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.”

Do You Fear God or Man?

“The remarkable thing about fearing God 
is that when you fear God you fear nothing else, 
whereas if you do not fear God 
you fear everything else. 
‘Blessed is every one that feareth the Lord’; …” 
Oswald Chambers
from The Highest Good—The Pilgrim’s Song Book, 537 L

From the heart of God:

Care what think (and know)Let that be your focus and stick to it. This world is so fickle and opinionated, and all flesh is like grass that withers (1 Peter 1:24). Who is man that you would live according to his opinions rather than My instructions? Think of the freedom of LIVING before Me so that what I think is all that matters! What would you be doing differently?

“The Lord is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the defense of my life;
Whom shall I dread? …
Though a host encamp against me,
My heart will not fear;
Though war arise against me,
In spite of this I shall be confident.”
Psalm 27:1, 3

Belovedlay down any fear of man and let Me (and Me alone) name you and tell you who you are and give you instructions for life. Indeed, all who desire to live godly will be persecuted (2 Timothy 3:12), but My truth will make you courageous and bold and set you free. Be sanctified (set apart) in the truth of My Word (John 17:17). LIVE before Me, to please Me in all respects (Colossians 1:10), so that what I think is all that matters, entrusting yourself to the One who judges righteously (1 Peter 2:21-24). I know, and I know. I know your heart and intentions.

“For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving an example for you to follow in His steps, who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.” 1 Peter 2:21-24

Thoughts to pray through and ponder with pen in hand:
Lord, forgive me for where I have placed the opinion of man above Your truth. Show me areas where this has been true that I am not even aware of.
If I lived to please You alone, what would I be doing differently?
If what You think is all that mattered to me, what would change?
What would I be stepping out in faith in if I did not fear man’s opinion?
Reveal to me areas where I am fearing man over You alone. I repent.

May we be so near to His heart and know His Word and hide it in our hearts that we are filled with bold courage to follow His ways, and His alone.

“With all my heart I have sought You;
Do not let me wander from Your commandments.
Your word I have treasured in my heart,
That I may not sin against You.
I will meditate on Your precepts
And regard Your ways.
I shall delight in Your statutes;
I shall not forget Your word.”
Psalm 119:10,11,15,16

Bow to Him alone.

Don’t Overcomplicate It

“…I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants, by loving the LORD your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for this is your life and the length of your days, that you may live in the land…” Deuteronomy 30:19, 20

From the heart of God:

You are My servant whom I have chosen to know and believe Me (Isaiah 43:10) – to know My heart, to obey, and to draw near (James 4:8, Hebrews 4:16, 7:25).

Child, it’s simpler than you try to make it.

Just follow.

Just do the next thing and LIVE, and here’s how: love Me, obey My voice, and hold fast to Me (Deut. 30:19, 20). This is real living and life abundant (John 10:10).

Don’t overcomplicate it.

Things are easy for Me. And you are to abide and let Me live in and through you (John 15:4, 5). I work in you to will and act according to My good pleasure (Phil. 2:13).

Simply simple. Easy/hard.

“The fear of man brings a snare,
But he who trusts in the LORD will be exalted.”
 Proverbs 29:25

Trusting Me and caring only what I think will uncomplicate so many of your concerns. 

Just follow and be serious about the next prompting I place on your heartDon’t allow the world to talk you out of My instructions, and don’t make things complicated by wanting to have all the answers before you take that first known step.

I know that you want to have all your questions answered before you begin (before you set off on this new faith journey), but you know it doesn’t work that way. And you also know why.

Let’s build FAITH (2 Corinthians 5:7).

Lean on, trust in, and put your confidence in Me and you will be safe and set on high (Proverbs 29:25 AMP).


“The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace,
Because he trusts in You.
Trust in the LORD forever,
For in God the LORD, we have an everlasting Rock.”

Isaiah 26:3

Fear and follow the Lord Jesus Christ. Period.

 

Thoughts to pray through and ponder with pen in hand:
-Where are you well aware that you are overcomplicating things?
-In what areas have you feared man more than you have feared and trusted in the Lord God Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth?
-Ask the Lord to show you if there is anything else He wants to show you through those two questions. Confess and repent where necessary.
-Now, pray and lean on, trust in, and put your confidence in Him alone, allowing Him to speak to your heart.

(Remember you can hover over any of these references and see the verse in its entirety in a pop-up box.)

How Do I Make Forward Progress?

“True belief requires that we change our attitude toward God. It means that we not only acknowledge His trustworthiness but go on to trust His promises and obey His commandments.” A. W. Tozer 

Oh, to be relentless against the workings of the enemy, the worry, the wasting of time, all the fears, and “living with the brakes on”!  May we move on from always just thinking, planning, and dreaming of what we will do some day in the future. Let’s take action today.

“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” John 14:12 (see also John 14:21, 23: 15:10, 1 John 5:3)

In this current battle, let’s resolve to take our stand, to know our place and our assignment, and to move forward in bold confidence in our callings.

Go produce change in this needy world. The Lord God, the Maker of heaven and earth, “’is not restrained to save by many or by few’” (1 Samuel 14:6). 

WHAT ABOUT THE RESISTANCE I FEEL?

Realizing that we are in a battle, we must take up the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:13) and use the shield of faith with which “we will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one” (Ephesians 6:16).

Fiery, flaming arrows will come and if not extinguished, the “fire” will not only spread and affect our own lives/minds (thwarting our forward progress), but will also most assuredly affect those around us. 

“Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, tostand firm.” Ephesians 6:13

WHERE DO I EVEN START?

Making forward progress may start with simply asking, “Lord, what is my place? What do I need to take action on?” or by asking, “Am I doing the last thing I heard God instruct me to do?” If something comes to mind, prayerfully consider if perhaps this is your next right step.

We may all have somewhat similar instructions and yet different assignments because one thing we can know for sure is that we are called to “the place of quiet”–of seeking His presence and of knowing His Word, that we may all be built up in faith to stand firm and equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16, 17).

“You have said, Seek My face [inquire for and require My presence as your vital need]. My heart says to You, Your face (Your presence), Lord, will I seek, inquire for, and require [of necessity and on the authority of Your Word].” Psalm 27:8 Amplified Bible

Our place is to stay in this “place” which is too often neglected (by us and by those who too easily influence us)– being completely dependent upon the Lord God Almighty and His strength, abiding in Him (John 15:1-5) and in His Word, loving Him as our priority of life. “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33

“Complete weakness and dependence will always be the occasion for the Spirit of God to manifest His power.” Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, May 5

Our “place” is (to fight) to keep this as our one thing (Psalm 27:4) and be fully dependent on all that He provides (His direction, His strength, His words, His courage), having our heart completely His and undivided because a heart fully given to Him produces steadfastness and the bold courage necessary to fulfill every good work of faith.

“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 16:9

Oh Lord, make us a supportable people!

Rise up and take your place. BE the change. Be NOW the change you are longing for and hoping for in your life and in those around you – be the prayer intercessor, the bible student, the friend. Whatever desire for good that is on your heart, strike out in the power of the Holy Spirit and go for it!

We must obey. The time of waiting is over. Take that next known step. Stop waiting. The time is now.

Lord, we come boldly before your throne of grace to seek Your face and receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16), making ourselves ready, being transformed by Your Word and prayer! Holy Spirit, bring to our remembrance anything that we’ve been asked to do that we have not taken action on. Show us if there are fiery arrows that we are allowing to hit their target. Uncover the lies and show us Your truth in their place. We soak our shield of faith in Your word of truth! We believe that You have a plan and a calling that is beyond anything we can even imagine and that You can use us (Eph. 3:20). We choose to follow Your lead. Show us our place. What do we need to take action on today? What are those first next steps?

 

(Remember you can hover over any of these verses to see them in a pop-up box. Or you may want to look them up on your own to see them in their context.)

Do Not Agree with the Enemy’s Lies

“for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” 2 Corinthians 10:4,5

I serve a big God, but do I live a little life? 

Lord, I want to fulfill my ministry. I want to use the gifts You have given me and fulfill my calling. I want to stand before You and hear “well done”. I want to live for eternity and not for today. But I feel confused on what to do and where to start. You are not a God of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33), so show me what is happening here.
 

Is this your heart’s cry as well? 
So why all the confusion? Here is some insight into a scheme of the enemy (2 Corinthians 2:11) that has been a good reminder for me recently.

From the heart of God:

You feel confused because there is opposition to your calling that you must ignore.

You have a low “hum” of identity attack going on below the surface that you are not aware of. You are not doing this to yourself and you are not confused for no reason. Nor are you stuck there. Let Me uncover it so that you can hear. The “hum” won’t be silenced until you deal with it.

See it for the lie that it is and cast it into the sea of forgotten.

You can’t settle for it. 
You can’t accept it as something that is normal and must be lived with. 
You can’t agree with it and entertain it! 

You agree with the enemy of your soul, and your soul retreats, shuts down, becomes cancerous and unconfident.

This is the root to your bold confidence problem. You AGREE with all the enemy’s identity attacks to shut you up. And you shut up. You oblige.

Replace the constant “hum” with My truth – what I say about you – and be free (John 8:31, 32)! 
 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 Ask the Lord if this could be at the root of any of your confusion today.

It will take some spiritual earplugs to silence the “hum” of continual attacks of the enemy against us and a leaning into the TRUTHS of God
about 
who He is, 
His ability, 
who He says we are in Him, 
who He has called us to be, 
and what He has called us to do. 

Be dependent (John 15:5). 
Be filled with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18).
Be holy in all your behavior (1 Peter 1:15).

In these days of warfare, “holiness and radical obedience will be your covering” (a phrase the Lord spoke to my heart years ago that He brings to mind often).

The time is now!

It’s time for some radical obedience out of our comfort zones and fears.

Hear the Word of the Lord and act on it (Matthew 7:24-25, James 1:22). Let us throw off the lies and “lay aside every encumbrance and the sin that so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus…” (Hebrews 12:1, 2).

And go live a big life!

“The Lord God is my Strength, my personal bravery, and my invincible army; He makes my feet like hinds’ feet and will make me to walk [not to stand still in terror, but to walk] and make [spiritual] progress upon my high place [of trouble, suffering, or responsibility]!” Habakkuk 3:19


“On the day I called, You answered me;
You made me bold with strength in my soul.”
 Psalm 138:3

Friends, we need to hear what God has to say about us and believe it. Know who you are by KNOWING WHO HE IS! Study (2 Timothy 2:15, 3:16,17), knowbelieve His Word, and obey. Spend time in Scripture and in prayer, listening and believing what He says is true (write it down), and rise up in obedience.

Ask the Lord to show you where you are agreeing with the enemy’s lies and need to take those thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ. (This may be hard because the lies feel true.) What does He say is true in place of those lies? 

What is your “take action” step today?

(If you would like to read more in the context of that phrase “holiness and radical obedience” along with much needed repentance, click here.

Are You Making Yourself Vulnerable?

What do you know but don’t believe?

The Lord has been revealing to me that there are truths (and things He has called me to) that I know are true but don’t believe.

I realize that if I truly trust and believe Him and what He says, there are things I would be taking action on.

I would be walking in obedience rather than giving into all the good reasons I have not to (which are really only excuses).

I have been making excuses to not obey – to be disobedient!

And this is a very dangerous place to be.

As I give into fear (and think I’m protecting myself), I’m actually placing myself in an even more vulnerable position.

It is the one who hears His words and acts on them who is compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock, and when the storm came, “it did not fall” (Matt. 7:24, 26). It is the one who doubts who “is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind” (James 1:6). And oh, are there some winds and waves these days and some storms threatening us on the horizon!

This is the time to set our anchor, to grow our roots down a bit deeper, to stand firm against the enemy, and to find our firm footing by hearing His Words and acting on them (Matt. 7:24, 25) so that when the storm comes, we will STAND and not be shaken.

The time is now!

“to one who knows the right (good) thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.” James 4:17

 

Take some time this week to sit with the Lord and put pen to paper. Listen to Him speak to your heart in answer to some probing questions and write it down:

Lord, search my heart (Psalm 139:23, 24) and show me any and all “unbelief”.

Is there any area that I have given into fear and made excuses (even if they feel like really good reasons) for not following Your instructions in Your Word, for not following something You have called me to do, or not following Your promptings?

What do I need to take action on? And what is my next step of obedience?

“Obey God in the thing He shows you, and instantly the next thing is opened up.”
Oswald Chambers My Utmost for His Highest, Oct. 10

 

Let us be relentless against any and all unbelief! 

Personal note: My first step is to consistently write and show up here. It will not be perfect, but as a friend just shared with me, “Done IS perfect!” I will borrow her motto, publish each week, and grow as I do. I pray that God uses these words to spur others on to love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24) – to be in His Word and do what He says.

I’d love to hear what your action step is and to pray for you. Leave a comment or send me an email.

Know Who Wins

“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]” John 16:33 Amplified Bible

I came across the following exhortation in my 2019 journal, and because it has similar language to my last post (click here if you missed it), I’m sharing it with you. I pray that these thoughts will spur us on to action.

From the Father’s Heart:

Go forth. Push. Push past the compromise and comfortable.

Push.

There will be pain. Transition is always painful and disorienting. Your eyes will need to be on Me.

Make Me and My Word, My truth, My Power, My love, and My divine enablement your focal point.

Eyes up. Eyes on Me. Look up. Your redemption draweth nigh. 

Troubling times are coming for the body of Christ. Church, will you be ready? You need to be equipped so that the stumble will not throw you headlong. You will need to view what you see with your eyes from the heavenly perspective: What is happening in the heavenlies? What is true? Who is winning? Who is more powerful? Don’t just take things at face value.

And plug in. This is totally doable. See the strategy from heaven. Look for what am doing, My purpose, and My ways. Keep looking for the spiritual reality behind the evil and the good. What is really happening?

KNOW Who wins, Who has the victory; and therefore, don’t despair.

Many will despair even of life. Look up!
Let the people hear where to look
what is truly happening
what I have already fortold.

I am fulfilling My Word and being true to My Promises – not to leave or forsake you, but to pursue My people in righteousness, in holiness, in purity – to produce a pure bride.

Revival will come out of the Refiner’s fire.

Cooperate with Me. Agree. Choose the transition, that you may be equipped and ready, built up and prepared, for all that is ahead.

—— Would you take some time before the Lord and ask Him to show you any areas where you have given your life over to compromise or settled for what is “comfortable” but not of Him for your life? Have you made Him, His Word, His truth, His power, His love and enablement your focal point through these troubling times? Allow Him to rearrange anything as necessary. Pray that you may see everything going on around you through the lens of His eternal plan.