Warning: Watch Yourself!

Photo by Arthur Brognoli on Pexels.com

In this wildly busy world it is easy to be caught up in the glitter and glamor of it all. If we do, we will find ourselves exactly that, caught, hung up and controlled by the very things we thought we had control over and were for our pleasure. Many people, places and things will vie for our minds attentions and hearts affections. With only so many days to our lives, where will we spend those precious allotted moments of focus?! We would be wise to put our hope, to set our hearts in God, who richly provides us with everything we need for our enjoyment (1 Timothy 6:17)! 

Deuteronomy 4:9 (NIV) instructs us… Only be careful and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Well, how do we do that in such a loud and distracting world, you ask?! The answer is held in the very next two verses… teach to others what you know of God! How do you teach?! You remember His faithfulness and teach from your own relational experience of Him; teach what you know without worrying about what you don’t! 

1 Corinthians 4:2 (NIV) Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. 1 Corinthians 2:1-5 (NIV) And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.

God did not make a mistake that you are here in this moment of history, in your specific family, your sphere of influence. Teach/tell your children, your grandchildren, anyone in your circle of influence, of your relationship with Jesus. Recall His faithfulness to His Word in your life and share that today, don’t delay! Not one of us is guaranteed tomorrow. Deuteronomy 4:39 (NIV) Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the LORD is God in heaven above and on earth below. There is no other.

As the Isrealites recalled how the Lord had spoken to them in the past they remembered how He spoke from within fire but they saw no form. God knew if they saw an image with their physical eyes it would become a stumbling block. We would try to recreate the glitter and glamor of it all to have something tangible to capture our focus, only to find our worship misplaced! Deuteronomy 4:15-16a (NIV) You saw no form of any kind the day the LORD spoke to you at Horeb out of the fire. Therefore watch yourselves very carefully, so that you do not become corrupt and make for yourselves an idol, an image of any shape… 

It’s easy to get caught up watching others and tangible things that only cause our hearts to wander from the One worthy of all our worship. Discouragement, pride or any number of other distractions begin to set in. We cannot navigate faith in feelings or by what we see in our surrounding circumstances but rather by what we believe is Truth through faith in His unfailing Word. We are warned to watch ourselves. Where is your focus today? In Jesus we have been entrusted with the Truth; will we prove faithful?

Just Do Your Job

Photo by Adil Alimbetov on Pexels.com

“That is enough…Do not speak to me anymore about this matter.” These are words spoken to Moses by God (see Deuteronomy 3:26) after Moses presses the issue to enter the promised land when God has clearly made it known that Moses cannot do so. However in God’s good grace He does allow Moses to at least see the promised land even though he cannot enter it (see Deuteronomy 3:27). When God says “no” it is always for a greater “yes”. I wonder how often we miss that greater “yes” wallowing with our eyes downcast in the “no”?! 

We find the greater “yes” for Moses in the very next verse! Deuteronomy 3:28 (NIV) But commission Joshua, and encourage and strengthen him, for he will lead this people across and will cause them to inherit the land that you will see.”  It is easy to become discouraged with a “no” rather than look up for God’s greater “yes”. Moses’ job was not to lead the people into the promised land but that did not mean God did not have an equally important job for him to do! Moses was to use the experience God had given him to equip, encourage and strengthen the next leader! This beckons a look at 1 Corinthians 3:5-7 (NIV) …

What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe – as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 

Every assignment, every job is to the glory of One, to the honor of One, to further His Kingdom. So… Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. Philippians 2:3-4 (NIV) What is Apollos, what is Paul, what is Moses or Joshua, what are you, what am I apart from Him?! John 15:5 (NIV) “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. God Almighty is our equipping and He knows best where we will be most effective for Him. There are no small parts in His story, the Author of all time and space will not waste it. So if He has given us a breath in our lungs and a beat in our heart and asked us to apply it to something (even if it isn’t the “something” we had hoped or planned) it is something of eternal value and importance to Him. 

May we not waste energy longing for the jobs He has assigned others, rather focus on Jesus and receiving all He has for us to complete the important job He has given us. All He asks is that we are faithful, not necessarily successful. Results/growth are in His capable hands. Trust Him and enjoy the adventure He hand picked YOU for! Dear one, may His voice be the only validation we seek. …Well done, good and faithful servant!… (Matthew 25:23 NIV)

Isaiah 55:8-9 (NIV) “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Psalm 2:11 (CSB) Serve the LORD with reverential awe and rejoice with trembling.

New From Nothing

Photo by Kaique Rocha on Pexels.com

“Bara” is the Hebrew word for “create”. This word means to create something from nothing. There are actually three Hebrew words that refer to creating or a creation; Asah, Bara and Yatsar. “Yatsar” is to create something out of pre-existing material, while “Asah” (very commonly used in the Bible) refers to something being made or to do something. The third word is “Bara”, and the difference is, as was stated earlier, to create something… but this time out of nothing; a thing only God can do. 

“Bara” is the Hebrew word used in Genesis 1:1 (NIV) In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Our God created everything we know and experience out of NOTHING!! WOW!! What are you calling “nothing” in your life right now that God might be looking at with a VERY different perspective? Are you willing to take His approach to your “nothing”?

Let’s glance at another place in Scripture where the Hebrew word, “bara” is used. Psalm 51:10 (NIV) Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. My friend, are you as relieved as I am to find that the Hebrew form of the word “create” in this verse is “bara”!!?! Romans 7:18 (NIV) For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. Praise God I do not have to come up with something for Him to work with to create in me a pure heart before Him, because I’ve got NOTHING!! 

This new day, week, year… may we rely not on what we feel, or see, but rather on what we believe (2 Corinthians 5:7). Our God is Living Hope, Jesus endured death on the cross and came back to life! John 3:16 (NIV) For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 

Acts 13:38-39a (NIV) “Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin… 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 

By His amazing grace may we experience a greater revelation of our God increasing our trust in His precious promises. Dear one, He is able to create new, out of nothing. That is Living Hope for us all! 

P.S. Happy New Year!!

*Stay tuned… the newest Bible Study, “Poured Out” will publish and be available on Amazon this month (January 2023)! http://redeeminggrace991ministries.com


Photo by S Migaj on Pexels.com

1 Samuel 14:6 (NIV) Jonathan said to his young armor-bearer, “Come, let’s go over to the outpost of those uncircumcised men. Perhaps the LORD will act on our behalf. Nothing can hinder the LORD from saving, whether by many or by few.” 

Esther 4:14 (NLT) If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?” 

Job 1:5 (NLT) When these celebrations ended – sometimes after several days – Job would purify his children. He would get up early in the morning and offer a burnt offering for each of them. For Job said to himself. “Perhaps my children have sinned and have cursed God in their hearts.” This was Job’s regular practice. 

Perhaps, you would be willing to re-read the above three verses and circle the word “perhaps” each time you see it.

It would appear that Jonathan, Esther and Job all exemplified a faith that hinged on eager expectation and sure hope! 

  • Jonathan took on an entire pagan army victoriously but his first step was on a “perhaps”. 
  • Esther stepped up on a “perhaps” and saved the entire Jewish race from complete annihilation.
  • Job went out of his way to proactively honor God and encourage faithfulness in his family on a “perhaps” it would matter.

James 5:11 (NIV) As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy. 

Jonathan, Esther and Job lived the adventure God plans for each one of us to experience. They eagerly expected God to show up, one way or another and lead them, guide them, stand by them and ultimately honor their faithfulness. God honors those who honor Him (1 Samuel 2:30) and if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself. 2 Timothy 2:13 (NIV) 

Today, adventure with untold eternal impact awaits the one who will place their confidence and trust in Jesus (Jeremiah 17:7); and while remembering Truth, is willing to step forward on a “perhaps”.  For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 1 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV) 

Dear one, when your foot is fitted with trust in Jesus, you can take that first step in the most wild of adventures; which always seems to be a “perhaps”! 

1 John 3:3 (NLT) And all who have this eager expectation will keep themselves pure, just as he is pure. 2 Corinthians 5:7 (ESV) for we walk by faith, not by sight.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV) Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. 

Psalm 56:3 (NIV) When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. 

Isaiah 40:31 (NLT) But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.

What should I do?!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Proverbs 26:4-5 (NIV) Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you yourself will be just like him. (Verse 5) Answer a fool according to his folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes. 

Good golly is your head spinning too?!! After reading the above two verses, do I talk to a fool or not?!?! 

The Bible does not contradict itself, the heart of it beats to one Truth, soooo… what are we to do with this passage?! 

I think our question here reflects so many others we bring to the Father as we ponder what to do without custom tailored advice in the Bible pertaining to our particular circumstance. “Do I move out of state? Do I take that job? Should I attend that school?” Where are these answers in the Bible?! What should we do when we don’t know what to do? Well… I believe Proverbs 26:4-5 is the perfect tool to move us toward our answers!! 

According to Proverbs 26:4-5 there will be times it is good to speak with a fool and at other times it would be unwise. The key to understanding which advice to apply to which circumstance is wisdom! Passages like the one we are looking at in Proverbs 26 should stir a desire to dive deep into the consistency of the heart of the One who inspired the Scriptures! We will always find our God on the pages of Scripture and the more we know Him the more we can reflect His character, navigating our situations from His wisdom. For example, I can send my husband for a coffee and he just knows to order me a tall, skinny chi tea, extra hot with extra foam! He doesn’t need to ask, because he just knows me, he knows what I would want! 

I’m reminded of Solomon who asked for wisdom from God and became the wisest man to ever live. He was faced with having to discern between two quarreling women; who was the true mother of a newborn baby!?! Nowhere in Scripture does it say what to do in such a situation but Solomon was able to discern correctly because he was able to APPLY the wisdom he had gained from God. James 1:5 (NIV) If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 

Our Proverbs passage should encourage us to dive deep into Scripture, devouring it front to back to get to know the heart of the One who inspired it. Proverbs 9:10 (NIV) The fear of the LORD is the  beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. …be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is -his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2 (NIV) 

Master Of The Mind

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is- his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2 (NIV) 

Growing up I loved the game “Mastermind”, actually I still do. Maybe it was all the colorful pieces that drew me in at first, but it was the thrill of the big reveal after having cracked the code correctly that kept me playing game after game. The key is not only playing with someone who gives accurate clues, but you must follow those clues in order to win. This reminds me of life in relationship with God. He only speaks Truth and it’s through obedience that we find victorious freedom while our faith flourishes! 

God is the Master and if I allow Him to be Master of my mind – taking captive every thought and making it obedient to Christ as 2 Corinthians 10:5 advises – I will navigate this life in Truth that sets one free! 

In fact, Revelation 7:3 (NIV) states, “Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.”  Why the forehead? I wonder if it’s not a seal of protection over the minds of those that have chosen Jesus as their Savior! Protection to preserve the sound mind He has given us! 2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV) proclaims to us, For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. After all it’s where we plant our mind that our emotions stem, which in turn, bloom our actions. Do not forfeit ground in your mind to the enemy that Jesus established victory over at the cross, dear one. You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Isaiah 26:3 (NIV) 

In this broken world bad things do happen to all of us but John 16:33 clearly states we are to take heart because our God has overcome this world! Though we are susceptible to physical and emotional harm on this side of heaven, those that have accepted Jesus as their Savior don’t have to suffer spiritual harm. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. Colossians 3:2 (NIV) But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”- 1 Corinthians 2:9 (ESV) Talk about one wild reveal you aren’t going to want to miss! Heaven is going to blow our ever lovin’ minds dear one!! So don’t let the “wind and the waves” of this world shake you, give your mind to the Master, the Guardian of your soul (1 Peter 2:25) and experience a peace that passes understanding (Philippians 4:7).

To Eat Or Be Eaten

Photo by Tae Fuller on Pexels.com

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Matthew 4:4 (NIV) 

The Word we find in Revelation 19 is awakening for sure. Within this chapter, two feasts are depicted. In verse 9 we get a glimpse of the first where it is stated, And the angel said to me. “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb.” And he added, “These are true words that come from God.” (NLT) 

Who doesn’t like being invited to a wedding feast?!! With an invitation, the feast is free! The key phrase being “with an invitation”. The cost to the wedding host is quite high which is why you need an invitation. Unlike human weddings, Jesus paid the way for ALL humanity to partake in the wedding feast of the Lamb of God! EVERY human is extended the invitation into Heaven! 

The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life. Revelation 22:17 (NIV) 

Unfortunately, just like human weddings, not everyone invited will accept the invitation. God honors His guests’ reply and will force no one to attend His beautiful life giving banquet in Heaven. However, by rejecting the first invite you have chosen to attend the second banquet depicted in Revelation 19:17-18 (NIV) Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, shouting to the vultures flying high in the sky: “Come! Gather together for the great banquet God has prepared. Come and eat the flesh of kings, generals, and strong warriors; of horses and their riders; and of all humanity, both free anad slave, small and great.” 

Jesus our God, our Savior gave His very life to pay for our invitation, our spot in Heaven. There is no greater display of love than the cross! He took our place dying our death that we might believe in Him and live for eternity in paradise, that we would join Him at the wedding feast of the Lamb that was slain becoming the Lion that triumphed over all sin, death and the devil, for all time!! Our finite brains cannot even comprehend eternity but 1 Corinthians 2:9 (NIV) promises it will blow our minds!! …”What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” – the things God has prepared for those who love him –  

John 3:16 (NIV) For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

2 Corinthians 6:2 (NIV) …I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.

Joshua 24:15 (NIV) … choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…

Romans 10:9 (NIV) If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Dear one, by His amazing grace may we all choose to eat, rather than be eaten. 

Desires Without Borders

Photo by Negative Space on Pexels.com

We’ve all probably heard of “Doctors Without Borders”. Since disaster and disease know no borders, we need an international first responding group of skilled individuals that are willing to venture out and provide aid to people in need around the world. Just as disaster and disease fail to recognize boundaries, so do our fleshly human desires if left unchecked. If we fail to allow The Great Physician, our Wonderful Counselor, to do His work in our lives, we too will be a diseased soul doomed for disaster.

The good news of Jesus is that there are no boundaries for how far His love will reach to redeem and restore a soul willing to be rescued.

He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and the mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. Psalm 40:2 (NIV) 

Revelation 18:11-14 gives a list of merchandise that illustrates the extreme materialism of that society. Not much of what is on that list is a necessity but rather a luxury. The desire for non-essentials had driven these people to a point that even human beings were seen as things to own! Yet how much of what is on this list of non-essentials can you find in your own home?! We in America are truly people who live in luxury compared to other places around the globe and are in danger of becoming driven by the non-essentials of life; absorbed by the excess of self-centered pleasure. No one PLANS on becoming self absorbed, no one PLANS on being controlled by what they thought they were in control of… and yet it happens. 

So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! 1 Corinthians 10:12 (NIV)

Notice that warning above is not given to those who KNEW they were in trouble but rather to those who THOUGHT they had it all together and were standing firmly. Verse 17 of Revelation 18 (NLT) states, In a single moment all the wealth of the city is gone!” … May we not be a people deceived by the things of this world. We want our desires to lead us in the right direction so we must ask our Heavenly Father by the power of His Spirit, to help us put boundaries on them. For, The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. Romans 8:6 (NIV) 

One way to do this is to set healthy boundaries on the things of this world being mindful of where we allow our senses to rest. Matthew 6:19-24 is Jesus teaching us about money and possessions. At first glance it would appear that verses 22-23 are out of context and randomly placed but in reality they are the key to understanding the entire concept! Friends, it matters what we allow to filter into our lives by what we listen to, look at, touch, taste and even smell. Satan took Eve down in Genesis 3, not with a stick but rather with an idea. An idea he introduced through her sense of sight. 

We cannot allow our desires to go without borders. Be intentional, schedule daily checkups with The Great Physician, the only One who knows no boundaries when it comes to seeking a heart willing to be restored. The Wonderful Counselor is ALWAYS available and is free of charge, dear one.

Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:23-24 (NIV) 

Desires with boundaries lead to a life where freedom abounds. 

Upgraded Viewpoint

Photo by Taryn Elliott on Pexels.com

Recently I’ve had to install the newest update to my phone which got me contemplating 1 Timothy 6:6-7 (ESV) which reads like this, But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. What kind of gain is godliness with contentment?! GREAT gain! It is great gain to be godly with contentment. However, how often do we seek great gain through trying to find containment in a million other things then by a way of a Holy Spirit infused godly character?! 

Contentment almost seems to be the unattainable goal in a world that upgrades every millisecond! We need look no further than our personal cell phone to be reminded of that, right! This mindset only encourages discontentment and an insatiable hunger to upgrade our spouses, our body image, our work place, homes, even our church… you name it and the world has probably offered an upgrade filled with empty promises to satisfy! The secret to contentment cannot be found in this ever changing world but only in the One who remains the same yesterday today and forever (see Hebrews 13:8). 

Contentment is not complacent, for the enemy works to make us ineffective and complacent. True contentment only comes by way of a Holy Spirit infused godly like character. Philippians 4:12-13 (NLT) I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. 

Contentment is choosing to trust that God knows what He is doing and can provide for our every true need. He alone can fill the void in the heart He knit together. We don’t need to remake what God made but rather make the best of what He has done, is doing; of what He has allowed. If we truly desire Him, He will teach us how to be content in a discontented world, and we will know great gain, dear one. 2 Peter 1:5-9 (NIV) For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins. 

Maybe the only upgrade we need is on our viewpoint; moving from that of an earthly mindset to a Heavenly one. When we are fully content in Christ, maintaining a viewpoint from that of His victory, we will not trip up on all the lesser viewpoints that vie for our attentions and affections. Our life’s purpose is to be led forward in the captivating freedom of Christ’s triumphs, spreading the aroma of Him everywhere with the gifted breath in our lungs! Our trials and setbacks that cause discontent on any level begin to hold a lesser weight in our heart and mind when we remember we walk in the wake of The Conqueror, led in His victory over ALL! Matthew 6:33 (ESV) But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 1 John 1:7 (NIV) But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

By His grace may we seek contentment in Christ over EVERY area of our lives dear one. He is enough.

“Just take a nap, child!”

You know those mattress tags that threaten felony charges if you dare remove them?! Well, I recently received a pillow as a gift with a great tagline embroidered on it that I think should come on ALL pillows and never be removed either! The embroidery reads, “Give it to God and go to sleep.” Good advice right, and yet sometimes hard to put into practice. Philippians 4:9 (NIV) Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. God gives us so many faithful and precious promises yet how many do we practice putting our faith in?! I’m reminded of two things…

First, Mark 4:35-41 depicts a wild storm that Jesus somehow SLEEPS through! This is no regular storm either, this storm has even experienced fishermen who have lived their lives on the waters, now fearing death! Not only is Jesus sleeping through this massive storm but the Bible tells us Jesus is in fact asleep ON A PILLOW! This is not a picture of restless tossing and turning sleep, this is tucked in cozy and comfortable “do not disturb” deep sleep!! However the panicked crew throws being considerate to the tornado winds and wakes Jesus anyway. After Jesus calms the storm with a word, He asks them one question concerning their faith.

Jesus could sleep through the storm because His faith was focused on foundational Truth that no storm could ever shake. At Jesus’ baptism the sky ripped open and the Heavenly Father audibly spoke from Heaven declaring His affirming love and approval over His Son, Jesus Christ (see Matthew 3:17). The Bible gives us many names for our God which help us understand His character but maybe “Son” was the one Jesus held most dear as He walked this earth. It was this title Satan immediately attacks following Jesus’ baptism in the wilderness. Everything we are flows from our status as God’s child. So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, Galatians 3:26 (NIV) 

Like Jesus who rested in the Truth of Who He was as God’s Son we too who have claimed Jesus as our Savior through faith in His death and resurrection, can rest as a son or daughter of His! All the promises are YES for His children (see 2 Corinthians 1:20)! The more intimate our relationship is with our Heavenly Father, the more secure we will be in our true identity, the more affirmed we will be in our purpose and the more clear we will be in our calling. It is the Truth that sets you free (see John 8:32)! 

Satan’s tactics have not changed since the Garden of Eden. Satan didn’t take Eve down with a stick, he took her down with a thought. A thought that she allowed to take root and doubt God’s love for her and His good plan for her life… we are all still experiencing the fallout from that disaster! Jesus never wavered in His faith in His Father and His Word. Jesus knew He was God’s Son so nothing would shake Him. He would make it through all the storms. Was it easy?! NO! The cross was horrific but in the end it was to the enemies horror that Jesus was found standing, living and breathing on the outside of the tomb!!

Before the storm in Mark 4 Jesus told the crew they would make it to the other side. Rather than rest in that true and faithful word they focused on what they could not control and freaked out! If you were to make a list of what is IN your control and what is NOT, you might be astounded at how much longer the list of what is IN your control actually is!! You may not have control over the “wind and the waves” of your storms but you DO have control over your thoughts about them, your perspective of people, your willingness to forgive, to let go of a grudge, to choose patience and joy… you have control of your words and your actions and your responses to people and circumstances… the list goes on and on! Don’t let the enemy trick you out of the control you have over your mind. We do this by giving our mind to Jesus, the Author and perfecter of our faith. Do not be conformed to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2 (NIV) 

True to His word, the entire crew made it safely to the other side of the lake that stormy day. We too in Christ have been given that same Word. 2 Timothy 4:18 (NIV) The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen. He didn’t promise it would be easy rather there would be evil attacks even! But in Christ we make it to the other side! We might come in hot like a cannonball on fire but as His daughter, as His son, every single one of us will stick that landing as a perfect 10 and we won’t even smell like smoke, dear one! 

Now for the second thing my new pillow reminded me of… As a mom of six kiddos it was often during nap time that I got so much of my “to-do” list accomplished. And I don’t know about you but my kids always seemed to grow an extra inch just while they slept! I’m sure our Heavenly Father is able to effectively accomplish anything anytime, but I wonder if maybe He’s lovingly thinking to Himself over some of His children (present company included), “Good grief child, please just take a nap!” And why?! So that through abiding in Him, He might do some of His best growing work in us (see John 15:5)! Dear one, He always affords us every ounce of energy and will to accomplish what He has asked of us. Expending our own energy over our own agenda will just leave us drowning in exhaustion! Rather making a choice that is in our control to rest in Him through faith and trust, grows an intimate relationship with our Heavenly Father, opening a conduit through which a peace that passes understanding will flood our souls through any storm that’s out of our control. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7 (NIV) 

Give it to God and go to sleep, dear one. God bless you muchly~

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28 (NLT)