Stand with the Majority

“Look at the proud; his soul is not straight or right within him, but the [rigidly] just and the [uncompromisingly] righteous man shall live by faith and in his faithfulness.” Habakkuk 2:4 AMP 

There will be many decisions. You may not initially recognize them as such, but you’ll have the opportunity to decide daily whose “side” you ARE on. And as you choose to live uncompromisingly righteous, it will certainly “look like” you are choosing with the minority and you’ll feel all alone, but that’s only a “worldly illusion”. When you stand WITH the Creator of the universe and the One who is truth, you are not alone or small or the underdog. You are fully victorious, and you fully overcome. So, keep the finish line in mind. Don’t give into the feelings of the moment. No marathon runner would ever finish if they gave into how they feel at any given moment of the race. Run to win (1 Cor. 9:24). 

“Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” 2 Timothy 3:12

Do not back down and think the pushback means you’ve done something wrong. May we be faithful to our calling and to the Lord’s goals. He desires changed hearts who follow hard after truth even at the risk of their comfort. Because they KNOW and LOVE Him and know His truth, they are ready to “weather any storm”.

Stand with the true majority – the Truth, the Life, and the Way: Jesus.

“. . . discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” 1 Timothy 4:7b, 8

 

Hi friend. I pray that you have people around you who are encouraging you on toward love and good deeds (Heb. 10:24) and that you don’t feel all alone today in your pursuit of “righteousness, faith, love and peace” (2 Tim. 2:22). But if you’ve been feeling all alone, I pray that this has been an encouragement to you. Keep moving forward and clinging to His truth. Know the Word. How are you “discipling yourself for the purpose of godliness”? I’d love to hear the instructions the Lord has laid on your heart in these recent months and where you are finding breakthrough. 

You are not alone. Let that fact give you courage to stand firm today and every day. I’m praying for you today. Make it a great one!

Traci

You Are a Worker in the Plentiful Harvest

From the Father’s Heart:

Produce change. You are a worker in the harvest, and producing change is in your job description. 

Let Me use you. 

Abide in the vine, partaking of all you need, and let Me and My life-giving sustenance flow through your life just naturally, even unknowingly

Live by the Spirit, and you won’t live ruled by the flesh (Gal. 5:16).

How?

Let Me have My way. Listen and obey the quiet promptings: you know, the ones you too often disregard and instead do what you think is “reasonable” and “rational”. 

Seek My face and require My presence* as your greatest need, and I will be found, meaning I will be with you, in power – not just in word, but in deeds. Be being filled, and pour out.


“Holy Spirit, lead me today. Because each day of following Your lead will add up to getting real things done.”


“… our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. You also became imitators of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers…” 1 Thessalonians 1:4-7

 *I included a few links if you want to read more on these subjects, and the third one is such a timely reminder!

What The Lord Can Suddenly Get Done

“Then they were quite willing and glad for Him to come into the boat. And now the boat went at once to the land they had steered toward. [And immediately they reached the shore toward which they had slowly been making their way.]” John 6:21 Amplified Bible

From the Heart of God:

I will take you beyond any current fear or doubt and then beyond the next. Past one “rock” or “boulder” or even “mountain” at a time. Only focus on the faith needed for the next step, and you’ll be amazed at where “WE” (together) suddenly are

Don’t romanticize the way things were and make them out to be something that they were not. Don’t long for what was, as if nothing ahead can be as good. Face the past in truth. And look forward in hope, faith, and trust.

KNOW that I Am a God of the “beyond”, the God of impossibilities. Nothing is too difficult for Me. No, nothing (Ephesians 3:20, Matthew 19:26, Jeremiah 32:17).

~
“The sea began to be stirred up because a strong wind was blowing. Then, when they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near to the boat; and they were frightened. But He said to them, ‘It is I; do not be afraid.’ So they were willing to receive Him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going.” John 6:18-21

Some of you may feel like you have been making your way to a desired destination for a long time now. Then “strong winds” have erupted and stirred up circumstances to make your journey even more difficult. I wonder if perhaps this passage may speak to your heart today – if there will be a moment when you take notice, see, and recognize Jesus in the midst of what you are currently working hard to accomplish and will be willing to “receive Him into your boat” and experience what only He can do (even if He shows up in a way that makes you afraid).

He is more than able to handle anything that concerns us today. He is also able to calm the winds and the seas and make them perfectly calm (Matt. 8:26) – even the storms inside our thoughts and emotions. Allow Him.

Take time with the Lord and ask what it looks like for you to “receive Him into your boat” today? Is there a task at hand that you have been working hard at and are in need of His Presence, which changes everything? “I am with you” is the answer to all our fears, doubts, and seemingly impossible tasks.

Take it all to Him in prayer.

(You can read more about His with-ness being the Difference Maker here.)

Will We Give Our Attention to His Word?

May this not be said of us, as it was in Daniel 9:13: “all this calamity has come on us; yet we have not sought the favor of the Lord our Godby turning from our iniquity and giving our attention to Your truth.” 

Awake, O sleepers, lift up your heads. Look to Him. Follow hard after Him so that you are not swept away by the torrents, that you can weather any storm. Like a life preserver for the soul is “hope in God alone”. May our hope not be in man, government, reputation, country, or money; allow no other thing to be your god, allow no other idol. He is enough and is holy and is to be treated as holy. 

In 1 Samuel 7:3 it says “Then Samuel spoke to all the house of Israel, saying, ‘If you return to the Lord with all your heart, remove the foreign gods and the Ashtaroth from among you and direct your hearts to the Lord and serve Him alone; and He will deliver you from the hand of the Philistines.”

Consider this: are the steps that need to be taken today so different from these? Could this be what we need to hear and obey to not be overtaken by the enemy (the seen and unseen physical and spiritual enemies):

-Return to the Lord with all your heart. 
-Remove the foreign gods and idols from among you.
-Direct your hearts to the Lord and serve Him alone.

In response to Samuel’s instructions, “the sons of Israel removed the Baals and the Ashtaroth and served the Lord alone”(1 Samuel 7:4) and fasted and said, “‘We have sinned against the Lord.’” (v. 6) Then the sons of Israel said to Samuel, ‘Do not cease to cry to the LORD our God for us, that He may save us from the hand of the Philistines.’ . . . and Samuel cried to the LORD for Israel and the LORD answered him (v. 7-9). And as a result, when the Philistines, whom they feared, drew near to battle against Israel, “the Lord thundered with a great thunder on that day and confused them so that they were routed before Israel” (v.10).

As we trust in Him alone, obey and do what He instructs, and pray, God can move in and suddenly take care of all that we fear, in ways that we could never even imagine. He is the God of the impossible. 

May we seek the favor of the Lord OUR God by 1) turning from our iniquity and 2) giving our attention to His truth, the truth of His Word.

Friend, how will you give your attention to His Word? Do you have a plan? I’d love to hear about it.

A form of this post was originally shared in October of 2014 on my old blogspot writing site. The Daniel 9 verse has been on my heart the last few weeks as I have posted, along with Isaiah 30:15 “‘In repentance and rest you will be saved, In quietness and trust is your strength.’ But you were not willing . . .” May this also not be said of us, that we were not willing to follow the clear instructions of the Lord. If you would like to read further on repentance (and rest and refreshing and fruit) click here. May you have a blessed week!

with love,

Traci

The Answer

Our answer is to return to Him.
 
This needs to be our message no matter how we feel it will be received. It is still the answer to all our problems, and Jesus always will be. So will we offer the solution (with faith that the gospel and the word of the cross is “the power of God”) or will we be ashamed of the message because it is foolishness to those who are perishing (1 Cor. 1:18, Romans 1:16)? 
 
What if the feelings of hopelessness of the message of repentance being received is actually just a scheme of the enemy to keep us quiet?
 
Have we considered that this was Jesus’ message – “Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand” – and that He spoke it knowing that it would not be well received even in the religious community? 
 
The problem and the answer are still the same. Our modern society is not too sophisticated for the solution we have to offer. Jesus is the only way (John 14:6). How about we (the church) offer Him (be workers in this harvest), fast, pray, and expect the gospel to do its work, a work that our world desperately needs!
 
Look at this example in 2 Chronicles: “‘Now do not stiffen your neck like your fathers, but yield to the LORD . . . and serve the Lord your God, that His burning anger may turn away from you. For if you return to the Lord, your brothers and your sons will find compassion before those who led them captive . . . For the Lord your God is gracious and compassionate, and will not turn His face from you if you return to Him.’ So the couriers passed from city to city . . . but they laughed them to scorn and mocked them” 2 Chron. 30:8, 9,10.
 
This response is what we expect and fear, so we keep the solution quiet, but this passage continues: 
 
“Nevertheless some . . . humbled themselves . . . The hand of God was also on Judah to give them one heart to do what the king and princes commanded by the word of the Lord.” 2 Chron. 30:11, 12.
 
Let’s rise up and be bold with the answer of “return to Jesus”, risk the scorn, and leave the response to God. Speak up for the sake of the “some”. He is the one who turns hearts and changes minds; we can’t, but let us speak up and watch what He does with our obedience
 
“. . . they consecrated themselves faithfully in holiness” 2 Chron. 31:18. 
 
Jesus opens
eyes– “Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him” Luke 24:31.
minds to understand- “Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures . . .” Luke 24:45.
hearts to respond- “the Lord opened her heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul.” Acts 16:14
and gives us understanding to know Him- “And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.” 1 John 5:20
 
Let us fast and pray for these things according to His word and speak forth His truth.
 
Know the truth of His Word, practice it, and teach it (Ezra 7:10). 
 
Rejection of the Truth is our world’s problem and Jesus is the solution. The church must not be ashamed or afraid to provide the real answer.
 
“. . . I did not prove disobedient to the heavenly vision, but kept declaring both to those in Damascus first, and also at Jerusalem and then throughout all the region of Judea, and even to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds appropriate to repentance” Acts 26:19, 20.
 
Jesus is the way.
He is THE truth.
HE is the LIFE.

Where to Look for the Answer

 “Lord, what is on Your heart? What are You saying?” 
 
 
I am Lord and ruler of all. Follow Me to a place of sweet victory and bold courage in victory. I always have a plan. I always know the way. So why, pray tell, do you worry and expend so much energy trying to figure things out and making your own plans.
 
Just follow Me. Pray to the Lord of the harvest. Prayer is your first action (not your last!). Pray. You are not begging Me to work but aligning your heart in faith of what only I can accomplish as you pray. Prayer puts your heart in position and puts the hearts you are trying to reach in position. Do not neglect the power. 
 
Do not neglect the power of prayer. Pray to the Lord who in secret knows all and has all the answers.
 
Ask yourself and answer honestly: 
Where are you looking for the answer? 
Who are you looking to for direction, for the next step, for the solution?
 
Look up! From where does your help come? Your help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth. 
 
 
“I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
From where shall my help come?
My help comes from the LORD,
Who made heaven and earth.
He will not allow your foot to slip;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps Israel
Will neither slumber nor sleep.
The LORD is your keeper;
The LORD is your shade on your right hand.
The sun will not smite you by day,
Nor the moon by night.
The LORD will protect you from all evil;
He will keep your soul.
The LORD will guard your going out and your coming in
From this time forth and forever.”
Psalm 121
 
 
This is a portion from a journal entry on 7/4/21.

Nothing is Too Difficult

From the Heart of God:

I make a way when and where there is no way.

I am the Creator of all. So, nothing is too difficult for Me. Stop making things “difficult” and seeing them as insurmountable. I can do in a moment what should take days, months, years. I am ABLE. Don’t lose sight of My ability, My power, and My purpose. 

My purposes will be fulfilled and not on “flowery beds of ease”; that is not the pattern or way you see in My Word, so why are you expecting it all to be easy? Suffer hardship as a good soldier (2 Timothy 2:3). Do not give into despair or hopelessness. No. See all you have been given to win the war. Put on the armor, take up the weapons, and fight the good fight (1 Timothy 6:12). You are fully equipped. Just don’t lose sight of the mission.

What is the mission? Souls. Snatch them out of the kingdom of darkness and bring them into this marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9). 

So, let us each ask ourselves, “How am I going about that business?” 


The above was written in my journal on Oct. 27, 2021 and is a good reminder as we head into a new year of unknowns. He knows. He goes before us. He has always known and has not ever been “nervous” or “worried” about how it’s going to all pan out; therefore, neither should we. Each time I have read this as I’ve decided if this is the week for this post to go out, I have been deeply encouraged by the weight and hope and encouragement of these words. I pray that you experience the same.I know that many are entering this new year in hard times and with many unknowns and questions. I pray God would use this encouragement to give you peace in the midst of it.

As we entered 2020 I heard the Lord say, “I am on My throne.”

This encouragement is still true. He is enthroned above it all. 

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

And here’s one last thing I want to share today. As I was getting this post together and looking up some of the bible references to note those, I wondered about the “flowery beds of ease”. I looked and it is not a bible verse but from a hymn that, interestingly enough (God is so sweet to confirm things), also includes the idea of being a soldier. The lyrics of Am I a Soldier of the Cross were written by Dr. Isaac Watts in 1709, to follow a sermon on 1 Cor. 16:13. 

Isaiah 43 would also be a good read to accompany this devotional this week. Press forward! I would love to hear some of your plans and/or goals for the new year. 

Bless you,

Traci

PS: To download and print a Chronological Bible Reading Plan for 2022, clink on this link: My Favorite Reading Plan  This is the one that I have personally used over 20 years. It can be folded and used as a bookmark to mark off as you go. The Psalms show up every 7th day and make for an easy catch up day if you find yourself behind, and you can also check off as you read ahead.

And you can find a checklist for goals for this month here

The “Must” of Being in His Word

A.W. Tozer wrote in The Knowledge of the Holy: “The decline of the knowledge of the holy has brought on our troubles. A rediscovery of the majesty of God will go a long way toward curing them. It is impossible to keep moral practices sound and our inward attitudes right while our idea of God is erroneous or inadequate. If we would bring back spiritual power to our lives, we must begin to think of God more nearly as He is.”  

May our plans for the new year have time with The Almighty at the top of the list – rediscovering His majesty, holiness, divine power, and His enablement for us to fulfill our calling and to walk in a manner worthy of that calling (Eph. 4:1).

We need the encouragement that is found in daily being in His life-giving, living and active Word. 

The “must” of being in His Word is one of my life messages, and I feel a now more than everwe must dedicate ourselves to know the truth of His Word and to prayer – to pray His Word, to pray according to His Word, to listen to His voice, and to obey. 

And, honestly, all of this just doesn’t happen without a plan!

I have a Bible reading plan I love that you can download here: My Favorite Reading Plan. It can be folded and used as a bookmark to mark off as you go. But I encourage you to use whatever has worked best for you. Just have a plan! I always also read through the NT slowly throughout the year and study deeply somewhere in Scripture. I believe these are all so important for us to know and live the Word. I plan to read a chapter in the NT each day this year which will get me slowly through the NT before getting there in the reading plan in October.

I’m also including a link below to the type of chart we used for the 21 day challenge and the following encouragement from that challenge for the person who is hearing/feeling the resistance of “I don’t want to be legalistic about daily being in the word and checking boxes”.

First, there’s a mindset shift from “I have to” to “I get to”. What a blessing we have to sit and read a book that is like none other! It is living and active, and God-breathed, and through it we experience His love and goodness and our faith is grown in His truth that “with God all things are possible” (Matt. 19:26).

AND Jesus said that we will not live by bread alone but that we WILL live “‘on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God'” (Matt. 4:4). Oh, to not neglect hearing His words in scripture and listening in prayer! 

And think about this: no one has ever said, “You know, I just don’t want to be legalistic about eating meals every day.” Never would eating be looked as such! And here we have the bread of life!

“Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.'” (John 6:35) 

May the Word of God become not only a daily nonnegotiable but something we daily consume for our very life sustenance. 

The 31 day chart link can be used to keep tabs on any habit that you would like to establish. I’ll share some of my thoughts on how I’m using mine next week. 
Happy New Year!
With love,
Traci