Wednesday, March 20, 2019

"I AM HE"



“I AM He; I AM the First, and I AM the Last. My hand laid the foundation of the earth and My right hand spread out the heavens; when I call to them, they stand forth together” (Isaiah 48:12-13). As I pondered this scripture, I became even more awed by our Creator's power, His strength, and His spoken Word. 

“Whatever the Lord pleases, He does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps” (Psalm 135:6). "For He established His throne in the heavens, and His kingdom rules over all" (Psalm 104:19). He says, “Behold, I AM the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for Me?" (Jeremiah 32:27 ESV)

“Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and how inscrutable His ways! ‘For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been His counselor? Or who has given a gift to Him that He might be repaid?’ “From Him and through Him and to Him are all things” (Romans 11:33-36 ESV).

We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:10). We are the clay and He is the Potter. All of us are the work of His hand (Isaiah 64:8). And because of that truth we can trust Him and not be anxious about what we will eat or drink or wear because our heavenly Father knows that we need those things. Instead, we are to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to us (Matthew 6:31-33).

When my husband and I began a ten-year journey with cancer...and counting, we were terrified and had many questions. “Is God really a good God?” “God, are you there?” “God — why?” Our hearts were broken, but we quickly realized that if my husband was going to do well in this battle, that we would need to join forces in believing God’s Word and not doubt Him.

Doubt is a dangerous and deadly weapon that Satan uses to discourage and challenge the goodness of God. He cleverly sabotaged the minds of Adam and Eve by injecting doubt so they would question God's goodness and faithfulness. And it was that doubt that brought about their downfall, their destruction, and the destruction of mankind.

Doubt comes when we do not understand the nature of God. How can we believe God, if we do not understand the goodness and holiness of God? That was why He sent His Son, Jesus Christ to this earth. He wanted us to see firsthand His character and what He was willing to sacrifice so that we could have eternal life with Him.

The following list touches on a few of the many attributes of God:

God—Three Persons in One:  FATHER, SON, and HOLY SPIRIT. “For there are three that bear witness in heaven: The Father, the Word (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness on earth: The Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one”   (I John 5:7-8 NKJV).

God’s Holiness: God is separate from sin and incorruptible. “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of His glory (Isaiah 6:3).

God’s Immutability: He cannot change. He is the “Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows (James 1:17). We may change but God never changes.

God’s Omniscience: God knows everything. He knows the thoughts we think before we think them. “Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O LORD, you know it altogether” (Psalm 139:4).

God’s Omnipotence: He has unlimited power. “Even from eternity I am He, and there is none who can deliver out of My hand; I act and who can reverse it?” (Isaiah 43:13)With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible" (Matthew 19:26).

God’s Omnipresence: His presence is everywhere at all times. “Am I a God near at hand, say the Lord, “And not a God afar off? Can anyone hide himself in secret places, so I shall not see him?” say the Lord. “Do I not fill heaven and earth?” says the Lord (Jeremiah 23:23-24).

God’s Sovereignty: He is the creator and supreme ruler of the heavens and the earth and has authority over all things. “Our God is in the heavens; He does all that He pleases (Psalm 115:3).

God’s Righteousness: “For He hath made Him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthian 5:21).

God’s Love: “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believe in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16 NIV).

God’s Goodness: For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received in gratitude, because it is consecrated by the Word of God and prayer (I Timothy 4:4-5). “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it, you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.”         (I Peter 2:2-3)

God’s Forgiveness: When we repent, God says, “I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions, for My own sake, and remembers your sins no more.” (Isaiah 43:25)

God is Jealous: “Do not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous is a jealous God” (Exodus 34:14 NIV). Love not the world, neither the things in the world. (1 John 2:15)

God’s Wrath: “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.” (John 3:36)

Over the 48 years that I have been on this remarkable journey with God, I have found Him to be all these attributes and so much more. But the most surprising attribute that I discovered early in my walk was that He is not distant. Just as He daily walked in the Garden with Adam and Eve, He longs to fellowship with us each day. 

He cares about everything that we care about. What is important to us is important to Him. He is a personal, loving God who walks with us every part of our day, every day…even when we are ignoring Him. 

We must never forget how much He loves us, even when things are going wrong and our world is turned upside down. Only God can redeem any and all things. For truly He makes all things work together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purposes (Romans 8:28).

PRAYER: FATHER, Your Word says that you look down from heaven on all mankind to see if there is any who understand, any who seek You (Psalm 14:2). Help me to seek You with all my heart that I may understand and confidently trust in Your care and plans for me. In Jesus’ name, amen.




Thursday, March 14, 2019

BE STILL


"Be still and know that I am God." 
(Psalm 46:10)


Every Tuesday night, our church has prayer service, followed by a short teaching from our pastor or a guest. Recently, our pastor taught on the above verse, and as he was teaching, the Lord told me to look up the word "still." Then the Spirit of God quickly downloaded the following revelation into my heart.

Interestingly, that very same morning prior to the evening service, I had spent time studying the Bible, praying, and worshipping and singing to the Lord. When I finished, He said, "I want you to be quiet (still) before Me, because I have things to say to you." As I sat in tranquil silence, His Spirit began to counsel and reveal deep truths that ministered to my spirit. It was such a sweet time of fellowship.

That evening after church, I meditated on Psalm 46:10 and began to have a clearer vision of God’s heart and what He wants for us. Be” is an imperative verb that gives a command. God is not asking us to be still. He is commanding us to be still for our own spiritual, mental, and physical health and well-being. Therefore, the definition of “still” gives new meaning to what God requires of us – to be calm, quiet, and tranquil. 

God is relational and desires fellowship with us. That was His purpose in creating man. Unfortunately, we are so busy with our active lives that we have a tendency to spend less time in His Word, prayer, and fellowship. If we manage to slow down, do we sit with an attitude of calm, quiet tranquility and rest, and wait patiently for God’s Spirit to speak to our heart? Or are our thoughts diverted to all the things we think we should be doing? 

You may say, “Oh, I have tried listening for God to speak to me, but I don’t hear anything.” God says, “You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart (Jeremiah 29:13). So, are we really seeking God with all of our heart, or are we spending a few hurried minutes in prayer before we begin our day?

God knows that stress is the root of many illnesses. We become so busy and preoccupied with all those things that require our attention, that we end up with an over-scheduled life that distracts us from the things of God. 

Most of us are hurried and often overwhelmed  by the demands, commitments, and stressors that come with living life. If we are not careful, those things can lead to frustration, anxiety, and too often, unmanaged stress. I have discovered in my life, that if I fail to take the necessary time to be still before the Lord, my stress level increases as I attempt to juggle multiple writing projects and self-imposed deadlines. 

God tells us to be still long enough to hear from Him, for He says, "Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." "Cast all your anxieties on Me, because I care for you." "Call to Me and I will answer you and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known." "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you" (Matthew 11:28; I Peter 5:7; Jeremiah 33:3; Psalm 32:8-9). Just look at all the wonderful benefits we receive when we spend time with Him.

Psalm 46:10 continues, "Be still…and know that I am God." In other words, "I am sovereign and unchanging. There is nothing impossible for Me." Jesus said this about His Father, "With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible" (Matthew 19:26)

Abraham asked God how it was possible for Sarah to conceive a child in their old age. God responded, "Is anything too difficult for the LORD?" (Genesis 18:14)

Job who suffered greatly, finally understood the Person and power of God. He said to Him, "I know that You can do all things; no purpose of Yours can be thwarted. You asked, 'Who is this that obscures My plans without knowledge?' Surely, I spoke of things I did not understand, things to wonderful for me to know. You said, 'Listen now, and I will speak; I will question you, and you shall answer me.' My ears had heard of You but now my eyes have seen You" (Job 42: 2-6).

Even though Job was blameless, upright, feared God, and shunned evil, he initially did not have a relationship with Him. He had heard about God, but he had not experienced Him with his heart.

God wants us to not just hear about Him; He wants us to personally know Him. And that cannot happen unless we are still before Him…seeking Him with all our heart and investing time in prayer and His Word. 

How do we communicate with God? Jesus answered that question, "The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you" (John 14:26). "Likewise, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groaning too deep for words" (Romans 8:25). "For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God" (Romans 8:14)

"The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned" (I Corinthians 2:14). That is why we must be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and be led by Him, because the flesh will always try to lead us away from Him. 

We need to be still before God and know that there is nothing that we bring before Him that He doesn’t already know and have a solution. "For He is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us" (Ephesians 3:20). And that power is the power of the Holy Spirit.

When we invite the Person of the Holy Spirit to dwell within us, we have an open exchange between God’s Spirit and our spirit. That allows an intimate, two-way radio connection between us and our heavenly Father. 

The Lord says, "Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28). "Be still and know that I am God." He wants to be that loving, soothing, comforter, counselor, and oasis where we can recharge and share our heart with Him. For He is the One who formed us in our mother’s womb and knew us before we were born (Jeremiah 1:5). What better person to spend time with than the One who created us and knows us intimately? 

PRAYER: FATHER, help me prioritize time for You and be still, so that I may find peace and tranquility in Your presence. I am so used to being in perpetual motion, that it is difficult to stop, even for my own sake. I invite Your Spirit to fill me to overflowing, so that we may enjoy sweet fellowship as I learn from You. In Jesus’ name, amen.



















Wednesday, March 6, 2019

I am excited and happy to announce that my new book, JOURNEY WITH GOD: A Compilation of Devotionals and Prayers is now available on Amazon. 
Some have asked if this is a book of daily devotionals. They are devotionals and prayers, but they are not set to a numbered calendar to be methodically read each day. You can read them at your own speed and return again and again to the ones that have been most meaningful for you. There are also lined pages in the back of the book for taking notes.

I am so very grateful to my faithful blog readers, friends, and family who have encouraged me on this journey and continue to encourage me to share the life-changing lessons that I have learned and continue to learn in my daily journey with God.

Forty-eight years ago, I became a Christian on one very cold and snowy, winter’s night in January of 1972. It was a night that would forever be etched in my memory and change my life forever—for the better. That night began an amazing and exciting journey with God.

God is a personal and loving Creator who loves us so much that He sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to save us from an eternity separated from Him. Over the years, I have learned so many wonderful and astounding truths and lessons from God and His Word. It was for that reason, that in 2014, a dear friend asked me to share those truths with others. Her request sparked the first blog with many more that followed and more that continue to be written as I learn new things from God each and every day.

Each week, in preparation for writing a blog, a great excitement is generated within my heart, as I anticipate what God will reveal next. He has an amazing way of making Himself known in Scripture, nature, people, and life in general. All that He has created provides an opportunity to learn the deeper truths found in His Word where His heart is revealed. My reason for writing blogs and this book is to show the heart of God and His astonishing love and meticulous care that He has for each of us.

God gave me the title for the book; however, I was sure He must have meant, “A Journey with God” instead of “Journey with God."  God quickly corrected me, “Journey with God is an imperative statement.” In other words, it is His instruction to journey each day with Him. It is not just a one-time experience. Each day presents new opportunities to learn from Him.

JOURNEY WITH GOD is divided into eight sections. Each section (labeled “PART”) has seven selected lessons from the many that I have learned, with the exception of PART FIVE, which has nine lessons.

These are the sections listed under “CONTENTS”:

PART ONE: TRUTHS I HAVE LEARNED 
PART TWO: BUILDING FAITH 
PART THREE: GROWING IN GOD 
PART FOUR: HEALING SPIRIT AND SOUL 
PART FIVE: LESSONS THROUGH CHILDREN AND ANIMALS 
PART SIX: LESSONS IN NATURE
PART SEVEN: GOD’S METAPHORS FOR LIFE 
PART EIGHT: MIRACLES BIG AND SMALL.

This is the link, if you choose to order the book from Amazon. Free 2-day shipping is offered to Amazon Prime members.


Thank you all for your continued love and support in my amazing journey with God. May He richly bless you as you daily journey with Him.