You’ve been surrounded

As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people, from this time forth and forevermore. – Psalm 125:2

There is comfort and encouragement in being surrounded. I know I feel that way when I am surrounded by friends or a quilt on a cold morning. Last night, I and a few other Word Weavers had an opportunity to surround Judy and Jerry Doctor, who lead a workshop based on how God uses dreams. They wrote a book on this subject entitled “Dream Treasure, Learning the Language of Heaven.”

God surrounds us. That’s a great fact to know as we go through our days … we do not walk alone. Mountains are a symbol of strength and stability. They protect and are always there during this life. God is the same in that his love and protection are always with us. I know that brings up a lot of “why” questions, but we need to trust in the mountain of God. Wrap the truth of this around you like a favorite sweater experiencing the comfort and encouragement of his faithfulness.

Prayer: Lord, knowing you are always with me give great comfort and encouragement. I do not have to climb the mountain to receive your love. You have already brought it to me. Thank you. Amen

Faith Tip: Go through your day today with the knowledge and confidence of God surrounding you and live that truth out.

Pull over

downpour no. 3

downpour no. 3 (Photo credit: hdznrrd)

He stilled the storm to a whisper;
the waves of the sea were hushed.
They were glad when it grew calm,
and he guided them to their desired haven. – Psalm 107:29-30

I’ve been driving in storms that come up suddenly and have been so intense that I needed to pull over to the side of the road because I couldn’t see anything clearly. The storm was raging around me and the wipers couldn’t keep up with the steady downpour of rain and wind. I needed to wait until conditions calmed a bit before moving ahead.

Our lives can seem like a sudden storm coming upon us where it can be so intense that we have a difficult time seeing ahead. That’s when we need to pull off into the prayer corner with God. God turns chaos into peace. By his word, he stills the storms around us and puts light on our path ahead.

Prayer: Lord, I thank you for the peace you give to me in times of storms. It is you that keeps me steady in my journey. It is I that allow distractions that cause me to get off the road. I am so thankful for your grace that helps me get back on the right track again. Amen

Faith Tip: Are you in a storm today? If not, most likely one is on the radar headed your way. Remember to pull off and pull into prayer.

Big time wrestling

Wrestler pose

Wrestler pose (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.”

But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”

The man asked him, “What is your name?”

“Jacob,” he answered.

Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.” – Genesis 32:24-28

I’m afraid I don’t understand the thrill of big time wresting on television. I watched it once, and it seemed so fake to me like staged entertainment of violence. I don’t get it. Would their awards be for best entertainer? I know there is skill in wrestling as it is a sporting event in schools, so how does it get from the actual sport to the media blitz of the WWE it has become?

Real wrestling, as in wrestling with God, has a great outcome. It’s tough to struggle with the spiritual issues we come across, but in the struggling we see God face-to-face. The wrestling in itself is a choice to bring God into the equation. As we struggle, we learn more about God and his ways which helps us come to the end of the struggle and see the issue as God sees it. That’s what it takes to be a champion.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for allowing me to wrestle with you. I pray that I don’t run from this, but partake in it even though it is painful. There will be victory. Amen

Faith Tip: Is there a spiritual issue that is a constant nagging in your life? Allow yourself to wrestle with God about it. Be brave in working it through and discover how God sees it.

 

The Sharpness of the Word

My Armory: Chef's, Boning, Utility Knives

For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. – Hebrews 4:12

A gift of knives for Christmas proved to assist in making the cutting of fruits and vegetables much easier as the blades were new and sharp. As I sliced onions, sweet potatoes, celery, carrots, meats and other food, I felt somewhat like a chef on TV who seems to breeze through the cutting process. Sharpness is important to preparation of a meal.

The Word of God is sharp. Not only that, but it is active. We are being prepared to do kingdom work. We are the food being prepared and Jesus is the meal. As God, the master chef, cuts away the portions we don’t need such as pride, envy, jealousy and other disposable characteristics, he also adds wonderful flavorings such as love, mercy, and grace.

The great feast is being prepared. We need to allow the chef to work on us through Scripture so that we can taste good like Jesus (Psalm 34:8). Together, we will make a wonderful meal that will glorify God.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for your Word. I pray that I let it work inside of me to prepare me for your great feast. Amen

Faith Tip: Read God’s Word and allow it to work and prepare you for great things.

Friends of Truth

worship

I am a friend to all who fear you, 
to all who follow your precepts.
The earth is filled with your love, LORD;
teach me your decrees. – Psalm 119:63-65

Friends are a special gift from God especially when they share the bond of love for Jesus. There is a deeper understanding of how important God is through the journey of life. For example, I am part of a Facebook group of women speakers, writers and leaders. In the worldly view, this would mean great competition, but in the godly view, this is a system of real love and support. The truth of God is shared. All of us in the group grow in this.

Celebrate the friends God has given you. Let them know how special they are to you and to God. God has filled the earth with his love in so many ways. When we look at creation, others, and what God provides for us, we experience his love.

Prayer: Lord, you are the God of abundance. Thank you for my good friends and all the ways you care for me. I pray that I will receive your blessings and bless others. Amen

Faith Tip: Focus today on the ways God shows his love for you. Appreciate your friends telling them how much they mean to you and to God.

Waking up to worship

Photo courtesy of thetimefinder.com

Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care.

Today, if only you would hear his voice, – Psalm 95:6-7

Many times I wake up in the morning with a “to do” list running through my mind. After going through that list, I wonder if I really want to get up or stayed in the perceived safeness under the covers. Focusing on the list brings a yoke on me that is heavy to carry. I try to schedule my day around the list in hopes that I accomplish a lot.

The number one thing that I need to accomplish on those days is to refocus on God. Waking up with the words of the psalmist not only frees me from the yoke, but actually invigorates me to get up and start my day with the Lord. Beginning and ending the day with a heart of worship will allow for the Holy Spirit to do wonderful things in between.

Prayer: Lord, I thank you for the promise of this day that you are in control of it and that you have great things planned. I pray that I can see what you are doing so that I may join you in your kingdom purpose.

Faith Tip: Wake up with a focus on worshiping the Lord. Ask God now where he is working and listen carefully for what he would like you to do.

Good intentions to keep from stumbling

belt

Image by postbear via Flickr

Great peace have those who love your law, 
and nothing can make them stumble. – Psalm 119:165

When caring for the physical needs of other people, such as a caregiver or physical therapist would do, there is a special tool often used called a gait belt. Gait belts help in the transfer of people who may not be steady on their feet. It keeps them from falling. Having a gait belt lying on the bed or hanging on the wall may show good intentions, but using it is the only way it works.

God’s word is the same way. The Holy Spirit works through the word to give us peace and keep us from stumbling. But if our Bible is in a drawer or lying on the table, it may show good intentions of reading it. The only way to make it work is to pick it up and drink deep of its spiritual nourishment.

Prayer: Dear God, thank you for your word that keeps me from stumbling. Real peace is only experienced through you. I pray that my focus remains on you throughout the day. Amen

Faith Tip: If you haven’t read God’s word in awhile, pick it up and enjoy the treasures inside.