Deeper Day 54: One Day In Heaven

This Sunday, as you head to church or wherever it is you are going today, I encourage you to remember that this temporary world has no hold on your eternity.  When you walk in the salvation of Jesus, you are set free.  We can walk free now because we know that heaven awaits us.  We can receive freedom within each day because we know we are but a breath.  Take hold of the One Who is holding you.

One day this earth will pass away.  One day Jesus will return, and in an instant everything will change.  One day, in Heaven, there will be no more sorrow.  No more tears and sadness.

I am constantly stretching out in this life, trying to reach into Heaven.  Inhaling the Presence of God with each moment, so I can sustain myself until that moment when I will walk the golden streets.  The day I see my name in the book of Life.  The day I stand in the holy of holies and cry out, “Yahweh, Yahweh!  Worthy is the Lord!! Worthy is the Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!”

Until that day Lord, keep my eyes focused in Your direction.  Let every step I take on this earth bring me one step closer to living in Your Presence and keep the thought of eternity ever before me.

Prayer Moment:  I encourage you to take time to meditate on the scriptures below.  Remind yourself that we are but a breath, and eternity is worth our current troubles.  We are walking toward places yet unseen with our earthly eyes.  Eternity awaits.  So, await it.

 

Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.  No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.  As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away.  That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.  Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left.  Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.  Therefore, keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.  But understand this:  If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into.  So, you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect Him.  Matthew 24:35-44

The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.  1 John 3:17

What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?  Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?  Matthew 16:26

Deeper Day 53: Beauty Within

I have found so much beauty within my journey through life, especially lately.  I recently had a conversation with one of my children and it went something like this.

Child: Momma, I am glad that I’m learning how selfish I have been in the past and how I’ve wasted money on things that don’t matter.  This person was telling us at school about how they were about to get another expensive pair of shoes, and momma they don’t even need them.  They have ___ many pairs already.  It made me really glad that I have all that I need.  And I know I don’t need all of that extra stuff.

Me:  Do you know that even when we’re making plenty of money again, I won’t be buying you just heaps of things, but it’s not because I don’t love you.  It’s because I do.  I want you to have all that you need and some of the things you want, but you don’t need to receive every single thing that you want.

In that moment, I felt such a heavy Presence of God.  A Sovereign moment.  My children are having their eyes opened, not to a poverty spirit, but to realizing what’s truly important and becoming more grateful!  How amazing is that?!  I couldn’t hope for more than that, in all honesty.

There is beauty to be found in every situation.  You just need to look harder for it sometimes.  That evening I found eternal beauty in the heart of my child.  In that moment, I felt that my legacy might just be something worthwhile.  Oh, how I long to leave a faith filled legacy for my children.  A legacy of living content, while always longing for more of Jesus.

Prayer Moment: God, I thank You for revealing beauty even when our life feels like it’s been burned to the ground.  You make beauty from my ashes.  As I lay my life on the altar, You consume it with holy fire and something beautiful resurrects.  Thank You.  I am so grateful for Your Presence.  I love You.  I pray that You will continue to remind me of that conversation with my child for years to come.  Help us to live from and for Your Presence, Abba. I am Yours completely.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

 

To bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.  They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor.  Isaiah 61:3b

He has made everything beautiful in its time.  He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.  Ecclesiates 3:11

Deeper Day 52: Isaiah 61

Isaiah 61 in my Bible is entitled, “The year of the Lord’s favor”.

This morning while having quiet time with Abba, I asked Him, “Did I lose Your favor somehow?”  Immediately, I felt a warmth over my shoulders and the Presence of God filled my body and I heard Him say, “No, you are directly in the center of my favor right now.”   I saw something that looked like a long tube that extended from heaven and came directly over me here on earth.  I saw all the storms raging around me and it was then that I realized, He alone is the reason I’m not being overcome right now.  He alone is holding me.  He is my constant Companion.  He has created a shield about me with that tube of favor extending down over and around me.

It’s the favor of God that has made finances that should have been used up by January, extend into February.  It’s His favor that has left me with so much unnatural peace every single day.  It’s His favor that has allowed me to continue to walk in joy with my family.  It’s His favor that told me a few weeks ago that the enemy was attacking me.  It’s His favor that has allowed me to feel full in this time of being stretched so thin.  It’s His favor that wraps around every note I sing or play in worship right now.  In fact, the second my fingers touch the piano right now, I immediately feel the strongest Presence of God.

I think we’ve made mistakes a lot in the past when looking at people’s situations and assessing them in our earthly way and with our finite minds.

Friends, I am living in the year of the Lord’s favor.

Prayer Moment:  I challenge you today to reassess your life and current situation.  Have you wrongly defined what favor looks like?  One of the most impacting things someone told me once was this, “Lisa, you think (this person) has favor simply because they seem to get their way all the time.  That’s not God’s favor.”  That moment was well over a decade ago and still it took until just now for me to really see what God’s favor really looks like.  Ask God to readjust your heart and mind to really see what His blessings are, and if you are indeed living in His favor this very moment, when you thought you were living outside of it. What a revelation.  A walk with God is not all sunshine and rainbows, it’s character building and stretching because that’s how we discover more of Who He really is and it refines us so we can hold more of Him and be trusted.  This is all worth it.

The spirit of the sovereign Lord is on me; because the Lord has anointed me to preach the good news to the poor.  He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion- to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.  They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor.  They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations.  Aliens will shepherd your flocks, foreigners will work your fields and vineyards.  And you will be called priests of the Lord, you will be named ministers of our God.  You will feed on the wealth of nations, and in their riches you will boast.  Instead of their shame my people will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace they will rejoice in their inheritance; and so, they will inherit a double portion in their land, and everlasting joy will be theirs.  “For I, the Lord, love justice; I hate robbery and iniquity.  In my faithfulness I will reward them and make an everlasting covenant with them.  Their descendants will be known among the nations and their offspring among the peoples.  All who see them will acknowledge that they are a people the Lord has blessed.”  I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God.  For He has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.  For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seed to grow, so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.  Isaiah 61

Deeper Day 51: Broken Hearted and Crushed in Spirit

There is a type of worship that we will only be able to give before we get to heaven.  The worship from a broken heart.  The praise of one who is crushed in spirit.  In heaven all troubles will be gone, so we live in a unique opportunity to bring to God worship through every season of life.

I feel led to again have you read a large chunk of scripture.  I can’t explain why God’s been leading me to do this so often during these devotionals, but since they are led by Him, I must follow.  Let’s read this:

I will extol the Lord at all times; His praise will always be on my lips.  My soul will boast in the Lord; let the afflicted hear and rejoice.  Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt His name together.  I sought the Lord, and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears.  Those who look to Him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.  This poor man called, and the Lord heard him; He saved him out of all his troubles.  The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and He delivers them.  Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him.  Fear the Lord, you His saints, for those who fear Him lack nothing.  The lions may grow wear and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.  Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord.  Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies.  Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.  The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are attentive to their cry; the face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth.  The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; He delivers them from all their troubles.  The Lord is close to the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.  A righteous man may have many troubles; but the Lord delivers him from them all; He protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken.  Evil will slay the wicked; the foes of the righteous will be condemned.  The Lord redeems His servants; no one will be condemned who takes refuge in Him.  Psalm 34

I hope you will read this above Psalm, over and over again.  There are so many keys to victory and so many promises tucked into those words.

Prayer moment:  Whether you are in a mountaintop season or feel the pressure of the valley, I encourage you to find time every single day to worship.  Give Him all you have while you’re on this earth.  He is worthy.  By continually worshiping Him in every season, you will continue to be filled. Isn’t He wonderful?  This King of glory, my God and the Love of my life.  Turn your heart to Him in surrender and awe filled worship today.

Deeper Day 50: Childlike Faith

I had a revelation recently that really reset my heart.

I had been really struggling with fear.  Fear of the future and all it holds, or doesn’t.  Fear of my kids not walking with God.  Fear of, just a lot of different things.  When I realized that fear was attempting to get into the driver’s seat of my life, I stopped and asked God, “Where did this all begin? When did I walk away from faith and fall into fear?”  Immediately, He showed me that I had turned away from childlike faith.  I saw (in my mind) a child and the way they always just imagine everything is and will continue to be fine.  I saw this same child playing and laughing without a care in the world.  I was that child.  He showed me that I had forgotten how important it was to deliberately walk in childlike faith.  He said, “You stopped believing Me, and the good things I’ve told you.”

Oh God, please forgive me.  Never again let disappointment or my fear of man cause me to fall out of childlike faith in You.  I do trust You.  I do believe You.  I’m so sorry.

Prayer Moment: Today’s message is short by design.  I hope that you will read and soak up the following Psalm.  Ask God to restore your childlike faith and expectation of Him.  He longs to meet you right where you are today.  If you are willing, give Him permission to meet with you and fill you once again with that childlike wonder and awe of Who He is and what He can do.

 

I love the Lord because He hears my voice and my prayer for mercy.  Because He bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath!  Death wrapped its ropes around me; the terrors of the grave overtook me.  I saw only trouble and sorrow.  Then I called on the name of the Lord: “Please, Lord, save me!”  How kind the Lord is!  How good He is!  So merciful, this God of ours!  The Lord protects those of childlike faith; I was facing death, and He saved me.  Let my soul be at rest again, for the Lord has been good to me.  He has saved me from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling.  And so I walk in the Lord’s presence as I live on earth!  I believed in You, so I said, “I am deeply troubled, Lord.”  In my anxiety I cried out to You, “These people are all liars!”  What can I offer the Lord for all He has done for me?  I will lift up the cup of salvation and praise the Lord’s name for saving me.  I will keep my promises to the Lord in the presence of all His people.  The Lord cares deeply when His loved ones die.  O Lord, I am Your servant; yes, I am Your servant, born into Your household; You have freed me from my chains.  I will offer You a sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the Lord.  I will fulfill my vows to the Lord in the presence of all His people- in the house of the Lord in the heart of Jerusalem.  Praise the Lord!  Psalm 116

 

Deeper Day 49: Clarion Call

Years ago, in a moment of powerful worship, I sang out about a clarion call.  I knew that word came from God because I had no clue what it meant.  I kept singing, “This is my clarion call!! This is my clarion call!! Rise up warriors!! Rise up!!”  Later, when I looked it up, I found this:

Clarion Call: a strongly expressed demand or request for action.

How cool is that?!  When I was worshiping in a place consumed by the Holy Spirit, His call was released through my mouth, while I was completely unaware of what I was saying.  I just knew it was God.

Right now, this is my clarion call to you.  It’s time to stand.  Stand firm and unwavering in the face of the many evils we see being revealed.  This is a season where God, in His mercy is allowing us to see many motives within our government, churches, social groups, etc.  And many of these motives are not good.  It’s time to wake up!  Open our eyes to the spiritual battles that are being waged all around us.  The time of sitting and waiting has ended, and we must stand firm.  Our country and our families deserve that much from us, at least.

We are in a unique moment.  Abortion has the potential of being abolished.  That’s right, ended completely!  Our borders are being fortified and it makes not only us safer, but all those who wish to come into this blessed country.  Don’t be deceived.  Our family units have been under attack by the enemy, but he will fail.  The plans of the enemy have been woven deep into the fabric of our country, but it’s not too late.  It is not too late for redemption to come.  It’s not too late to stand firm.  We must be covered with our helmet of salvation, so we don’t fall prey to the many twisted thoughts the enemy is trying to fool people with.  We must wear the breastplate of righteousness, so our hearts are protected and not pulled by emotion instead of truth.  We must wear the belt of truth, so we don’t lose sight of what God really did say and what He didn’t.  We must have our shield of faith, at the ready.  Always soaking in God’s truth so we can extinguish every arrow the enemy throws at us.  And our feet must be ready.  For far too long the contented church has only longed to be still, and there is a time for that.  But as scripture tells us, there is a time for everything.  A time for peace and a time for war.  We are in that war, whether we like it or not.  For such a time as this we have all been created.  None of us is alive during this time, by accident.  We must stand.

Prayer Moment:  Regardless of whether you and I agree on all things political, we can surely agree that this great tension in America is happening.  We can’t avoid it.  I encourage you to take time today and ask God how and for what He would have you stand and fight.  The time is now.  The call has been made.  God be with you.

And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people.  Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.  Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.  I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke.  The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.  And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as the Lord has said, among the survivors whom the Lord calls.  Joel 2:28-32

 

Deeper Day 48: Set Up for an Upset

The other day, I was on a long drive and had a lot of time to just think and I heard God say, “You are set up.” And in a kind of caddy way, I replied, “Set up for an upset.”  God said, “You’re set up for an up step, and you are also set up for an upset.”

He went on to say that my family and I are set up to upset the enemies plans to destroy us.  He was releasing another measure of faith and boldness over me with the revelation that He is still very much involved in what is going on with us and, furthermore, that He intends to use all of what’s been happening, to upset the enemy.

When I heard God say, “Set up for an up step.”  I immediately saw the word “step” and the “T” was a cross, and it leaned over and made a step up for me, He said that Jesus was my step up.  I cannot fail.  Our family cannot fail.  We have been set up.

I’m going to be honest, we have become so weary in the waiting and walking this out that these positive words sometimes hit a very tender and partly numb place.  We’ve received so many positive words from God but have yet to see so many of them come to pass yet.  I have to wrestle to not let disappointment begin to temper my thoughts and jade my outlook.  I still have such a certainty in my soul and spirit.  I am fully confident that God will indeed come through.  He will bring to pass all that He has spoken and promised.  I fully believe that, so in the moments when my humanity threatens to outvoice my faith, I intentionally bathe my mind in truth.

Prayer Moment:  Today I challenge you to revisit prophetic words or encouragements that you’ve received in the past.  Go to the ones that you have yet to see come to pass and place your hand on them and thank God that they have been brought to fulfillment.  Just because you haven’t seen it, doesn’t mean it’s not “done”.  God has already written the story of your life, and if He has released a word over you, then He has already seen it completed.  We are all just waiting to see with our own eyes what the Father has already worked out.  Do you believe Him?

 

Who has gone up to heaven and come down?  Who has gathered up the wind in the hollow of his hands?  Who has wrapped up the waters in his cloak?  Who has established all the ends of the earth?  What is his name, and the name of his son?  Tell me if you know!  Every word of God is flawless; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.  Do not add to His words, or He will rebuke you and prove you a liar.  Proverbs 30: 4-6

The plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of His heart through all generations.  Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people He chose for His inheritance.  Psalm 33:11-12