Where to Look for the Answer

 “Lord, what is on Your heart? What are You saying?” 
 
 
I am Lord and ruler of all. Follow Me to a place of sweet victory and bold courage in victory. I always have a plan. I always know the way. So why, pray tell, do you worry and expend so much energy trying to figure things out and making your own plans.
 
Just follow Me. Pray to the Lord of the harvest. Prayer is your first action (not your last!). Pray. You are not begging Me to work but aligning your heart in faith of what only I can accomplish as you pray. Prayer puts your heart in position and puts the hearts you are trying to reach in position. Do not neglect the power. 
 
Do not neglect the power of prayer. Pray to the Lord who in secret knows all and has all the answers.
 
Ask yourself and answer honestly: 
Where are you looking for the answer? 
Who are you looking to for direction, for the next step, for the solution?
 
Look up! From where does your help come? Your help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth. 
 
 
“I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
From where shall my help come?
My help comes from the LORD,
Who made heaven and earth.
He will not allow your foot to slip;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps Israel
Will neither slumber nor sleep.
The LORD is your keeper;
The LORD is your shade on your right hand.
The sun will not smite you by day,
Nor the moon by night.
The LORD will protect you from all evil;
He will keep your soul.
The LORD will guard your going out and your coming in
From this time forth and forever.”
Psalm 121
 
 
This is a portion from a journal entry on 7/4/21.

Nothing is Too Difficult

From the Heart of God:

I make a way when and where there is no way.

I am the Creator of all. So, nothing is too difficult for Me. Stop making things “difficult” and seeing them as insurmountable. I can do in a moment what should take days, months, years. I am ABLE. Don’t lose sight of My ability, My power, and My purpose. 

My purposes will be fulfilled and not on “flowery beds of ease”; that is not the pattern or way you see in My Word, so why are you expecting it all to be easy? Suffer hardship as a good soldier (2 Timothy 2:3). Do not give into despair or hopelessness. No. See all you have been given to win the war. Put on the armor, take up the weapons, and fight the good fight (1 Timothy 6:12). You are fully equipped. Just don’t lose sight of the mission.

What is the mission? Souls. Snatch them out of the kingdom of darkness and bring them into this marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9). 

So, let us each ask ourselves, “How am I going about that business?” 


The above was written in my journal on Oct. 27, 2021 and is a good reminder as we head into a new year of unknowns. He knows. He goes before us. He has always known and has not ever been “nervous” or “worried” about how it’s going to all pan out; therefore, neither should we. Each time I have read this as I’ve decided if this is the week for this post to go out, I have been deeply encouraged by the weight and hope and encouragement of these words. I pray that you experience the same.I know that many are entering this new year in hard times and with many unknowns and questions. I pray God would use this encouragement to give you peace in the midst of it.

As we entered 2020 I heard the Lord say, “I am on My throne.”

This encouragement is still true. He is enthroned above it all. 

“The Lord has established His throne in the heavens,
And His sovereignty rules over all.” Psalm 103:19

And here’s one last thing I want to share today. As I was getting this post together and looking up some of the bible references to note those, I wondered about the “flowery beds of ease”. I looked and it is not a bible verse but from a hymn that, interestingly enough (God is so sweet to confirm things), also includes the idea of being a soldier. The lyrics of Am I a Soldier of the Cross were written by Dr. Isaac Watts in 1709, to follow a sermon on 1 Cor. 16:13. 

Isaiah 43 would also be a good read to accompany this devotional this week. Press forward! I would love to hear some of your plans and/or goals for the new year. 

Bless you,

Traci

PS: To download and print a Chronological Bible Reading Plan for 2022, clink on this link: My Favorite Reading Plan  This is the one that I have personally used over 20 years. It can be folded and used as a bookmark to mark off as you go. The Psalms show up every 7th day and make for an easy catch up day if you find yourself behind, and you can also check off as you read ahead.

And you can find a checklist for goals for this month here

The “Must” of Being in His Word

A.W. Tozer wrote in The Knowledge of the Holy: “The decline of the knowledge of the holy has brought on our troubles. A rediscovery of the majesty of God will go a long way toward curing them. It is impossible to keep moral practices sound and our inward attitudes right while our idea of God is erroneous or inadequate. If we would bring back spiritual power to our lives, we must begin to think of God more nearly as He is.”  

May our plans for the new year have time with The Almighty at the top of the list – rediscovering His majesty, holiness, divine power, and His enablement for us to fulfill our calling and to walk in a manner worthy of that calling (Eph. 4:1).

We need the encouragement that is found in daily being in His life-giving, living and active Word. 

The “must” of being in His Word is one of my life messages, and I feel a now more than everwe must dedicate ourselves to know the truth of His Word and to prayer – to pray His Word, to pray according to His Word, to listen to His voice, and to obey. 

And, honestly, all of this just doesn’t happen without a plan!

I have a Bible reading plan I love that you can download here: My Favorite Reading Plan. It can be folded and used as a bookmark to mark off as you go. But I encourage you to use whatever has worked best for you. Just have a plan! I always also read through the NT slowly throughout the year and study deeply somewhere in Scripture. I believe these are all so important for us to know and live the Word. I plan to read a chapter in the NT each day this year which will get me slowly through the NT before getting there in the reading plan in October.

I’m also including a link below to the type of chart we used for the 21 day challenge and the following encouragement from that challenge for the person who is hearing/feeling the resistance of “I don’t want to be legalistic about daily being in the word and checking boxes”.

First, there’s a mindset shift from “I have to” to “I get to”. What a blessing we have to sit and read a book that is like none other! It is living and active, and God-breathed, and through it we experience His love and goodness and our faith is grown in His truth that “with God all things are possible” (Matt. 19:26).

AND Jesus said that we will not live by bread alone but that we WILL live “‘on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God'” (Matt. 4:4). Oh, to not neglect hearing His words in scripture and listening in prayer! 

And think about this: no one has ever said, “You know, I just don’t want to be legalistic about eating meals every day.” Never would eating be looked as such! And here we have the bread of life!

“Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.'” (John 6:35) 

May the Word of God become not only a daily nonnegotiable but something we daily consume for our very life sustenance. 

The 31 day chart link can be used to keep tabs on any habit that you would like to establish. I’ll share some of my thoughts on how I’m using mine next week. 
Happy New Year!
With love,
Traci

Make Way for the King of Glory

From the Father’s Heart:
 
Make way. Make way for the King of glory to come in.

“What does that mean?” 
 
The Highway of Holiness (Isaiah 35:8) is the only road I can come on. Prepare the way. I cannot move in and through a church that only and always hinders Me. Open up the gates and let the King of glory come in (Psalm 24:7, 9).
 
Prepare the way in holiness and truth with the doctrine conforming to godliness (1 Timothy 6:3) and radical obedience. Be a church (a body) that says “be imitators of me as I am of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1) and live it. No more lowering the standard. No more being deceived (2 Timothy 3:13) by deceitful, persuasive arguments of men (Colossians 2:4) who want to make excuses for their sin. Am I not bigger than that? Do MY people need excuses: excuses for disobedience, excuses to not live according to My Word?
 
Realize that if I said it, I have made it possible for you. Read the Word with an “eye” to see the truth and a “heart” to obey. I have given you all you need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3).
 
With the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16) and the power of the Holy Spirit, why live life like “spiritual paupers”? Stop laying down your power and authority just because the enemy says so. Listen to Me. And go change the world.
 
People of God, rise up and change the landscape.
 
Enough already of a lifeless, worldly, powerless “church”. There’s no such thing! Body of Christ, you are not powerless. You are full of life and love and power and wisdom. Follow Me. Deny yourself and the mold and methods of the world’s system. And follow Me. 

“If anyone wishes to come after Me, 
he must deny himself, 
and take up his cross 
and follow Me.”
 
Matthew 16:24
 
Oh, may we be followers!

 
“Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD?
And who may stand in His holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart, 
Who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood 
And has not sworn deceitfully.
He shall receive a blessing from the LORD 
And righteousness from the God of his salvation…
Who is the King of glory?
The LORD strong and mighty,
The LORD mighty in battle…
The LORD of hosts,
He is the King of glory. 
Selah.” Psalm 24:3-5, 8,10
  
 
Friends,

Read and meditate on Psalm 24 this week. Oh, may this be “the generation of those who seek Him, who seek Your face” (verse 6). And click over and read this entry; it’s a great reiteration of this thought going into the New Year. 

And “be imitators of me as I am of Christ” is also something we will talk more about in this next year. It truly should be an aim of each and every one of us to be able to say as followers who follow Him. 

(Today’s word was a continuation of last week’s from my Oct. 11th journal entry.)

You can see the verses above in their entirety by hovering over the reference. And if you want to receive these posts directly in your inbox, just click here: Sign me up!

Your Most Prized Possession

From the Father’s Heart:

I am doing a new thing, always. New things in ancient ways, always new and yet never-changing. I am the God of the impossible and am over-the-top creative. Watch what I can do, even in a suddenly moment. Keep your eyes open and watch.

Watch what we can do. Watch how I partner with the people of God – those who are bold and undignified enough to follow, those who aren’t afraid to BE different and shine to be seen in ways that the world despises. The world hates the light, for they love their deeds done in darkness.

Who will come? Who will (in righteousness, in holiness, and with a willingness to be persecuted for godliness) come before My throne for their marching orders, for their assignment in the Spirit? Who will hide themselves in the secret place to FIND strength and support – mercy and grace for the days ahead – to BE built up?

Who will ignore the “false limelight” and even (seemingly, but not actually) sacrifice the applause and affirmation of men FOR MY pleasure: to please Me and FIND My strength and power.

Come, hide yourself in Me. Be hidden.
Ask. Seek. Knock. Find and be found.

I will strongly support those fully dependent upon Me in these days. Look to no one else and to no thing. Nothing else will do. Eyes on Me. This will build faith and confidence and security.

Will I find faith on the earth? Will you hold it as your most prized possession and relentlessly avoid anything and anyone who steals that confidence from you?

Holiness and radical obedience will be your covering. And both take great faith.

“You of little faith” – if you look at the phrase in scripture, it is always THE malady. Above all else, pray that your faith will not fail. Mix what you hear of My truth with faith.

Faith is the key for the next season, and it will be played out in holiness and godliness. And it will be opposed and hated. You will be persecuted.

Be ready. Ready yourselves in My Presence, in humility, in bowing the knee to Me alone (not bowing to this world’s system).

I have come to set the captives free. I proclaim freedom!

Do not shackle yourself with SIN, in thought or action.

Free from sin, alive to God! Live in this space of mind.
Slaves of righteousness. That is freedom!
Free to obey!

 

 

Hi friends,
This word was originally written in my journal on Oct 11th of this year. As I share it today and long to insert all the scripture references like normal so that you don’t miss a single truth that this holds from the Word of God and where to find it, there are just too many. And I don’t want to muddle up the simplicity. So I’ll just make a list of some of them below so that you can simply hover over the reference and it will show up in a pop-up box. 

But I also want to take this opportunity to highly encourage you to make a thorough reading, meditating, studying of scripture a priority in this coming year. We MUST know the truth of His Word! Maybe you love it and have been distracted by all the changes of the past years and not given it its necessary prominence in your life or perhaps the Bible has always been hard for you to read at all – wherever you are there is always room to grow. I feel like I will probably share some more encouragement in this area in the weeks to come as we begin a new year, but would you put it to prayer? wherever you are, whatever your current attitude or daily practice is, would you pray for a deeper hunger and thirst and love for the truth of His Word, would you ask Him to bring it to life and take you deeper and deeper and deeper and lead you into all truth? It’s what He does and a prayer He longs to answer. Faith is the key to the next season and “faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17).

 

Isaiah 43:19; Hebrews 13:8; Luke 1:37, 18:27; suddenly – 2 Chronicles 29:36; undignified – 2 Sam. 6:22; shine Matt. 5:16, Phil. 2:15; hates light- Jn 3:20;  Matt. 5:10; Heb. 4:16; please Him – Col. 1:10, Matt. 7:7, strongly support – 2 Chron. 16:9; eyes on Him- Heb. 12:2; Luke 18:8; faith not fail – Luke 22:32; mix with faith – Heb. 4:2; captives free – Luke 4:18, Is. 61:1, 2 Tim. 3:12, Matt. 10:22; Heb. 12:1; Rom. 6:11, 6:18

Freeing Up An Army

Is there a step of faith with which God could use you to free up an “army”? Before you dismiss the thought with a “who am I?” please read on.
  
“Who do you think you are? What do you think you can accomplish?” These “taunts” (from the last post) remind me of Goliath’s (and even David’s brother’s). The “look of impossibility” against the likes of Goliath dismayed and produced great fear in a whole army who heard him take his stand every morning and evening for forty days (1 Sam. 17:11, 16, 24).
 
David, who had only been sent to take his brothers some food, came upon the scene and saw it for what it was and asked, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should taunt the armies of the living God?” (1 Sam. 17:26) 
 
And God’s victory through David’s courageous actions FREED A WHOLE ARMY that day, an army that had been distracted and stopped in their tracks for 40 days by “taunts” (by a “taunter”). 
 
There is a lot of taunting of the “armies of the living God” these days, and how much do we just take at face value, agree with, succumb and surrender to rather than realizing that it is a ridiculous spiritual battle? It’s “ridiculous” because it looks so ominous, BUT in Christ you already own the victory
  
The question today is “WHEN WILL the army of the living God stop being frightened and RISE UP in His strength and power – to overcome the taunts and save those who have been taken captive by fear?” 
 
When?
 
Satan has plans to keep us unproductive and to thwart the work of God in and through our lives, but we are not unaware of his schemes (2 Cor. 2:11). Rather than entertain or bow down to the taunts, we must take them captive (2 Cor. 10:5) and extinguish (Eph. 6:16) them. Satan is always a liar (John 8:44); therefore, we must know the truth of the Word of God! If we are not armed with the Lord’s unadulterated truth directly from His inspired Word (the truth of how we are to live and who we are called to be in Him), Satan’s persuasive lies (Col. 2:4) will be more effective and too easily steal (John 10:10) our courage and perseverance and render us ineffective. 
 
What is ridiculously taunting you right now? Is it something that is keeping you from a step of obedience that God could use to free up others in some way? 
 
Prayerfully consider if there is a course of action that God is leading you to that you need to rise up in bold courage and take the next known steps of obedience. Our obedience, or lack thereof, has ramifications for not only ourselves but also unknown others. 
 
There are consequences to our obedience
 
“And now, Lord, look at their threats, and grant it to Your bond-servants to speak Your word with all confidence, while You extend Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders take place through the name of Your holy servant Jesus.” Acts 4:29, 30 
 
Lord, raise up a bold, courageous army of believers who believe.

A Statement of Belief

“And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6

With all the turmoil going on in this world, we can be tempted to think (by the “liar” John 8:44b) that the Lord God Almighty certainly doesn’t have time to concern Himself with the small details of our lives or the confusing thoughts we struggle with. But here is truth: He loves you and has told you to seek Him and that He will be found. As a believer, He lives within you and is always “here”. He is not far away or disinterested in what concerns you. He is here, full of love. And perhaps you need to hear this encouragement from His heart (receive this if it resonates with you):

I am proud of you. You have done hard things, and I am rewarding that obedience. I am a rewarder of those who seek Me. Oh, the things we can do. Don’t look ahead to other things. You have ideas and then run past them for other ideas. Let’s do the things. Be faithful where you are. Do the necessary WORK so that this future obedience too can be rewarded and used. Do the next right thing.

Let me share some thoughts that may encourage you with your “next thing”. It always feels momentous when I end a journal and start another; it’s like another fresh start and a blank canvas. The following was written as I came to the end of a journal last May and asked the Lord: “Is there a way that I need to wrap up this journal? A statement of belief?” Below is what came from my heart and off my pen that day. It has been good to be reminded of and to proclaim (and challenge myself with) often. Perhaps it will be useful to you as well and a great reminder of important points to be thankful for this week. 

Lord,

I believe that You ARE and that You are a rewarder of those who seek You (Hebrews 11:6). I believe that You work in and through me and, therefore, call me to an obedience that produces the work that You want to do through my life (Phil. 2:13). I believe that You can. You ARE able (Eph. 3:20)! I believe that You will. I trust You (Isaiah 26:3, 4).

TRUST You. 

I will guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells within me, the treasure (good deposit) which has been entrusted to me (2 Tim. 1:14). I will press on and not hold back. I will not listen to and entertain the “who do you think you are?” or “what do you think you can do (accomplish)?” taunts*. I will listen to my Father who loves me and created and called me and blessed me to be a blessing (Gen. 12:2). I will not bury the treasure. I will use it and multiply it and expect to receive more to USE – to be a blessing (Matt. 25:18-23). I will speak (1 Peter 4:11) as one speaking the utterances of God, the One who is faithful and true (Rev. 19:11). I will say “yes” and DO the hard work. I will do hard things. I will plan and discipline myself accordingly. I will study to show myself approved – a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth (2 Tim. 2:15). I will be diligent (to exert myself, endeavor, give diligence, to make every effort, to do one’s best1).  
(1greek def. of the word “diligent”)

To TRULY believe any one of these truths (which means acting upon it) is actually quite challenging. They are all quite profound in that way. What in my daily life (or even in my thought life) changes if I believe and live this truth out? I can ask myself this question about each and every one of these statements. Perhaps you’ll find the Lord directing you to as well. 

Take the time to thank Him for the powerful truth of His Word (and commit yourself to it – to know it). Thank Him for how He reveals, through His Word, both Himself and how we can live a victorious, abundant life that fully pleases Him. 

“The Lord is good, and His lovingkindness is everlasting.” (too many verse references throughout scripture to pick just one, but Psalm 136 may be a great Psalm to meditate on this week)

“Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips will praise You.
So I will bless You as long as I live;
I will lift up my hands in Your name.
My soul is satisfied as with marrow and fatness,
And my mouth offers praises with joyful lips.” Psalm 63:3-5

Ok, I need to wrap this up, but those words from that Psalm came to mind, and I just can’t leave it there without directing your attention to the first two verses of this Psalm. Go to Psalm 63 and check out what the psalmist has “seen” in verse 2. Then note that the verse begins with “Thus” (NASB version). Look to see what verse 2 is a result of from verse 1. 

Friends, we really are in a good, good place, that then leads to verse 2 if we will let it and then verses 3-5: satisfaction and praise and joyful lips. (We’ll have to talk about this someday here!)

But next week I want to talk about those “taunts”*.

Do You Esteem What is Detestable In God’s Sight?

Jesus said to the Pharisees, “‘You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God.’” Luke 16:15

From the heart of God:

Give up the worldly definitions of success. 

Lay down the world’s standards and what man esteems.

See what happens as you lay these aside and live only unto Me: in holiness, beyond what people see and would judge, in the unseen of the heart and actions when no one is around, in the stillness and quiet and dark, in the internal life. Start there, being intolerant of any hidden sin and thought that does not line up with My truth (2 Corinthians 10:5)

Obedience IS success.

Hear My voice and follow (John 10:27). Just be who I’ve called you to be, with the heart I’ve given you. You will attract those who are seeking Me, and at the same time you will repel those who are not (John 6:44, 65). This does not make you a success or a failure. You will always be an “aroma” of life or death (2 Corinthians 2:15, 16). Don’t worry about which you are. What a miserable life of bondage to live for what others will think

Obey and walk by the Spirit. I’ll take care of your reputation. Just follow Me. 

“‘If anyone wishes to come after Me, 
he must deny himself, 
and take up his cross daily 
and follow Me.’” Luke 9:23 

“die to sin and live to righteousness” 1 Peter 2:24

Fear and follow the Lord Jesus Christ. 

Lord, convict us of anything we have highly esteemed that is detestable in your sight and any area of our lives we have bowed to man’s opinion rather than to You alone. We do wish to come after You. So we will deny ourselves, take up our cross daily, and follow YouAnd this will be our success story.

Spend some time with the Lord today and let Him show you anything you need to see.

“Search me and show me, Lord.”