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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Breaking Chains with God's Word

Satan's greatest weapon he uses to come against the believer who is trying to live a life of obedience in saying #YestoGod is the lie.

Genesis 3:1 (NIV) records for us the first time Satan used a lie to cast doubt in the mind of a woman striving to live a life of obedience to God when he cunningly asked Eve,  “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?

We know that Eve knew the truth of God because of her reply, The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’” (Genesis 3:2-3)

But Satan would not let up. Once the doubt was cast, the lie of Satan came to a full blown head, “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. (Genesis 3:4)

You know the rest of the tragic story.

I am in week four of my journey of saying #YestoGod in my study of "What Happens When Women Say Yes to God". Satan would love to cast doubt in my mind and get me to believe his lie of "You really don't need to continue...what good will this do for you anyway."

But God's Word tells me truth and offers encouragement to press on with these words from the apostle Paul: Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. (Galatians 6:9 NASB)

Again in Philippians 1:6 (NIV) I am reassured by God with these words spoken by the apostle Paul: Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

I can break the chains of Satan's lies with the truth of God's Word! Let me say that again,

I can break the chains of Satan's lies with the truth of God's Word!
Jesus did it, when after fasting for 40 days and 40 nights, Satan came to Him trying to tempt Him to stray from the plan God had for His life. How did Jesus respond to Satan's temptations and lies...with the truth of God's Word that lived inside Him!
Satan wants nothing more than to take me outside of God's plan and purpose for my life. He would like for me to quit reading "What Happens When Women Say Yes to God" and studying God's Word which is able to transform my heart. Instead, I'm choosing to break the chains of his temptations to quit and lies that try to bring doubt and unbelief with the truth of God found in His Word and in my relationship with Him!
I would like to encourage you too on in your journey with God, do not lose heart in doing good, for in due time you will reap if you do not grow weary. For I am confident of this, that He who has began His good work in you will carry it on to completion!
So #StickWithIt and know that I am praying for you! :)

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Living on Purpose

Week three of "What Happens When Women Say Yes to God" has reminded me that God has called me to be wholly committed and set apart for Him. I'd like to share with you the scriptures contained in chapter four that have re-awakened my heart and are calling me to live on purpose for God.

Your heart should be holy and set apart for the Lord God. Always be ready to tell everyone
who asks you why you believe as you do. Be gentle as you speak and show respect.
(1 Peter 3:15 New Life Version)
This verse reminds me that my heart, which is the center of my being, is to be dedicated and devoted to the service of God. This requires Jesus to be my ALL and in ALL that I do. He is to be Lord over EVERYTHING in my life. This verse also reminds me of my purpose while here on this earth waiting for the promise of Heaven. I am to be ready at ALL times, in a gentle and respectful way, to share my confidence and belief in the Lord Jesus to anyone who does not know Jesus as Lord and Savior. This gentleness and respectfulness shows a consideration of this person on my part...a consideration that puts their lost condition above anything else that I could be pursuing other than reaching them for Jesus.
Oh, but Satan does not want me to live my life on purpose! He wants to distract me with the temporary pleasures and pursuits of this fallen world. Jeremiah 12:2 (New Living Translation) says:
You have planted them, and they have taken root and prospered.
Your name is on their lips, but you are far from their hearts.
This verse was very convicting to me. I do not want to be like the people mentioned in this verse. They are prospering in the things of this world, but have not lived as the lights God had called them to be! To live holy and set apart for God will call for interruptions in my busy life. God has showed me that these are not actually interruptions as I would call them, but are "God appointments" He has made for me. More importantly, these are "God appointments" for the person who has yet to make the decision to ask Jesus to be their Savior and Lord of their life! There is nothing more important in this temporary world than the eternity that waits for us all!  Proverbs 13:25 (NKJV) describes a heart that is satisfied by making right choices that honor God:
The righteous eats to the satisfying of his soul,
but the stomach of the wicked shall be in want.
This, my friends, is living on purpose. When I live a life of #YestoGod, I will be #amazed by how He will use me for His eternal purpose and my heart will be satisfied beyond what anything this temporary world has to offer!
Last week, I and others from my church, had the opportunity to minister to children at our VBS. I had the #amazing opportunity to pray with a total of 41 children during the week who asked Jesus to come into their hearts! I cannot begin to tell you what an awesome experience that was. I cry every time I think about the "God appointment" each of those children had. I cry because I think back to a time in my life as a young girl where I distinctly remember feeling that "something" was missing in my heart/life. It wasn't until later on as a teenager that I would give my heart to the Lord for the first time when I went to church with my friend who lived next door. Sadly, my life didn't continue in surrender to the Lord, but the seed that had been planted as a teenager was there in my heart and when the blows of life left me as a divorced woman with a precious 2 year old daughter, I came RUNNING back to Jesus and have been growing in my relationship with Him ever since! My prayer for those 41 children who accepted Jesus is that He would guard and protect the seed that was planted in each of their hearts, that there would be those who would say #YestoGod and come alongside them to water those seeds (pray with me that our church would be that vessel), and that a harvest of souls on fire for God would be produced to join the call of living on purpose!
This week and last, I have heard God's call for me to live on purpose for Him! I have experienced a heart that is satisfied by saying #YestoGod and nothing else now will do! How are you hearing God call you to live on purpose? Feel free to share from your heart in the comments below. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Radical Obedience

In week two of What Happens WhenWomen Say Yes to God, my journey of saying #YestoGod, I read chapters two (Hearing God's Voice) and three (When Obedience Becomes Radical). If you read my blog post last week, you'll remember the definition of radical obedience that I quoted from Lysa TerKeurst. Just in case you missed that post, you'll find it here.

In chapter three Lysa shared a couple of examples of areas in her life where she felt God asking her to lay something down at His feet. In these moments Lysa had a choice to make. It's the same choice we all have when we feel God leading us to give something up - that choice is to surrender our desires for His will.

Romans 12:1-2 (NIV) tells us

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy,

to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God - this

is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world,

but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test

and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will.

The following is a list of definitions that readers were asked to look up for this verse as part of "Digging Deeper" in chapter two. I used to look up the words. It totally made this verse come alive for me!

At this point of my life, I feel God is asking me to lay aside my need for control. More on that later. For now, I want to share with you what I learned in my study of this verse and then I want to share with you the sentence that God put in my heart that sums up all the definitions of this verse. I feel like God is using this verse to show me the steps I'll need to take in order to lay down my need for control.

Here's what I learned during my study of Romans 12:1-2: My thoughts are in pink. :)

Living sacrifice: a life (with all its perceived desires and plans) that is surrendered to God Who has a higher purpose planned.

“living” – having life.
“sacrifice” - the surrender or destruction of something prized or desirable for the sake of something considered as having a higher or more pressing claim.

Pleasing God: It is most important that my actions in this life are pleasing to God.

“pleasing” - to act to the pleasure or satisfaction of.
“God” – our Father in Heaven.

Do not conform: I am not to become similar to the characteristics of this world.

“conform” - to be or become similar in form, nature, or character.

The pattern of this world: The qualities, acts, and tendencies of this temporary world I live in are not to become patterns of my life or my characteristics.

“pattern” - a combination of qualities, acts, tendencies, etc., forming a consistent or characteristic arrangement.

Transformed: having changed my nature or character.

“transformed” - to change in condition, nature, or character.

Renewing your mind: the process of reviving or reestablishing my mind (to align myself with God).

“renew” - to revive; reestablish.

Test and approve God’s will: having a renewed mind that is now focused on pleasing God and not set in the patterns of this world, I will be able to live a life that demonstrates and shows the actions (will) of God.

“test” - the means by which the presence, quality, or genuineness of anything is determined; a means of trial.
“approve” - to demonstrate; show.
“will” - the faculty of conscious and especially of deliberate action; the power of control the mind has over its own actions.

I love how God brings His Word to life when I study it! After doing this exercise, these words flowed from my heart...

When I’m no longer focused on the temporary ideals and patterns of this world,
I can have a clearer mind focused on God
and what He desires of me
and live as He desires.

When I live my life as a sacrifice to God I am called to lay down my need for control - in every area of my life. My perceived notions and ideas that have been formed by the ideals and patterns of this temporary world keep my fists clinched tight onto things that are better left released to God's loving hands. I love what Lysa says about the releasing of our control to God...
If we hold all that we treasure with our hands open and our palms facing upward,
we are telling God we recognize it is His and we offer it up freely to Him.
God may or may not remove what we've offered Him, but He will continue to
fill our open hands with blessings - His amazing blessings and not the cheap
counterfeits of this world.
I don't want my disobedience to cause me to miss out on God's best for me and for my family! I want to release my need for control and have #PalmsUp that willfully show a heart that says #YestoGod!
How do you feel God is calling you to have Radical Obedience? I would love to hear from your heart, so please feel free to share in the comments below.
Blessings to you,

Thursday, August 8, 2013

With All My Heart

I began a journey in What Happens When Women Say Yes to God by Lysa TerKeurst this past Sunday with Melissa Taylor and Proverbs 31 Ministries, not to mention women from all over the world, who want to experience life with God in extraordinary ways. My heart and soul have been stirred and I'm finding new strength for radical obedience! And this is only the first week!! #yestoGod

Our scripture verse for this week is from Deuteronomy 6:5:

You shall love the Lord your God
with all your heart,
with all your soul,
and with all your strength.
As I studied this scripture this week, I have felt God impress the following during my quiet time with Him:
This verse demonstrates a personal relationship with God that is to be grounded in love and in obedient surrender of the following three areas of a person. The preposition "with" is used to begin detailing each of the three areas in which we use or show our love for God.
This is a love that demands everything about me...
  • All my heart: not withholding any area or deep places of the heart; nothing or no one else is to be loved more than my God.
  • All my soul: our soul defines who we are and how we live. The Holman Bible Dictionary says "Soul designates the feelings, the wishes, and the will of humans." I am to love God entirely in response to the love He has first shown me by sending His Son, Jesus, to die for me while I was yet a sinner (Romans 5:8).
  • All my strength: This would be the outward actions that demonstrate a heart and soul that is surrendered entirely to God. I cannot live like God requires in my own fleshly strength which only seeks its own selfish desires! God knew this and in His mercy He gives believers His Holy Spirit which enables us to live how God calls us to live.
As a daughter of God, I am to demonstrate my love for Him with ALL of my being. I cannot withhold any areas of my life. As I studied this verse this week, I thought of the agape love of God that did not withhold anything from me. Jesus willingly came in the flesh to fulfill all the requirements of the Law that man (I) could not. I think this kind of love (agape) is what God desires of us as well.
Living like this in today's world can be seen as radical! I love what Lysa shared in Chapter 1 concerning radical obedience:
You may be surprised to discover that radical obedience is not really
that radical. It is really biblical obedience - but we've strayed so far
from biblical obedience that it now seems radical. In today's society,
it is radical to obey God's commands, listen to the Holy Spirit's
convictions, and walk in Jesus' character.

Saying yes to God isn't about perfect performance, but rather perfect surrender
to the Lord day by day. Your obedience becomes radical the minute desire turns
into real action. Radical obedience is hearing from God, feeling His nudges,
participating in His activity, and experiencing His blessings in ways few people ever do.

So this week I have learned the first step in saying #yestoGod and that step is found in Deuteronomy is the complete and total surrender of my life into the loving hands of my Father. It's a call that beckons me to walk further out onto the water toward Jesus. It's a call to set aside my desire for control and surrender to a biblical obedience that will be seen as radical in the eyes of this world.
It's a call to say #yestoGod!