osteen

CONFRONT TO CONNECT

Wisdom HuntersFaithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.Proverbs 27:6 (NKJ)

Confrontation means there has been a disconnection. Something has severed trust. It may be relational, emotional, or financial. Maybe you feel you have lost someone’s love and respect. Whatever the reason for the disconnection, confrontation needs to seek a reconnection. This is what a caring, faithful friend does. They seek to reconnect where there has been a disconnect. Your salvation in Jesus brought you into relational wholeness with heaven so you could model the same on earth. Scripture teaches, “All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians5:18).

However, if ignored, delayed confrontation deteriorates into disconnection. It dilutes understanding, trust, and intimacy. This is why wise leaders keep short accounts and speak freely and early about their concerns. If a leader ignores his or her obvious feelings of frustration, they will naturally distance themselves from the team and the organization. But if they confront early on, in a spirit of respect and understanding, they stay engaged with the enterprise and the individuals, and therefore avoid creating a culture of control and distrust.

This is true in marriage. A wife may confront her husband when she does not feel loved. This is a natural response when she feels distant from her spouse. Depending on the context of the confrontation, the husband may respond positively (if he is smart!) or he may push back defensively if he senses a combative or controlling spirit. It is normal and healthy to desire and seek out relational connection. This is how God has wired people. Just make sure you set yourself up for a successful connection and not an aborted one.

Your husband is much more receptive to receiving your emotional advances when done in a spirit of respect. Use questions like, “Sweetheart, can we sit down sometime today to discuss the children’s schedule for the upcoming week?” This gives him time to process and prepare. If he feels pounced upon or backed into a corner, he will react defensively. In this situation, healthy confrontation gives a couple the organizational connections they need to be more effective in managing their family responsibilities.

Caring confrontation creates a culture of teamwork and trust. A connected culture creates communication channels that build great organizations. Sadly though, a disconnected leader encourages disconnected individuals who then feed disconnected departments that facilitate disconnected divisions that ultimately lead to a disconnected and dysfunctional organization. So, most importantly, start by connecting with Christ. Vertical relational reconnection facilitates horizontal relational reconnection. Sin subtly or not so subtly severs relationships, but confession leads to connection. David, a most effective leader, said it well: “Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the LORD’”— and you forgave the guilt of my sin”(Psalm 32:5). Therefore, make your motives and methods of confrontation for the purpose of reconnection. Friends who care confront to connect.

Taken from the March 16th reading in Boyd’s 365-day devotional book, “Seeking Daily the Heart of God vol. 1” … http://bit.ly/Tv6y9a

I am fearfully and wonderfully made….

The Enemy’s Strategy

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” -Psalm 139:14

This morning I was having a rough start getting out of bed. My paralysis was giving me fits. I shook my head and growled, “This body is a pain… I hate it!”

Body_ProblemsWhy was that so awful? Because the Enemy has a deep hatred of my flesh and blood and all I was doing was agreeing with him. He gets a charge when I bad-mouth my body. And he would like to get you to do the same.

Why? Because your body, even underneath wrinkles or fat, and despite the ravages of illness or old age, is made in the image of God. Your heart, mind, hands, and feet are stamped with the imprint of the Creator. Little wonder that the Devil wants you to be ashamed of your body!

This morning I had, once again, to plug my ears against the lies of the Tempter and remember that I am “fearfully and wonderfully made.” I rehearsed the old, familiar truth that God has a plan for this flesh and blood of mine. That’s why the Devil considers my body a threat—he understands that when I yield to God my body, albeit paralyzed, my feet and hands are powerful weapons against his forces of darkness.

The devil is only a fallen angel. He is a deceiver. He is doomed for destruction. And until then, he has one goal in mind: your spiritual defeat, emotional malignment, and physical frustration. If he tries to get you to agree with him today… don’t.

I praise You for I am fearfully and wonderfully made, O Lord.

Devotional shared by Joni and Friends International Disability Center

NEW NORMAL

Wisdom Hunters
 
Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:18-19

 

New normals are a test of our trust in the Lord. They call us to get on our knees in prayer and cry out to our Heavenly Father. They are transitions we go through in life when we move into new seasons: health challenges, a job transfer, a new church or an empty nest. New normals are more difficult because it is the first time we have experienced these realities. Patience, flexibility and trust facilitate adjustment to a new situation. Adapting to change and focus on God is necessary.

For example, a close friend may move overseas or to another part of the country. Since you are geographically divided, you now keep up by email, calls and visits. Or, if you’ve lived as a single adult for years, but are now married, you focus on the person of your dreams. Hence, friends from your past life don’t receive the same attention as your best friend, your spouse. A new normal in relationships is hard. If you try to be everyone’s friend, you risk becoming no one’s real friend.

Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you, for that is how their ancestors treated the false prophets. Luke 6:26

Make the best of your new normal by seeing God in the middle of your circumstances. Whether adversity or euphoria, either is an opportunity to draw closer to Christ. Accept new normals as your friend not your enemy.  It is a nudge toward the Lord, not a wedge between you and the Lord. Our Savior Jesus Christ specializes in doing new things. He makes a way of hope in our wilderness of worry and streams of faith in our wasteland of fear. See your new normal as God’s new thing.

What is your new normal? A boss who is more demanding? A child who is pushing the boundaries of their freedom? Life after divorce? Life after a loved one’s death? Financial limitations? Relational stress? Abundant resources? More opportunities than you ever imagined? Steward well what you have, so the Lord can trust you with more of His blessings. Accept your new normal as an opportunity to adopt new ways to know God. Learn how to lean into the Lord. Your new normal is the next step in following Jesus. Perceive it, believe it, receive it, embrace it.

He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true. Revelation 21:5

Prayer: Heavenly Father, by grace and through faith, I accept my new normal as Your normal.

Related Readings: Isaiah 48:6, 65:17; Jeremiah 31:22; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Revelation 21:4

Talking with God

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Do you ever feel blocked in your talk with God?  Right now that’s how I’ve been feeling. He’s still in my heart & I talk to him regularly subliminally through my thoughts but for some reason I can’t seem to compose the words in the right order for them to come out of my mouth.  My mind is a jumble of various thoughts and emotions that I KNOW only He can make sense of.

This is definitely a time when I am ever so thankful that God knows our hearts. It doesn’t stop me from feeling frustrated though because I feel I should be able to form words to talk to my Father.