Tuesday, August 21, 2012

This is a devotional by Tracie Miles. I think we all can relate to it.
The Invisible Battle
July 30, 2012

"Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." Ephesians 6:17 (NIV)

I was in a field, in the middle of the night. Others were around me, but I could not see them clearly; only moonbeams pierced the dark.

Out of nowhere, unseen forces pressed me to the ground, keeping me from defending myself. Hatred spewed from the invisible evil. Fear and confusion encompassed me. I sensed God whispering to me that His Word was my only hope. I knew His truths held power over this wickedness.

As could only happen in a dream, I shrunk to the size of a pencil. I threw myself onto an open Bible, grabbed a handful of pages and rolled with all my might. The papers tore from the creases as I wrapped myself tightly in God's Word. Instantly, the faceless enemies retreated.

I woke up listening to my rapid heartbeat and staring at the 3 a.m. blackness. My thoughts stumbled over one another, trying to figure out what had just occurred. Although I knew I was safe in my own bed, my heart was ravaged by this battle I'd experienced in the recesses of my mind.

I felt an overwhelming need to pray and spent the next hour talking with Jesus. Fears, hurts and longings of my heart overflowed. Soon a sense of freedom and peace washed over my spirit; one I hadn't experienced in a long time.

My family and I had been engaged in fierce spiritual warfare. The past year had been marked by one harsh blow after another. Instead of giving credit where credit was due, I'd merely attributed it to 'life.'

God showed me, like in the dream, we were under oppression. He helped me see I'd been trudging through life unknowingly carrying the crushing weight of disappointment, resentment and stress.

Negative emotions which stemmed from being hurt by someone I loved, various family concerns, as well as frustration and discouragement regarding circumstances in my life, had all erected a barrier between God and me.

I'd grown weary of praying prayers that seemed to go unnoticed. My feelings overshadowed my faith and I'd been relying on my own advice for handling adversities, rather than seeking God's wisdom.

As a result, I'd given the devil a foothold in my heart. So much time focused on my circumstances and feelings had inadvertently minimized my time focused on God's Word and His truths that would set me free.

Although I was feeling alone, God had never left my side. Deep down I still knew that only He held the power to release me from my oppression.

Through this dream, God opened my spiritual eyes to see I had not been choosing the right weapons to fight this battle. His Sword (His Word) was what I needed to deliver me from the stress and oppression, just as today's key verse explains.

Victory can only be found by spending time with Jesus and choosing His Word as our weapon - not only against life but also against the enemy who wants to steal our hearts.

God never leaves us to fight battles alone. His Word tells us many times that the battle is His, but we must choose to wrap ourselves in His promises and believe that He's our Protector who will fight to the death for His children.

In fact, He already did.

Dear Lord, set me free today from the grip the enemy has on my heart. Forgive me for thinking I could fight this battle on my own and help me to wrap up in Your Word. Intervene in my life and my circumstances, and lead me to victory. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Power Verses:
Ephesians 6:13-18, "Be prepared. You're up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it's all over but the shouting you'll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You'll need them throughout your life. God's Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other's spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out." (MSG)

Proverbs 4:23, "Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life." (NLT)

Saturday, August 11, 2012

'Dare To Be Different' from Joyce Meyer's "Love Out Loud"

I read this devotional in Joyce Meyer's book of devotionals titled Love Out Loud. It's dated for August 9th, and while I will not post it in it's entirety, I thought the following had to deal with our attitude towards life's changes. While geared towards those of the Christian faith, the first line of text is relevant to non-believers and believers alike.
Dare to Be Different
by Joyce Meyer
August 9th

When we struggle to be like others, we lose our distinctiveness and even lose ourselves in the process. We also grieve God's Holy Spirit. God wants us to fit into His plan, not to devise our own plans or try to fit into someone else's design.

We need to find out what God wants us to have, who He wants us to be, and what He wants us to do. That's where we'll discover our gifts and find both success and enjoyment.

Prayer from devotional
Love Yourself Today: "Thank You, Lord, for creating me to be different from everyone else and for making me special on purpose!"

Scripture from devotional
The sun is glorious in one way, the moon is glorious in another way, and the stars are glorious in their own [distinctive] way; for one star differs from and surpasses another in its beauty and brilliance. (1 Corinthians 15:41 Amplified Bible)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

No Room For Judgement

Hi. This blog may take something of a different turn, but I haven't fully decided yet. Anyhow, I was reading one of my personal journal entries from last year and just wanted to share.
I know I've done things to tarnish how people look at/respect me. I've lost value in the eyesight of man and that's something I have to live with. I have to live with the fact that my choices brought me here to this place in my life or I can leave that behind and look upon myself as God does. He knew me before I was formed and I'm the appple of His eye [really don't know if I would be considered as a jewel]. You may be thinking, "You're just saying that to make yourself feel better." No. Loooking at someone as less valuable because they haven't lived up to my standard is easier to do. Seeing them as God see's me is harder because then it doesn't leave room for me to judge.

6 I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God; incline your ear to me; hear my words.
7 Wondrously show your steadfast love, O Savior of those who seek refuge from their adversaries at your right hand.
8 Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings,
(Psalms 17:6-8 English Standard Version)

Christ was without sin, but for our sake God made him share our sin in order that in union with him we might share the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21 Good News Translation)