Today is the day the Lord has made; stay focused, stay present, stay faithful.
God never promised that if you would follow Him, your life will be perfect. He never promised the sun would always shine or that you would never experience pain. The truth is, this journey here on earth is difficult and challenging. There are so many twists and turns to life and through it all it is critically important to stay focused on Jesus.
The devil would like nothing better than to separate you from the only One who can save you, and he will stop at nothing to get your attention. He loves to plant seeds of doubt–especially when you are going through a crisis and are the most vulnerable. Satan loves to whisper his lies, encouraging you to blame God for your troubles. But Satan is the creator of sin and he gets all the credit for pain and heartache–not God!
Stay focused on your heavenly Father who loves you more than anyone else ever could! When you are in trouble–call upon Him for help. The Bible says in Psalm 34:17-19, “When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.”
You don’t have to be afraid of life’s challenges, heartache, and pain because you are never alone! Stay faithful–stay focused on the only one who can save you from all your trials, misery, and suffering–Jesus Christ, your Lord, and Savior.
Peter’s walk on the water is a look at what pure faith delivers, the unfathomable.
~ Lisa Blair
Jesus instructed Peter to step out of the boat and walk to him. Yes, he told him to walk on water, can any of us do so without reservation? Is our faith that strong? Peter responded by climbing out of the boat and began walking on water. When he looked down, worldly logic informed him that he was doing the impossible, that he was defying gravity, and as quickly as his faith lifted him, faithlessness caused him to sink.
Satan is our weight, and he is our sinker, he is our albatross. As long as we allow him to dictate our lives, our faith waivers, and from time to time fails. The lack of faith causes doubt. Christ asked the disciples in Matthew 8:26, why are you afraid? O ye of little faith,’ then he got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was calm. Christ was saying, faith has no bounds but those we place on it. Faith requires total focus on Christ. The scripture says, do not look to the left or right, I’ll add – do not look down, keep your eyes on me (Christ), and follow me. Like Ruth told Naomi, where you go, I will go; what you believe in, I will believe in as well, meaning your God is my God. That is a statement of faith and dedication. Her affirmation yielded action; Ruth followed Naomi. This story, along with the story about Peter shows us that dependence and commitment are an act of faith, faith in what? Faith is the belief in God – the belief in the Almighty.
Peter’s faith placed him on the water. His faith supported him above the water. How well does our faith help us? Can we walk on water even for a second, or better yet, take multiple steps? The story generally refers to Peter’s lack of faith. Once he focused on what he was doing, he no longer kept his eyes on Christ. When he looked away, he began to sink. As Christians, our goal should be to keep our eyes on Christ. We should intentionally stop ourselves from looking to the left or right or down, and when we do, refocus on Christ, who is the Word.
Peter demonstrated his faith in Christ, and we often do the same. Then when life gets tough, we begin to doubt, which leads to sinking into the problem; it begins to encompass our every thought. That is when we must remember Christ’s query, why are you afraid, O ye of little faith, of wavering faith? It is time to lock your focus, your trust in me (Christ), and move forward in your walk.
When God commands we are to do more than listen. We are to act.
~ Lisa Blair
God speaks to us in many ways. He uses us as needed, and empowers His gifts as He sees fit. Earlier this week, I had a clear impartation from God. It was clear and precise. Last night He called me to prayer at 4am and my instruction was to share the dream He had given me. I am no prophet and was not inclined to share the dream with the world, but on command I am stepping out in faith. I am not comfortable, but trusting in the Lord is not a request to follow it is a command.
DREAM – Night of May 3, 2020/Morning of May 4, 2020
The dream opened with a clear, discernable voice telling me to go grocery shopping before May 11 and do not go out shopping after the 11th for three weeks.
The voice (God) said, the States were reopening too soon and that the majority were reopening in some degree May 11. The day after re-opening businesses, the death rates and critical care hospitalizations will quadruple within days to a few weeks. Then I was shown a map of the United States, and there were pins, red for death, and blue for increased areas of hospitalizations. The pins were so close together, they seemed to be on top of each other. There was no map space spared. The pins canvassed the entire map.
The voice (God) told me, those who stay indoors and honor the the shelter-in-place rules would survive, and those who return to their old lifestyle, before the pandemic, will be throwing the nation into greater risk, despair and loss.
In the last few days we see towns, cities and countries attempting to reopen to stop the drain and loss of businesses, and the rise of unemployment throughout the world. We have also heard from the scientists that the next wave will be much worse than the initial wave we are currently living through. We are in unprecedented times, the balance between life and liberty (economic security) are in the balance. Our survival depends on our new behavior, are we listening to the scientists, the specialists or are we ignoring what we are currently going through as if it is a common cold?
I believe my (prophetic) dream is a wake up call. Take one day at a time and treat each day as if it is the last. We are called to be alert, wise and discerning. We are not of this world and clearly should not be a part of the blind.
Continuation of the previous post: Many are focusing on the pandemic and not God’s Word about our security. “The reality of the pandemic does not change but, the assurance of God’s presence with us through the pandemic is of greater importance than its current dangers.” (Paraphrased-mybsf.org)
~ Lis Blair
We need to cooperate with God for His deliverance to work. We can not operate in fear, doubt or negligence, they negate deliverance, and weaken our ability to hold fast to the Word. God’s promises do not excuse us from doing the work. [Note – works do not give us entrance into the Kingdom.] We cannot expect to overcome the Coronavirus if we do not adhere to the practices that are designed to contain it. God’s promises give us hope as we adhere to the process. If we choose to return to our old norm, His promise to keep us is overrun by our disobedience. God commands us to listen to our leaders. If we are told to shelter-in-place, then we should shelter-in-place, if we are told to wear protective masks, we should wear protective masks, if we are told to practice social-distancing, we should employ social distancing around. God’s promises are often conditional. His love is unconditional.
God continues to work through us as long as we are receptive and obedient, though He never fails to leave the reluctant follower behind.
~ Lisa Blair
What is a reluctant follower? It is someone who hears God’s voice but does not respond with immediate vigor, instead examining the pros and cons of how it will affect one’s life.
7 Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says,“Today, if you will hear His voice, 8 Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion,…They always go astray in their heart” Hebrews 3:7-9, NIV
I think we have all been there, and are learning that obedience is immediate, in the present, now, even if we don’t understand where God is leading us. God’s voice directs our walk and informs our thinking. When He says, ‘follow me’, it is not a request, it is a command. We are His children.
In Hebrews 3:8, the term today, refers to the present, and should not be delayed until tomorrow, the command refers to this moment. God gives no commands about the future, the action requested is in the moment. We are commanded not to worry about tomorrow, but to focus on the day. Therefore, it follows that His command is for the day and requires action in the day, or, today. Obedience to God’s commands should never be sidelined by reluctance.
A reluctant follower is one whose heart is hardened, meaning they have a stubborn heart, are self absorbed, and tend to procrastinate. Why do so many procrastinate? It could be that they are weighing the outcome because they do not know God’s voice, or they do know His voice but are slow to respond. Learning to identify God’s voice is important. Slow response is a form of reluctance.
Isaiah 30:21 NIV says, “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.” The GW version says, “You will hear a voice behind you saying, “This is the way. Follow it, whether it turns to the right or to the left.”
God designed our path before we were born, He knows everything about us including when we will heed His voice and when we won’t. He gave us free-will to make decisions regarding our relationship with Him. He offers direction but allows us to choose to be obedient, reluctant, or non-responsive. The thing I have learned over time is that reluctance and non-responsiveness is our loss and we suffer the consequences of disobedience, later regretting not acting when God spoke. Failure produces a continual inner dialogue about failing to act, and a lost opportunity to follow God’s command. Reluctance also places you in situations where the lesson may need to be repeated. In short, you may find yourself in GPS mode where God redirects you to offer another opportunity to follow His Will.
We think we can camouflage our reluctance to respond to God’s command. But, the truth is, God knows everything, sees everything, and hears everything, and as soon as a thought enters our mind countering His command to act, we enter into conversation with Him. We open The dialogue with our thoughts.
Scriptures —biblegateway.com | References—Gotquestions.org; Blue letter bible.org. Sermon Notes for Hebrews 3:7-19. Chuck Smith; biblegateway.com, Commentaries, Hebrews 3:7-19 | Images—Google Images; LAB Photos
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.
The world is in major upheaval and we are caught in it if we are part of the crooked generation. The only escape is through Christ; break away and free yourself from this crooked generation.
~ Lisa Blair
Many times in history we have found the world in upheaval, this generation is no different. During these times our Christianity is being called into question, collectively and individually. In Acts 2, Peter urges over 3000 people to save themselves and join others who believe in Christ. The Call is relevant today.
The NLT says, Save yourselves from this crooked generation. The NIV refers to the times as the corrupt generation. And, the NKJV refers to the times as the perverse generation. Crooked, corrupt, ad perverse all refer to the acts of the Evil One, Satan.
Satan’s goal is to separate and destroy us through perversion, corruption, and dishonesty. His intent is to keep us separated and in disbelief. He wears us down polluting our ears through the media and social media that becomes the topic of conversation of the day, none of these outlets focus on the good accomplished throughout the world everyday. It does not focus on nature’s beauty, the strength and resiliency of people, or the attributes Jesus wants us to live by defined in Galatians 5—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. When we choose to live a carnal life, we are rushing along on our own, down the crooked path.
There’s a Christian song, Not In A Hurry by Will Regan & United Pursuit—Tell All My Friends, the opening lyrics are: Lord, I don’t wanna rush on ahead in my own strength when you’re right here. It is focused in Acts 2:40. Luke wrote about Peter urging us to relinquish pride that is fed by the things of this earth, created by Satan to debilitate and imprison us.
Part of saving ourselves from the crooked generation is to join the faith, or renew our faith, if you are a back slider, and receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Peter preached,“Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:38 NLT
When we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, we no longer want to rush ahead in our own strength, instead we seek community, brothers and sisters in the faith. We seek to conform to His image (Romans 8:29), to be like Christ. Conformity requires that we learn to be obedient, and dependent upon Christ.
John 15:9-10, NIV, Jesus says, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.”
It is only through The Father’s love that can we be freed from this crooked, corrupt, perverse generation. To return to the lyrics of the song, As the lyrics of the song, we find that once we receive Him, we want to enter in prayer and hear His voice, we relinquish our own pride and choose dependence and hence become obedient.
When it comes to Your spirit When it comes to Your presence When it comes to Your voice
I’m learning to listen Just to rest in Your nearness I’m starting to notice You are speaking
Lord I want to love like You I want to feel what You feel I want to see what You see Open my eyes, I want to see You more clearly Open my ears, I want to hear You speak
It is through God’s grace that we are saved. We cannot save ourselves from being a part of the crooked generation, our sin nature confines us to the cycle of sin, however, because Christ died on the cross, we believers receive salvation. Only our relationship with Christ can save us. The Lord is always with us. We cannot be shaken, he is right beside us. He shows us the way, and fills us with the joy of His presence (Acts 2:25 paraphrased); through Him we escape the crooked generation, our inner being is secure, quiet and protected.
Psalms 91 puts it this way,
“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent. “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.” Psalm 91:1-16 NIV
The world is crazy, social media is inundating our minds with vile things. There is little to keep us from questioning our sin nature. Life for many is only a finger tip away, everything is online and one click away. This is a wake up call, the only person that can separate us from this crooked generation is Christ. Everyone who calls upon His Name is saved and covered in His blood. Christ will keep you from veering to the left or right and create in you a clean heart, no longer a member of this crooked, corrupt, perverse generation.
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.