Freedom from the Pit

23 03 2010

“I waited patiently and expectantly for the L-rd; and He inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up out of a horrible pit…and set my feet upon a rock.” –Psalm 40:1-2

“When the Bible speaks of “the pit,” I always think of the depths of depression. David spoke of feeling as though he were in a pit, calling out to the L-rd to rescue him and set his feet on solid ground.

Nobody wants to be in the pit of depression. Satan takes advantage of your situation by reminding you of painful memories.

When you are depressed, the devil’s goal is to make you miserable and hopeless you will never rise up and cause him any problems or to fulfill the call of G-d on your life.

So if you’re struggling in a pit that keeps you from being all G-d wants you to be, cry out to the L-rd and allow Him to draw you out of the pit and set you free. G-d has a great life planned for you, don’t let satan steal it through depression.” (Joyce Meyer, “Ending Your Day Right”)

Waiting patiently and expectantly sticks out when I read that scripture. “Patiently” reminds me that G-d and I don’t run on the same schedule. I get tired of situations far before it’s G-d’s timing to move me out. I think G-d gives us the waiting time so both of us can see how my patience and faith play out. Will I trust Him when I don’t see the movement? We need to see our reaction and we need to see our faith lacking because then we will learn to trust G-d’s timing and hand. “Expectantly” is vital because it reflects on our view of G-d. If we truly believe in G-d’s love and goodness, we will be expectant about His intervention and blessing. I start freaking out when I let myself forget who G-d is and what is track record is like. It’s so easy when you are not in a waiting time to tell others to wait patiently and trust, but the real testament is when you are in that season yourself—If you are struggling in the “just wait on G-d” phase, I’m right there with you. Some days, this is really tough and I just want to give up, but keep pressing on with me. We are all on this journey together. The L-rd will bring us through and it will be beautiful.

By faith and hope,

Mere

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Have an Attitude of Faith

17 03 2010

“Faith is the assurance…of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see.”

-Hebrews 11:1

“Faith can be described in many ways, but a very simple way to look at faith—even to examine whether or not you are operating in it—is to say that “faith has an attitude.”

Hebrews 4 says that those who have believed G-d—those who have an attitude of faith—enter His rest and cease from the weariness and pain of human labors.

The attitude of faith does not worry, fret, or have anxiety concerning tomorrow, because faith understands that wherever it needs to go, even into the unknowns of the future, Jesus has already been there.

Remember, He is the Alpha and the Omega. Not only is He the Beginning and the End, He is everything in between. So have an attitude of faith as you pray today, placing your trust completely in the one who was, who is, and who is to come.” (Joyce Meyer, “Ending Your Day Right)

Would our faith really be faith if we were not required to have faith? This may seem obvious or like a tongue twister, but I think it’s a legitimate thought. Why are we surprised by circumstances that don’t make sense to us? Why are we whiny and upset when G-d gives us a scenario that requires us to actually have faith? When it comes down to it, I must confess that I’m a fair weather friend of G-d. In the good times, we are great, but when times get tough, I’m whining to Him. Praise the L-rd for His grace! I think I would have gotten tired of my whining if I was Him. I think we have a choice in this. Joyce brought up that there was an attitude of faith. We can’t always choose our circumstances, but we can make a choice to have the right attitude. This is really hard, but I feel a strange sense of joy because I’m in a time that is requiring a lot of faith because the reassurance is not there based upon circumstances or human logic. I think knowing that G-d has something good in mind after the challenges pass brings me the most reassurance. All I can say is what I’m trying to do—don’t try to figure out what the L-rd is doing; just get excited about what He is doing and keep your eyes open to the subtle changes He may be bringing. The L-rd is our defense and He is all the proof we truly need.

By faith and hope,

Mere





Don’t Fret–Rejoice!

13 03 2010

“Rejoice in the L-rd always…again I say, Rejoice!…Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in…everything by prayer and petition,…with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to G-d.”

–Phil 4:4, 6

“Twice in this passage the apostle Paul tells us to rejoice. He urges us not to fret or have any anxiety about anything but to pray and give thanks to G-d in everything—not after everything is over.

If you wait until everything is perfect before rejoicing and giving thanks you won’t have much fun. Learning to enjoy life even in the midst of trying circumstances is one way to develop spiritual maturity.

Live in the fullness of the joy of the L-rd by finding something to be glad about besides your current circumstances. You must learn to derive your happiness and joy from the L-rd who lives inside you.

Decide you will not fret or have anxiety about anything but will give thanks and praise to G-d, rejoicing in Him always.”

(Joyce Meyer, “Ending Your Day Right”)

I think the biggest mistake we can make is to assume that just because we can’t see how G-d is working that nothing is happening. It’s so easy to fall into this and that is exactly what satan wants us to do. If he can make us feel stuck or ignored, we will spiral into fear, depression, and hopelessness. Every time you choose to believe the truth about G-d’s love and His activity, the lies and doubts as to G-d not coming through will seem more and more ridiculous. He cares about you. He’s in every detail of your life—He either causes it or allows it to happen. He cares for your good more than you do. In my experience, the best way to banish the lies and feelings of hopelessness is to be grateful in the small things…no matter how small the blessing may be, like the fact that you were able to have a Poptart for breakfast or the flowers in your yard were in bloom this morning or the dryer only ate one sock today…Start looking for the little things and the greater things will come in His time.

By faith and hope,

Mere





Rejoice in Today

13 03 2010

“This is the day which the L-rd hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” –Psalm 118:24

“The L-rd once told me anxiety is caused by trying to mentally and emotionally get into things that are not here yet or that have already passed—mentally leaving today and getting into an area of the past or the future.

Since then I have been trying to learn to lighten up and enjoy life. I try to live life one day at a time and not worry about the past or the future. We need to be responsible, but we also need to relax and take things as they come without getting all nervous and upset.

Learn to enjoy the good life G-d provided for you. In spite of all the troubling things going on in the world, make this daily confession: “This is the day the L-rd has made, and I will rejoice and be glad in it.”

(Joyce Meyer, “Ending Your Day Right”)

It’s funny how living in the moment can be construed to be really awesome and really terrible. I don’t think we are meant to “live in the moment” as in living with no concept of consequence, but I think there is a reason that Jesus said each day has enough trouble of its own (Matt 6:34). I’m not sure if it’s this society or time period or maybe this is just inherently our world—but we are very much encouraged and expected to look towards the future all the time. If the L-rd gives you long term leading, awesome…but often times He directs day by day. Whenever I start worrying about the future, I waste a day of opportunity. How wonderful and less stressful our days would be if we lived with less planning and more dependence! Every ounce of our humanity will be resistant to this lifestyle, but I truly believe that is how our L-rd work—asking us to trust and be faithful in the everyday kind of drudgery. This can be really challenging, but all we can do is keep striving toward it. I think the first step is to surrender and ask for the L-rd to refocus your eyes so you can be led on His path everyday. Don’t check out, give up, or walk away—the L-rd will amaze you along the way.

By faith and hope,
Mere





A Heart of Flesh

18 02 2010

“I will give them one heart [a new heart] and I will put a new spirit within them; and I will take the stony [unnaturally hardened] heart out of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh [sensitive and responsive to the touch of their G-d].” –Ezekiel 11:19

“G-d puts a sense of right and wrong deep within your conscience, but if you rebel too many times, you become hard-hearted. If that happens, you need to let Him soften your heart so you can be sensitive to the leadership of the Holy Spirit.

The only way to develop a heart of flesh is to spend time with G-d. You must be in His presence on a regular basis to hear what He is saying. G-d often speaks gently, and those who are busy doing their own thing will not hear His still, small voice. Tonight as you spend time in the L-rd’s presence, ask Him to soften your heart so you can receive His direction at all times.”

-Joyce Meyer, “Ending Your Day Right”

This devotion definitely applies to me and I hope it will strike a chord with you as well. If you are seeking to find the L-rd’s leading and will, take a step back and sit in His presence for a while. I really need this time soaking Him up as well. Everything about this world tells us to plan our lives away and distracts us with a boatload of paperwork to fill out and hoops to jump through. Let’s resist this temptation together. The L-rd will grant His grace to us and lead us into His way, but we need to pause long enough that we can hear Him. How different would our situation look if we spent the same amount of time with Him, seeking His heart, as we do either filling out applications, researching, and worrying about the lack of plan as of yet. Don’t lose sight of the one that is guiding your path. If you will quiet down, you will be able to sense the inklings that He has been trying to give you. He may not give you a ten-year plan, most likely He wont, but He truly will lead you right now, moment by moment.

By faith and hope,

Mere





a little faith goes a long way…

7 10 2009

6a00d8341c65c453ef010536d4981b970c-800wia little faith goes a long way…

Even after walking with Christ for fourteen years, I still find myself struggling with feelings of inadequacy. For the past year, I have felt this strong need to know why I believe the things that I do so that I could be reassured and so that I would be able to give an answer for the hope that I have. Although, seeking to know G-d better is a good thing, we have to also realize that will not be a point, at least till Christ returns that we will know G-d fully. I kept feeling like I would get to a place where I felt secure and confident about my faith so that I can share it with others. The revelation that has come to me is: Yes, keep on seeking and hungering after more of G-d, but in the meantime, step out in faith. As Psalms 55:22 says, “Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.” Would it really be faith if we knew exactly what to say and felt entirely informed about G-d? Wouldn’t that reduce G-d to something much smaller than He is?

Throughout the Bible, faith is directly connected to all sorts of miraculous movements. (salvation, miracles, healing, walking on water, etc.) I’m not sure what stepping out in faith will look like for me or for you, but I know that whenever I feel the L-rd’s impulse, I’m praying that I will be more than compelled to listen.

Reading through John 1 gives plenty of examples of faith. John the Baptist stepped out in faith. He was essentially the neon arrow pointing at Jesus saying this is G-d’s lamb, even though he didn’t even know exactly what that was going to mean: “Look! G-d’s lamb! The one who is taking away the sin of the world! This is the man I was talking of when I said, ‘After men is coming someone who has come to rank above me, because he existed before me.’ I myself did not know who he was, but the reason I came immersing with water was so that he might be made know to Israel” (John 1:29-31). John was not sure of who Jesus was or his personality, but he knew that he was supposed to baptize and declare him. If John had waited around till he fully understood Jesus and felt confident about his opinions and views, he probably wouldn’t have fulfilled prophesy and become “the voice of someone crying out: ‘In the desert make the way of ADONAI straight” (Isaiah 40:3).

Another example of tremendous faith is one of the more obscure disciples, Nathaniel. When Philip brought Nathaniel to meet Jesus, Jesus said that he was a true son of Israel and there was nothing false in him. Nathaniel questioned Jesus, wondering how he knew him. Jesus said that he had seen him under the fig tree before Philip called him. Nathaniel replied with: “Rabbi, you are the Son of G-d! You are the King of Israel!” (John 1:49). I love how Jesus can know everything, yet be overwhelmed by someone’s faith. He is such an amazing mystery. Jesus was so refreshed and said, “You believe all of this because I told you I saw you under a fig tree? You will see greater things than that! Yes indeed! I tell you that you will see heaven opened and the angels of G-d going up and coming down on the Son of Man!” (John 1:50-51). If we will have faith in who Jesus is and acknowledge Him, He will blow us away. We need to go back to this sort of simple, more child-like faith where we are ready to leap with Him and trust that He will fill in the blanks.

By faith,

Mere 🙂





Tame the Tongue

27 04 2009

forest-fire

“Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark…but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.”

 –James 3:4-5, 8

“Anything undisciplined will be wild and uncontrollable, always wanting to do its own thing. A child is that way. So is a wild animal. So is appetite. The human tongue is no different. No man can tame the tongue—not by himself. You need the Holy Spirit’s help, but God will not do it all for you. you must discipline your mouth and take responsibility for what comes out of it.

     How do you talk about your future? If you are not satisfied with your life and want to see it change, begin speaking over yourself according to God’s Word. Let you words be in agreement with God’s Word and you will be blessed greatly.” –Joyce Meyer, Ending Your Day Right

I think our problem is boldness and lack of faith. We don’t really pray like we think anything will actually happen. This idea of speaking change and blessing into your life is bold, but its asserting a great level of confidence in G-d and His power. He hasn’t given us any reason to not be confident. He has remained faithful and always will be: “If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful because he cannot be untrue to himself.” -2 Timothy 2:13. Be Bold!—“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” –Hebrews 4:16. Pray with confidence—“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” –James 5:16.

 

For the change,
Mere