“I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Psalm 16:8
Have you had times of feeling “shaken” lately? I know I have. It may be because of what we have allowed to be before us…what we are focused on. If we are more focused on the news and all that is happening in the world instead of on the Lord, we can be shaken! If we are more focused on the problems that arise in our day-to-day lives instead of on the Problem Solver, we can be shaken!
Prayer: Lord, forgive me when I have allowed other things to envelope all my attention and thoughts. I want YOU to be in my line of sight at all times. I want YOU to be my focus and be my right hand. I shall not be shaken!!!
“We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,”. (2 Corinthians 10:5 )
I want to be transparent with you about my weak moments. I know this scripture in 2 Corinthians and have even taught it. But, just because we know God’s truth does not mean it is easy to walk it out in our lives.
I have to admit that the isolation and social distancing during COVID-19 has been hard for me. There are some days that I wake up and I can feel the heavy blanket of depression trying to take over my thoughts. And that is not a good place to be! Not only does it affect me but it affects those closest to me.
Brothers and Sisters! We all have times when we may feel despair, doubt, fear, frustration, anger, and hopelessness. But, we need to make sure that we have the right response when and if it happens.
We are told in God’s word that we are to TAKE EVERY THOUGHT CAPTIVE to the obedience of Jesus! We are to DESTROY speculations and every lofty thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God.
In other words, are our thoughts in alignment with our knowledge of who God is and in alignment with who God says we are?
We don’t have to act upon every thought! We don’t have to allow our thoughts to dictate how we feel about ourselves or others. We don’t have to allow our thoughts to be the “rudder” of our lives!
WE are in control of what thoughts we allow to take hold in our lives! If the thoughts we are having are causing us to fear, to hate, to be judgmental, or to feel depressed and unworthy —then we are to TAKE AUTHORITY over our thoughts and replace them with GOD’S TRUTH!!
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7)
LORD, thank You for being the Giver of Truth! Thank You for empowering us through Your Holy Spirit to control our thoughts and to not be ruled by them. We bring our thoughts into obedience to YOU!! Thank You, Jesus, for being the way, and the truth, and the life! It is in Your Name that we pray. AMEN!!
“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28 NASB
God loves us so much! We have all had to journey through some very challenging times during this COVID-19 pandemic.
It is such a blessing to know that not only has God been with us 24/7 during it all, but He actually is using it to transform and mold us into a stronger and more effective vessel for His presence in the world. I do not believe God caused this pandemic, but He is using it for our spiritual growth.
I believe that as we transition back into our communities, we will definitely not be the same!
What is a POSITIVE change that has happened in your life, family, job, community, church, etc. because of this pandemic season of time?
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ESV Yesterday was the National Day of Prayer – a day when we are called to unite our hearts as one and pray for our nation, our leaders, and our communities. I love that we have this set aside time to join together as a nation! It also is a reminder that prayer is important. It makes a difference. It is needed. But, I also would like to take this time – the day following this National Day of Prayer – to remind us that EVERY DAY is a day of prayer! Prayer makes a difference and is needed every day of our lives. It is an ongoing, continual communication with our Lord. We are to “pray without ceasing.” In other words, DON’T STOP!! Don’t stop praying just because we may not feel like it. Feelings have nothing to do with it. We pray because God desires us to do it and also because it is through prayer that our lives and circumstances can be changed. WE are changed!! We are to rejoice (feel joy, celebrate, triumph) and be thankful in all circumstances! We may not feel joy or be thankful FOR the circumstances…but we feel joy because God is with us IN the circumstances. He is within us to enable us to GO THROUGH and to COME OUT victorious and stronger! HALLELUJAH!! May we come into alignment with the WILL OF GOD: 1) rejoice always 2) Pray without ceasing 3) Give thanks in all circumstances Thank You, Lord, for always being with us to enable us to carry out Your will. We do not have to rejoice, pray, and give thanks apart from You! YOU give us the words, YOU give us the strength, YOU give us the desire to walk in obedience to You. We join You in our journey… day-by-day, hour-by-hour, minute-by-minute. AMEN!!
GOD IS OUR REFUGE AND STRENGTH, A VERY PRESENT HELP IN TROUBLE. PSALM 46:1
How are you today, Beloved of God? I know at times it seems like we are fighting a battle that we can’t win. And truthfully, we can’t win this battle in our own strength. But, God can and will!! I know that God’s Hand is upon many that are walking in discernment and wisdom as each day brings new accomplishments and new discoveries. GOD IS PRESENT AND WORKING IN AND THROUGH HIS PEOPLE!!
As the days and weeks continue on with us staying at home as much as possible, it’s very easy to feel isolated and cut off from life around us. But, there is still much we can do to stay involved, active, and connected to others.
What a blessing it was for me to call a group of church members to talk and pray with them! Who can you reach out to today…NOW…to support with your love and time?
I know that when I find myself feeling down and focusing on everything that I don’t like – it becomes a downward spiral of negativity that can worsen very quickly. BUT! If I consciously make a choice to reach out and serve and minister to another – that downward spiral becomes an upward wind that takes me to a higher place in the Lord!
Ahhh Brothers and Sisters!! If you are feeling like you are stuck in a stagnant pool of muddy water, begin to FLOW outward by connecting with the Lord and with others. And as we FLOW WITH THE LORD, we will see that RIVERS OF LIVING WATER will begin to flow from us. [John 7:38]
Everything that we do and say in the coming days should flow from a place of refuge and strength in the Lord. Are Rivers of Living Water flowing in and through our actions and speech? Or are the waters muddied?
Father God, thank You for being our refuge, our strength, and our help each and every day! LORD, we don’t want to be stuck in a stagnant, muddy pool of negativity, doubt, and hopelessness. May the Wind of Your Holy Spirit blow across our lives and position us to be carried along on YOUR River of Life! LORD, release rivers of Living Water within us and increase the flow to those around us! We want to FLOW WITH YOU!! In Jesus’ Name we pray…AMEN!
“…let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16 NASB
I would say that we are definitely in a time of need! God loves us so much. He doesn’t expect us to make this journey alone. He tells us exactly what we are to do during these challenging times.
We are to DRAW NEAR! As we faithfully follow the social-distancing guidelines, it is imperative that we remember that it is not a time to distance ourselves from the Lord. He invites us into His “personal space!” He won’t back off and say, “Whoa! Too close!” No, as we begin to step closer and closer – I see Him smile, and with a soft, loving look He whispers, “Closer…”
We are to draw near with CONFIDENCE! Some translations say with BOLDNESS. We are to come before the throne with the assurance of who we are in Christ Jesus and who God is. We are “dressed for the occasion!”
“I will rejoice greatly in the LORD, My soul will exult in my God; For He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.” Isaiah 61:10 NASB
Ahhh, Brothers & Sisters! He is inviting us to His throne to receive mercy and grace during our time of need. Are you ready to join me there?
Dearest LORD, such love You have for us! Even as we struggle daily with new boundaries of quarantine and social-distancing…YOU are with us every moment of every day. May we take this time of forced separation and see the blessing in it – more time with You…more time with family…more time to evaluate our priorities. We aren’t happy in the circumstances that we face, LORD. But we do rejoice because YOU are with us!! We exalt and honor You each day – in quarantine or out. Blessed be Your most holy name!