We are created in God’s likeness, His image. His personhood exists in us, and it is not by accident. He is not a respecter of man. We all, regardless of gender, race, religion, or nationality, represent Him in human form. He spoke life into us.
~ Lisa Blair
God’s image gives every person dignity, worth, and purpose. You are uniquely designed to know the God who made you, in this life and for eternity. How will the truth that God knows you completely and loves you unconditionally impact your life, your week, your day?
Bible Study Fellowship, Lesson 2. God Creates Humanity in His Image.
This is the first of a series of posts about God’s promises. His promises give us the STRENGTH to stand in the face of any and all attacks. He provides us with the ability to STAND in the face of all evil. Our FAITH in God always brings us through. There are times when we can see Him working in our lives and times when He is working to protect us against situations unbeknownst to us. Take time to examine your past, and you will see God at work in your life.
One of my friends added this to her daily prayers, “Teach me, Lord, to trust you.” It sounds easy and should be easy, especially for those who read and study the Bible and know God’s promises. But the fact is, most of us know something of His promises but think we can activate them on our own as needed. The truth is, God never promised us anything He will not deliver, but it is deliverable in His terms and time, not ours. Once we acquaint ourselves with His promises, we can rely on them in time of need, replacing our greed for faith in God to bring us through.
Friends, allow God to lead you and guide you in how to face your challenges. His promises will help you to see your challenges more clearly, as well as the opportunities that are presented. Reside in His peace. Go to God in prayer boldly standing upon His promises. Rest assured knowing that He hears you and will fulfill them in due time.
“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you, because, he trusts in you.”
We receive peace with God in Christ, through the blood He shed on Calvary. Peace is the fruit of our faith. Peace is profound. It is expressed as peace with God and peace with men, peace outward and peace inward, peace here and peace in the hereafter, and denotes the abundant peace available to all believers. (Biblestudytools.com)
If you trust in the Lord, you will be steady, able to stand when under attack, knowing God is with you and provides perfect peace as you go through trials and temptations. You are not alone. God is your eternal rock. God’s peace anchors you so you will not thoughtlessly seek resolve in moments of anxiety, fear, and confusion. His peace allows you to spend time with Him in prayer, centered on Him and not the things happening around you. Once you are ina peaceful state, He can lead you in the direction He mapped out for you.
“For I know the plans I think toward you, declares the Lord, plans of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
The prophet Jeremiah instructed the Israelites to stop believing in false visionaries. There are so many contending that they know what is happening in the world today, exhorting we are entering the End Times, and who is not a man of God. We look to these leaders to determine our direction, purpose, allegiance, and livelihood. The truth is – only God knows the plans He has for us. When we seek others, we create idols that slowly replace God. When this happens, we slowly fall into the hands of the evil one.
We can take comfort in Jeremiah 29:11, God’s promise of having a plan for us gives us peace in knowing that we are not floating aimlessly in the sea, but can see the light ahead confirming His presence in our lives. Believing God’s promises give us the courage to work through difficult times with hope.
Our hope is planted in God’s promises. As long as we can rest in his peace, the outside world becomes less daunting. When we reside in inner peace, we can view things more objectively and recognize God’s hints and directions for our lives. If we follow them, no matter what it looks like to the world, He will provide rest, restoration, replacement, and re-energize us giving, us the fortitude to move beyond the loss, devastation, and hopelessness we may feel.
Images: LAB PHOTOS, free google images
References: Biblegateway.org, Charles Stanley Life Principles Bible, NKJV, Biblestudytools.com, biblehub.com, Bibleletterbible.com
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.
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.
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.