Not In Control Of Our Lives

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.

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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

Choose To Walk In The Light

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God tells us there will be dark times, but we do not have to allow the dark to absorb us; nor do we need to enter into a state of darkness and depression. Yes, these are dire times, how many thought we would live in a global pandemic, isolated due to sheltering-in-place, and uncertain of the future? Not many I would imagine, especially if we live in the United States, where we feel immune to all of the world’s woes.

Non-believers live in a state of darkness, but (the) believers who find themselves in a catatonic state caused by the pandemic, also find themselves in a state of darkness. Do you depend entirely upon God, or do you speak the words but rely on your wisdom? Those who live in the Light, live with God who is in the Light, and is Light. John writes in I John 1:7, ESV, “But if we are living in the Light, as God is in the Light, then we have fellowship with each other.”

The Light removes the sense of isolation that sheltering-in-place causes. Being in the Light means that God is with you in the Light. He is present in your life and in constant communication with you. He cleanses you from your sins. Sin is anything that is not of God, such as depression (not diagnosed), timidity, feelings of failure, uncertainty, and more. Satan likes nothing more than separating us from our Father and curtailing our fellowship with other believers.

If you watch the news, people are finding ways to communicate and find a sense of light, but are they really in the Light, or is it an imitation of Light manufactured by the carnality of needing to be with others. Pure Light comes from God, and despite our circumstances, we remain in the Light. His Light provides peace and a sense of calm amid the global pandemic we find ourselves in today. His Light is truth that He is always with us and will not forsake us in any situation that evolves.

When we allow ourselves to doubt God because we are overwhelmed by the darkness that pulls us in, we are in effect calling God a liar. The gospel truth is – God is truth and truth ensures our salvation. If we know we are saved and abide in the Word, we are abiding in His Light. We are not controlled by the desires of this world. “If we say we have fellowship with Him while we walk in darkness we lie and do not live according to the truth.” (John Piper) No pandemic can separate us from God.

Think of this pandemic as our testing ground. We proclaim to be Christians but does our behavior confirm our relationship with the Lord, or suggest that there is no relationship? We either have a relationship with Christ or we do not, it is black and white, no grey areas. Do we falter or do we stand? Do we allow the uncertainty of death and destruction to overpower us or do we rest in the truth that God is all power and all truth? Do we stand in the Light or do we watch the darkness slowly engulf us?

One certain way to remain in the Light is to maintain fellowship with other believers, who can support us when we doubt or fall from the truth joining those who live in fear and a state of desperation. Truth gives us hope not to despair, our faith ensures us that there is life after this one we are currently experiencing.

“If we have truly accepted Jesus as our Savior, we have done so by taking His Word into our hearts and accepting it as the agent of our salvation (James 1:21). We must be prepared on an ongoing basis to use it to make necessary ‘course corrections’ and keep us in His Light – or as the case may be, get us out of Satan’s darkness as quickly as possible.” (Hal Hammons)

The Light will give you peace in the darkness. Choose to walk in the Light.

Image – Google Images

Scripture – Biblegateway.com

Resources – Let Us Walk in the Light of God. John Piper. desiringgod.org. February 1985; God Is Light. Hal Hammons. Bible.com. February 2010

Pandemics and Spiritual Warfare

The COVID19 pandemic is both a natural occurrence and a spiritual attack.

~ Lisa Blair

Hello Brothers and Sisters,

God calls us to participate in corporate gatherings, but church, as usual, is not possible in many parts of the world, including the United States. The pandemic is changing the way we attend church. It is safe to say that the church is under attack, and the pandemic is a tool to diminish our walk and weaken our resolve as Christians. I am not saying the coronavirus does not have natural causation. I am saying that it is being used as a tool or weapon against believers.

Two things are simultaneously occurring:

1) churches, businesses, and other institutions are closing to slow the spread of the pandemic,

2) the virus is being used by the evil one to destroy its’ adversary, the church.

As Christians, we are well aware of the ongoing spiritual battle. Satan is using the pandemic to strip the church. The Lord is using it to strengthen us, make us wiser and more alert. Isaiah 54:17 says, no weapon formed against us shall prosper. The battle rages, but we are already victorious. The 91st Psalm says we must abide in the presence of the Lord, who gives us refuge and protects us from danger, specifically from plagues.

First Corinthians describes how God wants believers to live amid a corrupt culture and dark times. We not only live in a corrupt culture but are experiencing a pandemic, definitely dark times. Scripture instructs us to put our faith in Jesus. Our faith should not be in the wisdom of men but the power of God (1 Corinthians 2:5). If we do so, when times get hard, those who do not have a relationship with God can take courage from those of us who are believers, if we maintain and display our trust in the Lord (Charles Stanley).

God not only provides refuge but also gave us armor to protect ourselves as we enter the battle before us. Paul writes in Ephesians 6, be strong in the Lord and the power of His might. He further instructs us to put on the armor to withstand the evil day, which is happening now, and having done all, to stand. Stand as our church’s close, stand as our livelihood may be affected, stand if our health is attacked, stand when the days feel dark, and stand until we see the light of day.

The scriptures inform us that 1) ‘this is the day the Lord has made’; and 2) ‘we were created for such a time as this.’ During this season of our lives, we should hold fast to our faith and trust that God will bring us through. We must continue to stay in prayer at all costs. Our lives depend upon it. Our faith gives us the strength to trust in God’s peace, regardless of what is going on around us, and helps us endure whatever is ahead.

Mark 13 emphasizes that God wants his people to wake up and not be deceived or unaware of what is going on around us. All that we see through the visible eye is not what is happening on the invisible plane. The war is raging and we are the church. As the church, we are on the front line and must stay in prayer to effectively turn the tide of this natural disaster.

Prayer Changes Pandemics

We are in the midst of a spiritual war. Time to pray. Everything must bow to the Name of Jesus.

~Lisa Blair

A friend posted this prayer. It is powerful! Calling all prayer warriors to join in the battle.

CORONAVIRUS……….if that’s your real name……I really don’t care what you call yourself because your name, your title, your will, your existence HAS to bow to the name of Jesus!! That is His law and His promise, that is if we who choose to abide in Him, He Will abide in us and we can ask anything in His name and it will be done!

First of all, I have heard for weeks now how this “pandemic” is basically going to wipe us out….like the bird flu and several others in recent years. I come against all news outlets who enjoy speaking the enemy’s propaganda. I don’t deny that there is a deadly virus on the loose….I deny it’s ability to prosper against me or my family or those I love. I condemn you coronavirus in the name of Jesus. Go back to hell where you originated. I praise you God for the power that resides within each of us who indeed belongs to You and I use that same power and authority for my favor! Your word says in Psalms 91:1-16

  1. He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
  2. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in Him will I trust.
  3. Surely He shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.
  4. He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou trust: His truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
  5. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
  6. Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
  7. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.
  8. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.
  9. Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;
  10. There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
  11. For He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
  12. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
  13. Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.
  14. Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.
  15. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with Him in trouble; I will deliver Him, and honour Him.
  16. With long life will I satisfy Him, and shew Him my salvation.

I stand on these words from You!!

Lastly, let’s move on from speaking this beast into existence and began to speak it into exile!!!
I don’t know about tomorrow, but I know who holds tomorrow In His hands And is in control of it All!

JESUS, YOU ARE LORD OVER EVERYTHING INCLUDING THIS Coronavirus and every other virus created by man. We give you Praise, Glory and Honor and know that THIS and other viruses OR DISEASE will STOP in their tracks, wither at the roots and die to be no more. In the name of Jesus Amen!!!

Praise God for His Word!! Praise is our Weapon!

Copy and pass this on your page. It’s time for us prayer warriors to take a stand and WATCH what God can and will do!

Author unknown. Amen.

God Is Our Father, and Governs Himself Accordingly

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

Giving Thanks

We are a blessed people. We should begin each day giving thanks for another day’s journey.

~ Lisa Blair

A Prayer for Today

Good morning Lord, thank you for waking me up this morning and giving me the privilege of placing my feet on solid ground. Thank you for the buoyancy of your love that keeps me afloat. Thank you for keeping disease and pestilence at bay. Thank you for allowing me to be a steward of the Word, which is my inheritance. Thank you for shielding me from the storms of life. Thank you for allowing no weapons to form against me. Thank you for my salvation on this day that you have made. I will rejoice and be glad in it as I go through my day. In Jesus Name, Amen!

The Bible is replete with God’s promises. The best way to hold them near to our heart is to recite them in daily prayer, personalizing them and making them our own. Ownership seals the relationship in a real way and empowers our walk with Christ. When we own something we cherish it, are proud of it, share it, and make it part of our lives in a demonstrable way. As stewards, we are responsible for sharing the Word, which is difficult if we are not living it. Expression is the visible display of who we are in Christ.

Jesus commanded the Disciples to go out and build the Church. He taught the Disciples, as well as us, by example. He urged them to live a Christ-like life, and the only way we can accomplish that is to believe and express our treasure chest of spiritual knowledge outwardly. It begins with knowing what we are ’thankful’ for, and acknowledging it through prayer and thanksgiving each morning and throughout the day.

Closure Is Part Of The Journey

Life is a journey, and along the way, we are blessed to have good, loving experiences, and some we would rather forget, but all of them have purpose.

~ Lisa Blair

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I finally have closure after seven years. Closure from what, you ask? Closure from the dissolve of the school, I reopened, and separation from the people I came to call family. We were a community that cared for and educated over 300+ children (living in an underserved community) annually over fourteen years. When the school closed, everyone scattered, and wounds were deep. It felt that our very lives had been stripped away from us.

Something just came to mind as I was typing, seven is a divine number and represents closure, completion, and something finished. 

Facing closure is difficult. It requires introspection and forgiveness, not so much about forgiving others, though that is part of it, but forgiving myself because I felt I failed. The reality is I helped many people who have since shared that fact with me. Many of our students graduated from high school with honors and completed college with advanced degrees, students whose destinies were changed because of the school, staff, and caring adults.

Why am I sharing this, you may ask? Everything in life has purpose. Whether it is as grand as opening a school, or due to a perfect storm, closing it. 

Life is a journey, and along the way, we are blessed to have good, loving experiences, and some we would rather forget, but all of them have purpose. God designed our paths long before we were born. He knew our experiences and what it would take to become mature Christians. He knew when and where we would stray off the straight and narrow pathway and when we would return. He knew when we would avoid closure because it hurts, and when we would address it, ready to move on. He is like a loving parent patiently awaiting our return, like the prodigal son.

Does this sound confusing? Well, it is not. The take-aways are: There is a time for everything. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 declares, “For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance. A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones. A time to embrace and a time to turn away. A time to search and a time to quit searching. A time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to tear and a time to mend. A time to be quiet and a time to speak. A time to love and a time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace.”

* ‭‭Everything has purpose. Ephesians 2:10, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Philippians 2:1 TNTV, “God Himself is at work in you inspiring you to want those thin which please Him and to work for them.” God leads us you placing His desires in our hearts.

* Some things in life are for a season, others for a reason, and yet others for a lifetime. Proverbs 16:4, “The Lord works out everything to its proper end.” “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.” Jeremiah 1:5

* We are here to be God’s servants, spread the Word, and impact others’ lives. Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” The road is not always straight and narrow, and like Paul, God may redirect us in the middle of our travels to assist others before we reach our destination. “Facing a ’closed-door’ can be extremely frustrating. The apostle Paul knew exactly how that felt. On his second missionary journey to share the gospel in Asia, he repeatedly found the way blocked by the Holy Spirit. Eventually, the apostle was stuck in Troas with the sea before him and closed doors behind. How strange it must have seemed to Paul that God would prevent him from spreading the gospel. But he knew this wisdom from the book of Proverbs: The Lord will make a straight path for anyone who chooses to trust God rather than himself (Proverbs 3:5-6). Instead of getting angry or trying to force his way into new territory, Paul got on his knees.” (Charles Stanely, Christianity.com)

So, in the end, closure is another phase of our lives. We begin and end episodes only to start anew, refreshed, and wiser from the experiences we acquired as we live and grow older. We become wiser through studying the Word. The wiser we become, the more mature we become, and when we look back at what we once referred to as a failure, in truth was a gift from God that came to an end. In hindsight, all life events serve a purpose. Our events have a beginning and an ending (closure) and lead us down our path to our destiny. 

“Psalm 37:27 declares that: the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way. Be encouraged that you can fulfill your destiny by trusting in Him and charting Your course based on how He leads, not your own understanding. As You let Him be the One who orders your steps, you will fulfill your destiny.” (Fulfilling your Destiny. WalkingbyFaith.com)