Day 343: Your Ways Are Higher (December 9)

Today as you head out to worship, I wanted to release these verses from Isaiah over you.  Take a moment and soak in the wonder of them.   If you attend church today, I encourage you to not measure every single thing at the service, but instead ask God to show you the greater things He is doing in your church.

For some this may be a stretch, and for others, you may discover that God isn’t really moving in your church and maybe it’s time to find a place where God is alive and able to move freely.

You may discover beauty in the rituals of your church, or you may find them stagnant.

Whatever you find, I encourage you to ponder it in your heart and let God speak to you.

Are you the one who is to bring life to the church you attend?  Is He trying to push you out the nest to explore new places where His kingdom dwells?

Let’s be brave today and dare to ask, “God, where do you want me to be and what do You want me to do?”

I would love to hear from you if He speaks to you today.

Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him while He is near.  Let the wicked forsake His way and the evil man His thoughts.  Let him turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.  “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.  “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.  As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth:  It will not return to Me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.  You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before You, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.  Instead of the thornbush will grow the pine tree, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow.  This will be for the Lord’s renown, for an everlasting sign, which will not be destroyed.  Isaiah 55:6-13

“Arise, shine for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.  See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you, and His glory appears over you.  Isaiah 60:1-2

Day 342: Heart Check (December 8)

We haven’t had a pit stop in a while, so I wasn’t surprised when I heard God say, “It’s time for a heart check”.  He reminded me of some of the deep healing we walked through earlier this year.  I know it struck a lot of you, and I was wondering if any of you had experienced effects of the stirring and healing that has occurred.

So today I encourage you to take time to examine your heart.

Imagine Holy Spirit pouring through your whole heart like an oil.  Is every part of your heart still open to the Lord?  Do you have roadblocks?  Do you notice some places that were once blocked off are open now?

What does the landscape of your heart look like?  Are you walking in bitterness?  Are you more joyful?

If you see any positive improvement at all, then praise Him.  Praise Him if He shows you a new place He would like to renovate.  Praise Him if you see a barrier, because knowing it’s there is half the battle.  Praise Him for the version of you that He is sculpting you into.

Simply praise Him no matter what.

Praise is the highway to change.  Praise is the salve to your wounds.  Praise is the key to His heart.  Praise is what we’re meant to do.

Praise the Lord, all you nations; extol Him, all you peoples.  For great is His love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.  Praise the Lord.  Psalm 117

Praise the Lord.  Praise, O servant of the Lord, praise the name of the Lord.  Let the name of the Lord be praised, both now and forevermore.  From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised.  The Lord is exalted over all the nations, His glory above the heavens.  Who is like the Lord our God, the One who sits enthroned on high, who stoops down to look on the heavens and the earth?  He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; He seats them with princes, with the princes of their people.  He settles the barren woman in her home as a happy mother of children.  Praise the Lord.  Psalm 113

My heart is steadfast, O God; I will sing and make music with all my soul.  Awake, harp and lyre!  I will awaken the dawn.  I will praise You, O Lord, among the nations; I will sing of You among the peoples.  For great is Your love, higher than the heavens; Your faithfulness reaches to the skies.  Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; and let Your glory be over all the earth.  Psalm 108:1-5

 

Day 341: Wisdom and Understanding (December 7)

Today during my quiet time, I was reading from Proverbs and I came across some verses that struck me.  I have read them many times, but sometimes the Word is highlighted in a different way.  Today was one of those days.

Here’s what it said:

By wisdom the Lord laid the earth’s foundations, by understanding He set the Heavens in place; by his knowledge the deeps were divided, and the clouds let drop the dew.  My son, preserve sound judgement and discernment, do not let them out of your sight; they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck.  Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble; when you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.  Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared.  Proverbs 3:19-26

As I consider the overflow of noise that the world puts out these days, I feel that sound judgment and discernment are needed more than ever.  It also shows that these are keys to safety and not stumbling, as well as, sound sleep.  How many people do you know have trouble sleeping?  Maybe you do.  I wonder, is it because we have covered our ears from hearing what is true?

It’s so easy to get carried away promoting or stirring up one cause or another.  Almost every time I listen to people going on and on about things, I discover at some point they let it carry them away.  They seem to lose their bearings and begin to be swept away in a flow that doesn’t even resemble the original cause that they seemed so stirred to promote originally.

I have found the way of wisdom and understanding learns to pause.  Is often quiet.  Spends time processing.  Leaves room for God to change the course or correct the bearings.  That’s all opposite of what I see many activists doing.

There’s a difference between blind faith and blindly promoting something that once was holy but has now taken on a life of its own and become something dark.

I encourage you to take a personal inventory today.  What do you “stand” for?  What’s most important to you?  Have you been so swept away that you aren’t really even focused on that original conviction anymore?  Are you operating in wisdom and understanding?  These can be hard questions to be honest about, but it is so worth it.

Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget My words or swerve from them.  Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you.  Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom.  Though it cost all you have, get understanding.  Esteem her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you.  She will set a garland of grace on your head and present you with a crown of splendor.  Proverbs 4:5-9

Day 340: Healing (December 6)

God keeps moving in my heart that He wants to pour out His healing on the earth, and specifically America.  We do need a national healthcare plan, but it’s not one from Obama or any other person’s creation.  We need God’s healthcare plan.  He is the Great Physician.  He alone is the answer for every broken system in our country.

He alone is not influenced by popularity or wealth.  He alone is beholden to no other.  He is God.

I often wonder why the church is not the first place we go when sickness comes knocking on our door.  I also wonder why anyone who is a part of a church family would ever have a financial need due to sickness.  Shouldn’t the church step up to assist?  I know what I’m about to say is not a popular sentiment, but I believe it to be true.  If the church was operating in its proper role and authority and generosity, then we would not be looking to an earthly government to supply needs they were never intended to meet.  That’s why it’s innately corrupt.  It was meant for God’s people to fill those needs, through Him.

If the church (universal) could/would come together, there’s nothing we couldn’t see God do on this earth.

Unity.

It was His design.

How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity.  It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron’s beard, down upon the collar of his robes.  It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion.  For there the Lord bestows His blessing, even life forevermore.  Psalm 133

Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.  There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called—one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, Who is over all and through all and in all.  Ephesians 4:3-6

To prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.  Ephesians 4:12-13

 

I wanted to keep this devo short because it’s a lot to process.  My hope is that you will take this and chew on it for a while and ask God what He has to say about it.  Where do you fit in His plan for healthcare?  What role are you to play in His generosity to the body?

Day 339: Victory (December 5)

I seem to keep circling around this word….Victory….I can’t seem to escape it.

I believe God is calling us to a season of discovering His victory.  To a season where we no longer fumble through life feeling like good will never win until the end, and see that Light is conquering darkness every single day.  He is moving and breathing over us.  He is breathing victory cries into our souls.  Will you let out that shout?

VICTORY!!!

God, the victory is Yours.  I don’t have to wait to see victory, I can live it out today.  Lord, make me more aware of all the victory around me.  Lord, help me move in power instead of as one who is certain of a loss.  Even though the dark seems greater than the Light, restore my perspective of the One Who has already defeated death and the grave.  We are called to rise up on the wings of that Victory that was so preciously purchased for us even before we existed upon the earth.

We are not meant to live out our days in the grueling cycle of life, no!  We are called to be more than conquerors through Christ Jesus.  I wonder when we will act like it?

Today, I encourage you to spend time with God and ask Him to create victory inside of you.  Ask Him to give you a victorious mindset and to help you find the hope in any and all situations and circumstances.

I dare you to believe Him.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.  For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight.  In love He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will- to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves.  In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.  And He made known to us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment- to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.  Ephesians 1:3-10

 

 

Day 338: Keyless Entry (December 4)

Recently, I was blessed with a new vehicle and it happens to have keyless entry.  By simply carrying the key fob in my purse or pocket, I have control over the locks in the car and to start it I simply press the brake down and push a button.

The other day when I was getting out of the car and thinking about how great it was to never have to dig in my bag for my keys, like a lightning bolt I felt the Lord speak to me.

He showed me that’s how it should be with His Spirit inside of me.  I carry the power of God Almighty within my person now that I have Jesus in my heart.  Now, let’s let that sink in for a moment.  The power of God Almighty lives inside your person when you are saved.

Why then, do so many of us act as if we are poor victims of life and the world instead of completely powerful?  I am powerful as a person, because He is inside of me.  That’s not a statement of arrogance.  I fully know and understand that He alone is the Source of all power.  But I will no longer pretend that His power doesn’t live within me.

I had been talking with Jesus about healings and other miraculous things lately and asking why it seems so easy for some to move in them while for others it seems to be such a challenge.

When we finally realize that we can move in power simply because He is Who He is, then I believe we can.  Why not blindly trust Him to act when you step out?  Really it only costs us our pride.

Will you lay down your pride for even the possibility that God will move when you step out in faith?

And this is the testimony:  God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.  He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.  1 John 5:11-12

I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.  This is the confidence we have in approaching God; that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.  And if we know that He hears us- whatever we ask- we know that we have what we asked of him.  1 John 5:14-15

To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.  Colossians 1-27

 

 

Day 337: God is Good, Even When it Doesn’t Feel Like it (December 3)

Recently, I heard a song called, “Praise before my breakthrough”.  It is a great song, and it remined me of some things I’ve walked through over the last few years.

In 2016 the industry that Chris and I work in went through a slump.  It was a hard time and on occasion we wondered if we would make it through.  Each time my hope seemed to fade, I would go to my piano and begin to worship.  I would sing of God’s goodness and faithfulness.  I would worship my way back to the truth.  I found my firm Foundation during those hard days.  That’s where some deeper places of worship were borne within me.  In those moments, I could literally feel my spirit and flesh come back into agreement with the Truth.

Now when life throws me a curve ball or challenge, I return to that.  I will worship under all circumstances and no matter how I feel.  I worship to tell my spirit and heart what to feel.  I am not a victim, I am a daughter of the greatest Victor of all time and I can choose to act accordingly.  I will not cower and just “fold my hand” and assume the goodness won’t return, because I know better.  The sun will always rise and set, and a new day will always come.  I know life is full of seasons and nothing is forever except God.

I know that God IS good, no matter if I feel like it or not.

This has been my greatest revelation and lesson in life.  God is good, whether it feels like it or not.  God is good whether I can see that goodness in the present, or not.  God is good, no matter what others tell me.  God is good, because He can’t change Who He is.  He IS Who He is.

God is good.

How lovely is Your dwelling place, O Lord Almighty!  My soul yearns, even faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.  Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young- a place near Your altar, O Lord Almighty, my King and my God.  Blessed are those who dwell in Your house; they are ever praising You.               Psalm 84:1-4

For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does He withhold from those whose walk is blameless.  O Lord Almighty, blessed is the man who trusts in You.  Psalm 84:11-12