We are weaponless and vulnerable without prayer. Being in prayer mode throughout the day strengthens our resolve and our relationship with Our Lord.
~ Lisa Blair
Prayer is needed at all times. It catalyzes, activates, everything that happens in life. It empowers us to persevere in difficulty, exude hope in all situations, and reside in a state of patience despite the prevailing circumstances.
It causes us to supplant blaming God, and reviling others for our current conditions with peace. It provides hope (in eternal life), enduring faith, and rest in knowing God is with us and will see us through this walk, called life.
It is crucial that we develop (our) practice of continual, persistent prayer. This means throughout the day, in good moments and uncomfortable times. Prayer can be as simple as calling on Christ, a single sentence or a long(er) dialogue. You can do it standing, sitting, on your knees, or prone on the floor. Your eyes can be open or closed. Your hands can be 🙏🏽 pressed together, or open.
Our God is good and receives us as we are in the moment, pleased that we invited Him into our heart.
We are called to rejoice in the Lord. And , have hope which is founded on faith, and faith on the Divinity of God.
Circumstances outside of our control often undo expectations and plans. Life is outside of our control. The pandemic is changing our lives. Life, as we planned, no longer exists.
Dreams have been dashed. Jobs and career positions have been lost, and the unknown remains bleak. That is the world nonbelievers live in; they created their own destiny and have nothing to rely on but themselves. However, believers rest on God’s Word. We did not create our own destiny; God gave us life and a path. Scripture declares, “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” Proverbs 16:3. If we trust in the Lord with all of our heart and lean not in our own understanding and submit to Him, He will make our paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6.
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you or forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6
I am not saying that we will not experience hardship and loss; we will. The difference between nonbelievers and believers is that we find comfort in knowing that God provides. Loss is temporary. Paths can be forged, and we do not fear death because we possess eternal life.
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 hand. Isaiah 41:10.
Our God sees us through the darkest moments, He directs our way, and carries us when we can no longer withstand the pressure. He told us He would never give us more than we can bear, though what we think we can carry and what He believes we can bear are two different things. It is during these moments He challenges us to be courageous, to have courage.
In times of great distress, we are challenged to grow. We are challenged to put His Word into practice. He tells us to depend on Him and not what we see. He tells us, all things work for the good for those who love Him and have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28.
All believers are called according to His purpose. Knowing this assures us that the darkest days are numbered, and we will once again see the light of day. This assurance proves our faith is stronger than our circumstances. It is stronger than our losses. Faith determines our new path, and can sure up the old. We are victorious. We have victory through our faith in Jesus Christ.
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about the things we do not see. Hebrews 11:1
We are overcomers. As long as we trust God, we can live in peace amid the storms of life. Internal peace is spiritual peace. You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast because they trust in you. Isaiah 26:3 We can face the loss and setbacks through the struggle. We can see God operating in our lives as minute details become visible of the signs He presents. When we put the pieces together, we can begin to see the bigger picture, much like viewing a crossword puzzle. Will all of the pieces arrive numbered like a do-it-yourself piece of furniture, no. Will we experience setbacks, yes. Will we give up and give in to the circumstances that many would say are crippling and can not be overcome, no. Philippians 4:13 affirms we can do all things through Him who strengthens us.
The author of 1 John 5:4 wrote For everyone born of God overcomes the world, and we achieve this victory through our faith.
Pandemics are outside of our control, but its outcomes are not outside of our Lord’s authority. This is the time we are called to stand, and as Ephesians 6:13 declares, having done all stand. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 tells us, God’s grace is sufficient for us, His power is made perfect in our weakness, and we should boast about our weaknesses so that Christ’s power may rest on us. Paul tells us when we are weak; we are strong.
Scriptures – Biblegateway.com; Images – Google Images
God is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent. He is all-powerful and invincible.
~ Lisa Blair
God is omnipotent. He is all-powerful and invincible. He created us and gave us life. He imparted free-will, empowering us to make our own decisions, and as humans, we regularly make decisions that are not in harmony with God’s nature. But our loving God does not retaliate. God cannot make decrees that exist outside of His nature.
We lie to protect ourselves and others, to hide truths, or to convince the world that we are something that we are not. God cannot lie, because to do so is in opposition to His nature. God is truth.
Even when we are unfaithful to ourselves, others, and most importantly to Him, God remains faithful. God is not human. He does not have a sin nature like we do and cannot be unfaithful to us. He is God.
During times such as these, we cannot become doubtful about who God is to us. God is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent. Now is not the time to question His authority because the world is wrought with a global pandemic. God is present in the midst of it all – where there is wickedness, God is present and prevails; where there are famine and homelessness, God is present and prevails; where there are illnesses, disease, and death, God is present and prevails.
God can do anything He pleases as long as it is in harmony with His nature.
God cannot lie. He cannot do anything that is in opposition to His nature.
When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself. Hebrews 6:13 NIV
God cannot approve of or overlook evil left unchecked. He cannot look at wickedness and allow it to exist in the universe in its original form.
Your eyes are too pure to approve evil, And You cannot look on wickedness with favor. Habakkuk 1:13 NASB
God cannot be unfaithful. He cannot deny Himself.
If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself. 2 Timothy 2:13 NIV
God can do anything that is in His nature. God cannot lie. God cannot overlook evil and wickedness. He cannot be unfaithful, and He cannot deny Himself. God commands us to be strong and courageous. He does not want us to be afraid or panic. For the Lord, our God will personally go ahead of us. He will neither fail us nor abandon us. He is present and will see us through all circumstances in life. He cannot forsake us; it is outside the harmony of His nature. (Paraphrased, Deuteronomy 31:6 NLT)
Resources – The Biography of God, Skip Heitzig; Bibleref.org; Biblegateway.org
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
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.
2 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
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.
Each day should be a demonstration of what Gods’ love does for us and through us. Let others see His light shine through you. After all, we have been charged with the responsibility to do so.
~ Lisa Blair
What is agape love, and why are Christians responsible for sharing it with others?
Agape love is the highest expression of love, it is selfless, pure, and unconditional. We are the recipients of God’s love, and as recipients of His love, we are freed through it. His agape love indwells in us in the form of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is our light that shines through us into the outside world. This love is demonstrated daily through our words, thoughts and actions. We can either interact using our carnal character, our attitude, as our guide, or display the virtues of Christ, that inform our behavior.
Jesus speaks about our attitude towards one another and how love is unconditional and expresses the nature of God, 1 John 4:8m NIV.
8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
The main reason unbelievers don’t see Jesus is because a veil is covering their hearts and their “spiritual eyes.” They cannot see Jesus through the veil. Their hearts are covered and their minds are blinded. Says who? Says God. He tells us in His Word, “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” (2 Cor. 4:4) [Christian Post, Dan Delzell, Contributor. Turning To The Lord Lifts The Veil. July 2013]
We are charged with and commanded to love. We can longer view the world, our family, friends, and associates through carnal (human) eyes. The veil has been lifted from our eyes. We are commanded to love unconditionally. We can no longer focus on situations, or circumstances;we can no longer hate others, lie (little lies are often more deadly than pronounced lies because they are more difficult to discern), cheat, or steal. Stealing can include stealing someone’s happiness with foul words discrediting them, or frowning at them to unsettle their continence.
LIFE BY THE SPIRIT
Galatians 5 explains why we can no longer rely on our old behavior to govern our lives. My last Post was about being freed, we are free of our sins, because Christ died on the Cross for us and is now sitting at the right hand of God. Freedom comes at a cost, we must shed our old selves for our new selves. We are children of Christ, and we belong to a new family. This means we have to exchange our old behaviors for our new virtues. Paul wrote in Galatians,
13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh[a]; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”[b]15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. 16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever[c] you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
ACTS OF THE FLESH, OUR CARNAL SELF
19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Our carnal nature ensnares us to follow the world, we are bound to it. We are either God’s’ children, continually fighting against the carnal pull, or we are the evil one’s children embracing our own demise.
FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT
As Christians, we can strive to overcome our carnal nature, crucify our flesh and live by the spirit. This is accomplished by changing our attitude, our behavior, to align with the Fruit of the Spirit. As we do so, we mature and become more Christ-like through our walk.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
THE CLOSING POINT
God so loved us He gave us His only Son, who suffered for us in human form to experience trials, temptations and failures to free us of sin. Our suffering will never equal or come close to His, nor will our love for others, nonetheless, when we receive Christ as our Lord and Savior we are bound to spread the Good News that is based on agape love. Our veil has been removed and we shed the shackles of sin. It is time that we love our neighbors and those of this earth as God does. My mother once told me, ” never hate, love everyone as God does, it is not the person but the behavior that keeps them bound to the flesh.”
Every person has the birth right of redemption if they received Christ as their Lord and Savior. As Christians, we continually receive God’s love, despite our sins. As Christians, we have been commanded to love one another unconditionally. No excuses. The world has been in turmoil throughout history. We are but a vapor that appears for awhile and then vanishes away, 1 John 4:14, paraphrased. Our Lord is the High Priest. He is eternal, and so is His Word. Again, we are commanded to love one another as He loves us.
References – Biblegateway.com; GotQuestions.org; The Christian Post; BibleHub.com
Once we have been freed, we are not to return to the servitude of our sin nature, our carnal man framed in lust, ego, material gains, and all that aligns with the evil one’s motives to destroy us and separate us from a Godly life.
Maintaining freedom from sin is a daily struggle; it is easy to slip back into our old ways like Peter who later became Christ’s (primary)Apostle. The beauty is that Jesus has freed us and; we have been given the gift of sanctification and redemption.
Not to sound preachy, but we must remain alert and operate in clarity to overcome the old shackles of sin and continue to live by God’s Will and His Way.
When we find ourselves falling prey to temptation, we must immediately self-correct. It is easier to do if the act or thought requires significant input, but much more difficult if it is subtle.
The new decade allows us to walk down the path of obedience, especially during this time of global uncertainty. We must always stay alert. We are Gods’ children. We have been freed by the Son. We are free from our shackles of sin.
I am a Christian, a retired teacher, a mother and a grandmother. I love to read and I love the Lord Jesus Christ! Unless otherwise specified ,all visual illustrations are from the YOU VERSION APP of the Bible.