2 Corinthians 12:10 NKJV – How do we see things?

Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

What a powerful statement of faith by the Apostle Paul. His spiritual view was crystal clear. He could see his sufferings as a reason to rejoice, because he knew that in them all of Christ’s power was at work.

There are times that I don’t look at things from a spiritual point of view. I see what is in front of me and respond accordingly. I look at them as stumbling blocks or things that are in the way of me getting from one place to another. But not so much with Paul. He saw what he faced with a different viewpoint. He looked at them through the eyes of Christ. He saw the Power of God at work to get him through.

God is omnipotent or all-powerful. He is able to do whatever He wills. God’s power is limited only by His character. “for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:13 NKJV) God demonstrates that power through the redeeming grace of His Son, Jesus. The same power that conquered the grave lives in us. The same power that defeated sin and death lives in us. This is what Paul understood.

How does the knowledge of this change the way we pray? Well, it’s like this. There is no illness, no sickness, no disease that is more powerful than the Power of God. There is no criticism, no accusation, no rebuke that is more powerful than the Power of God. There is no necessity, no requirement that is more powerful than the Power of God. There is no attack, no harassment, no oppression, no mistreatment, no intimidation that is more powerful than the Power of God, and there is no suffering, no pain, no sorrow, no anguish, no grief, no heartache, no concern, no worry, no misery that is more powerful than the Power of God.

The Apostle Paul’s faith was grounded in incredible belief. Paul encouraged Timothy by presenting himself as a model of faith and belief. “For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.” (2 Timothy 1:12) And we must also carry this faith with us in what we face and how we go about praying through it.

Friend, God cares for us and defends us. He protects us and teaches us. He guides us and keeps us. God is the guardian of His Word and His promises. When we pray, we must believe that the Power of God is at work in us and through us and resides in our prayers. We must simply believe that God is and He is the rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6)

Dear Lord, thank You that You take residence in us with the same love and same power that conquered sin and death. Thank You, Lord, that as we pray we can claim that Power to be brought forth against any sickness, criticism, necessity, attack, or suffering we or others are facing. Help us become strong in Your Power as we live and love and pray. In Jesus Name. AMEN.

Don’t believe me, believe God!

Philippians 2:13 NKJV – By the grace of God

“for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure”

The power of God is working within us. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13 NKJV). It is the grace of God which enables us to perform the will of God and to act according to our principles. We cannot act without the grace of God. We cannot claim it. We cannot pretend we deserve it. God’s good will toward us is the cause of His good work in us.

When I ponder on the goodness of God and how each day His will is worked out in me, I stand amazed. I wonder what God sees in me and what He could possibly desire from me. But that is where my thoughts are flawed. God is looking through the eyes of salvation and mercy and grace. I am wondering through my own eyes. When God looks at me He sees His son, His child. Grace has taken over and what God views is an open vessel ready to be filled.

When we pray each day, we need to remind ourselves that God is hearing and seeing and moving through His good will and His purpose. When doing so, it takes all doubt away that we might have in the corners of our heart where unbelief resides. It’s for His will and His own purpose. It is His desire that we are saved. It is His will that we are restored. It is His will that we are healed. It is His will that we return to Him. It is His will that we be blessed. It is His will that we are comforted. Is there any doubt within the will and the purpose of Almighty God? No.

So when we’ve had a bad day and have felt we have turned our back on the Lord, we can run to Him. When we’ve made a bad choice, we can run to Him. When we’ve been stubborn and refused to listen or been disobedient, we can run to Him. When our hearts have been broken, we can run to Him. When we think that He cannot possibly hear or answer our prayers, we can call upon the Name of the Lord in confidence. You see, it’s always about God’s will at work in us.

Friend, it’s God who spoke life into all creation. It’s God who knew us before the foundation of the world. It’s God who loves us all with an everlasting love. So much that He sent Jesus to the world to seek and save the lost. It’s God who works in and through all of us to accomplish His will and for His good pleasure. What do we have to do? Just believe, submit, and rejoice. The Christian life, from the beginning to its end, is totally dependent upon the grace of God.

Father, thank You for working in us to do Your will and for Your good pleasure. Thank You that we can have confidence that by Your grace, all things are made complete. When we sin we have the promise that we can come to You and seek Your forgiveness and we will receive it. When our hearts are broken and we’ve been kicked around by this world, we have the promise that when we call upon the Name of the Lord, You will save us. Help us Lord to never forget that through You and only You we have strength to complete Your will. In Jesus Name. AMEN.

Don’t believe me, believe God!

Exodus 33:13-14 NKJV – Standing in the gap

Now therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight. And consider that this nation is Your people.  And He said, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

Sometimes I pray with specific thoughts and requests in mind. They come from what I am facing in life and often times from those who ask me to pray for them. I love when I can offer prayers for others in as an intercessor for them. I learned early on that there was a term that people used. They said they, “Stood in the gap” for someone else. I remember the first time I stood in the gap for someone. He was very sick. It was during a Saturday evening prayer service. There was a call to the altar for those needing healing and it was asked that if there be anyone who would stand in the gap for someone who was not in attendance, to come forward. I responded and when the people surrounded me and laid hands on me there was an incredible presence. I remember after the prayer feeling overwhelmed by God’s touch.

I think about that night how God moved. I also think about those times when God places someone on my heart to pray for. It may come at any time. I’ve had the feeling to pray while driving, while at home, at work, outside while working on my lawn. I’ve even felt it in the middle of the night after something woke me up. It’s God call to intercede.

God moved so graciously for Moses and the children of Israel because of Moses’ prayer. He said, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” I believe that when we pray or “Stand in the gap” for others, God’s Holy Presence goes with us. God’s Presence is in the midst of our prayers for others. And God is ready to answer on behalf of the individual we are praying for.

Many times I don’t even know what the person is facing or what the person’s prayer need is. I just know God has called me to pray. And I will remain obedient to that call. I don’t say that to puff myself up as some Mega Prayer Warrior. I remain obedient to the call of prayer because someone remained obedient to the same calling when I was lost.

I love when I can take someone by the hand and we can seek the Lord in prayer. But I also love when God awakens my spirit to His call to prayer. I believe an essential aspect of the life of a believer is that it is more than a matter of prayer, but a total and heartfelt commitment to God when we pray. Moses knew what the children of Israel did to deserve the wrath of God. Sometimes I don’t know the reason to pray, but I know whom I have believed. I, too, am able to say, Now therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight. And consider that this nation is Your people.”

Friend, I don’t know what you may be facing or what others around you face. But I know that God is a hearer of prayer. “O You who hear prayer, To You all flesh will come.” (Psalm 65:2 NKJV) And God will see you through it all. If you are facing something or thinking of someone that you believe needs a touch from the Lord, join with me in the prayer below. I will stand in the gap with you and believe with you that God will hear and answer your prayer. If you know of someone who might be in need and not able to see this devotion, please share this with them. I will stand in the gap for them as well.

Heavenly Father, I pray for those who are feeling they have no hope. I pray for those who are looking for an answer to their heartache, their worry, their pain. I pray, dear Lord, for those who have been separated from You. Lord, I ask in Your precious Name, Jesus, that this day You would touch their situation and bring hope, bring peace, bring healing, bring restoration, bring renewal, and pour out Your love upon them. Dear Lord, I know not all that they face, but I know that You will answer this prayer. Lord may this day be a day of celebration of the Glory, and the Power, and the Love that You have poured out. Thank You Lord Jesus, in Your Precious Name. AMEN.

Don’t believe me, believe God!

Luke 12:22-26 NKJV – What, me worry?

Then He said to His disciples, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on. Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing. Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds? And which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? If you then are not able to do the least, why are you anxious for the rest?”

Did you know that chronic worrying and emotional stress can trigger a long list of health problems? The problem occurs when the “fight or flight” stress response kicks in from daily excessive worrying and anxiety. Health problems like:

  • Suppression of the immune system
  • Digestive disorders
  • Muscle tension
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Premature coronary artery disease
  • Heart attack

But Jesus provides arguments against worry. First, concern for worldly goods is foolish because life itself is more important. Second, God always takes care of His own, just as He cares for the birds of the air. Third, worry accomplishes nothing. Finally, as children of God and heirs of His Kingdom, we should not worry about earthly details when we have access to God’s inexhaustible riches.

I love how this scripture passage concludes. “And which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? If you then are not able to do the least, why are you anxious for the rest?” Can any of us add a single minutes to our lives? Really? How foolish for any of us to think we can when God controls every single breath we take. Glory to God!!! If we think we control anything, just look back at what we did with those decisions and how thankful we are now that God was there to rescue us. Hallelujah!!! Don’t get me started!!!

God supplies all of our needs and gives us His special care. Jehovah Jireh, the Lord who provides. So what do we do when worry creeps in and it captures our thoughts? Well God’s Word says this, “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5 NKJV) How do we do that? By prayer. Calling on the Name of the Lord and praying. Let me share what happens when we go to God in prayer, especially when we are in a state of worry. When we turn our thoughts toward God, we begin to think differently. Another transformation takes place. Conversation or dialogue with God in prayer sets our minds on what is truly important. I’ll let you in on a secret. When I worry, I tend to talk to myself out loud a lot. Now channel that energy and begin to talk to God out loud instead. Try this and see what happens.

Thank You Lord that we have a place to go in the midst of our worry. That place is Your Holy presence as we call upon Your name. Help us Lord to see that worry gets us nowhere and that trust in Your care gets us everything we will ever need. Forgive us Lord when we let worry take over our lives even to the point of illness. Come Holy Spirit and fill us with Your presence so that there is no room for worry any longer. In Jesus Name. AMEN

Don’t believe me, believe God!

2 Corinthians 4:3-4 NKJV – Let us pray!

But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.

It’s all about praying for those who have not yet called Jesus Christ their Lord and Savior. It’s all about realizing that the world is full of those who believe in the world order. It’s all about grieving for those who cannot understand because their minds are blinded.

To be spiritually blind means that there is an inability or unwillingness to perceive the truth of the Gospel. Unbelievers are spiritually blind. “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Corinthians 2:14 NKJV)

God is beyond unaided human knowledge and it is impossible to fully know God without revelation. The revelation comes from the Word of God and the belief in its inerrant truth. So if the lost of this world cannot even begin to understand and are blinded to their need for Jesus Christ, what can we do?

We can pray. It’s only through prayer that the lost can be reached. It’s only through prayer that the lost can see their need for a Savior. Charles Finney, well known revivalist once said, “In the case of an impenitent friend, the very condition on which he is to be saved from hell may be the fervency and importunity of your prayer for that individual.” I absolutely believe that is true. I know that I was headed to death and hell had it not been the prayers of a man who called on the Name of Jesus on my behalf.

Do my prayers or your prayers make a difference? Yes they do. “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” (James 5:16 KJV) God hears and answers prayers that are offered in accordance with His will. “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” (1 John 5:14 NKJV) And it is God’s will that all of us see our need for Jesus Christ as our Savior. “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9 NKJV)

Precious Lord, I pray right now that those who are reading this and do not call You Lord and Savior would receive a touch from You today. Lord, their minds are blinded but Lord You can restore their sight, You can renew their minds. May we pray daily for those who are lost and are dying in their sins. May Your love penetrate and break the hardness of their hearts. Soften them Holy Spirit to be able to see their need for Jesus and bring them into the knowledge of the truth. In Jesus Name. AMEN

Don’t believe me, believe God!

Matthew 28:18-20 NKJV – Do you believe?

And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.

Oh Lord, thank You. Jesus charged his disciples to reach the world in the name of Jesus. What an incredible charge; blessed with a promise that He would never leave them. I’d like to share what a dear sister in the Lord. Jennifer, shared with me when I posted Matthew 28:18-20 on social media. Her reply and understanding of this scripture was a great blessing to me.

“I love this verse. If most people are like me we have always read and focused on the first part of this verse – making disciples, baptizing them, but less focus on what it says “teaching them to observe all the things that I have commanded you;” This part is sooooo important. So what does that mean for us? We are the beneficiaries – one of the disciples who have come from this commandment to our time today. I am one of the disciples that Jesus told his disciples to make, baptize and teach…. What did He teach His disciples to do? I’ll leave that up to the reader to look and see for him or herself. I want to do everything that Jesus commanded the disciples to do because I am one of them!”

This scripture verse is all about obedience to what the Lord commands. I have called Jesus my Lord and Savior for 15 years. His Word has taught me a lot about being a disciple of Jesus Christ. God’s Word has taught me that I can walk in the Power of the Holy Spirit. That I don’t have to worry about my own strength and power because the Holy Spirit lives and resides in me. When told His disciples, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father” (John 14:12 NKJV), He was talking about the Power of His Holy Spirit living inside of His disciples and equipping them to do even greater things. What was the requirement to bring this to pass? “I say to you, he who believes in Me”.

That’s you and I when we believe in Jesus and call Him our Savior. Do you suppose that there would be a great change in believers if the true message of this verse would reside deep in our hearts? Not our minds, but our hearts. Do you suppose that we would have a much greater impact in serving God and His Kingdom if we only believed and were obedient? I mean, really believed and really obeyed. Do you suppose that our prayers would change to be prayers of faith spoken and declared in the Name of Jesus? Do you suppose that God would manifest His promise of greater things if we only believed? I do, on all counts.

Thanks Jennifer so much. I too, want to do everything that Jesus commanded the disciples to do because I am one of them. Friend, join me in believing and then being obedient to the commands of Jesus in His Word. Join me in praying like we’ve never prayed before, expecting and anticipating a miracle. Remember, revival starts in us. And remember this too, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

Precious Lord, thank You for the promise that You will be with us always. Thank You for instructing us in Your Word so that as one of Your disciples we too, can make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that You have commanded. Help us Lord to discern those opportunities You give us and may we be obedient to Your call. In Jesus Name. AMEN

Don’t’ believe me, believe God!

Isaiah 40:31 NKJV – Let’s go for a ride

But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.

I can be impatient. That is an area of my life where God has put a lot of time in. He has walked with me and taught me about patience. I’ve needed to learn some things when praying. For those of us who can be impatient, there are attitudes in prayer that need to be adopted and one of those attitudes is patience. What I’m saying here is there is an importance in putting your trust in God.

We must trust in God’s power and strength and not our own. The understanding of God’s power and strength comes from time studying God’s Word and time in prayer. In contrast to our human strength, God is the source and supplier of all spiritual strength through which we can do all that God’s asks. “The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, A refuge in times of trouble. And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.” (Psalm 9:9-10 NKJV) We are also taught here that as we wait, the Lord shall renew our strength. You know what this means. We are not renewed in strength by our own strength. God doesn’t renew us that way. God renews us with His strength. The same power that conquered the grave and raised Jesus from the dead lives in us.

We shall mount up as to fly like an eagle. I don’t know if you know this, but eagles use very little of their own effort to soar. God has placed in them the ability to soar for dozens of miles without any real effort. They fly on the tops of columns of heat that arises from the earth. They’re called, “thermals”; a column of rising air in lower altitudes of the earth’s atmosphere. The warmer air near the surface expands, becoming less dense than the surrounding air mass. Thermals are one of the many sources of lift used by eagles and even gliders to soar. When we take hold of God’s strength, it is the same thing. We are enabled to soar not by the earth’s rising heat but by God’s power so that we can rest. Rest on His glorious power and strength.

Human standards of what defines strength and weakness are overturned by God’s perspective on things. When that happens and God gets a hold of us under His power and strength, He is glorified. Our weakness demonstrates the power of God. Our power, our strength, and our hope are grounded in our confidence and expectation in God’s goodness and care even in the face of trouble.

A relationship with Jesus through prayer brings us to the realization that it is God who will carry us. Through prayer we realize that we can run this race and not be weary. Through prayer we capture God’s attention and He is given opportunity to carry us in His power and strength and give us a ride! Hallelujah!!! I don’t know about you, but I desire a ride in the power and strength of God.

Precious Lord, may we wait patiently upon You Lord and allow You to strengthen us in Your mighty power. Carry us Lord in Your strength so that we may be renewed. Teach us Lord not to rely on our own power and strength but to trust in Yours. Forgive us Lord when we think we can do this alone. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Don’t believe me, believe God!