Only God’s Refreshment Quenches Our Thirst

“He Leadeth Me Beside the Still Waters”  Psalm 23:2  We get so caught up in the world, our circumstances that we become distracted from the one place we can find the refreshment we are all desperately looking for.  David understood that only by the Good Shepherds leading can our emptiness, yearning and spiritual appetite be nourished. The Passion Translation puts it like this…”The Lord is my best friend and my shepherd.  I always have more than enough.  He offers a resting place for me in his luxurious love.  His tracks take me to an oasis of peace, the quiet brook of bliss.” Verses 1-2  That “quiet brook of bliss” is found only in God, no amount of money, career recognition, accolades of physical or mental achievement, will satisfy the void, the empty place in our soul. Instead of going to the source we try drinking from the manmade watering holes of the world only to leave us unsatisfied. You see, the world is full of seemingly delicious delights however they are only a fleeting empty attempt to fill our supernatural spiritual soul.

As look back on my life…I have traveled, shopped, tasted the finest food and drink.  These were all wonderful experiences, walking along the Seine in Paris, along many other adventures. Countless hours in the gym, dieting, spending money on my physical appearance believing that would help me surround myself and be regarded by the beautiful people, maybe even accepted and loved.  Yet, I still found myself facing the same hollow, empty and unfilled thirst within.  Even being a mother…left me aching for something more, oh please believe me I love all my children and my grandchildren however you see when your child reaches an age of spiritual thirst and you are lost to it as well, your ability to guide, love, meet their needs become lost, those once special moments of joy turn to frustration, disappointment, many times dissolution.  But I digress from where this blog is leading…

Jeremiah wrote of the result “For My people have committed two evils: They have abandoned Me, the Fountain of Living Waters, to carve out for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns…that do not hold water.” Verse 2:13  In my mind a picture is forming of broken lives, shattered hopes, lost dreams…withered souls…full of empty despair.  And so, this hunger becomes broken families, relationships, sordid excesses. Our need to quench this spiritual thirst becomes an entrance for Satan to destroy what only the Good Shepherd can satisfy.

The Good Shepherd is where that thirst can be quenched, where contentment is found. Throughout the Bible God and Jesus are called the Shepherd and for good reason.  We are so much like sheep. Let me explain, did you know that if  sheep are thirsty and clean, refreshing water is not available they will drink of dirty, parasite infested puddles.  You see, a thirst like ours needs the constant guidance of the loving shepherd who goes to great lengths to protect and provide the life giving water for his sheep.  Our Good Shepard…leads us through His Word to the living water.  This is the ultimate provision…Jesus made it clear that our thirsty souls can only be satisfied, content by drawing on Himself. 

Matthew 5:6 AMP says “Blessed [joyful, nourished by God’s goodness] are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness [those who actively seek right standing with God], for they will be [completely] satisfied.”  Jesus spoke boldly to those in attendance that last night with His disciples “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.” John 7:37 KJV  Jesus knew what we would face, the wanting to satisfy our spiritual soul…He tells us “drink”, “take in”, “to accept” and yes there it is “to believe”.  This belief moves from an idea of truth, to confidence in truth to a growing “knowing faith” in who Jesus is and who we are in Him.  This restless thirst is sated only in Christ and a personal growing relationship with Him.  Our earthly bodies, possessions and relationships are a fleeting part of who we really are, we are spiritual beings, God’s children, chosen, loved and cherish by the One True God, who cared so much for His creation…He sent Jesus, His Son, to lead us to the living water.

Drink Today! Let the Good Shepherd lead you to the “Brook of Bliss”, Worship and be Refreshed…

Further study of Psalm 23

This most powerful Psalm is used so many times at the end of one’s earthly existence, yet I find that it is life giving in so many ways.  I have written it out for you here to explore on your own. Please explore for yourself the goodness of God found in these six verses recorded by King David a man by God’s own words who had “God’s Heart”.

1 The Lord is my shepherd, I will not be in need.

Meaning: My identity is found with Him, I belong to Him, I declare that my Shepherd, God Himself supplies me with all I need.

2 He lets me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters.

Meaning: He is the place of rest for my body and spirit, He refreshes and renews my spirit. I have drank of His Living Water so I live without fear.

3 He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For the sake of His name.

Meaning: He brings the spiritual healing needed daily to my inner person.  Through His guidance I am made righteous in His sight to live for His purpose and pleasure alone.

4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

Meaning:  This life on earth is not easy but my Father, my Shepherd is with me always, His continual protection I receive, and I listen for His instruction making my flesh and mind obedient to His Truth. I am quick to repent and seek forgiveness.

5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows.

Meaning: He is my Hope in every situation, my Provision for my hunger, He fills all emptiness and fights for me, I am His Creation, In His image, and I am sanctified that is set apart, loved, and marked by You God as Your Child. Because of this my joy overflows and my heart is full of Your Love and Mercy.

6 Certainly goodness and faithfulness will follow me all the days of my life, And my dwelling will be in the house of the Lord forever.

Meaning: All this pouring out completes my life, gives me purpose, directs my life, I know Your Love Father, my Good Shepherd and I surrender to live in Your Will FOREVER!  AMEN!

There are many ways to explore and soak in these beautiful words, one way might be to find confirming scripture to each verse. Pray these scriptures over yourself and add your name wherever possible.  Our God and His Son Jesus our are Good Shepherds together with the Holy Spirit we can live out our lives with wonder and expectation…

Blessings,

Sister Laurie

No Mountain Climbing Here!

Woman Standing At Kitchen Sink Washing Up

I read this uplifting little article somewhere about how our relationship with God is different than that of men.  It inspired me to write about our position as women in God’s Kingdom.  Sweet Sisters in Jesus Christ we hold such an important position as daughter of the Most High King.  We are nurturers who encourage and bring cozy, heartfelt love full of God’s truth to a broken and hurting world.  Have you ever noticed how in the scriptures men are always going up into the mountains to commune with the Lord? Yet in the scriptures we hardly ever hear of women going to the mountains. 

Why, because these women were too busy keeping life going; they could not abandon… babies, meals, homes, fires, gardens, and a thousand other responsibilities to make the climb into the mountains! We have confidence that God knows exactly what your days are like because He beautifully describes them in Proverbs 31.  We daily touch on or see to most of this amazing woman’s life responsibilities in our own homes and workplaces.

Many days I find myself feeling like I am never “free” enough from my responsibilities, there is never in a quiet enough space for me to spend time with my Lord, my King; I find myself just repeating “Yes God” as the moments, days and years go by.

The woman who wrote the original little article put it like this…“That is why God comes to women.  Men have to climb the mountain to meet God, but God comes to women wherever they are.”

God is there as we stare into our refrigerator or cupboards scavenging for one more meal to cook for our family before payday.  1 Kings 17:12-16 “But she said, “As the Lord your God lives, I have no food, only a handful of flour in the bowl and a little oil in the jar; and behold, I am gathering a few sticks so that I may go in and prepare it for me and my son, so that we may eat it and die.”  However, Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go, do as you have said. Just make me a little bread loaf from it first and bring it out to me, and afterward you may make one for yourself and for your son. For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel says: ‘The bowl of flour shall not be used up, nor shall the jar of oil become empty, until the day that the Lord provides rain on the face of the earth.’” So, she went and did everything in accordance with the word of Elijah, and she and he and her household ate for many days. The bowl of flour was not used up, nor did the jar of oil become empty, in accordance with the word of the Lord which He spoke through Elijah.”  I remember as a young mom, asking God to supply food for my children, money for the electric bill, even in my immature understanding of God…He provided.

God is there with us at our love one’s sick or deathbed. Luke 7: 12-15 “Now as He approached the gate of the city, a dead man was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow; and a sizeable crowd from the city was with her.  When the Lord saw her, He felt compassion for her and said to her, “Do not go on weeping.” And He came up and touched the coffin; and the bearers came to a halt. And He said, “Young man, I say to you, arise!”  And the dead man sat up and began to speak. And Jesus gave him back to his mother.” As women we find ourselves crying out to the Lord, we travail for those we love whether they are ill, lost to the truth of Christ or have passed.  Jesus sees every hardship; this woman is already a widow and the loss of her son would bring even a greater difficulty.  So as scripture says,  “Jesus gave him back to his mother.” Each of you can recount a time when we are lost to our emotions, worry and fear have set in however, as we reach for God’s Word; He is faithful to bring the comfort we need, perfect and just for us. I will never forget when I received the news my son had died; all I could do was go for my Bible and hold it close. Only God could bring the comfort needed to see me through those difficult days.

He hears our cries to have our own children, Hannah asked the Lord for a child in 1 Samuel 1:14-20. “It came about in due time, after Hannah had conceived, that she gave birth to a son; and she named him Samuel, saying, “Because I have asked for him of the Lord.” She wanted nothing more than to be a mom.  She suffered for years with infertility, and her desire to have a child of her own was affecting every part of her life. An earlier verse says she was suffering under a despairing spirit.  In your circle of influence, you know at least one sister in Christ that as experienced infertility. However, in that same circle you can speak of the goodness of God who heard the cries and spoke  “Go in peace and may the God of Israel grant your request that you have asked of .”

Even at the empty tomb, Mary was the first to witness Christ’s resurrection, she was there because she was doing the womanly chore of properly preparing Christ’s body for burial.  Matthew 28 recounts the amazing details of that day. There was no mountain climbing, only her desire to serve her King and there He was risen, revealing truth and encouraging her.

God does indeed come to women where they are, when they are doing their ordinary, everyday work.  He meets them at the wells as we find in John 4:4-30, where they draw much needed water for their families, homes, for their kitchens and gardens.  The Samaritan woman was so important to Jesus, He had a divine appointment to meet her that day.  In that encounter her life was forever changed, and her circle of influence was increased as she spread the “Good News” God’s Truth, the salvation message to everyone in her village.  She wanted everyone to experience the forgiveness, grace, mercy, and love Jesus was bringing to her that day.

Every woman in the Bible has a journey, unique and challenging; along the way these women of the scriptures found themselves face to face with Jesus. We are like them, we must draw upon their stories and allow God to teach us, refine us.

So, look closely do you see Jesus in the little things, the big things…yes He is there.  We need to thank God that He meets us, and we must stop complaining! Who wants to climb a mountain anyway? The fact is you do not have time to spend in the mountains with God.  Guess what, He is there in the mountain of dishes or the stained sport uniform that you need to ready for your child’s game tomorrow…sing out, pray, and worship your King right there! Or maybe you need to listen…quietly reflect.

Remember, God comes to women. He knows where we are and the burdens we carry. He sees us, and if we open our eyes and our hearts we will see Him, even in the most ordinary places and things.  He lives. And Jesus is using a time such as this to speak to women around the world. 

Blessings, Sister Laurie

Let Us…

The book of Hebrews is dear to my heart.  Many of the scriptures found there are ones I frequently find God leading me to.  The writer or I should say the person who moved by the Holy Spirit to record all that God spoke in Hebrews is unknown.  Yet in here we find such clarity of who Jesus is and how He is truly the way if we are to enter God’s Rest.  What I am saying is our relationship and pursuit of Jesus will lead us to a place of rest. Jesus is the caregiver of this amazing place of rest. This place of rest is for NOW to be experienced HERE while we live out our earthly lives.

The first 3 chapters of Hebrews give us a complete revelation of Jesus Christ and why He is “better than”.  I love God’s description of His son in The Passion Translation verse 1:3 “The Son is the dazzling radiance of God’s splendor, the exact expression of God’s true nature—His mirror image! He holds the universe together and expands it by the mighty power of His spoken Word.  He accomplished for us the complete cleansing of sins, and then took His seat on the highest throne at the right hand of the majestic One.”  The “better than” speaks of His supernatural abilities, the power of Jesus, the undeniable Son of God,  over the prophets and God’s men of old.  Jesus is the language of God.  The Bible says that through history we received only small glimpses, as God “builds one Truth upon another.”

Now we have a fuller picture, almost complete or maybe I should say one we can grasp at this time.  I notice that as we move closer to God’s destiny, the revelation grows, our ability to understand our position and God’s Kingdom becomes clearer. Within this richer understanding our responsibility grows in being the Truth to the world through our testimony.  “And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death.” Revelation 12:11  It is the faithful testimony of Jesus that has the power to destroy the works of the devil as demonstrated in your and my transformed life.

Let us now move back to the place of God’s Rest, this inheritance was unavailable to Israelites when they left Egypt because their unbelief held them captive to sin, sadly until they died in the desert.  Now God is calling each one of us to His perfect place of rest.  It is through our faith that we enter TODAY! “Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden (doubt, fear, have unbelief)  in your heart.” verse 4:7

 God says “Let us make every effort” in verse 4:11 then He gives us the opportunity to remove any hindrance in verse 12 “For we have the living Word of God, which is full of energy, and it pierces more sharply than a two-edged sword. It will even penetrate to the very core of our being where soul and spirit, bone, and marrow meet! It interprets and reveals the true thoughts and secret motives of our hearts.”

What is key is that first God already sees it all and then second you MUST allow God to do His work.  I know I have spoken this before that God is a gentleman and will not force you to have faith. God is the great physician, a skilled surgeon, He will expose what need to be removed and will help you remove what must go.  It is my prayer that you continually allow God to remove and expose so that you may enter and receive the nourishment you seek, there is nothing more satisfying than Jesus and His Truth, it brings the rest and comfort to journey forward.  His love covers us fully verse 16 says “So now we come freely and boldly to where love is enthroned, to receive mercy’s kiss and discover the grace we urgently need to strengthen us in our time of weakness.” This weakness is all around us, God’s children suffer under the weight of devil’s destructive way.

This rest you seek comes from not being milk fed but having maturity in Christ to be nourished by all the Truth (cuisine) found in God’s Word verse 6:1.  This is where we receive the promised rest.

Hebrews is a book of “Let Us” you see my dear sisters in Jesus Christ, we are the “us” united in this great love.  In my spirit I feel that you today need to embrace one or more of the “Let us” found in Hebrews, this is how you will enter God’s Rest.

“Let us come closer to God and approach Him with an open heart, fully convinced by faith that nothing will keep us at a distance from Him.” Verse 10:22

“Let us cling tightly to the hope that lives within us, knowing that God always keeps His promises!” Verse 10:23

“Let us discover creative ways to encourage others and to motivate them toward acts of compassion, doing beautiful works as expressions of love.” 10:24

“Let us not pull away and neglect  meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, because we need each other! In fact, we should come together even more frequently, eager to encourage and urge each other onward.” 10:25

“Let us rid ourselves of every wound that has pierced us and the sin we so easily fall into. Then we will be able to run life’s marathon race with passion and determination, for the path has been already marked out before us.” 12:1

“Let us fasten our gaze onto Jesus who birthed faith within us and who leads us forward into faith’s perfection. His example is this: Because His heart was focused on the joy of knowing that you would be His, He endured the agony of the cross and conquered its humiliation, and now sits exalted at the right hand of the throne of God!.” 12:2

“Let us be thankful and offer God the purest worship that delights His heart as we lay down our lives in absolute surrender, filled with awe.” 12:28

“Let us, then arise and join Him outside the religious “walls” and bear His disgrace.” 13:13 “Let us know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.” Philippians 3:10

“Let us continually offer up to God a steady stream of praise sacrifices—these are “the lambs” we offer from our lips that celebrate His name!.” 13:15

Blessing, Sister Laurie

Please find these scriptures have been personalized and taken from both the NASB and TPT translation.  Other thoughts have been provided in part through my current studies, “New Testament Survey”, Global University, Springfield, Ohio.

Trust God

I know you are saying, “Sister Laurie, How can you say that, you don’t know what I am going through”.  Today, I want to talk about how you can trust God.

First, I want to address who Satan is and warn you that he is out to destroy God’s people and the beautiful earth God has given us to live on. Satan has done a great job at watering down who God is.  He has very cleverly planted lies all over the world that cause people to question God’s existence or believe that if there is a god he does not care about us. The reason the devil is able to do this so well is because he himself knows God’s Word.  The devil operates on the fringe of God’s Word, using just enough to get you thinking and moving in the wrong direction.  God has issued a warning in scripture…

John 10:10 says “The thief (Satan) comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

1 Peter 5:8 clearly tells us to be ready “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”

Even now as you are reading this…the devil is positioning himself and stirring up a counterattack, to cause you to question this writing.

“Right now, in the name of Jesus and in the authority given to me as spoken in God’s Holy Word…I cast out spirits that would bring doubt to you and that God’s Holy Spirit would fill you with His truth. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen”

Now, we have prayed, we have identified the enemy…let us get back to God’s Truth.  How do I know God is real? How can I trust what the Bible says? I will humbly try to answer these basic questions, please understand that throughout God’s Word, the physical and spiritual world these questions are answered in many ways I am just touching the tip of truth.

The Bible is the Word of God because of its scientific accuracy.   Physical evidence is found in the Bible. God tells us that “He [God] stretches out the north over empty space and hangs the earth on nothing.” Job 26:7  How did Job know that the earth hung in space before the age of modern astronomy and space travel?  The Holy Spirit told him.

The scientists of Isaiah’s day did not know the topography of the earth, but Isaiah said in Isaiah 40:22; “It is [God] that sitteth upon the circle of the earth”.  The word for “circle” here means a globe or sphere.  How did Isaiah know that God sat upon the circle of the earth? Or that the earth was round? By divine inspiration.

The Bible is historically accurate as well.  Daniel 5 tells us of an incident that left physical proof that still exists today. 

Belshazzar hosted a feast with a thousand of his lords and ladies.  A gruesome hand appeared wrote on a wall. The king asked for someone to interpret the writing. Daniel was found and gave the interpretation. After the interpretation, “Then commanded Belshazzar, and they clothed Daniel with scarlet, and put a chain of gold about his neck, and made a proclamation concerning him, that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom.” Daniel 5:29

Over time Historians basing their opinion on Babylonian records, claimed this never happened. The last king of Babylon was not Belshazzar, but a man named Nabonidas.  There was not a record of a king named Belshazzar.

 In 1853, an inscription was found on a cornerstone of a temple built by Nabonidas, to the god Ur, which read: “May I, Nabonidas, king of Babylon, not sin against thee. And may reverence for thee dwell in the heart of Belshazzar, my first-born favorite son.”  From other inscriptions we learn that Belshazzar and Nabonidas ruled together.  Belshazzar would later say that Daniel would be the third ruler.

The Bible is an account of the One True God, His son Jesus Christ, the history of God’s people and it is written for everyone…

 1 Peter 1:25 says: “But the word of the Lord endureth forever. And this is the Word which by the gospel is preached unto you.” It’s truth and power are live and active today just as it was when God first inspired those men of God to record it. 

Further God tells us how it was recorded…“and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:15-17

The Apostle Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians 2:13, “For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe.”

Later, around A.D. 63 Peter would write, addressing us still today “to those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ”, these powerful words of truth. “for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.” 2 Peter 1:21

Are you feeling more confident? God is real! The Bible is God’s Word to you and me. Through His Word and the Holy Spirit within you, YOU CAN TRUST GOD.  For me trusting God was a journey, a fight.  As I have shared I came to the cross damaged, trusting God had to be a decision…I had to and still today cast every thought and lie the devil continued to tell me out.

The word “trust” is defined; a firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something. Having confidence, the feeling or belief that one can rely on someone…being dependent, rely on. The Bible defines “trust” in Hebrew  “batach” meaning; refuge, secure, be bold or confident, assurance, hope.

Proverbs 3:5-6 says “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.”

To truly trust God we must humble ourselves, not as easy as it sounds.  The word “humble” is not popular today! Everyone is seeking to be acknowledged or should I say, “stand out”, our role models are those with the loudest mouth, Hollywood, politics, surely not JESUS or God’s Word. 

1 Peter 5:6-7 says, “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.”  These verses come just before we are warned about how the devil is looking for those he can devour.

The word “humility” is defined; having or showing a modest estimate of one’s own importance; to live with dignity; the quality or state of being worthy. Disposition: the tendency of something to act in a certain manner; something that accompanies or is collaterally connected with something else. To understand your position, purpose, to rein in or curb accordingly, to have a sensitive nature.

To be humble takes trusting God for direction, being connected to Him and pursuing the worthiness God bestows on His children. We find our real worth and identity in God.   Having a servant heart willing to say, “it’s not about me the life I seek is found in trusting God”.

How do we get there? I have not arrived, but I am working on it daily, by developing a habit of learning to trust God at all times, in every area of my life.

Trusting God is simply believing that He loves you and knowing He is good, He has the power to help you, and He wants to help you.  As believers we are called to trust God in ALL things but many times, we are more like unbelieving believers. We trust those we see on TV or read about in the news more than we trust God and His Word.

In John 15:5, Jesus says that apart from Him, we can do nothing. We need to lean on Him for help with everything in our lives.

Maybe you attend church each week, however by the time you get home, the world is closing in and you try to do it on your own.  You sink back into complaining about how hard it is because you are trying to do it all on your own leaving God out!

We MUST put God first in our lives. He wants us to put our confidence and trust in Him, all the time, in everything. Trust even when you do not see results, Trust even when everything and everyone around you is telling you something else.

I put up all kinds of walls and roadblocks through my life because I had been hurt and I hurt others as well. I thought, if you do not ask anybody for anything or open your heart to them, they cannot hurt you. I thought I will make my own way, I will make my own decisions because I cannot trust anyone.  If I am going to crash it will be me driving unfortunately, my kids and others I loved were in the car, so they experienced the hurt and brokenness within me. This wrong thinking just kept me from trusting God.

Trusting God is a decision, a habit that takes practice. Somedays we just need to declare our Trust in God!  We can build that trust by knowing what the Bible says. God’s Word gives us confidence as we study it, our mind is renewed, the goal is to no longer think the way the world thinks, we need to think the way God thinks!

Romans 12:2 says “And do not be conformed (listen or act according) to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”

Make God Habits in your daily life. First, what your eyes see, and your ears hear will affect your ability to see and hear God.  My life began to change when I stopped listening to music or watching movies/TV that had worldly content (i.e. secular, above PG). Today, social media plays a huge part promoting worldly ideas. Do not be fooled the devil uses ALL forms of media to drag us down and destroy us.

Second, find time in your day, even while driving in the car to talk to God, start by thanking Him, praising Him, then acknowledge your need for Him, ask Him to forgive you, then surrender it all to Him…Psalm 51:10 says “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit in me.” Sometimes simply saying “Yes God!” can get you moving closer to God and send the devil running.

Third, give God your best, if you blow it…start over, do not let the devil speak lies to you.  Every thought needs to line up with God’s Word. Many times, I think what would God say about this?

Fourth, reach out to other believers, find a woman of God to mentor you!  God tells His children to be disciples and then to reach out and disciple. Find a home church and GO! It is that simple, you will be changed guaranteed!  This is how God works, through the Holy Spirit, through His Word and through His church…other believers.

Joyce Meyers says “When you go beyond what you want, what you think and what you feel and do what the Word and the Spirit of God tell you to do, you are able to develop good habits and break bad ones. You come to a place where the blessings of God – His righteousness, peace and joy – overflow in your life.”

Everything changes when we discover who we are in God’s Kingdom.  We are His children, His creation, made in His image for His purpose! Yes, you are valued and loved by God. You my sweet sisters are Daughters of the Most High King.

Be Blessed, Sister Laurie

No Matter What the Storm… Keep Your Eyes on Jesus

Take Jesus’ Hand TODAY!

Every word within the Bible is there with a specific purpose.  It reveals God’s love for us, gives us advice, teaches us about consequences for our decisions, provides hope in what looks like a hopeless situation and so much more. 

God inspired every Word with you in mind…

2 Timothy 3:15-17 tells us “and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.  All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;  so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”

I love that God tells us that “from childhood” yes, He is saying you always knew that the Bible is God speaking to you.  This is true because remember we are spiritual beings and within that spirit is God’s truth there when you were still in your Mother’s womb. See Psalms 139:4 and 139:13.

 2 Peter 1:21 further gives us the truth of all scripture “for no prophecy(Word from God, Scripture, Bible) was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.”

I want to encourage you to meditate not just on this next bit of Scripture but to firmly know in your mind and spirit that God’s Word is for you completely. 

That being said…Please read Matthew 14:24-33.

When the wind swept down from the hills and whipped the Sea of Galilee into a treacherous storm, the disciples found themselves in a fight for their lives on the waves. Then Jesus – as He so often does – came walking through the swells and impossible waves as living peace. When the men in the boat saw what their eyes told them they could not, Peter must have been so compelled by this display of power, that he cried out to Jesus, “Lord, if it’s really you, then have me join you on the water!” And Jesus did not say no. He did not scold Peter for having the audacity to think he could join Him in the miraculous, instead he invited him in. “Come and join me!” As long as Peter’s faith rested on the power of Jesus, he joined Christ in miraculous power. He did what people should not be able to do.

Then, the waves got his attention. He began to believe the ‘ridiculousness’ of it all; his mind let seeming logic begin to break down his child-like trust in the Jesus that stood right in front of him. As Jesus lifted him from the place where he sank, I can hear Him speak these words with the gentleness of a friend, and the disappointment of a coach who saw full potential denied. “What little faith you have! Why would you let doubt win?”

A dear sister in  Jesus Christ, Michelle Loss wrote that amazing description of that day on the sea and how Jesus took Peter’s hand and gave him the confidence to keep moving forward.

She further shares this amazing word of encouragement… As she read Peter’s experience, “the Spirit whispered, “The invitation still stands.” Jesus is still inviting us to join Him on the waves. To let our hearts fully believe in the power of Christ to allow us to partner with Him in the miraculous. To remember that Jesus bought and paid for a royal inheritance, a promised land, and the power of the Holy Spirit for each of us. Now. The temptation to look at what we think we understand, to let the impossible waves crush our faith, will always be waiting along with Christ’s call. But eyes that are fixed on Jesus, enable our feet to move. To see our advocate standing peacefully over the chaos, calling to us, “Come and join me!””

This is true today for you and for me, no matter what the world looks like, the chaos, the repeated violence, the lies we hear daily which have lulled many into a state of fear and uncertainty.  We have a King and a Kingdom to which we belong…Have NO Fear! God is with you!

Be Blessed, Sister Laurie

The Hope Killer – John 10:10

Without hope we become sick. Heartsick…Sick physically, mentally, and spiritually. This sickness leads to depression and in this fallen world we live many times leads to suicide.  Satan is the hope killer.  He is out to steal, kill and destroy God’s most precious creation US.  This is a tough blog to write because recently a young, beautiful mother of three that I had prayed with and shared Christ with took her own life. Satan stole this young woman’s life…the lies he had been telling her finally took her life. 

My heart is broken that those around her, me included did not see the signs.  Did not see the urgency that for her tomorrow will never come here on earth.  I can only speak from a peripheral view, I know that the system failed her, the church failed her and yes friends, family, and those of us who said “I’m here for you” failed her. Ouch! Yep! That is right….we all blew it!  We are in a battle, a spiritual one and until Jesus returns, we must arm ourselves and have a battle plan to help those lost and even ourselves.

Her death by suicide left me crying out to God for help.  Why? How? What are the signs? When does someone reach that point of isolation that they no longer have the will to live?  Here is what God has spoken to me. I know this is just the beginning of understanding and there will be a lot more revelation.   I wanted to share this with you…please reach out! Please be watching those in your circle of influence…God loves ALL His children equally, believer, non-believer we all belong to Him.

I want to talk about what Satan did…maybe it will help us the next time. Did you know that in the Bible there are seven instances of suicide?  I have always said that every life circumstance is in God’s Word and the way out is there too.

King Saul (1 Samuel 31:3-5)

Saul’s Armor-bearer (1 Samuel 31:5)

Samson (Judges 16:25-30)

Abimelech (Judges 9:50-55)

Ahithophel (2 Samuel 17:23)

Zimri (1 Kings 16:15-20)

Judas (Matthew 27:3-5)

“Nowhere in these seven instances, or anywhere else in the Bible, does it indicate that the act of suicide is an unforgivable or unpardonable sin.”

The most well-known Biblical suicide was Judas. After he betrayed Jesus the Bible says in different versions of Matthew 27:3-5, he repented himself (KJV), he was seized with remorse (NIV), he felt remorse (NASB) and he was gripped with remorse (AMP) one might say he (Judas) was full of despair and so he chose to end his own life.

“Despair” is a complete loss of hope. It is defined as “the complete loss or absence of hope, or desperation; a state of despair, typically one which results in rash or extreme behavior, or anguish; severe mental or physical pain or suffering, or desolation; a state of complete emptiness or destruction.”  When we breakdown “despair” we find “emptiness”, “isolation” or “destruction.”

It is in that emptiness; the devil has isolated us from hope and from God’s Truth.  The devil’s lie become our truth.  This is how Satan operates and when possible he pushes us to self-destruction.

“Isolation” is separation, loneliness, sadness because one has no friends or company. Feelings of depression, despondency, a state of low spirits caused by loss of hope or courage, unpopular, forsakenness, rejected, abandoned, or deserted. This isolation causes us to stop seeking friendship, to stop reaching out, cut the ties of accountability.

While Satan is busy building his lie within us, he spreads out and starts to build walls, systems, wrong attitudes, and approaches in those who are supposed to help.  This young woman I am speaking of life was filling up with rejection, programs that did not work, expectations and conditions, like a circus animal jumping through never ending hoops for a “well then maybe”.

I must say right here that I do not have the answers, know how to fix the broken legal systems, social services, and all the other agencies that are supposed to work at helping. 

Where is the church in all this?  Biblically we are called to help those who are lost…help without condemnation. I do know we fail here.  Why is it that the drug addict does not feel comfortable in every church? Why does not every church host meetings and Bible studies which focus on breaking substance addiction, fighting depression and anxiety as well as teaching life skills.   Statics tell us that the best recovery and sobriety successes are happening in meetings and programs that are Christ centered.

Sorry for the soap box preaching right there…let us get back to ways we can fight the hope killer, Satan.

Scripture has quite a bit to say about Satan, yet most Christians are ignorant about him. God has given us warnings about our enemy, and we need to have an understanding of Satan’s plan. Christians as well as unbelievers are under constant attack by him but have no idea of the battle they are in. They think their lack of joy, broken relationships, and failures in life originate with them, “It’s my fault, I deserve this” when in reality their troubles are because they are following the voice of the enemy, they have listened and believed his lies for so long they have become their truth.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” John 10:10 NASB

The thief here is Satan; 1 Peter 5:8  tells us that we must “Be of sober spirit (watch carefully, diligently) , be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”

The devil is jealous of us, his only desire is to destroy God’s most valuable, cherished and loved creation us, His children. Here in John 10:10 God reveals how the devil operates.

Steal: in the Greek “klepto” meaning without permission, sneak, surreptitiously, secretively; the devil takes our hope, steals the gift, the process of destruction begins here.  He speaks lies, tearing down little by little in a very subtle way. At first this “klepto” is undetectable. This stealing extends to how we see, it inhibits us from reaching out either in our own despair or when we see others suffering.

Remember who the devil  is, he was cast out of heaven and is driven to destroy all God has created, he is a “kleptomaniac” because he is driven in his actions and cannot stop. His actions are uncontrollable, his intention is to cause emotional pain, and he uses our need for love, acceptance, and attention (pride) to start this process of death. He is the hope thief.

Kill: in the Greek “thuo” to rush, breathe hard (deny air), to rush, attack, without warning, rapid, aggressive, violent, you are unable to cope, brutal, he attacks indiscriminately anyone one who is vulnerable, susceptible, spiritually weak, they are easy prey, exposed.  Satan’s movements are quick, once he has you believing there is no hope he is quick to cut off your air supply “God’s truth”.  The devil is an assassin, a killer who has a well thought out plan, he is set on a course of action.

Remember who Satan is and how he works.  He suffocates us with his lies. Pushing you to a place where hope dies.  He is the hope killer.

Destroy: in the Greek “apollumi” to put an end to the existence, perish, destroy completely, complete separation, rejection, broken covenant, suffering, punish, death, the devil set out and succeeds at attacking you emotionally and spiritually, he obliterates with darkness the goodness of God, moving you to a place discarded and broken…this is where the devil takes your life. Violently separating you from God’s truth to the point of death. Hopeless, desperate, reckless, uncontrolled decision and actions live here.  Our thoughts move into darkness where madness, irresponsibility, recklessness, and perversity dwell, yes, death is here, suicide, murder, homicide, assassination.  

Remember who the devil is and how he is intent on destruction. His lies and this fallen world pushes us to the point of death physically and spiritually. He is the hope destroyer.

Satan is a liar and murderer. This part of him comes from his true nature, which, according to the Bible, consists of arrogance, vanity, envy, and selfish ambition. When we act in such a manner, we align ourselves with Satan as enemies of God. This is why the mark of a child of God is humility and absolute surrender to our Lord.

We have to know our enemy in order to destroy him, God has given us a directive, a plan and the authority to bind and cast out every ploy the devil may try, God’s Word has every answer, every weapon we need to fight and win the battle. This truth is found in the second half of the verse it says “ I (Jesus) came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

Abundant life is ours when we put on the armor of God and heed God’s warnings about this world and the work of Satan.  Ephesians 6: 10-18 says “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints.”

The apostle Paul had plenty of opportunities to feel despair, yet he did not. He says in 2 Corinthians 4:8, “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing.” NASB  What was Paul’s secret? His hope was not based on his earthly circumstances. He held firmly onto the knowledge that God is in control and that his afflictions had meaning for all eternity (2 Corinthians 4:17).

Romans 12:1-2 says “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”

God also gives us clear instructions that we cannot live without the help of fellow believers…

Matthew 18:20 “ For where two of three have gathered together in My name, I am there is their midst.”  The devil lurks in darkness and in the places you feel isolated.  We must reach out for help from our fellow believers. If the devil can get you isolated he can take you down, he will keep you thinking; I can’t share, no one will understand, it’s embarrassing, awkward, humiliating (you see God tells us to live in humility, but the devil tells us that humility make us look weak, vulnerable and uncomfortable) God loves weakness because it is in your weakness Jesus can come in and arm you with His righteousness to fight.  God wants to be your defender, that lie we believe that we do not need help is one of the biggest lies satan tells.

James 5:14-16 clearly tells us to reach out for help and the sickness spoke of here is not just physical but mentally and spiritually, “Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him. Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.”

Finally, if we look at verse John 10:9, yes the one just before God’s warning concerning the devil we see…” I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.” Jesus is promising to keep us safe, the word pasture here means “the provision of truth or spiritual food for us to grow in knowledge of God and become disciples who have been given authority as spoken in Matthew 10:1 “Jesus summoned His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness.” We are an extension of those twelve and we must walk in the fullness of that truth while we live here on earth. 

I am here, please reach out if you find yourself going down that dark alley of despair and isolation.  You can contact me on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/JesusTruthForever or at Jesustruthbeliever@gmail.com.

Be Blessed,

Laurie

How to Fight Worry and Anxiety

Late last year I blogged this message, with everything going on today I felt it fit today’s circumstances… Worry and Anxiety are weapons the devil uses to keep us captive, steal the true joy and peace that God has for us.

These spirits act purposefully to destroy and distract us, they are inhibiting our faith.  So that we cannot rise up and live in victory.

Are you addicted to worry?  When you do not have something to worry about do you take on the worries of someone else?

It is impossible to live in worry and live in peace at the same time…Worry is the root of anxiety. It brings physical manifestation…. hives, illness, disease.  I have been witness to divine healing over many of these manifestations when women caught in the devil’s grip are set free.  Instantly, they have received freedom physically, mentally, and spiritually.

The KJV of the Bible does not use the word “worry” so let us be clear about who and what this spirit is…

Fret – In the Hebrew this means a snare, violently agitated, to grieve, be angry, burn, be hot or provoked – in the Webster Dictionary it is defined as uneasy, distressed or troubled, anxious; to be tormented with distributing thoughts.

Matthew 6:25 is a warning to “take no thought” or don’t let your mind rest in negative thought

Philippians 4:6 tells us to “be careful for nothing” KJV or in the NASB “be anxious for nothing”

Worry does not make anything better…

The devil uses the spirit of worry to torment us!

A description of worry would be “To seize by the throat with teeth and shake or mangle, as one animal does to another or to harass by repeated biting and snapping”

After a few hours of worry do you feel beaten up? Worn out? All those destructive thoughts going around and around in your head?  Continually exaggerating and building, more and more until…

Matthew 6:25 – 27 puts it like this in the AMP version “Therefore I tell you, stop being worried or anxious (perpetually uneasy, distracted) about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, as to what you will wear. Is life not more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow [seed] nor reap [the harvest] nor gather [the crops] into barns, and yet your heavenly Father keeps feeding them. Are you not worth much more than they? 27 And who of you by worrying can add one hour to the length of life.”

 Let me break it down for you….

Peace is not something you can do for yourself in Galatians 5 the Bible says it is a gift of the fruit of the Spirit…Holy Spirit meaning only by abiding in Jesus Christ will we have peace.  John 15:4 says “abide in me and I will Abide in you.”

No amount of self-control will bring you peace or break your anxiety.  Drugs, anti-depressants, anxiety meds, sleeping aids only “Dumb you down” from hearing from God or receiving His healing, supernatural power.

So what is this abiding Jesus is speaking of?

First, it is a union we are actively pursuing to understand because the work was already done at the cross our part is to be in a personal intimate relationship with Jesus.  We are united to Jesus by faith by believing Jesus has cleansed us by paying the price through the whipping post and cross. He then went to hell and claimed the keys to God’s Kingdom here on earth to give us authority over the devil.  Are you getting the whole picture?

Second, this relationship is built on our obedience and pursuit of Jesus. 

John 17:7 says “If you abide in me and my Word, I will abide in you.”

Colossians 3:36 says “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly.” 

Ephesians 5:18 tells us “be filled with the Holy Spirit.”

You MUST allow His Word to fill out minds, surrender our will to His Will for us…our relationship to Jesus is intimately connected to what we do with our Bibles.

As God’s Word dwells in us and the Spirit fills us, we are transformed, our prayers change – your prayers become God’s Will – truth and revelation will open your eyes!

I read an article by Terri Copeland she made this statement, I will be stealing it and speaking it to others…”The Word is so unchanging and unfailing that He, God has bound Himself and the existence of all things to it. It is God’s most tangible gift of Himself to us.”

Third and last…Abide in My Love John 15:9 says “Just as the Father has loved Me, I also loved you; abide in My love.”  You MUST rest in this love, the love of Jesus Christ in verse 13-16 says “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.  You are My friends if you do what I command.  No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.”

Peace is not something you can do for yourself in Galatians 5 the Bible says it is a gift of the fruit of the Spirit…Holy Spirit meaning only by abiding in Jesus Christ will we have peace. 

John 15:4 abide in me and I will Abide in you…

Fourth, that authority I spoke of early…we have the authority to cast out this spirit…Jesus told us he would send a helper so that we could act in authority, just as the Acts church did so can we!  Nothing has changed…the Holy Spirit is within you as a believer! Make you stand TODAY!  In the name of Jesus reclaim what you have lost…declare and decree that the devil will not hold you captive through worry or anxiety ! Today, Claim your position as daughters and sons of the Most High King Jesus!

Blessing, Laurie

JesusTruthBeliever 6/29/2020