Comfort In Uncertainty

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When we are lost, we seek inward. When we are confused we seek God. Isn’t it amazing that we rely on Him and Him alone when things get tough.

~ Lisa Blair

Do you ever feel alone? Have you found yourself unable to figure things out? I have. We are in a time of uncertainty. We may have a job, roof our our head, and food on the table today, but uncertain about tomorrow, or you may have already been displaced as the result of the pandemic, loss of jobs, or storms, fires, or earthquakes. UNCERTAINTY IS THE TERM OF THE MOMENT. Absolutely nothing is as we understand it, but the WORD OF GOD. There is only one thing we can rely on and that’s His Word. It is our refuge, our safe haven, our tower against the storms of life.

The pandemic has ravaged the world as we know it. It has forced us to stop looking outward and begin looking inward at our relationship with God. I have met so many people who have been displaced from their pre-pandemic lives and have found freedom amongst the muck that has ravaged their lives.

Many are joining bible study Zooms, many are seeking introspection and their relationship with the Lord. Still others have decided to invest in themselves and not things, and are moving to less expensive cities and states. Many have regained connections with family members. And, many have found God and received Him as their Lord and Savior, hoping to come out of this in a strong relationship with our Father and a design for their futures that provide relationships outlined in the Bible as their basis for new life.

There is always a silver lining in every cloud. The timing for its appearance is governed by God. He knows the plans He has for us to prosper us and give us strength. He will provide for our basic needs as we travel through tough times, blessings will appear in many forms. Awareness of his blessings small and large were often overlooked and assumed to be something we made happen in the past. I think, for many, we are just beginning to recognize that our blessings come from God to meet all of our needs.

As we move forward, our lives may look different, we are shedding the past, those things that became idols and stole our time from the Lord. The new day will clearly focus on God and our relationship with Him. Our lives will experience His inner peace. We will find calm in the middle of storms, and we will be surrounded by His Grace and Mercies.

Images – Google Images

Committed To Night Fishing?

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“As Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, He noticed two brothers, Simon who was called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen.”
‭‭MATTHEW‬ ‭4:18‬ ‭AMP‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

How tentative are we to follow Christs’ instructions to do something different than our normal routine prescribes? Most of us find comfort in routine. Routines are safe, they may not produce the best results, but we find comfort in the process.

Simon was a fisherman, and knew the patterns of fishing, so when Christ told him to take his boat out into the water in the night skies and drop his nets, he was skeptical. Fishing at night was not his norm. His prior experiences caused him to pause when Christ instructed him against fishing as he normally did. Most of us feel discomfort when instructed to row out into the reverse known ebb and flow practices. There are times when we feel we are fishing in the darkness of night, not certain which direction to take. Are we any different than Simon, skeptical of altering how we function? The answer is yes and no.Yes, if it a planned, or a recommended detour, no if we are told to walk with Christ into the dark of night and drop our nets. Simon probably took a moment before he decided to trust Christ. We are no different and have to trust in the Lord, (kind of blind faith), knowing that He is teaching us to walk the same path as Him.

entrust yourself to Him; Do not fret (whine, agonize).”
‭‭PSALM‬ ‭37:7‬ ‭AMP‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

I used the term blind faith, as a metaphor. When we are in the darkness of night, our sight is limited. We can no longer see into the distance, all that we see is what lies directly before us. We become myopic and can not see the big picture. It is during the night that our gait is reduced and we look down more than up to make certain we do not trip or fall. We are skeptical of what is around us, and our current pattern is disrupted. The disruption causes us to pause and question new instructions, asking ourselves why, how is this going to affect me, what will I get out of this change?

Change is inevitable once you accept Christ as your Lord and Savior. Part of having faith is being dependent upon our Father, accepting that His ways are not our ways. We should at minimal have the same faith in Christ that He like our parents will protect us, guide us, and lead us in the right direction. Our faith in Christ allows us to row out into the darkness of life and throw out our net.

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, this is the way; walk in it.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭30:21‬ ‭NIV‬‬

We must learn to follow Simon’s leads and listen to God’s voice and obey when He instructs us to walk in the way He commands.

Let your eyes look directly ahead, and let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you.”
Proverbs 4:25

If we listen to Jesus’ instructions, instead of questioning them, it will not matter if it is night or day. It will not matter if the directions seem convoluted and misdirected according to our understanding. God is our Master and Teacher and His path and trajectory is not the same as ours. He is looking at (our) eternity, we look at what is before us and no further.

And He said, “ Follow Me [as My disciples, accepting Me as your Master and Teacher and walking the same path of life that I walk], and I will make you fishers of men.”
‭‭MATTHEW‬ ‭4:19‬ ‭AMP‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

We are all ministers and thus fishers of men. Wherever we go, whatever we do or say, there are onlookers observing how we act and how we respond in all situations. We cast our net into the water every day, we are just not aware of it. The prerequisites are: giving our life to Christ, not fearing His instructions and standing fast on the Word of God. Do you want to become a night fisherman like Simon?

Grace, Salvation, and Self-control

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God’s Promise – His grace offers salvation to all people

Let’s walk on the knowledge that, given the opportunity, God will direct our steps. What a relief for those of us who sometimes wander around in confusion set forth at the pronouncement of the day, forgetting that “this is the day the Lord has made” and instead wallow in the outcomes of the unknown.

Through the grace of God we have received salvation and in it, direction for our lives. We should awake, thank the Lord for awakening us into a new day, put on our Armor and ask for his direction through the common landmines presented throughout the day. This is not to imply that we should expect the worse. It is our statement of faith to know that our Lord shields us, carries us, and directs our paths to avoid what may come before us. Through grace, we can make the right decisions before we act.

To accomplish this, we cannot act prematurely first consult with the Holy Spirit that has taken residence in us. He will confirm whether our decision is in alignment with the Word.

Sometimes the Spirit will tell us to say ’NO,’ this is not the path, recalculate and offer alternative avenues in the group session, or the best path is not linear, a-b-c…z, but rather a-c-q-z (a PERT path). He helps guide our decision-making about all aspects of our life.

He has taught us not to anger, especially if when a car cuts us off on the freeway, or someone pushes ahead of us on the trolley/subway, or your coworker, classmate, brother, sister, friend, or associate says something hurting in the heat of the moment.

This is not a prosperity concept, life is not all rainbows. God protects us and fights our battles. But, (this is a big but) He also told us that we will suffer travails, challenges, loss and hurt. We will experience good times and bad. We will question where God is in those moments. He is saying, stand fast, wait for his quiet voice to lead each of us, stay in control during the heated moments, do not doubt, put all of your cares in his hands and know that He is God. The Holy Spirit will lead us, and we will rest in his peace.

When we face these times, we must rely on his promises and call them out to him reminding him that we are in relationship with him and rely on his Word. We must announce to the evil of the day, the wickedness brought on by Satan’s demons or our own poor judgment, ‘If God is with me, who can be against me?’ If he is with us, we know we can withstand the evil of the day, the depression of the unknowing, and the uncertainty of life. All he asks is that we put away our worldly passions and live a self-controlled life.

 

 

Images – Google Images

Thank you for spending time on my sites, if you like what you are reading, follow me, lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com and receive the daily inspirations in your inbox, or visit my other site, youngchristianwarriors.com and subscribe.

 

 

Broken? The Lord Is With You

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God’s Promises – I am with you in your brokenness. I am with you when your spirit feels crushed.

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
Psalm‬ ‭34:18‬ ‭NIV‬‬

This morning my Pastor reiterated that the crucifixion of Christ was God’s demonstration that He loves us and sacrificed His Son to free us (paraphrased). Jesus was broken and crushed, not because he sinned, but to save us because we are sinners. Christ died to set us free. When we accepted Christ as our Lord and Savior, we were freed, ‘saved’ and filled with the Holy Spirit. when the Holy Spirit took up residence in us, we were given the right to walk in God’s authority and His power.

So what does this have to do with our being broken-hearted?

Broken-hearted is when we finally strip away our pride, our focus on self, and surrender to God saying, “not my will, but your will God.” It is when we stand up, crush our free-will, our worldly life, our flesh, and replace it with God’s Will.  It is staying ‘awake’ and corralling our carnal life, refashioning it to reflect the image of God who directs our paths.

Christ sacrificed his life for us and we, in turn, sacrifice our lives for Him. When we recognize the importance and purpose of His sacrifice for us, we are freed. Our Lord promised to always be close to us. He is with us when we are broken-hearted and when our spirit is crushed. We exist because of His righteousness.  We are never alone.

Images – Google Images

References – Bible.com

Thank you for spending time on my sites, if you like what you are reading, follow me, lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com and receive the daily inspirations in your inbox, or visit my other site, youngchristianwarriors.com and subscribe.

God’s Will, God’s Promises, Part 2

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My intention this past week was to move deeper into God’s Promises, categories for classification purposes, and how we apply them by yielding free-will to God’s Will for our lives. But after discussions about Free-will and Satan’s deceptions in our lives, it became clear that most of us do not clearly understand the magnitude of Satan’s scheme and deceptions, including me. I do not profess to know everything about them, but want to share what I do know  Why? If we cannot establish that his schemes exist, the magnitude of his deception, then we will never understand how free-will can adversely affect our lives or lead us to believe and accept God’s Will for our lives.

We live in layers of Deception

Deception is diabolical and innocent people fall prey to it daily, that includes you and me. When we fall prey, we fall into sin and thus temporarily out of God’s Will. I say temporarily because as we become more aware of Satan’s (schemes) deceptions, we are better able to stay in God’s Will and trust His Promises.

‘Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. ‘ Eph. 6:10-12 

Satan controls the airways and the things of this world. Eph 6:10, stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 2 Corinthians 4:4, ‘Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News.) I believe we can extend this to those who don’t believe and those that do not stand by the Word of God, those of us who acquiesce to the draw of this world.

Satan controls the way people think when we are not alert and focuses especially on Christians. How often have you become angered by a leader’s’ path that seems to have gone astray? Any leader, political, corporate, spiritual, or for that matter, anyone you know. When we are at odds with them, philosophically, ethically, or spiritually, we often become disgruntled by their intentions and perhaps, begin to hate their very existence. It is at this very point that we unknowingly are drawn into Satan’s camp.

Let’s unpack what happens when we hate

Many of us are or have become unsettled when our leaders, or those that impact our lives, seem to inspire behavior that we deem unacceptable. We dislike what we see, dislike what we hear, and we develop a hateful attitude and behavior that is inauthentic, misguided and perhaps even evil. When we allowed hate to dwell in us, we immediately separated ourselves from God’s Will. When we hate, we focus on the person and not what is guiding them. The adage, ‘hate the behavior and not the person,’ speaks to our failings as we find ourselves in the midst of the deception. Now, I’m not saying that we have to agree with the person or persons, I am simply saying that we have to discern who the real actor is manipulating the person, and most often it is Satan. Acting our of free-will is often Satan inspired. Yes, sometimes we humans act independent of the principality war, choosing to exercise our free-will rather than God’s Will, but regardless, we must stay awake and alert, our enemy walks the earth looking to devour us. He sets the stage to create chaos, battles, and war. He does not want us to examine ourselves. He wants us to exercise our free-will which leads to eventual destruction. We must be aware of the rise of destruction in our lives.

When lies, manipulations, bigotry, and hate become our acceptable norm, we fall from grace. We are no longer abiding by God’s Will. If we do not abide by His Will, we will not consider His Promises as Truth.

If we look into the heavenlies, we would see the principalities warring and would know that the above is counter to His Word which includes the Ten Commandments, the Fruit of the Spirit, God’s Will for our lives, and His Promises to us.

If we begin to naively believe the deceiver by accepting the deception, Satan has separated us from the Will of God. How does this happen? We feed the deception through our anger, our words, and our actions. Greed, access, control, and power cloud our thinking. We walk around with blinders on. We listen to the ‘nay-sayers’ and join the choir.  Our mind is home to spiritual warfare. When we relax, we open ourselves to the onslaught of the evil one.

The Trap

Do you know who gets caught in this trap? Believers get caught in the trap. It was designed for us. Believers often feel that as God’s children, we are immune to the wiles of the evil one. We are subtly persuaded to let down our guard, accept a little white lie, accept something we have not rightfully earned, spew harmful gossip, become intoxicated by flattery, manipulate people to do our bidding, go along with what is expedient and lucrative, and slip and slide trying to avoid getting caught. We wear our disguise as believers pretending to hold fast to the Word, but in reality, we are so intoxicated by deceptive values we begin to believe our own rhetoric, the rhetoric of the evil one.

Crossing The Line

We unwittingly cross the line. For example – when I was a child, my friend said, let’s steal some candy from the candy store. (One kid in your neighborhood always tried to get everyone else to join him in stealing candy.) I refused for a long time, but then the other kids said it’s easy, you can’t get caught, we do it all of the time. You’re just a scary-cat. I finally gave in, or I should say, caved in. I knew it was wrong but was tired of being on the outside. I stole some candy, but during and after stealing the candy, I felt so guilty that I could not enjoy it. But I knew that it was morally wrong to steal. I knew God’s Commandment, ‘do not steal,’ and I was convicted. I couldn’t rest, so I told my parents. They reprimanded me. My father took me to the store to tell the merchant what I did. (My Dad had spoken with the merchant earlier and they decided to ‘scare me straight.’) I thought I was going to jail. But the merchant accepted my apology and my $.25. My Dad and I went home. I thought it was over, but to my surprise,  I was punished for a week. (Just like our parents, God often chastises us for wrongdoing to help us learn the lesson.) Now, suppose I continued at this pace, the guilt would have subsided and this would have become my new norm. I would have unwittingly fallen prey to the deception – no harm, no foul. Fortunately, Sunday School and my parents prepared me for battle, and while I slipped (ah, free-will), the Holy Spirit helped me self-correct. You see, the soft, quiet voice was alive and active, and most importantly, I was in tune and could hear His voice. What experiences have you had that when you look back, you’ve been suckered into immoral, unethical situations? Think about them and identify where you faltered.

The Soft, Quiet Voice Speaks

People who ignore the quiet, soft voice of the Holy Spirit eventually become deaf and stop hearing His voice. When we stop hearing his voice, They fall into layers of deception: the loss of self-control, gentleness, kindness, honesty, peace, joy, love, and faithfulness(the Fruit of the Spirit, Galatians 5:22-23) leaves the void that is filled with the desires of this earth. The void is filled with new norms – greed, access, control, self-righteousness, power and camaraderie with those sharing the same belief.

Responsibility

It is our responsibility, as Christians, to pay attention to everything going on around us, to stay in the Word, and by being alert, ‘stand firm.’ Oh, if it was only that easy. As humans, we relax and let our guard down. When discomfort overwhelms us, we completely cave in, or we come to attention, get back up and realign ourselves with the Word. Some are able to take immediate action, others awaken much later, and still, others remain in the catatonic state of deception, all the while believing the lie that they are faith-filled Christians. Do you know how to get your footing back?

We do not have the luxury of being naive. The world is filled with unbelievers, misdirected believers, and wicked people; to think otherwise is to fall into deception. Our world is in great chaos, and we must make a decision as to where we stand.  I for one will stand and share the Good Word. Now that I know that free-will is not free but can lead me into the lake of destruction I relinquish my will in favor of God’s Will for my life. I fear being enticed by the world, forgo praying, and letting Satan escalate his plans for my eventual destruction. What do you fear? On whose side will you stand?

We cannot allow ourselves to be deceived by what we see or hear, remember the things of this earth below to Satan, and he intends to give this world an HD TV effect, brilliant lighting and effects. If we are going to discern the Truth, we must read and study the Scriptures in the Bible, pray and meditate on the Word on a daily basis. We must wear our spiritual (x-ray) goggles and view the deception for what it is, Satan’s failing attempt to kill, steal, and destroy.

In times such as this and especially in times of crisis, it is important to put on our battle gear, stay in prayer, and bombard the atmosphere with the Word, in the belief that we are the victors through Christ Jesus who died on the cross for us.

Websites – lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com; youngchristianwarriors.com;
biblestudytools.com

Scriptures – Bible.com, Biblegateway.com

Images – Google Images. Bible.com. LAB’s photo collection

Thank you for spending time on my sites, if you like what you are reading, follow me, lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com and receive the daily inspirations in your inbox, or visit my other site, youngchristianwarriors.com and subscribe.