The Heart of God

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Devotion:  Psalm 73:26

Is it possible to know the very heart of God?  I know I just talked about this on May 17,2018.  At this point in time, it’s only been nine days ago.  There are times God is speaking something so strongly; He doesn’t want to let us go from His Words of truth.

David was considered a man after God’s own heart.  Seeking the Lord while He may be found appeared to be in David’s DNA.  He loved His God with all of his heart, all of his soul, all of his mind and all of his strength.  David knew the voice of the Lord his God.

The Psalms are filled with  David’s cries to the One who created him for fellowship with Him.  My dear reader; He created you with the same desire; to have daily, intimate fellowship with you, His created being.

God wants to talk to you about what’s going on in your life as well as the lives of those He’s placed in your sphere of influence.  The Bible says; “Draw nigh to God and He will draw nigh to you.”  “His eyes are searching to and fro looking for those whose hearts long to be completely His.”

God is always listening.  Are we talking to Him?  Are you responding to His voice or dismissing it because you don’t want to hear what He is speaking?

I long to be a woman after His own heart.  I long to hear His voice above every other voice, my own included.  I want every heartbeat and every thought to be for His glory.  He created you and me to glorify Him on earth as He is glorified in heaven.

Prayer in Motion:

Jesus, speak to my heart this day.  Speak that my soul may hear.  Calm every doubt and fear.  I long to be a man/woman after your own heart.  Speak Lord, for Your servant, is listening with the ear of a disciple.  My heart belongs to You Lord and I want to treasure You with every single beat until I come to live with You in eternity.  In Jesus Name.  Amen

 

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Follow Your Calling

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Devotion:  Isaiah 30:21

How many of us honestly know our calling; the thing we know we were created to do?  We all have one, whether or not we have identified it is the deeper question. God created you for this very purpose, to fulfill this calling.

Many of us do what our parents told us we should do.  Others do what is expected of us by our peers; but have we talked to the One who created us and fashioned with and for a purpose?  There are library shelves filled with books on this subject matter.

A purpose filled life lives with direction and intention.  Finding that purpose takes intentionality.  With intention; believers must seek the very heart of God.  He says in His Word; “If we seek Him; we will find Him; when we search for Him with our whole heart.”  That takes time, quiet and willingness to wait to hear our Lord’s voice.

We should not compare ourselves to other people.  They do not set the bar.  God does.  We frantically try to fulfill the expectations of those around us, and while one may lead a life full of good things; it may not be God’s best.

There are many examples in God’s Word of people who obeyed God’s voice and calling on their lives.  Abraham got up and went, even though He wasn’t certain where God was taking him.  Joseph obeyed God to take Mary as his wife, even though she was pregnant.  Even though afraid; Esther went before the king and saved the lives of her people.

When we stand before our Lord; I long for you and me to have followed our calling.  Our Creator God longs for us to hear Him say, “This is the way, walk in it.’   When we do; we will hear at the end of our lives; “Well done, good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Master.”

Prayer in Motion:

Jesus, what is it You would have me to do?  I want to be about my Father’s business.  Help me to be still and listen for Your voice always.  May I obey You above all other voices.  I love You and trust You.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.

 

Growing or Dying

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Devotion:  Jeremiah 12:2

I planted a couple of tomato plants as well as a few marigolds in my patio containers.  I did not inherit my dad’s green thumb.  I either over water or something happens between the planting and the bumper crop my dad produced.  He plowed.  He hoed.  He weeded and fertilized his garden.  God watered and it grew.

In our Christian walk, we are either growing or dying.  Without feeding ourselves through the Word and prayer; we are shriveling and moving into the dying mode.  Just as a plant needs to be fed to grow; we need to feed ourselves through studying and equipping ourselves in God’s Word.  We need to ask God to search our hearts for the weeds of sin that need to be pulled out.

A garden will not take care of itself.  My friend Patty Proffit has a neighbor who is a master gardener.  If Patty has a garden question she calls her neighbor who always has the answer to her planting question.

In the same way; we need the Master Gardener to help tend our spiritual lives.  All we have to do is pray and talk to Him about the right answer.  The Bible says His eyes are always searching to and fro looking for those whose hearts are completely His.  He loves to talk to us about our planting, our sin removal, and our harvest.

We want to continue to grow in our spiritual lives.  We do not want to go into shrivel up mode but to spiritually thrive and produce kingdom fruit.

Prayer in Motion:

Lord Jesus, thank You for encouraging me to grow and not wither.  I want to produce fruit for Your kingdom that will yield a bumper crop of believers.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.

The Feelings Realm

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Devotion:   Proverbs 3:4-5

“Feelings, oh-oh-oh, feelings.”  I can almost hear you singing that old song.

                      But feelings will always fail you…..

There are many who love living in the “feelings realm.”  Every action and reaction that flows out of them comes from how they “feel” on a particular day.  God help the person who comes against them on a “bad day.”

There is no fruit of the Spirit exhibited when we operate out of our feelings.  Although God gave us feelings as part of our makeup; they are also the shallowest part of our human design.  They are subject to change on any given day or at any given moment.

Jill Briscoe states in her book; “It Must Have Been a Monday”;  “The Holy Spirit, after all, doesn’t come into our lives to do his deepest work in the shallowest part of us—our emotions.  But rather He comes into our lives to do His deepest work in the deepest part of us—our knowings.  God never tests our feelings for Him, but rather our faith in him.  He tests our trust.”

God allows His children to go through stuff.  On any given day, you may feel God is far from you.  You know that is a lie from your enemy because God declares; ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.”  ” I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

So how shall we resist the temptation to succumb to our feelings?  God says, “He inhabits the praises of His people.”  We begin to praise God from whom all blessings flow.  We cry out to the One and Only Jesus and rest in His all-sufficient grace that is new every single morning.

We lay down our feelings and operate out of the supernatural faith God has placed in our hearts.  It’s the only way to strongly survive.

Prayer in Motion:

Lord, I trust You to accomplish all that concerns me, even in the worst of times.  You are with me, my Lord and my God.  May I trust in what I know to be good, right and true in Your eyes.  In Jesus Name.  Amen

 

Unseen World

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Devotion:  Hebrews 11:1

As the Lord brought this verse to mind; I thought about the Hall of Faith mentioned in the Bible.   Abraham was the first to come to mind.  I want Abe’s kind of faith.  There are modern-day Abrahams as well.  My friends Jamie and Chandler left everything behind and are serving as missionaries to Uganda.

This young couple left everything comfortable and went to a place to which they’d never been before. Jamie and Chandler came out of their comfort zone, learned a new language and prepared themselves to go do what God asked them to do.

This precious young couple currently has three young children and one on the way. Rather than insisting on being comfortable; they obeyed the God of all Comfort. You see; they chose to deal with the unseen world, the world of faith and spiritual life.  For them; it has never been about being comfortable.

They have grown leaps and bounds at a level independent of feelings and comfort.  Jill Briscoe says:

“This level of obedience has to do with the unseen, not the seen; the unknowable, not the knowable; and with God, not us.” 

It involves the highest level of faith and trust to leave family, comfort and all that one has ever known.  That’s why Abraham is called the Father of Faith.  Was he perfect?  No!  There were times that he failed to fully obey.  Did his faith waver?  Yes, when he took matters into his own hands at the suggestion of his wife.  His promised heir was not presenting himself so he went into Sarah’s handmaiden Leah.  We are still dealing today with the fruit of that union.

God has called us to obey and be faithful to an unseen world, our Father God’s World.  It goes against every physical manifestation this world and our flesh has to offer.  If we can deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Jesus; the blessings will supersede our wildest imagination.  “He will do exceedingly and abundantly beyond what we could ever ask or think or imagine.”

Prayer in Motion:

Lord, I want Abrahamic faith, to know I can trust in You and “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen.”  Grow me in my faith.  Pour out blessings beyond measure upon those people who’ve given up everything to serve an unseen world in obedience to their Savior’s calling.  In Jesus Name.  Amen

A Mess Turned into a Message

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Devotion:  1 Corinthians 1:18-21

Someone asked Pastor Andy, “What kind of people go to your church?”  He replied, “messy people.”  The guy replied back; “I wouldn’t like that so much.”  Andy said, “Well, you are messy, too.”  “Who me?”  He responded.

You see none of us want to admit that we sin and sometimes our lives get messy with all that is going on.  The Bible says, “We all sin and fall short of the glory of God.”

The Bible promises that “If we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  We are still messy people even after our salvation.  We are just forgiven, messy people. We are continually being transformed from glory to glory.

God will take our mess, whatever it looks like and will turn it into a message.  I can guarantee that He will take what Satan meant for evil and turn it out for our good and His glory.  We tend to think people won’t love us if they knew our true story.  The real truth is there are a gazillion people going through what you are going through that could truly benefit from your messy life stories.

We must remember there is something redeemable in every messy situation.    We know that God can right every wrong, reverse any horrific disease, bring the dead back to life or a prodigal back into the fold.  Nothing is too hard for God.

Will you still trust God when He does not perform the miracle you expected?  God longs to show you something new about Himself in ever tribulation.  It may look very different than what you expected.  God is all about growing our faith and expanding our souls.

You see dear one; our Jesus is trustworthy both now and forevermore.  He promises to accomplish greater things than we can ask or think or imagine.  Will you trust Him to do so?  He will turn your mess into a message.  Souls will be saved and the downhearted will be restored.

Prayer in Motion:

Lord, God of heaven and earth; I want my mess to be turned into a message for Your honor and glory.  I want to share it with those You have given me.  I want their lives to be forever changed through the power and strength of Your Holy Spirit.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.

 

 

What I Have Heard, I Have Now Seen

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Devotion:  Job 42:5

There is a vast difference between hearing something about God and seeing it with your very eyes.  We can hear that God is so good, however; until we have lived to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living, we cannot understand the victory to be had in Christ Jesus.

Job refused to curse God and die after losing everything, so God honored him by restoring him his “stuff.”  He watched as God restored the things that had been taken from him.

When we walk through a valley or trial; we learn to trust God in a whole new way.  He teaches us about ourselves and about Himself.  For instance, how would we ever know that He is strong if we have never gone through periods of weakness?  How could He prove Himself to be Jehovah Jireh if we have never gone without?

Our God wants to prove Himself exceedingly and abundantly able to do beyond what we could ask or think or imagine.  He wants to bring beauty for ashes and strength for fear, gladness for mourning and peace for despair.  That’s what He did for Job.

You see nothing could have prepared Job for what happened to him.  Life’s trials and heartaches can teach us and train us in righteousness.  There is no other way we can see the hand of God move on our behalf.  What we have read and heard can then be applied.

Prayer in Motion:

Lord, help me remember Job’s responses to his terrific trials when I experience tribulation in my own life.  May I act and react in a way that is pleasing to You God.  “Shall I indeed accept good from the hand of God and not accept adversity?”  What I have heard others speak about You Lord, may I see with my eyes.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.