First a little background for those who may not know me personally…I was not raised in a Christian home, in fact, my adopted parents were atheists who lived in the world and embraced a belief system which was extremely self-gratifying. I am a Born-Again Believer; I make this point because I will be talking about how our foundation in life dictates how we think and live. I don’t remember ever discussing the existence of God or the meaning of this life other than how important it was to have money, live high, have power and reputation within your community. This reputation was tainted with a worldview of wealth and position.
The long journey of casting off, surrendering my belief system or foundation built from my childhood and adult life experience has been long. God has never given up on me and so today I celebrate the new foundation God is helping me build based in truth. I wanted to share this with you because I make this point…IT IS NEVER TO LATE…God is waiting for you sweet sister! He wants to establish a foundation of truth under you that will redefine you and give you an identity in Him. Complete deliverance is what I am speaking of…Freedom from your old life!
Daniel had a foundation built on Godly principles, it is here we find how his foundation in God stood the test and kept Daniel from harm. Daniel was a young man with Godly character and integrity. Read Daniel 1-2 for details.
Daniel’s foundation is available to us if we allow God to work within us. Sisters it is not too late to break the destructive patterns in your life and embrace Godly truth. We know that the patterns we establish early in life, whether good or bad, will impact our future decisions. Our choices direct the lives we lead. These patterns form our foundation.
You and I must begin this journey of freedom by taking the scalpel of the Word of God in hand…”For the Word of God is living and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, even penetrating as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12.
Begin by asking yourself these simple questions; Are you keeping your word? Do you hold grudges, speak negatively about those around you? Do you finish what you start? Are you easily distracted? Is your gaze on what is instructive and positive or destructive? Only you and God can answer these questions truthfully. Now is the time to let God reveal His truth about the condition of your foundation, ideas, attitudes, and behaviors that do not line up with God’s Word.
Remember, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all people. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and pleading with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if anything, worthy of praise, think about these things. As for the things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:4-9
Most of the time wrong thinking, believing a lie keeps us from the peace spoken of here. God has given you a gentle spirit, one that is not anxious, that has ability to live God’s truth as you journey through life. Let these words encourage you. Here are some practical steps to growing, redesigning your foundation according to God’s way.
Discipline yourself to do two necessary things you do not like to do every week.
Fix your eyes on a clear, specific goal.
Study the “whys” behind God’s commands.
Write out the promises you have made and take responsibility for all your actions and emotions.
Monitor and adjust the motives behind your actions.
Tell the truth no matter what the cost.
Live the truth even when it is not popular…are your words gratifying God or man?
Align yourself with a woman of God who you can be accountable to in every situation.
In today’s world we must be woman of God who are deeply rooted in God’s Truth and trust in God, not vulnerable to polluting ourselves with pride and lies. Like Daniel we must be a people faithful and trustworthy, a servant of God. Who’s love for God pours out from every cell within our bodies. Remember you are who God’s says you are and not the world…loved, valued, unique, beautiful, with purpose, designed by the creator, the daughter of the Most High King.
Here is a prayer to help you in your journey…
Lord, give me insight into what makes a healthy, effective woman of God. Make me sensitive to Your Spirit and show me the areas in which I need to grow and develop. Show me those in my life which speak Your Truth and help me to distance myself from those who do not. Help me represent You in every situation. Rebuild my foundation God, I give you permission to use the scalpel of Truth to do surgery on my mind and spirit. As you reveal attitudes and beliefs that do not reflect you God help me to let go and invite Godly thinking in. I desire to have my mind, body and spirit transformed by your truth God so that I would reflect you with every breath I breathe. AMEN
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.
Doug and I have been watching Derek Prince’s “The Roman Pilgrimage” on YouTube. As the title suggests it is a study of the Book of Romans. Romans gives way to spiritual truth, it is our guide which compels us to persevere in our journey of knowing God and receiving all that He intended for us. God has been speaking so clearly through this study to me. Confirming His love and purpose for us. Chapters 1-7 confirms our position of righteousness and defines God’s Love for us.
Let us look at Romans 4:1-25, Paul is speaking about Abraham, who is the perfect example of our relationship with God. He was a man who believed God’s promise by faith alone without evidence. As you remember he and Sarah were childless and of an elderly age, yet God had promised him descendants as many as the stars in the sky. The key here is there was no physical evidence, Abraham believed in God and His Promise. Now let me say at this point which is a bit of a rabbit trail. Sarah talked Abraham into taking matters into their own hands which was out of the will of God. (Romans 4:1-5) That is a discussion for another day. I will say Abraham’s mistakes did not keep God from fulfilling the promise He made to him. Abraham’s sin came through doing more than what God asked him to do. This is a question we must ask ourselves daily…are you allowing God to go before you or are you moving and then asking God to get behind your decisions?
So, let us get back to my original thought. There are 5 points here in scripture that Paul shares about Abraham’s relationship with God. These should be our guide to a personal relationship with God as well.
Receiving the promise as Abraham did depends on walking in faith. (Romans 4:13-22)
1. As believers we accept God’s promise by faith alone without evidence. We must live by faith no matter what the world or our circumstances look like. This belief gives us the position of righteousness in God.
2. We must recognize that this position of righteousness is NOT obtained by works or religious ritual. We are incapable of producing the promised result on our own.
3. When we focus on the promise without wavering, we step into God’s given righteousness. This righteousness is not based on our actions it is freely given by God and through His grace and mercy.
4. Physical and spirit truth will manifest in us supernaturally and uniquely. This supernatural power comes to us through the Holy Spirit living in us. We share a common thread in this that God’s love belongs to each of us.
5. When God’s promise is fulfilled in us, God is glorified.
God is always moving us forward by challenging us to live and make every decision by faith and allowing God’s grace to cover us. Let us talk about grace briefly…Grace begins where human ability ends, it is received only by faith Ephesians 2:8 AMP says it so well…”For it is by grace [God’s remarkable compassion and favor drawing you to Christ] that you have been saved [actually delivered from judgment and given eternal life] through faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [not through your own effort], but it is the [undeserved, gracious] gift of God.” and the result always glorifies God.
“He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.” Ephesians 1:5-6 NASB
“In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.” Ephesians 1:13-14 NASB
What does this word righteousness really mean? Not according to the world but God? Simply said “we are accepted before God with no condemnation.” The believer and non-believer alike hunger for righteousness “moral character” “acceptance” this position can be found in the world and when we seek righteousness in the world sooner or later, we compromise everything God created us to be.
Romans 14:7 says “for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”
In closing this righteousness God’s speaks of is not connected to anything we do here on earth. Righteousness comes through faith, offered to ALL those who believe…there is no distinction. It has no social status, ethnic origin, educational degree, financial credit rating, position within the Christian community or most importantly where you lay your head at night. Righteousness comes to those who believe in faith, seek only God’s truth, live humbly knowing that we can do nothing without God. We must find our identity daily in His Word and through His grace.
Scripture: When the sentence for a crime is not quickly carried out, people’s hearts are filled with schemes to do wrong. Ecclesiastes 8:11 NIV
Observation: When justice is delayed, injustice becomes the order or more precisely disorder of the day. All we have to do is look at our society and see the truth in this scripture. Delayed justice has led to a complete flip-flop and the inmates seem to be running the asylum. Isiah 5:20a says, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil…” We have forsaken our Lord and his truth and our upside-down world is evidence of that!
Application: I must pray for God and his justice to reign in my life and our world today.
Prayer: Father, we have caused there to be great injustice in this world. I must take responsibility for my part in allowing it to happen. Reign in my life and help me to be bold in the face of injustice and to speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen
Scripture: If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” John 20:23 NIV
Observation: I remember having this piece of scripture given to me before. It must mean that God really wants me to understand this truth. It’s pretty powerful and comes with a lot of responsibility. Through the power of the Spirit, we can or cannot forgive sin.
Application: I’m not sure how to apply this truth. I know that it’s not to be taken lightly. If anyone can help me with this I’d appreciate it.
Prayer: Father, help me to know. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen
Scripture: Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18 NIV
Observation: This proverb instructs that the arrogant fail and fall.
Application: Take it from me, arrogant people get humbled. It’s not a source of pride for me to admit but I’ve dealt with this myself. I pray for humility from God so that he never has to humble me again.
Prayer: Father, help me to be humble and consider others before myself. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen
Scripture: So I told them, ‘Whoever has any gold jewelry, take it off.’ Then they gave me the gold, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf!” Exodus 32:24 NIV
Observation: Aaron took all of the blame for the act that he had committed and laid it off on the fire of all things. “I just threw it in and ‘poof’ out popped this calf, it wasn’t my fault!” This lame excuse reminds me of Adam in the garden answering God, “The man said, ‘The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.’” Genesis 3:12 NIV It’s like what I heard a prosecutor say once of an accused’s defense strategy in an up-coming trial, “he’s going to use the S.O.D.D.I. defense…some other dude did it.” I can almost understand Aaron using that excuse with Moses, but Adam trying it with God? Really? When you stop and think about it, Adam really laid it all off on God, “it is your fault God! You gave me that woman.” As my Jewish brothers say, “now that’s chutzpah!”
Application: As Christians we need to man-up and accept responsibility for our actions. “It wasn’t my fault” is a really poor epitaph. When we fail we need to accept it and ask for forgiveness. We need to not make excuses for our behavior.
Prayer: Father, help me to know when I fail and accept that the failure is mine alone. I know that acknowledging sin to you when it is committed and asking forgiveness is what you expect of me. I ask for the strength to accept my failures and humble myself before you. In Jesus’ name. Amen
Scripture: May those who hope in you not be disgraced because of me, O Lord, the Lord Almighty; may those who seek you not be put to shame because of me, O Lord. Psalm 69:6 NIV
Observation: The Psalmist is crying to the Lord to not be the cause of disgrace for him or other believers.
Application: That is my prayer, to not be the cause of disgrace for God or his church. I owe it to my God, my wife, my children, my church and my coworkers to be consistent in my words and my actions. If I fail that I bring shame upon myself for hypocrisy. That hypocrisy is transferred to all believers; the church is harmed and God’s commission is stymied. We have seen in the recent past how the sins of Christians, specifically famous church leaders, has translated into a “Christ-bashing fest.” I can think of no greater insult to the Lord than to bring shame upon him and his church because of my sin. I pray that I never bring shame to either the Lord or fellow believers.
Prayer: Father, help me to live out the truth that I proclaim. Don’t let me ever be the cause of shame for you or the church. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen
Scripture: But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things–and the things that are not–to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.
1 Corinthians 1:27-29 NIV
Observation: Paul explains how God uses the weak to humble the strong.
Application: This is how Jesus conducted his ministry. He always went to the wretched. He said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor…” Mark 2:17a NIV Jesus made the point that the weak in spirit need the Lord just like the elites. By ministering to them as the “high and mighty” leadership looked on he illustrated God’s plan to be all inclusive and to bring all men to himself through Christ.
Prayer: Father, thank you for wanting me so much that you sent Jesus. I pray that I am worthy of you and of Jesus’ sacrifice for me. Amen