The Fountain Day 281: Irrevocable

God is fulfilling His word.  There are many things that He has ordained and foretold that are irrevocable.  There are certain events and things that will happen no matter what.  Also, when God makes a covenant, He never breaks it.  Never. 

“For the mountains may move and hills disappear, but even then My faithful love for you will remain.  My covenant of blessing will never be broken,” says the Lord, Who has mercy on you.  Isaiah 54:10

I believe we are to take hold of the promises now, more than ever.  When God highlights them to you in scripture, He’s trying to extend them over you.  Are you willing to receive?

“Come to Me with your ears wide open.  Listen, and you will find life.  I will make an everlasting covenant with you.  I will give you all the unfailing love I promised to David.  See how I used him to display My power among the peoples.  I made him a leader among the nations.  You also will command nations you do not know, and peoples unknown to you will come running to obey, because I, the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, have made you glorious.”  Isaiah 55:3-5

God is moving on the earth.  Do you perceive it?  We are in the midst of a great flood of the Lord.  A flood of His presence is working its way across the earth.  The plans of the wicked will be cut off!  The victory of the Lord is sure. 

We can cling to the covenants God has made with us, as if they are buoys in the ocean.  They are a safe place to dwell.  We must train our eyes to see beyond what is before us.  We must perceive where He is moving and what He is doing.

This is not a season to just fill a pew on Sunday.  NO!!!

This is a time to walk with Jesus.  Find comfort and instruction from Holy Spirit.  Become confident of our Father, God.

Stop allowing the world to tell you what’s happening and begin to look toward heaven first.  I can’t tell you how often I hear some sort of negative news and my spirit says, “No! God is doing something very different from that.”  I turn a deaf ear to the report of the lost…and cling to the report of the Lord.

What do we do?

This is what the Lord says: “Be just and fair to all.  Do what is right and good, for I am coming soon to rescue you and to display My righteousness among you.  Blessed are all those who are careful to do this.  Blessed are those who honor My Sabbath days of rest and keep themselves from doing wrong.  Isaiah 56:1

The Fountain Day 280: Filled

We know what we don’t want.  We know what we don’t need, but what do we need?  We need to be filled with the Holy Spirit.  Being filled with the Holy Spirit is the second most important thing that we can do.  Salvation, then filled with Holy Spirit.

More than that we should join together and worship.  We should worship alone.  Worship without ceasing…always giving thanks. 

Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts.  And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.  And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.  Ephesians 5:18b-21

Yesterday, I was worshiping at the piano and singing the song whose lyrics say…”I just want to move your heart.”  As I was singing, I did ask God, “What moves Your heart?”  I immediately heard God say, “Gratitude moves My heart.” 

I sat stunned as in a second He flashed before me all these things He’d done in my life recently and even though we’d been grateful on one level…on another level…we saw so much more that needed to happen so the gratitude wasn’t coming from a deep enough place.  God desired for my foundation to be gratitude. 

Friend, there are times when we all do this.  In your pursuit of more of God…don’t stop being grateful for each victory, no matter how small it is.  In your pursuit of what’s next in your life, don’t forget to practice continual gratitude. 

Scripture says,

Then I will praise God’s name with singing, and I will honor Him with thanksgiving.  For this will please the Lord more than sacrificing cattle, more than presenting a bull with its horns and hooves.  The humble will see their God at work and be glad.  Let all who seek God’s help be encouraged. Psalm 69:30-32

Practicing gratitude isn’t a Thanksgiving season practice…it’s supposed to be our lifestyle.

Give thanks and be filled.

God, thank You for all that You are and all that You’ve done.  Thank You for never giving up on me.  Thank You for being so faithful.  Thank You for all You are…thank You for the way You do things.  You move my heart every day…help me to move Yours too.  In Jesus name, Amen.

The Fountain Day 279: The standard of Heaven

As I read through the Bible again this year, I am struck all over again at how relevant it is.  History ignored is likely to be repeated.  History acknowledged and studied, is useful.  It can help you have courage.  It can give you wisdom to not repeat the negative things.  It can encourage you to move forward.  History is important.

God gives us a standard to live by.  Today I want to share a chunk of scripture from Ephesians.  It gives so much insight when you read it and reflect on our current culture and state of affairs.

Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are His dear children.  Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ.  He loved us and offered Himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.  Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you.  Such sins have no place among God’s people.  Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes- these are not for you.  Instead, let there be thankfulness to God.  You can be sure that no immoral, impure, or greedy person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God.  For a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping, the things of this world.  Don’t be fooled by those who try to excuse these sins, for the anger of God will fall on all who disobey Him.  Don’t participate in the things these people do.  For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord.  So, live as people of light!  For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true.  Carefully determine what pleases the Lord.  Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them.  It is shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret.  But their evil intentions will be exposed when the light shines on them, for the light makes everything visible.  This is why it is said, “Awake, O sleeper, rise up from the dead, and Christ will give you light.”  So be careful how you live.  Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise.  Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days.  Don’t act thoughtlessly but understand what the Lord wants you to do.  Ephesians 5:1-17

Now, tell me this scripture isn’t ripe with relevance!!  It is so, so powerfully relevant that it’s hard to believe. 

The world is dark, but the Light of the world lives within each one of us who have accepted Jesus as our Savior!!!!  This is the power of the good news. 

Let’s re-read the portion that says, “Don’t be fooled by those who try to excuse these sins…”  I believe today is the day to fully repent of our excuses and those who excuse all types of behavior.  Yes, I know we all sin and fall short of God’s glory, but some of us do so and repent…while others do so and make it gospel. 

Let that sink in.  You know it’s true. 

Our world has worked overtime to pardon every sin.  Only Jesus can make us right.  We don’t get to rewrite the gospel to suit us. 

It’s time to look back to move forward.

Look back on your moment of salvation.  Thank God and remember what He has done for you.  Then move forward with a heart that fears the Lord, not man.

The Fountain Day 278: Without being frightened

The fruit of your fear shows you the root of the fear…

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.  That fear isn’t like the spirit of the fear that the enemy brings.  It’s a reverence.  An acknowledgment of God’s greatness.  A desire to walk well so you remain close to His heart.  It’s a healthy fear. 

The spirit of fear causes panic and anxiety.  It nudges people toward mistakes because they feel out of control.  Spirit of fear has to do with a fear of punishment and bad outcomes. 

Can you see the difference?

The fruit of the fear of the Lord is righteousness.  The fruit of the spirit of fear is all compromise.

Look at this scripture…

Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.  Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you.  This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved- and that by God.  Philippians 1:27-28

When we refuse to be frightened by those who oppose us, we are prophesying their destruction.  How powerful is that?  Wow. 

The more fear barks at you and demands your surrender to it…the more it tries to paralyze you with its heaviness, the more you should be encouraged to stand firm in peace.

Jesus is the Prince of peace.  Where Jesus is, there is always peace. 

It’s time for us to prophesy death to the enemy by refusing to give in to the spirit of fear.  It’s time for the believers to walk away from being controlled by the spirit of fear, who is trying to bully all of our culture into captivity. 

This is our exodus season!!! Arise.  Break agreement with the spirit of fear!!  Put on the fear of the Lord!!  Walk in righteousness and truth.  Hold fast to the Lord.  Stay focused on His eyes. 

Come Lord Jesus and break the yoke of fear from our lives.  Place within each one of us a hunger for righteousness.  Bless our families.  Bless our homes.  Bless our obedience.  Fill us with a fierceness and authority that makes hell shake in fear.  I turn all fear that the enemy has pointed at me back into the enemy camp.  I label all reports of fear sent my way with “return to sender” and refuse to entertain even the thoughts.  I will trust in You.  Your news is always good news.  I love You.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

The Fountain Day 277: Training, not failing

I have been very reflective lately.  I’m not fully sure why, but I’m keenly aware that it’s an important part of the journey I’m on.  I have thought through my entire marriage with Chris.  Every decision we’ve made.  Every perceived victory and defeat…I say “perceived” because of what I’m about to say…anyway, I’ve thought through everything.  Every detail. 

While doing this, I began to feel ashamed.  Ashamed of some of our decisions and wondering if they are the reason we’ve been wandering for so long.  I’ve been mad at myself for not figuring things out quicker.  And I could go on and on…

But in the middle of all those thoughts and musings, God spoke to me, “Lisa, you weren’t failing.  You were training.  You were growing up and learning new things.  I am not disappointed with you.  I am not frustrated with you.  I was leading you the whole time.  Don’t be ashamed of your process, be grateful.”

Again, I’m letting those words pour over me like a healing salve.  Thank You, Lord.

Friend, I don’t know where you are in life.  On a mountaintop or in a valley.  In a high point or low.  But I do know one thing, God is there.  He is patiently guiding you through your own process.  Praise the Lord!!

The people of the earth will die like flies, but My salvation lasts forever.  My righteous rule will never end!  Isaiah 51:6b

We are on the winning team! God’s salvation is sure.  His rule will never end.  We can lean on Him. 

Do you trust God enough to allow Him to train you?  Do you have enough courage to look on the past and find the teaching?  Are you humble enough to search for His favor over every moment in your history?  His blessing was there.  His way was making your way.  His word is true. 

Trust Him.  Friend, trust Him in all things, not just easy things.  Trust Him with your past, present, and future.  Trust Him.  Trust His timing.  Trust His favor over your life.  Trust His plan.  Trust.

Trust Him enough to say no to things that He says aren’t good for you, no matter how wonderful they seem.  Trust Him enough to walk away from things that you thought were from Him, but now realize aren’t.  Trust Him to lead you through any and all seasons.  Trust.

Trust and faith.  They are basically the same thing.  They are partners.   

Faith is believing in what you have not yet seen.  Trust is continuing to move forward when you have not yet seen. 

Can you have faith and trust that through your life, you’ve been training not failing?

Rise from the dust, O Jerusalem.  Sit in a place of honor.  Remove the chains of slavery from our neck, O captive daughter of Zion.  Isaiah 51:2

The Fountain Day 276: Blessing brings increase

God is our Source.  The Everything.  The Only thing.  Without Him we can’t do anything.

“I am the vine; you are the branches.  If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from You, we can do nothing.”  John 15:5

I came across this next scripture during my reading this week…

Abraham was only one man when I called him.  But when I blessed him, he became a great nation.  Isaiah 51:2b

I felt so alive when I read it.  Abraham was nothing special…it was the blessing of the Lord that brought increase.  I am nothing special.  It is God Who either blesses what I do, or not.  It’s the same for you.  God brings the increase that matters.

Again, my heart is drawn to point out the world of self-promotion over heavenly devotion.  I can’t seem to escape this theme right now.  In fact, it’s brought me to some very vulnerable and real moments with God lately…moments when I have realized that I got off track in one way or another and began pursuing my own ends over His. 

Oh Lord, forgive me for any time that I have gone astray and followed after my own ways and forgotten Yours.  Lord, I fully devote myself to You again and again.  This world has nothing for me.  You are all I need, want, and desire. 

Friends, I think I keep circling this topic because it’s so necessary for us to be fully devoted, now more than ever.  There is no room for lukewarm.  There is no time for self over God.  He has brought out His winnowing fork and is separating those who are truly devoted to Him and those who are more devoted to themselves.  We are in a season where every day we are seeing one after another Christian leader or influencer falling away.  This is further evidence of what I am speaking.

This is the season of dividing…

Friends, we don’t need to promote ourselves and our “brand” or agenda…we need to be devoted to God alone. 

Are you?

Examine your heart.  Repent if you need to, like I did.  Turn away from personal promotion and seek His face.  That’s the only way you’ll ever be truly satisfied. 

When God blesses you…the increase comes.

The Fountain Day 275: Soul Sick

In the past, I know I’ve discussed this…but before I begin today’s devotional, I’d like to remind you.  We are made in the image of God, and one parallel that He gives us is this…God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit…a triune being.  Likewise, we are a spirit (the part of us that receives salvation and goes to heaven), we have a soul (mind, will, and emotions) and a body.

As I was exercising and watching the sunrise one morning, I had noticed a discomfort in my lower left abdomen.  I didn’t think a lot about it, but while exercising…I heard the Lord say, “You are soul sick.”  Then I saw that part of my abdomen, like it was highlighted, and God reminded me that I’ve always referenced that spot in my body when I talk about my soul.  As in, I associate my soul with that spot on my body. 

That may be strange to you, but that’s apparently not strange to God because He’s the one that pointed it out that day.

Anyway, I hadn’t realized that I had been feeling soul sick.  In fact, I didn’t know that existed until now.  Heart sick, yes.  Soul sick?  Nope, I’d never heard of that before.  But now it makes total sense because, as I previously stated…our soul is composed of our mind, will, and emotions…which is our heart.

I saw Him reach in and take my soul in His hand and it did look sick.  After God showed me this, I felt a lot of the unprocessed disappointment and grief, etc. and I asked God to heal my soul.  I saw Him holding my sick soul and then breathing on it and it became light again. 

I wonder today, are you soul sick? 

Scripture tells us…

Beloved friend, I pray that you are prospering in every way and that you continually enjoy good health, just as your soul is prospering.  3 John 1:2

We need a healthy soul.  We should be the healthiest people alive.  God’s people.  God’s chosen. 

Seek Him today.  Find out the state of your soul.  Allow Him to be honest with you.  See the truth.  It’s worth it.  Even if the truth offends you…believe me, it offended me…but in the best way.  It brought me to revelation of my motives, and that is priceless.

The Fountain Day 274: Chosen

I want to take a moment and really focus on how chosen we are.  We were each chosen, before the world was formed.  Chosen to be His.  How magnificent and wonderful is that? 

Honestly, I believe all depression, anxiety, self-loathing, fear, etc. would leave if we each truly felt that feeling of knowing we were chosen.

Chosen.

We were each chosen.

Let those words soak into your spirit like a spring rain.  Let the fragrance of that rain fill your nostrils and excite your soul.  You are not a mistake.  An inconvenience.  Too much.  No, you are simply and gloriously chosen.

The remainder of today’s devotional will be a large portion of scripture…but it is an extremely important portion.  Feast on it.  Read it more than once.  Let it soak into who you are.  Live from this knowledge.

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ.  Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes.  God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ.  This is what He wanted to do, and it gave Him great pleasure.  So we praise God for the glorious grace HE has poured out on us who belong to His dear Son.  He is so rich in kindness and grace that He purchased our freedom with the blood of His Son and forgave our sins.  He has showered His kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.  God has now revealed to us His mysterious will regarding Christ- which is to fulfill His own good plan.  And this is the plan:  At the right time He will bring everything together under the authority of Christ- everything in heaven and on earth.  Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for He chose us in advance, and He makes everything work out according to His plan.  God’s purpose was that we Jews who were the first to trust in Christ would bring praise and glory to God.  And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you.  And when you believed in Christ, He identified you as His own by giving you the Holy Spirit, Whom He promised long ago.  The Spirit is God’s guarantee that He will give us the inheritance He promised and that He has purchased us to be His own people.  He did this so we would praise and glorify Him.  Ever since I first heard of your strong faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for God’s people everywhere, I have not stopped thanking God for you.  I pray for you constantly, asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God.  I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope He has given to those He called- His holy people who are His rich and glorious inheritance.  I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe Him.  This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated Him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms.  Now He is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else- not only in this world but also in the world to come.  Ephesians 1:3-21

The Fountain Day 273: Opposition

There is opposition all around us, all the time.  The heat is definitely being turned up daily, it seems.  What I’ve noticed is that as American Christians, who have really not ever faced any sort of resistance or persecution, we are largely ill prepared.  When I see the way “woke” has invaded the church, I honestly believe it happened in such large measure because most were just unprepared and gave ear to all kinds of teachings that led them astray. 

We must remember Who it is that fights for us…The One Who created the earth and everything in it.  We must know Whose team we are on. 

Scripture leads us in all things, and this is no exception…

“To whom will you compare Me?  Who is My equal?” asks the Holy One.  Look up into the heavens.  Who created all the stars?  He brings them out like an army one after another, calling each by its name.  Because of His great power and incomparable strength, not a single one is missing.  O Jacob, how can you say the Lord does not see your troubles?  O Israel, how can you say God ignores your rights?  Have you never heard?  Have you never understood?  The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth.  He never grows weak or weary.  No one can measure the depths of His understanding.  He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.  Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion.  But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.  They will soar high on wings like eagles.  They will run and not grow weary.  They will walk and not faint.  Isaiah 40:25-31

When we walk in the knowledge of Who God truly is and what He can do (which is anything) then I believe it instills a deep reverence and confidence.  The problem I see most often though, is that people know Who God is and what He’s like, but they don’t trust Him to be that way for them.

Isn’t that true?

Our biggest challenge is seeing that God is our true Father and will do all the things He said He’d do…for me…for you…because of love.

Our problem isn’t the knowledge…it’s the belief.

What if today you made a decision to ask God to make what you know, something you also believe?  Life will radically change if you choose to do this!

Oh God, I love You.  You are mighty and powerful.  Lord, help me to believe all the things that I know about You.  Show me Your glory.  Show me Your power and teach me how to trust Your hand to move actively in my life, in all situations.  I know You can do all things.  Help me to live like I know that.  Forgive my unbelief.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

The Fountain Day 272: Hiddenness

This week as I was pondering the way our lives are unfolding…I was wondering if our lives would ever have any real and lasting impact.  There are many “shiny” people with large followings and opportunities…but are they living truth?  There are many “self-promoting” people who have the appearance of influence…but should anyone really be following them?  I don’t know.

All I do know is the longer I’m alive the more I value very different things than the world.  I struggle to take advice or influence from anyone who hasn’t gone through desert seasons, or seasons of hiddenness.

When I look at scripture, I see all the ones I love so much, had these seasons.  First off, Jesus…He was raised a carpenter’s son in the middle of nowhere.  He had 33 years of hiddenness and before His ministry took off, He was led into the desert to be tempted.  Then there’s Moses.  He was raised in a palace but went into a long season of hiddenness before being God’s mouthpiece…and he faced great trials and tribulations along the way.  Abraham.  He was sent off from all his family…that’s definitely what I would call a season of hiddenness.  A stranger in a strange land.  He was facing the fire of a long wait before an unfolding promise.  The list could go on and on, but I’ll end it today with David.  If ever a man had a season of hiddenness, it was him.  Out in the fields worshiping God while tending flocks.  Alone for long periods of time.  Anointed to be king, but still kept in smallness for many years.  Yes, David is another excellent example of the refining process necessary for strong leaders to emerge.

One of the hardest things to do in our current culture, is to wait on God to open our doors.  Self-promotion appears to be so popular these days and it seems everyone feels they are an influencer.  But few truly are real influencers…most are just copycats. 

When I am called out of my season of hiddenness, God is really going to have to make it obvious.  I’ve had people pretend to call me forth multiple times, but each one had an ulterior motive…of their own promotion and simply desired to control me. 

Here are some good scriptures to remember during the seasons of hiddenness…

If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself.  You are not that important.  Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else.  For we are each responsible for our own conduct.  Those who are taught the word of God should provide for their teachers, sharing all good things with them.  Don’t be misled- you cannot mock the justice of God.  You will always harvest what you plant.  Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature.  But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit.  So let’s not get tired of doing what is good.  At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.  Galatians 6:3-9

We are always best served to maintain a servant attitude.  Humility is the way, remember?

And, if you are in a season of hiddenness…I encourage you to truly surrender to it.  Let the refining work of God do its full work so that when He calls you forward you are able to sustain the work ahead.  Develop deeper and stronger roots before you move ahead.  Do the unpopular thing, and allow Him to cultivate strong character in you.  It’s so worth it.  Let Jesus serve as your reminder…