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

Exciting News & A Reintroduction

Hi Friends,

This is not going to be a typical post today. In fact, I don’t expect that it will be a devotional in any way. This is just a little bit of my heart and where I am and a reintroduction of sorts.

I have ‘accidentally’ stopped writing to you for two months now, and I will give you all my excuses below. But the bottom line is that this is what happens to my life without hard deadlines. And these results are why I don’t dare take a break. It is so hard for me to know where to begin again. It’s like starting all over. So I procrastinate and let the weeks continue to go by.

But here are a few reasons I have not been here with you:

-It’s football season.

For those of you who do not know (because you do not know me personally, and I have still not written my about page), I am the wife of a brilliant college head football coach, who was Division II Coach of the Year last year. (Yes, I am a bit proud of him.) He started the football program here at the University of West Florida (his second start-up program), and we made it all the way to the Division II National Championship Game last year in our second season as a program- unheard of, and only explained by the favor of God, a lot of prayer, and a lot hard work by all our coaches and players. The Bible says that we have not because we ask not, so just as we prayed last year, we pray for another chance to go and win this time (I’ll keep you updated on that). All of that to say that this is a little busier time of year with games and family and visitors and traveling. So it’s easy not to write.

-But also if you are on my email list and have been following along this summer, our family had a great loss as my beautiful sister-in-law had complications with her pregnancy and they lost sweet Lysander after 11 days of miraculous living. Please continue to pray for Becky and Chris and their 3 other kids as they continue the long healing process. Here is the link to 2 amazing messages: ‘The Road to “Well Done”’ and ‘Hope in The Dark’ https://westflorida.manna.church/sermons. The first is by our former pastor, Michael Fletcher, as he filled in for Chris, and it will challenge you in whatever you are walking through. And the second is my brother-in-law telling of their whole journey and teaching through the hope in Psalm 42 and 43. They are SO, SO good and powerful!

So I just stopped posting here somewhere in the midst of all of that plus:

-my spectacular mother-in-law (pictured with us above) coming to help Chris and Becky and then staying with us quite a bit to give their family time to be alone as well,
-and my grandma passing away at 100 years of age,
-and then two other writing assignment that I was busy with,
-and the start of small groups,
-and my son-in-law getting his wings (he is a Naval Aviator) with top awards: (Golden Stick for top grades in his class, Top Gun, and Top Hook),

(Us with all of our kids.)

-and finding out that they will be stationed in Virginia Beach to fly the F-18 Super Hornet. They are in the process of moving there now.

 

-AND finding out that they are pregnantDue in April.

with TWINS!!!!

Wow!

We are so excited!

…. and in the midst of all of that, you stopped hearing from me.

 

Are those enough excuses for not posting in two months? I’m sure I could tag on a few more…. And I imagine that I will share a little more of my heart about this little hiatus next time.

But I just needed to reconnect with you before I try to/before I get back at it with some deadlines for myself.

Thank you all for being here and for giving me this outlet to share.

And just because it feels weird to connect with you and not leave you any devotional thought:

 

As I shared the testimony of my husband’s success (and my son-in-law’s), let me share with you one of my favorite verses to pray for my husband. You may want to use it for those you love as well.

 

“Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us;
And confirm for us the work of our hands;
Yes, confirm the work of our hands.” Psalm 90:17 NASB

A great prayer for all that we put our hands to.

Blessing to you all. May He confirm the work of your hands today and may His favor be upon you.

 

With love,

Traci Shinnick

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!

What We Need to Know in Times of Pain

“You keep him in perfect peace
whose mind is stayed on You,
because he trusts in You.”
Isaiah 26:3 ESV

 

When people are hurting,

O Lord, You are the balm (Jeremiah 8:22).

When we are wounded,

You are the Healer, the Mender of our very souls,

Right down to our emotional being, to joint and marrow depths You go (Hebrews 4:12).

 

So Lord, we come along.
On this journey with You, we say “yes” to the process and trust You with it.

Yes.

Come what may. We look to You, knowing that You can be trusted ALWAYS and forever.

Always.

And FOREVER.

 

You DO keep in perfect peace the steadfast of mind because he trusts in You. So we take that stance TODAY moment by moment. We trust You with our very lives, with our whole hearts, with our moments, our possessions, and with those we love and care for. We trust You, as You love and care for us best.

 

Your sovereignty certainly does rule over all (Psalm 103:19). You are good, and we thank you that Your mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22,23),

day by day by day and step by step.

 

Be our vision, our song, our strength this day, our resolve, our Strong Tower (Proverbs 18:10), our Rock (Psalm 18:1).

You are.

 

“Yes, I Am.”

 

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

 

“This I recall to my mind,
Therefore I have hope.
The Lord’s loving kindnesses indeed never cease,
For His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul,
‘Therefore I have hope in Him.’
The Lord is good to those who wait for Him,
To the person who seeks Him.
It is good that he waits silently
For the salvation of the Lord.”
Lamentations 3:21-26

 

 

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!

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!

Excel Still More

 

“Finally then, brethren, we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us instruction as to how you ought to walk and please God (just as you actually do walk), that you excel still more.” 1 Thessalonians 4:1 NASB

In other words, “Hey, you’re actually doing it. Good job. But don’t be satisfied to stay where you are.”

 

These are words to encourage us on, no matter where we are, whether we are walking in victory, successful in the world’s eyes, or in a not so successful season of days.

I include the distinction “in the world’s eyes” because things may look so different from God’s perspective. What we see and enjoy as success, He may KNOW is a detour from His perfect plan. And likewise, what we are considering a complete waste and failure, He sees as the perfect tool and path to make us exactly who He wants us to become: conforming us to the image of His Son (Romans 8:28, 29).

There is always room to “excel still more” and more every day.

 

Don’t ever settle.

 

May we always have this attitude, looking to Jesus for our direction,

 

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.” Psalm 32:8

 

and “forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,”

 

let us press on to lay hold of (grasp) and make our own, that for which Christ Jesus (the Messiah) has laid hold of us and made us His own,

 

and press on toward the goal (Philippians 3:12, 13, 14)

 

and excel still more.

 

Keep growing, keep grasping, keep seeking His face, and keep being transformed by the power of the Word, by the renewing of your mind.

 

 

-Is there any area of your life that your growth has ‘plateaued’ and you have decided to ‘settle’ there? Ask God to show you.

-Talk to the Lord today about where He longs for you to be in that area of your life (and others). Put pen to paper and ask Him to speak His vision of growth and maturity over your life.

And choose/make a decision to “walk in a manner worthy.” Colossians 1: 10, 11, 12

-What is TODAY’S first next step toward growth?

 

If you are not currently in His Word every day and meditating on His Word, that is your starting point. Need a good reading plan? Check out my favorite here. Need some encouragement, click here.

And remember you can hover over the scripture references on this site and see the verses in a pop-up window.

 

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!