James 4:7 NKJV – Choose Wisely

Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

Submission requires a willing act of accepting the authority of God over all things. We must remember that we are under God’s authority whether we submit to it or not. The word “submit” means “to obey”. God is in control of all things. All things. The world may lead people to believe that they have the power to “change the world”. But that’s just not something I believe.

Now don’t get me wrong. We live in the world and have certain responsibilities to do certain things. Like obey the laws of the land. We have freedom of choice. God gives us that choice. We can choose wisely or not so wisely. Either way with every choicce there will be consequences. The Bible is clear about choosing – The Blessing or The Curse.

“See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the Lord your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess. But if your heart turns away so that you do not hear, and are drawn away, and worship other gods and serve them, I announce to you today that you shall surely perish; you shall not prolong your days in the land which you cross over the Jordan to go in and possess. I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;” (Deuteronomy 30:15-19 NKJV)

I’ll get right to the point. The day begins with choices. Do I choose to pray or not to pray? I choose to pray because I want to start the day in conversation with God. In the morning, when I wake up, I pray and ask God to guide me to make the right choices. That everything I do or say gives honor and glory to Him. I’m looking to God to help me to “choose wisely”. The choices we make can affect our lives eternally. The choices we make can and will affect those around us. A good friend once told me, “We don’t have time for God because we choose not to. There are plenty of opportunities during our day to give God the time He deserves. Make a change!” I say, “AMEN!”

The world would want you to choose the world’s ways. The world would want you to live your own life. You’re in control. Just do it!!! The enemy would want you to believe that. The enemy would want you to make the wrong choices. But if we submit to the things of God and resist the enemy, he will flee from us. Read James 4:7.

Dear Lord. You have given us a free will to choose. Help us to make the choices that honor You. Help us to discern the schemes of the enemy and of this world which lead us to destruction. Pour out Your protection over us when the enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy. Lead us back to Your Word and the Power that resides in it to resist the enemy. Thank You, O Lord for Your mighty hand of protection. May we take the time to pray and seek Your presence. Open up our lives to the blessing of having an intimate relationship to You, Lord. In Jesus Name. AMEN

Don’t believe me, believe God!

Psalm 102:16-17 NKJV – Regard our prayers, Oh Lord

For the Lord shall build up Zion; He shall appear in His glory. He shall regard the prayer of the destitute, And shall not despise their prayer.

Have you ever been in a low and broken state? Have you ever felt weak, poorly in spirit, desolate from everything that is good, or stripped of all that can keep you afloat? I know that I have. There have been times that because of poor choices or wrong decisions, I found myself crying out at the end of the day. It wasn’t just simple complaining or just feeling mad that I had gotten myself in trouble again. It was crying out, falling on my knees, and feeling desperate. Like I heard someone say one time, “I’m at the lowest of my lows.”

It happens to the best of us. It happens to the strongest of us. And when it’s happened to me, I found myself bruised and battered. I’ve felt that I wanted to give up.

But I have something to tell you. It’s in these times of brokenness and lowly spirit that we capture God’s attention. When our circumstances drive us to our knees in pain and heartbreak that we cry out, it’s then that God looks graciously upon us. It’s a low and broken spirit which God looks for, in all who draw nigh to Him. “The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit.” (Psalm 34:18 NKJV) God will regard our prayers. He will value our prayers and return an answer of peace to them.

I find it hard to remember sometimes that we have an advocate with the Father and His Name is Jesus. I’m just being honest here. Sometimes I let my circumstances take over my mind, my thoughts, every part of my emotions and I feel left outside and alone. That there was no one who would even listen. But we must remember that we are never alone. God is always with us. And we have an advocate that hears our cries and our pleadings and intercedes for us to our Heavenly Father. “Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” (Hebrews 7:25 NKJV)

God desires that we come to Him in our time of need. Especially in times of grave need. When the world seems to be collapsing around us and we simply feel there’s nothing left. It’s in these times when all that is left is God, God’s heart is moved and He regards our prayers. Because, it’s Jesus Himself, who’s petitioning His Father on our behalf. The Power of God working in the Power of God to bring an answer to our needs. Jim Cymbala said in his book, Breakthrough Prayer, “The Lord accomplishes His purposes in cooperation and partnership with His people.” I embrace that and know that God desires to care for His own. “…casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”(1 Peter 5:7 NKJV)

Friend, when you are facing grave circumstances and the only choice is God to get you through; humble yourself in prayer and God will regard your prayer and NOT despise it.

Thank You Lord, for the promises of Your Word. Thank You, that in our times of grave need, when we are broken before You, our prayers capture Your attention. Thank You, Jesus for being my intercessor; the One who brings my prayers to the Father Himself. Glory to God! Help me to always remember that I’m never alone and that You are always near to hear and answer my prayers. Forgive me, Lord, when I cast You aside and forget of Your everlasting love for me and Your desire to care for me. In Jesus Name. AMEN.

Don’t believe me, believe God!

Isaiah 14:3 KJV – How could you love someone like me – Part 2

 And it shall come to pass in the day that the Lord shall give thee rest from thy sorrow, and from thy fear, and from the hard bondage wherein thou wast made to serve

Welcome back. In Part 1 of this devotion, we heard of a man who lived a life outside of the will of God and it pushed him to the point of making a decision to take his own life. But praise the Lord that God had a different plan. We learned that God used a man named Mark to minister to him when this man initially thought he was in control. God led Mark to pray for him that day and two days later, this man found himself in church and then at the altar and finally giving his life to Jesus as his Savior. Glory to God!

Today, we examine how God began His plan of restoration in the man’s life and redeemed everything that the enemy had taken away. Today’s devotion:

Part 2 – How God Restores

Well, this man continued to come to church. He was open to Godly leading from Mark who discipled him over many, many months. How blessed he was to work in the same office as Mark. God really had His hand over all of his life. Eight months would pass and he would encounter his first real test of faith.

He had just returned home from being away on business and he pushed the play button on his answering machine to listen to the messages. The first message was from his brother. The message was to call him as soon as he could. Something had happened to their dad. He quickly dialed up the number of his brother and listened as he was told that dad was in a very bad way. He was told to call his mother for the details.

His mom lived in Florida with his dad. They were retired. He called his mom to find out that his dad had been kidnapped, beaten, left for dead in the woods, and was not doing well at all. Mom asked, “Can you come down and help?” He was stunned. He didn’t know how that could have happened to his dad, but he told his mom he would come down as soon as he could.

Since he had just returned from a 2 week business trip, he didn’t see how he could possibly put enough funds together to get down and see his mom and dad. It would take some time for his expenses to be paid from the previous trip. He went to work and began to think about what he could do. He remembered that though he didn’t have the answer on how he could afford the trip, he knew at least he could pray. So he did. He also took time to post a prayer request on his workplace’s prayer chain.

A few hours went by and he received a phone call from someone on the prayer chain to tell him that he was going to Florida and that he would be able to see his dad. He wondered how could this be. He was told that the Plant Vice President had heard about his dad and what happened. The Plant Vice President had provided the necessary funds to purchase a plane ticket to Florida. And he also arranged for expense money to be given to him. He was overwhelmed. God had answered his prayer. A few days later, he would be in Florida.

He sat in his seat on a flight to Florida waiting for the runway to clear before takeoff. Some fog had rolled in and it was going to be a little while. But he had time. On to Atlanta, then on into Orlando. He had some time. He prayed again. He prayed, “Lord, you’ll have to help me with this. I’m still a new believer. I have no idea what I’m to do or how I need to help mom and dad. How could anyone know what to do if they were in the same place as I am?”

Well about an hour had passed and the flight took off. He arrived safe in Atlanta where he called his mom and told her that in a few hours he would be there. Mom said she would arrange for his pickup at the airport. Well, with the delay at the initial airport, his flight from Atlanta to Orlando had already departed. He would now have to find an alternate flight. He called his mom and assured her he was still on his way. As he waited at the gate of the plane he was told he was on standby on, he heard a young lady talking. She had been waiting for 36 hours to get a flight to Orlando. It was spring break. She, too, was on standby. About 6 more hours passed, when he heard his name called. He went to the desk and was told he had a ticket and it was time for him to board. He thought about the young lady waiting for 36 hours. He thanked God that He had intervened on his behalf. He finally arrived in Orlando and found his mom. Soon he would see his dad.

They got to their home and his dad came to the door. He was shocked to see the man at the door. He couldn’t recognize him as his dad. This man was unclean, unshaven, and had bruises all over his back. The man had broken fingers. He looked awful. But when this man spoke in a timid and quiet voice, he realized it was dad. But Dad was never a timid and quiet guy. He always spoke with conviction and integrity. But now it was different. The man said, “Dad, we’ll do this one day at a time.”

You see, his dad was carjacked at a gas station after stopping for gas after work. His dad still worked though he was “retired”. He liked that. Sometimes, mom did, too.

His dad was told to get down on the floor between the seats in his van. Over the next 3 hours, his dad’s assailants beat him while they drove around. When his dad would put his hand over his back to block the repeated blows, the assailants broke his fingers. Then when they got bored with his dad, they took his dad’s belt and put it around his dad’s neck and began to hang him. They opened the side door of his dad’s van, and dumped his dad in the woods to die. But dad didn’t want to die. He put his hand behind the belt and when they raised him to hang him, he passed out. His assailants thought they were successful in getting rid of the witness. But, God had a different plan. When his dad woke up, he crawled out of the woods on his hands and knees and signaled someone walking their dog for help. His dad told him that this was the hardest point of the ordeal. His dad said, “I didn’t want the people I called out to, to think I was a vagrant. I just wanted help.” The rescue squad came and took his dad to the hospital and then the fire department called his mom.

Well, they took one day at a time. The detective bureau at the Sheriff’s office was a big help. He spoke with them daily. They were tracking down his dad’s van. They had a victim advocate working the case and she was a blessing. Dad had to restore his identity by getting a new drivers’ license, social security card, etc. Everything you have to do when someone takes your wallet and identity from you. Each day, Dad would get up and he would seem to get stronger and stronger. He cleaned himself up and began to be the strength he had always remembered dad to be. Then a few days later while watching the evening news, something startled the man and his family. There being displayed, live on TV, was an arrest being made. You know. Like the “OJ Simpson kind of thing”. Pictures overhead from a news chopper. They were showing three men being pulled from a vehicle and being arrested. Right there, on TV, in front of this family was a picture of his dad’s van. They had found his van and found three men in it that shouldn’t have been in it. God allowed the man and his family to see His justice being served.

The detective’s called and this family had to go to the Sheriff Department’s Forensic Lab to retrieve the van. His mom was really angry and bitter. She said she would never ride in the van again. He said he would take it somewhere to be cleaned up and it would be alright. He told his mom he would pray over it and ask God to bless it. He went away to find an auto detailer.

A few hours later, he returned to his mom and dad’s home only to find the news media all over the place. There was a big satellite tower in the front yard and camera’s everywhere taking pictures. His dad was there doing an interview for the local news station. They had heard of his dad’s story. He heard the news anchor ask his dad, “What were you feeling when this happened?” And on camera, in a live broadcast over entire the Orlando area to thousands of television sets, He heard his dad say, “I knew this is not how I was to die. I prayed, Jesus save me.” He was amazed. He was overwhelmed. The neighbors all came out. It was a sight to see. His mom wanted her turn with the camera to give her point of view, but praise God, He had different plans. You see, his mom always spoke what was on her mind.

The man began to talk to the people from the news channel and found out the reporter was a woman of God herself, and the main camera guy, GREW UP IN THE SAME NEIGHBORHOOD OF THIS MAN!!!

This man went home a few days later. He stayed with his mom and dad for 11 days. They witnessed miracle after miracle. This man never forgot. He prayed, “God if You could make a way for the world to know this story. Not for my glory but for Yours.”

When this man returned to work the following Monday, he went to see the Vice President and Plant Manager to say “Thanks”. And God moved again. In the waiting area just outside of the Plant Manager’s office this man told the story. People began to come out of adjacent conference rooms just to listen. God gave this man his first pulpit.

He started with a simple prayer to help him help his mom and his dad. His dad prayed, “Jesus, save me” and the story continues with God being glorified on a local news channel for a whole city to see and ends in front of this man’s peers for them to hear as well.

God restores. He loves us with an everlasting love. In our darkest hours, God hears us, God answers us , and God delivers us.

Remember how I said in the beginning of this blog, that God would redeem everything the enemy took away from this man. Well, there is more. This man’s children, both his daughter and son, also gave their lives to the Lord, shortly thereafter. And, God blessed the man again when God brought His choice to him to take as his wife.

Well, as you may have already guessed, this is my testimony. I share it for one single purpose and that’s to give glory to God; My Savior, Redeemer, and friend, Jesus.

Tomorrow, we’ll look at how God continued to work in my life as I began to serve Him as He called me. Part 3 examines, “How God enables.”

Heavenly Lord, thank You that You hear our prayers and answer them. Thank You that in our darkest hours You are near. Closer than a whisper. Thank You that we can place our trust in You to be our protector and defender. Help us Lord to always call upon Your name. We love You Lord. In Jesus Name. AMEN.

Don’t believe me, believe God!

Isaiah 14:3 KJV – How could you love someone like me – Part 1

And it shall come to pass in the day that the Lord shall give thee rest from thy sorrow, and from thy fear, and from the hard bondage wherein thou wast made to serve.

Today begins a 3 part Prayer Devotion entitled, “How could you love someone like me”. The foundational scripture comes from the Book of Isaiah, chapter 14, verse 3. God is speaking here to the children of Israel as they were held captive in Babylon. God is making a promise that He will again deliver them from bondage as He once did in Egypt. But His blessing is going to take on two characteristics. God is going to work to make a blessed change in their present state and also in their spiritual state.

(1.) In their present state. The children of Israel, they shall have rest from their bondage; the days of their affliction, though many shall have an end; and the rod of the wicked, though it is long, it shall not always lie on them.

(2.) In their spirit. They shall have rest from their sorrow and fear, sense of their present burdens and dread of worse things to come. Sometimes fear puts the soul into a torment (confusion, upheaval, turmoil, uproar) as much as sorrow does. Those who are freed from the bondage of sin have a foundation laid for true rest from sorrow and fear.

But this 3 part devotion is not a study on what God accomplished in the children of Israel. The focus will be on what God accomplished in the life of someone who too was trapped in bondage and now is free.

Part 1 – How God Saves

He went to work on this particular Friday because he had extra work to complete. There were very few people at work that day because most everyone was working a 4 day work week. Mark, his boss, was working with him. They were the only ones in their group that was working that day. It was Friday, July 17, 1999.

It started out to be a regular sort of work day. But something changed. He began to have thoughts of his past. The past of being a drunk and a drug user that included all of the bad things that go along with that. How he neglected his duties as a father. How he would waste money and time getting drunk or high on the weekends. Going to drug houses and the things that go with that. Can anyone imagine the heartache that he encountered when he would bring his little daughter with him to the drug houses only to wait until she fell asleep so that he could satisfy his desires?

That Friday, he began to feel awful. So much so, that he couldn’t concentrate on his work. It got harder and harder and he began to feel pushed into a corner and out of control, squeezed. He didn’t know what was happening to him only that it had to stop. It was the hardest emotional and psychological attack that had ever happened to him. He was shaking and not feeling well. Then came the thoughts of taking his life to put an end to it all. Only then did he realize that it was the one year anniversary of his divorce. He then began to remember all that divorce meant to him and his children. He thought that if he took his life, he would not be a burden to anyone and he wouldn’t have to re-live the things going through his mind.

Mark was his boss at the time. He gave Mark a lot of respect and thought of him as a good person. Mark was someone he could like and get along with. They had a mutual respect and friendship for each other as coworkers. He thought to himself that he probably could get Mark to let him go home early for the day. That way he could take his life. He had the means to do it; he just had to get Mark to say he could go home.

He went over to Mark’s office to talk to him. He said, “Mark, it’s the one year anniversary of my divorce and I can’t keep my mind on my work. Can I go home?” Mark said, “Can I pray for you instead?” He said, “OK” and he sat down on the empty chair in Mark’s office. Mark held his hands and Mark began to pray. He never had a man pray for him before. He began to cry. Mark then told him that he went to church and wanted to know if he ever went to church. He said no and that he hadn’t gone in a long time. Mark gave him the phone number of the Pastor and asked him to call the Pastor and find out when church is on Sunday. Mark asked if he would think about coming to church that coming Sunday morning. He told Mark that he would think about it. He remained at work that day and didn’t go home. The next 36 hours or so he can’t remember.

The next thing he remembered was waking up on Sunday morning and getting ready to go to church. He didn’t want to, but kept getting ready and actually drove to the church. When he parked he still didn’t want to be there, but the church door opened and there stood Mark.

Mark took him to Sunday School and then had someone sit with him in the service while Mark led worship as the worship leader. Then the Pastor began to preach and he felt something different happening in him. That sermon had his name on it. He began to cry again and then the Pastor said there was someone there today that didn’t want to live the life he is leading any longer. The Pastor then said I want him to come up here to the altar. There is someone waiting for him and His name is Jesus. He immediately went to the altar to pray but didn’t know how. Right then and there, Mark put down his guitar and came down to where he was kneeling and asked if he knew what was happening. He said no, but he didn’t want to live like he was living any more. Mark then led him to accept Jesus as his personal Savior. They hugged each other and prayed for over 2 hours.

Two days earlier, he had plans to take my life. On Sunday, July 18, 1999, God had different plans and saved him from eternal death and gave him eternal life. That was 15 years ago and this is now.

Just as God worked in the lives of the children of Israel to make a blessed change in their present and spiritual state, God worked in this man’s life. He didn’t realize that there was a God who could love him. He wondered, “How could you love someone like me?” God poured out his love on him that day. And his life was never the same.

Tomorrow, we’ll look even more deeply into this man’s life when Part 2 examines, “How God Restores”.

Heavenly Lord, thank You for the cross. Thank You for meeting us at our time of need and giving us Your Son Jesus to forgive us, cleanse us, and set us on the path that You have chosen. Help us Lord to live a life that gives You the glory. In Jesus Name. AMEN.

Don’t believe me, believe God!

Psalm 150:6 NKJV – Who do we cheer for?

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!

I am a sports fan. I love watching sports. I love the experience of a live sporting event and I also love the experience of watching it on our newer TV set.  Thanks so much Allyson and James.  Some of my favorite sports include Baseball, Football, the NBA, NASCAR, and even, if I can find it, Curling. Aye? I love cheering for the team and getting on my feet to either cheer or to argue with a referee or umpire. Like they can even hear me. My point is there’s a reason for – O..HI..O. We’re fans and I’m a “Buckeye” fan.

I remember coming home after an event and not having any voice left to speak. I had been screaming so loudly, that there was nothing left but a whisper. Now there’s nothing wrong with being a sports fan and even going overboard with our exuberance for the team. But really, let’s think about this in terms of value.

I can be pretty certain that my voice in the midst of tens of thousands of people didn’t have much to do with the outcome of the event. I can also be sure that the coach or manager didn’t worry about not hearing me and my “well thought out advice”. So what is the true value in it. My life goes on and the team goes on to the next game or event.

There have been sermons and messages about where our values lie in terms of God’s Kingdom. You may have heard messages about our exuberant cheering at the game and our not so exuberant praise to our Lord and King during our praise and worship time. I have. And it’s true. We’ve heard said, “Just suppose you would praise God with the same excitement that you cheer your favorite team. What do you think could happen?” Where do we place our priority? What is the ultimate value?

I believe there’s a great and glorious reason why Psalm 150:6 is the very last scripture verse in the Book of Psalms. I believe that the Holy Spirit, who authored it, wanted to make a very important point. He wanted to ensure that we understood where our focus should be. Where our priority should lie. Throughout the Book of Psalms, the Psalmist spoke of God’s never ending love for us and how we can trust and rely on Him. How God is our protector and defender. How we can walk with Him knowing that He loves us. The Psalmist taught us that in the midst of troubles, we can praise Him and know He will deliver us. We could cry out to Him and know He would hear our cries. So this last scripture verse says it all. It’s the ultimate “Conclusion” statement. “Let EVERYTHING that has breath PRAISE THE LORD; PRAISE THE LORD!”

In our day to day walk with the Lord, there needs to be a priority placed on praising God for all things. There’s Kingdom value in this. My voice in PRAYER and PRAISE reaches our “Coach”, God Himself. He hears it and receives it and answers it. Shouldn’t we be fans of God even more than fans of anything else? My desire is to make Jesus famous. In MY PRAYERS, MY PRAISE, MY LIFE, with EVERY BREATH. Want to come sit in my cheering section? J..E – S..U..S!

Dear Lord, hear our praise. Hear our prayers. Help us to make You famous. May we lift our voices Higher than High to our great and glorious King. You are our loving Lord whose desire is to bless us and prosper us; to give us hope and a future. Let us raise the roof in praise. Hallelujah!!! Forgive us Lord when we place You lower than at the top of our life, our walk, our day to day priorities. May You forever be glorified. Praise You Lord!!! All Glory and Honor is Yours!!! In Jesus Name. AMEN.

Don’t believe me, believe God!

Jeremiah 29:13 NKJV – What got me interested?

And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

What got me interested is a curious title. Interested in what you might ask?

I am not a man whose attention is captured very easily. To get my attention, something has to be special or unique or beautiful. That something has to cause my eye to take a closer look. That something has to cause my mind to think twice about it. I have to be able to see relevance and need. Well, some of you may think that I’m shallow because of these “guidelines”. I’m not shallow at all. But I am kind of regimented. I have a particular personality trait that some people like, while others have said it drives them crazy. You see, I have to analyze everything.

When I say something has to be special. What I mean is it must cause my inner being, my heart to be moved. It’s that feeling that I have when I see a child’s smile, when I see the American Flag presented in a parade, when I hear the voice of someone obviously gifted, sing the National Anthem.

When I say something has to be unique. What I mean is it is different. Its qualities cannot be seen in other things. I call the birds that I love unique. I’ve shared before my love for bird watching and how I care for them in my backyard bird sanctuary. Though there are over 50 species of birds that come to our feeders, each of them is unique to me.

When I say something has to be beautiful. What I mean is it causes my head to turn. First and foremost, this defines my wife Nancy. She is the most beautiful woman that I have ever encountered, both inside and outside. Her outer beauty takes my breath away and her inner beauty makes my heart smile.

But this devotion is not about patriotism, bird watching, or even my wife, Nancy. “What got me interested” is really asking “What got me interested in Prayer”. And the answer is that I am the direct recipient of fervent prayer and the life that I lead is a result of that prayer. I pray because I was prayed for. The day that my dear friend took my hands to pray with me, my heart began to be changed. The day that same dear friend knelt with me in prayer, I experienced the addictions of this world being delivered and the truest love anyone can find wash over me. I pray because God Himself was a participant of those prayers. And when I pray now, God actively participates in each prayer. It doesn’t matter if the prayer is for me or for someone else. God is actively moving in that prayer to answer it. You might ask does Prayer meet my guidelines. Well, yes indeed.

Prayer is special. Any time you can spend with God in conversation and petition is special. God won’t reject you and He is always ready to hear you and engage you.

Prayer is unique. Having conversation with our Almighty Creator is definitely unique. Who else spoke ALL things into existence? Who else is all knowing, all powerful, and everywhere all the time.

Prayer is beautiful. Prayer brings me into the presence of God which takes my breath away and causes my heart to smile.

Prayer deepens our relationship with God. Prayer brings us closer to Him. He created us with a need for connection, and prayer is connection. Praying is talking to the Lord, just like friends talk to each other and are brought closer together through their sharing. When we pray, we share our innermost being with Him. Through prayer, we are transformed and renewed. Prayer reminds us that we are dependent on God and not on ourselves. Prayer draws us closer to God.

But listen, I desire to pray. I want to have a conversation with God. I want Him to know all about me. I want to learn all about Him. I want to take a hold of His hand and walk with Him in the cool of the day. I want to rejoice with Him. I want to weep with Him. I want our hearts to be entwined together so that my heart beats with His heart.

Join me in prayer, will you?

Great and loving Lord. Thank You for the relationship we have when we talk to each other in prayer. Thank You that You always have time for me. That I am not an interruption to You. I desire Lord more time with You. I ask You Lord to help my friends open their hearts to You in prayer. I ask You Lord to bless them and prosper them and find favor with them as they share what is on their hearts. Lord may my friends grow more and more each day with You as they pray. In Jesus Name. AMEN.

Don’t believe me, believe God!

John 10:27-30 NKJV – Who’s calling?

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are one.

It wasn’t so long ago that I lived in a season of doubt. Doubt about who I was in Christ. There was even a time of “How could God love me.” Yes, this is another scheme of the enemy. Doubt takes a grip and is one of the hardest things to shake. The enemy brings doubt into our minds and this causes us to rationalize away common sense and the knowledge of God. Doubt is a powerful weapon. It causes us to question every single thing we do or thought we have. Literally, it’s like walking on egg shells. Belief sets in that at any given moment, you’ll make another bad choice or fail.

Jesus wants us to know in this verse that we know His voice and when we hear it, we’ll follow after Him. The key is recognizing Jesus’ voice. When we allow the enemy to bring doubt into our minds, it collapses our capability to clearly hear anything from God. It’s like putting on ear muffs.

But our ears can be opened by the One who restored hearing to the deaf, caused the blind to see, set the captives free, and raised the dead. “He, who has ears to hear, let him hear!” Jesus Christ is above all that the enemy throws at us. When we begin to doubt our faith, our walk with God, our existence in Christ, we must say, “Get behind me satan!” and accept the Power of God for victory. It’s only in the strength of God that doubt can be defeated.

Jesus has given us His promise that NOTHING can snatch us from Him. NOTHING! Jesus is our Good Shepherd and He has watch over His sheep. Jesus declares the Power and Authority given to Him by His Father and we can rest in the knowledge that Jesus and the Father are One. (John Chapter 17) There are no hidden messages here.

When we fail and doubt wants to take hold of our thoughts, it is then we must turn toward Jesus and run to Him. We hear Him calling! Run to Him! The cool thing that happens when we do that is we find that Jesus is running toward us. He is looking for the sheep that has gone astray. Hallelujah!!! And when He carries us back, He places us in a position of restoration and love.

Dear Jesus. Thank You that when we keep close to You we can hear Your voice and when we stray, You come after us. Help us to cast away the lies of the enemy that wants to cause our ears to close. Forgive us when we believe the lies and not the truth in You. Thank You for the eternal life we have in You, Jesus. Help us remember that nothing can snatch us from Your hand. Nothing! In Jesus Name. AMEN.

Don’t believe me, believe God!