Thank you for stopping by the ranch for a visit from our new friends in Saudi Arabia! I hope you were refreshed and encouraged during your visit here. Also a big return welcome for our friends from the UK! We love you all!
Embed from Getty Images“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
Father, I thank you for this day. This is the day that the Lord has made for me and I will be glad! Thank you for the special touches that you are putting on this day. I invite You into today and all my activities. I pray that Your love will be a driving force; that I will feel and recognize Your voice in all I do today. I’m so thankful for Your hand in my life. Bless this home and all who come through it. Father I ask that Your presence reign here. Thank you, thank you, thank you for the gift of Your Son. Thank you for the provision and great care that you have provided for my family. I praise You! All praise be to You! My wonderful and powerful Father! Jehovah God! My Protector! Jehovah El! My Shepherd! Jehovah El Roi! Jehovah Rapha! Thank you for Your care and favor. May each and every step I take be Your step as I walk in wonder of You. Amen.
Embed from Getty Images“So also faith, if it does not have works (deeds and actions of obedience to back it up), by itself is destitute of power (inoperative, dead).” James 2:17 AMP
Several years ago I really felt like God was calling me to write a piece on faith. It was a relatively short piece that took me on an interesting journey. What came out of a review of many scriptures was an outline that looked something like this:
- Don’t look back
- Eyes forward
- Trust steadily in God
- Hope unswervingly
- Love extravagantly
Each area had a unique insight of its own in how it connected to the expression of faith. There were several personal antidotes shared and many scriptures.
The scripture that really got hold of my heart was 1 Corinthians 13 in a new and different way. It is historically referred to as the “Love Chapter.” However, what I began to see is that it also has all the components for a robust faith life. My conclusion was this: without love we cannot walk in faith. Love is the foundation for everything. Just as faith requires a demonstration to be activated, love does as well. We cannot operate in either one without interacting in community with others.
So my prayer is “Father help me to love like You believing that all things are possible, ALL THINGS are possible, with You.”
Embed from Getty Images“12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3:12-13 NIV
As I read these verses, I started to imagine putting each of these characteristics on as if they were articles of clothing. A beautiful gown of compassion with a robe or jacket of kindness over it. Gorgeous custom boots of humility. Dazzling ear rings of gentleness and a necklace of patience. Then my make-up would look flawless with a foundation of forgiveness. I really had to sit with that for a while. It sounded regal and beautiful in such a stately and timeless way. It made me think of all the money I invest in clothes, shoes, the latest face creams and moisturizers. Closets of clothes are all over my house! But God’s garments are timeless, ageless classics. They never go out of style and their beauty never fades.
Lord, help me dress in these beautiful characteristics that reflect You. Help me wear each of them daily and with joy. Thank you for teaching me a new way to dress for success!
Embed from Getty Images“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV
I am so very thankful that God loves us so extravagantly. Time in prayer, worship and meditation on His Word are treasures to me. Sometimes I can sense Him touching my heart. Sometimes it feels like a vibration. Sometimes I know there is some healing going on because of a burning sensation. Most recently I was experiencing some heart ache. I sensed Him working there. I turned my eyes to Him and gave my heart to Him for safe keeping.
He just wants me to give it all to Him. I realize more and more that we are not equipped to carry around heavy emotional baggage. That is not what He intended for us. He always intended to bear the burden and never intended for us to be inflicted with pain. That is such a comfort to me! Whenever I feel overwhelmed, I know that it’s time to retreat to Him. Simply release it all and find peace in His heart.
Father God, Your grace is sufficient for me.
Embed from Getty Images“He holds victory in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless,” Proverbs 2:7 NIV
There have been times in ministry that I knew something was off. I knew that it was time to pull back and sit with God. Refocus. Recalibrate. Restore, Refresh. Renew. During those times the outpouring of God’s love has been immense. Truly an incredible comfort. I love how He reads my heart. He knows just how to touch it for healing, restoration, and transformation. What a Mighty God!
As I was meditating on this scripture during one of those respites, I noticed that my prayers had become weak. I was not coming directly to God with my requests. They had become passive. As I started to visualize Him as my shield with a face set like flint in pursuit of victory on my behalf, it made me more bold. My prayer shifted. I began to ask for what I wanted very specifically:
Father give me Your eyes to see all things. Give me Your ears to hear. And give me Your heart to love in all things so that I may be a demonstration of Your love and glory on this earth. Father You promise me that You hold victory in store for the upright and that You are a shield for the blameless. I claim that promise. I declare and decree that promise in Jesus Name, Amen.
Embed from Getty Images“For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.” Psalm 36:9 NIV
When I feel like I don’t know anything, God is the one thing that is true and constant. Even during seasons of my life when I know there is a stripping going on of everything that is familiar to me – seasons of change. During those times it is critical for me to seek the Presence of God. Stay in His life-giving love light.
We are made in God’s image. He is not a sissy. Jesus was God’s human image here on earth. He was not a sissy. Why do we think that as Christians we are off the hook? We can’t be sissies either. So here’s a new twist on God’s love. God’s love is so pure that it is like acid. It will literally melt away darkness. For a visual, I sometimes go to that scene in the Wizard of Oz when the witch is melting from the bucket of water that was thrown on her. Picture God’s love as Living Water. It will not tolerate prejudice, injustice, mockery, spite, judging or comparison. That is how powerful God’s love is. It melts the darkness away.
As I yearn to love like God, it’s encouraging to know the power that brings. It brings light into the darkness like nothing else can. Now that my friend is tough love!
Lord, teach me to more fully appreciate Your power and might.
Embed from Getty Images8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. 9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV
Sometimes when I sit in prayer it becomes more of a dialog. As a matter of fact, frequently that happens. I’m thankful that God often interjects. One day I heard him say, “Seek peace.” So I asked what He meant by that. How do I seek peace? He nailed it. I was troubled about a lot of things. I won’t go down His list but I was clearly not at peace. So my question back to Him was, but all the things you mentioned are things that you told me not to worry about…And I heard Him say “Exactly. Then why are you troubled?” I had to laugh. My God is definitely a living breathing God…with a sense of humor. So I work every day to cast all my troubles onto Him. There is nothing too great or too small. He promises that if we do that, our burden will be light. So why are you troubled? J
Lord, thank you for taking my troubles and making my burden light…exactly as You designed!