My Own Worst Enemy

Monday

“Keep and protect me, O God, for in You I have placed my trust and found refuge”.             Psalm 16:1 Amplified Version

Often, it is not the world “out there” or the dark spirit that is set to destroy us that does the most damage – it is ourselves.
We are our own worst enemy.
When I get tired of “myself” and need a Savior, I ask Jesus to rescue me. He is there in a nanosecond and surrounds me with His love, grace, mercy and power.
If you are needing rescue from your own worst enemy, join me and pray:
“Jesus, keep me from getting wrapped up in myself and not seeing what is going on in the lives of those around me.
Keep me from being obsessed with myself.  Obsessed with what others think about me, how I look, how much I eat or don’t eat or whatever. When I am so focused on myself, I don’t see or hear others. 
Keep me from over-analyzing every single word of every conversation trying to dissect every word and how I should respond differently.  When I do this, I completely miss what You are doing all around me. Help me to listen well and hear what others are really saying.
May this be the last moment today I think about myself. May my focus and energy be to worship and magnify You. May my eyes be open to see what You are doing and how you want to use me there. Help me to celebrate how different we are and yet how very similar as human beings. Help me to think more of others than myself. 
Help me to uncover every moment of joy you have prepared for me.
Keep me from me and hold me close to YOU today.
In Your Powerful Name, AMEN.”

Stay Calm

Thursday

It was an impossible situation.

The Israelites were stuck between the sea and their former slave masters coming to recapture them:

“But Moses told the people,‘Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the LORD rescue you today.The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. The LORD himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.”

‭‭Exodus‬ ‭14:13-14‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Hemmed in by the mountains on both sides, they had no way out and no way forward. Their newfound freedom seemed fleetingly short and ultimately doomed.

They knew that God had delivered them from slavery but little more. They had not been free long enough to learn how powerful He is. 

They didn’t know that He would fight for them, split the sea before them and rescue them from an impossible situation.

They did not know God…yet.

When you don’t want to go back but don’t know how you are going to go forward, trust God and:

1. Don’t let fear dictate your decisions.

2. Don’t run around trying to figure out what to do. Stop. Pray. Listen. Stand still and watch the LORD work.

When going forward looks like an impossibility, trust Him.

He goes before you.

He goes behind you.

He stands next to you.

The LORD Himself will fight for you. 

You get to know about God as you trust Him to be God.

Trust Him and watch what He is about to do.

Unclinched Fists

Tuesday

“I pray to GOD —my life a prayer— and wait for what he’ll say and do.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭130:5-6‬ ‭MSG‬‬

What does it mean to pray with open hands?

It means that instead of trying to hold on so desperately to what you are afraid of letting go of – you let it go and give it to God.

Trust God with it.

Present your requests, heartache, fears and hurts to Him and then let Him do what only He can do – the impossible.

Release your expectations of how you want Him to  answer while at the same time knowing that He will answer you. 

He is for you.

He wants to heal you.

He wants to  transform your life.

He wants to.

He will – if you allow Him to.

If you trust Him enough to say yes when He asks you to do the next hard thing.

That thing that you have been putting off but know is the right thing. The thing you don’t think you have the strength to do.

He will give you the strength to do it.

Go ahead – unclinch your fists of fear and give them to God.

Open you hands in faith and receive His stregth to do it.

What are you afraid of today?

How hard is it for you to leave the results to God?

Keep Us

Friday

“Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.”    Matthew 6:12 MSG

Right with God, right with others.
Taking stock, taking responsibility.
Receiving grace, giving grace.
Living forgiven, living forgiving.
Everyday.
Jesus said to pray like this so that we could live like this.
Keep us, God, keep us.

Inexplicable Strength

Monday
Inexplicably and when it seems completely impossible, God can and will give you strength.
Strength to get up.
Strength to take care of what needs to be taken care of.
Strength to make hard decisions.
Strength to hold onto hope.
Strength to hold onto Him.
He gives strength to the weary.
I know that many of you are facing situations that are draining your strength and leaving you feeling powerless.
It is okay to admit you are not okay.
That you are tired and feel powerless right now.
God does not ask you to “fake it until you make it”, He asks you to receive His grace for one more day.
“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭40:29‬ ‭NIV‬‬
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭11:28‬ ‭NIV‬‬
What do you need strength for today? 
What does it look like to admit you need help rather than “fake it until you make it”?
I am praying for you today. I am praying that you find the strength to do what needs to be done, find your way into His rest, and walk forward in a power that is not your own.

Consistent Power

Thursday

Life may be surprising you right now.

Your reality may not be matching up with your expectations. Jesus knows where you are and what you are dealing with. He is not surprised.

When Moses asked who was sending him back to Egypt at the burning bush in Exodus, God said, tell them “I Am” is sending you.

When Jesus was standing before the Pharisees in the temple, He said: “before Abraham was, I Am” and it was the Greek equivalent to the name given to the Voice from the burning bush.

This Holy, powerful name of Almighty God embodies who He is:
1. Always Existing
2. Independently Existing
3. The “Becoming One”

Jesus will meet you right in the middle of your chaos and equip you to navigate through it.  He is the “becoming” one.

Jesus can and will become what you need.

He said:

When you are hungry:
“I am the bread of life.”
John 6:48 NIV

When you are in darkness:
“I am the light of the world.” John 9:5 NIV

When you are lost and defenseless:
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” John 10:11 NIV

When you are exhausted:
“The Lord is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation.”  Psalm 118:14 NIV

Rest in Jesus.

Rest in His love.

Trust in His plan.

 

Few Words, Big Impact

Tuesday-April 28

After a month of the world living at home, we are all experiencing the power of words. The words on the news, the words on social media, and most definitely, the words spoken in your home.

Here are a few small sentences that can make a big difference to someone you love today:

Don’t give up.

I forgive you.

I love you.

I miss you.

Pray for me.

Go for it.

You matter.

Forgive me.

Let go.

Yes.

No.

Which sentence do you need to say today?

Jesus used small sentences too:

Follow me.

You are forgiven.

Stand up and walk.

I am He.

Pray like this.

Be healed.

Which one do you need to hear today?

The most important things are said in the smallest of sentencesUse them, receive them, say them to someone who needs to hear the truth of them today. 

 

Wait For It.

Wednesday

But GOD’s not finished. He’s waiting around to be gracious to you. He’s gathering strength to show mercy to you. GOD takes the time to do everything right—everything. Those who wait around for him are the lucky ones.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭30:18‬ ‭MSG‬‬

You can’t see what God is doing “behind the scenes” in your life but I know He is working.

You don’t know how He is going to meet your needs, but I know that He will.

You don’t have to worry about the whys or hows. You can rest in the truth that He knows them.

God is not finished with your life. He has more for you.

Jesus took all that separates God from you so that you can receive all He has for you.

I am praying that today you will experience God’s matchless, unbroken companionship while you wait. While you wonder what is going to happen. While you worry about the unknown future.

I am praying that you will experience His victory, favor, love, peace, and joy, while you wait.

I believe that God is preparing things for you right now and that they will be right on time (maybe not your time but in His time).

While you wait, trust.

While you trust, worship.

While you worship, rest.

Have an amazing day enjoying what you have while you wait for what God is preparing for you. 

The Gethsemane Prayer

Wednesday4-8

“Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane…”

Matthew 26:36

Jesus went to a garden on the lower slopes of the Mount of Olives, the place olives were crushed for their oil.

With the scent of olive oil heavy in the air, Jesus prayed.

Not with pretty words but with real feelings of a soul overwhelmed with sorrow.

He cried out to His Father to the point of sweating blood.

On the way to Easter, we must stop at Gethsemane.

This is the place of honesty and truth.

This is the place Jesus set us free to live in.

Jesus held back nothing, He never did.

My friend, you don’t have to “hold back” your sorrow or worry from God. In fact, He is the only One who is able to fully receive them without being hurt. He opens His arms and embraces you fully. He is able to handle it all.

Jesus went there and so can you. We don’t talk about Gethsemane Prayer much but at some point, we all need it.  Maybe you need it today.

Sorrow is a part of life and Gethsemane is a safe place to pour out our grief, our anger, our hurt, our fear. It is also there we find the unlimited depths of God’s love for us.

After Gethsemane, Jesus went to the cross to take upon Himself all that separates you from God once and for all.

Nothing can separate you from the love of God, even when your soul is overwhelmed with sorrow.   He will meet you there, He knows how it feels.
Jesus asked His Father if salvation for mankind could be purchased any other way than through the cross – there wasn’t.
So He went there.

 

Quiet it All

“If anyone has ears to hear, let them hear.”  Mark 4:23 NIV

When life gets loud, stressful and fear-filled, listening gets difficult.

With all there is to listen to for up to date information and then all the things we do to distract us from it all, it can be difficult to hear what God is saying to us.

Jesus is always communicating with you. He is always speaking truth to you.

Today is a day to listen.

To quiet everything.

To step back and breathe.

To quiet the stress, the worries, the distractions, the screens, social media, or anything else that is draining your ability to hear Jesus.

Jesus is speaking to you and He has something that He wants you to hear clearly.

I am asking Jesus to give you ears to hear and to prepare a quiet place for you to receive His word for you today.

What is creating the most internal noise in your life right now?

What do you need to do to quiet down the external noise to be able to hear God’s voice better?

What is Jesus saying to you today?