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Archive for the ‘In The Silence: A Devotional Series’ Category

 

There are so many times when I run around like a crazy person, trying to figure out everything on my own. I try to control everything and I have a need to know all the answers and the outcome for every scenario. God doesn’t work like that. He knows that to much information could overwhelm us and send us running. He gives us what we need, when we need it and expects us to BE STILL and HAVE FAITH. I have learned through this devotional to:

  1. BE STILL and REMEMBER WHO GOD IS – I have to take the time every day to sit in the silence and remember that God is all powerful, has ALL resources at His finger tips, is compassionate, is just, and the list goes on.
  2. STAND FIRM – When I coming up against a person or situation that I feel helpless to fight on my own, I need to remember to have the courage to stand firm in my faith. I need to be still and trust that God will fight for me. I do not need to live in fear. I do not need to feel helpless. God will fight for me. ALWAYS!
  3. DO NOT FRET – God gives us a blueprint for dealing with difficult people: Be still, wait patiently, do not fret and refrain from anger. I have had to deal with many difficult people. That is simply the way life is. I will now know how to deal with difficult people in the future. God will guide us in dealing with the difficult people in our lives that will glorify His name. We simply need to follow His blueprint.
  4. REST and HOPE – I need to take time every day to find rest in God. I need to be intentional about being hopeful, knowing that God has a plan and a purpose for me. When I allow Satan to steal my hope, he wins and I NEVER want Satan to win!
  5. BE STRONG and TAKE HEART – While I am waiting for God to work in a situation, I need to be strong in my faith and I need to take heart that everything will work out the way it is supposed to according to God’s will. I need to remember to continue to grow in my relationship with God and in my faith during the waiting seasons of life.
  6. WAITING PATIENTLY – This is the hard one. God expects us to wait PATIENTLY and not whine about our situation. I have learned how to wait (mostly with patience) while God works in my situation. I am a single mom of 5 after all! You would think I would have an advantage in the patience department! I am a work in progress and may never fully arrive. I am waiting somewhat patiently!

 

Resting in God and waiting on God are not things that I have ever been good at. I have a need to control everything in my life. God works on my own heart issues as I write these devotional series. I hope that you have been encouraged if you are waiting on God or are dealing with a difficult situation/person. I challenge you to apply what you have learned to your situation and trust God in the wait. Never give up hope that God can and will work in your life as you learn to Be Still and trust in Him.

 

 

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Psalm 40:1

I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry.

In the last post, I gave the definition of wait as staying where one is or delaying action until a particular time or until something else happens.

The definition of the word patiently means in a way that shows tolerance of delays, problems or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious.

So, to wait patiently means to delay action without becoming annoyed or anxious. I will be the first to admit that I am not always a patient person, especially when it comes to waiting on God. I have a tendency to whine or gripe because so and so is living there God given life purpose already and I should be too. As a single mom, I have cried out in my despair and desperation. I have begged God to lift the burden of poverty from me. There have been three things that I have found help alleviate the discomfort of the wait:

  1. Prayer: Prayer can move mountains. Prayer has given me the strength and courage to wait when I really didn’t want to. God has given me peace in answer to my prayers.
  2. Serving: Step out of your comfort zone and serve someone in need. Find ways to serve those in your community in your wait time. Serving others takes your focus off of your own issues and onto the needs of someone else.
  3. Change of Perspective: Is God trying to change your perspective about your situation? I have struggled with poverty my entire single mom journey. I believe that God kept me there to change my perspective from “living in poverty” to “living simply.” I am a minimalist. I have very little and I don’t want what I can’t afford or don’t really need. God changed my perspective on money and my financial situation.

If we wait patiently, God has promised that He will turn to us and hear our cry. Whatever it is that you are waiting for today, I encourage you pray, serve and change your perspective on your situation. God will hear your cries of despair and He will turn you. Hang in there! Whatever it is that you are waiting for, it WILL come to pass eventually. Just be patient.

 

 

 

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Psalm 27:14

Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.

 

The definition of wait is to stay where one is or delay action until a particular time or until something else happens. I must admit that I do not like to wait for anything. Who does? In these days of instant gratification, no one likes to wait for anything. But, sometimes waiting is a good thing. Psalms 27:14 tells us to wait for the Lord. Why do we need to wait for the Lord?

  1. For our own protection– God will at times tell us to wait to keep us out of a harmful or dangerous situation. My daughter Kiowa has always been an passionate runner. Her first marathon was a couple of weeks before her 18th birthday and her goal was to qualify for the Boston Marathon. As she crossed the finish line in a remarkable time of 3 hours and 43 minutes, she already knew that she had missed the qualifying time by 8 minutes. She was disappointed. That year of the Boston Marathon is one no one will forget. It was the year of the Boston bombings. Had Kiowa qualified, we would have been there. Had God not made her wait, who knows what could have happened.
  2. For our own spiritual growth– God will often tell us to wait when we need to grow spiritually. Is the Holy Spirit working on your character? Do you need to learn to pray? Do you need to cultivate a daily habit of digging into God’s word? Do you need to cultivate love in your heart? If you do then God will make you wait.
  3. To prepare the way– There are times when we need to wait for God to prepare the way for us. There are times when the timing is not yet right for us to serve in a specific place or take on a specific ministry opportunity. Sometimes God will ask us to wait a few months or maybe several years. God’s timing is perfect. We may not understand it, but we need to trust that God knows exactly what He is doing.

What can you do if God is asking you to wait?

According to Psalm 27:14 we need to:

Be Strong: the definition of strength is the capacity of an object or substance to withstand great force or pressure. As Christians, we are expected to have an unshakable faith. We are expected to have a faith that is strong enough to withstand the great force of the Devil or the pressure of unbelievers. We need to be willing to be obedient to the Holy Spirit no matter what the situation or how silly we may look. We need to be willing to defend our faith no matter the opposition. We need to able to trust in the wait, knowing that God has everything under control.

Take Heart: To take heart means to be encouraged and made to feel optimistic. When we take heart, we are choosing to be encouraged by the fact that God is control. We are choosing to be optimistic, knowing that God is working everything out for His purpose and in His timing.

We never know when God is going to ask us to wait. If you are in a season of waiting right now, be strong and take heart! God has everything under control. He hasn’t forgotten you. He hasn’t abandoned you. He maybe working behind the scenes, but He is still working. Keep growing in your faith, so that you will be unshakable when that great force of opposition comes against you. Be encouraged! Remember:

Romans 8:28

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

 

 

 

 

 

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Psalm 62:5

Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.

 

In the first part of this verse, we are told to find rest in God. Let’s break this down a bit:

Find – discover, become aware,

Rest – cease work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength.

In – to be enclosed or surrounded by something else

It is not easy to find rest these days. Time seems to be rushing by and leaving me a bit breathless. There is barely time to get done what needs to be done and when we find rest physically our minds are going a mile a minute trying to remember everything that still needs to be done. I have found that even on vacation, I have an itinerary of things that need to be done or seen in order to make the trip successful. I usually end up tired, stressed and cranky. But, the Bible commands us to find rest in God.

We need to discover or become aware of ways to cease work or movement (including mental movement) in order to relax, refresh and recover strength, surrounded and enclosed by the arms of God where we are safe and protected from the world around us. 

Rest is so important physically, as well as, mentally. When we are constantly running on the hamster wheel of life we burn out. We become physically and mentally exhausted. We become susceptible to depression, anxiety and the schemes of the evil one. We become so tired and overwhelmed that we lose our hope. When we lose our hope, the devil wins. The second part of this verse tells us that our hope comes from God.

Hope – a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen. A feeling of trust.

When we lose that feeling of expectation in the good that is God, when we lose that feeling of trust in our God given purpose, the devil wins. The devil wants to keep us running a race that keeps us burned out and overwhelmed. The devil wants us to stay focused on our to-do lists so we take our focus off of God and the hope we have in Him.

WE CAN’T LET THE DEVIL WIN!!!

Challenge: I am challenging you to take time either in the mornings or evenings to find rest in God. Grab your Bible, a notebook and a pen and write whatever God brings to mind. Look up verses on rest and hope. Research verses on God as our refuge from the chaos around us. Write about your hopes and dreams. Define your God-given purpose and in writing put your trust in a God that has EVERYTHING under control. Journal everything that keeps you from resting mentally. I have found that the days I journal and lay it all at God’s feet that I feel peace.

Find that rest in God and never lose hope that God has everything under control.

 

 

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Psalm 37:7-9

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil. For those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.

I have had jobs where another woman or two were bent on making my life a living Hell. From the day I started those jobs, these women were mean and hateful towards me. I never understood why. I had no prior relationship with them. They did not know me or the kind of person I am, but they set out to cause me as much pain as they possibly could. It is hard for me to understand why we attack each other the way we do. We are set on causing other people heartache and frustration. It hurts. If you have been the victim of hateful actions or words from another person, God gives us a blueprint for handling these situations:

  1. Be Still – God tells us to BE STILL. We are to sit and wait…
  2. Wait Patiently – We are to sit and wait PATIENTLY for God. The definition of patience is the capacity to accept delay, trouble or suffering without getting angry or upset. This is the hard part. It is normal to get upset and angry when someone is harassing you and causing you pain. God tells us to wait without getting upset or angry. He tells us to wait patiently for Him.
  3. Do Not Fret – To fret means to be constantly or visibly worried or anxious. I am guilty of this! I fret over little things and I fret over big things! I am a work in progress, but this one command is so important that it is mentioned TWICE! Verse 7 tells us DO NOT FRET when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Verse 8 says, “DO NOT FRET – it leads only to evil” When we worry constantly or live in our anxiety it leads us to evil.
  4. Refrain From Anger – God tells us to refrain from anger and turn from wrath. It is normal to feel anger, but dwelling on our anger or the wrong being done to us will lead us to sin against another person and against God. We can scream in our pillow, write out our feelings of anger in a journal or talk to someone safe, but we must NEVER allow those feelings of anger to lead us to doing something that will hurt someone else or separate us from God.

 

God gives us a promise. He tells us that if we can sit and accept our trouble or suffering without getting angry or upset. If we can keep from worrying constantly or sitting in our anxiety then:

Those who are evil will be destroyed – God has your back! If you obey His commands, He WILL fight for you! He will bring to justice those who are out to get you!

Those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land – Those who find their hope in God will find their joy in heaven. But what about here on earth? The blessings of God will follow those whose hope is in Him all the days of their lives.

If someone is tormenting you and causing your life to be a living hell, take it to God. Follow the commands above and trust that God will deal with those who are evil. If you need someone to pray with you, I am always here. Let me know how I can pray for you.

 

 

 

 

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Exodus 14:13-14

13 Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. 14 The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

The Israelites were terrified. They couldn’t understand why Moses had led them out into the wilderness, only to die at the hands of the Egyptians. At that point they were wishing they had stayed in Egypt, where they served the Egyptians as slaves, but at least they were alive. They cried out to God in their distress and God heard them.

Moses gives them three commands:

Do not be afraid – Moses trusted God to protect them. He knew that God would not call them out of Egypt only to let them die at the hands of the Egyptians in the wilderness. Moses wanted the Israelites to trust God. He spoke to calm their fear and build their faith.

Stand firm – Moses had faith that God would deliver them from the Egyptians. He encouraged the Israelites to stand firm in their faith, trusting that God would deliver them from the oppression and slavery that they had lived with in Egypt.

Be still – Moses knew that God was already at work defeating the Egyptians. He encouraged the Israelites to be still, un-moving, to see how God would fight for them.

THE PROMISE:

You will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. 

The Egyptians you see today you will never see again.

The Lord will fight for you.

 

There have been times in my life when someone in my life lived to make my life miserable. I dreaded having to deal with these people. Like the Israelites, I too, cried out in fear and despair. I have felt helpless. I have wondered why God would allow this oppression and attitude of hate toward me when I did nothing to deserve this treatment.

There are times in life when we may not have control over someone else’s behavior. There may not be an immediate way out. As painful as it is to feel helpless, we will have to trust that God WILL deliver us from the situation. It may not be immediate. God may leave us in our struggle to bring about a bigger miracle, but never lose faith.

Do not be afraid of those who may keep you under the thumb of oppression. God is in control and He will defeat your enemy just as He defeated the Egyptians.

Stand firm in your faith. Never doubt that God is at work in your situation. There are times when it may not feel like it, but He really does have everything under control.

Be still and allow God to fight for you. You do not have to worry about defending yourself. God will protect you. God will defeat your enemies.

 

Do not be afraid. Stand firm and I will see the deliverance the Lord will bring me today. _____________________ I see today I will never see again. The Lord will fight for me; I need only to be still.

Fill in the blank to make this verse personal to you. Who or what do you need deliverance from? Hang on to this promise of God. The Lord WILL fight for you! The Lord WILL deliver you! I know how hard it is to be still, but please take heart! God has your back and HE WILL NEVER BREAK A PROMISE!

 

 

 

 

 

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Psalm 46:10

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

God tells us to “Be still.” He also tells us to “know that He is God.”

Be Still

Not moving or making a sound; deep silence and calm

Know

Be aware of through observation, inquiry, or information.

Have developed a relationship with (someone) through meeting and spending time with them; be familiar or friendly with.

So, we need to “not move or make a sound” and be aware of God through what we have observed in spending time with Him and developing a relationship with Him.

I have talked about my anxiety and fear in previous posts. I have talked about my frustration at not “finding my purpose.” I have also shared my struggles as a single mom raising five children in poverty and struggling to make ends meet on a daily basis. Psalm 46:10 has been a life verse for me. It has been a reminder that I need to sit back in silence and remember WHO GOD IS in my life and in the universe.

We need to make time to sit in that deep silence and be aware of the presence of God and who He is. The question is: who IS God?

God is Faithful

1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

God is Light

1 John 1:5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.

God is Love

1 John 4:8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

God is our Refuge

Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. 

God is our Provider

Philippians 4:19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

Challenge:

There are many more verses that tell us who God is and I challenge you to do your own search. Go through the Bible with a notebook or journal and write down the verses on God’s character. When you have finished, sit in that deep silence and reflect on the person of God. Let the essence of who God is sink into the depths of your heart and spirit.

BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD! 

 

 

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