“I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:”
1 Corinthians 9:26 (KJV)
Yesterday, we celebrated Father’s Day and 5 kids in the family graduating from high school, College and University. So much of the conversation was answers to “What are you going to do…”. Some had clear set paths that were ideally matched to their giftings, while others didn’t know and shared the concerns of their uncertainties.
Sometimes we feel like we’re just “shadowboxing” or fighting as one that “beateth the air” as they say in Shakespearean English! ☺ Seemingly, running this race of life aimlessly. It can be frustrating when we are uncertain of what the future holds and others around us have such clarity.
The uncertainties of life can be draining, until you recognize as Christians that our future is certain. Paul encourages the Ephesian believers that he was praying God would give them the “Spirit of wisdom and revelation” so they would know “the hope” to which he had called them (Ephesians 1:17-18 NIV). Jeremiah 29:11 assures us that God has hope and a good plan for our lives. So, if we put these two verses together with our faith, we can know that there are truly no uncertainties. We can let the frustration and stress leave, as we relax in the knowing that He has it all figured out and, we’re not just aimlessly running the race. Our Father who is all knowing, has a good plan for our life and, He will reveal it to us!
Father…I thank-you for your plan for my life. I ask that you would continue to bring revelation to the details, as I need to know them. Help me to trust you in this journey of faith. In Jesus Name…Amen.
Soul H2O Devotions
“I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:”
“Now God has equipped us to be capable servants of the new covenant, not by authority of the written law which only brings death, but by the Spirit who brings life.” 2 Corinthians 3:6 (The Voice)
I love holidays so we can get off work and have an excuse for a family feast. With my family, there’s always lots of laughs, lots of love and way too much food!Yesterday (Sunday the 8th) was the day Jewish people celebrated The Feast of Pentecost, 50 days after Passover.
The first Day of Pentecost was celebrated 50 days after the Israelites found deliverance from their enemy by crossing over the red sea, Moses went up Mount Sinai and received the Law. God kept him up there for a bit and in the waiting, the people rebelled. They gave their gold, created an idol of a calf and began worshipping it. It just seems so crazy, but it’s true! When Moses came down the mountain it made God so mad that 3000 people lost their lives in his judgment. The first day of Pentecost was marked by rebellion of the people. The law brought death.
The next Pentecost that is famous in the Bible is the one recorded in Acts 2. This one was celebrated 50 Day after Jesus was crucified as the sacrificial lamb at Passover.
True deliverance came to not only the Israelites but also the whole world that day! The events of this Pentecost Celebration have been talked about for centuries and caused a lot of debate, but history books confirm the biblical account. As Peter testified to the deliverance that comes through what Christ did on the cross, just 50 days before, the Bible says that, “about three thousand were added to their number that day.” This day of Pentecost was marked by salvation of the people. The spirit brought life, to make us powerful witnesses for Christ!
You see Jesus didn’t come to give you more rules. Jesus came to give you LIFE, and life more abundantly! Celebrate Pentecost in your hearts this week and be thankful for the deliverance you have in Christ!
Father…I thank-you for sending your son Jesus into this world to save me from my sins. May I never take for granted all that Christ did that sets me from the judgment I deserve. Help me to live my life in gratitude for the life you gave. Let my life bring You glory! In Jesus Name…Amen.
If you liked the refreshing in this #SoulH2O devotion, you’ll love my latest Soul H2O Devotional book: 40 Thirst Quenching Devotions for Women.
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“Who authorized you to rebuild this temple and restore this structure.”
Ezra 5:3 (NIV)
The Israelites had started rebuilding the temple and then stopped for 16 years. As soon as they started rebuilding again the Governor of their area halted operations and questioned their authority to do the job. I love the Israelites answer to the Governor’s question. “We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and we are rebuilding the temple”. They go on to explain how they were working under the authority of King Cyrus’ decree. They knew who they were and whose authority they were working under!
Too many Christians don’t know who they are and the authority that has been given to them. If you don’t know this you need to familiarize yourself with scriptures that teach on it. The enemy will always use people to make you question if you are a real Christian and if you are called by God to do what you’re doing.
Matthew 28:18 says: “Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” In Luke 10:19 Jesus says: “I have given you authority”. Romans 8:11 says “if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you…”. You have been given authority through Christ to accomplish all that He’s called you to do. So, when people question, make sure you know the answer!
Father…I thank-you for adopting me into your family and making me a child of The King! Help me to grow in understanding of my position and authority as your child. May I walk in the confidence, boldness and authority of a King’s Kid! In Jesus Name…Amen.
“Now then, governor, stay away from there. Do not interfere with the work on this temple of God. Let (them) rebuild this house of God. The expenses of these men are to be fully paid out of the royal treasury…Whatever is needed—must be given them daily without fail.”
Ezra 6:6-9 (NIV)
A little while ago we bought new electronic door locks. We could not get the code to work and tried everything in the troubleshooting section of the instructions. There was only one option left and that was to press the reset button. I held that button down and heard the mechanism reset. I was then able to start over and set the code properly.
God allowed the Israelites to hit the reset button in life. At the end of their 70 year Babylonian captivity, God called them to rebuild the Temple that was destroyed. God had Cyrus the King of Babylon decree them to rebuild the Temple and committed the government of Babylon to paying for it! With excitement they began and laid down the foundation. Then they got sidetracked on their stuff and set aside completing what God called them to do. Almost 20 years passed and God reminded them of this call to rebuild the Temple through the prophets Haggai and Zechariah. The people repented and began to rebuild the Temple with their own money. The local governor saw what they were doing and stopped them. The Governor sent a letter telling the new King, Darius about their work hoping to have them blocked from ever rebuilding again. Instead, King Darius sent a letter reinstating the decree King Cyrus had issued commissioning them to rebuild the Temple and committing to pay for the work from government funds! God gave them a second chance to do what He had called them to do. This time, they completed it!
A few years ago I went back to my former Bible College for a reunion. It was great to reconnect with people that I hadn’t seen for decades. Previously, leadership moved the school out of the campus where I had attended and this was the first year that they were back in the old buildings. A former classmate, Craig Burton was speaking at the reunion. In his sermon he talked about how he felt that God had hit the reset button for the Bible College. He said that he felt the Lord saying He was hitting the reset button on the lives of some of the people attending. I knew the Lord was speaking to me. God has hit the reset button on my life. This time, I will complete it!
Father…Thank-you for second chances. Please forgive me for the decisions I made in the past that veered from your plan. Help me to complete all that You’ve called me to do! In Jesus Name…Amen.
“Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?…You have planted much, but have harvested little…Give careful thought to your ways…Why? declares the Lord Almighty. Because of my house, which remains a ruin while each of you is busy with his own house…the heavens have withheld their dew and the earth its crops.”
Haggai 1:3-10 (NIV)
When I read these verses the first thing that came to mind was my grandparents house in the 70’s with all the paneled walls!
They were all the rage. The really cool houses had them back then. Home Reno shows today are still trying to come up with ways to deal with the stuff.
Back in the time these verses were written paneled walls were a big deal too. It was something the royal families would have in their homes.
These scriptures tell about the time when the Israelites had come back to Jerusalem after their captivity. They were so grateful to God for bringing them back to their homeland that they immediately began to rebuild the temple. But then they got sidetracked and started to rebuild their own homes and stopped working on the temple. God makes it clear to them through the prophet Haggai that their inactiveness in completing what God had called them to do was the reason they were experiencing lack. He confirmed to them that their lagging in doing His will was withholding His blessing from their lives.
How important it is for us to quickly respond in obedience to what God calls us to do. How frustrated God must get with us when He brings us out of something and we let the excitement and thankfulness fade and give way to selfishness. So don’t put up any “paneled walls” in your life. Quickly, move forward in what God has called you to do!
Father…Thank-you for patience in dealing with me. Please reveal any areas where I have held back in fulfilling your calling on my life. Help me to build up YOUR kingdom! In Jesus Name…Amen.
“…when the Israelites heard that they had built the altar…the whole assembly of Israel gathered to go to war against them.” Joshua 22:11-12 (NIV)
Texting is both the best and worst invention of the century! How often are texts read with the wrong message being received? We can read them with the wrong tone and misunderstand what was trying to be said. Auto correct makes our lives even more difficult! When it comes to texting we would be good to “Ask” before we “assume” the worst!
The Israelites sort of followed the “Ask, Don’t Assume” motto. After they got into the Promised Land 2 ½ tribes settled across the Jordan River, by their choice. They’re called the Trans-Jordan Tribes. Immediately build an “imposing” altar the Bible says. It was big enough that it could either be seen across the river or was such a spectacle that it became all the talk. Somehow, the other 9 ½ Israelite tribes found out. They assumed that their relatives had left the faith and built an altar to another god. Infuriated, they were ready to go to war against them. Thankfully, they sent over tribal leaders to check out what was going on before sending over the army. Instead of asking though, they began telling the Trans-Jordan tribes off for leaving the faith in building the altar. How embarrassed they must have been when they finally let their brothers explain and found out that they built the altar to be a memorial that God brought them there. Their discussions brought the truth to light and strengthened their relationship with each other.
So, learn another lesson from watching the Israelites do it right and wrong. The next time someone upsets you, before you let your mind go crazy…Ask, don’t assume!
Father…Thank-you for being with me in every circumstance of life. Please help me to control my thoughts and ask before I assume the worst. I need your help to wisely discern the situations of my life. In Jesus Name…Amen.
“Caleb said, ‘I was 40 years old when Moses sent me to explore the land…I followed the LORD my God wholeheartedly. On that day, Moses swore to me, “The land on which your feet have walked will be your inheritance and the of your children forever because you have followed the LORD my God wholeheartedly.” He has kept me alive for forty-five years. I am today, eighty-five years old! Now give me this hill country that the LORD promised me that day…the LORD helping me, I will drive them out just as he said…Then Joshua blessed Caleb and gave him Hebron as his inheritance since he followed the LORD wholeheartedly…Then the land had rest from war’.”
Joshua 14:6-15 NIV
What an incredible story! Because Caleb followed God wholeheartedly, God gave him the strength to “take the hill country” that was promised to him through Moses 45 years earlier! Simply amazing that a man at 85 could fight and win an uphill battle!
We may feel too old or that the promise is too old, but God’s promises don’t have expiry dates! We can’t let the lies from the enemy or our feelings keep us from the promises that God has for us! Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength”. If Caleb wasn’t too old to go fight an uphill battle at 85 and win, then neither are we to do what God has called us to do!
“Fight the good fight” by living wholeheartedly for God and you will have the strength to take your hill country! May the Lord bless you as you wholeheartedly live for Him and see His promises fulfilled!
Father…thank-you for your faithfulness! Help me to not give up hope on seeing your promises fulfilled in my life. May I be willing to stand up and fight for what you have for me! In Jesus Name…Amen.
Isn’t it amazing how the more you love someone the closer you want to get to them? From the beginning of the Bible in Genesis 3 we can read how God would come down and hang out with Adam and Eve in the garden. God originally created us to have fellowship with Him and even went so far as to create the perfect place to fellowship with us. Sin messed that all up.
In the Old Testament, it tells us that God dwelt “among” His people. There are so many scriptures that talk about it. All of them say the same thing. God came to dwell “among” us. Exodus 25:8 affirms this and then the following section of scripture gives instructions on how to build the Ark of The Covenant. The Ark was a symbol of God’s presence amongst the people. The priests were to put the Testimony—the record of God’s laws and promises inside the Ark.
As time passed God desired to come closer in relationship with us. Jesus came down to earth to live “among” us full-time. Even that no longer satisfied God’s desire for relationship with us. He wanted more. He wanted closer. In John 16:7 Jesus tells the people that it is better that He goes so that the Counselor, the Holy Spirit could come. The Holy Spirit came so that God could dwell “in” us! 1 Corinthians 3:16 tells us that we are God’s ‘temple’, His place of fellowship with others and that God’s spirit dwells “in” us.
God desires to grow closer in relationship with you! Open your heart today. Spend time with Him reading His Word and listening to His Voice. Allow the spirit within you to fellowship with Him, and He with YOU!
Father…May you enable us “Through the power of the Holy Spirit who lives within us” to “carefully guard the precious truth that has been entrusted to” us (2 Tm 1:14 NLT). May we move closer to You as you draw closer to us. In Jesus Name…Amen.
OT—God dwelt “among” His people
(Genesis 3:8; Exodus 25:8,29:45-46; Leviticus 26:11-12; 1Kings 6:13)
NT—God dwells “in” His people
(2 Timothy 1:14; Romans 8:11; 1 Corinthians 3:16; Ephesians 2:22,3:17)
My “Resurrection” Story
“And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.
Romans 8:11 (NIV)
I love Easter. It’s a season to spend time thinking about what Christ did for us on the cross. Throughout Lent, St. James United in Waterdown, ON has been going through my book. From the youngest to the oldest person attending they have taken the past 6 weeks to direct their focus to all that Christ went through to bring us salvation. I grew up in a denomination where they didn’t observe Lent. I never knew much about it until this year. It has me thinking so much about all that Christ has done for me, and
My “Resurrection” Story.
When I went through separation and divorce it was such a difficult time of my life. I lived for a long time separated and didn’t let my friends know.
I was embarrassed.
I had a broken heart and a broken spirit. I absolutely thought my life was over. If it wasn’t for my kids I don’t know what I would have done. They were my reason for living. They were struggling so much and needed a mom—more than ever before.
I had been a “Cup Half Full” kind of person, always being described as “bubbly”. There was nothing left in me to “bubble over”. I was depleted of every resource I had.
With my marriage ending I thought any good plans I had for my life were over. I thought I would never be able to fulfill the call of God on my life. I thought I would die never having been truly loved. I felt dead inside.
Through so many avenues God brought healing into my life: good friends, books, music, counseling, Divorce Care, Church, but mostly through His Word! His Word was always the place I ran to for refuge. I’m SO thankful that I made that my practice when I was younger. Reading the Word was my knee-jerk reaction to pain normally but with all the heartache I at first shied away from reading and praying. I actually had to force myself to read the Bible for a while.
The book that had been so alive for me was just words on a page.
The more I read, the more faith began to rise up! I began to understand that no matter if I never experience the true love of a man, my Father in heaven loved me and His love is more than enough!
I was attending and amazing church and each week it felt like the pastor spoke right to my heart and need. A song that was sung often by the worship team was “Healer”. As I sang, the words washed over me and Daddy healed my heart.
You hold my very moment
You calm my raging seas
You walk with me through fire
And heal all my disease
I trust in You, I trust in You
I believe You’re my healer
I believe You are all I need
It goes on to say:
Nothing is impossible for You… You’re my healer
When my heart was strong again, God saw fit to bring a wonderful man into my life. His life and love have brought a deeper level of healing to my heart that is such a blessing to me! Todd’s encouragement has helped me to move forward and walk into the calling God has always had on my life. You reading these words are proof of that!
Since Todd came into my life I have published one book that he illustrated and have more in the works. God has opened the doors for me to travel and speak. My husband is publishing his first book. We’re helping each other to follow our dreams. Dreams God placed in my heart as a 19 year old girl! Writing, speaking, one in marriage and ministry, my children doing well…these were all dreams that had died for me!
God resurrected them all!
The Bible is true when it says that,
“if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.” Romans 8:11 (NIV)
This Easter, if you’ve never opened up your spirit to Christ I beg you to invite Him in. Once you allow Him in, the same spirit that raised Christ from the dead will be at work inside of YOU, bringing those places that you thought were dead to new LIFE in Christ!
If you are a believer, allow My “Resurrection” Story to increase your faith to believe for YOUR “Resurrection” Story!
May you have the Most Blessed Easter!
CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE HILLSONG CHURCH SINGING “HEALER”
“I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances…I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation…I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength.”
Philippians 4:11-12 (NIV) 13 (NLT)
“Contentment makes poor men rich, and discontent makes rich men poor. “
One of my favorite childhood memories from Disney World was climbing up the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse! The attraction was the best adventure at Disney for me! I was mesmerized by all of the inventions that helped them survive. The SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON book and TV series was an adaptation of the book, ROBINSON CRUSOE. The story inspired so many plays, movies and clearly Walt Disney! In the original book, Robinson ends up shipwrecked on a deserted island. He finds a Bible inside one of the pirate chests. Reading the Word changes his life! As he reads, he begins to accept his situation and learn to live in his circumstances. Amazingly, after coming to peace while living in hard times, God blesses Robinson and provides a way out. He eventually breaks free of his captivity and returns to his homeland of England.
Paul describes it well when he talks about how he “learned” to be content. It is NOT something that comes naturally! Well, at least not to me! Hebrews 13:5 says “be content with what you have because God has said ‘Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you!” True contentment comes when we learn, like Paul and Robinson Crusoe that God is with us no matter what desert, or deserted island we face. When we are at peace in the middle of the storm, that’s when Victory has come and Freedom is following close behind!
Father…Thank-you for always being with me. Thank-you for walking with me in every circumstance I face: When thing are going well, or when trouble strikes. Help me to always live in the confidence that You are with me so I can truly be content and see your Victory! In Jesus name…Amen.