In A Fight?

The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” – Exodus 14:14 (NIV).

I don’t know about you, but I am going through something.  Something where I decided to take a risk.  A giant, unconventional risk that will rock my world.

Now even though I know that the decision is the right one for me, I am met with resistance.  I am met with hoops to jump through.

I am left with a situation that if God doesn’t fight for me in it, this could blow up in my face.

Only I am not one to be still.  I am always in motion, thinking about my next move, thinking about how to accomplish my goals.

God is specifically saying in this passage that God will fight for us when we are still. Not psychically but emotionally and mentally.

We have to be still in our spirits before God will fight for us.

In some versions of the Bible, it says quiet.

When I am displeased with how a situation is going, I am very vocal with God.

It is in those times that we need to surrender everything to God.

We need to stay calm, still, and know that no matter what is going on around us, God is in control.

God knows what He is doing.  Sometimes He will allow delays.  Sometimes He will say no.  Why?  Because He has something better for us.  Remember God only wants what is best for us.

Be still today.  Be quiet.  Know God has this situation in your life covered.  He has your back.

Trust God?

In God, whose word I praise—in God I trust and am not afraid.  What can mere mortals do to me? – Psalm 56:4 (NIV)

There is nothing to fear in life.  As long as we have God on our side, there is nothing to fear.

There is no one to fear.  It seems odd to say that when there are threats all around us.

There are terrorists who want to kill us for our faith.

There are shooters and bombers everywhere, but our faith, our hope, our trust, has to be in our God.

We have to know that He has promised never to leave us nor forsake us.  Even in the darkest situations, He is with us.

Our God loves us.  Our God wants what is best for us.

We just have to surrender our will to His and trust that our God is going to turn everything around for our good.

We have trust His plan, His purposes, instead of ours.

When we do that, God opens up doors and ways we didn’t see possible.

Even in the dark times, choose to say, “Lord, I don’t know what You are doing, but I choose to trust You.”

Are You Successful?

The LORD was with Joseph, so he became a successful man. And he was in the house of his master, the Egyptian. – Genesis 39:2 (NASB).

The Lord was with Joseph, so he became a successful man.

Think about this for a moment.

At this time, Joseph is about seventeen. His brothers have sold him into slavery.

He has been stripped of his identity as Jacob’s son. He has been stripped of everything that could have identified him as anything other than another slave bought by the Ishmaelites along their journey to Egypt.

Joseph was nothing. He had nothing. In the natural, this was looking like the darkest period of Joseph’s life…and yet God called Joseph was a success man.

In the King James Version, it says that Joseph was a prosperous man.

It is the Hebrew transliterated word tsalach. It means to rush, to advance, make progress, succeed, be profitable, to make prosperous, bring to successful issue, cause to prosper.

Why does God call Joseph successful or prosperous? We see throughout the account in Genesis 39-52, that Pharaoh, Potiphar and the prison warden saw that the Lord was with Joseph.

That right there determined whether Joseph would prosper or fail.

If God be for us, who can be against us (Romans 8:31)?

As Believers, we have the Lord with us. We have the indwelling Spirit of God.

The Holy Spirit didn’t live in Joseph, and he was a success. If Joseph was successful without the indwelling Spirit, how much more successful should we be with access to the Holy Spirit 24/7?

Don’t get me wrong. We will go through difficult times, but, God will turn it all around for our good (Romans 8:28).

Joseph was falsely accused of attempting to sexually assault Potiphar’s wife, but if the Potiphar really bought that story, the punishment for Joseph would have been more severe.

God specifically put him in that prison to interpret the butler’s dream, who would be Joseph’s way into Pharaoh’s life. It was set-up from on High to save the Israelites, Egyptians and neighboring countries from starving to death.

When God is with us, we can know that God is working everything out for our good.

If we believe Him and work with Him instead of against Him, He will make us a success.

Can You Picture It?

Note: This was originally posted in 2007.

Do you remember Sophia on the Golden Girls? When she wanted to tell a story, she would say “Picture it…”

Picture it. Imagine Jesus nailed to the cross. He has been beaten to the point where his skin hung on the whip. His hands and feet were nailed with big stake nails. A crown of thorns dug into His head.

Now imagine Him with the weight of all our sins on Him. Not just yours and mine, but those of every person in history, in the past and yet to be born.

In addition to that, He had shingles, migraines, cancer, chicken pox, stretch marks, hives. Every sickness and disease that could every come upon you.

He also had bi-polar and mental illness on Him as He hung there.

Imagine all that Jesus went through on that cross for you. All He went through to save you, heal you and delivered you.

And yet Jesus, while under all that distress, said, “It is finished.”

It is finished. Everything that we require in this live has been provided for you when Jesus died for you. He even overcame death for you by raising from the dead.

Now, imagine how many days you go without remembering what Jesus did for you? I challenge you to take the time to thank Jesus every day for what He did for you. 🙂

Are You Encouraged?

“David was greatly distressed, for the men spoke of stoning him…But David encouraged and strengthened himself in the Lord his God.” – (1 Samuel 30:6, AMP)

There have been times in all of our lives that everyone seemed to be against us, that everything that could go wrong did.

Maybe we have made a decision that is right for us, but one in which our families and friends didn’t agree with, like packing up and making a fresh start out of state.

In David’s case, his people blamed him because they had been in the same circumstances for so long without being with their wives, kids and friends.

Sometimes the only people you can count on are you and God…and even you might be iffy.

That is when you have to choose to encourage yourself.  Choose to be your own cheerleader.

These are the times when you choose to thank God for everything you can think of.

You woke up this morning? Thank Him for that.

You are healthy? Thank Him for that.

Roof over your head? Food to eat? A job? Electricity? Running water? Yes, thank God for these as well.

Family you love? Friends you adore? Thank God for them.

When we turn our attention to what we are grateful for instead of what is going on in our lives, we change our attitude, our perspective.

The quickest way to change our lives is by changing our attitude.

Even when things look grim, when we are stuck in the same situation, day after day, month after month, year after year, we have to find the good. We have to find something for which to be grateful.

There will always be someone better off than you, and someone that is worse off than you.

There will always be things you don’t have, but don’t focus on those. Focus on what you do have.

When you focus on gratitude, you can’t help but feel happy and encouraged.

What can you be grateful for today?

Is It Impossible?

When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” – Matthew 25-26

In verse 16, Matthew records, “Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”

He asked the wrong question.

What good thing…he was trying to earn his salvation.

Jesus perceived this, so Jesus worked from the man’s level. In verse 17, Jesus told him to obey the commandments.

In verse 20, the man says, “All of these I have kept.”

Okay, dude, you have missed the point.

I John 1:8 (NIV) tells us “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.”

Galatians 2:24 explains the purpose of the law (the commandments), “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.’

The purpose of the law is to bring us to Christ, to show us that we cannot keep God’s standard of perfection, that we need a Savior.

This man missed that part completely instead relying on how he could earn his way to Heaven.

Jesus hit him where it hurts when the man asked, “What do I lack? (verse 20).

Jesus said, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me. (verse 21).”

Jesus was saying, “If you want to act like you are perfect, give up that one thing, that idol, that stands between you and God.”

Only the man prized his money above all else. It was his god.

The disciples didn’t understand how to be saved until later either because when Jesus told them in verses 23-24 (NIV), “Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God, they ask in verse 25, “Who then can be saved?”

Easy. John 3:16 answers this plainly, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. ”

Believing in Jesus saves us. It is not our works. It is Jesus and Jesus alone.

Getting to Heaven on our own is an impossible feat, but with Jesus, it is as easy as believing on Jesus and what He did for us at the Cross.

What is impossible with men is possible with God.

Trying To Earn It?

Now when the turn came for Esther the daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai, who had taken her as his daughter, to go in to the king, she requested nothing but what Hegai the king’s eunuch, the custodian of the women, advised. And Esther obtained favor in the sight of all who saw her. – Esther 2:15

God wants to favor us. He wants to pour out his favor upon us.

Just like all of God’s other gifts to us, we cannot earn it. We don’t deserve it.

There is no way for us to earn the blessings of God. There is no way for us to earn favor from God. We can never be good enough by God’s standards to earn anything from God.

Our righteousness, our trying to work for our blessings, our trying to earn favor with God, our trying to earn right standing with God, is as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6).

The only way for us to receive God’s favor, to be blessed by God, to be in right standing with God is by accepting what Jesus did for us.

By God’s standard, the punishment for any sin, no matter how minor, is death (Romans 6:23). His standard is perfection.

Here is the great part, though, God sent His Son who knew no sin to become sin for us (II Corinthians 5::21), to die for us on the Cross, to die for every sin we would ever commit.

Now we can receive God’s gifts–His favor, His blessings, His righteousness–because of Jesus’ Ultimate Sacrifice on that Cross.

We need to focus, though, on Jesus and what He did for us. That is where our focus needs to lie.

If we try to earn what has been given to us freely, we are saying Jesus died in vain (Galatians 2:21).

Does this mean that we stop trying to act right? No, but we have to remember that right believing leads to right living.

Once we believe right, we will start to live right.

Where the minds goes, the body will follow.

Keep your mind focus on what Jesus did for us. When you do, you will see all that God has provided for you in His Word.

How do you see those things manifest in your life?

By thanking God for them.

Let’s thank God today for all that we have, all that He is and all that He has freely given us.

Will You Share?

So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, “Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.” His lord said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant…” – Matthew 25:20–21

What are you doing with what God has given you?

God has given all of us talents and gifts to share with the world.

“But I don’t have any talents or gifts.,” you might say.

Just because you haven’t discovered yours yet does not negate the fact that God has given to each of us gifts and talents.

We all have special skills, abilities, gifts, talents and personality that make us who we are.

We are all unique. God has created us all to be awesome in our own way. We each have an awesomeness that we need to share with the world.

We have a story. We have our own perspective. We each have our own assignment direct from God Himself.

The question is what are we going to do with those talents, those gifts, that story. Are we going share it with the world or are we going to keep it all to ourselves?

God never gives us things for us to keep them, to hoard them. God gives us things so that we can share them, so that they can bless others as well as us.

God wants us to take what we know, what we have, our talents, our gifts, our story, and share them with others. It might be your story or your gift that heals them emotionally or brings them into the Kingdom of God.

What if, by not sharing who you are with the world, you are preventing someone from hearing the Gospel?

What if, by not sharing your story, someone stays stuck for the rest of their lives?

Are you going to share what you have with the world, or are you going to stay in your comfort zone and hide your talents?

The choice is yours.

Do You Have Wisdom?

But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption. – 1 Corinthians 1:30, KJV
Christ is our wisdom, our righteousness, our sanctification and our redemption.

If you have been reading this blog for awhile, you know that Jesus took our place at the Cross. That Jesus became the Ultimate Sacrifice for our sins.

He exchanged all His right standing, His sanctification, for all our bad—sins and filthiness–to reconcile us back to the Father.

We are righteous. We are sanctified. We are redeemed. All because of the blood of Jesus.

Only Jesus didn’t stop there. He became our wisdom.

James 1:5 tells us that if we need wisdom, we can ask of God, and He will give it to us liberally.

He did through His Son, Jesus.

Wisdom comes from studying the Word, reading the Word, meditating on the Word.

Why?

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (John 1:14).

Jesus is the Word made flesh. The One who came to Earth to die for our sins.

The more we feed on the Word of God and look to the Cross and remember what Jesus did for us, the more wisdom we will have in our lives.

Are You Recharging?

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. – Matthew 11:28 (NIV).

Rest. What does the word rest mean?

This is the Greek word anapauō, which means to cause or permit one to cease from any movement or labour in order to recover and collect his strength, to give rest, refresh, to give one’s self rest, take rest, to keep quiet, of calm and patient expectation.

God wants to give us a time of refreshing, a time of rest, so that we can recharge our batteries.

If you are anything like me, you take on too many projects.

I don’t even have a husband or kids, yet I work full-time, I have a side business and currently I am working on a screenplay and a non-fiction book.

I am also helping people build and market their creative projects as well.

I say “yes” a lot of times when I should say “no” when people ask me for help.

Although I say “no” to opportunities a lot of times that I feel are scary and out of my league.  I am working on that.

Part of being at rest, being able to recharge ourselves, is being able to reflect on what is working in our lives and what isn’t. What needs to be fixed and what doesn’t.

That is when it is nice to just sit in the presence of God, to let Him love on us, and give us His Wisdom, His advice.

God wants us to rest. It is a part of the cycle of life. We work. We rest.

Only too many of us have trouble resting. We have trouble shutting off our mind long enough to rest our weary bodies before we have to dash off to work again.

This is why prescription sleep medication is so popular.

Only if we would read the Word before we go to bed, meditate on it, maybe even play the Scriptures all night while we sleep, we would sleep better. We would have a better chance of getting our rest.

Remember God wants us to rest. He wants us to recharge our batteries. Isn’t it time we made rest a priority in our lives?