Heeding God’s Still Small Voice

Then the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have the whole army give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up, everyone straight in.” – Joshua 6:2-5 (NIV)

Have you ever felt a prompting to do something but quickly dismissed it because it seemed so unconventional? You may have chalked it up to a faulty connection. Even still, you may be so busy and bombarded with life that you throw plans out there aimlessly and merely do whatever sticks. Hence, instead of doing life on purpose, life is doing you, so to speak. You may even feel as though you’re being tossed around and getting bumps and bruises along the way.

All too often we don’t achieve much success in our day because we hear from the Lord but don’t listen, better yet, we don’t heed His instructions. Despite the fact that His instructions are typically unconventional, they are indeed very strategic and if heeded, will render us victorious. That is, victorious by the Lord’s standards and definition. Nevertheless, even if our circumstance doesn’t appear victorious at the moment, God’s perspective encompasses every aspect, from start to finish. As we continue to put one foot in front of the other in obedience, we will witness all the victory that He has in store for us.

Contrary to the world, which yells commands and mixed messages as though speaking through a megaphone, God speaks with a still small voice, not because He wants to see us frantically searching for the right answers to life situations but because He wants us to lean in closer and nurture the relationship along the journey. We must fine tune our spiritual ear which comes by turning down the volume of life long enough to pray and take in His Word. As a matter of fact, He would love to give to us freely but many times, the Word remains as lifeless ink on a page and powerless in our own lives until we activate it by receiving it, believing in it and speaking it as though we have already received it.

Prayer

Lord, how I long to receive all the victory that You have in store for me. May I take the time to fine tune my spiritual ear and heed your voice. May I never let the noise of the world overpower Your still small voice.

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Letting Go of Old Wounds

Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. – Isaiah 53:4-5 (NIV)

and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor. – Isaiah 61:3 (NIV)

Do you ever have emotions that surface out of the blue that leave you wondering, “where did that come from”? Perhaps without much thought you unleash those emotions on those around you and reason that their actions provoked your response. After all, someone has to pay for the emotional pain that you’ve experienced.

Truth be told, many times we carry around the residue of old wounds and it taints our “perception meter”. As our perception is clouded and our emotions are demanding justice for the pain, we tend to throw daggers loosely at targets that were never meant to receive them. What could have potentially proven to be a healthy relationship is now tainted by those old wounds.

Nevertheless, it is important to come to the realization that enough damage has already been done by what we’ve experienced in the past. The enemy has gotten far too much satisfaction by the pain that has been caused. Furthermore, Jesus has already paid the price. It is past time that we receive the healing balm that He gives so freely and allow our current relationships to flourish and bloom as they were intended to do so.

Prayer

Lord, I thank You for helping me to recognize that enough damage has been done by the painful experiences in my past. I receive the clean slate that you’re providing. I chose to let go of the ashes and receive the beauty that you have to offer.

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Overcoming Mediocrity

And now may the God of peace, who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, equip you with all you need for doing his will. May he who became the great Shepherd of the sheep by an everlasting agreement between God and you, signed with his blood, produce in you through the power of Christ all that is pleasing to him. To him be glory forever and ever. Amen. – Hebrews 13:20-21 (TLB)

Are you living a life of mediocrity? Perhaps you’d love to make a difference in the world but you’ve reasoned that the timing isn’t right or you just don’t have what it takes. Even still, you can’t seem to peel yourself away from the warm fuzzy feeling that surrounds familiarity. Perhaps you envy someone who is truly making a difference but reason that you’re not capable of creating such an impact because God hasn’t blessed you with an extra measure of faith and creativity as He did that individual.

Truth be told, every individual was put on this earth to accomplish something very specific and dynamic for the Lord. The major requirement is a willing spirit. We must come to a place where we say, “Yes Lord, no matter what”! It shouldn’t be conditional such as, “Yes Lord, only if it makes sense” or “Yes Lord, as long as it doesn’t cause me discomfort”.

Nevertheless, having a profound impact in the world doesn’t require a supernatural person but it does require believing in the ability of a supernatural God. It requires a belief that despite your shortcomings, God is willing and able to accomplish profound things in you and through you. It requires an acceptance that as an individual, you’re not the center of the universe but you are a key piece to an overall puzzle created to point mankind to the Him and glorify Him in the process.

Prayer

Lord, thanks for using me as I am, not requiring perfection before I can be used but requiring a willing spirit. I realize that it will typically not make perfect sense and there will be a cost involved but even still, I’ve been created to serve. Thus, for that reason, I choose to step out of the boat into unchartered waters in order to fulfill my calling and build a closer relationship with You in the process.

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Is Your Life a Success Story?

When David’s time to die approached, he charged his son Solomon, saying, “I’m about to go the way of all the earth, but you—be strong; show what you’re made of! Do what God tells you. Walk in the paths he shows you: Follow the life-map absolutely, keep an eye out for the signposts, his course for life set out in the revelation to Moses; then you’ll get on well in whatever you do and wherever you go. Then God will confirm what he promised me when he said, ‘If your sons watch their step, staying true to me heart and soul, you’ll always have a successor on Israel’s throne.’ – 1 Kings 2:1-4 (MSG)

Is your life a success story? Perhaps you are discouraged and depressed because you don’t feel that you are as far along as you had hoped. You may have created a list of milestones that you wanted to reach by a specific age, only to find that you’ve accomplished very few. Perhaps life circumstances have caused the set back.

As you are analyzing your life accomplishments, it is important to refrain from comparing yourself to others. Although on the exterior they may appear to be a success, you have no idea what they had to go through to get to that point. Also, it may just very well be their season to flourish. Even still, your day will certainly come if you don’t give up.

Nevertheless, success has less to do with reaching certain milestones as much as it has to do with the journey itself. Success is putting one foot in front of the other in the right direction each and every day. Success is the compilation of those days as you press forward, despite the struggle. Success is not perfection but unwavering devotion to that which you have been tailor-made to accomplish during your journey on this earth.

Prayer

Lord, thanks for reminding me that at this exact moment, my life is a success story! I’m grateful that it’s not solely about reaching a pinnacle point but more about my day in and day out journey as I pay heed to Your instruction and carry out my purpose for existence.

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Are You Building Someone Else’s Dream?

Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. – Galatians 1:10 (NIV)

Do you ever examine your life and wonder how you got to this point on your journey in this life? Perhaps it feels as though you are entrapped in building someone else’s dream. It may involve your spouse, a family member, boss or even a friend. In this, there is obviously one problem, they’re the one who is reaping the benefits and you’re merely contributing to their gain.

Nevertheless, this scenario typically occurs as a result of unhealthy boundaries on the part of everyone who is involved. The one who’s contributing to the erection of someone else’s dream, typically does so in pursuit of approval and acceptance. The one whose empire is being erected, more times than not, uses manipulation and control to create an illusion of a debt that can never be repaid. Hence, just when you feel as though you’ve served them well, they demand more of your time and attention.

If you find yourself in this situation, it is time to go back to the drawing board with God. There is one primary thing to consider. What is the specific assignment that God is calling you to fulfill? Refrain from allowing your motive to be masked as a desire to fulfill of a good deed. Furthermore, if your daily routine is contrary to what God is calling you to do, it is imperative to come to the realization that this is outright disobedience and it’s time to return God to His rightful place as Lord over your life and schedule.

Prayer

Lord, I come before Your throne with thanksgiving for the reminder that I have been given a unique personalized assignment to fulfill while I’m on this earth. Show me where I’ve allowed a breach in the boundaries that You’ve prompted me to create. Give me the courage to reinstate those boundaries, regardless of the resistance that I might face. May my life pursuit be to hear, “well done good and faithful servant”, as I finish my race on this earth.

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Allowing the Sinful Nature to be the Boss of You?

I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. – Romans 7:15-25 (NLT)

Have you recently experienced a negative consequence for your actions? Perhaps you are still flirting with a behavior that’s not exactly beneficial for you or those around you. It may be something that seems as insignificant as not giving your body the proper care it needs or engaging in a careless act that could prove to be harmful to you or others. Perhaps you’ve ignored the little convicting voice so much so that you no longer view it as being wrong.

Unfortunately, many of us require a negative consequence to get our attention. At which point, the way we respond to the consequence is extremely important. It is imperative that we take ownership of our actions, repent and course correct immediately. We want to refrain from blaming God for allowing the consequence to befall us or ignore the sewing and reaping principle by responding as a mere victim of circumstance.

Fortunately, God loves us enough to periodically administer and or allow consequences to barge into our lives and stop us in our tracks. It may seem painful at the time but even still, He gives His stamp of approval because He knows it is essential for our growth. Otherwise, the sin nature that battles against our spirit would lead us down a self-destructive path or a path that destroys our connection with people and the things around us.

Prayer

Lord, thank You for dying on the cross so that the sin nature of my flesh could be crucified. Thank You for allowing me to experience consequences along my journey in this life so that my flesh will align with the Holy Spirit that you left as a deposit to dwell and guide within me.

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Protective Orders

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. – Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

Are you waiting on God to deliver you from your current circumstance? Perhaps it feels as though He has placed a restraining order on your life and you’re bound to your present struggle. You may even feel a bit claustrophobic, as though this situation has you boxed in tightly on all sides.

One thing is certain, God’s timetable and ours is typically light years apart, so to speak. Moving ahead of God’s timetable would essentially place us in a danger zone. As we walk outside of His perfect will, there is a possibility that we’ll subject ourselves to issues that we otherwise would not have had to experience.

Rest assured, if God has you boxed in, this is the best place for the time being. It is actually a protective order that He’s placed over your life as He prepares you and everything around you to be conducive as He moves you into the new season. It is imperative that you hold tightly to God’s promises and trust Him through the journey.

Prayer

Lord, despite the stress and strain that I’m experiencing, thank You for keeping me from moving ahead prematurely. Thanks for Your perfect timetable and ability to change my situation as You see fit.

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Take Back Your Life

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. – Genesis 1:27 (NIV)

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. – Psalm 139:13-14 (NIV)

stairsDo you find your mind stuck in replay over an injustice that was done to you? Perhaps you would like to move on but the memory seems to be holding you as a prisoner to that time period. Not only is it dominating your thought life but it may also be dominating your conversations and dictating the way you now respond to life. It may have caused you to become cynical and cold whereas, all of your relationships are inadvertently having to pay for what you’ve been through.

Nevertheless, we are not held responsible for the things that are done to us but we are held accountable for our response to it. As you are contemplating ways to make them pay for the wrong they have done, essentially you’re actually the one paying for it. You have become joined to them by an invisible ball and chain. Hence, what we meditate on the longest becomes the strongest force in our lives which sooner than later negatively impacts our mental, spiritual and physical well-being.

It is imperative to remember that you are not the sum total of what has happened to you. Your maker has created a unique one of a kind masterpiece as He knit you together in His very own image. Thus, it is beyond time that you take back your life, prior to the time that the first negative occurrence altered your thought process. Visit, nurture and get intimately acquainted with the spiritual, physical and emotional whole being that you once were, prior to that incidence. Rise up in victory and walk in the purpose that God has set before you, in that, the enemy will pay for the wrong that’s been done.

Prayer

Lord, help me to revisit the period in my life prior to the first negative encounter. Heighten my five senses to the point where I can absorb every aspect of that glorious day and allow it to overwrite the negative so that I may take hold of the amazing future that You have in store for me.

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Let Jesus be Your Burden Bearer

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)

yokeAre the cares on your heart too heavy to bear? Perhaps you have heard it said that God won’t give you more than you can handle. Even still, it probably feels as though you will be crushed under its weight. Perhaps your scenario looks similar to the juggler who runs from one end of the room to the other to keep plates spinning in fear that if you are a fraction of a second off, the plates will come tumbling down and shatter to pieces.

Nevertheless, 1 Cor. 10:13 which states that He won’t let us be tempted beyond what we can bear is often misquoted as stating that He won’t give us more than we can handle. Contrary to that, at times, God even allows or orchestrates scenarios to allow us to experience more than we can handle which causes us to draw nearer to Him. Otherwise, we would grow arrogant and disregard our need for His headship in our lives. He desires to do every minute of life with us. Our lives were designed with a partnership in mind, not a solo act.

Consequently, being fully dependent on Jesus to help you carry your burdens is not a bad thing. Jesus longs to be harnessed with you in the yoke. The great news is that He doesn’t view the issues that you’re going through as overwhelming or burdensome. In Him, the battle has already been won. Will you take time to lean in closer and allow Him to get into the yoke with you?

Prayer

Lord, thank you for the work that You’ve done on the cross which means that I’m victorious over any struggle that I’m dealing with. I gladly receive the rest for my weary soul that is transferred to me as I give you my burdens and take on Your yoke.

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A Life in Purpose on Purpose

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. – Psalm 139:13-16 (NIV)

purposeDo you have a lingering feeling of discontentment? Perhaps you feel that there is a space within you that is consumed with tornadic activity. Regardless of how hard you try to feed this space with material possessions, accomplishments, relationships, etc., it never seems to be totally and completely appeased. At best, it may slow the wind gust down from 150 to 60 mph.

There is a very logical reason why this whirlwind rages within us. The truth of the matter is that God very thoughtfully and intentionally hand stitched within our DNA our purpose for existence. It is said that we have at least 4,600 trillion strands of DNA that is contained within our earthen vessels. Those strands serve as a magnetic force pulling together in unison toward our purpose.

With that large of an amount of strands of DNA trying to work towards accomplishing God’s divine purpose for our existence, it creates an involuntary response to reject anything that doesn’t align with God’s purpose. Hence, our bodies were designed to cry out if we are not living life in purpose and on purpose.

Prayer

Lord, help me to listen and respond to the cries within the depth of my being that beckons that I fulfill Your awesome purpose and plan for my existence. Also, help me to weed out anything that I am engaging in that is contrary to that divine purpose.

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