Do You Ever Feel Like Quitting?

 

God spoke to my heart (or lovingly confronted me) this week with these thoughts:

“I count you in, and you count yourself out.

And take your voice out of play.

I put you in the game, give you the play, and you are afraid to run it.”

 

Can you tell that He’s talking to a football coach’s wife?

I love how He speaks our language.

 

To which I responded, “Really?” Do I really do that? I wasn’t sure where He was going with this yet.

 

And He reminded me of this instance with Paul, “But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having won over the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing him to be dead. But while the disciples stood around him, he got up and entered the city. The next day he went away with Barnabas to Derby. After they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying, ‘Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.'” Acts 14:19-22

 

Paul didn’t get dragged out of the city and conclude that his ministry was over, that he was not an effective witness, or that his message was flawed in some way. He did not make any such conclusions from that ‘setback’.

He did not take himself out of the game. Instead he got up, went back into the city, and kept on giving the message he was given to preach.  He stayed on task.

 

God continued with these instruction to my heart:

“You get ‘knocked down’, but get back up again. Do not run to the sidelines.  Stay in the game! Stay.
Don’t run off.
Don’t quit.
Don’t give up.

You are tempted to give up too quickly and close your mouth too fast and retreat. Don’t do that.”

 

If you, dear Reader, are in that place of discouragement and are temped to ‘shut down’, quit, run to the sidelines and take a seat on the bench, I pray that God would use this to encourage you as well to stay in the game. We all take a few hard tackles and get knocked down. We face harsh criticism or are faced with circumstances that are not what we always dreamed of.

And there are for sure some satisfying results from sitting on the bench. You get some REST. You are not required to put all that time and strenuous effort into something that may not be producing the results that you imagined. You are not taking ‘hits’ or risks.

BUT..

We ARE all team players with a purpose and a calling. We have a job to do and a position to fill, and as nice as it is to rest on the sidelines of life and just watch the game played out in front of us, we can all testify that it is miserably uncomfortable to avoid what you know you are called to.

 

Yet it takes courage sometime to put yourself at risk again.

So if you have currently taken yourself ‘out of the game’ (even just in heart- you are still going through the motions ‘on the field’, but you are not really battling with all you’ve got, with all the time, talents, and gifts that God has given), today is God’s encouragement for you to get back out there and give it all you’ve got (with Him, you have all you need for life and godliness -2 Peter 1:3).

And play the next play.

 

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” Eph. 2:10

Be about your mission!

“..fulfill your ministry.” 2 Timothy 4:5

 

Step Out in Faith and in His Confidence

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

 

May we have more BOLD CONFIDENCE in the ‘dailyness of life’.

 

Oh that we would tap into His power and trust Him and His instructions and His commands
enough to go ‘do the thing’.

 

“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord’ and do not do what I say?” Luke 6:46

 

May we run past the FEAR and do God-sized works as we

step out in faith on the waters of obedience.

 

Let us think more of others so that we reach out in LOVE, rather than shrink back to protect ourselves.

 

We have so much to GIVE.

May we depend upon Him and give it out, having a bold confidence in how He has gifted us and who and what He calls us to be and do.

Take risks.

Move forward.

And keep asking, “God, what are You currently doing here? What are you up to?”

and do what He is doing. Following Jesus’ example:

 

“Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.” John 5:19

 

You have His permission, His anointing, His commissioning.

With a deep dependance on Him, which He loves to meet head on, deny yourself with all your fears and hangups and FOLLOW HIM!

Follow where He leads.

We say we want to come, and He says,

 

‘If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.” Matt. 16:24

 

“Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

 

 

Miracles All Around Us

Perspective: What is He doing on the earth?

 

Because we tend to spend more time listening to the ‘news of this world’ than in God’s truth and in prayer, we can become more influenced by what our eyes ‘see’ than the TRUTH that we can’t see.

 

The truth is that the current state of the world does not surprise God (2 Tim.3:1-9),

and His Truth and His Work SO outweigh the bad that our ‘eyes’ tend to focus on.

 

May our ‘eyes’ and ‘hearts’ be set on truth.

And may we ‘require His Presence as our greatest need’ (Ps. 27:8 AMP), which we HAVE!

 

—— From God’s Heart:

 

I AM Keeper.

Keeper of the stars, the heavens, and the whole earth.

 

Just look around and SEE what I am constantly, continually ‘doing’.

 

PEOPLE live and multiply.

Physical bodies grow,  take breaths,  hear,  taste,  speak.

Hearts beat.

These are all constant, beautiful MIRACLES that you experience for yourselves and are all around you.

Everyday is FILLED with them, My beautiful handiwork!

 

Oxygen, gravity,

the sun rises and sets…..

I tell the tide, ‘This far and no farther’.

ALL that I am currently doing is all around you.

 

Miracles.

 

Open your eyes and give Me glory and bow before the Lord, your God, your Maker.

I am your greatest NEED, and I am right here present.

Call out.  Look to Me.

 

Draw near (James 4:8).

 

Call Forth Life

“…He cried out with a loud voice,

‘Lazarus, come forth.’

The man who had died came forth, bound hand and foot with wrappings, and his face was wrapped around with a cloth. Jesus said to them,

‘Unbind him, and let him go.'” John 11:43,44

 

May we call out LIFE from what has become death and is dying.

 

Call forth LIFE out of what has been swallowed up by the spirit of death, fear, hatred, offense.

Call forth TRUTH and LIFE.

Call it to step forward and to overcome.

 

Cry, ‘Come forth.’

Do you have authority or not?

What you know or  ‘think’ the answer is to that question, fortunately or unfortunately, IS the answer to that question.

 

Why such hopelessness?

Why such resignation?

Is the evil state of the ‘world’ getting too much of your attention? Is it getting more attention than the TRUTH of His Word?

KNOW Him and His Word and find hope and healing.

 

Do not resign to the evil of this world, but overcome it with good, with power, with truth.

 

Call forth life out of death. Call it forth.

“Spring up, O well. Sing to it!” (Num. 21:17)

Sing.

 

 

How Do We Speak Life?

 

“Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Behold I will open your graves and cause you to come up out of your graves, My people,…  Then you will know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves and caused you to come up out of your graves, My people. I will put My Spirit within you and you will come to life, and I will place you on your own land. Then you will know that I, the Lord, have spoken and done it,'” declares the Lord.” Ezek 37:12

 

May we just do as He says.
May we not require that it make sense or even require that it be logical.

 

Ezekiel is told to prophesy a message to ‘bones‘,

a message that began with, “O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.”

 

Oh, may this be ‘our new song’:

So I prophesied as I was commanded…” v. 7

 

 

“And AS I prophesied,

there was a noise (voice, or thunder), and behold, a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to its bone.” v.7

 

“These bones are the whole house of Israel; behold they say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope has perished. We are completely cut off.'” Ezek. 37:11

And here we see the results, as Ezekiel obeyed and spoke the words God had given him, the bones came together, bone to its bone.

And

“…flesh grew and skin covered them; but there was no breath in them.”

Then there was another instruction to follow: “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they come to life.”‘” verse 9.

 

Again, “So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they came to life and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great ARMY.” verse 10

 

O breathe, I speak forth, on this frightened, silenced, sleepy church, that we may come to abundant LIFE, stand, and go forth, an exceedingly great army.

 

For movement.

To advance the kingdom.

Forward.

 

Speak forth truth as He gives you utterance, and may an exceedingly great army therefore arise.

 

May we not be,

may we not settle or live content with being,

or encourage other as they are

“like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.” (Matt. 23:27)

 

May we instead sound the alarm to, “Arise! Wake up! And LIVE!”

 

“O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord…”

 

 

The ‘Abundant Life Giving’ Truth

 

Jesus came that we may have life, and have it abundantly (John 10:10).

 

We were never meant to be ‘dry’, sleepy, hopeless, ‘hands tied behind our back’, fearful, and intimidated believers in Christ.  (Read that statement again. For believers to even be thought of that way makes no sense, right?)

 

Do we find ourselves in the midst of ‘dry bones’?*

“The hand of the Lord was upon me, and He brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of the valley; and it was full of bones. He caused me to pass among them round about, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley; and lo, they were very dry. He said to me, ‘Son of man, can these bones live?’ And I answered, ‘O Lord God, You know.’

 

Again He said to me, “Prophesy over these bones and say to them, ‘O dry bones, HEAR THE WORD OF THE LORD.  Thus says the Lord to these bones, ‘Behold, I will cause breath (spirit) to enter you that you may come to life. I will put sinews on you, make flesh grow back on you, cover you with skin and put breath in you that you may come alive, and YOU WILL KNOW THAT I AM THE LORD.'” Ezek. 37:1-6

 

All of this is what Ezekiel was told to prophesy to ‘bones’.

TO BONES!

He was told to speak this life to very many, very dry bones.

Pause and consider that.

 

And then consider how we are tempted to think that it is useless to obey God and speak to our friend, relative, neighbor, etc. because we can’t see how it will make any difference.

Or we don’t want to ‘bother someone’ or offend with the LOVE OF GOD!?

 

Do we see the level of deceit in that thinking?

And who do we think that ‘lie’ is from?

Jesus said this of the devil in John 8:44:

“He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

Furthermore,

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” John 10:10

 

How long will we listen to the enemy’s lies and allow him to steal and kill and destroy as we keep quiet about the ‘abundant life giving’ truth?

 

Prophesy over these ‘bones’ (O dry, scared, hopeless church) and say to them, “O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord….that you may have abundant life and KNOW that He is the Lord.”

 

Show us what You see and give us Your words to speak.

Lord, use us. Help us to be a catalyst for change.

 

And may we faithfully obey and not hold backTrusting You.

 

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…” Romans 1:16

 

 

*(to see the previous post for the biblical interpretation of these ‘dry bones’, click here)


I would LOVE to hear your thoughts, that we may each be encouraged by one another in the faith.
Leave a reply below or contact me privately here:

Do you need a plan to be in the Word to ‘hear the Word of the Lord’? I have put together a daily reading guide that starts Feb. 28th and will lead you through most of the New Testament by Good Friday. Let me know that you would like it sent your way, and you can read along with us.

How to Arise Out of Our Spiritual ‘Dryness’

 

Oh dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.

 

“The hand of the Lord was upon me, and He brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of the valley; and it was full of bones.” Ezekiel 37:1

These bones, which Ezekiel was placed in the midst of, are described as “very many on the surface and VERY dry”.

 

Imagine the scene.

 

And he is asked a question:

‘Can these bones live?’

How strange.

 

What would Ezekiel’s response be?

 

Imagine yourself in this scene and consider how you would answer, standing in the midst of ‘very many, very dry bones’.   Can they live?

 

If he expressed doubt, would it have been like the people asking, “Can God….?”, which greatly displeased the Lord and was considered speaking against Him (Ps 78:17-22)?

 

Ezekiel answered, “O Lord, You know.”

 

May we see all circumstances we are placed in, especially the impossible, improbable ones, through eyes of faith in the One with Whom all things are possible:

“This is what I see, but Lord, what do you say is true and possible?”

“O Lord, You know.”

 

 

And in response He gave these instructions to Ezekiel,

“Prophesy over these bones and say to them, ‘O dry bones, HEAR THE WORD OF THE LORD’”. Ezekiel 37:4

 

 

The interpretation of the ‘bones’ is given in verse 11:

“these bones are the whole house of Israel; behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope has perished. We are completely cut off.'”

 

Does this sound a little like corners of the ‘hopeless’ church today, crying out, ‘We are all alone,’ as they wring their hands and say, ‘Can God…..(fix ‘this‘)?’

 

May I just put forth that this is THE ANSWER to our dryness, our ‘very dry’:

 

“O dry bones, hear the Word of the Lord!”

 

 


I would LOVE to hear your thoughts!

Leave a reply below or contact me privately here:

Do you need a plan to be in the Word to ‘hear the Word of the Lord’? I have put together a daily reading guide that starts Feb. 28th and will lead you through most of the New Testament by Good Friday. Let me know that you would like it sent your way, and you can read along with us.

The Root Cause of Our ‘Mistakenness’

 

 

“Jesus said to them, ‘Is this not the reason you are mistaken, that you do not understand the Scriptures or the power of God?'” Mark 12:24

 

In whatever form it takes, within the church and without, isn’t this what our ‘mistakenness’ ultimately boils down to?

that we do not

1) understand (KNOW) Scripture or

2) the power of God?

 

To the magician opposing them and seeking to turn others from the faith

“…Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, fixed his gaze on him, and said, ‘You who are full of all deceit and fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease to make crooked the straight ways of the Lord?'” Acts 13:9,10

 

The Word of God is our plumb line to measure all else by. This is our ‘starting point’, and we line up the rest of our lives with this standard, in the midst of a world that uses itself and situational ethics and circumstances as their plumb line of truth and are therefore sadly led astray, making crooked the straight ways of the Lord and leading other on that same path.

 

 

May we hear, know, lovingly share,

 

and act on the word of God

 

and LIVE abundantly.

 

 


I would LOVE to hear your thoughts, that we may each be encouraged by one another in the faith.
Leave a reply below or contact me privately here:

Do you need a plan to be in the Word to ‘hear the Word of the Lord’? I have put together a daily reading guide that starts Feb. 28th and will lead you through most of the New Testament by Good Friday. Let me know that you would like it sent your way, and you can read along with us.

 

 

From God’s Heart: I Am Cheering You On

 

“For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard.” Hebrews 4:2

 

You CAN do all that I call you to!

Unite that truth with faith.

Go.

Run faster and harder and louder and deeper.

And hear Me. Hear Me. Cheering, clapping (I have big hands.  I will be easy to hear :))

 

Listen.

 

Listen for the encouragement.

 

Take the truth of My Word, believe it, mix it with faith (which I also give you) and go do this thing.

 

Live.

 

Live in My love.

 

Live and straighten the crooked way.

I do the impossible.

Believe that it is possible.

 

Attach this truth to the big and small triggers of fear in your life:

My God is able.

I Am.

 

Loved.

And delighted in.

I call you.

 

“Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life,…..” Philippians 2:14-16

 

 

From God’s Heart: You CAN Do This

 

 

“My soul waits in silence for God only;
From Him is my salvation.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
My stronghold; I shall not be greatly shaken.”
Psalm 62:1,2

 

You HAVE My strong support.

 

I make all things that I call you to (personally and in my Word) possible.

 

You can do this.

 

You can walk the straight road of obedience in confidence and be strong and courageous and lift your head high,
saying and always keeping in mind,

 

“I am a child of the Most High King, and He loves me and gave His life for me so that I can walk this difficult road of life successfully, having His abundance and hope and joy and love along the way.”

 

You are loved.

 

You are being cheered for.  Hear it.

 

People believing in you and cheering you on just naturally changes your posture and stance and fortitude. It just does.

 

So here I am,

the King of Glory,

your Creator,

Who knows you better than anyone,

Who is believing in you

and cheering you on.

 

You CAN do this!

 

“They confronted me in the day of my calamity,
But the Lord was my support.”
2 Samuel 22:19