“Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.” Proverbs 29:25 NIV
I am so very thankful for the riches and plans that God has for me. I am thankful for the immense and powerful Love that He has for me. Somewhere along the line, I realized that I had tapes playing in my head that did not reflect the love that God has for me. It was from inside of me; an internal dialog. It was definitely not God. This internal dialog started to create issues with me loving myself. When I don’t love myself, God can’t operate in me to His fullness. It was quite an ugly snare that developed. All kinds of things were snarled in the mix: performance, pride, rejection, comparison, arrogance, criticism. I could go on and on. I do not even remember where the negative words came from. I don’t know when it started. What I do know is that it started to snowball into a fearful approach to work and relationships because they were so loaded up with negative junk.
I had to ask God to remove the obstacles in my heart that were keeping me from fully walking in His plan for me. I really had to sit prayerfully and meditate on some very loving and instructional scripture and let it sit in my heart for a long time. I still need to step away from things regularly for a heart check and just spend time with God. It’s not anything that is formulaic or legalistic. The truth is if I don’t, I miss it. I miss the quiet time with God. It helps me appreciate the way He made me a little more. It helps me dig into the well that He has placed inside of me and pull from it for inspiration, creativity, focus, clarity and strategy.
Lord, thank you for teaching me every day to love and appreciate You more and how You made me as a unique expression of You.
“20 Asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He replied to them by saying, The kingdom of God does not come with signs to be observed or with visible display,21 nor will people say, Look! Here [it is]! or, See, [it is] there! For behold, the kingdom of God is within you [in your hearts] and among you [surrounding you].” Luke 17:20-21 AMP
So the kingdom of God is IN us. As I was reading this passage, it reminded me of a passage that is also in The Lord’s Prayer: “Your kingdom come.” I got caught up reading a lot of commentaries. It occurred to me that I needed to simply be quiet and listen to what God had to say about these passages. Here is what I heard: He is waiting for us all to come into a state of obedience and alignment so that we will not continue to lay fragmented and broken as a body. That when we come together, we will no longer be vulnerable to heresy and apostacy. We will no longer be plagued with malice and strife between ourselves. We will be able to stand together, resolute for our King. And then, His Kingdom will have arrived.
Lord, I pray that Your kingdom come and that Your will be done in my heart and the hearts of all Christians. I pray that we come together as one body. Make us strong in that body so that we can stand together and stand strong, united and operating as one body in Christ, a true reflection of You.
“ 12 So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.” Colossians 3:12-13 NASB
What does it mean that we are chosen? Well, as God’s chosen ones we are called to a higher standard of behavior. His standard. We have to come to know Him and know His ways. His ways are very different. They are a reflection of His heart: compassionate, kind, humble, gentle and patient. Forgiving. It’s a beautiful and tall order. So I give thanks. I thank God for the light yoke that He has for us. He never intended us to take the world on by ourselves. I ask Him to show me how to rest in Him. Trust Him. Trust His desires for me. Trust His love for me.
Lord, thank you for Your faithfulness and for Your Presence in my life. Please instill Your heart in mine. Fill me with humility, patience and gentleness in all things.
“3 Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? 4 The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god. 5 They will receive blessing from the Lordand vindication from God their Savior. 6 Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face, God of Jacob.” Psalm 24:3-6 NIV
David, Joseph and Jacob had hearts that had to be set right by God in order to be used by God. Once our hearts have been set right, we may be called to come against giants, pits and family disputes like they were. God will instruct us on what to do. This requires a reach beyond the natural and requires that we call upon the supernatural. It requires that we use our Faith as a shield and hold fast to God’s promise that He will restore us. It is a time to seek God for His plans and strategies and to start expecting the supernatural to occur. Do not be distracted. Faith is a shield and Satan cannot steal what is covered by Faith.
Father, help me embrace Your pruning seasons as well as seasons of growth. I pray I step into both fully and with Your grace.
“8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord.” Ephesians 5:8-10 NIV
There was a season in my life that I needed God’s intervention daily to instill His gifts of the Spirit in me. It was not something visible to others, but I knew my heart needed a supernatural intervention. I began to pray daily: “Father, give me a thirst for all things that are Godly. Quench any thirst for things that are ungodly.” As I prayed this daily I began to notice a transformation. It was subtle at first: TV programs, music, conversations, people in my life, things I cared about and chose to invest resources in. It was truly amazing. He answered my prayers and began to change my heart’s desires to line up with His. He will answer your requests!
Father, thank you for Your faithfulness. Thank you for listening to every request of our heart and giving us what we need. I pray that You continually give me a thirst for all things of You! You are my Light and my Salvation.
“1As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:1-3 NIV
I have found that my tendency toward self-sufficiency has been an obstacle to embracing humility. It caused me to hold on to things that I should have surrendered to God. Those old habits had to be taken to God in prayer daily. It was easiest to start with those things that were precious to me or hard for me. They were things I could only trust with God. What I have come to understand is that everything is like that. He wants it all – every detail, every jot and tittle. He wants us to depend on Him totally. That has simplified my life significantly. This simplicity is refreshing and light. It makes life a joy.
Father, thank you for keeping things light and simple. Thank you for always being there and accepting whatever I lay before You. Thank you for Your undying love for me!
“Let love and faithfulness never leave you;bind them around your neck,write them on the tablet of your heart.” Proverbs 3:3 NIV
Imagine that your heart is a tablet. An electronic tablet: like an iPhone, iPad or laptop. Think about the reach we have today through technology. If Jesus were reading your mobile device, what would he find written on it? Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, FlipBoard. You get the idea. I think about that sometimes. I am far from perfect but the more time I spend with God in His Word the more I find His words entering my thoughts, my words and then they guide my actions. The words that come out of our mouth are a reflection of what is written on the tablet of our hearts. God’s Word is transformational. God’s love is transformational. The Bible tells me so! I count on it. I ask God to transform and renew me daily.
Father, thank you for the renewing power of Your Word in my heart. Let it wash all over my heart and transform it daily.