January 22, 2018

Hello My Name Is

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Hello, my name is regret
I’m pretty sure we have met
Every single day of your life
I’m the whisper inside
That won’t let you forget

Hello, my name is defeat
I know you recognize me
Just when you think you can win
I’ll drag you right back down again
‘Til you’ve lost all belief

Oh, these are the voices. Oh, these are the lies
And I have believed them for the very last time

Hello, my name is child of the one true King
I’ve been saved, I’ve been changed, I have been set free
“Amazing Grace” is the song I sing
Hello, my name is child of the one true King

I am no longer defined
By all the wreckage behind
The one who makes all things new
Has proven it’s true
Just take a look at my life

What love the Father has lavished upon us
That we should be called His children
I am a child of the one true King

Matthew West

*   ~   ♥   ~    ✞    ~   ♥   ~   *

When you look in the mirror…what do you see?  When you talk to yourself…what names do you call yourself?

In the morning, when the alarm clock goes off late and the lunches aren’t made and that pair of shorts that she just had to wear…well, they aren’t quite dry….  Your name becomes ‘failure’.  You say things like, “I ALWAYS mess up everything.”  “I will NEVER succeed at this mom thing.”  But God says: “You are My child and I love You”

The LORD appeared to him from far away.
I have loved you with an everlasting love;
therefore, I have continued to extend faithful love to you.
Jeremiah 31:3

Perhaps you have been struggling with a habit, and you have been so good; and then you have a hard week and you mess up.  You call yourself…”mistake.”  But God calls you “beloved.”  He loves you so much that He sent His own Son to die in your place!

For God loved the world in this way:
He gave His One and Only Son,
so that everyone who believes in Him
will not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16

Perhaps your marriage isn’t what you thought it would be…and everywhere you look, you see everyone else succeeding at their marriage.  Maybe you have been previously married.  You label yourself a “mess-up.”  But God sees you as His beautiful child that just needs to lean on Him a little bit more.  He wants you to know that nothing is impossible when He is involved!

For nothing is impossible with God.
Luke 1:37

Next time that you are tempted to call yourself names, make sure to use the ones that your Father gave you!  And if you don’t know any, please read His love letters to you in His Word.

Because you are…

  • loved
  • wanted
  • redeemed
  • forgiven
  • free
  • embraced
  • beloved
  • white as snow…and so much more!

And most of all, you are HIS!

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Let us pray: Dear God, Your voice is the only one that matters.  Thank You for loving us so much and for sending Jesus to die in our place. Lord, some days we believe those lies that the enemy whispers in our ear and we get so discouraged.  Please forgive us for allowing these words to define us for You have already named us and claimed us as Yours.  I pray today that Your voice is the only one that we hear and that the names we call ourselves from now on only come from You!  Oh Lord, You are our Fortress and our Provider.  You are the only constant in our lives and we trust in You!  We love You and praise You.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

For This Child I Have Prayed

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Hannah was strong.  So strong that God knew she could handle a really big struggle.  Hannah was not able to have a child.  (Hannah’s story can be found in 1 Samuel, chapters one and two.)  Oh, how her husband loved her though.  However in those days, having a child was extremely important, especially having male children to carry on the family name.  She longed for a baby to love.  Not to mention that a woman’s identity back then was based on child bearing.

It wasn’t long until her husband, Elkanah, took a second wife named Penninah.  She was able to give him many babies.  The house was full of children but none of them were Hannah’s.  Penninah constantly talked about her ability to have children in front of Hannah and taunted her and mocked her.  Can you imagine the pain that she felt?  Her arms aching to hold her own little one and her feelings crushed under the constant berating of the other wife.  Her depression was overwhelming.

She decided to fast and pray for a child.  She made a vow to the Lord that, if He gave her a son, she would give him back to Him.  Hannah knew that the source of her being able to get pregnant was not her husband but her amazing, faithful, powerful God.  She prayed from the depths of her soul and named exactly her desire…and He heard her.

And she made a vow, saying,”O Lord Almighty, if you will only look
upon Your servant’s misery and remember me,
and not forget Your servant but give her a son,
then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life,
and no razor will ever be used on his head.
1 Samuel 1: 11

The Bible says that she didn’t pray out loud so men could hear; she simply moved her lips to the Lord.  He heard her and answered her prayer and gave her a son.  His name was Samuel, meaning “heard by God.”

So in the course of time Hannah conceived and gave birth to a son.
She named him Samuel, saying, “Because I asked the Lord for him.”
Verse 20

God hears us, too.  He understands us and our pain and He longs to take it away. He loves us so much and always does what is best for us. I will admit that I don’t always understand the ‘why’ of what I am going through; and I sometimes get really frustrated.  But I remind myself that He is sovereign and knows the bigger plan that will give me the blessed life that He has in store for me.

Hannah trusted God. And she remembered her promise to Him.   When she had weaned her little boy, she fulfilled her promise to God.  I’m sure it was painful to pack his little bags and take him to the tabernacle and leave him there with the priest.

And she said to him (Eli), my lord, I am the woman
who stood here beside you praying to the Lord.
I prayed for this child and the Lord granted me what I asked of Him.
So now, I give him to the Lord.
For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord.”
And he worshipped the Lord there.
Verses 26-28

Samuel grew up to be one of the most influential leaders in Israel’s history.  All because Hannah was a great mother and she was totally devoted to her Heavenly Father.

What are you asking God for?  Do you need provision?  Are you struggling to have a baby?  Healing from an illness?  What are you believing Him for?  Nothing is impossible for our God.  He is the God of the impossible.

For with God nothing shall be impossible.
Luke 1:37

I have seen and experienced so many miracles that would have been impossible—if not for Jesus.  God wants you to believe that He can and He will answer your prayers.  He also wants you to name them specifically.  Yes, He knows what you want…but He wants to know that you know what you want.

And last, He wants you to thank Him for what He is going to do in your life. Ah, that is showing that you have faith that He will do what He says. He will come through for you. It will be in His time, but He will!

*   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~   * 

Let’s pray: Dear Lord, what an awesome privilege to come to You in prayer, knowing that You are hearing us when we seek You.  We believe that You will answer us and will give us exactly what we need.  Lord, when we are weak and doubting, help us to remember all the times that You have been faithful and answered us and given us what we need.  Forgive us when we take our eyes off You and we put our doubts in place of You.  Thank You for being in charge of us and for each blessing that You have planned for us.  We love You and we praise You.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

I AM Free to Run … (Part 3 of 3)

 

The Lord Is

So far, in this mini-series, we’ve talked about falling into temptation; worshipping idols; and what things in our life is taking precedence over the priority list.  Today, I want to talk about how to get back on track when we have fallen into the temptation of worshipping the idols in our lives, and allowing things to take the place of our priorities instead of God.

How do we get back on track and stay there?

  1. Identify what is causing you to get off track.

Have you sat down and made a list of the things that are getting in the way of you having your quiet time each morning, or quality time with your family, or building a better marriage or relationship with your kids?  If not, I would highly encourage you to do so.  Be real with yourself.  Be honest.

Identify the areas that are showing up over and over again.  Is it too much time on Facebook?  Is it spending money frivolously?  Is work taking up so much of your time you have nothing to give your family?  What about television?  Is it taking up so much of your time that there is no room for communication in your home anymore?

These are all areas that I had to take a good hard look at in my own life!  I know you can probably relate to some of these things yourself.

As I said in #1 above, we have to identify what is causing us to get off track first.

After we have discovered the “what”, it’s time to discover the why.

2. Identify the “why.”

Let’s take television as an example.   Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Why am I watching television?
    1. Is it for entertainment?
    2. Is it because I am bored?
    3. Is it because there is nothing else to do?
    4. Is it because I just need some down time?

For myself, I work at home.  Until we started taking children into our home from Safe Families for Children, I was home alone most of the daytime hours when my husband would work days.  When he worked nights, I was home most of the time alone, because he was either sleeping or working.  So I found myself trying to drown out the silence!  I needed the noise because otherwise, it was just too quiet!  (Now that we have kids in the house, trust me, the silence is no longer an issue!)  🙂

But again, I have to go back to why the silence was bothering me.  The only thing I could come up with is that the silence represented me being alone.  I don’t like to be alone.  Yes, there are days where being alone is nice, but when it happens a lot, I don’t like it.  I would start to find myself getting bored, or lonely, so I would turn on the television for “company”.  Sounds weird, huh?  To put it in deeper context:  I was trying to fill a void in my life.

3.  Identify the “how.”

What happens when we try to fill a void with something other than Jesus?  What happens when we cave into our fleshly desires?  What happens when we don’t listen to the Holy Spirit prodding us to read the Word, or take a walk, or call a friend, or or or….???  We take our eyes off of Jesus, and we begin to sink, like Peter did in Matthew 14:28-30:

“And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be you, bid me come to you on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.” 

When Peter took his eyes off of Jesus, and began to look at the storm around him, fear crept in, and he began to sink.  That’s what happens with us, too, when we take our eyes off of Jesus; the boredom, loneliness, worry, stress, fear, all begin to creep in, along with many other things!  As we talked about in Tuesday and Wednesday’s blogs, we have to keep our eyes focused on JESUS at all times, or we will fall into temptation!

Now that we have identified the triggers, let’s talk about HOW to get out of temptation.  We’ve already indentified one way: Keep our eyes focused on JESUS.  We are guaranteed a way out of temptation if we keep our eyes on Jesus.  Let’s look at 1 Corinthians 10:13, and see what God promises us here:

“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” 

First we see that there is NO temptation that is able to take us over.  Why? Because God promises that He will not let us be tempted beyond what we can bear.  He didn’t say we would never be tempted, or that we would never have fleshly desires, but He did say that He would provide a way out of these temptations when they did come!  Praise God!!  That is a promise that God has made to us!  Amen!

So the first thing we need to do is ASK the Lord for a way out of this temptation.  Asking means we need to communicate our weakness (John 15:5) to Him first, and then ask (2 Timothy 2:22) for His help.  Then since we already know that we are unable to get away from this temptation in our own power, we need to depend on GOD and His power!  Our flesh is weak!  But God is able to do anything, even the things that we think are simply impossible!

His way is always the best escape, or exit door, we can find!!  John 10:9:  “I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved…”   God will rescue us, if we trust Him!  (2 Peter 2:9)

We also need to remember that we cannot do this in our own strength!  Our flesh will always fail!  (Colossians 2:21-23) It is only inHis strength that we are able to do ALL things!

Escaping temptation is our duty as a Christian.  We have to start by identifying the “what,” followed by the “why,” then proceeding with the “how.”  We have to trust that God will always provide a way out of our temptationno matter what it is, and no matter how strong it is!  We need to keep our eyes focused on Him.  Cling to Him.  Surrender to Him.  Run to Him.  Never trust the flesh.  Always trust the Holy Spirit.

This concludes my series on “I AM Free to Run.”  I hope you have enjoyed it.  I hope you were able to gain something from this series.

My prayer for you is that you will always seek God, in the good times and bad; in the easy times and tough!  He is always there for you, no matter what your circumstances are, or how big they are!

Always remember, there is NOTHING impossible for God!

Always In His Love,

Christi