Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding (Prov 3:5)~ It doesn’t matter how much a thing is engrained in us. No matter how long things have been a certain way and how strong the evidence is to support it, a word, an action, any event to the contrary, no matter how insignificant, can inject the smallest of thoughts, that can change the way we see it; We may believe in a thing all our lives and even have proof of its truths, but a simple alternative notion can sometimes be enough to shake our faith in what we know; turn our world upside down… and eventually alter course of our walk. DOUBT!!! This is the master craft of the enemy. As surely as the Word says that faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains (Matt 17:20), the enemy’s tactic is to put “just enough” doubt in your mind that your faith might waiver! Wavering faith means that your trust in The Lord is now ‘not’ with ALL your heart… Because you are now starting to focus on what you see going on around you. Your doubt and worry and unbelief are growing in your mind from their little-bitty “seeds” and that is where our minds eventually make that doubt larger than what we had already ‘rooted’ in faith. But friend, remember, the devil is a LIE! The devil has been a LIE since the Garden of Eden and he has never changed! This is where faith in what we KNOW; our ROOTS; is so important. You have to know what you know that you know! God said His Word would not return to Him void, but would go out to accomplish what He purposed (Isa 55:11). Jesus said He came that we would have life and have it more abundantly.. (John 10:10). He said the He would give His sheep eternal life and that NOTHING would take them from His hand (John 10:28). Regardless of what we see, and what it makes us think about, we can’t let it spiral into something that hasn’t even happened. It’s very likely as a matter of fact that a lot of that WOULDN’T happen if we hadn’t started thinking about it and walking in the ’sight’ of our minds! We must believe in what we KNOW of Him to have promised, For we walk by FAITH (in what we KNOW), not by sight (2 Cor 5:7). For all the promises of God in Him are yea, and in Him Amen, unto the glory of God by us (2 Cor 1:20) – If God said it, then it IS – every promise that God has ever made started with what He spoke – THAT is the power of His Word! You must never take your ‘eyes’ off of Him and never doubt what He said! Remember, even Peter, when the Lord said ‘come’, he believed he could come and he, with faith and focus on the Lord, walked on water until he looked around and saw the waves (of doubt) and then believed in his doubt! Jesus is saying to you as you walk through this storm: “Eyes on ME”! Friend, He will keep in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Him; because you trust in Him!
Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest (Josh 1:7) – Be confident in God’s work in you! Don’t be swayed or disturbed due to naysayers or lack of understanding; nor be arrogant or overzealous from pride and self-absorbance; but be humble yet assertive, that your Walk in Authority be God appointed! For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them (Eph 2:10). God CREATED us to be strong and successful, with AUTHORITY. Not luck nor chance, not by our own doings, but by His grace we are what we are! Man born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble (Job 14:1). It is just part of life that we will have trials, challenges and opposers. But be strong and of good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, He it is that doth go with thee; He will not fail thee, nor forsake thee (Deut 31:6). God promises us over and over again that there shall be no one who can stand before us and dispute His will for our lives. In other words He’s got our back…and if God is for us, WHO can be against us??? Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest (Josh 1:9). Look, it’s not an option.. It’s a ‘command’! God says that we need not be afraid or worry..He’s with us! It’s gonna be tough sometimes, but He’s holding us up! People will oppose you and turn against you…but HE will never leave you out to dry and in fact: The Lord said, Behold, there is a place by Me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: And it shall come to pass, while My glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with My hand while I pass by: And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts (Ex 33:21-23).. God will set you in a place where you will experience His greatness, be covered from His wrath and as He allows you to go forward, know that in waiting on Him you can be assured that He has gone before you. So no, you are never alone; don’t doubt what He has created in you; but stay grounded and focused… go get your blessing, though come what may; trusting Him all the way! Let your faith in Him then take you!
A man’s pride shall bring him low: but honor shall uphold the humble in spirit (Prov 29:23)~~ Pride doesn’t like to lose arguments, winning is more important than being right and it’s most dangerous especially when we’re right. Pride doesn’t want to apologize, It is justified in itself. Pride doesn’t want to serve, but demands respect to itself. Pride sets itself up as the most important thing and seeks self preservation at all costs. We are all prideful at times in our ways. When we get too prideful, Compromise becomes like nails on a chalkboard. We hear the WORDS people speak, but we don’t hear their heart – there is a perpetual misunderstanding because while we “listen” to them, what they say is masked by our own thoughts and interpretation. Pride can create walls in relationships. Pride is a wicked poison. It’s both subtle and blatant – settling quietly into the cracks and flaring up when challenged. Pride is all about “self”. Humility on the other hand disarms tension and deflates the self – it removes the unhealthy sense of self importance, and places our primary concern on the other person. Humility reminds us that we desperately need grace, mercy, and forgiveness, so how can we possibly not give them freely? Pride is about having control. Humility relinquishes control. Pride is defensive. Humility removes defenses. Pride is a sign of weakness. Humility is a sign of strength. Prideful people are resistant to God and view others as the problem. Humble people respond to God and others. Therefore, God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5). I’ll take Grace for a Lifetime Lord! Let’s be humble before we are humbled!
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Tim 2:15)~ As the efficient military soldier is one with his weapons, so we must be with the Word of God. As we war with principalities, powers, the rulers of the darkness of this world, and spiritual wickedness in high places, we must ALWAYS have on the whole armor of God. In these days, this is more and more important! A soldier in God’s Army can’t just have the Word for Sunday morning and Wednesday night, But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in His law doth he meditate day and night (Ps 1:2). To meditate in God’s word, is to deeply focus within ourselves concerning the great things contained in it, with close application of mind and fixedness of thought. The devil doesn’t just tempt us or attack us on Sunday morning or Wednesday night.. or just before we eat or go to bed! Therefore must have CONSTANT regard to the Word of God, as the rule of our actions, and the source of our comforts; and have it in our thoughts night and day. For this purpose no time is amiss. And what is the benefit to being so intertwined in the Word of God? That this person may KNOW the Lord and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death; If by any means he might attain unto the resurrection of the dead (Phi 3:10-11); And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper (Ps 1:3).
Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? (Gal 3:3); But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. (1 Cor 15:10) ~ Independence; Self-sufficiency; that popular idea that implies we can become whatever we want to become—without help from anyone. Unfortunately these days that means even without God. This speaks to the essence of what we long for: to be a self-made people. But this desire for self-sufficiency isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. In fact it helped pave the way for sin to enter the world. The lure of knowing all God knows drew Eve into wrong thinking. Dependence on her Creator seemed limiting, not freeing. We all follow in her footsteps when we seek knowledge that will empower and give us ‘independence’ apart from God. We like to relegate Him to certain times and spaces in our lives, insisting on handling the rest by ourselves. We fail to realize that building a life apart from God would mean, well, an eternity apart from God. There is a common saying that “God helps those who help themselves”. It sounds rational and seems like it would even be a good stance that God would take; After all: if we demonstrate some effort to improve, God will surely get behind us in our attempts to change. When we’re feeling motivated to make something happen, we assume God will help us because we’re putting forth the energy to make a change. Besides, He’s not going to waste his time putting more effort into us than we are putting into ourselves. Right? So we qualify ourselves based on the hard work we do. We evaluate our character based on how often we go to church, attend Bible studies, volunteer, or check other items off the standard religious resumé. We regulate ourselves by making things laws that we believe in our eyes as a people… are for the good of the people. We like to do it ourselves and we make the decision of how it gets done! We are the ultimate factor in our destiny. But when you do all these things and yet little transformation takes place, what then? Work harder? Do better? Make another law? Promise to do this or swear not to do that? We “up” our effort and willpower – we impart more discipline. Discipline is a great word. But it’s all too easy to assume discipline is the sole solution to our problems. Here’s the thing… If we could be so sufficient on our own, why did Jesus have to die? We couldn’t save ourselves from the consequences of our sins. God did that FOR us. Do we think we can now live without sin without His help? Are we trying to finish what He started? Do we think we can perfect ourselves BY ourselves? Will more effort and more willpower to make ourselves do more works and obey more rules more consistently actually make us better? It is God that has given us His Spirit and this—combined with our faith, not our strenuous moral striving—is what will perfect us! God doesn’t help those who help themselves. God helps those who walk with Him in faith! Our efforts were never the impetus for God’s transforming grace. They won’t be the impetus for our changed hearts either. We don’t need will power or self-effort or another rule or regulation. We need faith that God will accomplish in us and for us what we can’t do for ourselves. It’s not about self-sufficiency and independence; contrary to what you start to believe when you rely on your own efforts. God is the only one that can exist independent of any external efforts and sustain Himself BY Himself. We actually DO need Him! He is the source of what we long for and need. Don’t let the pride of independence and free will fool you! Although we are created in His image, God does not give us the power to imitate Him; He gives us Himself! And contrary to popularity, we can’t do it without Him!
And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve The Lord (Josh 24:15)~~ Those that are bound for heaven, must be willing to swim against the stream. They must not do as the most do, but as the best do. We must choose popularity or divine purpose. We must come off from all confidence in our own sufficiency, else our purposes will be in vain; His will or our own. The service of God being made our deliberate choice; We cannot be indifferent as to whether we serve God or not. Choose you whom ye will serve, now the matter is laid plainly before you. Whoso despiseth the Word shall be destroyed (Prov 13:13), He that stands in awe of God, and reverences his Word, shall escape destruction, and be rewarded for his Godly fear. Will you serve the convenience of man’s ways, habits and traditions or the precepts of God’s will? Will you run with the crowd, honoring the created or will you stand against the popular to honor Him that created and sits above all things? Who is on the Lord’s side?