Some Good Questions to Ask Ourselves

Is this our aim:
to be holy in all our behavior (1 Peter 1:14-16), 
pleasing Him “in all respects”, 
walking “in a manner worthy of the Lord”, 
“bearing fruit in every good work 
and increasing in the knowledge of God
strengthened with all power, 
according to His glorious might” (Colossians 1:10)?

Is this standard of life our main objective? This is the abundant life that He has provided for us. 

Do we aim to live lives that can say, like Paul, “Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1) with an “earnest expectation and hope, that I will not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness, Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:20-21)?


Or have we settled for “less than” what has been provided, promised, and asked of us? Have we settled for the status quo and a “quenched” Holy Spirit? It’s important that we take the time to ask the Lord to show us the answers to these questions.

“Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
And see if there be any hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way.” 
Psalm 139:23-24


From the Heart of God:

Go forth in boldness and proclaim My excellencies, the excellencies of My Name, My way, My plan. 

And take action. Do not neglect “the straight ways of the Lord” (Acts 13:10).

Do not neglect My Word – not just the reading, but the DOING, the believing, the pressing in, the praying without ceasing, the living of My Word. Do not neglect it.

Take action. Act like My Word is true, because it is! Live it. Step out in faith and see Me move. “Action” (also known as obedience) will take care of so many of the other issues you are trying to work through within yourself. 

So often you wait to put the truth into action until you think yourself ready, when acting in faith in obedience will break those bonds and set you into complete freedom and clarity and make you ready.

Take Me at My Word. This really is the answer to all problems.


Let’s know His Word, believe Him, and obey. 
Take action.

Pray, listen, and write*:
– Ask Him to search your heart today: are you settling for “less than” He has for you and has called you to?
– Lord, show me where I am not walking in holiness in my behavior or my thoughts.
– What does it mean for me today to live in a manner worthy of you, Lord?
– What fruit do You want me to bear so that others can be blessed? What are those good works that you prepared beforehand that I would walk in them (Ephesians 2:10)?
– Lord, I pray that you will always be exalted in and through my life. Show me what needs to change for that to be so. Search My heart and lead me in the everlasting way.
*Put pen to paper and ask these questions before the Lord. Write until He shows you the answers.

Are You Living with a Quenched Holy Spirit?

“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.’ If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth; knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.” 1 Peter 1:14-19 NASB

Lord, I LONG to know more of Your Word and for it to more and more show me where I truly, truly stand AND where to walk – that I may be HOLY in all my behavior! 

I do not want to just say “grace, grace, peace, peace” to myself and allow the Holy Spirit to be grieved (Ephesians 4:30) and quenched (1 Thessalonians 5:19). 

I think we too often settle for a quenched Holy Spirit and think that it’s normal. May we rise up and say to ourselves and others, “It is NOT! This is not normal.”

“They have healed the brokenness of My people superficially, 
    saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ but there is no peace.” Jeremiah 6:14

Peace is only found in Jesus Christ and in living according to how He says to live

Oh Lord, raise up a generation that knows You, Your Word, Your truth, and the whole counsel of God. Currently, they are being bombarded, led astray, and confused by “persuasive” (Colossians 2:4) and even non-persuasive “arguments”. Confusion is not of You (1 Corinthians 14:33). May we, as believers in Christ (the way, the truth, and the LIFE – John 14:6), step in with the REAL truth that people are looking for. (And they are looking!) The enemy has no qualms about stepping in with deceit. So, as we “shrink back” from stepping in with truth, we are leaving a void that the enemy is filling with his lies. 

Let’s fill that gap with the power of the truth. 

Let us live out truth in integrity as we cling to (and fully depend upon) the power of the Holy Spirit, allowing Him to fully have His way in us. 

Let’s fill our minds with His truth and remember that we have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16)! May we use it and not be confused. 

Let’s pray for protection from being influenced by the enemy’s lies! 

Let us “cling to what is good” and “abhor what is evil” (Romans 12:9)! 

Let’s live holy lives that others long for. 

And may this be our testimony, like Paul’s: “Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all, for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.” Acts 20:26-27

Let’s step into the void with God’s life-saving, life-giving truth and declare the whole counsel of God, teaching them to observe all that He has commanded us (Matthew 28:20, the Great Commission).

Oh, Lord, let us not settle for quenched, mediocre lives!

May we not remain silent. 




-What in your life is currently quenching and grieving the Holy Spirit?
-Are you taking seriously the instruction “like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior”?
-Where have you settled for less than God has for you?
-Where have you allowed yourself to shrink back in fear from declaring the whole counsel of God?
-How will you take action?

“. . . we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” Colossians 1:9-10 ESV

Obedience is Your “Yes” in Action

Obedience is not in the word “yes”, but in the action of “yes” (even if we initially say “no”).

While this truth is so obvious, it’s worth pointing out because we so often only go as far as saying “yes” in our hearts without following through on it in action.

“‘But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go work today in the vineyard.’ And he answered, ‘I will not’; but afterward he regretted it and went. The man came to the second and said the same thing; and he answered, ‘I will, sir’; but he did not go. ‘Which of the two did the will of his father?’” Matthew 21:28-31

I wonder how often we say our “yes” but then allow the enemy to intimidate us or our own flesh to simply procrastinate and avoid an assignment. How often do we ‘bench’ ourselves and simply watch the game from the sidelines when we have a position to play on the field?

“So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” James 4:17 ESV

May we call this what it is: sin. May we confess and repent and “bear fruit in keeping with repentance” (Luke 3:8). 

May we daily, in the Word and prayer, “fan into flame the gift of God” which is in us and remind ourselves that “God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control” (2 Timothy 1:6, 7). The bold confidence we need comes from time in His Word and time in His Presence, in prayer and worship, and listening to His voice (as His sheep hear and know His voice – John 10), resulting in an increase in FAITH and thus in obedient action.

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

God will meet us with His power as we DO ‘yes’ in answer to His request.


Listening section:

– Search your heart and allow God to remind you of a place where you feel like you are walking in obedience because your heart said yes, but you have failed to take any action on that “yes”.

– Where have you said “I will not” when the Lord has asked you to act? Delay no longer. Today may be His perfect timing. 

– Where have you said “yes” but have not taken action? 

Do “yes”
.

“…but the people who know their God will display strength and take action.” Daniel 11:32b

Friends,

I hope that you are having a great summer. We are about to take our boys to Chattanooga to Precept Ministries for their Transform Student Boot Camp (you can click those two links for more information). This summer they will be studying the book of Judges. What a timely study as the times were described as “everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25)! Precept Ministries offers three one-week camps every summer for students to study and fall in love with the Word of God! May we all do the same with our time this summer!

Let me know if there is any way I can help you or pray for you. If you would like to receive these devotionals directly into your inbox you can let me know by clicking here.

With love,

Traci

Are You Falling Into “the sky is falling” Mentality?

“Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.” 2 Peter 1:2-42

We have been told that we will have troubling times (2 Timothy 3:1, Philippians 1:29). We need not be surprised as if something strange were happening to us (1 Peter 4:12-19). Instead we need to be ready, to be equipped.

And God has given us His Word TO equip us, that we “may be adequate, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16, 17) and for all that comes our way. Not only do we have His direction, but we also have His divine power and enablement and the indwelling Holy Spirit. We ARE well equipped. Do not turn back in this day of battle (Psalm 78:9).

I urge you to tap in. We, as the body of Christ, need to take advantage of all that God Himself has been made available to us so that when all around us ‘looks’ chaotic or we find ourselves in an impossible situation, we are not caught up in the contagious “The sky is falling, the sky is falling!” mentality.

Know who you are and how you are well equipped and take courage. You and I can live with this as our motto: “In God I have put my trust, I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?” (from Psalm 56:11). 

Look up. Fix your eyes upon Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2), PRAY, and trust Him.

Seeing the big picture from His vantage point and the strategy from heaven, view life and the circumstances all around us (the continuous narrative) from God’s perspective, the One who knows all, and holds it all. 

“.. all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” Colossians 1:16, 17.

What is happening in the heavenlies? What is God up to? And Who is more powerful? Ask to see what He is doing, His purpose, His ways, rather than what it looks like. For we live and walk by faith and not by sight and how things appear (2 Corinthians 5:7).

We have all we need. Let’s be ready and equip others also, encouraging them to be in His Word and to draw near. 

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

“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation. If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. Make sure that none of you suffers as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler; but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name.” 1 Peter 4:12-16

Hi friends, take some time this week to sit in the presence of the Lord and ask Him to show you things from His perspective? And listen. Allow Him to build up your faith and trust and to comfort your heart in His peace. With pen in hand say, “Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening” (1 Samuel 3:9).

God’s Power Lived Out in Our Lives

“Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?.. God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.” 1 Corinthians 3:16, 17 ESV

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20 ESV

 

He lives (dwells) in this temple. What would it look like for that power to be truly lived out, for Him to live His Presence and Power through us (for Him to be manifested) without the restraints of our fears, our reservations, our sin, or our limited expectations

What if our lives were not centered around ourselves (our desires, comforts, preferences, and fears) but instead fully on Jesus and “walking in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God” (Colossians 1:10) to the glory of God, as it should be? 

Our thoughts of ourselves and our limitations and what we think we can and cannot do or what we are comfortable with or not, are all hindrances. They are hindrances to His power. Let’s choose to come in belief, with our eyes on Him (Hebrews 12:2), not fearing how out of place or foolish we may look or what man may think (Proverbs 29:25). Let’s obey and fulfill our ministry (2 Timothy 4:5).

Walking in obedience to God’s truth alone, may we manifest Jesus and the powerful Presence of the Holy Spirit.

 “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 1:15, 16 This includes everything, doesn’t it? Let’s spend some time with the Lord contemplating how wewill obey that instruction, as His holy temple (1 Corinthians 3:17).

“…let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.” 2 Corinthians 7:1 ESV

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

“Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul. Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.” 1 Peter 2:11, 12

Lord, we acknowledge that we are not our own. We are new creatures (2 Corinthians 5:17), and we choose to follow You, glorify You, and allow You to live Your presence and Power out through us in this temple, today. Have your way and manifest Your Presence (click here to see where we recently talked about this).

 Let’s do today well. And I can’t wait to see and hear what God is going to do as a result. Let’s let Him LIVE through us. Use us, Lord.

“Here I am! Send me.” Isaiah 6:8b

If you find these helpful, please share. And remember, you can hover over any of these scripture references and see the whole verse in a pop-up window. Such a great tool! 

Have a great week! Praying for you. With love, Traci

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When Life Doesn’t Make Sense

Are things not turning out the way you planned? Are you a bit confused by your current circumstances? Do you find yourself wondering if you’ve missed God’s leading or if you’ve taken a wrong turn?

Perhaps a shift in perspective would help. We know that we are not all-knowing, unlike our loving heavenly Father Who is. But often we forget that fact as we try to figure out the answer to the “What is going on?!” question that erupts from our hearts in fear or brokenness or frustration.

“Now when Pharaoh had let the people go, God did not lead them by the way of the land of the Philistines, even though it was near; for God said, ‘The people might change their minds when they see war, and return to Egypt. Hence God led the people around by the way of the wilderness to the Red Sea…” (Exodus 13:17, 18)

where they were then chased down and trapped by the Egyptians, fearful and afraid for their very lives with no way out. Notice that they were led there BYGod, a God Who knew more than they did. He knew more about their hearts and about other fears that would be around the ‘easier’ corner. He also knew all about the miracle that they were about to experience as He supernaturally led them through that impossible dead end.

My friend, if you have recently reached a seemingly dead end, don’t stop, park, and set up camp there. Cry out to the One Who hears and already has gone before you with the plan. 

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

Trust the One Who knows everything about you, your current situation, and your future.

“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, 4 

Friends,

We came to this chapter in our daily reading plan on Sunday, and it is always such a good reminder of how He knows best. We all need the reminder that He has a plan and that things can look so different from our perspective compared to His. I’ve also posted on these verses before: click here to see. I pray that this speaks encouragement to someone’s today circumstances. 

Blessings to you all,

Traci

Thanks for stopping by.   I would LOVE to hear from you and get your feedback!
Leave a comment below or email me at traci@tracishinnick.com.

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Photo by Adam Birkett on Unsplash

Do You Want to See More of Jesus?

“I have sworn and confirmed that I will keep Your righteous judgements” (Psalm 119:106). 

“Labor earnestly in prayer to stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. Ask earnestly for the discovery of every secret sin—of anything that is not in perfect harmony with the will of God. Walk up to the light you have faithfully and tenderly, yielding yourself in an unreserved surrender to obey all that the Lord has spoken…. The New Covenant gives the grace to make the vow and to keep it too (Jeremiah 31). Be careful of disobedience, even in little things. Disobedience dulls the conscience, darkens the soul, deadens our spiritual energies—therefore keep the commandments of Christ with implicit obedience. Be a soldier who asks for nothing but the orders of the commander. And if even for a moment the commandments appear tedious, just remember whose they are. They are the commandments of Him who loves you. They are all love, they come from His love, and they lead to His love. Each new surrender to keep the commandments, each new sacrifice in keeping them, leads to deeper union with the will, the Spirit, and the love of the Savior.”  Andrew Murray from Abide in Christ


Jesus said, “Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” John 14:21 ESV

Manifest, from the original Greek word used in John 14, means “To make apparent, cause to be seen, to show…to manifest oneself meaning to let oneself be intimately known and understood.”

Our obedience leads to the manifestation of Jesus Himself.  

We all want those results. Whether we can clearly articulate it or not, we all want Jesus’ closeness and nearness and for His life and light to show in and through our lives to positively effect others and make them long for Him too. We want Him to be made manifest in our lives to this dark and hurting world.

But I think that we have underestimated the importance, the need, and the power of our OBEDIENCE to have this life that we want.

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

Obedience is serious business. It is not about what we say we believe; it’s what we show by our actions that we truly believe, by doing what He says, which flows out of our thankful heart.

That passage continues, “..the one who has heard and has not acted accordingly, is like a man who built a house on the ground without any foundation; and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great.” Luke 6:49

Manifest Jesus and not shaken (Luke 6:48) or great ruin? Which are you choosing today?


This week would you join me and pray and ponder this concept? Is there anything that we are allowing in our lives that is not in perfect harmony with the will of God for us? Are we being careful about obedience and disobedience?

Lord, moment by moment show us exactly what You are calling us to, and as much as we understand what You are saying, we choose to be obedient. You have graciously enabled us to do this. You have given us all that we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). So we choose to “walk in a manner worthy” (Eph. 4:1, Col. 1:10, 1 Thess. 2:12) and to love You with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:30), having that love shown through our obedience (the message of the book of 1 John). And then we ask that You do what You do: manifest Yourself in and through our lives. Make us to know You deeper and more intimately. We invite You to have Your way, and where we have not obeyed and not shown our love for You, the love that You deserve, we confess it as sin.  You deserve our all, Lord. We bow before You, the Lord our God and Maker and say, “Have your way. Jesus. Have your way.”

Hi Friends,

We stared reading Exodus today. If you still need a reading plan, here’s a link to a chronological Bible reading plan. It truly is amazing how checking off a box (or filling in a circle) helps with accountability. Try it! 

If you missed this news last week, I had the honor of being on Kohlie Browning’s Still With You podcast and launching her second season. Here is the link. “Episode 24: Treasuring God’s Word with Traci Shinnick” from Still With You by Kohlie Browning on Apple Podcasts  You can also listen on Spotify by searching for the podcast Still With You by Kohlie Browning. And share with someone.

And Baby Stuva was looking good and showing off for her appointment yesterday! All good news. Thank you for your prayer and keep them coming. We appreciate you all so much! (If you don’t understand why this is awesome news, I shared this news at the end of my last post).

Talk to you next week! I love hearing from you. Send me an email. Leave a comment on the website. Let me know how you are doing! What is God saying to you? I’d love to hear!

With love, 

Traci

Are You Living for the Approval of God or Man?

As we daily read Scripture, may we not simply read historically, but may we allow the Word of God to read us.


“Nevertheless many even of the rulers believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they were not confessing Him, for fear that they would be put out of the synagogue;…..” John 12:42

Ask yourself: Do believe in Him (do I believe a truth in the Word) BUT for fear (because of FEAR), I do not confess it so that I will not be rejected in some way? 

For them it was the fear that they would be put out of the synagogue, which would have been a very uncomfortable, unfortunate change that would have affected their whole lives. But we face those very same fears, don’t we? Fears of where we may be rejected and not fit in anymore or may stand out or be called radical or even legalistic or hateful. And so we don’t confess the truth that we believe.  

But then the next verse reveals what is truly underneath that fear, whether they (or we) realized it or not. The whole story, the truth was:

“..for they loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God.” John 12:42, 43 

Notice how scripture deals with the very intentions of their hearts.

“For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12

May we allow Him to do the same with our hearts. Allow His Word to judge your thoughts and the intentions of your heart, even in your current area of fear.

“Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts;

And see if there be any hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way.” 
Psalm 139:23

May we search our hearts and repent (turn the other direction) where necessary and then “bear fruit in keeping with repentance” (Matthew 3:8). May we believe, confess, and be bold about His truth, no matter what.


 “..we had the boldness in our God to speak to you the gospel of God amid much opposition. For our exhortation does not come from error or impurity or by way of deceit; but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who examines our hearts.” 1 Thessalonians 2:2b-4

Spend some time before the Lord and truly ask the question:

What am I not obeying or not speaking truth on because of the fear of man? And if I continue down that road, then I confess that I am choosing to love the approval of man rather than the approval of God. May it never be!

 “The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever leans on, trusts in, and puts his confidence in the Lord is safe and set on high.” Proverbs 29:25 Amplified Bible

Hi Friends,

 I believe that this is where the Lord wants to encourage us today, because I sat down to write about something else and never actually got there. Instead, we have this really good, and I trust timely, word. We’ll see if next week we get to where I was planning to go.

But first, let me share some news updates: 

Some of you may be aware that our daughter, Anna, was pregnant with twins and one did not have a heartbeat right after Thanksgiving. She is now 28 weeks along, and the doctor is so pleased with how well this other little one is doing. Things are going better than he expected. Praise God! The next milestone is to get to 32 weeks. And of course, the ultimate prayer is that this little girl is born completely healthy and whole. Thank you once again for your prayers.

And I want to share this with you:

I had the honor of being on Kohlie Browning’s Still With You podcast and being a part of launching her second season. It aired last Friday. Here is the link. “Episode 24: Treasuring God’s Word with Traci Shinnick” from Still With You by Kohlie Browning on Apple Podcasts  You can also listen on Spotify by searching for the podcast Still With You by Kohlie Browning. I will shamelessly keep sharing it because somehow God and Kohlie managed to include all my heart messages in one podcast. And things were shared and said that were needed encouragement even to my own heart when I listened.

So I have a lot of faith that God can use this to not only encourage people to be in His Word, but also to walk in obedience, say yes, just show up, and go do the easy/hard. Please take the time to listen and please share with someone who may need this encouragement!

Thank you in advance!

Talking into a microphone was a scary step of obedience. But it has been a delight to see the fruit of that step this week. I’m so thankful for Kohlie and her steps of obedience, the prayers that she sows into her podcast ministry, and the way she has followed the Lord’s leading as she fulfills her ministry (2 Timothy 4:5). Please go check it out.  

See you here next week! I’d love to hear from you!

Thank you all. I pray that you all have an excellent day and choose boldness. 

Traci

Photo by Payton Tuttle on Unsplash