“God’s Heartward Perspective!”

God has been teaching me a lot lately about how I view people.  For instance, recently I ordered food at the drive-thru of a local fast food joint.  The voice that came through the microphone was very well-spoken, eloquent and respectful.  Pulling up to the window to pay for the meal, before me stood a gentleman with green hair, big fat wooden earrings in his ears, tattoos and so forth.  I mentioned to my husband that I would have never identified that voice with that look or persona (not that any of those things are indicators of anything negative, it was just an observation).

Often we can come across people in our pathway who don’t look the way we feel they should look or don’t carry themselves in a manner approving of our standards, yet in them is a real person with a real soul.

David was judged wrongly by those of his own house.  When the prophet Samuel came to Jesse’s house to anoint a new king no one suspected that the little ruddy boy out in the fields was the one God had in mind.  Even Samuel himself looked at the appearance of the other young men and thought that surely one of these was the one God was seeking after.  God plainly told Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him.  For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart,” (1 Samuel 16:7).

God has a perspective that we can’t have; He can see the heart of man.  Perhaps instead of making up our minds too quickly about individuals we can just decide to love them and accept them as God made them and let God be the one to deal with their heart.  God is awesome like that!  He keeps teaching me and I am still learning, and in the process I am pleasantly surprised 🙂

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Encouragement in God Alone!

My Project 457-001

“But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God,” 1 Samuel 30:6b, NKJV

Distressed –  yeah!  Discouragement – you betcha!  Disappointment – inevitable!  Depressed – my middle name!

These were all things that David, the once proud warrior, was facing.  Upon returning back to Ziklag, David found everything was lost.  Not only had the city been raided and burned to the ground, but their families, their wives and children were now the captives of the enemy.

How devastating it must have all been!  Things can be replaced but to have your families at the mercy (or not the mercy) of an enemy – it’s too much to bear.  “David and the people who were with him lifted up their voices and wept, until they had no more power to weep,” 1 Samuel 30:4, NKJV.

Have you been there before?  Crying until you can’t cry no more?  That’s a brokenness that can’t be easily healed.  It’s a state of desperation to where there is no quick answer.  Nothing but the tears on the pillows.  No solace.  No comfort.  No peace.  “No more power to weep.”

David’s situation grew even dimmer when the people who were closest to him turned their backs on him.  “The people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved,” 1 Samuel 30:6a, NKJV.  These were the men that rode with him.  Those that fought in battle with him.  Those whom David gathered together as a band and turned a bunch of nobodies into somebodies.  Yet, here they are on the brink of committing a great evil against an innocent man.

Everybody needs somebody to blame.  At least, that’s what you hear many say and we see this kind of primitive blame placing here.  To them, David is to blame and David will be the one to pay the price.

Have you ever felt that you were in this alone?  As if the whole world has turned their backs on you as David’s men did with him?  You feel like you are battling alone and everyone else is just ready to cast stones at you?

David’s desperation led him to where all of ours should – the LORD!

“David strengthened himself in the LORD his God.”  The only place where true solace and comfort of the heart can be found – in God!

“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need,” Hebrews 4:16, KJV.  Thank God we don’t have to go this alone despite what our circumstances may look like.  God has privileged us with an opportunity to invite Him in the process of dealing with our hurts and disappointments.  How many times have you turned to a friend in a time of need and they were nowhere to be found?  Or, worse yet, they couldn’t do anything to add to your comfort or just didn’t care?

God does not do that!  He openly shows His love and concern by allowing us to dump it all on Him.  Come to the throne that we might get!  Get what?  “Mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

In a time of need?  Yes, David surely was.  He had nowhere else to turn.  He found out the hard way how quickly people will forsake you.  Regardless, it didn’t dim his hope.  David knew from past experiences where his help came from.  He could sing like the other psalmist, “I will lift up my eyes to the hills – from whence comes my help?  My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth,” Psalms 121:1-2, NKJV.  Over and over again, God has proven himself in the life of David and this time would be no different.

I wonder how many of us have that diligent past relationship with God, knowing that when we are in a time of need, we can turn to Him over and over again?  Has our life been so, in following after Him, as David’s was, that the connection of encouragement we receive from the LORD is ever-present?

David initiated the search for God’s help.  He didn’t ask the people’s opinion of what he should do.  He didn’t continue to wallow in self-pity because everybody was against him.  He didn’t give up or throw in the towel because recovery seemed impossible.  “David said to Abiathar the priest . . . Please bring the ephod here to me . . . So David inquired of the LORD, saying, ‘Shall I pursue this troop?  Shall I overtake them?’  And He answered him, ‘Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all,'” 1 Samuel 30:7-8, NKJV.

“Without fail recover all.”  God is the only one who could ever make such a promise.

The point of this all is very simple.  God is our source for everything; even encouragement.  It’s nice to get a “Good job!” from people once in a while or a pat on the back – but it is God whom we look to.  Sometimes situations will be so bad that we feel totally isolated from all.  Yet, we are also in a position to be so full.  To be able to recover all “without fail.”

Only what we find in strengthening ourselves in God can be labeled “without fail.”  Only the encouragement we have in Him will endure and never falter or fade.  He is our staying power.  He is our strength when we are weak.  Our shelter in the midst of the storm.  Our hightower.  Our fortress.  And, so much more!

Desperate times call for desperate measures.  Sometimes those measures mean turning a deaf ear to everyone else and their negativity about the situation and looking to God for counsel and help.  And He will, “without fail,” be your help through it all.  Find encouragement in God alone!

Minister encouragement to yourself through God’s grace today!

 

“God’s Got You Covered!”

Do you ever feel opened and exposed during the trials of life?  Do you ever feel that the enemy has free pickings when it comes to your heart ache?  Well, he doesn’t!  The enemies of this life may chase you, hunt you down and all together seek to make your life miserable, but the enemies do not have the last say over anything.  God, in His complete sovereignty has you covered!

If anybody knew about being constantly chased by enemies seeking to take their life it was David.  Saul, in a jealous pursuit, saw something special in David, the favor of God, and wanted to destroy David.  There were days when David may have felt like giving up.  There were days of hiding in caves and pretending to be a mad-man to seek solitude in other countries.  But, through it all David dealt best with his enemies through prayer.  He declared who his God was and committed his trust to Him.  In Psalm 140:7, “O God the Lord, the strength of my salvation, thou hast covered my head in the day of battle.”

To be covered means to be concealed and to be protected.  The battles of this life may at times make us feel that we are an open target to everyone who can’t stand the favor of God on us, but be of good cheer, God’s got us covered!  “As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the LORD is round about his people from henceforth even for ever,” (Psalm 125:2).  And, if God is like a mountain surrounding us then there is no adversary that can break through the covering He has over us.  It may feel like we are on the run sometimes but God is still that protecting force that “covered my head in the day of battle.”  Commit your heart aches, your battle and your enemies to God and let Him be your covering today.

“Never Too Strong for God!”

“He delivered me from my strong enemy, from those who hated me;
For they were too strong for me,” 2 Samuel 22:18

 

“Is there anything too hard for me?” is a question God asked Jeremiah, (Jer. 32:27). “Is there anything too hard for the Lord?” was the question God put to Abraham after Sarah laughed at the possibility of having a child in her old age. Luke 1:37 tells us, “For with God nothing shall be impossible,” and yet, when faced with things in this life we don’t understand and heartaches untold, we often feel our situations are out of His reach. As if the problems that overwhelm us are too strong for Him, also.

Due to the anointing on his life, David faced enemies who hated him for no reason. He spent many days with his life hanging in the balance. But, in the end, he declared, “He delivered me from my strong enemy, from those who hated me; for they were too strong for me,” (2 Sam. 22:18).  I’m wondering, is there anything you have been facing lately that just seems off the charts? Do the difficulties you face feel like it’s just too much to handle? Are you going through a situation that seems “too strong” for you?

Take heart today! There is no weight too heavy that God can’t lift it! There is no enemy too strong that God can’t overcome them! There is no miracle too miraculous that God can’t cause it to come to pass! There is nothing too hard for God in any situation, problem or adversity we may face! The enemies and hardship you face today may seem to overwhelm you but they will never overwhelm God. They are never too strong for God to handle. So, with that being said, whatever you face, give it to God and wait for Him to bring you through. God is strong enough to take on anything! We can trust Him with whatever is “too strong” for us. God can deliver you today!

Be blessed!

“Be Confident”

My Project 425-001

“Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident,” Psalm 27:3, KJV

I’d say, beyond a shadow of a doubt that confidence is something that is truly lacking among many. It’s a trait that seems to be disappearing as generations go by. The forefathers of our nation were made of sterner stuff. They had within them a pioneer spirit that allowed them to forge forward into unknown territories and discover new worlds despite the many obstacles that would try to block their progress.

How many times have we wished for that same fortitude of mind? How many times have we endeavored to push forth into our own unknown territories just to be pushed back again because we lacked the confidence we needed. God has many plans and many purposes for each individual but unfortunately many will never see them come to fruition because they don’t believe enough in themselves or enough in the God they serve to keep moving forward.

David declared in Psalm 27:3, “Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident,” (KJV). Can I tell you something? David may have been quoted as “a man after God’s own heart,” (Acts 13:22, KJV), but he was also a man of great troubles. Sometimes to the point, as the verse states, of feeling totally surrounded by enemies, struggles, and just the plain old everyday stuff in life that can strip an individual of that wherewithal to make it through; that tries to strip away the fortitude that it takes to prevent one from quitting and venturing into their dreams; stopping them from stepping out to be the person they want to be.

Rather, David said, “In this will I be confident.” In other words, no matter what else is going on around me in my life, my faith will not be shaken. I will stand tall as a good soldier, as a pioneer for God and move forward despite the obstacles that try to hinder me.

David knew where to place his trust. In Psalm 27:1 he said, “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (KJV). Because of where his trust lays he was able to make the personal statement of “In this will I be confident.” I will be confident because I know that no matter where I am in life or where I’m trying to go; no matter the hosts against me or the stumbling blocks in front of me, GOD’S GOT MY BACK! One can never speak of that personal confidence that David had if they cannot declare this foundational truth: “The LORD is my light and my salvation . . .the LORD is the strength of my life.” That’s why Proverbs 3:26 opens up our understanding by telling us “For the LORD shall be thy confidence and shall keep thy foot from being taken” (KJV).

Whatever is trying to snatch the footing out from under you to knock you off your course, hold on today, be confident in God, then that will allow you to be confident in yourself. Once you have that sure footing you also can venture forth into your new territories, with your head held high because today you are confident!

“Your Content Reads More Than Your Cover!”

My Project 418-001

“The LORD is with you mighty man of valor!” Judge 6:12, NKJV

We’ve all heard the phrase “Don’t judge a book by its cover.”  It simply tells us that what we see on the outside doesn’t always accurately represent what’s on the inside.  Books usually contain a lot of content within their pages and when one looks at the cover it is supposed to give an idea of that content.  Sometimes covers can disappoint you.  What they show can appear to be an exciting and promising read but when you get into the story it’s simply not so.  And vice versa.  Covers can inaccurately represent some great stuff on the inside while the outside seems to be dull and dreary.

Down through the years this phrase has been applied to people, and rightly so.  As we treat book covers and their content is often how we view other people.  We judge the outside without first getting acquainted with what’s written within.  As in Gideon’s case, sometimes we apply this same judging standard to ourselves, not recognizing the promise and potential in our own person.

It’s not all about how we see ourselves – it’s how God sees us!  God said, “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee,” (Jer. 1:5, KJV).  The psalmist said, “For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb,” (Ps. 139:13, NKJV).  What both of these verses tells us is that God knows us better than we know ourselves.  God can see inside of us where we can’t.  God knows when we lay down and when we get up, Ps. 139:2.  God knows everything about us and more!

As we do with other people we do with ourselves.  We can only judge by what we see.  God has often called and declared more for a person than they have seen in themselves.  Abraham was going to be a father of multitudes though he had no son.  God saw more!  Joseph was going to reign as second in command over Egypt though he was the bane of his brother’s existence.  God saw more!  David, out in the field tending his father’s sheep and considered to be the least in the family rose to be Israel’s greatest king and deemed “A man after God’s own heart.”  God saw more!

God sees more in each of us individually than we could ever imagine.  You may think that you are lowly and not measuring up but God sees more.  Like Gideon you might even feel as if you are the least, Judges 6:15.  But God calls you “mighty!”  God sees you as a force to be reckoned with!  Someone that God can accomplish great feats through if you submit to His will.  It’s all about what God says I am!  Your content reads more than your cover.  Be blessed today as you walk in this truth 🙂

“God’s Got You Covered!”

psalm-914_2897_1024x768

Photo Credit: Wallpaper4god.com Click here to visit that site

Do you ever feel opened and exposed during the trials of life?  Do you ever feel that the enemy has free pickings when it comes to your heart ache?  Well, he doesn’t!  The enemies of this life may chase you, hunt you down and all together seek to make your life miserable, but the enemies do not have the last say over anything.  God, in His complete sovereignty has you covered!

If anybody knew about being constantly chased by enemies seeking to take their life it was David.  Saul, in a jealous pursuit, saw something special in David, the favor of God, and wanted to destroy David.  There were days when David may have felt like giving up.  There were days of hiding in caves and pretending to be a mad-man to seek solitude in other countries.  But, through it all David dealt best with his enemies through prayer.  He declared who his God was and committed his trust to Him.  In Psalm 140:7, “O God the Lord, the strength of my salvation, thou hast covered my head in the day of battle.”

To be covered means to be concealed and to be protected.  The battles of this life may at times make us feel that we are an open target to everyone who can’t stand the favor of God on us, but be of good cheer, God’s got us covered!  “As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the LORD is round about his people from henceforth even for ever,” (Psalm 125:2).  And, if God is like a mountain surrounding us then there is no adversary that can break through the covering He has over us.  It may feel like we are on the run sometimes but God is still that protecting force that “covered my head in the day of battle.”  Commit your heart aches, your battle and your enemies to God and let Him be your covering today.

“God’s Heartward Perspective!”

My Project 20-001

God has been teaching me a lot lately about how I view people.  For instance, recently I ordered food at the drive through of a local fast food joint.  The voice that came through the microphone was very well-spoken, eloquent and respectful.  Pulling up to the window to pay for the meal, before me stood a gentleman with green hair, big fat wooden earrings in his ears, tattoos and so forth.  I mentioned to my husband that I would have never identified that voice with that look or persona.

Often we can come across people in our pathway who don’t look the way we feel they should look or don’t carry themselves in a manner approving of our standards, yet in them is a real person with a real soul.

David was judged wrongly by those of his own house.  When the prophet Samuel came to Jesse’s house to anoint a new king no one suspected that the little ruddy boy out in the fields was the one God had in mind.  Even Samuel himself looked at the appearance of the other young men and thought that surely one of these was the one God was seeking after.  God plainly told Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him.  For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart,” (1 Samuel 16:7).

God has a perspective that we can’t have; He can see the heart of man.  Perhaps instead of making up our minds too quickly about individuals we can just decide to love them and accept them as God made them and let God be the one to deal with their heart.  God is awesome like that!  He keeps teaching me and I am still learning, and in the process I am pleasantly surprised 🙂

Encouragement in God Alone!

My Project 457-001

“But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God,” 1 Samuel 30:6b, NKJV

Distressed –  yeah!  Discouragement – you betcha!  Disappointment – inevitable!  Depressed – my middle name!

These were all things that David, the once proud warrior, was facing.  Upon returning back to Ziklag, David found everything was lost.  Not only had the city been raided and burned to the ground, but their families, their wives and children were now the captives of the enemy.

How devastating it must have all been!  Things can be replaced but to have your families at the mercy (or not the mercy) of an enemy – it’s too much to bear.  “David and the people who were with him lifted up their voices and wept, until they had no more power to weep,” 1 Samuel 30:4, NKJV.

Have you been there before?  Crying until you can’t cry no more?  That’s a brokenness that can’t be easily healed.  It’s a state of desperation to where there is no quick answer.  Nothing but the tears on the pillows.  No solace.  No comfort.  No peace.  “No more power to weep.”

David’s situation grew even dimmer when the people who were closest to him turned their backs on him.  “The people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved,” 1 Samuel 30:6a, NKJV.  These were the men that rode with him.  Those that fought in battle with him.  Those whom David gathered together as a band and turned a bunch of nobody’s into somebody’s.  Yet, here they are at the brink of committing a great evil against an innocent man.

Everybody needs somebody to blame.  At least, that’s what you hear many say and we see this kind of primitive blame placing here.  To them, David is to blame and David will be the one to pay the price.

Have you ever felt that you were in this alone?  As if the whole world has turned their backs on you as David’s men did with him?  You feel like you are battling alone and everyone else is just ready to cast stones at you?

David’s desperation led him to where all of ours should – the LORD!

“David strengthened himself in the LORD his God.”  The only place where true solace and comfort of heart can be found – in God!

“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy,
and find grace to help in time of need,” Hebrews 4:16, KJV.  Thank God we don’t have to go this alone despite what our circumstances may look like.  God has privileged us with an opportunity to invite Him in the process of dealing with our hurts and  disappointments.  How many times have you turned to a friend in a time of need and they were nowhere to be found?  Or, worse yet, they couldn’t do anything to add to your comfort or just didn’t care?

God does not do that!  He openly shows His love and concern by allowing us to dump it all on Him.  Come to the throne that we might get!  Get what?  “Mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

In a time of need?  Yes, David surely was.  He had nowhere else to turn.  He found out the hard way how quickly people will forsake you.  Regardless, it didn’t dim his hope.  David knew from past experiences where his help came from.  He could sing like the other psalmist, “I will lift up my eyes to the hills – from whence comes my help?  My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth,” Psalms 121:1-2, NKJV.  Over and over again, God has proven himself in the life of David and this time would be no different.

I wonder how many of us have that diligent past relationship with God, knowing that when we are in a time of need, we can turn to Him over and over again?  Has our life been so, in following after Him, as David’s was, that the connection of encouragement we receive from the LORD is ever-present?

David initiated the search for God’s help.  He didn’t ask the people’s opinion of what he should do.  He didn’t continue to wallow in self-pity because everybody was against him.  He didn’t give up or throw in the towel because recovery seemed impossible.  “David said to Abiathar the priest . . . Please bring the ephod here to me . . . So David inquired of the LORD, saying, ‘Shall I pursue this troop?  Shall I overtake them?’  And He answered him, ‘Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all,'” 1 Samuel 30:7-8, NKJV.

“Without fail recover all.”  God is the only one who could ever make such a promise.

The point of this all is very simple.  God is our source for everything; even encouragement.  It’s nice to get a “Good job!” from people once in a while or a pat on the back – but it is God whom we look to.  Sometimes situations will be so bad that we feel totally isolated from all.  Yet, we are also in a position to be so full.  To be able to recover all “without fail.”

Only what we find in strengthening ourselves in God can be labeled “without fail.”  Only the encouragement we have in Him will endure and never falter or fade.  He is our staying power.  He is our strength when we are weak.  Our shelter in the midst of the storm.  Our hightower.  Our fortress.  And, so much more!

Desperate times call for desperate measures.  Sometimes those measures mean turning a deaf ear to everyone else and their negativity about the situation and looking to God for counsel and help.  And He will, “without fail,” be your help through it all.  Find encouragement in God alone!

Minister encouragement to yourself through God’s grace today!

 

“God’s Got You Covered!”

psalm-914_2897_1024x768

Photo Credit: Wallpaper4god.com Click here to visit that site

Do you ever feel opened and exposed during the trials of life?  Do you ever feel that the enemy has free pickings when it comes to your heart ache?  Well, he doesn’t!  The enemies of this life may chase you, hunt you down and all together seek to make your life miserable, but the enemies do not have the last say over anything.  God, in His complete sovereignty has you covered!

If anybody knew about being constantly chased by enemies seeking to take their life it was David.  Saul, in a jealous pursuit, saw something special in David, the favor of God, and wanted to destroy David.  There were days when David may have felt like giving up.  There were days of hiding in caves and pretending to be a mad-man to seek solitude in other countries.  But, through it all David dealt best with his enemies through prayer.  He declared who his God was and committed his trust to Him.  In Psalm 140:7, “O God the Lord, the strength of my salvation, thou hast covered my head in the day of battle.”

To be covered means to be concealed and to be protected.  The battles of this life may at times make us feel that we are an open target to everyone who can’t stand the favor of God on us, but be of good cheer, God’s got us covered!  “As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the LORD is round about his people from henceforth even for ever,” (Psalm 125:2).  And, if God is like a mountain surrounding us then there is no adversary that can break through the covering He has over us.  It may feel like we are on the run sometimes but God is still that protecting force that “covered my head in the day of battle.”  Commit your heart aches, your battle and your enemies to God and let Him be your covering today.