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…

The Fountain Day 271: I am the promise

While exercising the other day, I was praying and leaning into the Lord.  I felt cut off.  I felt alone.  I couldn’t figure out why this was happening, but I knew my best recourse was to keep pushing into Him.  I asked Him to speak to me, to give me a vision.

Then I saw myself, I was wrapped in a rainbow.  From my head to my toes this rainbow wrapped all around me.  It was glorious.  Then I asked about it, I wondered…am I wrapped in the promise?  Then God spoke clearly, “You are the promise.”

Wow.  I gasped and immediately thought, am I allowed to think this?  It’s that common thought that I share with you frequently.  Then God reminded me of my name and it’s meaning…Lisa: Consecrated to God.  God is my oath.  He said, “I even named you Lisa so every time your name is spoken you are reminded that you are My promise.”

Then I read this scripture:

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.  Ephesians 1:18

All God’s people are His promise.  An inheritance is a promise.  We are His inheritance.  We not only carry His promise inside, but we are His promise.  Isn’t that wonderful?

We are far more blessed than we realize.  We are also positioned to be blessed more than we acknowledge.  Our very creation is pleasing to the Lord.  When we surrender our hearts to Him, we become His actual children.  We are adopted into His family line.  It’s a wonderful, wonderful transaction.  The most important one we will ever make. 

From that position, we can face the world.  When we truly absorb into our being that we are His family, it changes everything.  Most of us never fully realize this.  The ones who have, are those we hear stories about for years and generations to come.  Oh, how I want to be one of them.  One of the people who truly learns and is convinced that I am God’s child, and because of that I am privy to living a life with the access a daughter has with her father.  I belong to Him.

Oh Lord, may I be fully convinced of my position in Your heart.  Make my mind, heart, and soul fully aware of my royal position…not for my own benefit, but that I may share with that confidence.  So that the things of this world fully lose their grip on me, and I walk as one who knows her privilege.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Yes, God will bless us, and people all over the world will fear Him.  Psalm 67:7

The Fountain Day 270: The purpose of freedom

God desires for us to live in freedom.  Why else would the anti-Christ spirit be constantly at war with all sorts of freedom.  You can often figure out what God desires by what the enemy fights against the most.  The Bible also lets us know that freedom is our portion…

For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters.  But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature.  Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.   Galatians 5:13

We’ve been called to live in freedom.  He gives freedom freely…but He desires that we would use that freedom to love…wow, this is a very convicting statement. 

How do we do this?  This next portion describes the “how” of it all…

So, I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives.  Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.  The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants.  And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires.  These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions.  But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses.  Galatians 5:17-18

Friends, there is no way to live a life of freedom apart from Holy Spirit.  The only way to truly deny the sinful cravings, is to walk in the Spirit.  Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom…remember?

Everything about God points us toward freedom.  This freedom isn’t meant to cause us to feel a sense of superiority and arrogance…no, that’s the opposite.  Our freedom should lead us to have more compassion.  It should open the door to mercy.  Mercy for the lost, and a hunger for more righteousness. 

Look at this final chunk of scripture for today…

Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to His cross and crucified them there.  Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.  Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.  Galatians 5:24-26

The Bible wouldn’t waste time mentioning this if it wasn’t something that God knew we’d struggle with.  Let’s face it…the road from God’s grace bursting into our lives to a feeling of conceit, self-righteousness and jealousy is surprisingly short.  It’s honestly shocking to me how quickly I see people go from the throne of grace to casting judgment on others struggling with the exact thing they were just freed of…it’s just like the parable of the one who owed a debt he couldn’t pay…him being forgiven the debt and then immediately going out and throwing someone in prison because they owed him money. 

This parable is most impactful…because it’s so very true of our nature.

It took a bit for me to realize right after I fully surrendered to God, that I was also doing that.  Judging others severely for sins I had recently been redeemed from…oh, how I know that grieves God’s heart…

Lord, forgive me for any time I have judged incorrectly.  Help me to walk in Your mercy and grace.  Show me the way to love others.  I surrender to Your ways.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

The Fountain Day 269: Draught or setup for a miracle?

Today I want to look at another portion of Isaiah…man, I LOVE the book of Isaiah.  Every single time I read it I’m overcome with hope and promise.  Everyone asks who you’d love to meet from Bible times…and I think my answer would be Isaiah…at least today it would.

Before we read though…

I believe that sometimes our lives are a complete setup.  The enemy comes in and tries to sabotage and destroy us, but God knows all along exactly how He’ll use all of that to display His glory and splendor on the earth.  Think about it…I do a lot…I truly believe that in our family’s time of long term struggle to find breakthrough to move forward, God knowingly used this whole thing to plant pockets of miraculous advancement…in other words, He’s using what the enemy wanted to use to destroy us, to advance us!!

From that thought…I read these words in scripture and my soul leapt with every word…it’s like again, the word was alive and relevant to me today…

Even the wilderness and desert will be glad in those days.  The wasteland will rejoice and blossom with spring crocuses.  Yes, there will be an abundance of flowers and singing and joy!  The deserts will become as green as the mountains of Lebanon, as lovely as Mount Carmel or the plain of Sharon.  There the Lord will display His glory, the splendor of our God.  With this news, strengthen those who have tired hands, and encourage those who have weak knees.  Say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, and do not fear, for your God is coming to destroy your enemies.  He is coming to save you.”  And when He comes, He will open the eyes of the blind and unplug the ears of the deaf.  The lame will leap like a deer, and those who cannot speak will sing for joy!  Springs will gush forth in the wilderness, and streams will water the wasteland.  The parched ground will become a pool, and springs of water will satisfy the thirsty land.  Marsh grass and reeds and rushes will flourish where desert jackals once lived.  And a great road will go through that once deserted land.  It will be named the Highway of Holiness.  Evil-minded people will never travel on it.  It will be only for those who walk in God’s ways; fools will never walk there.  Lions will not lurk along its course, nor any other ferocious beasts.  There will be no other dangers.  Only the redeemed will walk on it.  Those who have been ransomed by the Lord will return.  They will enter Jerusalem singing, crowned with everlasting joy.  Sorrow and mourning will disappear, and they will be filled with joy and gladness.  Isaiah 35:1-10

God’s promises over the believers are breath taking.  So full of the fullness of Him!! 

When you live out each day and all the trouble it may hold…remember what we are heading toward!!  When you see government overreach and massive injustice…remember Who we are to believe in more than all of that.  God is so good.  Never lose sight of His coming glory!! One day all this will be gone and what will be left, is so much more glorious than we can even imagine. 

Let’s choose to live from this victory today!!!

The Fountain Day 268: Words of power

You know how sometimes you read scripture and it screams at you?  Those times when something written to someone a really long time ago, becomes highlighted and relevant to you for the current time.  I had an experience like that today.

My Bible reading began with this verse…

But the Lord says: “Now I will stand up.  Now I will show My power and might.”  Isaiah 33:10

It felt so alive.  So relevant.  As if God Himself was speaking those words over me and my family.  I felt His pleasure on the statement.  And I know a secret…if He said it before, He could say it again. 

Too often people get hung up on…well, God spoke that to certain people for a certain time…yes, that’s true, but He is still the same God today, is He not?

The Lord said to me today…Now I will stand up.  Now I will show My power and might…and I RECEIVE IT!!!  I’d be crazy not to do so.

Do you remember me recounting to you once that God called me Zion?  Out of the blue one day He did…and it startled me as I wondered if I was allowed to be called that.  It’s not the first time He’s called me something and my first response was, “Am I allowed to be that?” 

But after I told Chris about it, he came across a street sign that had fallen to the ground and he picked it up and brought it to me…you’ll never guess what the street name was…ZION!!  There was no denying that God was trying to speak to me…

With that in mind, read this portion of scripture that came later in my daily reading…

Instead, you will see Zion as a place of holy festivals.  You will see Jerusalem, a city quiet and secure.  It will be like a tent whose ropes are taut and whose stakes are firmly fixed.  The Lord will be our Mighty One.  He will be like a wide river of protection that no enemy can cross, that no enemy ship can sail upon.  For the Lord is our judge, our lawgiver, and our king.  He will care for us and save us.  The enemies’ sails hang loose on broken masts with useless tackle.  Their treasure will be divided by the people of God.  Even the lame will take their share!  Isaiah 33:20-23

God is saying something, and I don’t believe it’s just for me and my family…as many times I have seen God parallel a move on the earth with what He’s doing in my own family.  It’s kind of as if sometimes He moves in our family as a pre-cursor for what He’s going to do globally.  Am I saying our family is more special than others?  No.  I’m just saying, God does things like this all the time.  People just don’t always notice or openly share about it.

God is releasing this word again…the treasures of the enemy will be divided among God’s people. 

The Fountain Day 267: Looking forward

When I read scripture, I am constantly seeing the promises to come.  I revel in the hope of our salvation.  That the wicked will be laid to waste and God will be our refuge and strength.  We are assured victory if we are with God. 

But You are a tower of refuge to the poor, O Lord, a tower of refuge to the needy in distress.  You are a refuge from the storm and a shelter from the heat.  For the oppressive acts of ruthless people are like a storm beating against a wall, or like the relentless heat of the desert.  But You silence the roar of foreign nations.  As the shade of a cloud cools relentless heat, so the boastful songs of ruthless people are stilled.  In Jerusalem, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will spread a wonderful feast for all the people of the world.  It will be a delicious banquet with clear, well-aged wine and choice meat.  There He will remove the cloud of gloom, the shadow of death that hangs over the earth.  He will swallow up death forever!  The Sovereign Lord will wipe away all tears.  He will remove forever all insults and mockery against His land and people.  The Lord has spoken!  Isaiah 25:4-8

One day every mocker will be silenced, so why would we even bother to respond to them now?  Why would we ever feel threatened by those who will obviously lose in the end?  What can they do to us??  Nothing.  Nothing eternal.  Nothing God cannot rescue us from.

It’s time to renew our focus.  Time to remember the One we serve and why we serve Him.  It’s time to get a real backbone and stand firm on the Truth. 

Remember this scripture…

Don’t envy sinners, but always continue to fear the Lord.  You will be rewarded for this; your hope will not be disappointed.  Proverbs 23:17-18

Our hope will not be disappointed…this is a promise.  Hold to it and believe it.  Your reward is coming…if you’ll just hold on.

The Fountain Day 266: By faith

Faith is the doorway to a life lived with Christ. 

It is by grace we have been saved, through faith- and this is not from yourselves, it is a gift of God.  Ephesians 2:8

We must have faith. 

Before the gift of Christ, taking our sinners death for us…the law led the way, but the purpose of the law was this…

Why, then, was the law given?  It was given alongside the promise to show people their sins.  But the law was designed to last only until the coming of the child who was promised.  God gave His law through angels to Moses, who was the mediator between God and the people.  Galatians 3:19

The law is impossible to keep…every time I read through it, I can’t believe how overwhelming it is.  Faith is the only way…but oddly enough, faith seems harder to many than the law.  The law seems tangible.  It gives steady goalposts for success, and seems like the easy route…but is it really? 

The law is impossible. 

Faith.  Faith is the only way.  It’s the thing that shows our utter dependence upon a Savior.  It levels the playing field, and we are all suddenly reaching out from the same place. 

Faith.  It’s a mystery to most because scripture also tells us that we are each given a measure of faith.  This is mind boggling.  We must have faith to accept Christ, but He is also the One Who portions out faith to each of us.  Wow.  How utterly mind boggling. 

It is because of this and many other reasons that people instead accept Christ in faith, then transfer all their trust to religion.  Forsaking faith, they attempt to walk out their Christian life in the scope of doing…not having. 

Have faith.  Be at rest in it. 

I have noticed that any place that the enemy is present…any time the anti-Christ spirit is roaming…there are a LOT of laws.  Faith disarms the law. 

Why the law?  Because the enemy is desperate for control.  The same thing that drove him from heaven, drives him still.  An utter desperation to be in control.  Therefore, he comes manipulating his followers to put out one law after another.  Are you sober minded yet?  Do you see what I’m trying to display?

We were meant to live freely.  America was set apart as a bastion of freedom.  Representing something that none had seen before.  Giving people more freedom led to more success and greater prosperity.  Less governmental control and more independent thinking…this worked originally, because we were soundly founded upon Christian morals.  Every place where we strayed from that has become a place of new laws and restrictions…less freedom.

It’s an awe-inspiring parallel of the life lived through faith and that dependent upon works (keeping the law). 

Our Savior is here.  Awake, O bride of Christ!!  Live out the freedom He so painfully died to give you.  You are not bound by the earth and man’s laws.  You are married to God.  Part of His bride.  You are afforded great freedom…let’s live like free men/women.

The Fountain Day 265: Love and peace be with you

Everyone wants to feel loved and at peace.  Everyone.  Whether they admit it or not.  Love and peace are crucial.  To live a life that feels safe and secure, love and peace are essential.  The Bible gives us the key to having these all the time…

Be joyful.  Grow to maturity.  Encourage each other.  Live in harmony and peace.  Then the God of love and peace will be with you.  2 Corinthians 13:11b

Isn’t it interesting that being joyful is one key?  Also maturing and encouraging others.  God built us in the most beautiful way.  He is such a loving Father.  His ways are so gracious. 

He desires for us to be joyful.  He planned for us to mature.  He wants us to encourage each other and live in harmony and peace.  It’s no wonder that the enemy has tried to hijack these concepts and pervert them for his demonic agenda. 

We do well to truly surrender to God and discover what real joy, maturity, encouragement, harmony, and peace are like.  True joy is an inside job.  It comes from the wellspring of the heart.  Maturity comes from continual Bible study, listening to Holy Spirit, and surrendering to heart healing.  We live in a culture that is largely negative in their speaking.  We are called to encourage.  Establishing this in our lives must be a deliberate task.  It’s easier to criticize than to encourage.  Allowing God to reign in our tongues is paramount, but this skill leads to much more peace and harmony.

The harder path is often the right one…not always, but a lot of the time. 

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.  2 Corinthians 13:14

This next portion of scripture is so beautiful.  I love the way Jesus is described as grace…salvation from sins.  God gives the love…like a Daddy.  Holy Spirit offers fellowship…as Counselor and Comforter.  I just love this practical way of seeing the differences of the three.  We need every part of God.

When we can’t offer grace to others, it leaves me wondering if we’ve fully experienced it for ourselves…

We can’t love others unless we love ourselves…if we are unloving, I’m fairly certain we’ve not yet experienced the true love of God. 

If we can’t operate in wisdom and discernment, then I wonder how well we know Holy Spirit.

You see, we are only complete when we completely know the Holy Trinity.  Until we do, we’ll feel like something is missing…because it is. 

I ask you to search yourself today.  How well do you know each part of God?  God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit.  Invite them, if you will, to make themselves fully known to you.