Longing

Ezekiel 36:26 “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”

Do you long to be free?  Free from anxiety, fear, worry?  God is waiting to give each of us an new heart, one that is made of flesh not stone.  When we have a heart of stone we seek only for ourselves, what we want, what we need, life becomes all about “I” and not about Christ.  A heart of flesh lives putting Christ first which means we put aside the “I” and replace it with”You”.

I don’t know about you but, there are days When it is easy to but others thought, feelings, needs above my own and then there are days when all I can think about is self, what I need and what I want.  I long to be a child of God that puts others thoughts and feelings above my own.  I need to surrender every moment of everyday because by nature I am selfish and that is not living with a heart of flesh.  The problem with flesh?   It can become wounded and I believe that is what stops me from living every moment with a true heart of flesh.

Father, thank you for being a loving and gracious Father, never giving up on your children.  I know that you love me and walk with me.  You promise to never leave me or forsake me.  Over the years my heart has become a heart of stone, remove from me this selfish spirit and heart of stone replacing it with Your spirit and a heart of flesh.  For I know that this heart of flesh will be wounded but, I also know that you are there to mend the broken-hearted.  Help me to surrender every moment of everyday.  Walk with me and protect me from the evil one.  In Jesus Name, Amen

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Lead Me

Pslam 119:133 “Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me.”

Do you grow weary of the day to day?  Do you get tired of fighting the same things everyday?  Ever stop the think who you are fighting?  I seem to continually fight for something or against something.  I realized that I need to be fight with something, or should I say someone.

As we  navigate this life we need to realize how much we need Christ in our lives.  He brings poeple into our world to breathe life into our souls and remind us of whose we are not who we are.  We were all born broken and we continue to fight against this brokenness.  How we fight does make a difference.  Critisim comes from allowing this broken world to control our thought, feelings, and our actions.  When we become offended we open the door to satan.  We allow him to influence our life, heart, mind, body, and relationships.  Your reaction to this world is on you. You can no longer blame anyone but yourself for your choices or actions.  We need to continually look to Christ.  He is the One that bring healing, peace, joy, laughter, and is our ultimate redeemer.

Father thank you for prayer.  That I can stay connected with you no matter what I face in my day.  I know that no matter what, You are with me leading me, guiding me, and comforting me at all times.  Help me recognize when I open the door to the evil so I can pray and close the door before he gets his foot into my life. Father, I pray for protection as I go forward into this day.  I ask that you direct my path and lead me beside the still waters.   In Jesus Name, Amen

Release Criticism

2 Timothy 2:23-26 “Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.”

So, what can we do? Look under the hood of your heart and ask God to reveal why you have a critical heart. Be willing to be honest and seek true forgiveness from anyone, including yourself. The evil one is not going to make this easy because when you begin taking these steps to grow more like Christ.  The pleasures of this world no longer control you, you are free to live the life God intends for you. Think of it like a tree that needs to be cut down. You have to remove it one piece at a time. The seed was planted long ago and it has grown into a huge tree. Seek God everytime you think, look, or feel any sign of criticism toward yourself or others.  This is the first step in becoming free to live the life God intends.

Father, I come before you with an open heart. I am so greatful for your love, compassion, and teaching. Lord, I desire nothing more that to walk with you on this Earth. I want to carry with me a sweet fragrance that can only come from being in relationship with you. Open my heart and reveal to me areas where I hold a critical spirit. Remove this spirit from me and teach me to keep it out of my life. In Jesus Precious Name, Amen

1 John 4:7-8 “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God.  Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.  Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

God’s love is like a river, ever flowing from Heaven above to earth below.  Just as a river needs land to flow God needs each of us to allow His love to flow through us.  God  has a plan for our lives and only we can fulfill that plan.  How do we know the plan?  Stay in constant connection with God through His Word, prayer, and stay connected in a church body.

God did not design us to walk this earth alone.  Whether married or not, we all desire to be connected with others. If you feel alone, lost, on your own, seek His kingdom and He will guide you.  This life is a journey and only God can fill the emptiness in your life, but you need to let Him in.  When we close ourselves off from God we allow Satan to gain control of our thoughts, words, and actions.  Think of going upstream.  If there is nothing powering the motors the boat will eventually just coast down stream.  God’s desire for each of us is to have the strength, will, and courage to continually battle upstream against the current.  You see, if we are not moving toward God we are moving away from Him. That is the nature of floating.  Don’t float through life, God desires so much more for you and for me.

Father in Heaven, I come seeking Your wisdom, grace, and forgiveness.  I know I have not loved the way you have designed.  Perfect love casts out fear, yet I live in fear.  Fear of the unknown, fear of being alone, fear of doing the wrong thing, fear of hurting the ones I love.  Father, I want to walk by faith, a faith in who You are.  Remind me to day of whose I am not what I am.  I know that I am broken and incomplete but, because of You I am made whole.  You alone are my rock and I can stand upon You no matter what my past looks like, no matter what hurt I have caused, no matter what You are with me and will guide me.  Father,  teach me to love as You love.  In Jesus Name, Amen

Sawdust and Planks

Luke 6: 41-42 “ Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?  How can you say to your brother,;Brother, let me take the speck out of you eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye?  You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”

How quickly we are able to see where others fall short but, are unable or unwilling to see our own flaws.  It seems easy to point out where someone falls short of your expectations but how often do we look inward to see where you fall short for those around us?  We as a society are quick to judge and see others failures but do not want to admit our own short comings.

We cannot love until we love ourselves.  We cannot give peace until we have peace.  We cannot give joy until we have joy.  The fruits of the spirit are gifts for us to share but, we cannot share what we do not have.  So, as you go through your day stop and examine yourself before you judge someone else and remember that you have not walked in their shoes so cannot truely know their story, hurts, pains, or joys.

Father, thank you for loving me and sending reminders that we are all imperfect.  Forgive me for looking at others and passing judgement on them.  I ask for You to come by your spirit and walk with me through my day and remind me that others are hurting and walking in pain.  I don’t know their story so, help me to live showing your spirit of love, joy, and peace.  Lord, I ask that you have your way with me today.  Allow me to be your hands and feet in my job, marriage, relationships, and kind to all those I encounter today.  In Jesus Name, Amen

Footholds

Philippians 2:4 “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

Sometimes in life we have conflict over two different views of the same thing.  Rather than talk things out we just don’t say anything.  When this happens seeds of bitterness can grow.  Our Father tells us in Ephesians 4:26-27 ”… Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.”

A disagreement takes two people.  One of you may be able to work through the conflict on your own while the other needs to talk it through.  This is where we need to be mindful of the others interests.  When we process by ourselves we leave a stumbling block for the other.  Don’t be a stub=bling block for anyone seek the best way to resolve conflict for all those involved in a disagreement rather tan be selfish and allow the other to continue to stumble.  When we allow another to stumble we allow Satan a foothold not only in their lives but in the relationship as well.  This is how walls of separation are built.  Don’t allow the thief to steal from you.

Father, I come seeking Your wisdom in opening my eyes to areas where I put my interests in front of others.  Help me to see the interests of others before my own.  Help me to see areas where the devil has a stronghold in my life because of anger, hurt, or strife.  Father, You are the ultimate healer and can restore any and all relationships to bring glory to Your name.  Give me this day what I need to bring healing to my heart, mind, body, and soul.  In Jesus Name, Amen

Desire

Galatians 5:16 “So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sin ;nb

When I read scripture, I am in awe of Christ and his disciples. All of the amazing things they did. Christ never worried. He always knew that the Father would provide. I look at how many times in a day I worry or feel insignificant. Then my spirit reminds me that I have Christ and I have His power within me. This means that we have power over sin. We don’t have to sin , worry, fear, or be anxious because of Christ. Now, I know that is easier said than done because we have to break the cycles and habits that we have created for ourselves. We need to exam our beliefs and make sure they line up with God’s Word.

Everyday is a gift. Every trial brings us closer to Christ. Every time we reach our destination safely is a gift. I could continue to list all the things we have to be greatful for but, my point is, every moment of everyday is a precious gift of God’s grace and love. When we look at our lives in this way things don’t seem so negative and hopeless. God has promised to care for us and to never leave us.  Unlike humans, God cannot break a promise. So, today be greatful for all you have no matter how small because it is all a gift of God’s love for you.

Father, thank you for all the blessings you have for me today and everyday.  Cover me today with Your love, lead me.  Father, what are you doing today, I want to join you and walk in peace with you through my day.  Father, strenghten my relationship with you and when I feel worried, anxious, or lost stir in my spirit a reminder of your love for and give me a strength that can only be found in a relationship with you.  In Jesus Name, Amen

Humility

Philippians 2:3 “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider other better than yourselves.”(NIV)

Philippians 2:3-4 (MSG) “Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends.  Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top.  Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead.  Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage.  Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.”

I have never really thought about what it takes to be humble or really what it is.  I know it means being modest but never really thought about the fact that a humble person does not really know the impact that they have on others.  As we go through our day to day life we have the opportunity to change lives positively  or negatively.

If we claim to be Christians are we truly being humble with words and actions or do we do things to get ahead?  I know  there are times when I have an idea and I share that idea with someone then they take credit for the outcome.  This not only confuses me but actually at some level makes me frustrated.  I have to say that is my humanity coming through. Does is really matter who gets the earthly credit or does it matter that someone was blessed?

That leads me to another question, why do we seek the approval of man?  Man did not die on a cross, descend to hell in my place, raise from the dead, walk on water, the list is endless.  So, as I go through my day I want to remember that God gets the glory for everything I not me.  God is who matters, and when I humble myself I don’t care about recognition, I care about God’s approval because in the end I what to hear God say, “Well done good and faithful servant.”

Abba Father, Thank you for all that You have done for me.  I know that my mind cannot truely comprehend the sacrifice tha You made on this earth to save the lost.  Father as I go for the today I ask that Your Holy Spirit rise up in me and make its presence felt by all those who cross my path.  Help me to be humble in spirit and look to You when I feel lost or confused. I want to give You all the glory and praise.  In Jesus Name, Amen

Place of Rest

Nahum 1:7 “The Lord is good – indeed, he is a fortress in time of distress, and he protects those who seek refuge in him.”

There are times in life when everything we as for God seems to be saying, “No.”  I have never looked at God’s no as a protection.  I seem to take no as a rejection.  What a change in perspective if we look at a relationship we thought was perfect, a promotion we worked so hard to get, or, as hard as it is, the inability to have a child.  All of this is designed by a Heavenly Father who knows the desires of our hearts because He created our hearts.

It is hard to imagine why God tells us know when we so desperately want something.  The anguish we walk through or the tears we shed.  Ever wonder, “What am I suppose to learn or do in this situation?”  The answer seems so simple yet so difficult, wait on the Lord because He cares for you.

Heavenly Father, I come seeking Your wisdom and guidance.  Open my eyes to all the amazing things You are doing in my life.  Help me when life seems to be going all wrong remember that You are in control, even when I turn from You, You still love me and are waiting for my return like a prodigal child.  Help me to continually seek refuge in You.  Help me to remember that Your, “No” is a protection not a punishment.  I know You care for me and are with me through all the ups an downs of life.  Thank you for being my refuge and place of rest.  Help me to follow The Holy Spirit as it whispers to me.  In Jesus Name, Amen

God Sees You

Isaiah 35:4 “Tell everyone who is discouraged, be strong and don’t be afraid!  God is coming to your rescue!”

No matter how far you fall or how much you mess up, even when people will not forgive you or want to hold things against you, know that your Heavenly Father loves you and will heal your brokenness.  This life can be rough, no matter how hard we try pains from the past can hold us captive.  When that happens allow God to wash over you.  When all you want is someone to hold you and tell you everything will be okay, love you and comfort you yet, there is no one physically there, God is.  When you feel everything is your fault, He is there.  When nothing seems to be going right and all you feel is pain go to your Heavenly Father.  He is waiting to hold you in His loving arms.  So, when life seems unbearable snuggle up REST.

Yahweh Shammah “the Lord is there” in the depths of your soul, He is there.  In the pains of life, He is there.  When nothing seems to be going right. He is there.  When the pains of your past smack you in the face, He is there. No matter how far you stray, He is there.  When no one else sees you, He is there.  Allow the God of creation to give you comfort in the storm.  He is there and He is love.

Father of Heaven and Earth, thank you for being my rock and always being there.  Even when I feel lost and alone I know deep in my soul you are there.  Help me to find comfort in your loving arms today and remember that today is a day you have created.  Allow your love to wash over me and give me the strength I need to do what You have called me to do.  In Jesus Name, Amen