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.

The Fountain Day 264: Timeless

For as long as I can remember I’ve been drawn to movies and shows that represent a simpler time in history.  Simpler, in the way of working at home, raising families, growing their own food.  Homes with laughter and conversation because T.V. wasn’t invented yet.  I love Little House on the Prairie and still watch the episodes on a regular basis.  Anne of Green Gables is a staple in our home and the western movie Open Range is one that Chris and I watch every few months.  It’s as if a part of me has always longed to live in that time. 

I know that things were more complicated than movies show, but it was really the heart of the home and relationship that I crave.  Working the land is good for the soul.  Taking time while cooking from scratch seems to create a deeper connection with family.  Every time I make my own bread or cinnamon rolls, I feel a centered feeling.  A connection.  A steadiness.  When I go outside and pick herbs and tomatoes that I’ve grown, I feel that same thing, coupled with a strong sense of purpose and accomplishment. 

When I was a young mom, most of my friends were always looking for shortcuts.  Shortcuts in the kitchen, time savers we call them.  Shortcuts to parenting, because parenting is hard and very character revealing.  Shortcuts into success, because having the appearance of success seems to be paramount in some circles. 

These relationships left me feeling empty, lacking, and drawn away from the still, small voice inside.  That small voice was gently guiding me…and following Him looked a lot more like a process than others were comfortable with.  So, I made concessions here and there, just to be apart of things.  I regret each one. 

What I now see is that in our hurry to rush through life, we are missing out on things that are timeless.  

Timeless things consist of sowing diligently into our children’s hearts.  Spending more time cultivating a home and less time conforming to others desires of those who won’t be in our lives long term.  Spending more time sowing into my heart.  Surrendering to God’s process for me too.  Not being so busy that I push my emotions and feelings to the side because I don’t have time to process.  This is a grave mistake.

God pressed pause on our life.  It was the most loving thing He could have done, even though it didn’t feel like it at the time.  Abrupt change and new beginnings are awkward at the time, but we create more time when we just settle in for the ride.  As a culture we spend so much time seeking the easy way that we make our journeys take longer and we create trouble for ourselves. 

I don’t want that life anymore.  I want to pursue the timeless.  You wouldn’t believe how challenging it is to rewrite the speed of your life.  To reset your internal clock takes a lot of time and effort, and consistent choices.  But it’s so worth it. 

Take time today and reflect on your days and relationships.  What are you sowing into that is timeless?

Be very careful, then, how you live- not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.  Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.  Ephesians 5:15-16

The Fountain Day 263: Devotion

There have been a few times this week when I have had a certain thought.  I didn’t agree with this thought.  I knew it wasn’t from me.  But still, the thought kept coming…

“I don’t know if I can finish writing devotionals this year.”

It’s funny because I refuse to give up.  I know I will finish.  But having this thought a lot makes me wonder, why is it continuing to assault my mind?

Last night, God gave me the answer…He said, “Lisa, I am not having you write these devotionals for other people.  Yes, they bless others, but it’s more about keeping you close to Me.  I know what life will look like for you and I have you writing these to make sure you continue to be tethered to My voice during difficult times, during times of victory, during times of defeat.  I gifted you with this task to keep you close.”

Wow.  What a renewed perspective.  What a blessing!!  What a wonderful God I serve. 

I love God so much.  Only Someone so loving would nudge me to do the very thing that would force me to continually lean in and have relationship with Him.  What a beautiful moment of realization.  He desires to be close to me and will go to great lengths to continually draw me. 

This should shake off all feelings of rejection and disappointment. 

Is there something that God has asked you to partner in doing with Him?  If so, what’s holding you back?  There will be so much good that will come from it. 

If you are thinking, “God has never asked me to partner in anything with Him.”  Then I encourage you to simply ask.  Ask Him if there is something He wants to do with you that will draw you nearer to Him.  Be brave.  Be bold.  Ask and then do.

The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.  Proverbs 4:18

For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.  1 Corinthians 3:9

The Fountain Day 262: Armchair

This morning I was crying out to God.  Telling Him I felt lost and wondering where all this confusion and frustration was coming from.  I asked Him where He was because I know He’s here, but I can’t seem to find Him…Then I saw Him…

God was sitting in a beautiful den.  The whole picture was inviting.  It was the kind of den you would see in castles or really nice homes.  It had shelves of books all around and a warm, cozy fireplace.  He was sitting in a really large, red armchair.  He sat and waited for me to climb into His lap.  I asked Jesus to take me to Him…then something unique happened.  I saw myself first as a little girl, then as a woman.  Jesus asked me how I wanted to be held today.  I replied without thinking, “I want to be held as a little girl would, but in my grown form.” 

I can’t tell you how often I, as a woman in her forties, long to simply be held.  Held like a child.  Held like God’s treasure.  Held in a way that melts off the cares of this world and leaves me feeling full.  I haven’t felt full in a while.  But instead of dwelling on the emptiness, I’m asking God to fill me.  To heal what needs healing and bring me back to a position of fullness. 

Fullness only comes from God.  He is my One and only Source.  He is my delight.  He is my faithful Friend.  In Him I am complete.  Apart from Him, there is nothing.

So, today I’ll crawl up into His lap and be held.  From the position of being held I head out to face this day.  From being cared for, I will care for others.

When is the last time you allowed yourself to simply be held?  Have you ever been invited to sit in the Father’s lap?

It’s time.

Time to be held.  Time to see Him.  Time to know Him better. 

God is in a constant state of invitation.  He longs for us.  Longs to be Daddy.  Longs to be known to us, even as we make ourselves known to Him.  He sees our daily struggles, and even though He knows eternity, He still validates us.  It’s remarkable.  Quite unfathomable, that the God of all creation will sit with us in our day to day lives.  He sits with us in our wins and losses.  In our struggles and confusion.  He holds us and waits for us to let it all out, then He gives us a glimpse of eternity…not so much that it would overwhelm us…just enough that we will feel consumed. 

I long for eternity.  Every day I long for it.  But for now, any glimpse He’ll give me will be enough.

My son, if your heart is wise, then My heart will be glad; My inmost being will rejoice when your lips speak what is right.  Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be zealous for the fear of the Lord.  There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.  Proverbs 23:15-18

The fear of the Lord teaches a man wisdom, and humility comes before honor.  Proverbs 15:33