Morning Devotion 5.5.18

This morning in Saturday Morning Prayer, Pastor Matt spoke from John 4 & it was a good reminder to check my perspective.

This morning when I got up, I felt Holy Spirit prompt me to talk about the things that were on my heart, and I think I realized that I was disappointed. Immediately, He reminded me of Kari Jobe. The Lord once told her, “You know that I can handle your disappointment, right?” I started sharing what I was disappointed over, and immediately he met me with love and  reminded me of Jeremiah 31:3, “… I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.

I can’t speak for anyone else, but I know that in the midst of believing for something, I HAVE to stay in constant “check my heart” mode because I tend to get so wrapped up in praying for the need, or making sure that my level of faith is through the roof (or whatever) that I’m focused on the promise more than the One who promises.

Pastor Matt said it great concerning the father in John 4 coming on behalf of his sick son. The father believed that Jesus could heal his son, but the father didn’t [intimately] know Jesus. Sometimes we can be like that, as well. Not on purpose, but sometimes we can be so focused on what we’re believing for that we take out the intimate factor with our Father. Have you ever had a conversation with someone and they ALWAYS talk about the same thing? You’re just over there like, “Helloooo? Do you even notice that I’m here?” God wants to walk through the circumstance and build deeper relationship with us, but we have to stop looking to the circumstance, and to the One who controls it.

So, I repented of magnifying my need so much to where I couldn’t see Him. Yes, the Lord can do all of the miracles that we need, but the greatest miracle he can do is to change a heart in the middle of a circumstance. Sometimes our circumstances may not change, but our proximity to our Father will.

Morning Devotion – 4/15/18

‘And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.”  – Luke 5:4-5

I read these verses this past weekend and initially, the Holy Spirit reminded me of a specific friend, but I believe that the Lord is doing something across the Church.  I believe the Holy Spirit has been nudging people to do specific things, to go deeper, and to take bigger leaps with Him, but because of disappointment and fear, you haven’t stepped out. In the past, you may have taken that step of faith, but it didn’t warrant the result you anticipated leading to the disappointment. But I believe the Lord is asking you to cast your nets again… in whatever capacity that looks like for you. 

I think of Peter. He was an expert at fishing, and he knew that it wasn’t the best time of day to cast nets for fish, but he did it anyway. Against what he KNEW to be true, he took a step and the Lord rewarded him with overflowing abundance. ‘And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking. They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink.’– Luke 5:6-7

Morning Devotion | 3-21-18

The other night I was reading in Genesis 26, There was a famine in the land that the Lord had given to Abraham and his family. Isaac was now in the land, and due to the famine, he wanted to go to Egypt. Instead, the Lord told him to go to Gerar, which would have exposed him (and his camp) to the danger of the Philistines. The Bible says that God was with Isaac, and in the year’s time that Isaac was in the land of the Philistines, he reaped a hundredfold in harvest. At one point, he was so wealthy that the Philistines (out of envy) asked him to leave. He left the land and went to the Valley of Gerar, and was still prosperous there. Even in the valley, God gave provision. 
As I was reading, I wondered what would have happened if Isaac had decided to go to Egypt, and the Holy Spirit said, “It doesn’t matter what would have happened.” 

Too often we get caught up in needing an explanation. Either we need one for what WILL happen before we make a decision, or we need an explanation for what HAS happened in the past. Either way, our “why” constantly holds us back from the heart of God. It builds up skepticism in our hearts, and makes us consider silly thoughts like “If I make this decision, what is God ‘purposely’ making me miss out on?” I believe that if Isaac would have asked or pondered on why he couldn’t go to Egypt, he would have hesitated on Gerar. But his heart was towards obedience. He didn’t backlash or fight for what seemed to be right. & in obedience, the Lord blessed him a hundredfold in the land of his enemies… even in the midst of a famine. We can be like Isaac. We must know that God’s heart is for us, even as we’re taking transitional steps. Let us be a people that relinquish our control & our “Why?

Step Out

Lately, more than ever, I’ve heard so many stories of people (including myself) wanting to step out on faith & start businesses, take risks, make some leaps of faith, etc. I can’t speak for others, but for me, it’s not necessarily fear as much as it is a thought process of questioning whether or not this step of faith is responsible. Or am I really equipped for this? 

This morning I was reading in Exodus 14, and the Holy Spirit ministered through the Israelites crossing the Red Sea. I love verses 13-14, but verses 15-20 really ministered to me today.

“The Lord said to Moses, ‘Why do you cry out to me? Tell the people of Israel to go forward.” 

1. The Lord is asking us today, “Why are you swaying? Have you come all the way to the edge only to be frozen in fear? I’ve created the provision for you. I know what the circumstance looks like. Step out, anyway. Move forward.”

“Lift up your staff, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, that the people of Israel may go through the sea on dry ground.” 

2. What is in your hand? Start with it. He will bless the works of your hands. “Do not despise the day of small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin,” (Zechariah 4:10) Not only will He create the miracle in your life, but because of your obedience, you will pave the way for the people who will come behind you. (SIDE NOTE: I’ve read this story plenty of times, and noticed it said “dry ground,” but it never clicked until this morning.. Can we take a second to take in the fact that dry ground meant that there was NO dampness from the sea? & that no sand was sticking to the bottom of their shoes? The Lord took every ounce of water, as they walked out in faith.)

“And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I have gotten glory over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen.” 

3. Unbelievers are watching you move, & in the end, they’ll know the true living God.

“Then the angel of God who was going before the host of Israel moved and went behind them, and the pillar of cloud moved from before them and stood behind them, coming between the host of Egypt and the host of Israel….. and it lit up the night without one coming near the other.” 

4. The LORD is saying to each of us today, “I am coming up the rear, guarding you against your enemies. I am the barrier between what I’ve promised you, and what is trying to hold you back. There is nothing to fear. I will light the way. Keep moving forward” 

So, I encourage you today, in whatever the circumstance, STEP OUT. Take the leap!

Morning Revelation.

Lately, I’ve been preparing for a lot of changes in my life. From getting ready to move to making sure that everything is taken care of for going back to school, I’ve been putting God on this timetable of when things have to be done, and when they’re not done in time, I struggle with trying to not rush the process along. Sometimes, I’m so bad about having one foot in faith and the other in self-reliance, but the truth is this: Apart from God, I can do nothing, and God is VERY good at being God.

This morning, I was reminded of a story in John 11, that my church speaks on a lot. It’s the story of Lazarus being raised from the dead. In John 11, Mary and Martha sent word to Jesus that Lazarus was sick, and Jesus’ reply was, “The sickness is not fatal. It will become an occasion to show God’s glory by glorifying God’s Son,” (John 11: 4, MSG). In case you forgot from the couple of sentences before, Lazarus died. (I felt like I needed to go and google the definition of “fatal” again because I KNOW Jesus just said Lazarus wouldn’t die!) Mourners had shown up and were visiting Mary and Martha, and Lazarus was in the tomb for FOUR days before Jesus showed up. Just think about that: They had a FUNERAL for someone Jesus said wouldn’t die before Jesus ever even showed up! 

After Jesus finally got there, there’s this beautiful depiction of the heart of Martha as she speaks to Jesus, and she says, Even now, I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give to you,” (John 11: 22, ESV). There is then an exchange of Jesus telling Martha that her brother will live, and she believed He was talking about after the resurrection, at the end of time, and Jesus explained that He is the Resurrection and the Life. Fast forward to them standing outside of the tomb, Martha’s a little apprehensive since her brother had been buried for four days, and Jesus, looking her in the eyes, says, “Didn’t I tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” (John 11: 40, MSG). He speaks to Lazarus, and Lazarus is raised from the dead. 

Isn’t that SO GOOD?!!

 Even if your situation looks grim.

 Even if it’s dead. 

Even if it’s BEEN dead! 

Even if the mourners have shown up, and you have had the funeral for whatever the Lord has promised you, Jesus is standing at the tomb reminding us, “Didn’t I tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” In Him is everything we need in its perfected form. His timing is perfected. He’s never been late to the party. He never will be. Trust Him. Right now, He’s standing at the tomb.