You Don’t Need to Be Afraid of the Dark

From the heart of God:

I call forth the sun to shine… 
And the stars to display their beauty as each takes its place in the night sky.
Day and night has its own beauty… 
Things only seen in the sunshine and things only seen in the dark.

Seasons change. 

There is day and night so that you may see…
Different aspects of My beauty and love. 
Do not be afraid of the dark.
Darkness will come, but look up! 
Eyes on Me, the Author and Perfecter of your faith (Hebrews 12:2).

Though the earth tremble and mountains fall into the sea (Psalm 46:2), My love for you is unfailing. Look there. Trust there. And cling to hope. 

You will hope once again. 
Great light will shine forth in darkness. 
As the world cries out and screams in fear, “The sky is falling, the sky is falling” (see this here as well),
My people will have a quiet confidence in Me (that I will give – take it – you must take it to have it). 

Cling to My Word and to My Promises, that the people may know that I have done this. I cause the storm (Psalm 107:25), and I am able to make it perfectly calm (v. 29).  Be those who hear and do the Word, that your house may stand (Matthew 7:24). Be ready to give an answer for the hope that you have in the midst of the storm (1 Peter 3:15). They will see a great light. Let it be Me. Shine for My glory, that they may glorify My name.  

Arise, shine, for My glory has arisen. Be a lighthouse standing firmly in your place, letting your light shine TRUTH – proclaiming, “This is the ROCK, this is solid ground.” – as a warning to navigate carefully, as My Word is unmovable and irrevocable. It is.

The world is continually trying “to make crooked the straight ways of the Lord” (Acts 13:10), but the world does not change My ways. No matter how many times they change their opinion, My word stands true and unchanging and CONSTANT. So I will send forth my prophets to make straight the way of The Lord. Who will listen? Who will go for Us (Isaiah 6:8)? Who will hear and respond?  

Who will not just hear and give the word, but hear and live it:
– hear correctly – through “honest and good” hearts (correct filters),
and
– “hold it fast and bear fruit with perseverance” (Luke 8:15): LIVE IT, not giving out what they are NOT.
This is mentorship: personal life change.

Produce ‘change’. “Prepare the way of The Lord, make his paths straight” (Luke 3:4 ESV) and give courage to scared, intimidated Christians. I am BIGGER and stronger. Now go and act and do not fear (an instruction to be obeyed). A courage they do not even know is inside of them, a Daniel spirit within them (placed there by Me, by the power of the Holy Spirit), will rise up. They will be unafraid to be different – to be different from this culture (Luke 21:17)- because they see the PEACE reward and the eternal rewards, looking to the day ahead (Hebrews 11:26, 1 Corinthian 1:7, 2 Peter 3:12, 13, 14). They will have the courage to stand up and be resolute, to resolve ahead of time and be faithful to it, to believe and know Me and then stand with Me, not against Me. 

So-called Christ-followers are today standing up against My truth clearly set forth in My word. 
They must know the truth. The truth will set them free. Currently they are in total bondage: bondage of the flesh and mind and are truly miserable in that state.

Proclaim freedom to the captives. Freedom has come and been made available, but they prefer being fed by Egypt (their captors) and don’t seem to mind the bondage of spirit that goes along with it (Numbers 11:5, Numbers 14, Acts 7:39).

Freedom may be uncomfortable, but it comes with great Peace and Power and Promises for what is to come. Stop living for this day and live for the day to come (Hebrew 12:25, 26). 

“And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.” 1 John 3:3


So, stand on the watchtower and ramparts (walls), listening for God to speak. The word IS the rampart – the outermost wall, the first line of defense. He watches His Word to perform it (Jeremiah 1:12), so we must follow His example. Watch His Word, build the walls, do not allow the book of the law to be lost in the house of God (2 Kings 22), build up (good) walls, armor on (Ephesians 6:10-20), sword ready (Ephesians 6:17)…with a ready word (keep watch to see what He will speak- Habakkuk 2:1).

“I will stand on my guard post 
And station myself on the rampart;
And I will keep watch to see what He will speak to me,…” Habakkuk 2:1

Do not live with broken down ramparts, daily walking over the rubble. Rebuild. 

How? Working together, not alone, but also not allowing the ‘tares’ (Matthew 13:24-30) to help and nullify the work and the strength of the ramparts. Refuse their offer to help as they plan to sabotage (see Ezra 4).  

How? What can we do?  Nehemiah’s example! 

One man, moved by God, organizing a movement that quickly got it done. Mission accomplished (in 52 days rebuilt broken down walls!).

There is power in one, led by the Spirit, walking in obedience.

Will we answer the call?

(Remember you can hover over the scripture references and see the verse in most cases.)

Hi friends, today’s post is much longer than most, and I wanted to explain a bit about why that is. This was originally written in my journal on April 5, 2013, and I was reminded of it this past week. I have previously posted portions of this word (and if you have gone through Watch the Ramparts* you may recognize a few lines as well), but I have never posted it in its entirety (although in September of 2015 I felt like I was supposed to post it all and never decided to be brave enough to). I pray that it speaks to your heart this week.

So thankful for you. Let me know if I can help you in any way!

And if you aren’t receiving these weekly devotionals in your inbox and would like to, just let me know by clicking  here.

Traci

*want to know more about Watch the Ramparts? Let me know. I’d love to tell you more about it. Watch the Ramparts: Rebuilding Our God-Given Protective Boundaries is a Six-Week Prayer Strategy Devotional designed to develop the strength, security, and self-discipline necessary to live without wavering in this unstable world.

Today’s “Yes”

From the Heart of God:

It is never too late to obey Me. There is always a fresh “yes” for each and every day, one that has all of My power (Ephesians 3:20) behind it as you obey My instructions in full dependence upon Me.

Speak the fresh “yes” with your life today. And then another, tomorrow. Day by day, step by step, simply following My lead. This is the way to where your heart truly wants to be.

Moment by moment dependence upon Me will ALWAYS serve you well.

My Word and My instructions are a lamp unto your feet (Psalm 119:105); I show you where you are currently standing, the honest truth about ‘this space’ and ‘your stance’.

And My Word is a light unto your path, the ‘path’ right there in front of you, showing you what the next step looks like.

Looking out (even past ‘the not too distant future’) will tend to trip up your feet.

Eyes on Me. Eyes on My Way, Child. Eyes on My Truth.

I am the way, the truth, and the LIFE that you long for (John 14:6), in abundance (John 10:10).

Let Me teach you to stand and take the hard steps of faith, the ones necessary for where WE are going.

We are going places.

Follow Me, even if you have to leave all your fears behind to do so. Give Me your ‘yes’. It is that ‘simply simple’.

Take the next step of faith. (And I do realize that this is often ‘simply difficult’.)

It’s ‘easy/hard’, as all of your divinely enabled life truly is: EASY, as I do it all through you, and HARD as you take each step by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).

Let’s take the easy/hard road of faith together. I will not leave your side.

With a heart of gratefulness for the journey (the process), let’s press on (Philippians 3:12, 14). 

Come, My beautiful one, arise and come along! (from song of Solomon chapter 2).

 

 

Listening Section:

Lord, show me if there is a current ‘it’s too late’ trap that I’ve fallen into and have given up hope for something You’ve truly called me to do.

Speak to my heart about my current state, according to the truth of your Word, and show me the next “yes” (along with the possible “no”) on my path right ahead.

I choose to have as my heart’s cry, “Here am I. Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8) and to TRUST you.

What is today’s ‘fresh yes’?

 

Remember: any scripture included in this post can be seen in its entirety as you hover over the reference.

Believe and Choose

“’And now, Lord, take note of their threats, and grant that Your bond-servants may 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.’ And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness.” Acts 4:29-31

From the Father’s Heart:

My child,
called, beloved, kept (Jude 1:1), and purposed,

you get to choose how much you’ll be used

by showing up,

by faith,
by believing that I can,
by obeying the promptings,

bottom line: BY believing Me,

by keeping your eyes on Me and OFF the things you tend to put your focus on: like what you think you are able to do and what people might think… and all the many, many fears.

 

I have not given you the fears (2 Timothy 1:7),
But I have given you the faith.

Choose the path of faith/belief/trust. Choose the path of obedience.

 

Be willing to be used. Believe that I CAN. And go. Taking the courage and the confidence that comes from knowing that you are called and chosen, throw off all doubt and all fear. “Draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that you may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16), and go do. Go be the voice.

Change lives with your boldness. Make people long for Me and thirst for what you have and hunger until they go and find it for themselves. Equip them unto righteousness (Romans 10:10). Take the message (whatever I give you) and raise up an army of change. It’s a “you” message, an “IN Him you can too,” a message to “get low, deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Him” (Luke 9:23), to then BE followed,

to be a follower to be followed and thus naturally be a leader.

 

Be the message, that you may say, “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1).

 

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19, 20

 

(Don’t forget that you can hover over any scripture reference and read the verse in a pop-up window.)

Listening Section:

-Lord, where are You asking me to show up? to believe You over my fears and thoughts of my inabilities (those thoughts that I’m supposed to take captive because they do not line up with what You say about me in Your word – 2 Corinthians 10:3-5)?

-What is Your path of obedience for this day so that I may do today well?

-Who have You put in my path that I am to influence and equip? Lord, help me to follow You in ways that others can follow.

 

Press into these questions with the Lord. You don’t have answers? Good. Hear His. Just put pen to paper and starting with the truth that you have no idea how to answer, write the questions in ways that make sense to you. And just ask Him. Listen to how He answers. I’d love to hear some of your insights. Click on the title and leave a comment or email me at traci@tracishinnick.com. I can also make sure these devotionals go right to your inbox when I post if you’ll email me and let me know that you’d like that or you can just hit the subscribe button here: Sign me up! 

Are You Following Your Map?

From the Father’s Heart:

You are My servant whom I have chosen.
That, in and of itself, is a profound, settling truth that is able to recalibrate your life.

I call you Mine, chosen to be My instrument. To be used of God, having great PURPOSE in My hands- what a beautiful thing that so many take for granted. Take it for granted no more. Keep the assignment and your station as My child, with all My authority, before you at all times. And believe the truth that you can do ALL things that I call you to,  all things in Me. I am a good leader, and you can trust ME. TRUST and OBEY.

Obedience will be your open door to lands you can’t imagine.

Step through. Step over the threshold of fear, and risk the uncomfortable. Risk failure. Fling it all upon Me…

and dance. Let Me lead. You, just follow and allow Me to work in and through you. It’s so easy, and yet risky and hard. Easy/hard.

It’s a year of easy/hard: easy as I divinely enable you, and hard as you must take risks and steps of obedience that may feel deadly (but they are not and never will be).

 

I am the Way-Maker. I am the Map.

By following My instructions, lead people where it looks impossible to go.

Follow Me and be followed. Lead. Yes, it means you will have to do something. You will have to stretch beyond your own capabilities and comfort. You will have to trust Me and, at times, walk in hard obedience. But oh, what reward! Let Me lead you to that place of reward and JOY and delight and hardship, which I will carry you through. It will be worth the pain, and (Psalm 63:9) your enemies will be silenced. Don’t allow them to make you sidestep* for even one moment.

 

Let My roar loose upon the earth.

Trust Me. Be being held and filled and led.

 

“You are My witnesses,” declares the Lord,
And My servant whom I have chosen,
So that you may know and believe Me
And understand that I am He.” Isaiah 43:10

 

*(bypass, evade, avoid)

 

Listening section:

-Lord, how do you want the truth that I am chosen by You and that my life has a specific purpose (even for this day) to settle me and change today’s focus?

-Lord, remind me of my assignment and the authority I have as Your child. How do you want me to put it to use today?

-And what is my (unique to me) step of obedience that I need to take today (with Your strong enablement)?

Press into these questions with the Lord. You don’t have answers? Good. Hear His. Just put pen to paper and starting with the truth that you have no idea how to answer, write the questions in ways that make sense to you. And just ask Him. Listen to how He answers. I’d love to hear some of your insights. Click on the title and leave a comment or email me at traci@tracishinnick.com. I can also make sure these devotionals go right to your inbox when I post if you’ll email me and let me know that you’d like that or you can just hit the subscribe button here: Sign me up! 

 

 

Photo by Katie Drazdauskaite on Unsplash

Do You Feel Like the Darkness is Overwhelming?

From the Father’s Heart for you:

Look up.

The sun is shining.

Today it may be perceived as though darkness has the upper hand, but that is NOT SO!

“The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:5). I have already won that battle, for light dispels darkness. It’s just the nature of light. 

And you, My child, are part of that light.

So shine.

John 1:6 “There came a man sent from God,……” That’s the beginning of every great story. Be that ‘sent one’ and start another great story of My goodness and glory and power and fame.

May this be a season of knowing who you are in Me: how loved you are, how powerful you are, and the authority you have been given in My Name. USE your weapons of warfare (2 Corinthians 10:4) and FIGHT the good fight (1 Timothy 6:12). Be watchful, be strong, stand firm (1 Cor. 16:13) for Truth and for what is yours (Jude 1:3) and also for your brothers’ and sisters’ in Christ, that all may be encouraged so that callings are fulfilled (2 Tim. 4:5). 

Don’t give up, for I never give up on you.

I have your back, and I will strengthen you to stand in My truth and battle the lies.  You are more than an overcomer in Me. I have given you authority to tread on ‘serpents and scorpions’ and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you. (Luke 10:19). Take your authority in battle and rejoice in the victory, overflowing with praise and songs of thanksgiving in your heart continually, as you give Me all the glory.

Go be the light.

“..at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.” Ephesians 5:8

Darkness cannot defiantly stand against any type of light.  It just doesn’t win that battle.

As the Maker of Heaven and Earth, I sit on My throne and My sovereignty rules over all (Psalm 103:19).

Look up!

 

 

Thank you for stopping by! I pray that you found encouragement here. Just so you know: any scripture included in this post can be seen in its entirety as you hover over the reference.

Would you like to receive devotional encouragement in your inbox each week? I will also send you a copy of my 6 Week Prayer Strategy with a week of devotionals.  Simply subscribe by clicking here.  Sign me up!

When You Find Yourself Opposed and Fearful

“Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you.” 1 John 3:13

“Shout for joy in the Lord, O you righteous!
Praise befits the upright…
Sing to him a new song.” Psalm 33:1, 3a

From the heart of God for you:

It is for freedom that Christ has set you free (Galatians 5:1), but not everyone will approve of that freedom. For some, it will expose their darkness and they will despise it (John 3:20, 1 John 3:12, 13), but you are made to shine My light so don’t be afraid. Shine for people to see and to glorify My name (Matthew 5:16). Don’t hide Me.

There is a beautiful fragrance on your life because of Me. And it will be a fragrance of death to some but a fragrance of life to others (2 Corinthians 2:15,16). Just know that the response is not about you. It’s about Who I am in and through you as you obey and abide in Me.

I will open doors and give you the courage to walk through them in My strength. You need not take a single step on your own. I am with you. Celebrate the “with-ness” and sing. When you find yourself fearful, sing praise to My name and be reminded of Who I Am and thus know who you are as My child: loved, protected, defended, strong, an overcomer, with praise on your lips and a song in your heart.

There is a ‘beyond’ for you, not just a ‘beyond this.’ Dream bigger. There is a beyond what you can dream or imagine (Ephesians 3:20). I will make you fruitful. Ask Me for specifics about that statement. Ask about My plans for your fruitfulness and dare to dream with Me. Write down what you hear, and then pray through the list given. What dreams have I put in your heart that have lain dormant for too long now? Bring them to Me and let’s talk them over. Do not be anxious but PRAY with thanksgiving (Philippians 4:6). Look at your life and be in My word and let Me remind you of all there is to be thankful for. Allow Me to be the ‘lifter of your head’ today. “But You, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the One who lifts my head.” Psalm 3:3

“Prepare plans by consultation,
And make war by wise guidance.” Prov. 20:18

“Our soul waits for the Lord;
He is our help and our shield.
For our heart rejoices in Him,
Because we trust in His holy name.
Let Your lovingkindness, O Lord, be upon us,
According as we have hoped in (waited for) You.” Psalm 33:20-22

 

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

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

Does the Lord Have Your Whole Heart?

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

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

 

From the Heart of God:

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

And rest.

 

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

 

I can be trusted with all of it.

 

 

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

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

Photo by ALP STUDIO on Unsplash

Is the Lord Calling You to Take a Risk?

 

From the Heart of God for you:

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

Take risks.

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

You can.

 

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

Tap into His faith. He has plenty to give.

 

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

 

Friend,

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

Cheering for you,

Traci

 

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

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