How to hear wisdom

I just can’t stop thinking about that verse.  “So then faith comes from hearing…”  Ro. 10:17

Do you know what else we hear?  We hear our own thoughts in our heads.  We talk to ourselves all the time.  What are we saying?  Not only that, but sometimes we allow the enemy to run thoughts through our minds that bring us down.  What are we hearing?

“I’ll never be as smart as her.”

“Man, he really has it all together.  Look how successful he is.”

“It’s hopeless.”

“Her kids are so perfect.  I feel like such a mess.”

“I never do anything right.”

“I can’t do this.  It’s too hard.”

“God doesn’t hear my prayers.  What’s the point?”

Pr. 22:17 tells us to incline our ear and hear the words of the wise, and apply our hearts to knowledge.  We will find wisdom and knowledge in the Word of God.  The truth, which are the words that counteract all of the thoughts above, is within God’s Word.

If faith comes from hearing, we need to be careful what we are saying to ourselves.  We need to be hearing words of truth, of life, of wisdom.  We need to put on our helmets of salvation, get out our swords (the Bible), and begin reading words that are living and powerful, that pierce even to the division of soul and spirit, and discern our thoughts and intents of the heart.  (Heb. 5:12)

In fact, we can trust that God’s Word will help us in our time of need because Is. 55: 11 says, “So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”

Where we fail in cheering ourselves us, or convincing ourselves that things are ok, God prevails!  Where we fail in pushing down thoughts of hopelessness, God’s hope achieves exactly that!  God’s Word is truly a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path.  He sheds light on our darkest moments, situations, and thoughts.

Thank You, God, for Your faithfulness, and the hope we find within the refuge of Your name.  Thank You for shielding and protecting us when we turn to You. 

So, each day, when we notice any thoughts that threaten to drag us down or pull us away from God, we need to turn to the truth of God’s word, allow it to take them captive, and allow Him to give us discernment and breathe life and truth back into us.

We’ve got this!  Because, with God, all things are possible.  😉

jamie

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How a 4-year-old fights temptation

Pr. 25:28:  “Whoever has no rule over his own spirit is like a city broken down, without walls.”

We’ve been learning this great verse about self-control in Sunday school this month.  Yesterday I heard the perfect example of what it means.

My friend’s 4-year-old son told her that the devil was trying to get him to break his bed.  He said, “I’m going to tell him to leave, and I’m going to read my Word of God!”

We all have different struggles and temptations.  For a teenager, it might be stealing.  For a married adult, it could be adultery.  For another, it could be hate and unforgiveness.  For a 4-year-old boy, it might be the temptation to break his bed.

We can learn a lot from this 4-year-old.  He had enough rule over his own spirit that he didn’t simply give in to his temptation.  As adults, our justifications and excuses sure make it seem complicated to resist our temptations; however, it couldn’t be more simple.

Note what he did:  He identified the desire as coming from the devil.  He told the devil to leave.  He read his Word of God!  Isn’t this what the Bible tells us to do?

Thank you for the lesson, Isaiah,

jamie

Is the Word your treasure?

Pr. 2:1:  “My son, if you receive my words, and treasure my commands within you…”

We just got home from a 6-day visit with our family in WV.  Last Wednesday, about 30 minutes up the interstate, I realized I had forgotten my Bible.  No!!!!!!!!  As the realization set in, I felt like I was missing an appendage.  I knew my in-laws had many Bibles at their house, and my husband assured me I could use his, as well, but that didn’t ease the disappointment in my heart.  My Bible is a part of me.

While the other Bibles still contain the Word of God, they can not replace the relationship I have with my personal Bible.  I have wept over, agonized over, and sought the will of God through my personal Bible.  I have diligently studied and voraciously turned the pages, trying to find more of God in my personal Bible.  The Lord has spoken to me, counseled me, rebuked me, and guided me through my own Bible.  I know exactly where to find scriptures in my own Bible, even without the exact scripture reference, because I’ve been in it so much that I know on what part of the page the scripture is typed.

I have poured myself into my Bible, and the Lord has poured into me.  I treasure the words in my Bible like nothing else.  Knowing I would be without it for 6 days truly felt like an eternity.

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Is this how you feel about the Word of God?  Maybe you’re not like me, needing 1 specific Bible to hear the Word of God. (like a baby with their pacifier.  haha)  But is the Word of God your treasure?  Do you need the Word so much that allowing a day to go by leaves you disappointed?  Does the thought of missing 2 days in God’s word leave you knowing that you’d be missing out on the most important thing in your life?

The Word of God is a critical component of our relationship with God.  We speak to God through prayer, and He can speak to us and to our hearts through His Holy Spirit.  We also need to hear His voice through the Word which He has provided.  The Word is vital, which is why it referred to as the sword in the set of armor we are encouraged to put on each day.  The Lord breathed life into His Word, and when we burrow in, consider, and explore it, He breathes life into us.

Pulling my Bible off the shelf this morning brought a rush of exhilaration to me this morning.  My Bible!  I was so joyful as I unzipped the cover and opened the pages.  I hope the same joy finds you today as you read and consider the Word.

Complete,

jamie

 

Strengthen yourself

Pr. 31:17:  “She girds herself with strength, and strengthens her arms.”

This morning I also read Ephesians 6.  Vs. 10 tells us to “be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.”  Since we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but  against principalities, powers, the rulers of the darkness of this age, and spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places, we are encouraged to take on the whole armor of God.  With the armor of God we will be able to withstand in the evil day.

So, how do we strengthen ourselves against things we cannot even see?  The armor keeps us covered for it all:

Gird your waist with the truth of God’s word.  Satan will try to use the word against you, just like he did with Eve and Jesus, but his words are always twisted.  You must read the Word and know the truth for yourself.

Put on the breastplate of righteousness.  When Jesus died and took our sins on the cross, we were made His righteousness.  Wear that righteousness confidently!  Do not let Satan take from you what is rightfully yours.  Jesus died for YOU!

Shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel peace.  The shoes of the armor come with spikes to help you stand firm on the foundation of the gospel.  Believing in the Lord’s promises give us the peace to walk confidently, not worrying about what lies in our path.  No pain or fear can overtake us as the peace that passes all understanding keeps us going forward.

Take the shield of faith.  With this shield you will be able to quench the fiery darts of the wicked one.  Satan will not relent in his attack on us until we are called home.  Your faith in God and in His Word is what will quench every attack as you fully trust in and rely on the Lord of Lords, who is greater than he who is in this world!

Put on the helmet of salvation.  Salvation is not something we can earn.  Salvation is a gift from God, through the sacrifice of Jesus.  We must use the Word to renew our minds and remind ourselves of that gift.  Satan will try to attack our minds, and bring us low, but the truth about the gift of our salvation will protect our minds.

Take up the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.  The sword is the only part of the armor used for attack.  You must know the Word to use it.  When Satan tempted Jesus, Jesus used the Word to attack.  When Satan tempts you or talks nasty to you, you can use your sword to cut through his deceit.  Remember that the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword.  It can pierce through division, deception, and lies, getting to the joints and marrow of the truth.  It is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.  Know the Word!  Use your sword!

When you think of strengthening yourself today, think about the One who gives us strength.  In Him, we can do all things.  Without Him, we can do nothing.  Strengthen yourself in the Word and in the confidence we gain from the truth.

Getting stronger,

jamie

 

Cut through the cords

Proverbs 5:22:  “His own iniquities entrap the wicked man, and he is caught in the cords of his sin.”    Proverbs 14: 27:  “The fear of The Lord is a fountain of life, to turn one away from the snares of death.”
Sin will ensnare you and wrap you in cords.  It will tie you up and drag you to eternal death in hell.  I have seen movies where a tree root  comes out of the ground and wraps around someones ankle and pulls them down.  I envision this when I think about the cords of sin catching me.

We do not have to die in sin, however.  Praise God, there is a way out!  Pr. 5:23 says, “He shall die for lack of instruction…”  The fear of The Lord is the beginning of wisdom.  Fearing The Lord is the way out.  The sword of the Spirit can cut through the cords of sin that ensnare us.  Know His word, believe His word, act on His word and the cords of sin will not be able to grab hold of you.  Prayer can enable The Lord to fight underground, where the strength of the root truly lies.  We do not fight against flesh and blood, but against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Fearing The Lord…submitting ourselves to Him, learning from Him, and crying out to Him before trouble approaches is our best defense.  The Lord does not ensnare His children.  He lovingly provides, guides, protects, and delivers them.  Fearing The Lord brings freedom, abundant life, and is truly a fountain of life!

Fearing Him,

jamie