November 21, 2017

Do I Trust You, Lord

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Sometimes my little heart can’t understand
What’s in Your will, what’s in Your plan
So many times I’m tempted to ask You why
But I can never forget it for long
Lord, what You do could not be wrong
So I believe You, even when I must cry

Do I trust You, Lord
Does the river flow
Do I trust You, Lord
Does the north wind blow
You can see my heart
You can read my mind
And You got to know
That I would rather die
Than to lose my faith
In the One I love
Do I trust You, Lord
Do I trust You

I know the answers, I’ve given them all
But suddenly now, I feel so small
Shaken down to the cavity in my soul
I know the doctrine and theology
But right now they don’t mean much to me
This time there’s only one thing I’ve got to know

I will trust You, Lord, when I don’t know why
I will trust You, Lord, ’til the day I die
I will trust You, Lord, when I’m blind with pain
You were God before, and You’ll never change
I will trust You
I will trust You
I will trust You, Lord
I will trust You

Singer / Songwriter ~ Twila Paris
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I just l.o.v.e the heart of this wonderful woman!  She sings out and proclaims that—even when shaken…worried…fearful…doubting—in her heart of hearts she TRUSTS in her Lord!  Have you been singing along with her?

“I will trust You, Lord, when I don’t know why.
I will trust You, Lord, ‘til the day I die.
I will trust You, Lord, when I’m blind with pain!
You were God before, and You’ll never change.
I will trust You….I will trust You…I will trust You, Lord!
I will trust You.”

Trust in the Lord…Who better to trust in?   But do I?  Do you?  Actually, yes, I think that we do!  We have experienced and been blessed by God’s goodness and grace and mercy over and over and over again.  We have seen His loving care cover the lives of our loved ones.  We know—because He has graciously proven Himself—that He is a faithful God Who always provides what is best for His children.

But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;
They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”
The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.
It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.
Lamentations 3:21-26

trust

TRUST, n.

1. Confidence; a reliance or resting of the mind on the integrity, veracity, justice, friendship or other sound principle of another person.
                           He that putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe.  Proverbs 29:25
2. He (or that) which is the ground of confidence.
           For Thou art my hope; O Lord God, thou art my trust from my youth. Psalm 71:5
(From Webster’s 1828 Unabridged Dictionary)

From these definitions we have an understanding that it is because of confidence that we trust. And we have confidence in someone or something because they have proved themselves worthy of relying on them.  When we think of these words in relation to our Father God…oh, my!  There is no doubt of His having proven Himself!  He is a Faithful God Who always brings His promises into fruition!

Trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind
and do not rely on your own insight or understanding.
In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him,
and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.
Be not wise in your own eyes; reverently fear and worship the Lord
and turn [entirely] away from evil.
Proverbs 3:5-7

This verse comes to mind and brings such peace to my heart! I do not have to always understand. I do not have to know what is going to happen.  But, I do need to follow Him. I need to trust Him with all my heart. That part is my job.  He will help me and He will get me through. It might not be easy (and truth be told, it isn’t always easy), but it will be okay.

The question is, ‘Do we lean on our own understanding or do we depend on God?’  The wise choice is obvious when we remember that God knows the end from the beginning. He provides for and sustains all that happens in between. Trusting Him, and continuing to choose to trust Him, is the wisest decision we can make—every day of our lives.

O taste and see that the Lord [our God] is good!
Blessed is the man who trusts and takes refuge in Him.
Psalm 34:8

Lay It Down

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I’ve been lookin’ till my eyes are tired of lookin’
Listenin’ till my ears are numb from listenin’
Prayin’ till my knees are sore from kneelin’ on the bedroom floor
I know that you know that my heart is achin’
I’m running out of tears and my will is breakin’
I don’t think that I can carry the burden of it anymore
All of my hopes and my dreams and my best-laid plans
Are slowly slippin’ through my folded hands

So I’m gonna lay it down
I’m gonna learn to trust You now
What else can I do
‘Cause everything I am depends on You
And if the sun don’t come back up
I know Your love will be enough
I’m gonna let it be, I’m gonna let it go,
I’m gonna lay it down

I’ve been walkin’ through this world like I’m barely livin’
Buried in the doubt of this hole I’ve been diggin’
But You’re pullin’ me out
I’m finally breathin’ in the open air
This room may be dark but I’m finally seein’
There’s a new ray of hope, and now I’m believin’
That the past is past, and the future’s beginning to look brighter now
Oh, cause all of my hopes and my dreams and my best-laid plans
Are safe and secure when I place them in Your hands 

Singer / Songwriter – Jaci Velasquez
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Each of us has burdens and cares and concerns…some days it seems they are more than we can bear.  To think you can walk through this life without them is to deny the Truth.  However, they are not ours to carry and bear on our own. Throughout the Scriptures, we are told that the Lord will bear them for us.

Blessed be the Lord, Who bears our burdens and carries us day by day,
even the God Who is our salvation! Selah
Psalm 68:19

Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened,
and I will give you rest.
All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me,
because I am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest for yourselves.
For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.
Matthew 11:28-30

The burdens, the concerns, the cares of this life can turn into worries, doubts, fears if we do not bring them to our Father letting Him take care of them. We are to humbly recognize our great need for our Great God, and all that He has promised to do for us, because He cares for us.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God
so that at the proper time He may exalt you,
casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.
1 Peter 5:6 and 7

Let’s listen to Jesus’ admonition and promises in Matthew chapter 6:

Therefore I tell you, stop being perpetually uneasy (anxious and worried) about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink; or about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life greater [in quality] than food, and the body [far above and more excellent] than clothing?
Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father keeps feeding them. Are you not worth much more than they?
And who of you by worrying and being anxious can add one unit of measure (cubit) to his stature or to the span of his life?
And why should you be anxious about clothes? Consider the lilies of the field and learn thoroughly how they grow; they neither toil nor spin.
Yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his magnificence (excellence, dignity, and grace) was not arrayed like one of these.
But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and green and tomorrow is tossed into the furnace, will He not much more surely clothe you, O you of little faith?
Therefore do not worry and be anxious, saying, What are we going to have to eat? or, What are we going to have to drink? or, What are we going to have to wear?
For the Gentiles (heathen) wish for and crave and diligently seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows well that you need them all.
But seek first of all His kingdom and His righteousness, and then all these things will be given you besides.
So do not worry or be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries and anxieties of its own. Sufficient for each day is its own trouble.

Jesus’ words are full of action for us to take…but not the action of taking care of ourselves. Rather, our Lord and Master tells us to–

  • stop being perpetually uneasy
  • look at (and consider) the birds of the air
  • consider the lilies of the field
  • do not worry and be anxious
  • seek (first of all) His kingdom
  • <again> do not worry or be anxious

These are not always easy to do…but they are what we are to do in obedience. The choice, moment by moment, is ours (yours and mine)—will we stop… look…consider…not worry or be anxious…but seek His kingdom OR will we worry, doubt, have anxiety and fear.

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I am praying for you that TODAY you will choose to trust and say, “I’m gonna let it be, I’m gonna let it go, I’m gonna lay it down…in Jesus’ powerful name, amen.” (Will you pray that for me, too?  I’d be so appreciative!)

 

The Hardest Thing About Trusting God

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As for God, His way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried:
He is a buckler to all those that trust in Him.
For who is God save the LORD? or Who is a Rock save our God?
It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.
Psalms 18:30–32

Faith is not faith as long as it is holding onto a branch.  There is a story that goes like this:

One day on a hiking trip, a man fell off the edge of a cliff and began the 800-foot drop to the bottom. He thought it was all over for him until he grabbed a tree branch which stopped his fall. Hanging on for dear life, he cried out for help, “Is anyone up there?”
There was no response. The seconds turned into minutes. The branch was sagging beneath the hiker’s weight. The tree’s roots would only take so much more strain before they gave way. When it seemed the poor hiker couldn’t hold on any longer, he heard a voice: “I am God. Do you trust Me?”
“Yes, Lord. I trust You. Can You help me, please?”
God answered, “Yes, I will help you. Just let go of the branch.”
The hiker was silent for a moment. Then he shouted back, “Is anyone else up there?”

There is perhaps nothing more difficult than releasing our grip on a “branch” we have been trusting for life, stability, and the provision of our needs.  The hardest part is not knowing how the landing will turn out.  This is what happens when we practice faith, only we are leaving the outcome of our situation in God’s hands.  We’re used to holding onto our relationships, jobs, homes, families, friends, bank accounts, retirement savings, and even our plans for the future.  But God can’t help us until we are willing to let go of these things and completely trust Him.  He knows that when we are trusting Him, we are in a place of safety.  Our branches may fail us, but His hand will never let us go.

Each of us is clinging to a branch of one kind or another.  Your branch might be your job, a relationship with a friend,  the stock market, your health, or your home.  Today God is asking you to let it go and trust Him.  You might not see how the landing will turn out, but God can.  He has promised to keep you safe.

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Dear Lord, we thank You for the love You have for us even when we don’t trust You. Help our unbelief.  Let us trust You more and more each day, in Jesus’ name we pray. Amen!!

Faithfulness

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Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens,
Your faithfulness to the skies.
Your righteousness is like the highest mountains,
Your justice like the great deep.
You, Lord, preserve both people and animals.
How priceless is Your unfailing love, O God!
People take refuge in the shadow of Your wings.
They feast on the abundance of Your house;
You give them drink from Your river of delights.
For with You is the fountain of life; in Your light we see light.
Continue Your love to those who know You,
Your righteousness to the upright in heart.
Psalms 36:5-10

Our God loves us in such a powerful and wonderful way.  From the beginning of time He has desired to have an intimate relationship with all that dwell here.  As the psalmist says, “His love reaches to the heavens.”  I wonder, could ours reach that far?

A friend of mine and her husband were awaiting genetic testing results for a disease his mother and aunt have. The period of waiting was beginning to take its toll on each of them. What with their already demanding work (they are both in the medical field), and raising a 12 year old daughter, they have their share of commitments. Finally the results came in—he had no indicators of the disease and all of the symptoms of the disease left hm.  I know some of you are thinking, “If he was/is a believer, then why was he worrying.”  It is mainly because he does/did not have a close relationship with God.  He could have focused on the positive outcome, rather than the negative which would have allowed them both to have truly “lived” this past year.

As our lives continue and we are faced with new challenges and concerns, we need to remember to keep God first in our thoughts.  It is a learned thought process, one that is cultivated, and should be encouraged in others.  Our God delights in us when we truly seek Him and want to know Him.

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Father,  thank You for Your provisions for us Your children. We want to be jealous for You, we want to know You more fully as we begin this new year.  Show us places where we can improve and where we can be brave enough to share our hearts with You. In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Lean In Closer

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God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling.
Psalms 46:1-3

God is there. Lean in closer. We, as believers, know that He is always with us—always within the reach of our heart’s cry.

Uncertainties and difficulties are always on the horizon. I’m facing some now. Christians face difficulties like other people do. The difference is that when the storms hit, we know God is there with us. We go to Him—our Refuge and Strength. (When things are going wonderfully, let’s lean toward Him then also. The world may have a hard time distinguishing what is going on in our lives. That’s okay, if that happens. If they have an encounter with us at any time, I hope the main thing they take away is that we love God.)
God is my Refuge and Strength. He helps me enormously! It’s in the tough times that my faith, trust, and relationship with Him grow even stronger. Without Him, I wouldn’t have endured or persevered in really tough times.

When I’m tired, hurt, or face the unknown, God is my Refuge and Strength. Can you say that? Hopefully, you can! (If not, please pause now, and pray to God to allow that statement to become true for you.)

I know of several close friends who have heavy burdens right now. None of us have a completely smooth ride between birth and death. There will be many wonderful times of love, laughter, celebrations, and being with special people. There also will be many times of illness, grief, struggles, loss, loneliness, and hurts. Life is made up of a combination of all of these for every one of us. Each person’s journey will look different than someone else’s. The only way to live in a God-glorifying way is to reach toward God in all things. Don’t let the emphasis be on our circumstances. And if others do see the circumstances, may they see that in them, we loved Jesus. Each new day that we begin, let our emphasis be on His Presence in our lives and our love for Him!

I often think of Joni Eareckson Tada, who’s a quadriplegic. At the mention of her name, I also think of her great love for God. Her incredible love for Him shines even brighter because she places her love for Him way above dwelling on the circumstances she has to live in! So, her beautiful testimony of loving God within her difficult circumstances shines even brighter to bring Him even more glory! Wow! I love that!

How do we lean in closer to God? Hannah, in the Bible, prayed. When she couldn’t have the child she so desperately longed for, she prayed. The child, Samuel, came after her prayer of request and then, she prayed a prayer glorifying God. In her prayer of thankfulness, Hannah said, “There is none holy like the LORD: for there is none besides you; there is no rock like our God” (1 Samuel 2:2). She drew close to her God for help and to praise Him! (See 1 Samuel 1:1-2:11 for more.)

We can lean closer to God through prayer, reading His Word, singing songs of praise and worship, and trusting and having faith in Him regardless of circumstances.

What are you going through in this season of your life? Lean in closer toward God. He is there. He is waiting with love and open arms. He will be your Refuge and Strength.

Dear Jesus,  let us always be mindful of Your Presence. Thank You for caring about us and loving us to the point of death on a cross. If You can rise from death and reign as King of kings as You have, You can certainly deal with the problems that come our way. Let us lay them at Your feet. Let us trust You completely with our difficult situations and circumstances—knowing You are to be trusted and loved in, and through, all things! In Your precious Name I pray, amen.

Trusting God’s Word

SeekingHimLogoOne afternoon my mom, nephew Tae, and I went swimming.  My mother spent most of the time carrying Tae.  I dunked him, and needless to say…he didn’t want me holding him.

My mom wasn’t able to enjoy swimming or floating while carrying around Tae, so she finally gave him to me—with much protest from him.  I couldn’t take it anymore!  He would sit on the steps holding the metal bar.  He did venture to stick his foot down and touch the ground, which wasn’t as far as he thought, but the water was distorting the actual distance between his feet and the ground of the pool and he kept getting scared he’d fall.

I do the same thing Tae did, but with the Word of God.  I hold on to God’s Word…the metal bar that is unmoveable…and then I get adventurous and build up the courage to actually put the Word into action, like with tithing.

Sad thing is I often can’t see the floor and, when I don’t see results fast enough, I pull back, clinging to the word of God, but afraid to put it to action because “I tried and it didn’t work.”

Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.
Psalm 62:8

Ah…trust. Trust can be hard when what our eyes see and our minds reason poinst to the impossible.  When the gap between our feet and the floor appears to be too far and we worry if we can actually reach.  This is known as doubt.  Our tangible factual conclusion can poke holes in our faith; after all, we are tangible beings.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
Hebrews 11:1

We live by faith not by sight.
2 Corinthians 5:7

We as Christians are called to live by the Word of God, not with our eyes or own understandings.  We are to operate with THE TRUTH—”… the Word of the Lord is right and true; He is faithful in all he does” (Psalm 33:4).

And I am always honest with God about my doubts. He alone can provide the assurance I need to truly replace my doubts.

As for Tae…I took him to the other side of the pool, grabbed hold of his foot and pushed it down, with resistance and a little screaming, all the way to the floor of the pool. Once he realized his foot was on the ground he let go of me and started walking around in the shallow end.

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Thank You, Lord, for Your Living Word.  Thank You for those people who You place in my life to encourage me.  Thank You for those timely words that push me forward!  And help me to trust You more than the tangible world around me.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.

Glorious Living w/ Coach Megan: Changing Your Heart from Critical to Caring

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Dear Coach Megan,

God has really been working in my heart lately and, whether I like it or not, He has shown me that I have a really critical spirit with the people closest to me. I don’t like it and I want to do my part to change, but I’m not sure where to begin. Can you help?

~ DJ

Dearest DJ…

In my experience, anyone with a critical spirit is an expert at finding fault and focusing on it! Bless you for not only admitting this, but being willing to let God in and work on your precious heart to make an impact {in a good way} on all the lives you touch!  I pray that this blog post will be a blessing to you and your family, and I would love to hear how God fills your heart with His supernatural caring!

A critical spirit does not reflect the heart of the wise, nor does it reflect the heart of God.  Jesus said, “For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man  brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him”  {Matthew 12:34-35}.

A critical spirit is an excessively negative attitude with harshness in judging.  A person with a critical spirit gives unfair criticism by fault-finding, nit-picking, carping, quibbling, and complaining.  The Bible is clear about those who are judgmental:

Romans 14:10

You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister?  Or why do you treat them with contempt?
For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat.

On the flip side… a caring spirit is a thoughtful, attentive attitude with a heart to help.  One of the most important needs we all have is for someone to care about us; someone to be attentive to our dreams and disappointments, our joys and sorrows, our successes and failures, our strengths and weaknesses, our vices and virtues.  How blessed we are when we have caring people in our lives!  Those who have a caring spirit reflect the heart of our caring Savior.

Nahum 1:7

 The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him

How to change your heart from critical to caring:

Identify your shortcomings {Psalms 139:23-24}

  • Humble your heart to see your own sin, your imperfections, and your immense need for God’s mercy.
  • Help others see their significance in God’s eyes.
  • Pray: “Lord, may I see my sin as You see it…may I hate my sin as You hate it.”

Practice compassion for others {Colossians 3:12}

  • Look closely at the life of Christ to learn His compassionate way of confronting the truth.
  • Pray that you will not be a critical stone thrower, but a compassionate need-meeter.

Draw out the heartfelt needs of others {Proverbs 20:5}

  • Don’t listen to only what people say on the surface. Listen for the needs and feelings beneath the surface… feelings of being unloved or feeling insignificant or insecure.
  • Pray that God will give you a discerning spirit as you seek to draw others out.

Offer acceptance to others {Romans 15:7}

  • Realize that everyone has an innate fear of rejection and a deep yearning for acceptance.
  • Choose to be a channel through which God extends His acceptance to others.

See the God-given worth in others {Luke 12:6-7}

  • Treat every person, especially the one most problematic to you, as someone with God-given worth.  The truth judges our hearts, attitudes, and actions towards others.
  • Pray that the Lord will not allow you to despise anyone whom He created and loves.

Praise the positives in others {Philippians 4:8}

  • Avoid the temptation to try to catch people doing something wrong.  Instead, comment on what they are doing right.
  • Pray that you will see something positive in every person, then faithfully make that your focus.
  • Pray that you would see others as God sees them and value them as He values them.

Refuse to wound others with words {Colossians 3:16}

  • Consider the fallacy of the saying “talk is cheap.” Talk is costly when it tears others down. Prayerfully consider the possibility that what you are criticizing in someone may be something God wants to deal with directly, and that God may want you to pray and remain silent.
  • Before speaking words of criticism, ask a wise friend to evaluate the content and tone of your words.  Realize that after critical words are spoken, you can never take them back.
  • Inspire those who need to change by sharing with them your belief that they can change. Encourage them by saying “Don’t give up. Trust God to guide you in the way you should go. I know you can make the right decisions. I believe you can experience God’s best!”
  • Present your words to God as His instrument for good, and pray that He will put His words into your mouth.

See the unmet needs of others {Philippians 4:19}

  • Instead of judging the inappropriate actions of others, seek to understand the need behind each action.
  • Realize that people who speak forth cutting words reveal that they have unmet inner needs {for love, significance, or security.}
  • Realize that people don’t always mean what they say nor understand their own deepest needs.
  • Pray that your critics will allow the Lord to meet their deepest inner needs.

Rely on God’s Word and God’s Spirit for wisdom

  • Seek God’s wisdom by reading a chapter a day from the Book of Proverbs.
  • Write down every verse from Proverbs that pertains to the tongue.  Check your words against this list and see if you are being wise with what you say.
  • See God at work in every circumstance and trust Him for wisdom to know how to respond {wisdom is the ability to look at life from God’s point of view.}
  • Pray that God’s Spirit will teach you spiritual truths and lead you to speak these truths in love.

1 Corinthians 2:13

This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom 
but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.

Blessings,

Coach Megan 🙂 

Glorious Living w/ Coach Megan: Breaking Strongholds (w/ free download)

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2 Corinthians 10:4 
For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal,
but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds.

Strongholds are birthed and dwell in deception (which are lies and false beliefs), so naturally the cure is to bring in the truth in God’s Word to defeat them once and for all.  You debunk the lies of the enemy with the truth that lies in the Word of God.

The Bible says that our weapons are mighty for the tearing down of strongholds (2 Corinthians 10:4, “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds.”)  What is our primary offensive weapon?  The sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God (Ephesians 6:17, “…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”)  Truth dispels deception and lies, and therefore the more truth you bring into a situation, the more the darkness must flee.  This is where it’s important to grow in God’s Word, is because it is your primary weapon for tearing down the strongholds of deception that the enemy has been feeding you.

If you are not currently spending time in God’s Word every single day, please vow to make this a habit right now.  THIS is how God will most often speak to you and how you will grow in your relationship with Him like never before.  Please make this intentional time with the Lord every single day…ink {not pencil} Him into your precious schedule!

In John 8:31-36, Jesus tells us that we can be held in bondage due to strongholds in our lives. And His solution was to, “…continue in my word… and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (verses 31-32).  Strongholds are torn down as we meditate on God’s Word.

To help you with this, I have a FREE download for you today filled with stronghold-breaking meditations to help you on this journey to break free once and for all!   Click on the link below to download to your computer.

Stronghold-breaking Meditation Scriptures

Blessings,

Coach Megan 🙂

Glorious Living w/ Coach Megan: A Scripture Prayer on Decision Making

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I pray this is a blessing to you….

Proverbs 3:5-6

Lord, I trust in You with all my heart and I won’t rely on just what I understand.
In all my ways, I will rely on You, because You will direct me in the way I should go.

Psalm 32:8

Thank You for being willing to instruct me and teach me the right way to go… even to counsel me and watch over me.

Psalm 25:9

I humble my heart so that You will guide me and teach me Your way.

James 1:5

When I need wisdom, I will ask You for it. Thank You for not faulting me for asking, but rather wanting to make me wise.

Proverbs 16:9

Even when I plan my future, I’m so glad that You determine my steps.

Psalm 40:8

Oh God, I truly desire to do Your will.
Thank You for putting Your truth in my heart.

John 16:13

I yield myself to Your Spirit of Truth, who will guide me into all truth.

Matthew 6:10

I pray that whatever is Your perfect will for me in heaven will also be accomplished in my life here on earth.

1 Corinthians 10:31

And, Lord, may whatever I do be truly for Your glory… and Yours alone.

In Jesus’ name.  Amen.  <3

Click the link below for a free download of today’s prayer!

DailyPrayer

You will need Adobe Acrobat on your computer to open this PDF file. If you do not have this program on your computer, you can find a free download HERE.

Blessings,

Megan 🙂

Esther – Chapter 4:1-3

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Now when Mordecai learned all that was done, [he] rent his clothes and put on sackcloth with ashes and went out into the midst of the city and cried with a loud and bitter cry.  He came and stood before the king’s gate, for no one might enter the king’s gate clothed with sackcloth.  And in every province, wherever the king’s commandment and his decree came, there was great mourning among the Jews, with fasting, weeping, and wailing, and many lay in sackcloth and ashes.
The Book of Esther, chapter 4:1-3

Mordecai was utterly distraught.  The word, distraught, means ‘overly agitated, worried, full of grief, worked up, deeply upset, in a panic.’  In Latin, it literally means to be pulled apart.  Have you ever felt like this?  I am thinking you are nodding your head…for sure I have, too.  There are many reactions and responses to this gut-wrenching emotion of being distraught. Perhaps you might feel as Mordecai did and react by crying out loudly.  Or, rather, you might feel ‘frozen’ and not sure what to do.  Maybe you might feel like you had been punched and just fall to your knees in despondency.  These emotions—being distraught, despondent, unsure—are feelings that the enemy of our souls would want you to experience and succumb to in defeat.

However, there is One Who knows we will feel like this at times and wants us to seek Him for relief and help and deliverance.  Our heavenly Father is the One Who has put ‘feelings’ into our makeup.  Remember He formed and made us; He knows every part of our being…our feelings and our thoughts, too.

O Lord, you have searched me [thoroughly] and have known me.
You know my downsitting and my uprising; You understand my thought afar off.
You sift and search out my path and my lying down; You are acquainted with all my ways.
Psalms 139:1-3

Almighty God wants us to come to Him at any time, with all of our feelings; yes, even when we are distraught, despondent, unsure.  He already knows we are feeling this way…He just wants us to seek Him!

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.
Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
It will be healing to your body and refreshment to your bones.
Proverbs 3:5-8

The same feelings that Satan attempts to use to pull us down and defeat us, God can use to draw us to Himself.  Listen to the words of the psalmist when he was distraught, despondent, unsure.  Just like Mordecai, he cried out to God.

As for me, I call to God, and the Lord saves me.
Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and He hears my voice.
Psalms 55:16 and 17

With my voice I cry out to the Lord; with my voice I plead for mercy to the Lord.
I pour out my complaint before him; I tell my trouble before him.
Psalms 142:1 and 2

You know those times when you fall to your knees…so unsure of what to do.  God simply desires a heart of humility as You come before Him.

There is record after record after record in the Scriptures of people who loved God, and did wonderful things as they served Him…and yet, at times, were at their wits’ end.  This account in the Book of Esther is an incredible example of harrowing times—so alarming and scary!   But as we have witnessed over the past three weeks in our study, Esther’s story is one that shows the providential hand of the loving Almighty God.  As we continue our study of the Book of Esther, and Mrs. Schacht’s Esther: the Beauty of Courageous Submission, we will see how Esther also recognized her need for God’s protection, His care, His supply of her needs.

May I encourage each of you to never, ever hold back your desire to cry out to your heavenly Father.  He is always listening.  He has promised.  His promises are ours to stand firmly on knowing Who has spoken them, and Who will bring them to pass.

In my distress I cried to the Lord, and He answered me.
Psalm 120:1

This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.
Psalm 34:6

And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
Acts 2:21

He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry;
when He hears it, He will answer you.
Isaiah 30:19

* * * * *

Let’s Pray:

Thank You, Father, for Your many promises that You will hear our cry…and that You will answer.  You are a Faithful God…who never lies.  We are such blessed women that we can put our absolute trust and total confidence in You!  You are so good to us!  We praise and thank You in Jesus’ name.

Amen.