The devil, your enemy, may know some things that give him enough ability to think he can attack you, and he will try. But you are always safe in My care. I hold you in the palm of My hand; you and those you pray for are never out of My sight and reach. Do not allow him to make you afraid with his threats. He is a defeated foe, a barking dog kept on a leash that I hold. Do not think you can casually play near the borders of his territory, for he is fierce and eager to kill. But My child needs only to hold My hand and walk with Me to be perfectly safe even when he is trying to attack. Your emotions may feel the nearness of the threat, but you must rest in and trust in My word which promises that I am the good shepherd who watches over and keeps His own.
As I give you discernment and you recognize the schemes of the evil one, I will call on you to stand against him to keep what he would steal and even reclaim what has been lost to him. I will guide you in this, and you must listen to My voice. Know for certain that when you obey Me, you have full authority over powers of darkness because of My blood and My name. There is nothing that is beyond My reach and power. Walk where I lead you and shine My light in darkness. Do not fear reprisal or consequences when you are obeying Me, for I already know the outcome, and I am working for My purposes and kingdom.
Stay close to My side and depend on My protection. I will never leave you nor forsake you. Take up the weapons of your warfare and clothe yourself with Me. Always renew your mind in the truth, for the unrenewed mind is vulnerable to lies and attacks. Love Me and praise Me with all your heart and strength, for I inhabit your praises and make Myself known. Be humble, but not fearful. Be strong, but not arrogant. Let Me live through you, and I will overcome.
I know your heart, My child, and I know that you have compassion, My compassion, for the hurts that you see around you. I know your own pain, and I long to bring peace and healing to you just as much as you long to bring it to others. I know your concern for the lost around you, and I know how much you long to make an impact in their lives.
Your grief is not something that you need to move on from or get past. It is precious to Me as you give it into My hand as a means of freedom even for your own soul. I will free you from being entangled in things that are not important. I will free you from insecurity and a sense of insignificance. I will free you from fear and timidity. I will free you from pride and arrogance. Let Me have full access to your heart and life in this process, and I will do a wonderful healing and restoring work. It will take time; do not be impatient.
The changes in your heart will bear fruit beyond your own life. I will be faithful to bring opportunities to you so that you may share the gift you’ve received. You may not be seeing them now, but they will come because I have planned them. I am listening to your every sigh, and I am hearing even the prayers that have no words right now and come only as tears. I heart your heart. I share your grief and pain. I hold you tight and will not let go. I will turn sorrow to joy and complete My good purposes in your life. I do love you; I have good plans for you.
Talk to Me every day and know that I am walking through this process with you. You are never alone. Bring your heart to Me, and I will bring healing. Joy will return along with a heart that is tender and full of My mercy. I can do anything with a heart that is given to Me.
36. BE ASSURED
Time has been racing by so quickly, Lord Jesus,
that even though I have know that You are near,
it seems like a long time since I have just listened to You.
Thank You for Your faithful presence every day and for
allowing me to be aware of it.
You truly never leave me nor forsake me.
Thank You for answering prayer over and over again.
You have shown Your mercy in so many situations in answer to prayer.
Today instead of coming to You with my intercessions,
I come to hear what You have to say to me.
Speak, Lord, for Your servant hears.
I see you and am with you every moment of every day no matter how busy you are, no matter how distracted you may seem. I know your heart better than you do. You do not need to feel condemned because your mind is occupied with the duties of the day, for your heart is turned toward Me. If your heart begins to stray into the regions that I did not create it for, there is a disquieting restlessness that enters and calls you back to Me. That is My Holy Spirit in you which leads you and speaks a word into your ears showing you the direction to take. My voice speaks, and you choose your response even in the midst of chaos and distraction. The interchange is happening all the time, and moment by moment you choose life or death. That is why you need to rely on My Spirit and obey My voice.
It is in the submission of your will that I lead you out of the prisons that have held you and into the prosperity that is your destiny in Me. Only those who rebel against Me dwell in a land that is parched and barren. They live in defeat even while they think they are in control. Submit to My plan and purpose for your life, and all will be fulfilled according to My gracious kingdom rule.
Expect to see My mercy, for it surrounds you constantly. Ask Me to open your eyes and pay attention to My dealings with you and those you know. Look beyond what is on the surface to My heart of love and compassion and provision. I am everywhere always patient, slow to anger, and abundant in mercy.
Lift up your head, for your salvation draws near.
I am the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords who rides triumphant now and forever.
My enemies are scattered before Me as wax melts before a fire.
Do not fear their intimidation, for they are defeated, and I reign supreme.
Let their threats stand before Me, and they shall be silenced forever.
The accuser of your soul and all his hosts must not be met by you but must face Me.
Rest and be at peace in your heart. No matter what the course of your day brings, be assured that I am hearing your heart-cries, and you are being led by My voice and Spirit. Rejoice and be glad. You are My eternal inheritance, and I am yours.
1 John 3:19-20; Isaiah 30:21; Deuteronomy 30:19-20; Psalm 68:6;
Lamentations 3:22-23; Psalm 145:8-13; Luke 21:28; Deuteronomy 33:26-29;
Psalm 68:1-2; Revelation 12:10-11; Psalm 68:3-4; Psalm 28:9; Psalm 16:5-6
37. WITH CRYING AND TEARS
Father, I’m reading in Your word that I should be glad,
but I’ve been anything but glad.
I’ve been so anxious and grieved. There have been times of great
anxiety followed by such grief and loss,
and then the overwhelming sense of tragedy since these recent world events.
Overriding all of these is the constant burden for a certain
soul which has even caused me to fear rather than to anticipate Your return.
I repent of failing to choose thoughts of Your mercy, grace,
and faithfulness more of the time.
I have been aware of them, but even those meditations
just bring tears and increased travail for the lost.
Strengthen my heart through this time;
don’t let it be for nothing.
I choose to walk in Your presence and joy,
constantly handing my burdens to You.
Help me learn to leave them there.
Help me intercede with power, patience, steadfastness,and faith
more than with pleading and tears.
Thank You for the miracles we’ve seen—
a baby with a congenital defect born healthy,
a two-year-old healed miraculously from a 3-story fall,
I don’t mind crying, Lord, but I want to honor You with rejoicing,
faith, and gladness more.
There has also been such an overwhelming sense of uselessness
in my own life.
Except in prayer I seem to serve no purpose.
How am I to connect with my church;
how do I serve;
what is my gifting and part?
The forever question. I believe You have an answer.
Why do you do this to yourself? Why do you feel that you are never pleasing enough to Me? I have seen your anxious thoughts and your grief, and I have been with you. You have been aware of My presence. You have brought all these things to Me, and you are still in the process of healing. Tears do not mean weakness. I am holding you and walking you through this time and these issues. Keep looking UP to Me, not because I am removed from you, but because I am the lifter of your head. I am hearing every prayer, and I am answering each one. My timing is sometimes different than you expect, but it is perfect. Your continued prayer and faith during the time of waiting does honor Me. It brings you into My presence, and in My presence there is fullness of joy and life in abundance.
I do not resist your tears and pleading when you bring Me the lives of others in prayer. They do not indicate a lack of faith but a pouring out of My own heart of mercy and intercession. I save your tears in a bottle, not to condemn you, but because each one is precious to Me. I do not forget the heartbreaks, pleadings, celebrations, and thanksgivings that they represent.
Value is never measured by deeds. Are your children precious to you because of their actions? You are a part of My whole body, and I will lead you in that dimension of life and service. Let your longing to contribute drive you to focus on Me as the vine and you as the branch. Stay connected to Me and abide there, and I will show you My heart and will for all the needs you see. Your primary answer to those needs is to pray for My will to do be done in each situation. As you pray you will know if I am leading you to some further action. Do not pray for a mission; pray for the needs. Pray for My Spirit to be poured out. It may seem that I am not hearing or acting, but that is never true. It is impossible for Me to not hear, and I am always at work.
It does not matter if other people ever know what you do in the body. It is only important that you and I know. People did not know Me for who I was; are you greater than I? Walk with Me, abide in Me, know My heart, and there gain power and peace and hope.
Psalm 3:3; John 10:10; John 15:11; Psalm 125:5-6; Psalm 56:8;
John 15:7-17; Matthew 10:24-27; Psalm 116:7
38. HOPE FOR THE DAYS AHEAD
I bring You my heart, Lord, full of gratitude, certainly, but also heavy.
There are so many things that weigh me down with care or
sadness these days.
Even when the events don’t directly touch me or my family,
they can be so tragic to hear that it seems surely the
world is coming undone and there is no way to avoid being
caught in the chaos.
What do You hold in store for us?
Do bring Me your heart, My child, along with all your burdens and cares. I am the only One who is able to hold and protect it. You were never created to carry these loads. You were designed to love and know Me, and I am the One who will carry the weight of care for you and for your family. Your heart needs time to rest and to heal. Do not expose it to every wind that wafts through the air. It is not good for you to hear the tragedies of life played out in detail. The compassion you feel is a reflection of My own heart, but do not dwell in those dark places of despair. The world is full of evil and sadness, it is true, but I have overcome the world. Keep your eyes and thoughts focused on Me and My goodness.
I am the ever-faithful One. Do you not remember how I cared for you and blessed you before you ever responded to Me? You never earned or deserved a single favor I have shown you. They have been the result of My grace and are My gift to you. I will be just as faithful to your children and their families, for I love them more than you do. I created them, placed them into your lives, died, and rose again for them. I am not distant, and My investment in them far outweighs yours. Their welfare does not depend on your prayers, but I invite you to be a part of the awesome work that I am doing in them. I am bringing each of them into an ever-growing relationship with Me. Their lives will look different in some ways than yours has, but the yokes I give them will be a custom fit for each one. The greatest gift you can give them is to pray for them, and it is also your highest privilege. When you pray, you come close to Me and hear My heart for them. You teach them to trust Me with everything when they see your confidence in My love. You become part of the tapestry that unfolds before them as they walk through the uncertainties of life.
Uncertainties should not frighten you, for they are never uncertain to Me. They are often My greatest gifts and most wonderful surprises as they become a part of the history and memories in a person’s life. Uncertainties can by My best work. You may think that your own life has become fairly predictable, but I am still at work. Your family will always be a priority for you, but since they are ultimately My responsibility, there is room in your life to enlarge the place of your tent. As you follow Me, you will lengthen and stretch out the perimeter of your life and service. Do not underestimate Me, and do not be afraid of the future. You do not know what it may hold, but you do know Me, the One who holds it. I am the One who has called you, and with everlasting lovingkindness I will have compassion on you. I am not standing over you waiting to drop tragedy or loss across your path; I am even now setting your feet in a broad place of blessing and bringing you to a land of promise, a heavenly city, and an unshakable kingdom.
1 Peter 5:6-7; Philippians 4:4-8; Matthew 11:28-30; Isaiah 54; Psalm 31:8;
Psalm 118:5-9; Hebrews 11:8-10, 14-16; Hebrews 12:22-29
39. THANKSGIVING AND PRAISE
I come to You today, Lord, because I want to give
You thanks and praise. I admit that I am not
necessarily feeling particularly thankful,
and I am not having lots of warm fuzzy thoughts.
I am, however, aware that I need to thank You and to
praise You because You are worthy.
Also, I need to obey in this area of giving thanks
whether I feel it or not. I need to peace that results
from time spent at Your feet adoring You,
and You are waiting for that time of fellowship
and communion, too.
As you have taken time to come before Me with your thanksgiving, your praise, and your petitions. I have come to you and met your heart; I have eased your mind, and I have lifted the burden you have been carrying. I have reminded you of who I am. I am the great, almighty, sovereign God in whom rests all power to answer every prayer. I hear your voice, and it stirs the mercy of My heart to sustain you and to fill every petition that you bring.
It has been good to hear you pray and to know your fellowship. Sometimes, without realizing it, you simply rehearse your worries and fears and call that prayer. Instead, all you have accomplished is to make these issues even bigger and more concrete in your mind that they already were. I want to hear the pouring out of your heart, but more than that, I want you to set these things before Me with thanksgiving and praise and a confidence that I am able and willing to intervene, provide, and act. I leave no job unfinished. I will bring what I start to completion, and I will accomplish that which concerns you because I love you.
It is your choice how you approach Me. I always hear and listen, but if all you do is list the problems, all you will receive is an opportunity for you to hear them again for yourself and the assurance that I now know what is happening. If, on the other hand, you come to Me in an attitude of thanksgiving and praise realizing the blessings you have been given and aware of My unwavering faithfulness, then each area of petition is infused with hope because you have exercised the essence of faith. Faith, not in faith, but in Me, releases My Spirit and My power to accomplish things that are even greater than those you think to ask for.
You must be patient, however. You may need to persevere in prayer for some time, but let that time build your faith and our relationship, Do not despair; I have not given up, and neither should you. I am never in a hurry to do things in a way that would not be lasting in the end. Do not allow discouragement, for you are to walk by faith and not by sight. Learn to see through My eternal eyes, and you will have a new perspective on the way I work. My timing is perfect in nature, and it is perfect in these matters as well. My creation is proof that I know exactly the complexities of any matter and the seasons and timing of it as well.
You never need to walk in fear of anything, for My perfect love for you casts out all fear. Fear comes when you forget My love and mercy, and it should have no place in your life or heart. I did the impossible when I redeemed you, and I continue to work with that same power in every matter that you bring to My feet. Do not fail to see the miracles that take place around you every day, for I am always at work.
My divine nature given to you will transform you more and more into a person of faith, courage, patience, and steadfast optimism. Only the enemy of your soul would try to bring discouragement or depression into your life, and those things are a sure sign of his work. Resist him, and he will flee from you; draw near to me, and I will draw near to you. I am always with you and will never forsake you in any way. Therefore, rejoice, be glad, sing, pray, and work with a heart close to Mine. Pray as I lead you to for the needs you see but never without looking into My face and remembering who I am.
Colossians 2:6-7; James 4:2-8; Philippians 1:6; Psalm 138:8; Hebrews 10:19-23;
Hebrews 11:1-6; Ephesians 3:16-21; 1 Peter 1:6-7; 2 Corinthians 5:6-7;
Colossians 1:16-17; 1 John 4:18; Ephesians 2:4-7; 2 Peter 1:3-8;
2 Thessalonians 2:16-17; Romans 8:31-39; Philippians 4:4-8
40. WHOSE LIFE IS IT?
I seek, Father, Your heart and will for me as I live
my life before You. It is my desire to glorify You in all that I do:
my work, my recreation, my relationships, my finances,
my service, my personal habits, and my time.
Is there something that I do or neglect to do that
hinders You in any way?
I know your heart, My child, but there is something I would say to you, “…my work, my recreation, my relationships, my…” Do you hear the repeated word, “my”? Your life is not your own, remember? Every single thread in the fiber that makes up your existence belongs to Me. It is My life that is to be lived out in you as a channel and vessel. Learn that it is not your work but Mine, not your relationships, but Mine, and so it is in every area that you may think of claiming as your own. It is all Mine.
One thing that may hinder My working through your life is that sometimes you get in the way. Now I love you, and I know it is not your intention to do that, but sometimes you seem to think that I am not doing My job as well as you might. When you take things into your own hands and timing, that demonstrates a lack of faith in Me. In the same way, a failure to step into My purposes for you is also a lack of faith.
There is a balance to be gained as you learn to walk by faith. Remember that I am alive and not only with you but living in you just as you live in Me. We are in this together. As you learn and see My will regarding a decision, stay very close to My heart and seek My method and timing. They will often surprise you because you would have done things differently. When it seems that I give no clear direction, proceed according to your common sense and desire, for I have sanctified those areas of your life as well. Ask Me to open the right doors and close the wrong ones as you proceed, and again, stay close to Me. Trust Me to guide you step by step and believe that I will not only manage the doorways but also speak to your heart as you listen.
These are issues of faith because they take place right where you live. You must trust Me and believe that I can bring about the very best in My way and timing. You must also be convinced that I cause all things to result in good for the one who is submitted to Me. That means that in some decisions you are simply free to choose, and I will work it all for good, whatever your choice. Of course, that is in cases where you have truly sought My will without having your own agenda and found Me to be silent. Do not hesitate to pursue new opportunities you encounter. I will give you the light you need for each step, or I will shut the door.
Your heart is committed to Me, and therefore you may walk in freedom and confidence. I will be faithful to you, for I cannot be anything but true to Myself, and we are one. We are bound together closer than a father and child, a husband and wife, or creator and creation. It is My blood that has washed you and made you My own. You and all your things have been bought, paid for, ransomed, and redeemed. It is no longer your life but Mine being lived through you. So do you suppose that I care how it all works out? Do you believe that I have the power to do all things well? Then trust Me and live in joy and peace as you bring everything to Me with a heart of obedient faith.
Galatians 2:20; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; John 15:4-5; Proverbs 3:5-6;
Romans 8:28-32; 2 Timothy 2:13; 1 Peter 1:18-19; John 15:9-11