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Learn to Live by Discretion

I have often wondered why some people feel compelled to say everything that comes into their mind.  Why is that?  Then why is it that some people seemingly say very little compared to what they could say?  Why does it seem like some people cannot keep silent while others are careful to speak as little as possible?  And why is it that some people never stop talking about what’s wrong with others while others are hesitant to share their opinion about what is wrong with anyone but themselves?  Why is it that many people tend to respond to everything that they hear but they miss most of what is being said?

The answer is discretion.  But what is discretion?  Scripture tells us in Proverbs 19:11, “The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, and his glory is to overlook a transgression.”  Discretion is the ability of a person to pause for a moment to consider the implications of saying something before saying anything at all.  It is the ability to keep yourself from saying everything that comes to your mind.  It is the ability to keep yourself from telling yourself that others need to hear everything that you have to say.

The devil makes many people believe speaking your mind is a strength and a strong character trait; however, speaking your mind without discretion is a powerful weakness we all must learn to deal with.  When you speak your mind on all things, people will tune you out on most things.  If you want to be heard, learn to speak less, and speak to fewer people.  If you want others to hear you learn, to wait for others to ask for your views.

Scripture tells us in James 1:19 that we should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger.  This scripture is trying to tell us that people who listen will be smarter than those who have to say something about everything.  People who are slow to speak will be heard more than people who cannot keep silent except for rare occasions when they are asleep.  And people who are slow to anger will be praised for their discipline while those who talk all the time will be seen as angry people who create more anger with anger.  So why can’t many of us hear this message?  Well, its because we do not learn to live by discretion.

Discretion makes you care more about how others will feel about what you have to say.  Discretion makes you ask yourself why you cannot keep silent on some things to allow some things to be spoken in ways other than through you.  Discretion makes you understand and consider for a moment if what you have to say is necessary to be said at all.  Discretion makes you understand that some things that come to your mind are meant for your understanding and for your development more than for you to express to others.

If you want to keep speaking and not being heard, keep speaking all that comes to your mind without discretion.  If you want lots of people to hear what you say but value little of what you say, keep speaking without discretion.  If you want to be seen as an angry mouth more than anything, keep speaking without discretion.  There are lots of people who are glad to be this way.

I am hopeful this message will be a message of discretion for you, and by it you will learn how to allow discretion to live in you.  Discretion will teach you that you have options in life to control what you say to yourself and to others.  It will tell you that you have options to overlook things that happen to you and with you and around you.  It will tell you that you can look for the calm in the storm of anything if you are willing.  Discretion has made many to be wise who otherwise would have shown how foolish a smart person can be when they cannot be silent.  When you learn to live with discretion as the guide to your heart, others will see you and they will glorify how you humbly overlook many things and control your responses to much so that the seeds of life can have a chance to break through in the dark of transgressions.  Live a Delivered Life.  Love you.

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The Praise of Broken People

Recently, I listened to the worship song “Broken People by Israel Houghton.  This song tells how the Lord loves the praise of people who are broken.  It made me wonder what it means to be “broken.”  It also made me wonder how we can bless the Lord.  Since He is the author of all blessings and all good things, how can we ever give Him anything that could be considered a blessing to Him?   Can we really bless God with our brokenness?  

Scripture is full of references about how we should praise and bless the Lord.  For example, Psalms 34:1 encourages us in this way, “I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.”  But scripture also talks about brokenness.  In Psalms 34:18 says, “The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and He saves those such as have a contrite spirit.”  I don’t believe this scripture speaks of broken in the way we might think.  He is speaking of people who are broken for Him, not broken because of a personal loss.  He speaks of having both a broken heart and a contrite spirit for the things that are God’s more than for things we might want or for things we must endure for ourselves.  Of course, He cares when we are broken because of personal loss, but He is drawn closer to us when we are broken because He does not get the honor and the glory that He is due from us or from people around us.

When we are crushed in spirit for the things that are of Him, He is moved to come to us so He can restore our hearts and spirits to stand strong in Him.  So, David says in Psalms 34:1 that he will always bless the Lord. David knew that all praise belongs to the Lord, so those praises will continually be spoken by his mouth.  When we ask the Lord for His blessings, we are asking Him to bring His good to our lives or to the lives of others.  What, then, can we give Him that would be good enough to be a blessing to Him?  There are several things we can offer Him Who needs nothing, and these things would bless His heart to have from us.  But before we offer anything to bless Him, we must first have a heart that is broken for Him and a spirit that is crushed because we know He does not get from us the things that He loves.  When we do this, we actually bless and praise Him.

If you want to bless Him and if you want to praise Him with something that will glorify Him, learn to come to Him and to give Him all the things that you desire.  When you give Him your desires, He is happy because He loves satisfying the desires of His children with His love.  Give Him all your heart.  When you give Him your heart, He is happy because mending broken hearts is one of His favorite things to do.  Give Him your love.  When you give Him your love, He is happy because perfecting His love in the way we love is how He lives boldly among so many who do not know Him.  And then give Him your life.  When you give Him your life, He is happy because He loves to come into a new life and find a place to live.

If we do these things from a heart broken for Him and from a spirit that is crushed for Him, then we will find it easy to bless Him with the things of our lives that will make Him happy.  Loving a broken people is a blessing to Him.  It is the praise that belongs to Him.  Indeed, He loves people who are broken for Him.  Live a Delivered Life.  Love you. 

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Look for What You Hear

Difficult circumstances are very real.  But often, we don’t see how God is at work in these circumstances because we see so much of what is at work against us.  Scripture shows us an example in the book of Job.  Job was a man who lost everything important to him because of his righteousness before God.  The devil believed Job served God only because God favored him, and that Job would curse God when he seemed to lose that favor.  But the devil was wrong. Through many trials, Job did not stop believing in God nor did he curse God.  Job not only believed what he heard, he believed what he saw.

I would like to be more like Job.  I know I am too easily moved and too easily challenged.  I cry out and complain about my circumstances when things don’t go my way.  Many of us tend to base our beliefs on the promises God makes to be good to us.  We put our faith in what we hear in His word.  But that’s not enough.  To endure the way God intends, we must not only hear with our ears, but we must be able to see with our eyes and hearts how God is at work in our most challenging circumstances.  We must look for what we hear!

Scripture encourages us this way in Psalm 34:19-20, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the Lord delivers him out of them all. He guards all his bones; Not one of them is broken.”  I’m sure when we hear these words, it’s difficult to find them encouraging at all. We question what we hear, but if we look, we can see God in these words.  We hear, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous.”  Why, we might ask, must the righteous face many afflictions?  When we hear something negative, we tend to withdraw and shut down. When we do this with scripture, we give up the chance to hear all that God says, and it becomes difficult for us to see Him in what He says.  We need to keep looking.  He says many are the afflictions, but He also says He will deliver us through them all.

I want to share a method to help you not only hear all that God says, but also see Him in all that He says.  The scripture says, “many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.”  Reverse how you read this scripture and look for the promise of God’s good.  Now the scripture says that the Lord delivers the righteous out of all the many afflictions he will face.  This is what I mean.  This way we can hear more easily that the Lord is saying He will deliver you from all the afflictions you will face.  You can be sure of that because He said it.  We are more easily encouraged when we hear Him in this way. And because we are encouraged by what we hear, our eyes and our hearts can more easily see Him at work in ways we would not have seen before.  We are never happy with afflictions, but we can be joyful to know that He is always going to be there to deliver us, because He said it.  Sometimes, nothing will change about our circumstances until we change how we see our circumstances.

So, if you want to learn to see Him in all areas of your life, you must go beyond hearing simply what the Word says.  You must get to a place of assurance that He said it, you saw Him in it, and He is performing what He said He would perform.  Towards the end of his trials, Job said to God “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees You.”  Job was saying to God, when I listen well enough, I will see you in all that I hear, and then I will learn to see You in my circumstances always.  God said He would deliver the righteous, so learn not only to hear Him, but to see Him at work in delivering you through your daily trials. He said it, you see it, and you believe it.  Live a Delivered Life.  Love you.

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As Wise As an Ant

The ant is a small creature without human intelligence, yet it teaches us an important lesson in preparing for its future. Ants treat each coming winter as a natural disaster. If they are caught above ground during the freezing temperatures, they will die.  An ant colony must store a surplus of food during the summer so its members can survive the winter below ground on their provisions. Ants live today as if it is tomorrow.

We could learn a lot from the ant.  Scripture tells says so in Proverbs 6:6-8, “Go to the ant you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, they have no captain, no overseer, or ruler, yet they prepare their supplies in the summer and gather their food in the harvest.”  The ants live today as if tomorrow depends on it.  How much more would we benefit if we lived the same way?

If you want to secure a better tomorrow for yourself, you must act with prudence today.  Prudence is thinking that what you do today will impact what you face tomorrow.  Prudence is the first step toward learning to live your life free of the desire to consume all that you have.  God wants us to be prudent because otherwise someone will use our greed and laziness against us.  Ants work hard in the summer to store up for the times when they cannot work at all.  They are smart enough to know if they don’t do this, they are likely to die.  The devil doesn’t want us to have the wisdom of an ant.  Instead, he wants us to be just smart enough to believe we can get our needs met from the people who are less wise and lazier than we are.  He makes us believe we can be satisfied by taking from those who are unwilling to prepare for properly for themselves.  The devil wants you to be a smarter lazy than the lazy people around you.

But God says it is smart for you to work hard with your own hands at things that do not include taking from the hands of others.  God wants you to prepare yourself today for the life you want tomorrow. The ant doesn’t take from other ants. The ant takes from what doesn’t belong to any other thing.  It is not prudence when we take advantage of the unwise for our personal gain.   Rather, it is deception and laziness.

God also doesn’t want us to be sluggards in the way we live. This type of living is wasteful, unprepared living.  It’s the type of living in which everything we face daily must happen perfectly for us to have what we want.  Life is not perfect, and it is not going to play out perfectly for us unless we work at it.  The ants prepare for a disaster before there is a disaster. They are not sluggards.  There are no slackers in the ant colony.  

Often, we create our own disasters because we do not prepare ourselves for the successes we want in life.  If you learn to get to work on time or to do your homework, you may learn that you can find a job, keep a job you like, or finish school with the degree you want.  Life gives back to the prepared all that they put into it, but life passes sluggards by because they are too lazy to prepare.  Sluggards are not ready when their ride comes.

If you want to live in favor, wisdom and understanding, God wants you to be like an ant.  He wants you to be accountable and responsible for how you live.  The ants have no king, no overseer, and no ruler, yet each ant contributes its part to the preparation of the whole colony.  Often, we do not have what we want because we have not shown ourselves to be responsible and accountable enough to have those things.  When we learn to be accountable for how we live, wisdom and knowledge will come to us, and we will live more abundantly.  God wants us to get caught up doing today what is needed to secure a great tomorrow.  God wants us to rise up from our laziness, unfold our hands, step out of the poverty of our desires, and step into the prosperity of someone who lives today as if it is the last tomorrow they will see.  If the ants can do it, then, with God’s help, so can we.  Live a Delivered Life.  Love you.

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God Is in the House

While the Israelites were still in the desert, God instructed them to build a tabernacle so God’s presence could rest among the people daily.  The scripture says God would hover above the tabernacle in the form of a cloud by day and a pillar of fire at night.  Wherever the cloud moved, the people would follow; wherever the fire moved, the people would follow.  They understood when the cloud and the fire were present, God was in the house.

At that time a tabernacle was a physical, movable dwelling where God lived; today God wants our lives to be the place where He lives.  He doesn’t want a building; He wants a life—your life.  But if He lives in your life, how will others know He is there?  What will be the signs?  Scripture says in Philippians 1:5, “Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.”  God is saying that if we have allowed Him to build His house in our lives, there should be some clear evidence that He is there.  Like the tabernacle of old, when God’s house is in your life, there will be a cloud and a fire that stands out for all to see.  Gentleness is one way people will know that God is alive in His house when His house is in your life.

The cloud of God and the fire of God are the goodness of God with us.  His clouds are not there to bring darkness to our days nor is His fire there to burn our lives when we get too close to where we should not be.  If His house is in our lives, we will have a cloud that is first visibly gentle to others.  You should not bring darkness to the lives of others by your cloud.  You should not bring storms to the lives of others with your cloud.  You should not bring thunder and lightning to others with you cloud.  If the house of God is in your life, then your cloud will brighten a dreary day in the lives of others.  It will brighten a dark day for others.  Even on a sunny day, your cloud will stand out brighter in the lives of others.  If there is pain, your cloud with sooth and comfort.  If there is sadness your cloud will bring the light of joy.  If there are needs in the lives of others, your cloud will point the way to and bring provision to them.  God is the only one who can use a storm to calm a storm.  He can use your cloud to clear up the cloudy lives of others if you are willing to let Him build His house in your life.

If His house is in our lives, we will also have a fire that is felt by others.  This fire is not meant to consume; instead, the fire of God warms.  This fire is not one that burns; instead, it lights up the darkness around others.  This fire is not one that brings pain; instead, it is a fire that bring healing.  This fire is not one that destroys; instead, it gives rise to life.  This fire is one that stands against the cold in the lives of others.  This fire lights the path and refines the lives of others.  When God lives in your life, your fire is a gentle, loving, gracious and eternally glowing flame that reveals the hope that we should all have when God is in the house.  Your fire will help illuminate the things others should think on, the things that are just, the things that are pure and lovely, and the things that are of virtue.  Your fire should reveal the things that are of God.

If God has made His house in your life, then you will have a cloud and a fire over you that tells others the Lord Himself is at hand.  So let Him build His house in your life.  Let your gentleness be known by all.  Don’t be anxious about anything.  Live in the calm of God, knowing that His house is in your life.  If you do this, you will have the peace of God to guide you in all things.  Others will see God in you, and they will glorify Him for that.  Live a Delivered Life.  Love you.

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Nothing Is Past Possible with God

Sometimes the things we face in life that are so compelling that we find it hard to believe things can be any other way for us.  We may know of someone who is sick, homeless, or in a difficult relationship.  We may know of someone who does not know the Lord.  We may be held by something from our past that continues to live on in our present.  Whatever your thing may be, we often look at our circumstances and find it hard to believe things can be different for us.  When you find it hard to believe something, it means you have found it easy to believe that something is impossible.

Scripture tells us something like this in Luke 1:18 when Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist had a conversation with an angel who told him he would be father to John.  Scripture says, “And Zacharias said to the angel, how shall I know this?  For I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years?”  Zacharias was saying fathering a child at his age and his wife having a child at her age was simply impossible.  We are past all that.  I want you to know that we may be past some things in our lives for sure, but nothing is past possible with God.  Nothing.

If you want to live with the understanding that no thing is impossible with God, you must learn to live with the knowledge that God is also the God of nothing.  You see, before any thing existed at all, God existed.  So, if He existed before a thing existed, then nothing had to be made possible by Him just like any other thing was made possible by Him.  When God tells us no thing is impossible for Him, it is more than mere words; it is His Word in which all things are possible.

Many of us believe like Zacharias.  We look at our situations, and we say it is past possible for this thing to happen.  But like with Zacharias, there is also an angel in our lives telling us to be ready for God’s plans for our future.  The angel is there to remind us that all things are made from some things that are currently no thing until God makes it something of it.

So, as you live out your life and the challenges that are before you each day, learn to ask the Lord to take the things that are nothing in your life and to make them something so that you can live joyfully with anything that happens with you.  The angel responded to Zacharias’ unbelief by saying “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and was sent to speak to you and to bring you these glad tidings.”  God was saying to him, I am about to take nothing and make something great, so receive this blessing with gladness and joy!

You have your situation, I have mine, and others have theirs.  No matter what we face, if we involve the Lord in our lives in any way, we can learn to live with the understanding that no thing that He tells us is impossible for Him. And unlike Zacharias, who thought that since it was past possible for him it had to be past possible for God too, let’s live as if nothing is just a something that is possible but just not yet.  Wait then, expecting to have what is yet to come because with God no thing is impossible, and all things are possible to those who believe on Him.  Live a Delivered Life.  Love you.

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Through Him, You Can!

To my daughter.  I want you to believe deep in your heart that you can achieve anything you put your mind to; that you will never lose.  You either win or you learn.  Just go forth and aim for the skies.  I can’t promise you to be there for the rest of your life, but I can promise you to love you for the rest of mine.

This is an encouraging message from a father to a daughter that could be even more encouraging were it inclusive of a reality that we tend to overlook in life—we forget to involve the Lord in our life.  There is encouragement and inspiration in the words of this father, but they lack the power to change the realities of life a daughter will face.  Only the promise of the Lord and the Power of His word at work in our lives can do what this encouragement ultimately cannot.

In Philippians 4:10-13 scripture says what this father says but in a different and more powerful way.  Verse 10 says, “But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity.”  Paul is thanking the people of Philippi for their help in his hour of need by rejoicing in Christ and acknowledging their work and service towards him.  If you want to achieve all that you set your heart to achieve, you must do that with a heart that is set to serve through the power of Christ.  When you can rejoice in Christ you can find it easier to be thankful for the efforts of others towards you.

Continuing with verses 11-12, Paul says, “Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am to be content:  I know how to live humbly, and I know how to live in prosperity.  Everywhere and in all things, I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.”  Paul is saying life may be tough at times and it may not always be easy, but I will be ok with what life brings because I live through the power of Christ.  If you want to live at peace with life, you will need to learn to make your low times the high times for you, and you will need to learn to make your high times the times of humble gratitude.  You will need to learn to be full of what you have and at the same time to want more of what Christ can provide.  If you want to win and never lose at life, and if you want to learn through all things in life, you must live, work, and play at life in the Power of Christ.

Finally, in verse 13 Paul says essentially what this father says but with words of Power.  He says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”  Paul is saying I may not achieve all that I put my mind and heart to achieve, but that is ok.  There is one thing that I can do, and it is this.  I can pursue all that my heart desires for me though the Power of Christ Who promises to strengthen me when I do so.  So, I may not become the engineer I put my heart to become, but I can pursue my dream of becoming an engineer through the Power of Christ.  “I can do all things” doesn’t mean I can be all that I ever want to be, or that I can do all that I ever want to do.  It means if I want to do anything at all, I choose to put my efforts to do anything through the life of Christ. 

If you choose to put all your efforts to do what you want through the Power of Christ, He promises He will never leave you nor forsake you.  He is the only one Who can deliver on the promise of being with you for the rest of your life and loving you for the rest of your life.  And His life too.  If you want this for your life, then encourage yourself to stop doing things on your own strength.   Whatever you want to do in life, aim to do that through Christ Who is the Power of success for all that you will ever need and want.  With Christ, you don’t have to aim high, you just have to aim for Him.  If your heart is set to find Him, He will find your aim and move into your life.  You become a winner in Him.  Live a Delivered Life.  Love you.

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Fix Your Heart Towards Him

After the flood that destroyed everything on earth but Noah and his family, Noah built an altar and offered a sacrifice to the Lord.  The scripture says the Lord smelled the sweet aroma of the sacrifice and vowed to never again curse the ground because of man, although the imaginations of man’s heart is evil from his youth.  This area of scripture has always caused me to pause and check inside my heart to see if I find any evil lurking there.  I’m saddened to say I found a lot of evil ways in me that I didn’t expect to find.  Alarmed at that, I asked the Lord to help me purge thoughts of myself because for me evil starts there.  It is thoughts we have of and for ourselves that sets us on the wrong side of things before God and others.

But how could I rid myself of something that hid itself so well from me?  Even when I said I wanted to root it out, I couldn’t always find what was lurking right under my nose.  Scripture has the answer to this in 1 Chronicles 29:18. Here, King David is praying to God when he says, “Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, our fathers, keep this forever in the intent of the thoughts of the heart of Your people, and fix their heart toward You.”  David knew that the people must guard their hearts.  He knew that God would test the heart of every man, and that He takes pleasure in uprightness of the heart of man.  He speaks of uprightness rather than righteousness of heart.  So, he asks God to fix the heart of the people to be towards Him because David knew the people would have trouble doing it themselves.

So, what is this uprightness of heart that David speaks of, and why is it so hard for people to attain?  Let’s look at the heart of the three people David mentioned in his prayer to God.  Abraham was upright in his heart towards God because he willingly decided to follow the plan God set for his life.  All that Abraham did was done with this in mind.  Yes, he may have sinned along the way, but he walked with God in his heart.  He never questioned the path he was on.  He never attempted to chart his own path for his life.  No, Abraham fixed his heart to follow the plan God had for his life.  Abraham saw a lot of God in his life.  This is hard for us to do today because we see more of ourselves in our lives than we see of God in our lives.  When you see more of you than you see of Him, you will be challenged to fix your heart on Him.

With Isaac, we find a man who was delivered by the hand of God as a child from a sacrificial death for God.  Isaac had all the reason in the world to wonder about God, but instead he was steadfast in his belief in God because God delivered him as a child from being sacrificed.  Isaac found it easy to fix his heart on God because he saw how much God’s heart was fixed on him.  We find it difficult to fix our hearts on God in this way because we have not experienced the deliverance in our lives like Isaac.  We say we love God, and He loves us, but we probably love ourselves more.  So, our hearts are fixed on ourselves more than on Him.

Jacob had to rely on God to provide the basic needs of life for himself and for his family.  So, Jacob fixed his heart on God the provider because he saw no other way to sustain life for himself and for his children.  Jacob was a believer in what God believed in.  We find it difficult to fix our hearts this way because we often find it difficult to believe in things the way God wants us to believe in them.  There is still too much of our heart ruling our lives and not enough of God heart living in our lives.  

David knew the challenge with our hearts so he prayed that God would fix the heart of His people on Him so that they would live more in uprightness of heart.  We are like the people of David’s time.  We cannot fix our hearts to God by ourselves because too much of our hearts are still fixed on ourselves.  If you are going to be upright before God, you must first be upright right for others.  More of them and less of you.  

So, like David, why don’t you make this a prayer request of your own.  Ask that the Lord will keep the thoughts and intents of your heart upright before Him, and ask that He will fix your heart to lean toward Him more than towards yourself.  If you do this, He will do what you ask and more of what you do in life will be pleasing to Him.Live a Delivered Life.  Love you.

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Keep Praying

We are in the middle of some tough times these days.  COVID does not seem like it will ever go away. Our economy seems to be weakening. Essential things are more costly today than in times past. Many are unemployed still. Work is available but people are hesitant to get back to work because of COVID. Our leaders are more divided than ever, and they contribute to more of us being divided. Things are just difficult right now, and it seems like we have no where to turn in hopes of getting relief.

But we do. We can turn back to prayer. Yes, back to prayer. God hears all our prayers all the time, but we must get beyond praying just because times are difficult.  We must get back to a life of prayer, even in the good times. Scripture encourages us in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 to “Pray Without Ceasing.” But why? Why are we encouraged to never stop praying? I believe it is because God knows stuff will always be happening in our lives, and so it is in prayer that we learn to always talk with God about the things going on with us.

I used the phrase “talk with God” because I believe this is what He means when He says pray without stopping.  He is encouraging us to talk with Him always about all things. We have come to think of prayer as our way of asking God for things, and that is partly the reason we pray. But more than asking for things, prayer is the way we simply cultivate and deepen our relationship with Him by talking with Him when we are not asking for anything at all. So, we should encourage ourselves to pray and keep praying always. We should talk with the Lord and keep talking always. If you are not in the habit of talking with God, you should ask yourself, who are you talking with?

The bible tells us to watch and pray because our Spirits are willing, but the flesh is weak. So, keep praying always. You do not want to become comfortable talking with the Lord only when you have problems you cannot resolve on your own. Keep Praying. Do not let your good times make it easy for you to stop talking with the Lord. Keep praying. If you learn to keep your heart and mind open to talking with the Lord, you will learn to:

  • Endure when things are tough because you know He is there, and He knows your situation—satan does not want to be in the same place as the Lord;
  • Walk in the light and not in the darkness because you know He is the light and the way;
  • Walk under the guidance of wisdom and insights because He shares these things with you that others want but they cannot have—the things that others want to see but they cannot see; 
  • Be at peace with difficult and challenging people and situations because the Spirit gives you the ability to live in grace and patience—you pray to the One who can change the things you cannot change;
  • Comfort those who are fainthearted and who are overcome by the things they face because you have the strength of the Spirit working in you;
  • Live a thankful life no matter the circumstances of your life;
  • Change some things about you that will change some difficult things around you; and,
  • Make better decisions about life and about the lives of those around you.

All this because you learn to keep praying.

So, pray and keep praying. When you do, you will learn to hear His voice when the noise of difficult circumstances is all around you. So, keep praying and hold on to every conversation you have with Him. If you pray, He will hear. Keep praying. Hold on to your faith and do not grow weary at waiting on things to change; He will bless you. Do not give up on or give in to your situation no matter what it is. Don’t become discouraged.  Keep praying; hold on to the hope you have in Him when you pray. When you keep praying you are telling the devil that he cannot have a victory over you in anything no matter what the situation is. Keep praying; do not give up. Do not grow weary because in due season He will show you that He has been listening to all you have ever said to Him in prayer. He will not let you down if you do not get down with your circumstances. Live a Delivered Life. Love you.

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Will You Do It?

I believe if God asked either of us to do something great, we would be willing to do it because we know He would help us when things are beyond our abilities to do ourselves. But God never asks us to do anything that is greater than we have the capability to do. With God there is no great or small. All things are the same to Him. We see large and small because we see through the eyes of our capabilities instead of our hearts or our faith.

In 2 Kings 5:10-13, Naaman, commander of the Army of the King of Syria, was sent by God to wash himself in the Jordan river to be healed of his leprosy. Scripture says this: “And Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, go wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored to you, and you shall be clean.”  Naaman was not happy at hearing this. He expected a visit in person from Elisha. Naaman indeed became furious at the way he was being treated, and he went away in anger. But his servants reminded him that if God had asked him to do a great thing to be heal, wouldn’t he do it?  Why then would he make a great deal of doing a small thing like washing in the Jordan. Naaman listened to their counsel and did as Elisha had instructed him. He was healed just like Elisha said he would be.

I can see some of Naaman’s attitude in myself.  I believe I am ready to do the great things God would ask me to do, but I get an attitude when I’m asked to do the little thing that is right before me.  Why am I this way?  Or perhaps, why are we this way? We can see several things in Naaman that may be in us as well.

First, Naaman expected God to answer his prayer the way Naaman saw it happening. Many of us will miss the blessings of God that are right before us because we expect things to happen the way we want them to happen. God’s ways are not our ways.  We must remember that.

Naaman became angry at the situation and with God. He got an attitude! In doing so he offered up what he thought was a better way to solve his problem. The problem with this is Naaman could not solve his issue; that is why he needed God. We must remember that our attitudes are the one thing that can take us higher in the favor of God or move us completely out of the favor of God. Choose your attitude well.

Naaman had a talk with himself about how poorly he thought he was being treated by God. He told himself how he could have done what God was asking him to do on his own. Why then, he asked himself, did he need to do anything at all? We must remember that God never treats us poorly. When we come to Him with our problem, God must often heal us first of the unseen problem before He can heal us of the thing that we can see. He is the vine, and we are the branch. We cannot tell the vine where we want to grow. God must be our God, but we try to make Him our God by owning Him. We are His children, and He does with us as it pleases Him. We do not get to do with Him as things please us.

Ultimately Naaman changed His attitude and did as God asked him to do. He was healed because of this. He went on down to the Jordan river and washed himself seven times just like Elisha instructed him to do. Naaman was healed just as Elisha said he would be healed. We must remember to be ready always to do the little things God asks us to do as quickly as it is possible for us.  God will not twist our arms to make us do anything. But He will wait patiently on us as He asks us, “Will you do it?  Our response should be immediately and boldly, “Yes Lord, I will do it.”  Will you do it today? Will you commit to living a life that says whatever the Lord asks of you to do, whether big or small, you will say to Him by your actions, “I will do it”?

Live a Delivered Life. Love you.