God has designed His children to be dependent on Him and for our lives to be directly affected by what we speak!
James 3:1-12 speaks clearly about our tongue and the effect it has on our life. He shares that the tongue, even though a small member can direct our lives or set on fire the course of nature! No man can tame the tongue. BUT with the help of the Holy Spirit our tongue can be brought in line with God’s Word. God creates the fruit of our lips! (Is. 57:19)
Ponder James 3 and ask the Holy Spirit to open the eyes of your understanding regarding your mouth.
We can see in Matthew 12:34, “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” Your heart and your mouth are connected! Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
Again, Matthew tells us, “Therefore take no thought, saying,…” So, a thought isn’t activated in your life until you speak it! (6:31-34 KJV)
When the child of God, a new creation born again person, realizes the power that is in the tongue, they can begin bearing fruit that comes forth when they declare God’s Word. His plan for us is to use His creative power through our words, to change the fruit of our lives and quench the fiery darts of the enemy!
We also must understand that faith and patience work together. (James 1:4)
Our tongue, like a rudder, can change the direction of our lives. Once the rudder has directed the ship, it takes time to turn the ship around. We must also give time for the works of God to be completed.
This is the time we need to practice, “Be still and know that I am God.”
(Is.46:10) We need to ask God to, “Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips” (Ps. 141:3) We must protect our robe of righteousness with our garment of praise and enter His court with thanksgiving in our heart.
Life is a journey, and only with the help of the Holy Spirit, directing our everyday lives can we find the joy and peace promised to us! God has equipped you for life on earth! Your life is a miracle, a testimony to the goodness of God as we bring heaven to earth with our responses in our relationships with others.
“Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.” (Psalms 19:14)
We were clothed with the robe of righteousness and the garment of praise, but we must put on the armor of God to protect our robes. (Is. 61:3, 10)
Your royal robe of righteousness and your garment of praise are what turns heads when you walk into a room. People know there is something different about you. You are confident, you are walking in peace and the joy of the Lord!
The enemy keeps trying to shoot his fiery darts at you, by plotting evil thoughts against you. Your interaction with other people is the ground the enemy uses to cause strife, jealousy, and contention. If you don’t have your armor in place, your robe soon becomes tattered and torn, allowing fear, anxiety, and bitterness into your life.
Have you checked your spiritual wardrobe lately?
Are you frustrated because prayers aren’t being answered, you’ve lost your joy and it seems nothing is going right? I don’t care what is going on in the world; what virus, who is in office, democrat or republican, it has nothing to do with your peace of mind!
You must dress for success as you, woman of God, walk the runway of life in the world, traveling to your “promised land!”
You have everything you need to bring heaven to earth! Yes, there is a battle all day, every day all around you. Yes, we still live in the earth, like Job sometimes on the ash heap, or Paul in prison, we have to deal with the evil and relational hardships in this world that we live in.
Once you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior and made Him Lord of your life, you have been promoted to a position of victory. “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith” (1 John 5:4). Always remember, you, woman of God, have home court advantage!
Satan knows he can not destroy you. The best he can do is make you miserable on your journey of life. He cannot “unseat” you, but he can intimidate you and cause you to be paralyzed with fear.
We must keep our garment of praise wrapped securely around our robe of righteousness. Learn your enemies’ tactics and sharpen your weapons! Paul clearly understood the enemies’ tactics and he also understood that he was not to be target practice for the enemy.
He shares with us in, Ephesians 6:13, “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Read and meditate Ephesians 6:10-20 until you have revelation of your spiritual armor then every time the enemy is near, he flees!
You must be alert as your enemy prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking for someone to devour! (1 Peter 5:8) Your spiritual armor is not something you take off and on!
You must remember being a child of God doesn’t give you immunity from assaults of the enemy, but it does give you access to the Kingdom of Heaven and the power of the Holy Spirit to quench all the fiery darts of the enemy.
Starting with girding yourself with truth! It is the truth that sets you free! (John 8:32) When truth becomes your starting place, everything else begins to fall into place. Truth is the core, the foundation on which you build life. It supplies the support you need in times of trouble. Truth holds all things together and gives stability. The truth holds your breastplate of righteousness in place which covers your heart. Your heart is the source of life in the natural and the spirit. We put on the breastplate of righteousness by making a conscious effort to renew our mind. This is not once in a lifetime, but a lifelong journey.
The enemy knows the power of peace! A lack of peace in your life, opens the door for his influence. He is master at trying to stir up chaos and confusion. He wants you unbalanced, stumbly in your walk with God full of anxiety.
A life without peace is simply unprotected, disabled, unable to move forward in your spiritual walk. Internal instability allows the fiery darts of the enemy to hit their target shredding your breastplate of righteousness.
Our shield of faith is formed by our faith-filled words spoken from our heart. You came into the Kingdom by speaking faith-filled words you believed in your heart! (Romans 10:10). Your shield of faith protecting your heart is strengthened by the words you speak. Isaiah 57:19 tells us, “I create the fruit of your lips…”
Our helmet of salvation gives us hope and protects our soul; our mind, will and emotions. Hope keeps our focus on the goodness of God. The sword of the Spirit is the only weapon of our warfare that we are told specifically what it is: the Word of God. The Word of God has the power to discern our thoughts and attitudes that are contrary to God’s Word. The Word is an offensive tool and every time you open the Word of God you are preparing for spiritual warfare!
Prayer is the glue that keeps us all together as we learn to use our armor. We have done all; now we are standing. While we are standing, we are praying. Standing does not mean we are doing nothing!
For a complete study of our armor, read The Real Woman grows roses from the thorns of life .
We have the responsibility to care for our garments of salvation! Our garment of praise must be wrapped around our robe of righteousness protecting us from darts of the enemy! God dressed you for success!
Think about this! It is the promised land. That means we must possess it. I have heard there are over 8,000 promises in the Bible. I have been born again over 40 years and I have not possessed 8,000 promises!
I have tasted and seen that the Lord is good and the desire of my heart it to keep keeping on as I walk the runway of life to the “promised land!”
In this world we have dual focus, the hope of heaven and the reality of His presence in our daily walk.
Our life on this earth as a child of God parallels the children of Israel coming out of Egypt to their promised land flowing with milk and honey! Millions left Egypt and two walked into the promised land, Caleb and Joshua.
Nobody has said it was easy. Jesus told us in John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (NIV) The King James versions says tribulation instead of trouble, both words here mean pressure.
The Scripture speaks with honesty and integrity. Jesus was speaking to His disciples and wanted them to understand they would be facing trouble in the world. They would face opposition just because they knew HIM and encounter evil simply because we live in a fallen world.
Are you prepared for this world? Do you heed Jesus’ warning? For many of us our walk of faith is routine; worship service, perhaps a small-study group and maybe a little evangelizing.
There is nothing wrong with having a routine, but there is a fine line between a rut and a routine! As humans we want to “figure” everything out and understand what is going on. I have found in my walk with God, I had to give up the right to understand to find the peace that passes all understanding!
Philippians 4:7 says, “and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” This is the faith walk that leads us to the promised land!
As the children of Israel were coming out of Egypt, the Lord told them all about the land of milk and honey. He also told them He would not give them all the land in one year, or the land would become desolate and the beasts in the land become too many for them. They had been slaves; they did not know “how to” fight their evil enemies!
“I will send my terror ahead of you and throw into confusion every nation you encounter. I will make all your enemies turn their backs and run. I will send the hornet ahead of you to drive the Hivites, Canaanites and Hittites out of your way. But I will not drive them out in a single year, because the land would become desolate and the wild animals too numerous for you. Little by little I will drive them out before you, until you have increased enough to take possession of the land.” (Exodus 23:27-30 NIV)
God expected them to learn to fight the good fight of faith! He expects the same thing from you and me. That is why He gave us a Helper, to reveal the truth of His Word to our spirit. With revelation of His Word, we thrive! Without it we dry up.
We have to learn to face disappointment and discouragement in the world. Face our enemies and tear down the strongholds that have been built in our minds.
I urged you to go beyond “a church attender” and “surrender all!” It is one thing to accept the Lord as Savior, but have you allowed Him to become “Lord of ALL?”
When we quit trying to “figure everything out” and surrender, we will experience that “peace that passes all understanding!”
Psalms 107:20 tells us, “He sent His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction.” As a born- again child of God we have a deep craving within us that most of us don’t recognize as a longing to know Him and the power of His resurrection! (Phil. 3:10)
There are many voices in the world and many very tempting temptations!
We must learn to recognize the cravings of our life. If you are not hungry and thirsty for the Word of God, then that is the first thing you ask the Holy Spirit, “Holy Spirit plant within my heart a hunger and thirst for God!”
We are what we eat in the natural and the Spirit. If we don’t fill our body with nourishment from good food, we get sick. If we don’t fill our spirit with the Word of God, we become full of anxiety and depression, bitterness and anger set in, and we can no longer hear “the voice of the Lord.”
Don’t die of malnutrition! It’s your choice. He is the “bread of life” which will sustain in the natural and spiritual world! Taste and see that the Lord is good!
Don’t forget, it is the promised land! You must go in and possess it!
You are not a grasshopper! “There we saw the giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.” (Numbers 13:33)
Understanding the purpose of hope in a believer’s life is significant as it is one of the three things that abide: faith, hope and love. (1 Corinthians 13:13)
Hope is a unique gift to the born-again child of God. Our hope in the promise maker sustains our faith in the promises. Hope encourages us in our walk with God as we wait for the promise.
Hope is a sustaining force helping us to keep our focus, causing us to be vigilant, giving us the grace to give up the things of this world and prioritize our life.
Faith and hope are inseparable, they are also distinct. To have strong faith we must have sustaining hope!
Hebrews 11:1 tells us, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” The substance of our faith is our hope in the unseen, and the evidence (proof) of the unseen is manifest because of this hope.
As we walk through life on earth as a child of God, trusting in the Lord to meet our needs as He has promised, we must understand the seasons of life. In this world we have dual focus, the hope of heaven and the reality of His presence in our daily walk.
Everything in the Kingdom of God starts with a seed. This seed is the Word of God. (Luke 8:13) The seed carries the promises of God and must be nourished.
One Scripture that I have pondered on many times is Proverbs 13:12, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.”
The big question is, how do we handle deferred hope. When our prayer is not answered when we expect. When it seems everything is delayed? Do we let the frustration fester and make our heart sick, or do we fight the good fight of faith? (1Timothy 6:12)
Hope deferred (prolonged) is a growing season. Our Lord understands disappointment. He knows that “not getting what you want” is frustrating and discouraging.
That’s why the Lord’s desire is for us to hang on to Him. He’s waiting for the moment we come to the end of ourselves, our plans and dreams and realize our hope is found only in Him. “I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits and in his word, I put my hope” (Psalm 130:5).
Hope deferred is not denial, it is delay until the perfect time when God knows we are ready. We put our hope in God’s Word and the wisdom and promises it contains. We “ask” the Holy Spirit, our teacher and comforter, to reveal to us the mysteries of the Kingdom of God. (Matthew 13:11)
As we are waiting, we water the seed that we have sown in the Garden of our heart with praise and thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is the force that moves the mountain and prepares the way for a miracle!
I study the men and women in the Bible. They are real people in this world facing the same problems that we face in our daily life. God tells us in Romans 15:4, “…these things are written for our learning that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.” The testimonies reveal “how God works through His people to help them bring heaven to earth and overcomes the pressure of this world.
Jochebed, the mother of Moses, is one of my favorite testimonies. Living in slavery with two children and pregnant, Pharaoh gives a decree to kill all baby boys at birth by placing them in the river. As a mother, I can’t imagine being placed in this position! How did she overcome? Hebrews 11:23 tell us, “By faith, Moses, when he was born, was hidden three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king’s (man) command.”
Meditating on this testimony gives me HOPE! By faith, because they saw. Faith sees the promises of God! Only those that see the invisible can do the impossible!
When your hope becomes faith, faith launches you into another realm that is beyond understanding. You are no longer trying to understand “how to fix the mess!”
Paul calls this, “…the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4: 7)
Jochebed followed God’s plan, she placed Moses in a basket and placed him in the river! The same river that Pharaoh commanded all baby boys would die! God had another plan, and he was looking for a man and woman that would trust Him to bring about His miracle in their life. Read Jochebed’s testimony in Exodus 1:22, and 2:1-10.
When did Jochebed’s hope become faith? When she placed her baby in the river!
When our prayers are answered and our needs met, it’s “like eating from the tree of life.” Suddenly, life is good, and all is well!
We choose how to handle deferred hope. Let’s learn from those that have walked before us. The Exodus is the story of God’s people leaving Egypt and beginning their journey to the Promised Land. A whole generation did not enter because it was too hard! It was a long journey involving many battles and betrayals. We are told to fight the good fight of faith and to stand!
Receiving the promises requires an investment of your energy and effort. We must live intentional. Our journey with God is an active adventure that requires total surrender of our life, spirit, soul, and body
The secret of navigating your hope is total surrender!
Obedience is a fruit of surrender.
Once we give up, God moves in!
Paul tells us that the pressures of this world builds our character and gives us renewed hope, not for the fulfillments of our needs, but for a deeper knowledge and relationship with God. Our hope will not disappoint! (Romans 5:3-5)
Most of our responses to situations in our life are formed in childhood that determine how we do life in this world.
Our outlook and behavior are colored to a degree by our ability to deal with events of the past. The good news is God can take the sting out of the past!
I’m so thankful for our Helper, the Holy Spirit! We need comfort and power to walk through the hurts and heartaches of this world. I have walked with God 45 years, and I still need help every day to overcome the pressure of this world.
I was reading John 14 today and the first verse, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.” A reminder, that I had a part to play in keeping my heart in a place where I could hear His voice, daily!
Peace in our life is the bedrock for facing memories that the enemy tries to use to choke the life from us causing anxiety and depression.
The Apostle Paul talked about this in Philippians at a time he was in prison. He had an abundance of time to think! Choosing what we think on is a key to peace.
Philippians 4:7 says, “and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Walking in God’s peace is a sure protection from destructive thought patterns bombarding our mind.
Peace only comes as we learn to allow the Holy Spirit to be our Helper.
Philippians 4:8 tells us “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”
I feel Paul’s frustration in that word, finally! This is your part!
God gave you the gift of choice in the Garden. You have a choice about what you think on.
You can be humiliated, lied against, deceived and betrayed, and you can get over it when you cultivate a mindset that says, through Christ I can conquer the pressure of this world! (Romans 8:37).
As a born-again child of God, you have a helper, you are not alone. (John 16:7)
If you allow painful memories of the past to hang over you like a cloud, you will continue to be miserable in this world.
As I was murmuring about a situation in my life, God spoke to me one day, “shut up and be content!” Wow, that got my attention. I wanted sympathy. God knew that I needed truth.
I began to read and study Philippians because I knew that in Chapter 4, verse 11, Paul said “…I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.” It did not just happen, he had to learn to be content. He had to build his faith “in God,” trusting Him to know best and turn the situation into good.
After doing this for some time, one day a verse caught my attention! Philippians 3:13, states “…but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind…”
I said, “God how do I forget?” The enemy is always reminding me of everything I have done wrong! He instantly responded saying, “you remember!”
Remember, I thought…. He then said, “when you remember, you are choosing your thoughts!”
I got it! I choose what I am thinking about! Is it really that simple, YES!
One of my favorite verses is, 2 Corinthians 11:3, “But I fear, that somehow as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.”
It is not hard to follow Jesus and live a Christ-centered life in this world. You must live intentionally on purpose! Use your gift of choice!
God has always been in the restoration business. It has always been His desire to restore to those created in His image to a right relationship with Himself. We are not meant to be burdened with painful memories that hinder our daily walk with God and experiencing His joy and peace.
The Word of God shares many testimonies of men and women who persevered in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. Do not rehearse the trauma or heartache of your past. God can bring healing to those memories as you meditate on His goodness and faithfulness.
As I was thinking about all the controversy about women and their role in society, the Lord spoke to my heart, “Mothers are Leaders.” As I pondered these words, He brought to my remembrance Jochebed.
Most Bible readers don’t know her by name. She is mentioned twice in the Bible by her name, Exodus 6:20 and Numbers 26:39.
Without doubt her life was not a bed or roses. She was raised in slavery, but she never lost hope for her household. Her character was forged in a brutal world, but she never lost her love for the God of Israel, and her faith in Him developed her character which she imparted into her children.
She had the unique position of raising three leaders: Moses, Aaron and Miriam. She is listed in Hebrews Chapter 11 with other great leaders.
After many years of favor in Egypt, Pharaoh became threatened by the children of Israel and inflicted them with hard labor, but the more he did, the stronger they became. In his effort to stop them, He commanded that all baby boys be cast into the river at birth.
As Jochebed gave birth and the cry of her newborn baby cut through the home, she was distracted by the remembrance of the king’s command. “It’s a boy,” she was told. “Give me my son,” she responded.
As she held her son, she saw that he was a beautiful child. As she looked him over from head to toe, she had a sudden awareness that this child was a gift from God and was convinced that God had plans for her child. Hebrews 11:23 tells us, By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king’s command.” By faith….because they saw! Faith saw the promise of God, that He gives life! By faith they were obedient to God and they were not afraid of man!
During the next three months insecurities tried to plague her, but her assurance and confidence in her God gave her the courage to fight for her son’s life. Because she was not bound by natural thinking, God’s plan in heaven began to form in her mind. It was simple, waterproof your basket, place your baby in it and place it in the river.
Her motivation was not only the love for her child, but obedience to God.
As Jochebed placed Moses in the basket, she gave Miriam instructions to stand at the river’s edge to see what would happen.
Pharaoh’s daughter just happened to be in the river. When she saw the basket she recognized this was a Hebrew baby and her heart was filled with compassion. She knew what her father had commanded, but God has a way to change the heart of men and women living in this earth. When Miriam saw this, she stepped forward with the same peace of her mother and asked if she should call a woman to nurse the baby. “Go,” she answered, and Miriam called her mother.
When Jochebed came forward, Pharaoh’s daughter said, “Take this child away and nurse him for me, and I will give you your wages.” So, the woman took the child and nursed him.” (Exodus 2:9) She no longer had to hide her baby and received wages for nursing him. Only God!
Jochebed’s next step of faith was to return her baby to the house of her enemy!
Moses ultimately led the children of Israel out of Egypt, but his mother set the plan into action by her obedience to God! Her faith had been tested. Her family saw what a small thing it was for God to change their circumstances and put their enemies under His feet!
He has not changed! He is the same God that parted the Red Sea, that changed the heart of a woman and filled her with compassion, and she had no idea she was being used of God for His plan for man on this earth!
There is nothing new under the sun, the same enemy of man is still determined to steal, kill and destroy everything that God has created in this earth! The same God is searching for men and women that will stand strong in their faith and hear His voice and be willing and obedient to follow His plan to bring His Kingdom to earth.
Psalm 119:111 tells us, “Your testimonies I have taken as a heritage forever, For they are the rejoicing of my heart.” Testimonies in the Bible tell us our “family history.” They also give us God’s perspective and His version of history, imparting insight and reality from His point of view.
Meditating on the testimonies is a training ground for renewing our minds. The prophetic anointing carried through testimonies brings encouragement and comfort in our time of need giving us that quiet assurance that all things are possible with God! Read and study this testimony in Exodus 1:22, 2:1-10 and Hebrews 11:23.
Many have grown weary with all the unknowns that surround us. It seems that “suddenly” we were cast into the middle of a pandemic that I do not think anyone was prepared for.
Our enemy wants us to feel isolated, alone, and powerless—we are not! Jesus is still the head of the Church and the Spirit of the Lord is still moving throughout the earth! The weapons of our warfare are mighty and have not been diminished by the 21st century technology.
We must not be driven by the storms of life but navigate the storms from a point of orientation. We are a child of God, and God is shaking the earth to prepare us for the events to come. We are being refined and prepared!
I, personally, have had to do some soul searching in my own life. As a child of God, we must discern the signs of the seasons. God gives us a clear blueprint in His Word.
I found myself getting agitated and frustrated with the virus, the riots and constant changing news of what was going on. The Holy Spirit brought to my remembrance Isaiah 26:3, “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You,because he trusts in You.” This was a wake-up call! “Who was I trusting?”
As I began to “think” I saw how easily I had gotten “caught up” in letting the creators of technology determine what is possible. Where was my mind? What is my trust in? As I meditated this scripture, I realized just how easy it was to slip back into the influence of the world.
Jeremiah 32:17 says, ‘”Ah, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You.”
The Creator of all things, the greatest power you will ever know, the one that created you in your mother’s womb, desires to partner with you as you walk the runway of life, to give you a different set of possibilities and outcome!
Why would we settle for the same life that people who don’t know God have?
I’m not against technology, it has made my life much easier, but I can not allow it to “transform” my mind to think like the world. Science, medicine, and technology tend to limit possibilities! BUT as a born-again child of God you are a “new creation in Christ Jesus.”
We must understand the mystery of transformation. Only God can transform an ugly thorn bush into a beautiful rose bush! Transform a worm crawling on its belly into a beautiful butterfly that can fly above the challenges in the world.
I cannot transform myself, but I can create the conditions in which spiritual transformation can take place.
As a born-again child of God, I have the privilege of changing the way I exist in this world—from an ugly thorn bush to a beautiful rose bush. One thing we must remember— roses bloom in season, but thorns are always there.I call this finding the rhythm of grace.Only by the grace of God can spiritual transformation take place, from the deepest desire of our heart.
We must choose a way of life that opens us to the presence of God in our deepest desire and longings. This desire will take us to a place of discipline in our daily life. The habits and disciplines we use will shape our desire for the basis of our spiritual life.
Romans 12:2 (NASB) says, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Renewing our mind is not a onetime experience and it’s done! It is a daily, intentional purpose to know the ways of God. We must learn the ways of the Kingdom of Heaven, so God’s desire of bringing heaven to earth can be done.
Your transformation begins with a longing that stirs deep within you, above the noise and activities of your life. It is not always comfortable to confront pride, selfish ambition, self-protection, and many other motives that lurk from our old life.
Spiritual fatigue syndrome comes from a weary soul with unresolved issues that come from an unrenewed mind. Galatians 6:9 says, “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”
Your “due season” is coming! Keep you eyes on Jesus, “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God Hebrews (12:2).
We must heed Paul’s warning in 2 Corinthians 11:3, “But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.”
The simplicity that is in Christ is, walking in obedience to His Word, allowing the Holy Spirit to bring “life” to us from His Word, so that we can “hear” the voice of the Lord and follow Him. (John 10:27)
We are living in a season that we were not expecting, and it seems to be wearing everyone down. The bottom line is, we cannot do what we want to do when we want to!
We were enjoying life for the most part, going about our lives without much thought of being prepared for a pandemic to hit our lives! As a child of God, we are told to be alert! The enemy roams the earth seeking for an open door!
As a born-again child of God, we have been given uniquely powerful tools to live in this world. Many of us tend to think of our spiritual life in the context of our church involvement; we are faithful in attendance, volunteer and give money to the church. We confessed our sins and signed for church membership and that’s it.
Our faith is about the basic choices we make every day. It is about the words we use and our relationships. It is about how we manage our resources and how we use our time and talents.
2 Corinthians 11:3 tells us, “But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.”
I find it staggering that Eve could be deceived! She lived in a beautiful Garden, God met every need and walked with her and Adam in the Garden. Sin was unknown. Paul was concerned that we would be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. Paul clearly tells us, “it is our minds that can be corrupted!” This should make us stop and think!
Our minds are linked with our emotions and influence our choices. The mind is both a battleground and the key to transformation. Our mind must be trained to think from heaven to earth. It does not come by chance; it takes work and intentionality.
Eve had a fatal attraction; she set her mind on one tree. She had been warned about the tree and knew the consequences, but her appetite won!
Do you understand the power of appetite? Appetite is a desire to satisfy any bodily need or craving, an appetite for food, power, or pleasure. Addictions are overrunning our world. Addiction to food, drugs, alcohol, tobacco, porn and gambling to name a few. Addiction starts in our mind.
Eve was willing to risk death to eat from the forbidden tree. She wanted wisdom and all she had to do was ask God for it. Esau was also caught at a vulnerable moment, but if he had valued what was his he would not have chosen to satisfy his flesh over receiving a Spiritual blessing later.
Eve could not remove the tree, but she had a choice to remove herself from the presence of the tree. David looked on Bathsheba and allowed lust to fill his heart. Solomon married foreign women and allowed their gods within his home. Yes, the power of appetite has taken over the lives of many as they submitted to it.
There are many examples for us in the Word of God for our learning. We must value the testimonies in the Word of God, they are to teach us how to live in this world. (Romans 15:4).
Satan’s target is your mind because that is the only entrance he has access to. If we are not sincere in our faith and pure in our devotion to God, we are open to the enemy just like Eve was.
I believe this season of our life is giving us the opportunity to look deep within our hearts and repent where we have allowed a lax attitude in our priorities in life to turn more towards the world for the pleasures of this life.
You must understand the struggle that is going on and where that battle is fought; it is in your mind as Paul warned us. Public officials cannot resolve the problems facing us today because they are spiritual issues.
We must create an environment around us that supports us and where we can hear the voice of the Lord. That is our only safety net! He has promised to lead us beside still waters, to restore our soul and prepare a table before us in the presence of our enemies.
Have you ever thought, what would Jesus say to us in the middle of this pandemic, riots and total chaos in the world system? Why are you afraid? Are you reading the Word of God, wearing the helmet of salvation and using the sword of the Spirit? Are you decreeing my Word into the darkness? Did you think I would leave you and forsake you? Is my shed blood not enough?
We must understand what happened in the Garden of Eden and what happened in the Garden of Gethsemane to build our Garden of Life in this earth!
The Holy Spirit is your helper and only by the grace of God can we build a wall of protection to guard our heart and mind as we walk the runway of life. You must always fight the good fight of faith and be alert. Remember, it is a “fixed” fight, we win!
The tools we have been given—prayer, repentance, thanksgiving, and the authority of Jesus’ name on the lips of His children can change the course of human history, but to be effective they must be used! Read and study Ephesians 6:10-18 to learn about your spiritual weapons.
“But our citizenship is in heaven, from where also we await for our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Phil. 3:20).
The Bible tells us that we are aliens, strangers on the earth. Jesus is ultimately going to establish His kingdom with His values on earth. As born-again children of God, we are given the power and privilege of leaving the world’s flawed value system and living for eternity.
But at this time, we are living in a sin-filled world where we are not only overcoming the temptation of sin in our personal lives, but we can see the impact of sin all around us.
Our family moved to the United Kingdom, where we lived for 12 years. When I took my first drive on the wrong side of the street, my first roundabout, I was hanging on to the steering wheel for dear life.
I had gone out to get bread for my family. I was quite pleased to find a parking space right in front of the store. After shopping, I left the store to discover a policeman standing next to my car writing out a ticket. I approached him and asked what he was doing, and he said, “You broke the law. You have no right to park here.”
I tried to explain that I had just moved to the U.K., and he said, “I don’t care where you came from, the laws of the United States don’t protect you in the United Kingdom, and ignorance is no excuse!”
That hurt! But I have never forgotten those words, “Ignorance is no excuse.” I told him I was sorry and promised to study the rules of the road for the U.K. I was a citizen of the U.S., but I was living in the U.K., and I had to learn the laws of the land where I was now living.
When God grants us citizenship in the kingdom of heaven, we become “new creatures” (2 Cor. 5:17). We become citizens of an eternal kingdom where our Father is the King! He sends the Holy Spirit to indwell our spirits, and our bodies become His temple. His goal is to make us as much like Jesus as possible in this life. As we learn to submit our thoughts and ways to Him, the Holy Spirit begins to transform our hearts to glorify God, our Father in heaven.
Our focus turns toward eternal things and storing up treasures in heaven. We are reaching out for something different than the people who are not in Christ, and this means we have another set of values with different goals to attain in this world.
We are finding His ways are higher than the world’s ways. Forgiveness releases us from our past and we now have the power to forgive others who have hurt and betrayed us. This allows us to walk in the freedom of joy and peace in this earth. We do not have to live under the bondage of others, trying to get even.
We must remember, our eyes have been opened to the ways of the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 13:11). Anyone living on this earth who has not accepted Jesus cannot see the kingdom principles that we now live in. If you have not been awakened to this fact, I urge you to step back and evaluate how you are spending your time, who you associate with and how you view the world you are living in. Do you have the peace of God in your heart that comes with being a citizen of heaven?
We are in this world for now, but my citizenship is in heaven. I’m just passing through this world, but I live with my ultimate destination with the Lord firmly fixed in my heart and mind.
We live for a short time in these physical bodies, joyfully anticipating our future in our real home. I value my citizenship in heaven, and daily seek to know God and His principles. His principles are far above the laws of this land; they teach us how to live in this world as we prepare for our eternal home.
The Word of God tells us very plainly why we stumble in this world. Hosea 4:6a tells us, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” If you love God and value your citizenship, the only way you can know Him and be led by the Holy Spirit is reading and meditating on His Word. Joshua 1:8 (NLT) gives clear directions for achieving success in this life, “Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.”
Eve did not value the Word of God and believed a lie. She was in a perfect location physically, but still fell into sin because she believed a lie! When you believe a lie, you empower the liar. You must know the truth to discern a lie. All sin starts with a lie!
As we walk the runway of life, we must keep our focus on our true citizenship and eternal destination, sharing in Abraham’s experience: living “like a stranger in a foreign country … looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God” (Heb. 11:9-10, NIV).
I’m always amazed as I travel and minister that I still have women coming to me saying they are not accepted because they are a woman! “My church won’t let me preach or teach or pray for people. They only let me serve in the kitchen or clean the church.” I always say, “You need to look to God, not man, for open doors for your gift.
What does God really think about women?
Long before He formed the woman’s physical body from the rib of man, He had her in His heart. Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth'” (Gen. 1:26-28).
In the New Testament we find the man, Paul, whom some quote as being against women, saying, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:28).
It is very important to understand the beginning of mankind. Women, you are not an afterthought. You were clearly in God’s heart before He formed you according to Scripture. Women have graced this earth with insight, sensitivity and beauty, spiritually and physically. Eve entered the physical world not in a dominant or subservient role, but equal to man. “Let them” is repeated several times in Genesis.
It was God who said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him” (Gen. 2:18). God created woman and brought her to man! Adam had nothing to do with her creation other than taking a nap!
When God formed woman, He took the feminine, the nurturing and tenderness of His nature that had already been breathed into Adam, and gave woman those strengths. Man was left with the stewardship of the earth; to guide, guard and govern; the disciplinarian, the tough one.
When we begin to understand how God originally created men and women, and the uniqueness that was placed within each one, then we begin to comprehend the problems we are facing in the world today. Men and women both have a uniqueness that needs to be fulfilled.
Unfortunately, religion has twisted the scriptures to their ideal to lift up men. In the Jewish culture, women were not treated much better than their Roman and Greek sisters. We know that God used women in the Old Testament with great influence, but in general, women were considered a commodity. Women were not permitted to learn, to speak to men in public, even to her own husband.
Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8) and to restore God’s original design for men and women and their purpose in this world. When Jesus saw women crushed and hidden behind closed doors, He flung the door wide open! He took these abused female image bearers and put them center stage to play leading roles in God’s redemptive plan for the world.
God made the way for mankind, including women. “He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name” (John 1:11-12). You, men and women, are children of God if you have received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.
No wonder women followed Jesus. He satisfied their uniqueness as women. He treated them as peers, and joint-heirs with Him. God created man and woman to be unique; and where that is impaired there is division, and division opens the doorway for deception.
Walk in your uniqueness as a Woman and Man of God. You are to honor God with the life He created in you. Men feel they have to perform and women feel they have to conform, but God says we are both to be transformed by the renewing of our mind. When we honor each other as we function in our divine purpose, God commands His blessing.
I thank God every day that my husband has given me the freedom to develop the gift that God has imparted within my spirit. He has encouraged me in every step of my ministry and supported me in everything God has called me to do. Have we had some disagreements? How can two become one without a few good disagreements, and yes, a little shouting!