The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? ~ Psalm 27:1
This devotion is from, Grace for the Moment: Inspirational Thoughts for Each Day of the Year, by Max Lucado. 2000
Jesus says the options are clear. On one side there is the voice of safety. You can build a fire in the hearth, stay inside, and stay warm and dry for what you don’t try, right? You can’t fall if you don’t take a stand, right? You can’t lose your balance if you never climb, right? So don’t try it. Take the safe route.
Or, you can hear the voice of adventure-God’s adventure. Instead of building a fire in the hearth, build a fire in your heart. Follow God’s impulses. Adopt the child. Move overseas. Teach the class. Change careers. Run for office. Make a difference. Sure it isn’t safe, but what is?
Don’t let life pass you by, each day is a blessing, each day is a day you can accomplish something new. If not an adventure around the world, take a different route to you destination. Read something different. Enjoy viewing the majesty of the world through God’s eyes, it is always brighter and peaceful even in the midst of the storm. Take a breath and step out of your norm.
Life is full, enjoy it. Remember, you never walk alone-with Christ in you.
“Only God can quell the noise of chaos attacking our minds.”
~ Lisa Blair
Are you experiencing a cacophony of inner (chaotic) noise? I think every human in the world is or has recently experienced internal noise. We live in uncertain times and feel we no longer have control over our lives and that of our loved ones. We think we are losing our minds. PAUSE. We have to take command of our sanity and quell the noise that creates inner chaos. Chaos is the result of the external disorder. Satan’s purpose is to destroy our relationship with the Lord and do it through the means of this earth, those things that are temporal and control the circumstances of life.
Do not allow him to destroy your relationship with the Lord or your inner continence and peace. Focus on the Spirit of God, which is internal and eternal. The Holy Spirit lives in us. He can direct our path if we are silent and rely on Him, and not the dissidence the evil one orchestrates to destroy us.
Steps To Quell the Chaos
1. Dress yourself each morning in your Armor of God attire. Put on the Helmet of Salvation. It is part of the Armor of God.*
The Helmet of Salvation holds the thoughts, feelings, and purpose of God’s heart in your mind. Our mind is essential because it houses our perspective of who you are in Christ. If the evil one can attack your mind, he attacks who you are in Christ and weakens your resolve to dispel or reject the chaos he stirs relentlessly in our minds. “Salvation provides a unique perspective on who we are” as Christians. (The Full Armor of God. Larry Richards. 2013.)
2. Sit in silence.** Give God time to evacuate your mind flooded with Satan’s chaos. Let him extricate all airway messaging.
Satan does not like silence because silence is where the Lord dwells. He creates noise, dissension, and destruction. It is, therefore, essential to sit in silence and allow the Lord to speak to you.
3. Turn off the news; it is harmful and weakens your inner peace allowing chaos to enter and reign.
Satan is in control of the airways. Shut him out by turning off the radio, television, and social media. These are his tools to control your atmosphere and create a sense of hopelessness, despondency, and failure.
4. Once your inner sanctuary has been swept and sanitized, continue meditating and praying regularly, especially when you begin to feel hopeless, depressed, and doubtful about your future and the future of this world.
We can live in perfect peace, or we can choose to allow chaos to overwhelm our lives. When life becomes challenging, remind yourself that you must Amour Up each morning by dressing in the Whole Armor of God. I place my Helmet of Salvation on first, followed by the other parts of the armor. Once I am dressed, I take the first few minutes of the day to quiet my mind and body and begin the morning with God. Chaos is an option for Christians. Do you choose chaos or the peace that is greater than our understanding, being steadfast, *** relying on our Lord to fight our battles, meet our needs, and provide a way out when you do not see a way out?
““Be still and now that I am God,” the first half of Psalms 46:10, is a popular verse used to encourage believers to be still and silent before the Lord. This interpretation promotes a healthy rest in the presence of the Lord.” (Christianity.com, What Does ‘Be Still and Know I am God’ Means in Psalms 46:10? By Joel Ryan)
In closing, Cherie Hill writes, “When you begin first thing in the morning, you set the stage for your day. Through your praise, you establish a firm foundation of faith, and you can face whatever you must with courage, strength, wisdom, patience, and peace. I tell you that joy comes in the morning because you will find God’s mercy there.”**** IHe Whispers Your Name by Cherie Hill)
Scriptures (YouVersion. Bible.com)
* Ephesians 5:13-18 NKJV
“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. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—”
** Psalms 62:5-8 NIV
“Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.”
*** Isaiah 26:3,4 NIV
“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.”
**** Psalms 59:16
“But I will sing of your strength in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble.“
If we are not careful, we can become spiritual wimps willing to accept whatever we hear, follow idols, and disconnect from the grip of Jesus’ hand.
~ Lisa Blair
“Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all that you do be done with love.” 1 Corinthians 16:13-14
Paul wrote 1st Corinthians, and in 16:13,14, he states, that we must always beware of our surroundings, and to have a watchful eye. He is cautioning us, Do not be a wimp, easily swayed. We are not to walk around blindly, ignoring everything around us. The blind are easy prey. Far too often, we fall into the traps of the evil one because we are not alert. Case in point, my husband and I began watching a supernatural series, before we know it demons entered the story. We finished watching the episode, and in the end, we both made the same statement at the same time. We acknowledged the theme was demonic in nature and was portrayed in such a way as to lure you in. We knew we shouldn’t watch the TV series. Why did we come to this conclusion? God commands us to be vigilant and not be seduced by evil. When we watch these types of shows or movies, we are opening a gateway into our soul. It sounds extreme, but what we view and listen to either strengthens our resolve or begins to weaken it. These types of fruit begin to rob us of our vision. Galatians 5 reads, the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh. The works of the flesh are listed in Galatians 5:19-21.
Jesus gave sight to the blind. We were blind before we received Him as our Lord and Savior. We were subject to the wiles of the evil one highlighted in Galatians 5:19-21. However, once we were saved, the Holy Spirit took up residence in us. It is His voice that awakens us to the attacks of the world around us. It is our responsibility to listen, study the Word, and stay awake. Why, because, at least in my experience, He often uses scripture to warn us. The scripture provides the necessary information to assist us in living spiritually and not carnally, hosting false idols, which includes watching television programs that degrade the spirit.
Further, Paul writes in Ephesians, we are to stand firmly in place, and not to become comfortable on a spiritual rollercoaster, ignoring the clues that we are beginning to walk to the left or right of God’s plan for our lives. He tells us to act like adults, not children. He urges us to grow in wisdom, stature, and favor. Jesus encourages us to act like him. There is an old commercial, the catchphrase is, give it to Mickey, he will eat anything. Are you a Mickey when it comes to the Word? Are you gullible? If someone begins speaking to you spiritually, do you fact check, or do you blindly follow the rhetoric? Paul writes that Satan knows the Bible better than we will ever know it. He will deceive you by modifying the Word to meet His needs. It began in the Garden of Eden and became more pronounced and conniving as the evil one travels through time. He will become more proficient throughout our days on earth and through the End-times when he is finally destroyed.
Until the End-times, we are commanded to be strong, admit our weaknesses, and ask God to strengthen us so we can stand in a world that is wrought with sin, idol worship, lies, and cheating. However, do not be naïve, our strength is no match for Satan’s power, and we cannot win the battle alone. We need Christ in our lives to protect us and guide us in the ways to overcome the strength of the evil one.
And, above all else, we are to do all things in love as Jesus modeled for us. He stood against the evil one, the idol worshippers, the leaders that used the law, God’s, and man’s to further his own ends. Doesn’t this sound like the world we live in today? The talk often sounds like the Word, but in fact, has been either misinterpreted, used in the wrong context, or is a flat-out lie. The problem is, we are often slowly indoctrinated, much like cult leaders convince us that they and only they know the Word and the way.
We hang out with the wrong people, listen to the wrong music, watch the wrong television shows, movies, and news, and suddenly we are sliding down the slippery slope. We slowly lose our footing in the Word, and we no longer stand on solid ground. Today our sin nature is being empowered, our greed overpowers our thinking, and we are much like the grass that sways in the direction of the wind. The things of this earth tempt us. If we are not careful, we can become spiritual wimps willing to accept whatever we hear, follow idols, and disconnect from the grip of Jesus’ hand. Do you find yourself becoming a wimp? Jesus taught us to stand, stay strong, and exude love in all things. Today, more than ever, we need to adhere to His Word and stand firm in the face of the wiles of this earth.
Resources: biblegateway.com; libertylive.church; bible study tools.com
While skimming through the news the other day, a thought became perfectly clear. God is reversing life as we know it. He is placing first things first. The conglomerates are losing power as the pandemic continues to cleanse life as we know it by fire. There are no stones that will be left unturned. Life as we knew it are gone.
This is a lost year, and quite often transitions occur in the darkest of moments. Yes, we are losing and lost, personal freedoms, family, homes, jobs, in short, our normal way of life. Nations were insular and citizens and economies differed. Then the pandemic hit everyone and everything in the world. We have become victims of the same sweeping pandemic. We have all been placed in the same or similar circumstances, life is foreign to all people. We are in the midst of a global tectonic shift, physically, economically, and most importantly, spiritually, it is uneasy terrain to navigate, but life goes on.
In the year of lost time, that is – time requiring the least out of us physically and mentally, where should we invest our time? Do we dwell on the problems, or spend time strengthening our relationship with the Lord, and investigating who we really are in Christ? Was our past life (life before COVID) devoid of Christ? Did we spend time with Him or give lip service? Did we share our Christian story with others or keep it the best kept secret? Have we shared Christ with our children and other family members? Did we delve into the Bible and study the Word?
Trisha Bernal wrote, “I have not chosen this path, but for some reason God allowed us to be here.” The point is, we are here. Why, only God knows, but what do with this time? Do we see it through spiritual eyes as a gift, a time for growth, or do we see it through the eyes of disaster? There are stories in the Bible where life changed forever. People were Led or fled from their homes, their farms, the cattle and sheep ranches. They were separated from family and friends; they lost loved ones; and didn’t know where to sleep or acquire food. They were broke and devastated. Many of us find ourselves in the same or similar circumstances brought on COVID19.
This is a time to look at the stories in the Bible, learn how people persevered despite the gravest of circumstances. Did they fall into depression, many did. Did they see the way to milk and honey, no. Did their faith strengthen and ground them, perhaps, at some point most were affected as we are today. Did we choose this path, no. Most of us went to bed one night and awoke in a different, frightening world. A world with an invisible, deadly enemy. The world all but stopped upon its arrival.
The reality is that the world is not and can not go back to the ‘old’ normal. It is forever gone. Lingering in thoughts of yesterday only weakens our prospects for today and tomorrow. An important scripture to post around the house is, “Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own trouble.” Matthew 6:34 NKJV
Holding on to our faith despite what we see with our human eyes is the pivotal change that will impact our future. We can waste this (valuable) time and spend time worrying, or we can trust that God will do what is best for us and praise Him in this time of waiting. Brenda Walsh wrote, “Living in limbo is stressful if you’re not walking with Jesus. Sometimes God allows us to have cloudy vision, where we can’t see where our next step is, in order to bring us to a place where we are totally leaning on Him.”
It is during these times that we must persevere in patience through faith. We have been called to a time such as this. I know we are tempted to grow weary, angry, and desperate. When we reach the point of total loss, cry out to God and tell Him You don’t know which way to turn, and the Lord will respond, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give your rest.” (Matthew 11:28 NIV) our Lord will never leave us or forsake us, “the eyes of the LORD your God are always on it (the land) from the beginning of the year to the end of the year.” (Deuteronomy 11:12 AMP)
Once we reach this place in our walk, we will have tried all the things we know to do to salvage what has been lost, to no, or little avail. We will fall to our knees and surrender to our Lord wholeheartedly. We will become dependent upon Him and He will respond in love, He will restore what we lost, perhaps in a different form and prepare us to walk in His brave new world.
We are told to pray and not be a coward, faint, lose heart, or give up. We must run the race that God has marked out for us. In prayer He will guide us, direct our path, meet our needs, love us and comfort us.
So, back to what do you plan to do during this lost year? It is a year where introspection will not get placed on hold, nor will it get side-streamed. Whether you are sheltered-in-place by yourself, with your spouse or significant other, a pet, or children. God has given you the gift of time. He carved it out of the disaster the pandemic has caused. We can either give up and give in as the evil one strategically manipulated to separate us from everything we have acquired, or we can stand strong in our faith, establish or re-establish our relationship in the one and only God who lived on this earth, took our sin an our burdens, was beat on the Cross, loves us and has countless times before, made a way out of no way, leading us to still waters, and green pastures.
Closing thought – Brenda Walsh wrote, following God’s will usually leads us out of our comfort zone—which teaches us to be totally dependent on Him. Despite how we arrived where we are, we are definitely out of our comfort zone. We may consider 2020 a lost year, but our Lord considers it a time of growth and reclamation. During this time of sequestered life, don’t sit and fret, spend time with the Lord and grow your faith. He will walk all who follow Him into the new tomorrow.
Resources – Trisha Bernal, FaceBook. Miracles for Malachi; Germaine Copeland, Prayers that Avail Much; Brenda Walsh, Strength for Today.
In this life the light of the Lord emanates through us. The Holy Spirit dwells in us and is light. Externally it derives from the sun and the moon, casting light upon the earth (Genesis 1:3-5). But glory be to God, when we are in our eternal resting place, the light of the Lord will be upon us. There is no need for the sun or moon. The light of the Holy Lamb is ablaze throughout our heavenly city, there is no need for rotation of the earth, where the sun and moon cast day and night, fore, we were never of the earth, only in it for a time. God is light (Revelations 21:9-11; 22-23).
“One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal.
I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.” Revelations 21:9-11, 22-23 NIV