Soul H2O Devotions

  • God's Incubator

    chicken brooding over eggs“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.”
                                                     Genesis 1:1-2
    Last week I was blessed to spend my recovery time at camp.  While there I was able to catch up with a friend I used to live near.  She told me that she was going through a confusing time and didn’t understand what God was up to in her life.  She explained this weird unsettling feeling, sensing that God was doing something, wanting to know what was ahead.  She was in God’s incubator!
    As Edna spoke the verse from Genesis came to mind.  The word used for God’s activity before creating the earth is translated “hovering” in most Bible versions, but the original Hebrew meaning comes from the root of the word “brood”.  I learned on my Uncle’s farm that birds brood by hovering over the eggs keeping them hot like a baby in an incubator.   The farmer has to wait until the brooding time is over and the chicks are hatched.
    So often before God is going to bring something new into the world, or into our lives, the Holy Spirit “hovers and broods” over our spirits.   It’s a time when we are unsettled.  Frequently, God moves us into “hot spots” and makes us wait for an undetermined amount of time.  The old ways are no longer comfortable, but lack fulfillment.  There is this sensing that things are about to change, but you don’t know how…or when!  Much like the feeling of a pregnant mother when the baby is getting close to the delivery date.
    If you are sensing this in your life, be encouraged.  God IS up to something good.  Relax and wait for His perfect timing.  Incredible things are birthed in God’s Incubator!
    PRAYER
    Father…I thank-you for what you are doing in my life.  I may not understand it, but I trust that what you are doing will bring life!  Help me to patiently wait while you brood over me.   In Jesus Name…Amen!

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  • Desensitized

    Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.”
                                                                            Ephesians 4:17
    “Did you hear about Jen? Did you hear what John did? Can you believe them? And to think she used to sing in the choir and he used to teach Sunday School!”  It’s always shocking when strong Christians fall away from their faith and into sin so scandalous that even unbelievers are appalled. gossiping couple
    When you read Ephesians 4:17 on its own you think it must be about people who don’t know Christ, but it is a verse talking about Christians losing the spiritual sensitivity they used to have until they end up totally desensitized.
    It’s something you think could never happen to you, but I want to warn you that it can happen to anyone who leaves their spiritual thirst unquenched. I feel that God has allowed me to live out a life example of this. In the past week I’ve been to the hospital twice, for of all things—dehydration!
    A nasty virus left my body depleted, in need of rehydration through an IV. On the first trip to the hospital I knew I was dehydrated. The second time I was shocked to find out that not only was I dehydrated, but my potassium was also low. They had to run an EKG to check that it had not affected my heart. I was shocked! At one point I had almost left the hospital when it was taking so long, thinking I wasn’t as bad as the time before, when actually I was worse.
    When people are spiritually dehydrated they notice it at first. They can sense the Holy Spirit nudging them to go to church, read their Bible, pray, listen to Christian music, call a Christian friend or to stay away from something. But, after a while of being dehydrated you become desensitized to your spiritual thirst and that’s what leads to all sorts of ungodly living. The way to keep spiritually sensitive is to do what you’re doing! Stay spiritually hydrated!IV IN DESERT
    PRAYER
    Father…I thank-you for the water of Your Word! May Your Word Hydrate me to overflowing that I would stay forever sensitive to Your leading and Your love! In Jesus Name…Amen!

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  • Uncertainty

    “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…”. uncertainty-person direction arrows all waysSome had clear set paths that were ideally matched to their giftings, while others didn’t know and shared the concerns of their uncertainties.UNCERTAINTY-Many roadsigns
    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!
    Prayer
    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.

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  • {Pentecost} Authority That Brings LIFE!

    
     “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!

    Prayer

    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.


    Soul H2O BookIf you liked the refreshing in this #SoulH2O devotion, you’ll love my latest Soul H2O Devotional book: 40 Thirst Quenching Devotions for Women.


    #Dare2Share
    Post in the Comment Section below and bolster the faith of someone else!

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  • Whose Authority?

    “Who authorized you to rebuild this temple and restore this structure.”

    Ezra 5:3 (NIV)

    whose authorityThe 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!

    Prayer

    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.

    So glad we’re not under the authority of a king like this!
    We are under the authority of the King of Kings and He Has Delegated His Authority to us!

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  • The RESET Button

    “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.
    reset
    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!
    Prayer
    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.
     

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  • Paneled Walls

    “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!  paneled wall 70s
    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.paneled wall-ripping down
    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.
    paneld home
    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!
    Prayer
    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.

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  • Ask, Don't Assume

    ask dont assume…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!
    Prayer
    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.
    your own opinion

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  • Is it Too Late?

     “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
    not too late
    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!
    Prayer
    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.
    too oldnever too late

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  • The Closeness Of God

    closenessThey will be my people, and I will be their God.”  

    Jeremiah32:38 (NIV)
    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)

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