Seek God’s Strength

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God reiterates throughout the Bible, seek me and I will give you strength. This is not a suggestion, but rather His covenant with you; He promises that He will be with you from everlasting to everlasting.

If you seek Him, call on Him in prayer, He will respond by giving you the strength to see your way through.

What should we seek?

1) Seek His mercy and grace.
2) Seek strength for His Service. His power is made perfect in our weakness.
3) Seek His Face, meaning Seek His presence.

God will never forsake us or leave us if we establish a reverential relationship with Him. He is everlasting in good times and harder times. The scripture says, glory in His Holy Name, think of this as sitting in the sun, in the grass on a warm day. It is during these moments that we rejoice in His presence because we feel His love and his warmth.  In the midst of this calm, we feel the strength of the sun just as we feel His strength. Visualizing this depiction of sitting with the Lord in the warm sun will revive you when you are in good times and when you are wary, questioning, and having difficult moments.

Remember this feeling when it seems God is not present. There are moments when He is quiet or we cannot hear Him. The warmth of His presence will see you through.

“Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice! Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!”
1 Chronicles‬ ‭16:10-11‬ ‭ESV‬‬

“Look to the Lord for his strength; seek his face always. Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced.”

Note: King David wrote 1 Chronicles.

ReBlog – https://wp.me/p98Coa-vK
‭‭Images – YouVersion.Bible.com
Scriptures – Biblestudytools.com
References/Resources – ReversingVerses.com/2012/11/29/1-chronicles-1621/

Thank you for visiting my Young Christian Warriors site and dailyinspiration-lisasthoughts.com, at the moment there is some duplication. I am working on merging the two to create one great site. Please bear with me through this process.

The World is Looking

“God has not saved us to fit in.”
1 Peter 2:9 NIV

Being a Christian is not simply ascribing a word to our lives. It is an action, and deliberate. Being a Christian is a demonstrative way of life, and should be visible to the world for all to see.

“Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”
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Colossians‬ ‭4:5-6‬ NIV

It only takes a moment to judge someone. The first determination is made from what you see and the second from what you hear. If our actions and deeds do no align, we are nothing more than hypocrites. Paul described the Pharisees as hypocrites. Hypocrisy is nothing new. It has been present from the beginning of man. It is one of Satan’s tools of destruction.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness.”
Matthew 23:27 ESV

Visual impact is indelibly etched in the mind. It is difficult to sway one’s opinion once made. Why? Your opinion is made in the context of one’s beliefs, our belief construct frames our personality which is defined by our actions, deeds, and conversations. Is your personality aligned with your Christian heritage/belief construct? How does the world see you? John speaking to Christians said if you do not practice righteousness you a child of the devil and not of God. Are you a child of God?

“By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.”
1 John 3:10 ESV

If God flows through us in the form of the Holy Spirit who is righteous. The Holy Spirit dwells in us and can only reflect righteousness. Then our actions, deeds, and conversations must reflect the righteousness of Christ and our Christian heritage.

We are not saved to be silent, but to spread the Word to Christians and non-Christians alike. At times we spread the Word through conversations about who we are as Christians, but most often we spread the Word through our actions, deeds, and general conversations with others. Our life, personality, and characteristics must reflect our Christian heritage which is based on love.

Our lives as Christians and followers of Christ is based on love. Love for our family, friends, neighbors as well as those we do not care for, e.g. profess to hate. If we do not love our brothers, according to 1 John 3:10, we are not God’s children. If we profess to be His, we must pick up our cross and leave our prejudices, stereotypes, and cultural bias behind.

Key: Our purpose is to let our conversations and actions be full of grace. 

Images – (Free) Google Images; BibleStudyTools.com; Unsplash – Jules Marchioni

Scriptures – BibleGateway.com, NIV, and ESV

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Grace, Salvation, and Self-control

God’s Promise – His grace offers salvation to all people

Let’s walk on the knowledge that, given the opportunity, God will direct our steps. What a relief for those of us who sometimes wander around in confusion set forth at the pronouncement of the day, forgetting that “this is the day the Lord has made” and instead wallow in the outcomes of the unknown.

Through the grace of God we have received salvation and in it, direction for our lives. We should awake, thank the Lord for awakening us into a new day, put on our Armor and ask for his direction through the common landmines presented throughout the day. This is not to imply that we should expect the worse. It is our statement of faith to know that our Lord shields us, carries us, and directs our paths to avoid what may come before us. Through grace, we can make the right decisions before we act.

To accomplish this, we cannot act prematurely first consult with the Holy Spirit that has taken residence in us. He will confirm whether our decision is in alignment with the Word.

Sometimes the Spirit will tell us to say ’NO,’ this is not the path, recalculate and offer alternative avenues in the group session, or the best path is not linear, a-b-c…z, but rather a-c-q-z (a PERT path). He helps guide our decision-making about all aspects of our life.

He has taught us not to anger, especially if when a car cuts us off on the freeway, or someone pushes ahead of us on the trolley/subway, or your coworker, classmate, brother, sister, friend, or associate says something hurting in the heat of the moment.

This is not a prosperity concept, life is not all rainbows. God protects us and fights our battles. But, (this is a big but) He also told us that we will suffer travails, challenges, loss and hurt. We will experience good times and bad. We will question where God is in those moments. He is saying, stand fast, wait for his quiet voice to lead each of us, stay in control during the heated moments, do not doubt, put all of your cares in his hands and know that He is God. The Holy Spirit will lead us, and we will rest in his peace.

When we face these times, we must rely on his promises and call them out to him reminding him that we are in relationship with him and rely on his Word. We must announce to the evil of the day, the wickedness brought on by Satan’s demons or our own poor judgment, ‘If God is with me, who can be against me?’ If he is with us, we know we can withstand the evil of the day, the depression of the unknowing, and the uncertainty of life. All he asks is that we put away our worldly passions and live a self-controlled life.

 

 

Images – Google Images

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Renewable Spirit

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God’s Promise – I will renew your spirit day by day.

What a blessing, the inward man is renewed daily. Our lives are temporal, but our spirit is eternal. Despite what lies before us, the internal hidden man of the heart, the new man is in a prosperous condition; our souls are in good health; the work of God is comfortably carried on in us; we have sweet and repeated experiences of the love of God; we are growing in grace, and in the knowledge of Christ; and, like the palm tree, the more weight is hung upon it, the more it thrives; and, like the children of Israel in Egypt, the more they were afflicted the more they grew.

Image – YouVersion, Bible.com

Resource – John Gill Bible Exposition, paraphrased, Biblestudytool.com

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The Peace of God

Phil 4_7 beach

As Sisters and Brothers in Christ, I feel it is important to share our experiences with the Lord. This is my testimony.

Hearing the voice of God lead you and direct you is the most rewarding experience in life. It is greater than giving birth or anything else that is satisfying in your life. It elevates you and takes you to a place of peace that is greater than our understanding. You experience serenity and the reverence of God. I can’t even image the ‘peace’ we will experience in heaven. NKJV, Philippians 4:6,7 is clear and succinct.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Every believer has the ability through prayer to experience the peace that surpasses all understanding because at this point we have entered into God’s heavenly space.

lake eliz

‭‭This peace exceeds anything we can understand, and when you find yourself there, your relationship with the Lord becomes so much more fulfilling. You long for the indescribable experience and desire to continually live in it. The indescribable peace guards our hearts and minds, we are in the presence of Jesus. The resistance you once felt to obey the Word falls away. Suddenly you no longer doubt, question, stray from, or desire the world as you did before. Having entered this space, I can say, the world no longer draws me as it did before. You see the war, the strategies the evil one uses to lure you into an immoral life has been exposed. You no longer want to conform to this world, your mind has been renewed and your sole purpose in life is to prove what is good and acceptable and perfect in the will of God. Your behavior changes. You no longer hold precious the things of the world. You simply long for our Lord and Savior and an ever-growing relationship with him. When you experience God’s peace, the scriptures make sense. They are no longer intellectual jargon, but become ‘The Truth’, without question or premise. The world becomes less inviting, it loses its hold on you. You enter into God’s will. It is more than good, it is perfect and pleasing to your being.

Romans_12-2 earth

This experience brings meaning to ‘humble yourselves’. According to Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary, Humble means to make low, to be abased; lowliness of mind. Abase, to bring to a humble condition. You are brought to a humble condition when you lavish in this peace. You can’t be anything else but humbled because you know your righteousness is Gods and not our own. Our salvation is bright and unyielding. It is clear we are filthy rags but loved none the less. Grace and mercy become living words and the peace becomes real.

Praise the Lord for this experience. He is my strength, my refuge, my rock, my Savior and my Heavenly Father.

Images – Google Images, LAB’s Collection
Scriptures-Biblegateway.com

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Second Guessing God – Self Deception

As humans, we have fallen short, made mistakes, said something we shouldn’t have, compromised our integrity, committed a crime, Second Guessing Godhave addictions, and failed. Generally, in these circumstances, we hear ourselves saying, ‘I blew it, God will not have anything else to do with me’. People are self-righteous, and self-condemning thinking we know how God will respond to our failings. We feel God is far from us and our mistakes have created a gulf between our Savior and us. We often second guess God, however, – the Lord clearly expresses that He thinking is not like ours,

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9

As humans, we stumble and fall, and as Donnie McClurkin sings, ‘we fall down, and we get back up’. It did not say we get back up on our own. The truth is we are helped up by the hand of God. God does not run from us when we fall, he runs to us. If we run away, he runs after us. He has always been with us. Jesus parable stated that the sheepherder went after the one stray sheep and left the ninety-nine alone to recover the one. He did so because he wanted to save the stray, he wanted to restore it to the flock  (Matthew 18:12; Luke 15:4). God works in the same way, He wants to retrieve lost, misguided people and He accomplishes this through (his earthly disciples) people. He may send someone to give you a word of knowledge, to sure you up at your lowest moment, to encourage you, to dust you off and help you recover.

God created us and knew what we would go through before we were a twinkle in our mother’s eyes before our parents were born and before the earth came to be. He knows when we will succeed and walk in our destiny, and he knows when we will fail. He knows when we are a spiritual mess. He knows when we will and will not be obedient to the Word or depend on Him. He knows we will experience hardship and wrongdoings, some brought on by ourselves and others external from our control.

God does not exempt us from hardships and tragedy. He will work with us through theseDependence3 times to allow us to learn to trust in Him. He allows adversity to mold and shape us. Like a child learning to walk, we must let them try to stand and walk on their own. They will stumble and fall, we will pick them up and steady them, and then let them go. We are there with our children and God is here with us.

Once we get this in our spirit. We can forge ahead, stay in prayer, and know ‘God’s Got Us’, no matter how bad we think we are or what we have done. We’re never alone in our trials and tribulations. It is through adversity that God gets our attention, delivers us from our pride, reveals our weaknesses and strengths, increases our hatred for sin, shows His faithfulness, strengthens our faith, removes pride and self-centeredness, prepares us for future service and enables us to comfort others facing adversity.

“Adversity helps us build our faith in Him. Adversity molds us into Christian Gods mercy3Warriors. God does not see us as we see ourselves. He sees a saint sometimes struggling, sometimes falling, but justified, redeemed, forgiven, and reconciled to Him. He sees a saint full of His unconditional love, indwelt by His presence, sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, whose name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. He sees someone in whom adversity can never take up permanent residence”. (John Gill)

God can and does take our tragedies and turn them into a blessing. He knew Jacob was imperfect, he stole his brother’s birthright, swindled others, lied, and cheated, yet when Jacob repented, he changed his name to Israel (which means new beginnings). He takes his imperfect people; the single sheep straying away from the flock and restores us. He blesses us through our newly found obedience and dependency upon him as our Father, our Lord, and our Savior.

God does not want us wallowing in our sins, our mistakes, our poor decisions, and offenses. He knew we would commit them just as he knew Peter would commit the worse offense possible, denying Him three times and setting the crucifixion in motion.

When we fall, God doesn’t run away, He runs to us. When we make a mistake, He pursues us. God chose Peter even though he denied him three times. No matter what we have done, He calls us His children, just as many of our parents have called us, and just as we call our children. He helps us and protects us not because we are perfect and proved ourselves, He does so because of our relationship with Him. It is the relationship he gifted us through the crucifixion of his Son, Jesus Christ, who bore our sins.

When you feel unworthy, remember, He changed Jacobs name to Israel. He sought out the Woman at the well, a Samaritan, who had five husbands and was living with another man. She was the first person He told that He was the Messiah. All He wanted of her was for her to Call upon Him. He chose Thomas (the disciple that said he needed to feel the holesDoubting God Thomas in Jesus’ hand before he believed he was speaking to Jesus; he was nicknamed Doubting Thomas because of disbelief) to disciple 3,000 people in India after the death of Christ. All were sinners and sought after by Christ because He wants everyone to find salvation through Him. The Bible is replete with sinners that have found their way to Christ. Our God is a God of second chances. His mercy is bigger than any mistake we have made. All he asks is that we have a heart for Him. He wants us to love Him as He loves us. He wants us to depend on Him and be obedient to His Word.

We can call on the Lord, and He will save us in times of great need and in moments of silence. The only thing God asks of us is that we must receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior and repent of our sins. As a child, I always thought of repentance as acts of fire and brimstone and thought ‘to fear the Lord’ was to be afraid of an angry God, which cannot be further from the truth. It made our Lord appear as distant and retaliatory. I only wish parents would explain that He is loving and forgiving. Not as words but through His actions towards us. Repentance must never be thought of as something we must do before we can come back to God. To repent means to change directions. Repentance describes what coming to God entails, that we turn away from our sins and embrace Him. We can’t turn towards God without turning from the things He is against. In this sense, to repent implies hope. We don’t have to continue the way we’ve been going, we can turn to God.

God does not judge us the way people judge us. He doesn’t label us as defective, as the masses labeled Thomas, a.k.a. Doubting Thomas. He does not set us aside. He runs after us. He finds the sheep that lost their way. He is a God of second chances. He is faithful. His mercies are new every morning. We are justified by His grace. He is our Lord and Savior who loves us and is our salvation.

Jesus died to pay our sin debt. We cannot pay a debt that does not exist. It is not only paid off, it was finished through the resurrection of Christ.

‘It is finished.’ 
John 19:30 NKJV

We cannot second-guess God. God does not label us. God does not judge us as people do. God does not alienate us when we do wrong. God is not a fire and brimstone God. God does not leave us in our sin.

God wants everyone to receive salvation. God is a God of second chances. God pursues us. God stands with us during times of adversity. God saves us. God loves us. God is our Lord and Savior.

 

Sources

Gill, John. Exposition, Acts 2:21. http://www.biblestudytools.com
Guzik, David. Study Guide for Acts:21. http://www.blueletterbible.org
Osteen, Joel. Tape #537, God Loves Imperfect People
Stanley, Stanley. Life Principle Bible. 1 Samuel, 27-30

Images-Google Images
Scriptures-BibleStudytools.com

Thank you for spending time on my sites, if you like what you are reading, follow me, lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com and receive the daily inspirations in your inbox, or visit my other site, youngchristianwarriors.com and subscribe.

Caught in The Thought

Have you ever been caught saying something under your breath, only to be ‘called out’ by a person nearby, and your immediate response is, ‘I didn’t say that’! God is somewhat like us, only he hears our inner thoughts. In fact, I believe at times he has a ‘belly laugh’ when he is focusing on us and listens in to our thoughts.

Sarah-GettyImages-171408769-57066c8b3df78c7d9e980d24Genesis 18:1-15 is one such instance when he, to use a colloquialism of the day, ‘called someone out,’ no doubt tickled and laughing. It takes place in the Story of the Three Visitors. Three Visitors visited Abraham. One says to Abraham, Sarah will have a son by next year this time. [If she was of child-bearing age, it would be believable, but she is not, Sarah was I her 90’s.] The hilarious part begins in verse nine.

“Where is your wife, Sarah?” they asked him. “There, in the tent,” he said. Then the Lord said, “I will surely return your way about this time next year, and Sarah, your wife, will have a son.” Now Sarah was listening from the entrance to the tent, which was behind him. Abraham and Sarah were already very old, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, “After I am worn out, and my lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?” Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’ Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.” Sarah was afraid, so she lied and said, “I did not laugh.” But he said, “Yes, you did laugh.”
Genesis 18:9-15 NIV

One visitor, the Lord, asked, where is Sarah? Abraham responded she’s in the tent. Sarah was not with the men and was listening from the tent.

Then the visitor said,  she will have a son next year this time. When she heard him, she said to herself, why now, I’m too old and so is Abraham.

The Lord asked Abraham, why did Sarah laugh and say, “will I really have a baby now that I’m too old?”

Recognizing that the Lord heard her thought, she lied and said, ‘I did not say that.’ What an internal conversation. She was most likely in a state of shock and disbelief at this time. How could someone hear her most inner thoughts? Still not fully convinced, but frightened, Sarah heard the Lord reply, “Oh, yes you did laugh.” 

Throughout the Bible, there is a reference to the fact that God hears all of our thoughts. There is nothing we voice, internal conversations, or actions we take that He does not hear or see, and yet, we think we hold secret thoughts from God.  Most of us have been put on notice by God during the course of our lives letting us know He hears and sees EVERYTHING. Like Sarah, we hear his voice say, why did you say that, or why did you do that? The Lord hears all and knows all. We, humans, are arrogant and egotistical, thinking we are smart enough to keep our thoughts to ourselves and from God.

Let’s laugh with our Lord about our immaturity and then begin to pay more attention to what we think, take control of our thoughts and shift our actions, which are given life through our self-talk. Let’s work to hold honest conversations with God. Let’s begin to pray earnestly.

In my earlier Post, The Trinity, Consecration, and Lent, we discussed the premise of Consecration and Lent. Both require we enter into prayer with God, still our minds, and have honest conversations with Him. 

Now, all humor aside, I am entering Consecration today, and the issue of dependence is weighing heavily on me. I have been in prayer about how to proceed with my Blog over the next several weeks and it seems we need further discussion about what dependence means to us spiritually. Everything we do, as Christians, rests on Jesus Christ, our cornerstone. Dependence requires radical faith.

Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.’
Psalms 37:5-6 ESV

Spiritual dependency does not mean sit and wait for the Lord to take over and do our work for us, it means, ask for his direction and when you hear from Him move forward. His way may not seem logical in human context, but it will forge our path and direct us to our purpose.

radicaljesusTo unpack this, we are talking about radical change. You may ask, how does this relate to Consecration or Lent?  Keeping in mind that no one can tell you what to pray about, this is a suggestion – If you plan to take part in this time of introspection, you may consider entering into prayer to discuss your radical change in becoming an active Christian Warrior with God.

Psalm 36 and 37 focuses on Radical faith. “Godly living is radically different from the way we learned to live while in the world. It requires the supernatural assistance of the Holy Spirit” because it is not part of the logical, earthly way of doing things. Living a Godly life requires that our speech, and conduct changes; that we refuse to respond with anger; that we let God fill our thoughts and avoid wickedness; that we honor commitments even when they may be personally costly to do so; that we think and speak in a way that pleases the Lord; and that we understand that righteousness actively rejects wrongdoings.

Radical faith in the Lord requires energy, perseverance, dedication, and concentration. When we enter this process, we have to be aware that the evil one will enter into attack mode because we have become active threats to his existence. We no longer aimlessly commit sin, we stop to think about what we are preparing to say or do instead of strategizing about how to circumvent what you know in your heart to be true. The evil one lives on the plots against the ungodly and we are entering the realm of godliness. Once we have radical faith, we become radical warriors.

Radical warriors walk by faith and not by sight. Radical warriors believe in God’s Word and not what they see with their eyes and feel with their senses. God’s Word is the only true reality.

Martin Luther said, “Rest in the Lord; wait patiently for Him. ‘In Hebrew, ‘ Be silent to God and let Him mold thee’ Keep still and He will mold thee to the right shape.”

Whether you join others in Consecration or Lent or not, it is time for all of us to enter into radical, life-changing faith with our Lord and Savior and become Radical Warriors. To accomplish this, we must enter into prayer, and as Martin Luther said, ‘be silent’ until we hear God speak to us and lead us to a place of dependency where we stand on the cornerstone of our very existence.

Images – Google Images; Rembrandt – dks.thing.net, Public Domain, Link“>

Resources – Bible.com; Hayford’s Bible Handbook, Jack Hayford, General Editor, 1998, pp. 142,43; Nelson’s Quick Reference, Warren Wiersbe, 1991, pp 330,31

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