Power for the Day: An Entry from My Journal

Oh, my. I am home today, and I find myself crying out to God with frustration that I experienced and walked in such power while on Quest last week, came home and the first few days, as I knew what I needed to do to accomplish what needed done for my friend who passed away and his ministry partners, I continued in strength. Then yesterday and today I am given over to tiredness, and the strength and ease with which my appetite and diet flowed with such peace and undisturbed desire for good suddenly fell to the wayside. I have been eating out of anxiety and tiredness again and I find myself crying out to God to understand what on earth is different. Then the “Aha!” hit me and I inhaled understanding.

I knew beyond a doubt that God ordained my Heart Quest. I was there at His invitation and miraculous provision, and His power to accomplish His call flowed free with my faith to believe and receive. That continued as I returned home and began to move with the Spirit to notify partners of Steve’s passing and take care of last minute details on my end of things. As I realized the flow of God’s power to my sure call for each day of this past week-plus, God then asked me, “What is different? What is different today from those days?”

It hit me with a “Wow!” Every day He gives me breath is His invitation to life. Even today, my first day to be home all day since the trip, and He instructed my heart, “Your call today was to rest, and it is okay and good for you to rest.”

Whatever day it is, God has a reason, an invitation, a call for the day in which I can flow with the power of His supply for completing whatever that day holds. There is no difference in this day than all last week. This day, as then, affords me opportunity to know my God, rest myself in Him, trust His supply, walk in His unconditional and incorruptible love, and take every opportunity to live as a daughter of the Kingdom, allowing His flow to influence my world and those in it. There is no difference. The power of yesterday is still available for my today. I just need to realize His invitation and join Him where He is with complete reliance that He who supplied my mountain top strength will surly make supply for the need and ministry of the valley below it.

The Importance of Circumcision

As I meditate on the last two memory verses in the pre-retreat study for the Women’s retreat I leave on tomorrow, trying to digest them more fully, the nurse in me begins to consider the “foreskin” and the reasons for it being so important that we circumcise ourselves to the Lord by deliberately removing the foreskin of the heart;  and why it is vital that He be the lead surgeon in that circumcision for us and our descendants. Here is what I find:

  1. The foreskin is folds of flesh whose sole purpose is to hide the true organ: it is a façade.
  2. These folds of flesh are difficult to keep clean, thus making them excellent breeding ground for filth, bacteria, and disease.
  3. This fold of flesh can refuse to retract, keeping the true organ hidden, hindering proper function, which can cause pain and further disease. Or…
  4. This fold of flesh can either get stuck in a retracted position or left improperly circumcised leaving a ring of flesh around the organ, thus restricting and cutting off proper blood flow, causing the true organ to swell, develop gangrene, and if not properly treated, bringing death to the true organ.
  5. Once gangrenous death sets in, if the organ is not cut away completely from the rest of the body, it causes sepsis to seep out to the body.
  6. Sepsis untreated brings death to the entire organism: of which the church is a living organism.

Therefore, beloved, make sure that you “…Break up your fallow ground, and do not sow among thorns. Circumcise yourselves to the Lord and remove the foreskins of your heart…” by cooperating fully as God the Father and our Great Physician works to “circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, in order that you may live” ~ Jeremiah 4:3b-4a, Deuteronomy 30:6.

True, Agapé Love Leaves No Scars

“ Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart, for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God” ~ 1 Peter 1:22-23.

The thought that hits me as I read this passage is that we too often do things that are harmful to those we say we love; and according to my understanding of our love-walk through Christ, that fact proves the lack of our maturity and lack of full understanding of the way of love that God desires and destined us to have for one another.

True, Agapé love leaves no ungodly scars on those we profess to love. True Agapé love always does what is best for those we love, for true Agapé love does no harm. In fact, scripture says that “Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law” ~ Romans 13:10.

For, “‘All flesh is like grass, and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls off, but the word of the Lord endures forever.’ And this is the word which was preached to you” ~ 1 Peter 1:24-25.

Learning to love, as God desires and designed us to, is vitally important because life is too short. Whether separated by death or the death of relationship due to sin’s destruction, life is too short to waste even a moment on anything less than to love one another from the heart. Leaving people scarred and marred by our sin against them brings difficulty to life that makes their usefulness to God – and ours – more difficult as all struggle to heal from sin’s wake. And one sin can lead to another as protective lines come up to separate us from one another. The solution?

“Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord” ~ 1 Peter 2:1-3.

True repentance and turning from our sin is vital to restoration of relationships. Repenting our failure to truly love those around us is to practice the law of James 4:8-10: “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.”

God can and will restore our stance in life if we, in sincerity, repent with mourning humility the sin we committed because we failed to love those God blessed us to have in our lives, especially repenting our failure to truly love. True repentance focuses on one’s own part in the sin. When talking about drawing near to God, it does not matter what was done against “me”. If I want right relations with God that leads to some degree of restoration with others, all that matters is that I repent my part and leave what others did to God, for Him to deal with them.

One reason our focus must be on our personal sin, not counting the sins of others before Him, as a tattletale trying to make one’s sin more palatable, is another thing we must realize with repentance. Besides repenting being a tattletale, trying to take a little of the heat off our own sin, when our failure to truly love commits sin against another, leading to them stumbling in their love walk, we must repent of being a stumbling block to them because of our failed love for them.

When we can truthfully proclaim “Have mercy on me, a sinner,” without pointing to the splinters in the lives of those we sinned against, then we are truly practicing 1 Corinthians 13 love.

“…Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails….”

And as I reread that Corinthians passage, I see a new-to-me meaning of the phrase “…does not take into account a wrong suffered….” I’ve always heard that taught to say that we are not to add up sins as in a tally, constantly bringing up the past in our present discord. But as I read that in light of the turn this writing has taken, I see that we are not to take into account a wrong suffered as if it makes our sin somehow more palatable, saying, “It is okay that I sinned as I did what I did because of what they did.” Taking into account what someone else did to us and using it as excuse for us to sin, then saying, like Adam did, “She made me do it,” is not repentance. It is blame game.

Teacher-TestTrue love repents of “my” sin without bringing up theirs. When we reach a love walk that not only repents of what we did without bringing up what was done to us, but more so we practice a love that chooses to not sin against those we love, no matter what they do to us, that is maturity in our love walk that will take us far in life.

True love says, “I love you, therefore I will do right by you no matter what you do to me; and if I do sin against you, showing the smallness of my love for you, I will accept responsibility for what I did without numbering your sins against me as excuse.”

How is your love walk, beloved? Do business with God today, and let’s press forward to live out for all to see the abiding Agapé that God gives to us and calls on us to give in His name, as representing Him.

Matthew 11’s Dot to Dot

Reading chapter 11 of Matthew, suddenly all these dots begin to connect. You know what? Matthew 11 is one exciting chapter of scripture! Picture this:

John the Baptist is imprisoned, probably being mistreated, ridiculed and scorned, and I am sure he realizes his time on earth is short. So, like most of us would do, he begins to wonder if his ministry was really what he thought it was. So he sends his most trusted disciples to Jesus to ask, “Are You truly Him?” How does Jesus answer?

“Go and report to John what you hear and see: the blind receive sight and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.”

Jesus not only taught that the tree (or true believer) will be known by its fruit, whether it be good or evil, but when asked if He is HIM, He did not simply say “Yes, I AM”, He said “Tell him of the fruit you see that proves Me to be.” In so doing, Jesus assured the heart of John to believe he himself is who he was sent by God to be: the voice in the wilderness preparing the way for Messiah.

Once they left, Jesus turned to the crowed and told them the fruit born through John that proved who he was, in essence saying, “In fact, he is Elijah, returned in flesh as promised.” In so doing, he removed the speculations of those who wondered if John was truly a prophet of God or what. Afterall, if he is God’s profit, wouldn’t God deliver him from the hands of his enemy?

Then Jesus prayed to the Father, and what does He say? Essentially He says, “Father, no one else truly knows who I AM, but You know Me and I know You. So it doesn’t matter to Me what others may say about Me. My assurance is in You.” And why did He pray so? He was giving example to us, as was a large part of His purpose in the world.

Training Yoke
Training Yoke

And what comes next but that well known and beloved passage, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

What do I hear here, in light of the previous connected dots of those wondering who they or another truly are? I see Jesus saying, “When life in this world gets so rough that you begin to question not only your own worth and who you really are, along with whether the produce of your hands is accomplishing any good thing – but also maybe you begin to wonder if I am truly who I AM, then come to Me. I will remind you who I am and who you are, and you will find rest and restoration when you yoke with Me in assurance of faith.”

And what is accomplished by yoking with Him? I see:

†   The cooing of love for His betrothed child of God made sure to you who believe.

†  Growing our faith in Who He is.

†   Firming up what He knows to be your person and purpose.

†   Training in righteousness, restoring the image of God through Christ and in the power of His Spirit.

†   Assurance of purpose.

†   Strength and supply for success in accomplishing all God’s will in all God’s way.

†   Intimacy of relationship.

†   Safety of presence.

†   Aid in time of need.

†   Unity from the heart.

†   Undeniably proof of being in the eternal Kingdom now and forevermore.

Beloved, if no one recognizes the work of God born into the world through you, like Jesus you may take courage in knowing that the Father knows you and you know Him, and He is faithful to assure our hearts. And when life is so difficult you begin to wonder, “Lord, are you truly Him and am I truly Yours,” He has a yoke that is light and easy to bear, where you can stand hand in hand with Christ, finding assurance and supply along with rest for your weariness.

Come, beloved. Yoke with Christ today, receiving assurance of who He truly is, and the beauty of who you are in Him.

According to YOUR Faith

Matthew 9:22 ~ But Jesus turning and seeing her said, “Daughter, take courage; YOUR faith has made you well.” At once the woman was made well.

9:29 ~ Then He touched their eyes, saying, “It shall be done to you according to YOUR faith.”

God highlighted these verses for me this morning, encouraging me to entrust my current issue to Him, a flare of sciatica that doesn’t want to heal and is bringing to life the worst pain I have ever had.

Yes. I have birthed three children and I have suffered a kidney stone, both believed to be the worst pain sources known to mankind, but this leg issue far surpasses my experience of pain through these means. Realize too that when I had my babes, they were not yet doing epidural blocks to cut the pain. So my pain experience is great, and this is the greatest.

Today, despite the pain, I hear the Spirit say, “Daughter, take courage; YOUR faith has made you well, and it shall be done to you according to YOUR faith.”

Note here that it is my degree of faith God is looking at to determine His response. He also instructed me to “get up and walk”, casting off the cane in faith that my healing is coming in response to obedient faith.

My husband does not have the faith that I am healed. God didn’t tell him that I am. So he instructs me, “Take your cane with you.” God immediately instructed my heart that, out of submission to my husband in obedience to God’s word and to ease his mind, I am to comply, but I do so undisturbed by his doubt, walking with strength of faith’s supply, knowing that my healing is nearby through the power of God’s Spirit.

Beloved, has God highlighted for you what He is going to do in your situation, calling you to believe by faith? Are other people lacking faith and speaking words to discourage your faith?

Realize it is YOUR faith God will respond to on your behalf. If He spoke promise to you, believe God over the voice of dissension around you. Take courage beloved. Close out the words of doubt others spout realizing that He did not speak the word of promise to them. He spoke to you. The question is, whose report will you believe? God? Or man?

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” ~ Hebrews 11:1.

The Call to Holiness

1 Peter 1:16 ~ “Be holy for I AM Holy.”

God is holy. He expects us to be holy as well, living as His representatives, revealing His holiness through our holy lives.

It is all good and fine to note the call, but simply agreeing with God that we are to be holy is not enough. We need to understand what that means, and I will tell you, looking at the defining characteristics of the holy gives insight that breaks chains away.

I’ve shared before about a time when in nursing school, I was visiting with two other women during a break. One of them used some impolite expletives, then, looking at me with a look of great respect, she apologized to me for her language. My other friend, obviously incensed, blurted, “Excuse HER. What about me!” “Yeah, but she’s different,” responded the first. Immediately the thought that flowed to my heart was, “O God! I don’t want to be so different that others are uncomfortable around me.” With that thought / prayer, I turned a spiritual corner and hurt my testimony for the rest of our time in school. If I had known then what I am seeing here now, it would have helped me receive the compliment with rejoicing and hope that God could use me to help others desire to be better. God exalted me in the eyes of this one who was watching and was under conviction in her own life, then I blew it because I did not know how to accept the exaltation and realize it as a God-thing.

That intro done, to make sure we understand what this call to holiness means so we can fulfill the call, let us define it:

Holy:

  1. Belonging to, derived from, or associated with a divine power; sacred.
  2. Regarded with or worthy of worship or veneration; revered: a holy book.
  3. Living according to a strict or highly moral religious or spiritual system; saintly: a holy person.
  4. Specified or set apart for a religious purpose: a holy place.
  5. Solemnly undertaken; sacrosanct: a holy pledge.
  6. Regarded as deserving special respect or reverence.

In all of this definition we find what we are to be portrayed to the world as the holy people of God. God is holy. He expects us to be holy as well, living as His representatives, revealing His holiness through our holy lives. We do that by

†   remembering who we belong to as His own possession (1 Peter 2:9)

†   living according to His will and way revealed in Scripture and in the power of His Spirit

†   realizing we are set apart for a purpose, finding what that is, and doing that

†   walking as people who know their time and work here is for His glory and is a solemn undertaking, sacrosanct, a holy pledge

Yes, I skipped #2 and #6 on purpose. It is the focus I want to major on. A phrase in definition #2 catches my attention: “worthy of worship and veneration.” Now if you are like me on that fateful day in nursing school, I thought only God is worthy of worship and veneration and my receiving such veneration as a daughter of God revealed was to sin against God and rob His glory, so I fell. As I look at this today, I get some new found perspective that would have made a world of difference had I known this back then. So let us look more closely at this worship and veneration we are to live so as to receive.

First the word “worship” is better stated as “worthship”. In worship we see the worth of the one worshiped and laud the glory of that which is worthy. Then we come to…

Veneration: To venerate – To regard with respect, reverence, or heartfelt deference.

Deference: 1. Submission or courteous yielding to the opinion, wishes, or judgment of another. 2. Courteous respect.

God definitely has worthship. His worth is far above that of any other beings. No one can live up to His worthiness. So to worship God for His worth, giving Him His due adoration and respect for His worthiness, is much greater than any note of worthiness made for any human being. If we have right perspective to know the worth of God and keep His worthiness at the top of our favorite heros list, we will have and keep Him in the right place in our lives: most holy and most worthy. Worship of God for His worthiness will far exceed any other as we keep Him first in all things.

Now realize that we are called to be holy as He is holy. Taking that into consideration in light of the defining characteristics that make one holy, we see that we must live lives that are seen as worthy of veneration as good examples, representative of God and His character and power at work in our midst. People have a worthiness that can be recognized and lauded as worthy of appreciation and respect. That is especially true of those who know with practical realization that they are the chosen possession of God, and that God is faithful to supply our every need so that we may live holy lives that honor Him as Lord.

Of course, the flesh beings that we are, our worthiness of such attention falls far short of God’s worth. The thing is, as people of God who are to be holy, when people applaud our worth, we need to learn how to receive that with realization that God is the One who is truly worthy as He empowers and equips us. With that realization in our hearts, knowing that God calls us to be holy and that holiness involves being worthy of veneration, when venerated we can take the compliment with rejoicing, because if we are lauded as the people of God, He is glorified in that.

We cannot and must not be put on a pedestal that is as high as or higher than God’s. He is the only one with worthiness to sit on a pedestal of that height. But scripture teaches that He “exalts” the humble, (Luke 14:11, 18:14; James 4:10). He brings them to a position of worth, worthy of veneration. It is humility that keeps the applause coming to us from going to our heads and making our pedestal unstable or even to topple. Humility before God receives graciously the compliments of others while giving glory to God.

Father, may we be found living a holy life that sets a good example, worthy of respect, veneration, note, to the glory of Your name. In Jesus, amen.

You may stop here, or if you want a little more, read on as we note some significant passages in Scripture that give insight regarding the exaltation we may find ourselves in:

“God is the Judge; He puts down one and exalts another” ~ Psalm 75:7.

In Joshua 3:7 we see Joshua about to step up to the plate following heavy hitter, Moses. God assures Joshua that He will exalt him before the people so that they will know that as God was with Moses, so He would be with Joshua. That is the purpose of our exaltation today as well, beloved. We are to live exemplary, notable lives so that others may know that God is with us.

In 1 Chronicles 14:2 we see that God exalted the kingdom under David for the sake of His people.

In 1 Chronicles 29:25 we see God exalt Solomon to become one of the most well-known and beloved kings in scripture. We also know that Solomon had his sin issues, yet God’s mercy and compassion toward him chose to exalt him anyway. You are not beyond God’s work of exaltation if you are seeking His face and trusting Him. His love and grace is sufficient to cover your unseemly places while He continues to lift you up and increase your beauty as His possessed representative. Like Dundee said of his land in Crocodile Dundee 1, God claims His right over you, calling you “BelongaGod”. If you belong to Him, He will work exaltation in you.

In Psalm 37:34 we see that those who wait for and keep the way of the Lord are exalted.

In Psalm 89:16 we see the righteousness of God gifted to us is what makes us worthy of exaltation. That’s the gift of God’s grace through Jesus, people.

In Psalm 89:24 we see that those who trust in the faithfulness and loving-kindness of God have their “horn” exalted: in other words they are given great strength and prosperity.

In Proverbs 14:34 we see that uprightness and right standing with God (moral and spiritual rectitude in every area and relation) elevate a nation.

In Proverbs 24:7 we see that “wisdom is too exalted for a fool”. Thus we know that turning from foolish ways exalts us to receive true wisdom.

In Proverbs 29:25 trusting in the Lord so as to not give self to fear brings God’s exaltation.

Then we have warning:

In Isaiah 24:4 we see that exaltation can and does fade away. If we live godly lives in our youth soHaughty as to be deemed worthy of veneration, we must continue to practice those things that make us worthy. Relying on yesterday’s pedestal moment to the neglect of the next will see this glorious position God placed us in fade over time. Remember, the reason we are exalted is so others know Jehovah is our God. We cannot serve Him today and forget Him tomorrow and stay in our high positions of honor with God who exalts us.

In Jeremiah 48:29 we are reminded that “pride goeth before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18, KJV) It is God who points us out to others and exalts us before them. It is Him who places us in positions of honor, and He can and will remove our lampstand if we become haughty and try to rob His glory for ourselves, or if we turn away and run after the things of this world.

So, live life to the full as honors God and represents Him well, beloved. When exaltation comes, receive it with grateful heart that sees God’s pleasure in the exaltation of His people. Give Him glory and praise Him with thanksgiving.

For the Love of God

Father, here am I, ready to spend my day with You. I like this thing we have done the past day or two: setting up my note page, getting into Your word or the Heart Quest study throughout the day, working on memory verses. It is awesome to have this time with You and to have you as the main focus throughout my day. Thank You.

There is a quote in The Rabbi’s Heartbeat that is really calling me to evaluate my motives for all I do, Lord God. The instant I read it, I was grabbed in the Spirit by it. I pray, O God, to know the truth and to rightly evaluate my true intents and motivations, and to bring all to one lone reason for life and living: for the love of God. Here am I, O God. In Jesus, amen.

Quote: Brennin Manning, The Rabbi’s Heartbeat, Devotional title: Perfect Love; page 55 in the Nook Book

“Suppose for a moment that in a flash of insight you discovered that all your motives for ministry were essentially egocentric….”

This really has me wondering why I do what I do. Do I write His words because I love Him above all and desire to help Him achieve His desired purpose, will, way, plan in the lives of those touched by what I share? Do I reach out to others with compassion because I love Him and desire to be His conduit in ministry? Do I clean the kitchen because I love Him and desire to be the wife, mother, grandmother of His heart’s desire, tending to the daily duties for His glory as a good example of a godly woman? Why do I seek to serve? Do I fully and completely and madly and passionately love God and desire to show that love by doing for others as His namesake?

May today be the turning point for the rest of my life to be dictated by love for my God and Father, Yahuwah-Ishi. To God be the glory! AMEN? AMEN.

Speaking Out of Promise

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” ~ Hebrews 11:1 (See also: Romans 8:24; 2 Corinthians 4:17-18).

Assurance of hope; conviction that the yet-to-be-seen will be: people who are functioning in this realm of life will show it in at least two major ways:

One ~ they will live life in a way that reveals they have hope for a better tomorrow, living life in a way that reveals the things they hope to see can and will happen as God inspires their heart. Such hope builds to direct one to see that desire as worth chasing after and working toward, no matter how difficult the journey may be.

The second is the fact that people of such hope talk different. These may go through moments of negativity in times of discouragement’s temptation, but it will be short lived. God will use something to remind them of their hope for the future, and they will begin to speak about those truths of faith, often as if the thing they are waiting for has already happened. It is a sure thing for them because they receive God’s inspiration of heart desire with belief that says, “I know You can if it is Your will.” And they hear Him respond, “I am willing. Let’s do it.”

The confession of our hope is vitally important, both the spoken confession, and the actions we call life that move toward the desired reality. Two things have me thinking about the confession of our hope, speaking out of promise, today.

One is a family issue that has me grieving and concerned over one I love dearly. Most days I get up and press forward with faith in God who assures my heart that He is working in the situation and in the life of this one I love, accomplishing His purpose and bringing all to His glory. On those days I have strength, joy, and ability to function. But some days I get hit by the grief of the situation and find my function robbed of strength and joy. Today as I write this first draft has been one of those days when grief over the situation fights against what I know God is telling me is His truth and my hope for this situation.

There is a teaching in the church that I believe in practicing, but I believe we must be careful how we practice it. It is the teaching found in such passages as of 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 coupled with that of Philippians 4:8 that is used to teach us to speak what is not yet as if it already is. It is a teaching that intends we speak with faith in God’s word to us regarding life issues, even when life is not visibly in alignment with God’s word, while trusting Him to work to bring all in alignment to His expressed will. I believe we are to do that, express our hope and faith in God, trusting Him to fulfill it; but I also believe we must take care that the positive we speak has its basis in faith in God’s promises to us, not just some good outcome we prefer to see. God’s way is not name it and claim it; it is receive it and believe it.

I have a friend whose daughter turned from the Lord. Every time her daughter would deny God, she would tell her, “That is not truth, for scripture says, ‘Assuredly, the evil man will not go unpunished, But the descendants of the righteous will be delivered.’ You will return to God.” Now first off, my friend’s righteousness she was trusting in that made her able to claim this verse was not her own, though she worked hard in the strength of God’s supply to live a righteous life, but her trust in her proclamation was in the righteousness she possesses through her relationship with Christ Jesus. And God was faithful to fulfill the promise He gave her heart through His word. It was not long before her daughter turned back to God and began to grow in Him anew.

Today I read the following post on one of my friend’s pages:

“Today’s Family Confession: My family is saved because I believe in Jesus Christ. My children and grandchildren are taught of the Lord. Great is the peace of my family and God’s spirit is upon them. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” ~ Sebastian Weaver.

God used this confession, all of which I recognize as scripture based confessions, to remind my heart that on days of grief, it is vital that I keep speaking out with assurance the promises I hold to easily on days of strength, for “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen,” and faith boldly confessed gives strength and new life to weary, dry bones. So it is important for me to have written out the truths God has highlighted for me in Scripture with regard to this loved one, so that when the emotional onslaught of grief hits my flesh, my heart and mind can continue to remember God’s word and choose to believe Him over what my eyes are seeing in the life of my beloved right now.

The other thing that has me thinking on this subject is a dear friend who expressed frustration when others keep speaking “negative confessions” on an area of his life where God has given him clear promise and hope. It has me wondering why we would have cause to fear or be frustrated over what others say if our faith is in what God says.

We have scriptural precedence revealing how often God will speak a true, prophetic word of promise to one person. Others, some false prophets who have no part in God, and some true prophets of the one true God who are not hearing him on that subject or out of some fear of others, they are not speaking truly. The one who is hearing and speaking truly has no need to fear, fret or fume over the negative words of others if the word they are trusting is truly from God. Why? Because God promises that the word that is from Him WILL be fulfilled, proving to all the truth of the word spoken. We know the prophetic utterance is from God when it comes to pass. And He will do what He wills despite what unbelievers in His word to us think or say.

Most of the things God gives me are based on Scripture. I can point to what I am seeing and receiving from God in the Scripture, and others can see and believe it for themselves, along with me. But sometimes God will speak something to me in which I have no clear directive in His Word that I can point to.

I shared in previous writings that as I draw near to my 60s, finding myself in a season with ill health had me concerned that I might not be long for this life, I began to fear dying. Every time my health would fail me, a fear would come up in me, hindering me from enjoying the days I have. Then one day the “voice” of His presence that I have always understood as God speaking to me, began to say three words into my times of concern over my health: “at least eighty-two.” Every time it happened, I knew He was telling me to not fear, for I still have many years of life to live. That assurance from God has come to me so many times now that I no longer question or doubt; I just believe and trust the Lord for my times and epochs. I asked God once, “Why ‘at least’? Why not just give me the age outright?” He revealed to my heart “I know you. If I tell you exactly when, you will pack your bags, say your goodbyes, and sit to wait for Me. I want you to live life to the full until the instant I take you home.”

Now I have enough assurance in me from God that I tell people of this prophetic promise, but I have nothing that I can give them as proof. Used to that would bother me, but I have learned that God is the protector and completer of His word. Others may not believe me and may even argue with me. But I just smile and go on in assurance because God has me convinced.

Trust God, beloved. Learn how He works with you to instruct your heart. Know His voice, the voice of the Good Shepherd (John 10). And trust His word to you with faith filled assurance and hope. Let Him convince you of things you do not yet see. Dive into the water with Him and see what He will do. Those who disbelieve will see. You just keep smiling with the joy of your assurance.

“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful” ~ Hebrews 10:23.