Month of Prayer, Day 27

Lord, how they have increased who trouble me!  Many are they who rise up against me.  Many are they who say of me, “There is no help for him in God.”  But You, O Lord, are a shield for me, my glory and the One who lifts up my head.

I cried to the Lord with my voice, and He heard me from His holy hill.  I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the Lord sustained me.  I will not be afraid of tens of thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around.

Arise, O Lord; save me, O my God!  For You have struck all my enemies on the cheekbone; You have broken the teeth of the ungodly.  Salvation belongs to the Lord.  Your blessing is upon Your people.

Revive me according to Your lovingkindness, Lord.  The entirety of Your Word is truth!  Keep jealousy far from me.  Let my heart reveal a woman of God; a woman who trusts in His Word.  With You, Lord, I can persevere.  With You, I can find the patience to endure.  For I know that, according to You Word, You are fighting for me!  Thank You, Lord!

Lord, I will not trust in only what my eyes can see, or even what I feel, but in You.  I will have faith that You will do what You say You will do, for Your Word tells me that it is impossible for You to lie.  With You, Lord, I can run and not grow weary.  I can walk and not grow faint.  Thank You for renewing my strength even as I am praying.

Thank You for Your faithfulness, My God!

I pray this in Jesus’ holy and spotless name, Amen.

 

 

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Don’t give up now

Pr. 27: 18:  “Whoever keeps the fig tree will eat its fruit; so he who waits on his master will be honored.”

A workout buddy of mine once gave me some advice that stuck.  She said, “At the point when you want to give up, that’s when you’re building endurance.”  Her advice got me through some intense (former) workouts.

However, the last time I felt like giving up the fight and giving into depression, her words rang again in my mind.  I realized how true they are, not just for working out, but for life.

The NKJV Bible that I read uses the word perseverance.  Let’s look at Ro. 5:3-5:

we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance character; and character, hope.  Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

2 Peter 1:5-11 talks about fruitful growth in the faith:

giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.  For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Talk about eating the fruit of the tree we keep.

Peter also reminds us in chapter 3, “Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, [the day of the Lord] be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation…beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”  (vs. 14-18)

At the point where we feel like giving up the fight against temptation, sin, indifference, and justification…if we will instead choose to persevere, that is when our endurance is built.

What happens when we build endurance?  We are stronger in the face of the next temptation.  We have the stamina to go longer between moments of intentional, willing sin.  Our brains begin to think more clearly, and our justifications become baseless.  Our confidence in who we are in Christ will grow, and our confidence in His strength will not easily be shaken.

Building our endurance takes diligence.  Diligently growing in our faith while we wait on our Master will allow us to be honored upon His arrival.

The day is at hand.  We cannot give up now.  We must diligently keep ourselves to see the fruit.

Let me say it again so maybe it will stick in your brain like it has mine:  At the point when you want to give up, that’s when you’re building endurance.  And for that fight we put up, we will indeed be honored.  🙂

Waiting on Him,

jamie

Oh, and I heard this song this morning that reminded me of this.  He is worth it!

 

Consider who is instructing you

Pr. 22:19:  “So that your trust your trust may be in the Lord, I have instructed you today, even you.”

Years ago I was hooked on a show about clothes and makeovers.  It was pretty inspiring, and funny, to boot.  I eventually noticed that I was overly worried about the clothes, or lack of clothes, in my closet and I quit watching the show.  I am now content again with the blessings God has given me.

Any subject in which you invest your time instructs you, and draws your focus.  When I watch cooking shows a lot, I think about food and cooking a lot of the time.  When I research health and wellness, my thoughts tend to revolve around those things.  When I listen to music, my thoughts begin to be influenced by the words and ideas that I hear.  I must be careful what I allow to instruct me.

Have you considered the purpose of those things you are allowing to instruct you?  Whatever I immerse myself in becomes something on which I focus and I notice my thoughts returning to them over and over.  I find the same to be true of the Word.  When I immerse myself in the Word of God, my thoughts remain focused on the Lord, on His promises, on His commands, on His wisdom, and on His faithfulness.  The Word runs through my mind throughout the day and I see applications of the Word in my daily life.

In whom or in what do you want to place your trust?  This verse tells us that the instructions are given so that our trust may be in the Lord.  If you want your trust to be fully in the Lord, then you must continually be instructed by Him.

When I was watching the show about clothes so often, I began to lose confidence.  Why is that?  I dare say I was being instructed to trust in clothing, money, and outward appearances.  I don’t think there is anything wrong with dressing nicely or buying nice things, but I noticed within myself the feelings of discontent that indicated to me that I was beginning to trust in something that can just be thrown away.

God’s faithfulness endures forever.  He is the same God yesterday, today, and forevermore.  If we are going to receive instruction, I think it wise that it be the instruction of the pure, proven, and living Word of God.  Certainly, there is nothing wrong with learning new things, but when our lives become about things other than God, we are trusting in dust and ash.  God’s faithfulness proves that trusting in Him is not only beneficial, it is eternal.

If you truly want your trust to be in the Lord, the God Most High, the Creator and Sustainer of this universe, then you must be instructed by Him.  He is wisdom.  He is peace.  He is the Comforter.  He is the Lord of all.  Open up your heart and mind to His instruction, and reject any instruction that causes you to trust in lesser things.

Taking notes,

jamie

Are you counting on idols?

Pr. 25: 19:  “Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a bad tooth and a foot out of joint.”

Recently, I was part of a conversation about a statue of Buddha.  It was proclaimed that the statue would bring tranquility, peace, and serenity to a room.  My thoughts immediately went to Jesus.  In Micah 5:5, it was said of Jesus that, “this One shall be peace.”  He doesn’t just bring peace.  He IS peace.

In John 14:27, Jesus reassured that when He went to heaven He would leave peace:  “Peace I leave you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.  Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”   He left peace we can neither fathom nor replicate.

Paul encouraged the people of Philippi to be anxious for nothing, knowing that if they presented their requests to God, with thanksgiving, “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, would guard their hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”  This promise is true for us, as well.

We can trust in the Lord because He is faithful and His Word proves it.  If we put our trust in the unfaithful statue of a man long gone, we are out of joint.

The Lord clearly said that we should not make for ourselves carved images to which we would bow.  Are we truly trusting in and submitting to the statue of Buddha, or any other earthly trinket to bring us peace?  If so, we must re-examine our hearts.  Are we doing exactly what the Lord told us not to do?

In our society almost anything goes.  I’ve seen Buddha statues in the trendiest of stores.  I’ve seen other gods and symbols of “life” dressed up in the most “harmless” of ways.  The bottom line; however, is that they are still idols.  1 John 5:21 quite simply says, “Little children, keep yourselves from idols.”

If we find more peace in a trinket than we do in the Word of God, then something is gravely out of joint in our hearts.  Satan loves to distract us and to get our eyes off of God, but what’s worse is that this can curse our families for generations.  (see ex. 20:4-6)

Josiah was once the king of Jerusalem.  When he turned 16 he began to seek the God of his father David.  Four years later he began breaking down altars and purging Judah and Jerusalem of the wooden, carved, and molded images.  After seeking the One true God, Josiah understood that there is but One God, who is the Lord, and that we are to have no other gods before Him.  God rewarded Josiah and blessed the land around him because of his humility and faithfulness.

God will do the same for us.  Ex. 20:6 tells us that He will show mercy to thousands to those who love Him and keep His commandments.  We can bless our family for generations by being faithful to the only One who is faithful.  If we place our confidence in an unfaithful man, we will reap trouble, and true peace will always be out of reach.  If we trust in the God of David, peace will be a natural fruit of our life.

Trusting in the great I AM,

jamie

 

When you need refuge

Pr. 14:26:  “In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence, and His children will have a place of refuge.”

Have you ever needed a place of refuge?  When I was a little girl, maybe 5 or 6, the neighbor’s great dane got out of their fence and came for me.  (he was known for being mean)  I climbed on top of the roof of another neighbor’s car, but the great dane was still trying to come after me.  An adult distracted him, and the lady next door called for me to run to her house so I could hide safely inside.

I had a choice to make in that moment.  I could stay on the roof of the car, somewhat safe, but still at risk of being attacked; or I could risk it all and run to the place of refuge where I knew for sure there would be safety.  The run from that car was terrifying, but I knew if I could just get inside her house I would absolutely be safe.  I don’t know what happened after that.  I presume some adults took care of the situation.  Me?  I was safe in the place of refuge.

We have the same place of refuge with the Lord.  Sometimes it is scary to leap and start running, to risk it all, and to believe we will actually be safe.  If we truly fear the Lord; however, we can believe that He is who is says He is, we will find the confidence to run for it!  In that strong confidence, we can risk it all, knowing that in our place of refuge we will be safe.  That doesn’t mean life does not still happen and scary things no longer show up.  I am still scared of big dogs to this day.  It just means that when those things come near us next time, we will know from experience exactly where to run!  Take the risk today…run for it…find refuge in the Lord!  You will find the safety that you need.  He is waiting right now.

Putting on my running shoes,

jamie

From where does your confidence come?

Pr. 3:26:  “For the Lord will be your confidence, and will keep your foot from being caught.”
How do we keep our foot from being caught in sin?
How do we keep our foot from being caught in the net of inferiority or the chains of society’s focus?  (i.e. looking younger, having the latest fashions, being sexy, being 1 perfect body type, being the most educated or monetarily successful, etc.)
How do we keep our foot from being caught in tolerance to the point that we no longer speak God’s truth?
How do we keep our foot from being caught in depression or oppression?
The answer:  The Word.
It can be easy to let these things muddy our minds; however, the Word of the Lord is a light that shines in dark places.  If we know the Word, then we know God, for He is the Word.  We must stay in the Word and daily gain the confidence that is of the Lord.  He will protect us, guide us, equip us, and build us up.  If we know the Word then no outside source can turn us from the truth.
Happy Reading!
jamie