February 22, 2018

Esther – Chapter 3:8-11

Haman the Agagite is an arrogant, prejudiced, hateful, bold-faced liar. He was given a position of honor by King Xerxes (Ahasuerus), but that wasn’t enough for him – he had to be worshipped, as well.  And when Haman wasn’t worshipped by Mordecai, he leveled a false charge of disobedience or insubordination against an entire race of people, wrapped it up in an ingratiating package that looked like loyalty and served it up to the king.  Deceived, the king obliged him.

Does Haman sound like anyone else you know??  May I speak Southern, ladies?  Haman is the devil.  (We call all manner of things “the devil” in the south that seek to do us harm – that nosey neighbor, preparing your taxes, cupcakes…. You get the picture.)  Now Haman is not LITERALLY the devil, but he has so many of Satan’s characteristics – elevated to a high place, yet wanting the worship due the King (God); arrogant; hate filled; a definite prejudice against God’s people and a liar.  In this book, Darlene reminds us of Job’s story, where Satan has an exchange with God about Job, and she calls him a tattletale of sorts; “… who puts God’s people in the worst possible light to discredit our faith as he seeks to tempt and destroy all believers” (page 39).  I do agree, but let’s call things as they are – Satan is known in the Bible as the accuser.

“Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ.  For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down”  (Revelation 12:10 NIV).

To accuse, per the dictionary, is to charge with a shortcoming or error, or charge with a wrongdoing, fault, offense or crime. Sounds pretty serious, doesn’t it?  Satan, per Revelation, stands before God day and night charging you and me with wrongdoings, with crimes against God, with faults. What did Haman say in verse 8?  “They do not obey the King’s laws; it is not in the King’s best interest to tolerate them.” (Esther 2:8, NIV) Furthermore, he suggests that he be allowed to destroy them (verse 9).  Unlike the King, God is not deceived! The blood of his son, Jesus, was willingly shed for you to save your life and make you a brand new person!  In Psalm 103:12, it says: “He (God) has removed our sins from us as far as the east is from the west.” (NLT)  Not perfect?  No problem!  In 1 John 1:9, John says that “If we confess our sins, he (God) is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (NIV)

Now hear me, sisters.  If Satan is working day and night to accuse us before God, and God’s not listening to him, who do you think believes Satan’s lying garbage?  We do.  What does Satan’s accusations look like?  Stop me when this sounds familiar: “You don’t obey God’s commands.”  You think God can love you with your past?”  “You’ll never be good enough.”  “You’ll never amount to anything.”  “You aren’t a very good Christian.”  “You’ve never finished anything you’ve started.  Why even try?”  “Do you really think you’re equipped to lead a small group/start a ministry/teach a class/make a difference?”  “God doesn’t care about you. Why bother?”  Lies, lies, LIES!!!   Satan is going to be punished for all eternity, and he’s trying to take everybody with him.  If he can’t get God to sign off on you (never happen!), then he’ll try  to get you to give up on God.

That’s why Ephesians 6:10-18 is so important .  It tells us how to shield ourselves “…against the devil’s schemes” (verse11).  This passage tells us about putting on “the armor of God.”  There are many ways that we can protect ourselves from Satan’s schemes, but only one way to fight back – with the Word of God, which is called the “sword of the Spirit” (verse 17).  When Satan whispers some lie in your ear, tell him (and remind yourself!) what ALMIGHTY GOD says about you!  You are LOVED (John 3:16) ! You are REDEEMED (Galatians 3:13, Psalm 107:2).  You are PERFECT (Psalms 139:13-14)!  You are a CHILD OF THE KING (1 John 3:1)!!

Enough, sisters!  Have you allowed Satan to accuse you of things that God refuses to hold against you, or even think about you?  No more!  If you see yourself as “less than,” let’s ask God to help you see the truth; you are royalty!  You are a child of the King!

 

Let’s pray:

Holy God, I thank You that You love me!  Thank you that You willingly sacrificed the life of Your son so that I can live eternally with You! God, I’ll be honest, sometimes it’s hard to see myself as You see me.  I see my faults, my failures, my attempts and where I don’t measure up. Sometimes I wonder if I will ever make a difference for Your kingdom, or if I’ll ever be good enough to be used by You.  And Satan is constantly attempting to drag me down!  Help me, Lord!   Help me to see my beauty given to me by You!

Help me to see the talents, giftings, and unique abilities that You have provided me by Your Holy Spirit.  Remind me, Lord, in ways that only You can, that I am Your child and am incredibly special.  Thank You for Your invaluable Word, Your infinite grace, wisdom and strength!  Thank You for every good and perfect gift that comes from You.

Shine Your light of love on me, Lord, so much that it pours out and strengthens others.  Help me to remember that through the blood of Your Son Jesus, Satan has NO POWER OVER ME!   Praise You, Lord!  Let my life be Your glory!  In Your Son’s name.

Amen

Girls with Swords: Chapter 7- “Pressure” (pages 115-117)

As Lisa tells us about her “doubtful moment” it brings me right back to one of my very own doubt-filled moments….

It had been several months after my very last therapy session.  I knew in my heart of hearts that I was healed, but as I stepped into my counselor’s office that day, the doubt that had been filling in my heart since the last time I was in that room followed me in.  Even with a beautiful sign from God’s heart to mine that I truly was healed and made new, I still somehow let doubt get in the way.  As I was explaining all of my doubts my dear counselor asked me a simple question, “What are the things that you know that you know that you know are true?”

I am safe. (Proverbs 18:10)

I am loved. (John 3:16)

These were the only thoughts that I was able to muster up, but somehow they proved to be just enough!

Each truth above comes from God’s Word.  Apart from Him we have nothing, we are nothing.  God’s Word is our source for confidence.  He is our Source for power and protection.  He is our all in all.  He is our portion forever and ever.  He is all we ever need and He has come to RESCUE YOU AND ME from doubt and all of the hardships of life!

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.  Psalm 73:26

Knowing the truth is just not enough to keep the doubt away.  I have found that the more we “know” something, the more Satan tries to convince us that we don’t know anything at all.  Prior to this moment in counseling I had found the more confidence I had, the more doubt consumed me.  How does that even make sense?  It makes sense because my confidence used to come from the wrong source.  Think to yourself, do you find confidence from the shifting sands of circumstances or do you find confidence in our Mighty Rock?  It is still a struggle from time to time for me to let go of the false advertisements for confidence we find ourselves surrounded by in our world.  We think we know what we need—the best make-up, the finest clothing, the right man, the popular friends—the list goes on and on.  These false eye-catching traps just leave our hearts filled with doubt.  Truth be told, even the best this world has to offer will never give us the confidence that we can find in God alone.  Again, I know this is true because Scripture backs it up!

Proverbs 3:26 assures us, “…for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared.”

We can have confidence in God because of His Word! When we fill our hearts with God’s truth, His confidence seeps into every crack and crevice of our soul!  God’s confidence in us will enable Satan’s lies to stay tucked under our feet as we press on in our journey with the Lord of our lives!

It is clear to us, friends, that God not only loves you very much but also has put His hand on you for something special.  When the Message we preached came to you, it wasn’t just words.  Something happened in you.  The Holy Spirit put steel in your convictions.  (1 Thessalonians 1:5 MSG)   

Knowing God’s Word will not suffice in the spiritual battle at hand.  I know this personally. Since I have started this study, God has been using many hardships to show me just how true it is that knowing scripture is not enough, and we must be trained to use it.  God’s Word is our training manual.  Everything we need to know is found in His Word, not the lies of Satan.  Our sword must be filled with the truth—God’s truth—which has the power to strike down Satan’s consuming lies and doubts.  As a princess warrior in training, we cannot let doubt consume us.  We must empty ourselves into God so that He can consume us.

The more we know who God is, the more we have confidence from Him in who we are created to be.  No two princesses of the King are the same.  We are all created for a unique and important purpose.  It is time to wash away the doubt caused from past hurts or maybe current hurts and hold tight to God’s promises that will never shift.  It is time to call out to God…He promises to answer.  All we must do is empty the doubts that have been filling up our hearts at His feet.  When we seek God with our whole empty heart, He will fill our hearts with HIS blessings.  No more room for doubts, only His love.

When I left therapy that day, I was supposed to write what I knew on a rock, to remind me of the solid hope I have in God alone.  I never did find a rock big enough to write down all the truths God has reminded me of since that night as I spent some time seeking Him.  Spend some time today thinking about the truth that you know that you know that you know God is craving to fill your heart with.

(From Christi & Colleen Dent:  Here is your Rock, Diane!  We made this especially for YOU!)

Rock_Diane

Let’s all echo Lisa’s prayer for us on page 117:

Dear Heavenly Father,

May we, Your daughters, be one with Your heart and heaven’s purpose.  May our very lives be an intricately woven expression of all that You long for us to live, touch, see, hear, and have.  Make us one.  We submit to Your process.  Have Your way in the fiery forge and in the baptism of water.  Shape us into something so fierce and flexible that every facet of our lives would declare Your love and power to save.  In Jesus’s name, Amen!

Thank You Jesus!

________________

Day 4 of our Anniversary Celebration!

Well, have you enjoyed our week long celebration so far???  We sure have!  I can’t wait to tell you what our next giveaway is! Another exciting gift!!

How many of you struggle with taking care of your body physically?  If you are like me, you want to, but maybe you just don’t know how to get started!  You don’t know the first thing about eating healthy, or what exercises may be right for you, and so on!  Well, we want to bless one lucky winner with a ONE-HOUR SESSION with Wellness Coach / Fitness Designer Crystral Breaux!!

Breaux Announcement

I am so VERY EXCITED about this giveaway.  Crystal is new to Girlfriends Coffee Hour, but she is not new to wellness, fitness, or blogging!  She not only blogs for GCH, she blogs for CreatedWoman.org, as well.  She offers some amazing wellness tips and fitness advice in both blogs!  Beginning in June, Crystal will begin taking your personal questions and answering them on her blog right here on Girlfriends Coffee Hour!  No matter what your question is about (food, or fitness, etc.) she will address them on our At Home with GCH blog the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month.

The question of “where do I start” is just one “comment” away!

All you have to do to enter this drawing is read today’s blog and then make a comment below in regards to what God spoke to you in today’s blog!  That’s it!

ALL ENTRIES MUST BE COMPLETED BY 8PM CST TONIGHT.
WINNERS WILL BE ANNOUNCED ON OUR FACEBOOK COMMUNITY PAGE, ON MAY 11th.

Girls with Swords: Chapter Two – “A Sword Reforged” (pgs 29-33)

Here I am trying to write a blog, not just any blog, but a blog that God has already prepared for you to hear.  One that I need to focus on and discern His words from mine in order to deliver exactly what God wants ( and not what I want to say).  I believe with all of my heart that Satan will do all that he can in order to distract me, make me doubt, confuse me, and make it seem impossible to write something for you.  I have never struggled with writing before. My times of writing have easily become my favorite, because each time I write, I feel so close to God.  I can feel Him guiding my fingertips across the keyboard.  I feel His wisdom touching the screen.  I re-read what I just wrote and sit back in amazement that those words were not mine; they were the words of my God.

Why now I wonder am I finding it so hard to write?  It is no coincidence that since I have started blogging about a book that encourages women of all ages, pasts, and futures to take up God’s sword against Satan that I am sitting in front of my computer wordless.  Satan does not want me to find God’s words.  He does not want me to write them down.  He does not want anyone else to see them.

In this moment, I asked my mother to pray for me.  She spoke these words to my heart, “Hold onto God’s word.  Remember that the cross is where Satan was defeated.  He will continue to roam around, but the work has already been done on the cross.  Carry scripture around with you and as you feel these attacks, pull out that scripture, and use GOD’S WORD against those attacks.”  And, of course, she told me she would be praying for me.

These confirming words from my mother brought me to this “a-ha” moment.  This moment of writing the words that I know God wants YOU to hear.

“And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” Matthew 28:20.

Do you believe these words spoken by Jesus in God’s Living Word?  No matter how badly Satan attempts to discourage us, these words will always remain true.  It took me awhile to understand the comfort and truth behind these words.  I have found the more time I spend in God’s Word; the more I feel the truth of these words.  The more I learn the power of the “sword” God has given me to deter Satan’s attacks, the more thankful I become that God has already fought my battles for me.  He is victorious and, through me accepting the gift of His perfect Son dying for me, I am victorious too.  When the battles seem to carry on and you are feeling weary, confused, distressed, uncertain, and alone; REMEMBER THESE WORDS, “I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS” and let your heart be content with this promise from God. 

I love many things about Jesus.  One of my favorites being that He can relate with us and in return offer us the best comfort and advice we could ever imagine.  When you are tempted beyond what you believe you can bear, Jesus has been there.  Call out to Him for help; He knows just how you feel.  Jesus was tempted and His faith was tested by Satan.  Each time Jesus pulled out His sword against Satan.  He knew God’s truth and He used it when it mattered the most.  Let us follow Jesus’ example.  Take up your sword which is the Living Word of God and use His truths against Satan’s many lies.

I desire so strongly to be able to not only know the many truths in God’s word, but to use them too.  We have been given the most powerful weapon—the Bible—and we must decide to put off everything that hinders and distracts us, to take up the “sword” and learn how to use this truth against Satan in our weakest moments.

PathHeHasChosenForUs_Meyers

 

Let’s Pray:

Lord, thank You for coming through always.  Thank You for being with us even in the moments when we do not feel You.  In those moments Lord let us not forget Your truths.  Let us learn Your truths so that in our weak moments, we can feel Your strength through Your Word.  I pray that You set a desire in each and every one of us to learn Your truth daily so that when the time comes to use Your truth, we can do so with confidence.  Lord, we love You so much and know that we need You every moment of every day.  Thank You that we can count on You and feel the comfort and peace this truth brings!  Amen.