Does the Lord Have Your Whole Heart?

“Am I becoming more and more in love with God as a holy God, or with the conception of an amiable Being who says, ‘Oh well, sin doesn’t matter much?’  God never coerces, neither does He ever accommodate His demands to human compromise, and we are disloyal to Him if we do.”  Oswald Chambers

“As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.'” 1 Peter 1:14-16

 

From the Heart of God:

 

Be unafraid because you trust Me more. More and more trust leads to more and more faith which leads to more and more obedience, making your foundation secure and releasing My anointing on your life.

 

“Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them ….is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.”  Luke 6:47, 48

 

With obedience comes not only stability but also the lack of quenching and grieving My Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:19, Ephesians 4:30) and thus more freedom of the Holy Spirit and My power in your life.  The “sin doesn’t matter much” attitude which is so prevalent is such a steady LIE of the enemy (John 8:44) to keep My people ineffective. Do not buy into it. Don’t. I want to see you serious about sin, serious about holiness, serious about righteousness, serious about obedience, living for ‘that day’ rather than for the pleasures of this world which are fleeting. This is where your true freedom is found (John 8:31, 32).

 

“…what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God,…… be diligent to be found in Him in peace, spotless and blameless,..” (portions of 2 Peter 3:11-14)

 

Wholehearted devotion is what I want to see, with an attitude of “whatever that means” (and really mean “whatever”). Trust Me.  Surrender. Nothing off limits. Not half-hearted obedience, but the ‘nothing off limits’ kind of wholehearted obedience. This is where true peace and confidence is found, in allowing Me to fulfill My purpose in and through you.

 

“For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.” 2 Chronicles 16:9a NASB

 

Though My people long to be wholeheartedly devoted, most do not even realize how much of their devotion to Me is not even half of their heart. Is it even a fourth, honestly? An eighth? Let Me show you. What else is your heart given to and divided by? How much do you hold back? How much do you protect for yourself and choose to not trust Me with? You cheat yourself by holding back. Sit with Me today and let’s answer these questions together. What are you still withholding and why?

 

I am able to strongly support you. Let Me have your whole heart. Fully given. Fully devoted. Fully trusting.

And rest.

 

“And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.” Mark 12:30

 

I can be trusted with all of it.

 

 

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Is the Lord Calling You to Take a Risk?

 

From the Heart of God for you:

 

Do not fear. Do not look around you with suspicion.

Fix your eyes upon Me (Hebrews 12:2) and gain confidence in My abilities. Be confident in My love.

I answer you with bold confidence (Psalm 138:3). Stand up into that confidence even before you feel it to be true. Take the step of faith and watch Me meet it. I will rise up in you, and you will experience the weak becoming strong. My power is perfected in your weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9), so you need not be afraid of the weakness or of what you see as current shortcomings.

 

The I AM stands with you and makes the difference. I Am the One Who changes everything, THE Difference Maker.*

 

You will go and do what you have not been able to even think up, as I do far more abundantly than anything you can imagine with My power working through you (Ephesians 3:20).  Just take the leaps of faith. I love to meet My people there.

 

Take risks.

I know that sounds scary, but they cause rejoicing in your soul. You were created for that wild adventure, the adventure of accomplishing the impossible through My saving strength and ability already placed within you in the Holy Spirit.

 

Take risks, which cause you to totally rely upon Me. And produce change, which satisfies your soul and brings rest and joy.

You don’t have to come up with the plan. In the moment of need you will know what to do and will have the courage needed for the moment.

 

Just keep following My lead. Trust My voice. Study My word. And walk in My ways.

 

You can.

 

You can do all things and run with endurance and perseverance. Tapping into My strength (Philippians 4:13), you need never give up.

Tap into His faith. He has plenty to give.

 

* He is THE Difference Maker (Exodus 3:11-12, In answer to Moses’ question, ‘Who am I?’ God’s answer was, “Certainly I will be with you..”, It’s His same answer in Exodus 4:12,  Judges 6:6, 2 Samuel 5:10, Acts 18:9,10, Jeremiah. 1:8). This is why we can do the impossible that He asks of us.  He is with us.

 

Friend,

May we be unafraid because we trust Him more and more. Let’s go do what He calls us to do, even when it feels risky. And may we cheer one another on!

Cheering for you,

Traci

 

Any scripture included in this post can be seen in its entirety as you hover over the reference. Check it out.

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Excel Still More

 

“Finally then, brethren, we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us instruction as to how you ought to walk and please God (just as you actually do walk), that you excel still more.” 1 Thessalonians 4:1 NASB

In other words, “Hey, you’re actually doing it. Good job. But don’t be satisfied to stay where you are.”

 

These are words to encourage us on, no matter where we are, whether we are walking in victory, successful in the world’s eyes, or in a not so successful season of days.

I include the distinction “in the world’s eyes” because things may look so different from God’s perspective. What we see and enjoy as success, He may KNOW is a detour from His perfect plan. And likewise, what we are considering a complete waste and failure, He sees as the perfect tool and path to make us exactly who He wants us to become: conforming us to the image of His Son (Romans 8:28, 29).

There is always room to “excel still more” and more every day.

 

Don’t ever settle.

 

May we always have this attitude, looking to Jesus for our direction,

 

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.” Psalm 32:8

 

and “forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,”

 

let us press on to lay hold of (grasp) and make our own, that for which Christ Jesus (the Messiah) has laid hold of us and made us His own,

 

and press on toward the goal (Philippians 3:12, 13, 14)

 

and excel still more.

 

Keep growing, keep grasping, keep seeking His face, and keep being transformed by the power of the Word, by the renewing of your mind.

 

 

-Is there any area of your life that your growth has ‘plateaued’ and you have decided to ‘settle’ there? Ask God to show you.

-Talk to the Lord today about where He longs for you to be in that area of your life (and others). Put pen to paper and ask Him to speak His vision of growth and maturity over your life.

And choose/make a decision to “walk in a manner worthy.” Colossians 1: 10, 11, 12

-What is TODAY’S first next step toward growth?

 

If you are not currently in His Word every day and meditating on His Word, that is your starting point. Need a good reading plan? Check out my favorite here. Need some encouragement, click here.

And remember you can hover over the scripture references on this site and see the verses in a pop-up window.

 

Want to receive devotional encouragement in your inbox each week, simply subscribe here. I will also send you a copy of my 6 Week Prayer Strategy with a week of devotionals.  Click here. Yes!

Do Not Fear or Be Discouraged

“As I have planned, so shall it be, and as I have purposed, so shall it stand, ……

For the Lord of hosts has purposed, and who will annul it? His hand is stretched out, and who will turn it back?” Isaiah 14:24, 27 ESV

 

“O Lord, You are my God; I will exalt You, I will give thanks to Your name;
For You have worked wonders, plans formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness.” Isaiah 25:1 NASB

 

 

From the heart of God:

 

I move in mysterious ways.

And I cannot be bound.

 

So what are you so worried about?

 

 

The rules, the laws, and all the prohibitions of this world do not bind a limitless, all-powerful God.

So don’t respond in fear and act as if they do.

 

 

Move on. Keep stepping and taking ground and make proclamations over your life, your city, your family, your sphere of influence. Hear My heart and proclaim it.

 

Knowing the truth of My Word, speak it forth in love truthfully.

Don’t get caught up in compromise or defeat or discouragement.

Some of My mightiest works have come in the midst of the desperation of the oppressed as they cry out to Me.

 

Change will happen when your opponents, in the midst of turmoil and opposition, see your faith, your love, your hope, your perseverance, and the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22, 23), all of which makes no sense to them because it is supernaturally given.

 

Hearts will be opened (Acts 16:14),

a fragrance of life will go forth (2 Corinthians 2:14, 15, 16),

and the unexplainable and sometime unrecognizable longings of thirsty souls will suddenly be satisfied (Matt. 5:6, John 6:35).

 

 

It is My TRUTH that will set people free (John 8:32). So give it. Be bold and strong and faithful.

 

Have your eyes set on Me (Hebrews 12:2), no matter what.

 

It is My truth that attracts. Even the hard truth that you fear to speak forth. It is magnetic. The longing to hear it burns within people. I have placed it there so don’t starve that longing or quench it, but fan it into flame.

 

Just as the consistent boundaries and discipline of parents lead to a secure child, it is My truth, the way I say that it works, that matures faith. But the standards have been lowered (1 Timothy 6:3, 4), producing terribly insecure children of God.

 

Toe the line. Walk in a manner worthy (Ephesians 4:1, Philippians 1:27, 28, Colossians 1:10, 1 Thessalonians 2:12).

 

Speak the truth. Call for repentance and confession of sin, that I may hear from heaven and turn with all that I am to help in time of need.

 

I am here.

 

“Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.” Colossians 3:2

 

 

Hi friends,

As I talked to the Lord about what should go out today, I heard the phrase “toe the line.”  It brought this from April 2016 immediately to mind so I’m posting it, but I also pondered that phrase a bit.

“Toe the line” is an idiomatic expression meaning either to conform to a rule or standard, or to stand poised at the starting line in a footrace.

But I kept seeing the finish line.

 

Some of us need to decide to step over the finish line, to choose to finish, to finish things that have been started.

What ideas have been sparked and initiated but are still left undone? Go and finish. May we stop just thinking and dreaming. Decide on one step forward that can be taken today. Start taking ACTION and make plans to cross the finish line.

Do the stuff. Run your race, the one that STARTS with a great FINISH.

Go produce change.

 

I’d love to hear what you are finishing.

Let me know. Leave a comment below or email me at traci@tracishinnick.com

And remember you can hover over the scripture references on this site and see the verses in a pop-up window.

 

Traci

 

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How Do We Tap into Faith?

In a moment of fear and unbelief, I heard God speak these words to my heart:

 

“I have enough faith for the both of us. Borrow Mine.”

(You can read about it here if you missed it.)

 

Suddenly the raging seas of fear and doubt were calmed, with a word.

 

Like “Peace! Be still!… and there was a great calm.”Mark 4:39.

 

This is what He can do with just a word if we will listen and allow Him.

Fear and doubt are often simply a result of placing our faith in the wrong place,

so let’s place our faith in the One with Whom all things are possible (Mark 14:36).

 

When you can’t find the faith to act, tap into His.

 

How is this done practically? How do we borrow His faith?

-Be in the Word of God.

When we are constantly bathing our minds in the truth of His Word and in His power and ability and all the impossibilities that He has accomplished and promises us, then our faith is built up and made strong in Him.

In the Word, you will come across some outlandish solutions to impossible difficulties and be reminded and encouraged that He truly does work beyond any way that we can imagine. Therefore, when you are up against a predicament that you can’t see a way out of, you have faith that it is not too complicated for Him. He makes a way where there is no way.

 

-Be in prayer.

Talk to Him about it all and listen to what He quietly speaks to your heart. (Write it down so you don’t forget. You’ll need it again.)

“Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6, 7 Amplified Bible

 

-Write out your fears (or excuses).

See them (your ‘truth’ that feels very true) in black and white.

This usually will quickly show them as the ‘liars’ that they are and His corresponding truth, but if not, pray and ask God to show you the truth about those fears.

Allow Him to reveal His truths that oppose the fears.

 

-Fix your eyes upon Him.

“But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.” Psalm 86:15

It’s almost impossible to gaze upon Him (focus on His loving greatness) and drown in fear and doubt at the same time.

“… let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us, Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection].” Hebrews 12:1, 2 Amplified Bible

 

Use His faith and run your race.

 

“You keep him in perfect peace
whose mind is stayed on you,
because he trusts in you.
Trust in the Lord forever,
for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.” Isaiah 26:3, 4 ESV

 

 

Hi friends,

Borrow His faith for whatever ‘mountain’ seems to be standing in your way this week. He is so faithful and longs for us to walk in His victory even more than we long to.

What is keeping you from tapping into His faith and moving forward? If you aren’t sure, ask Him and allow Him to show you.

And then lay that down and surrender it to Him.

Is it how you spend your time or the fears that you rehearse in your mind?

Is it the lies that you are currently believing or what people may think? “The fear of man brings a snare, but he who trusts in the Lord will be exalted.” Proverbs 29:25

Refuse all the snares and all that would hold you back from His best, and keep moving forward, step by faithful step, in His power and strength.  Abide in Him continually and habitually.  And go “fulfill your ministry” (2 Timothy 4:5).

Blessings to you,

Traci

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Need Faith for Something Big?

From fear to faith.

 

I cannot even remember what the issue was, what the unbelief was about, or what evoked the fear, but I remember how Jesus, My Savior, made it all disappear in a moment’s time. There was a swing of emotions, from fear and unbelief to trust and faith.

 

He is a big God Who asks BIG, impossible things of us. So of course we will not feel able (because we aren’t), but be careful of responding to His clear instruction with the lie, “I can’t.”

“I can’t” is always a lie for the believer in Christ.

Yes, it may be a half-truth that feels fiercely true but half-truths, no matter how true they feel, are always lies.

 

See, the truth is that He enables us to do all that He asks of us.

 

Apart from Him we can do nothing (John 15:5),
but with Him all things are possible (Mark 9:23).

He works in us, both to will and to work for His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13),

in our weakness, He is strong (2 Corinthians 12:9, 10),

He has given us all we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3),

and we have the power of the Holy Spirit, Who is our Helper (John 14:26, 16:7).

 

So yes, while it is certainly true that with my human limitations “I can’t” in my own strength, the real truth is: “What can you and I not do at His bidding?” (Luke 5:1-11 is a great example of the difference).

I can do nothing, but “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 (This is a good verse to read in its context.)

 

So on this particular day, He met my “I can’t. I don’t have the faith for it” with these words:

 

“I have enough faith for the both of us. Borrow Mine.”

 

(continued here: How Do We Tap into His Fatih?)

 

What is God currently calling you to that the lie of your ‘can’t-ness’ is intimidating you about?

 

Borrow His ‘mountain moving faith’ and allow Him to turn that, “Who am I? I can’t.” into
 
“Here am I. Send me.” Isaiah 6:8
 
 
“For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you. Matthew 17:21

 

 

Hi Friends,

I would love to hear from you. Has this been encouraging in a certain issue you are dealing with right now? I’d love to know and pray for you. You can comment here or email me at traci@tracishinnick.com.

What is He currently calling you to? I encourage you to step out in faith in His BIGNESS and His powerful ability. You don’t have to have a bit of confidence in yourself and in your abilities. If He asks you to step into it, He will certainly meet you there. Do it, even if you have to do it scared. And watch God work! Next week I will share the second part of this post with some practical ideas of how we can “Borrow His Faith.”

 

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Filled With All the Fullness of God

“… to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowldege, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.”  Ephesian 3:19

 

From the heart of God:

 

I fill.

 

I fill the longings, needs, and despair with hope (Romans 15:13),

but people look to fill themselves (Jeremiah 2:13) and therefore stay empty and needy and full of despair.

 

Come. I call, “Come. And follow Me.”

I, alone, fill.

 

Be filled with the Holy Spirit (Ephesian 5:18), a ‘gift’ LARGER than any of your wants, needs, or ANY sense of ‘lacking’.

With Me, you lack no good thing (Psalm 34:10).

 

I fill. You are therefore FULL, not wanting.

You can be full in the midst of any ‘seemingly inadequate supply’ or ‘famine’ of ANY kind.

 

I AM the true bread of life (John 6:35), and I sustain the soul (which is hungrier than any physical appetite).

 

But there is a dearth of truth spoken, truth that souls long for. Therefore, people look to all sorts of ‘distractions’ to quench this longing.

I am calling forth truth speakers (Ephesians 4:15).

 

Be filled to overflowing with the POWER of My Word.

There is REAL power there.

 

And I will give you the boldness to speak it forth (Acts 4:29, 31).

 

I am for you, not against you.

Allow the truth of that statement to extend into all areas of your current life circumstances.

And be filled with faith.

 

Believe that I am a rewarder of those who seek Me (Hebrews 11:6) and be filled.

 

 

*dearth- a scarcity or lack of

 

Friends,

His love and truth always call for a response: 

-Have you been looking to any sort of ‘distraction’ to quench the longings your soul feels? What are they? Even write them down. Be honest. Honesty with the God Who knows all reveals to us what He has known all along. We need to know so what we can fully surrender. We want that place of freedom.

-Where have you been looking at ‘famine’ and now realize you need to turn your gaze and look to Him, Who has a limitless supply and Who is for you and not against you? How does meditating on that truth change your perspective of particular circumstances?

-Practically, how will you look to Him today to fill you?

-As many of us transition into new summer schedules, let’s all make a plan to make special time with our family and yet not neglect our time with the Lord and His Word and prayer. We, and all our people, need us to be filled up, that we have much of Him to give.

Make a plan today. I would love to hear about it. You can comment below or email me at traci@tracishinnick.com.

 

Would you like to receive these devotionals in your inbox? Simply subscribe here. I will also send you a copy of my 6 Week Prayer Strategy with a week of devotionals.  Click here. Yes!

The Enemy’s Scheme of Two Extremes

 

“The sum of Your word is truth,
And every one of Your righteous ordinances is everlasting.” Psalm 119:160

 

 

The whole counsel of the word of God gives us balance, the stability we need so that we are not “tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes” (Ephesians 4:14).

 

Church, we are currently being bombarded by some strong ‘waves,’ and too many are unfortunately losing their footing.

 

The enemy’s tactic is to swing the pendulum to an extreme either way. He doesn’t care, as long as he distorts the truth of the gospel.

 

So, we can swing to legalism (which the books of Galatians and Colossians, for example, speak to the issue of freedom from) or licentiousness* (“turning the grace of God into” a license to sin-Jude 1:4, which the book of 1 John is a good rebuttal of).

 

 

Depending upon which ‘group’ you’ve been exposed to most of your life, you undoubtedly have been influenced by one of these extremes, and even now as you are growing in the truth of His Word and His love you may still be experiencing the hold of some faulty thinking. This is why having our minds washed with the purity of His Word is so important.

 

Continually exposing ourselves to the Scriptures as a whole and being led by the Spirit and seeking Him above all else, keeps us walking in freedom, in the sweet spot between the two extremes.

 

“Teach me your way, O Lord that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name.” Psalm 86:11 ESV

 

What if the act of obedience that we are brushing off as legalism and refusing to do is that which God is actually calling us to? Or on the other hand, what if ‘our freedom’ is actually turning our backs on His call to deeper relationship and godliness and sanctification and holiness and POWER?  Both extremes cut us off from His POWER.

 

So how do we protect ourselves from these deceiving extremes?

 

The answer to keeping the balance is to immerse ourselves in His Word, the whole counsel of God, being diligent to present ourselves as workmen who need not be ashamed, handling accurately the Word of God (2 Timothy 2:15), that we are protected from being misled by persuasive arguments (Colossians 2:4-8).

 

 

“Sanctify** them in the truth; Your word is truth.” John 17:17

 

– Ask the Lord to search your heart today (Psalm 139:23) and show you areas in your life that you have allowed the grace of God to become an excuse for sin or where you have gotten sidetracked from the purity of intimate relationship with Him by a commitment to just following rules. Repent and follow Him fully.

 

-Resolve to know His word and His truth and act upon it wholeheartedly. He works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose (Philippians 2:13). Allow Him. Follow close.

 

-Immerse yourself in His Word and obey in the power of the Holy Spirit.

 

 

“..so that no advantage would be taken of us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes.” 2 Corinthians 2:11

 

 

 

 

*licentiousness (Strong’s #766): “Lasciviousness, license, debauchery, sexual excess, absence of restraint, insatiable desire for pleasure.. perversion in general, 1 Peter 4:3, 2 Peter 2:7.”

**Sanctify (37) hagiazo= To make holy, sanctify. To consecrate, devote, set apart from a common to a sacred use…. Spoken of persons, to consecrate as being set apart of God and sent by Him for the performance of His will.

Zodiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament.