God’s Promises Shape Our Lives, #3

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God’s promises are more than words on a page. His promises sustain us throughout our life and throughout eternity. His promises are our assurance that He will never leave us or forsake us.

Lisa Blair

God’s promises blanket all aspects of our lives. He is the author of Creation, and as such, addressed our lives in totality. I was in prayer one day and reading the Bible and came across the Promises Index in Charles Stanely’s Life Principles Bible. God often speaks to me and in His quiet voice instructed me to write about His promises. And, of course wiith all instructions He identified which promises He wanted me to write about.

This entry highlights three areas that fall within His promises for protection, which are promises as our defense, as our refuge, and as our security. His promises take precedence over our experiences. We can rest assured that we are protected by our Lord and Savior despite what we may be going through. Our faith in His Word as all truth ensures us that He is always present, leading us down the path to safety. He promises to always protect us.

As our Defense

God protects us by surrounding us with a shield, and a hedge of protection. He provides refuge and a place of rest. When we think of His provision for our defense and rest in this truth, we are protected regardless of what we are experiencing, we are able to rest in peace as He provides a way out of no way.

Psalm 5:12 NIV

Surely, Lord, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield.

Proverbs 30:5,6 NKJV

Every word of God is [a]pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him.

Ephesians 6:13 NIV

Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

As our Refuge

Psalm 9:9 NIV

The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.

Isaiah 41:10 NIV

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Isaiah 43:2 NIV

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.

Our God is an awesome God. He knew what we would go through before we were born. He knew the hardships and pain we would suffer, yet He knew that if we trusted Him, He would provide shelter, refuge, food, clothing, our sanity, and meet our daily needs. All He asks is that we trust Him in the face of darkness. He will bring us out of despair and into the light of day, stronger and better than when we were struck with the unknown.

As our Security

Psalm 55:22 NIV

Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.

Psalm 48:14 NKJV

For this is God, Our God forever and ever; He will be our guide even to death.

I particularly like the 91st Psalm as my go-to scripture to surround me with His protection when I feel vulnerable, when I want to place a hedge of protection around my family and home (refuge), and when I need God’s assurance. It seems to sum up all of the verses above.

God is our hope, protection, banner and peace. Call upon Him in times of uncertainty and trouble. You may feel lost, you may in a position when you sense your world is crumbling, that is when you most need to run to your refuge knowing God will bring you through.

Acting premptively, I put on all the Armor of God (Ephesians6:10-18), and read the 91st Psalm to secure my family and home within God’s structure of safety. It’s also my way of opening my daily dialogue with Him. How do you begin your own? Do you begin your day on your own or in lockstep with our Savior?

Resources: Life Principles Bible. Charles Stanley; biblegateway.com

Images: Goggle Images; LAB Photos

God’s Promises Shape Our Lives, #2

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Only God is our Strength.

~ Lisa Blair

God wants us to experience His supernatural insight and wisdom. So often we awaken and find ourselves in the dark. Life has shifted and we are no longer in control. A question that will have to be answered another time, but one to be pondered, were we ever in control? I hope not, because if I am in control, then the Lord is not in control. I pray that I will always depend upon Him.

The most important thing in our life is the ability to pray. God is always with us, and prayer is a way to communicate with Him. As long and we are in communication, our lives are calm, even in the midst of the storm. Perhaps you will recall the story about the disciples in the storm, worried that they would drown. The sea was becoming more violent and the waves higher. Jesus was asleep in the boat. They woke Him and told them they were going to die. Jesus replied, ” ‘You of little faith, why are you so afraid?’ Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.” (Matthew 8:26, NIV)

The disciples had the benefit of living with Jesus. We have the same benefit, but our relationship is supernatural. We cannot see Him in person, but when we pray, we can feel His presence. In the Book of Genesis, God referred several times to ‘we’ and ‘us.’ Jesus and the Holy Spirit were with God as they created the heavens, earth, plant and animal life, and us. They are always there, waiting for you to communicate with them.

This brings us to the God’s Promises for Strength.

Psalm 31:24

“Be of good courage, and He shall STRENGTHEN your heart, all you who HOPE in the Lord.

God exhorts us to be encouraged and feel assured that He will never leave us or forsake us. He wants us to have strength even in the greatest distress. C.H. Spurgeon penned – God strengths us in many ways,

“He may do so with a cheering promise. “He shall strengthen your heart.” God alone can do this.

1. Sometimes by gracious providences.

2. By the kindly fellowship of friends.

3. By a precious promise.

4. Beside all that, God the Holy Spirit has a secret way of strengthening the courage of God’s people, which none of us can explain. Have you never felt it? You may have gone to your bed, sick at heart, “weary, and worn, and sad,” and you wake in the morning ready for anything. Perhaps, in the middle of the night, you awake, and the visitations of God are manifested to you, and you feel as happy as if everything went the way you would like it to go. Nay, you shall be more happy that everything should cross you than that everything should please you, if it be God’s sweet will. You feel a sudden strengthening of your spirit, so that you are perfectly resigned, satisfied, prepared, and ready. (C. H. Spurgeon.)

So you see, God who is omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient is the n control. He works through the Holy Spirit to strengthen us and give us wisdom and directions. He also works through people we know and may not know but were encouraged to help. For example, I was driving home one evening from work, and was driving through a rotator and saw a woman on the side of the road with a sign asking for help. I was not in the lane close to her, nor could I stop, so I kept driving. As I was leaving the area, God requested that I go back and give her $20. Twenty dollars was a lot at that point in my life, so I tried to ignore Him. He would not stop, ten minutes later, I turned around and went back to the rotator, got in the right lane, stopped traffic, and gave her my last twenty dollars. Obedience is everything, my friend. When I got home, I opened the mail and received an unexpected check that allowed us to pay the rent on time and more. Now, you could say This could have been a coincidence, but God does not work that way, He works through divine providence. Why did I share this story, you may ask? Believing God’s promises provides the strength to follow His nudging. Sometimes He just wants you to be obedient when He calls despite your circumstances. Nudging is when He puts something on your heart. It is the atmosphere of peace that empowers you with the strength to forge forward and trust in the path He is laying before you. It is the fortitude to turn left when you planned to turn right, to accept a job you would never have taken because He is lining up a job you thought you were not qualified for, to accept a lesser home when you lost your home, to look at each day as the day He made and rejoice in it despite your current circumstances.

Psalm 41:1,3

“Blessed is he who considers the poor; the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble.” “The Lord will strengthen him on his bed of illness; you will sustain him on his sickbed.”

The story I shared was an example of being obedient to help the poor. In times like this, I recite, ‘but for the grace of God, there go I.’ This scripture is rich in identifying God’s strength and focuses on strength during times of illness. Charles Stanley wrote in his Life Lessons that, “In this fallen world, we all get sick at some point. Some struggle with it often, some not much as all. But whenever we fall ill, God invites us to trust in His strength and to pray for recovery.”

Psalm 50:15

“Call upon Me in the day of trouble. I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.”

Matthew Poolenconveyed in his commentary that, ” In the day of trouble” ; when the day of trouble comes, do not avoid it by ‘sinful shifts’ relying on a quick but questionable means to find relief, rather give glory to God and rely on His promises for resolve. God will deliver you out of trouble. We in turn should praise God for our deliverance. Some say, and I believe, that we should praise Him before He answers our cry for strength and resolve of the troubles we are experiencing. Faith requires that we believe in our heart that God’s promises are the only truth that ascribes the glory of deliverance to God. He gives us strength in times of trouble.

Nahum 1:7

“The Lord is good. A stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knows those who trust Him.”

God is good to His children and will always provide a stronghold, refuge, and a way out of no way. You can put your trust in the Lord, acknowledging that His Promises never fail. His promises always provide the strength to see you through the worst of times. His strength protections us in times of uncertainty, feelings of hopelessness, and being defeated.

Mark 10:27

“But Jesus looked and them and said, With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.”

Abbott, writes that although it transcends human power to change the fixed characteristics of avarice and selfishness to benevolence and piety, there is no limit to the control exercised over the heart by the Spirit of God. If God can convince a rich person to give up their riches, or in today’s terms, yield their wealth and denounce their dependence on their wealth to trust in Him, what more can He do for us? Image what He can do to and for those of us that are not part of the wealthy class. God seeks relationship, dependence, and allegiance to Him. He provides us with the strength to endure during difficulties and rest on His word as He works things out according to His plan.

Matthew 12:9

“My grace is sufficient to you, for My STRENGTH is made perfect in weakness.” “Therefore, most gladly, I will rather boast in my infirmities that the poser of Christ may rest upon m.””

Charles Stanley. Life Lessons, explains this scripture this way, ” The gospel is full of seeming contradictions. If you want to be first, you must be last. If you want to save your live, you must lose it. And, if you want to be strong, you must glory in your weakness.

You must glory in your weakness. You must never weaken and doubt, succumbing to your circumstances and lose hope. Your STRENGTH lies in your dependence on God’s promises.

Resources: Biblehub.com; dailyverse.knowing.jesus.com. Biblestudytools.com. Biblestudylight.org. Biblegateway.com. Charles Stanley Life Principles Bible. NKJV

Images: LAB PHOTOS

Don’t Be a Wimp!

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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

Images: Google images

God Is Our Protection

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God is faithful through the storms and the beach days in the sun. He is our protection

~ Lisa Blair
Roger Coles. Bible.com

I remember being a child and frightened of thunder, very young, or having a nightmare, a little older, my first response was to run into the arms of my mother. She was my harbor, my rock, and my safety. The waves could roar and toss me to and for, but they could not break me or crush me. As I grew into adulthood, I always felt her strength and safe harbor when speaking to her on the phone about issues I was experiencing. She always had a calming effect, an aura of peace that extended to me.

Just think, if we feel safe from the love of a parent, how much more pronounced the experience when we run to God brokenhearted and feeling crushed. He is our Savior, our rock, and our remedy for the attacks of uncertainty.

Thank God, when this world attempts to break our heart and crush our spirit, we can rest in Him and faithfully know He has surrounded us with His love, and through this, His strength.

God is faithful through the storms and the beach days in the sun. He is our protection, and we should run to Him. He is our refuge. We are not a people who remain brokenhearted or crushed. His love is greater, and like our human parents, shields us from the monsters under the bed.

God Wants Relationship—He Is Our Heart And Portion

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Why do we struggle to live what we believe is enough, until we reach rough terrain, or old age and realize, God is our strength and relying on self is futile?

~ Lisa Blair

Cuzco, Peru- DMorris

Headstrong/Free-will

God created a headstrong people and gave us free-will. Free-will is the option to choose to live a carnal life or a Godly life. God does not stand in our way, but instead allows us to make the decision to choose Him, and live a Godly, eternal life, or flail about on our own, destined to rot in hell.

As we hunger for true life, we begin to understand that only God can provide the comfort we seek. Once we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior, the comfort and strength we seek come through the Holy Spirit, who instantaneously takes up residence in us, and becomes our inner man.

It’s mind-boggling to think that even as Christians, who have surrendered our lives to Christ, still find it difficult to be obedient and dependent upon Him. If you are, or were, like me and so many others, we were raised to be independent, to forge ahead relying on our own decision-making abilities, and take the bull by the horns.

Hearts and Bodies Fail, Death is Inevitable

The truth is, our bodies and minds fail us time and time again. At some point, we become exhausted, and we search for strength and realize we must rely on God, who is our eternal strength. There is no other, especially self that can release the fear, and the weakness felt when our bodies and minds fail, in life and death.

The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. Psalms 18:2 KJV


God is our Rock, in Him, and only Him, do we have strength. When we realize He has given us options, we also realize free-will truly means surrender and not persevering on our own. It means relying on His strength to see us through.

Again, I emphasize, free-will has two sides. God wants us to choose to either accept Him as our Lord and Savior, thus being in relationship with Him and being insured of eternal life/salvation, or remain where we are in sin moving forward blindly.

The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. Proverbs 16:9 ESV

Complete Surrender

When we fully and completely surrender, there is clarity in understanding that it is attached to obedience and dependency upon God’s Word. What seems confusing to many is that surrender is two prong and relies on total obedience and dependence upon Him. It does not mean we should enter into a catatonic state and wait for God to move us like a chess piece, it means to go to Him in prayer and ask for guidance while planning. It means learning his Word through reading the Bible and strengthening your relationship with Him. Once we begin to move down His path, we understand that we should not stray to the left or the right but to listen to His quiet, strong voice and allow Him to inform our decision-making.

God’s Will and His Way

Quite often, His plans for our lives are different than ours. How many of you have had wealth, prestige, and career opportunities that in your carnal world were exciting and clearly placed you on the path of success? Likewise, how many of you also heard God’s quiet voice saying, ‘stay with me, this is not your path’? God is the source of our happiness, not wealth, not public acclaim, not the clamor of friends, but relationship with Him. Knowing God is your strength is knowing that He alone is your supreme joy and that He is your friend and portion, now and forever.

If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority. John 7:17 ESV

Only God can give strength and comfort in the present and on our deathbed. Our flesh will always fail, but God is the strength of our soul and gifts us with eternal salvation. In health and in weakness, we should always attempt to persevere to walk in His Will and His Way, not our own. Without God, our life is only a self-inflicted burden without direction or cause. Without God in life and in death, we remain orphans, naked-without His covering, unprotected, and subject to eternal death. We remain portionless forever.

References – Studylight.org, Barnes Notes, Psalms 73:26

Scriptures- Biblegateway.org

Images – Pixby, Free Google Images, DMorris