“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!
What a time we are experiencing in the world! The Coronavirus is causing us to be quarantined from our “normal” day-to-day lives. I know many are experiencing financial hardship as they are not able to return to work. Some that are working are having to find child care for their children because of school closings. We are praying for you!
I am hearing a lot of negative talk going around on social media and from people that I have encountered on my short trips to pick up supplies. I hear you…I understand the frustration and the fear that is trying to surround us. In the midst of this “storm” I am reminded that God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and love and a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7)
I do not speak against those that are having fear, but encourage you to look to God to help you overcome it. I have to admit that I have moved from the initial feelings of fear and frustration to seeing the spiritual implications of what’s going on spreading out before me.
I do not believe that the enemy of our souls, Satan, has caused this virus. However, I do believe that Satan is taking the opportunity to release a spirit of fear to paralyze the church and world. He is trying to separate and shut down God’s people and cause anxiety and depression.
I come against that right now, in the mighty Name of Jesus! I rebuke and root out the spirit of fear. I command it to GO and I release God’s POWER and LOVE to rise up within God’s people! I thank You, LORD, that we have the mind of Christ, a SOUND MIND…a mind that is not filled with what the world says, but with YOUR TRUTH, O God!! I thank You, LORD, that out of our sound mind we make decisions and choices based on Your Guidance and Your Word. May we honor and heed the guidance and directions of those that are positioned to stop the spread of this virus. May we look past ourselves to those that are vulnerable and need to be protected. Help us, LORD, to be on the front line of defense – through our actions and through our prayers.
I also believe that God has not caused this virus. However, I do believe that He 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)
I see God using this time to wake up His Church!! What are we turning to in reaction to what’s going on? Are we comforting ourselves through things of the flesh or are we turning to God? Where does our hope come from?
What are we doing now that we are forced to be at home? Oh Brothers & Sisters!! What an opportunity we have to connect more deeply with the Lord! I hear the Lord calling us to DRAW NEAR!! How can we journey through this time and come out on the other side stronger?
I would encourage you (and me) to dig deeper into God’s Word. I would encourage us to spend quiet time just resting in His presence – feeling His love and expressing our love to Him. Take this time to LISTEN. God wants to speak to you. I believe that as we press into the Lord, really press in, we will begin to receive answers to questions we have had unanswered. We will receive deeper revelation of what God wants us to do during this time of separating ourselves from the world and abiding in Him.
God is calling us to HOLINESS! I see this time as a time of “cleaning house.” May we physically clean house and get things in order…but even more importantly…may we spiritually go through our homes and get rid of those things that God says to remove. Get out the anointing oil and (re)dedicate our homes as places of spiritual safety, health, love, and rest.
We also need to “clean house” in our own lives. What has God been calling us to stop doing or to begin doing? What things are causing us to move away from God instead of drawing near? Brothers & Sisters, the time is NOW! No more putting it off until later…
Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. (Matthew 25:1-4). *I invite you to read through verse 13*
WE ARE THE CHURCH!! We are just as much the church even when we are not physically able to meet in the church building. May we focus on the LORD during this time. May we position ourselves to become the Church He has called us to be. May we use this time to be wise and “fill our oil lamps!” Allow the Holy Spirit to fill you to overflowing! May we burn brighter and brighter as we are filled more and more with the oil of the Holy Spirit!! When we are released from this quarantine may we be LIGHTHOUSES shining brightly for the LORD!!! GLORY!!
We are in this journey together!! You, me, and Almighty God!! Trust and KNOW that He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:57)