I will catch up with him while he is weary and discouraged…(2 Samuel 17:2)
David, weary and discouraged, had travelled by foot to escape Absolom, a murderous traitor, who most sadly happened to be his very own son. Had Absolom caught up with David while in this state, David’s life would have certainly been cut short.
This story is an excellent picture of the spiritual warfare waged against us daily. The enemy is relentless to bring us down when we allow ourselves to be physically weary and emotionally discouraged. One way to take our stand against his wiles, is to take good care of both our bodies and our souls. Get enough sleep, go to God for daily encouragement, and pray this plain and simple prayer:
When I become physically exhausted I often become emotionally drained as well. I then begin to let down my guard, neglecting to rein in negative thoughts.
Lord, I ask for wisdom. Please show me how to find rhythms in my life that give me bodily strength. Teach me to adhere to your word and keep my soul strong. Your joy is my strength, so help me to access your joy today by continually inviting the Holy Spirit into every inch of my being. Fill me to the brim! Enable me to bear much fruit.
I choose to declare your Word over me:
“I can do all things which He has called me to do through Him who strengthens and empowers me to fulfill His purpose—I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency; I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses me with inner strength and confident peace.” (Philippians 4:13)
I choose to rejoice in spite of the trials I am facing today. Give me grace moment by moment to live Coram Deo – living my entire life in your presence and to Your glory.
Now I am ready for anything! I am equal to anything through You!
In Jesus Name Amen.
Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:31,32
…Let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. (Hebrews 12:1b)
As we step into a new year, we often think of resolutions that have to do with losing weight. How about consider losing other things that weigh you down or hold you back? How about losing anger?
Some experts say that anger is a good thing. Fine. Feel free to follow their advice. But the Bible has something else to say. It tells us that anger isn’t productive. Productivity is a goal we strive for as we look towards a new year, is it not? If you want to be more productive, consider cutting out anger. “Cut it out!” Or, as Bob Newhart says, “Stop it!” If the Lord says to get rid of anger, our needn’t be, “Well, that’s just too hard… You don’t know what I’ve been through….” There are myriads of excuses and we each have them – good, if not valid, reasons why we should be exempt from the mandate to leave anger behind.
However, anger doesn’t help us live productive or joyful lives, so we simply must let it go. God would never ask us to do something that is impossible, for we have His supernatural help to aid us. Let’s learn to discard it along with our old junk mail, obsolete files, worn out garments, and excessive clutter.
Want to be set free from anger that prohibits you from finding joy? We invite you to pray this plain and simple prayer…
Anger has weighed me down long enough. Please deal deeply with my vulnerable nerves that seem to invite people to rub me the wrong way. I give you all of my emotional needs, and I receive your healing from every wound. Address each injury, hurt, and painful area with your blood. Forgive and cleanse me now. You have healed people whose ailments made them limp for a lifetime prior to your miraculous touch. Anger has maimed me long enough! I receive your healing!
I will choose very intentionally to walk in your constant grace, live in your continual presence, be led moment by moment by your Spirit. I know it’s a tall order, but You said it Yourself: with You living in me I can do all things!
I look forward to an anger-free life. I look forward to being a person that others feel safe around! I look forward to meditating on your promises and receiving the transformation that Your Word offers me. Thank you in advance for working this miracle in my life!
Welcome, New Year! Welcome, new me!
In Jesus’ Name Amen!
From the cloud came a voice, “This is my Son, the Beloved. Listen to him.” Mark 9:7
Are you looking for advice to guide you into 2017? The best wisdom comes from the cloud – not the cloud that stores your documents and videos and secret files, but the cloud that overshadowed Jesus on the mount of transfiguration. God spoke in the midst of that fog, commending Jesus to us all and encouraging us, entreating us, even commanding us to listen up to every word He has to say.
Why listen to Jesus? Because His purpose was to show us the path to abundant life, to teach us what real living looks like here on earth.
Are you looking to upgrade your life in 2017? Look no further. Listen to the advice from the cloud – listen to Jesus Himself.
Pray this plain and simple prayer with us.
I have been marching to the beat of my own inner-drummer, but I’ve gotten no where. I’m so deafened by my own noise, I can hardly hear truth anymore. Please open my ears to your voice. Grant me a teachable heart to hear the voice of Jesus from your Word and to adhere to his wisdom, to follow him, to celebrate the truth He gives, and to let Him guide me to a new life. The voice from the cloud will deliver me from this nebulous fog that has kept me stagnant, lost, and hopeless. I turn to you. I give my life to you. Do something with it! I choose to follow the path that Jesus has laid out for me. And I walk with Him into the joy set before me in 2017.
The Lord favors those who fear and worship Him with awe-inspired reverence and obedience,
Those who wait for His mercy and lovingkindness. Psalm 147:11 (Amplified)
…The Lord’s delight is in those who fear him,
those who put their hope in his unfailing love. Psalm 147:11 (NLT)
The fear of God is often misconstrued to mean something entirely unintended in Scripture – that of being afraid. Fear is something not simply discouraged but prohibited. We are not to fear anything nor anyone. Knowing that we have a God who is good is the key to living fearlessly.
So what does the fear of the Lord mean? It’s an important question to ponder, because it is those who fear God that get his attention. He “delights” in them. A deeper peek into the Hebrew word used here is helpful and even, well, delightful. One interpretation says, “To delight in the appearance.” In other words, when God sees his child who worships Him and whose thoughts of Him are reverent and loving, His heart melts with joy.
We met a new grand-niece for the first time on Christmas Day. We were entirely enraptured with her darling little face, cute little toes, long, slender baby fingers… It was such a joy to see her parents and grandparents and great-grandparents delight in her as they held her, studied her, stared at her, and delighted in her.
And that is how God feels about His children who love to sing His praise, those who believe in His goodness, those who trust His promises, and those who allow His presence into their lives. Those are the ones who get his attention. Do you need God’s loving attention today? Pray this plain and simple prayer:
I thank you that you are not a God who ignores me nor looks the other way when I have a need. I ask that you would teach me what it is to follow who with reverence. Give me greater understanding that you are not an angry God. You are kind and good and loving. I need to receive your love today, so open up my understanding and teach me to worship you and to live a life that is reverently attentive to you. Thank you that you delight in me. I will ponder this truth gratefully all day, praising you as I do. Attend to my prayers and to my needs, Father, as I present them to you with gratitude in my heart.