Do You Get Distracted by the Enemy’s Noise?


noiseTHE WORD: “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves.” ~ 2 Corinthians 4:7

My study of the life of Gideon has taken me to an introspective place once again. I love these moments when God taps me on my shoulder and reminds me that I need to turn my face…my attention…back to Him.

I tend to be easily distracted by the obstacles that the enemy uses to derail me from God’s divine purpose. When I allow emotions to drown out His voice, I experience an unnecessary diversion. The distraction of the noise from the enemy’s camp sways me into seeking human approval for matters that God has already worked out. It’s so easy for me to get caught-up in the momentum of disappointments. Oh how frail my earthen vessel!

As always….You are amazing Papa God! When I made the decision to follow You, You promised to never leave or forsake me! When I go off track, You pursue me…and when You find me in the ditches…muddied and bruised, You lift me up, clean me up, and gently turn my face back to Your loving gaze! You remove my insecurities. You refuel me with Your courage and strength….an infusion of perseverance…and on Your way I go!

Yes…I sense a change in my trajectory up ahead….a life changer to be sure! I am trusting ABBA Father to keep me focused! I will cling to the Vine…there my source of strength will remain constant and sure. Papa God has already worked out the details. He will remove the obstacles and clear the way so that at the end of this life, HE will have been glorified…His purpose fulfilled. That is my desire!

Thank you Papa God…for it is your Spirit that resides in me. Help me to be consistent in my walk with You. You are the strength that I need. I want to be caught up in YOUR momentum! I praise and thank You for renewal this morning! In Jesus name…

Opportunity in the Opposition


sword (2)If you allow your perception of circumstances to trump God’s TRUTH, in essence you’ve allowed the enemy’s lies to become your reality.

“So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.” ~James 4:7, 10 NLT

“When I heard this, I sat down and wept. In fact, for days I mourned, fasted, and prayed to the God of heaven. Then I said, ‘O LORD, God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps his covenant of unfailing love with those who love him and obey his commands, listen to my prayer! Look down and see me praying night and day for your people Israel. I confess that we have sinned against you. Yes, even my own family and I have sinned! We have sinned terribly by not obeying the commands, decrees, and regulations that you gave us through your servant Moses. Please remember what you told your servant Moses: ‘If you are unfaithful to me, I will scatter you among the nations. But if you return to me and obey my commands and live by them, then even if you are exiled to the ends of the earth, I will bring you back to the place I have chosen for my name to be honored.’” ~ Nehemiah 1:4-9

What can we learn from Nehemiah’s prayer?
1. He acknowledges the character of God. (1:5)
2. He confesses his sin (1:6-7)
3. He prays for an opportunity (1:11)

What obstacles do we face like Nehemiah?
1. He faced ridicule. (4:1-3)
2. He faced fatigue. (4:10)

What should we do when we face these obstacles? Here’s what we learn from Nehemiah…(4:4-5, 14, 15)
1. He relied on God.
2. He reorganized.
3. He told the people to fight with the sword in one hand and work with the other with Gods power.
4. They refused to quit.

There will be no opportunity without opposition. What is it in your life that Satan would love for you to give up on?

Your future is not determined by the opinions of others. Your future is in the hands of God. Pray as if it depends on God, and work as if it depends on you. Remember who you belong to!

In Nehemiah, chapter 8, Nehemiah assembled with a unified purpose. He and his fellow brothers and sisters made a commitment to live and learn in community. They made a commitment to confess their sins. Once you’ve confessed your sins and poured your heart out to God, don’t stay there…RISE UP! Look up and take our Savior’s hand! Don’t focus on your failures. Rely on God’s faithfulness! Anticipate His presence.

READ Nehemiah 6:1-6, 8-12, 15

What takes us off course? What is causing us to leave our commitments? Are you going to allow distractions to make you lose the purpose that God wants to fulfill in and through you? Are you making a 1st rate commitment to 10th rate stuff?

We need to apply laser like focus – know what you value and then live by your values. Define your non-negotiables.

The key components to success are prayer and the Word of God. Are you going to let the opinion (gossip) of others stop you from being all that God has called you to be?

Speak the truth in love. Be a part of the solution. Pray and ask God to strengthen you from the inside out. Don’t let the words of those that are trying to discourage or oppress you succeed. Our almighty God will deal with them. God is in control.

Are you allowing fear to paralyze you? It comes down to faith vs. fear! What are we allowing to win? Never give up on your passion. Yes, give up all those things that hinder your walk, but never, ever give up on God! He never gave up on you! Our life matters to God
.
I’ve got one shot! Am I living for an audience of ONE?
LIFE IS AN OCCASION…RISE TO IT!

Just Another “Normal” Day?


Hands of service (1)THE WORD: “The Sovereign Lord has given me His words of wisdom, so that I know how to comfort the weary. Morning by morning He wakens me and opens my understanding to His will.” ~Isaiah 50:4

Just another normal day ahead…or is it? Sometimes we start our day with a cup of coffee, a quick prayer, then head out the door, without giving much thought to the rest of the day. We get on with it and do what we normally do.

My challenge to myself and to you today is to stop and enjoy the presence of Papa God. Yes…stop. For a moment, recognize the amazing gift of His omnipresence in our lives! He is with me right now as I pen these words. He is there with you right now as you read them. What an amazing Creator we have! How majestic is His name!

The King of the universe is taking time to do life with us. He longs to take residence—to settle in—right dab smack in the middle of our hearts and lives. He longs to whisper in our ears each morning, to awaken our Spirit and instill within us His thoughts, His ways, His will throughout the day. He longs to unfold His purpose wherever we go, in whatever we do, with whomever we meet.

You see, it is not just another day. Our heavenly Father longs to make this an extraordinary day of opportunity, a day where we can extend kindness to a stranger, encourage our co-worker who is dealing with an illness, or simply take a few moments to encourage someone who is broken-hearted. He wants us to be His hands and feet. He wants to embody Himself in our being.

Will you let Him? Will you invite Him?

I’m looking at today in a different way….it’s going to be an extra-ordinary day…..because Papa God is with me wherever I go! I’m in the presence of the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. A princess enjoying the day with her Daddy!

“For we are both God’s workers. And you are God’s field. You are God’s building…Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you?” ~1 Corinthians 3:9, 16

“Thank you, Papa God, for waking us up this morning. Thank you for gifting us with another day of opportunity. Thank you for breathing into us your WORD! Help us to be mindful of your presence. As we get on with our day….this seemingly ordinary day…remind us to stop and recognize that this is a day of extraordinary opportunity. Quicken your Spirit within us and lead us as we go about your business. Along the way…as it is necessary…let us stop for those moments where you wish to speak to us. Whisper your will into our hearts and move us to compassion. Let those whispers be the sweet prompting we need to be your hands and feet. In Jesus name we ask and pray. Amen.”

180 Living…24/7


180THE WORD: “For though I am far away from you, my heart is with you. And I rejoice that you are living as you should and that your faith in Christ is strong…. Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ….For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead…He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross” Colossians 2:5,8,12,14

The apostle Paul, writing while imprisoned, gave us divinely inspired words of assurance that Christ crucified is the completion of the old law…and ultimately the death of our old nature. Throughout His Word, God pleads with us to repent…to turn away….to make a 180 degree turn in our trajectory…not a 360!

It’s a choice. At the moment of temptation, we have a decision to make. We either turn and run away from the sin that allures us, or we succumb to its entrapment. “But it’s so hard to let go!” echoes in our minds. Our fleshly desires yearning for momentary satisfaction.

O Dear one…look up. Envision the image of the CROSS! Do you see him? Do you see our Savior! He didn’t give in and He didn’t give up on you and me. Although the sin of the world caused Him unbearable pain and suffering, He remained resolute to His divine purpose. He knew our redemption depended on it. Let us burn that image in our brains…in our hearts. Our Savior on the cross. Let it be the lighthouse that gets us through the storms we encounter in our journeys. He hung there on that tree – nine inch nails through his wrists and a crown of thorns pressing into his skull. The worlds sin – your sin, my sin – He bore it all because it was HIS purpose.

Did Christ for a moment have a sense of separateness from the holiness of His Father? I believe he did. The Bible says that “darkness fell across the whole land…and the light from the sun was gone. And suddenly, the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn down the middle. Then Jesus shouted, “Father, I entrust my spirit into your hands!” (Luke 23:44-45) Do you get that? He understands the feeling of being alone. But even though the darkness enveloped Him, He shouted. I love that! Before He took His last breath…He SHOUTED! I can hear it now! A resounding statement of victory! There at the cross HE defeated death. His spirit was entrusted into the hands of our ALMIGHTY FATHER!

Every single day, when God decides to give us another day to breathe, you and I have choices to make. What do you say today? Let us lay our burdens down at the foot of the cross and allow HIM to take the lead. Don’t give in to the temptations of this world. Keep your eyes on the Cross. God has a plan for your life. Allow Him to give you the wisdom and discernment to realize your purpose!

“Papa God, sometimes we lose focus. Forgive us for turning our backs on you. Remove the strongholds of shame and guilt that the enemy uses to keep us away from you. Forgive us of our sins and refuel us with an extra portion of your extraordinary strength. Quicken the Spirit that you gave us on the day of our salvation. Let it shine brightly today so that others may see YOU being lived out in our lives. Give us eyes to see and ears to hear! Help us to see the opportunity of serving you well in all circumstances. In our Savior’s Name, Jesus we pray. Amen!”

Passing Through The Valley of Dry Bones!


Image

THE WORD: “This vision message is a witness pointing to what’s coming. It aches for the coming – it can hardly wait! And it doesn’t lie. If it seems slow in coming, wait. It’s on its way. It will come right on time.”  (Habakkuk 2:3 – The Message)

I’ve been going through a dry spell…through a parched, desolate desert, metaphorically speaking. My movement forward at times seemingly futile. Yet something within me….a divinely apportioned angst…is my barometer that reminds me it is necessary to continue on my journey. And so I trek through the valley of dry bones…listening to the lifeless rattling sound they make as I walk amongst them.  (Ezekiel 37:1-2)

One thing I’ve learned, as I reflect back on my journey thus far, is that it’s right smack dab in the middle of my valleys where, time after time, my heart has been re-awakened! It has always been in the midst of a dry desert storm that I come to a vivid realization of my desperate need for Papa God, not only as my Savior, but also as my LORD! It is there…as He walks alongside me…that He whispers in my ear, hold on to My promises!

It is there…right smack in the middle of the valley…that He quickens His Spirit within me, and breathes life back into my dry bones! It is there that the brilliance of His majesty is demonstrated and my heart resounds with uncontainable gladness! It is there that I rejoice and praise my Papa God with such clarity of heart, mind and soul! Yes…it is in the midst of the valley that my bones come alive…the tendons and the strength once again rise up and dance in adulation!  (Ezekiel 37:5-14)

The dry spell is broken and the vision awaits me! It aches for the coming – it can hardly wait! And it doesn’t lie. If it seems slow in coming, I will wait because it’s on its way. It will come right on time! His timing is perfect.  For now I will do what my Lord requires of me. I will continue to prophesy over the valley…I will sing the psalms of ascent and continue to take the steps that are necessary to reach the destination appointed just for me.

I will pray with confidence the prayer to succeed as a servant of my Holy KING!

If you find yourself in the middle of a valley, look up! Lift your eyes to the heavens! See the glory of His face and allow Him to lift you up under His wing! Take refuge in His strength! He is the Alpha and Omega, Creator of all things! He delights in you and has placed a perfect angst inside your heart that cannot be extinguished!

So pilgrim…pray the prayer of Nehemiah with me: Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man.”

May our Papa God embrace you on your journey…today and always!

In His strong love ~ rose

A “Dangerous” Kind of Faith


Shield-of-Faith-Against-the-Fiery-Darts

THE WORD: “No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. For I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you. Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do. Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” ~Joshua 1:5-10 NLT

In what ways do I deviate from the instructions of the Lord? How do I compromise? How often do I keep a “safe” distance? What boundaries does God put in place that I continually override with my selfish desires? Do I take the necessary risks when I sense the Holy Spirit prompting me, or do I hold back out of fear? Fear of failure, fear of disappointment, fear that I won’t be good enough, or smart enough, fear to face a circumstance head on. Is it fear that drives my decisions, rather than obedience to the instruction of the Lord?

Yesterday’s message at our church, Sagebrush Community Church in Albuquerque, New Mexico, was about leveraging EVERYTHING I have for the King who gave EVERYTHING for me! I was challenged to take an inward look at what I am doing to serve the ONE who created me. I exist because God allows me to be. He gives me breath…He makes my heart beat. Why would I not want to serve my Creator with all that I am!

What it means to live a “dangerous faith” can be defined within the verses above. Be “strong and courageous” the Word tells us. In other words, DO NOT COMPROMISE! Don’t be foolish and squander your life on the things of this world. Do not waste time by putting off until tomorrow the things that God is prompting you to do today. Let us rid ourselves of laziness and procrastination! Seize the moment! Begin today by engaging in the work that He has prepared for you to do! Look around…the assignments are ever-present! Be ready, be prepared and do not fear! Be courageous because God has promised that no matter what, HE will be with you wherever you go! Trust in His promise and hold fast to the Truth of His instruction. Put on His armor before you walk out the door (Ephesians 6)! Feast on His Word so that your strength is in HIM, rather than in the illusion of strength offered by the world!

And secondly, living a dangerous faith means letting go of the past…cutting loose the baggage that weighs us down; turning away from the sin(s) that hold us in bondage. It may mean letting go of habits that are defiling our body, soul and mind! It may mean cleaning up in the area of “moral integrity”….letting go of the relationship(s) that aren’t God honoring. It’s saying “NO” to those things and those people who hold us back from making Christ the first love of our lives! It may mean speaking TRUTH in love to someone, knowing that the TRUTH may not be well received; and accepting the fact that the relationship may end.

Am I willing to give it my all? Am I willing to live a dangerous faith for the ONE who put HIS life on the Cross so that I may live? THAT my friend…epitomized a dangerous kind of faith!

“Papa God, ‘Thank you” is not enough! We can’t even begin to repay you for the demonstration of your unconditional love on the cross. We thank you that the gift of your forgiveness and your GRACE is just that…a gift. So undeserved! We are so grateful and so humbled by it! Open our minds and our hearts today to take in the magnificence of your amazing gift! Help us, Papa…ignite a passion in the center of our beings…an angst that will not quit….a desire so strong that we will be compelled to rise up and take a bold and courageous stand for YOU! Give us a desire to crave the reading your Word consistently—with no deviation…no compromise from your teaching! And as we read, help us to listen and discern carefully your voice! Bless this day so that in it, we will do Your will and not our own! In Jesus name we ask and pray! Amen”

In HIS Strong Love,

rose

A Call for Your Heart ~ (Part 2)


imagesCAV88UL8The voice we once heard…His voice…is now a distant cry. And yet it’s there…that voice calling out…longing for our return! “Come out…come out and resist.”

“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” ~ James 4:7

So how in the world do we begin to resist when everything around us tells us to ignore the call? Our flesh is weak; the cravings for instant gratification are strong.
The Word of God is clear. It is a bold statement, a present imperative – a calling for decisive, effective, definite obedience. An imperative leaves no room for options. It’s a God-given command.

If you have breath in your body, and have the ability to read what I’ve written, then please pay attention for a moment!

Jesus endured an unimaginable death! With a cat of nine tails embedded with chards of glass and metal, the Roman soldiers ripped the flesh from His body with 40 lashes, until His body was spent and disfigured. In mockery, a crown of thorns was driven into the flesh on His head. He then picked up His cross and drug and carried it through the streets of Jerusalem, up the hill to the place called Golgotha. There His body was thrown on the cross, and nine inch nails were driven through His feet and hands…he was lifted up…His disfigured and bloody body put on display. The crowds cheered and mocked Him as His mother and disciples anguished for the Son of God….Mary’s precious son, the disciples’ Master and friend…God’s gift to mankind.

There on Calvary’s cross our Savior in this final hour looked up to the heavens and said, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do!” Mercy and grace on display for all the world to see! He didn’t have to endure this death! He could have wiped mankind from the face of this planet and rescued Himself (and the few who believed). Instead He endured the Cross so that you and I could experience His redemptive power of mercy and grace! Jesus Christ paid the ultimate price! He CHOSE to pay the price for US!

I love the Message version of Romans 5:6-11: “Christ arrives right on time to make this happen. He didn’t, and doesn’t, wait for us to get ready. He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn’t been so weak, we wouldn’t have known what to do anyway. We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him. Now that we are set right with God by means of this sacrificial death, the consummate blood sacrifice, there is no longer a question of being at odds with God in any way. If, when we were at our worst, we were put on friendly terms with God by the sacrificial death of his Son, now that we’re at our best, just think of how our lives will expand and deepen by means of his resurrection life! Now that we have actually received this amazing friendship with God, we are no longer content to simply say it in plodding prose. We sing and shout our praises to God through Jesus, the Messiah!”

Jesus’ words, “Forgive them for they know not what they do”…they resonate so loudly! Do you hear His voice? Do you hear Him calling your name? He died for you; He longs to have relationship with you! He chose you…He chose me!

He tells us in John 15:16, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit – fruit that will last – and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other”.

“And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water. Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.” ~ Hebrews 10:19-24

“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 will not faint!” ~ Isaiah 40:28-31

“So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.” ~ Hebrews 10:35-36

“Papa God, I pray for those that hear Your voice today. Ignite a fiery passion in our hearts! Place Your favor in our lives as You have promised. Give us courage and strength to surrender our baggage and carry on in our journey with You! Purify our thoughts, purify our hearts and help us day by day to persevere and grow stronger in our relationship with You! Help us understand that our source of power is in Your Holy Word! Help us to treasure it and take it in every single day! In JESUS’ name I ask these things, amen.”

His voice…His calling. Your heart…His heart…choose to obey and persevere! ~ In His Strong Love ~ rose

Previous Older Entries Next Newer Entries

%d bloggers like this: