LORD, DELIVER ME FROM THIS
Wouldn’t it be great if our lives were like that of a train on tracks? Just moving forward, following the path and getting to where we are going.
However, even a big ol train needs working railroad tracks, right? And it could break down, become derailed or even have a tragic accident.
I can set a goal and then quickly become derailed. Usually the derailment happens when I remove my eyes from not only the goal but also the LORD.
For instance, I am trying to eat healthier. My diabetes has become a bit derailed and I am finally getting through this head of mine, that there are some foods that are like poison to me. Yet, I drive this body of mine like a runaway train. And then I have to ask “Deni, are you keeping your eyes on the LORD and your goal?
And it would most likely be that when faced when a morsel of sweetness (remember that darn apple), I forget. My eyes become blinded by the temptation. But, it does not have to.
Well, what on earth can I do? I can keep a verse handy. Repeat it over and over.
Let’s look at some go-to’s. First Mathew 6:13 is certainly a good place to start. FATHER, help me not to be tempted and deliver me from sneaky, deceptive and craftiness of evil. (para)
It does not end there. We also must know that when we have JESUS, we also have the power of the HOLY SPIRIT living right inside of us. And what is inside of us is much bigger and much better than what is in the world. Better than any temptation in front of us. And as it says in James 4:7, submit to the LORD and resist the devil (temptation) and he will leave you. (para) and furthermore, keep on the lookout and continue to pray that you do not enter into enticement because we must understand that our spirit IS willing but it is our flesh that is weak. (Matthew 26:41 para)
Bottom line, we are never alone.
We never face a battle by ourselves. And quite frankly, I can be a train wreck at times. But I have a HOLY FATHER who can put me back together than I was before, heal me where I am broken, and get me back on the right path. I just need to look at my FATHER at all times and know that GOD will never forsake me, leave me stranded. Not death, life, angels, heavenly rulers, temptations, things of the present, the past or the future will EVER separate me from the LOVE of the LORD! Amen!
LEAVE THAT COMFORT ZONE in FAITH
Normally, I work strictly from an office, my home office. Me and my computer humming away- yes my computer hums.
I am comfortable there in front of my emotionless screen and keyboard.
GOD has other plans.
Lately, I have been pushed out of my cushy comfort zone into nerve-provoking scenarios.
And you know what? It’s not so bad! And you know what else? I’m not alone!
I was driving to an appointment and had fear about a meeting. And I started thinking of all of the Bible stories where the LORD is with those who conquered their foes. No matter how small they were in comparison or how ill-equipped they were; winning occurred because the LORD promises to hold us UP!
So, whatever you are facing... remember it took only a stone to defeat Goliath, or did it? Hmmmm, more like a stone packed with a whole lot of faith and the power of the LORD!
We all have that!
Overcome... you got this with GOD!
I NEED TO LET GO
Ughh! Why is it that I have trouble letting go? I mean, all of my life I have felt responsible to “handle” all things. As if..
Oh, I complained and wanted help. I made silent threats in my head of just leaving it all. Ha!
All the while, right in front of me was the answer, is the answer!
Open my ears LORD! Shut them to the lies of the past that are feeding my motivation of the present. Teach me FATHER to let YOU! To really rely on YOU.
I’m tired of playing the tug-a-war. THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD.... it is time I rest in HIM.
Order my steps LORD..... I’m ready to let go!
We all get mad. Anger is red hot! If we let it, it can consume us and send us down a slippery slope.James 1:19 advises us to be “slow to anger”. And then further down in verse 20, it goes to say that “anger does not produce the righteousness that GOD desires”
Okay.... so perhaps your spouse ticks you off; or something one of your kids does, infuriates you.
Maybe you were reprimanded at work for something that was not even your doing? It could even be that you were betrayed and just reeling from the pain.
So, how do we stop the anger? Well, perhaps that part is difficult.
However, we do not have to act out in our anger, right?
Yeah, yeah... Deni... but I get so mad and my mouth starts going and my fists swing in the air. This self-control thing is really hard!
I believe that self-control is one of the fruits of the spirit, right? And as a believer, we have free access to that.
So, what do I do?
Step back. Remove yourself from the angering situation. Pray. Breathe.
We live in a Google world, look up a verse about anger.
Talk to the LORD, ask for release.
Maybe, before you are able to do any of this, yes, old, old advice here: count to ten!
And you know what happens? You head off bad possibilities that can create hurt, regret, or worse, hurt to yourself or others!
We are NEVER alone. Even when it may seem we are, we just need to pick up the resources of the LORD that is freely given!
Do not sin in your anger! Look to JESUS. Pray for the self-control that is also within you, provided to you by the HOLY SPIRIT!
When I shop, which I am not a fan of,(I know, I am the exception), I inevitably pick the cashier-line that moves the slowest. And the one where the cashier is just about growling at everyone.
Patience is not one of my strong points. Add that to my dislike of shopping and it is a wonderful pairing. No, not really!
There are those times where I stand on the rock of the LORD and extend smiles, friendly chat and patience (Yes, that in itself is a miracle).
And then there are the others where I sigh, criticize the cashier and do all I can do to hold in my thoughts from spilling out of my mouth!
I am learning to try a new way. Leaning on CHRIST to carry me through.
Ok, you are probably saying “Deni, really? Bringing CHRIST into such a trivial situation??
My reply is yes! I want to bring CHRIST into ALL my situations.
We do not know who we touch each day. We do not know the circumstances of the person we pass as we walk; the cashier at the grocery store, the mom standing in line with her child at the school, the co-worker who is quiet with a smile..... we do not know what kind of challenge they face? Sickness? Financial strife? Relationship gone sour? Drug addiction?
And you know what? Extending a smile, a kind word actually does go a long way. It may even make a huge difference. You may not know it, you probably won’t receive a smile back or even a word..
Remember this though....Colossians 3:12 exclaims “So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;”
We are not told “only when the circumstance allows” or when kindness is shown to us- nope.... we put on a heart of kindness always!
We may not know the impact of that kindness to another but GOD does!
We may not know the impact of that prayer extended, but GOD does!
So, today - I ask:
FATHER, cloak me with kindness, love and mercy for whom all I encounter today in spite of how I may feel.
TRUTH Equals FREEDOM
Not telling the truth is the same as being a liar.And I know, I can hold my own dirty little secrets inside to protect them until they eat away at the insides of me like maggots on spoiled food.
We are as sick as our secrets, as it is said.
And funny, half the time, we spend so much effort in hiding, thinking we are presenting a different picture to the world - when often, what we hide is already known.
So who do we hide from?
Well, I hide from me. I push down the wretched thoughts, the hurts, hang-ups and think they are gone.
However, it don’t work that way. They bubble up. And often a habit is created in order to continue to keep it from the surface!
We stuff our deep hurts with food, or drown them in drink and drugs.
Or, if you are similar to me, you cleave to others.
Enmesh, and embed in the their lives, to keep my eyes shut tight so as not to face what’s eating me up.
I had an aha moment.
What or whom does it serve to hide? So busy covering our smut up that we become the smut. It begins to define us and defile us.
GOD sees it! There is no such as hiding (even when trying to hide from our own eyes), where the LORD does not become front-seat!
Yet, there is another piece.
We don’t have to protect our sin, hide it or pretend it is not there.
We do not have to be as sick as our secrets!
We. Can. Let. GO.
JESUS CAME TO FREE US- but we gotta let HIM!
Psalm 107:10-16 poetically describes freedom from self-imposed hells...
“Some of you were locked in a dark cell,cruelly confined behind bars,
Punished for defying God’s Word,for turning your back on the High God’s counsel--
A hard sentence, and your hearts so heavy and not a soul in sight to help.
Then you called out to God in your desperate condition and he got you out in the nick of time. He led you out of your dark, dark cell,
broke open the jail and led you out.
So thank God for his marvelous love for his miracle mercy to the children he loves;
He shattered the heavy jailhouse doors; he snapped the prison bars like matchsticks!”
THE LORD CAN TAKE OUR SINS THAT ARE CRIMSON RED AND MAKE THEM WHITE AS SNOW!
We just gotta let go! Who are you fooling? Who are we thinking we are hiding from?
GOD ALWAYS HAS A PLAN
Mathew 27:46 “About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli,[a] lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).”JESUS was perfect! HE embodied all that is good. HE gave HIMSELF UP to extreme torture. HIS pain, unfathomable.
Unlike, criminals and other degenerates that were killed in that inhumane and tortuous way; JESUS had the power to make it stop!
But. JESUS. didn’t!
Because there was a plan to be fulfilled! CHRIST loved us so much that HE endured.
The pain HE was accepting was symbolic of all of our sins. JESUS came to redeem us.
However, in HIS exnruciable pain, HE cries out to the FATHER, “why have YOU forsaken me?”
Lately, (and my pain is not even minutely comparable to what JESUS was going through), I have been feeling left and alone....forsaken!
Then..... my aha moment!
GOD never leaves us.
Just because things are not lining up the way I want, in the time I am expecting (which is usually in the immediate); here I am crying out to the LORD. I am sad. Scared.
However, GOD has a perfect plan.
John Piper puts it like this “it was all going according to plan. All of it was the fulfillment of Scripture — even the worst of it was the fulfillment of Scripture, and that moment was probably the worst moment in the history of the world, and it was Scripture-fulfilled.”
JESUS came to save me. All of our sins is embodied in the torture and horrid pain HE is experiencing.
Any pain or discomfort or sadness, challenges, or hard times that we may face is pale in comparison to what our SAVIOR does for us.
Yet, JESUS continues through!
I, wanna give up! I cry out to the LORD, “take me home” when I am feeling overwhelmed by the minutiae.
I remember two things -One, is that because of JESUS, GOD has not forsaken me, HE is always there and loving me and holding me. GOD has a perfect plan and timing for all things!
Once again, I remember: I can endure all through CHRIST who gave everything to me so I can have enduring hope!