SEIZE THE VISION – DAY 3

From the SUN STAND STILL DEVOTIONAL BY STEVEN FURTICK

Most nights I slip into my boys’ rooms after they’’re asleep, just barely place my right hand on their heads, and whisper: “God, raise up my sons to be the greatest men of God of their generation.” I tell them that I’’m praying this for their lives when they’’re awake too. Of course they don’’t understand many of the implications of this. But one day they will. I’’m just trying to stock their hearts with raw material that God can use to build a vision within my boys when they’’re older.

The point I’’m trying to make has very little to do with me and my boys. It has everything to do with you and your vision: If you want to see God do something impossible in your life, you have to open your heart and mind to God’’s vision for your life. You have to seize it.

Joshua has been a faithful second in command for many years. But talk about having a tough act to follow. For the Hebrews, Moses was a legend in his own time – —the president, chief justice, and chairman of the Joint Chiefs all rolled up in one. But now he is dead, and Joshua is next in line.

Joshua’’s term of office is starting at a perilous moment in the nation’s history. The people are about to try to take Canaan from several people groups who aren’’t exactly eager to vacate the premises and hand it over.

The vision isn’’t in question: occupy the Promised Land. But before that can happen, Joshua has to seize the vision. And judging by the number of times, “”Be strong and courageous”” shows up in Joshua 1, apparently God knows this leader is scared of failing.

God steps in with encouragement. Just as God was with Moses, so He will be with Joshua. God promises, “”I will never leave you nor forsake you.”” (Interesting how He says the same thing to us [Hebrews 13:5, NKJV].)

Joshua seizes the vision. We know this because practically within moments he is issuing orders to get the campaign under way (Joshua 1:10–-15).

If you’’ve received a vision from God, you need to seize it too. Don’’t waver or put it off. Stop trying to have all the answers before launching out in faith.

All God needs is all you’’ve got. Give it to Him —today.

IGNITE THE ORDINARY – DAY 2

From the SUN STANS STILL DEVOTIONAL BY STEVEN FURTICK

When you strip the biblical miracles of their spectacular special effects, a common plot point emerges: extraordinary moves of God begin with ordinary acts of obedience.

Consider Moses’’s first encounter with God.

Moses is tending the family sheep out in the nondescript countryside.

He happens to notice a bush that’’s caught fire. He walks over to take a look……

Up to this point, it’’s not exactly a riveting scene, is it?

In reality, the illustrious burning-bush encounter that seemed so captivating in Sunday school is… really…quite…ordinary. Moses is performing menial manual labor, working for his father-in-law. It’’s dusty. The sheep stink. Does it get any more mundane?

Almost all encounters with God begin that way. You may be living under the illusion that when God ignites great things in your life, He’’ll announce it with a big bang. He might. It’’s more likely that He won’’t. So stop waiting around for the big bang. Pay attention to the subtle clues and the still, small voice. Maybe you’’ll hear it this very day.

What we call a miracle is really just the right combination of your ordinary ingredients and God’’s extraordinary expertise. When God’’s super collides with your natural, sparks will fly.

God may call you to serve as an unknown youth pastor of fifteen kids in a moldy basement for a youth room and with an Atari for entertainment. Ordinary. But He may also be providing you an opportunity to pour your life into one of those teenagers who will go on to preach the gospel in a thousand places you’’ll never go.

Extraordinary.

God may lead you to stay at home with your young children, forfeiting a second income. Ordinary. But along with diapers, dishes, and naps, you receive the gift of time – —to model discipline, instill values, and speak life into your kids. They could grow up to be Joshua’s in their own generation. Extraordinary.

If God is calling you to make a big difference today, He is likely to start in a small way – —a bush that only you will notice. Will you remove your shoes, draw close, and receive your assignment? Will you give the Lord permission to ignite your ordinary? If you will, before long your faith will start carrying you to a higher level than you ever thought you could reach.

LOVE IS SIGHT

““The person who knows my commandments and keeps them, that’s who loves me. And the person who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and make myself plain to him.” Judas (not Iscariot) said, “Master, why is it that you are about to make yourself plain to us but not to the world?” “Because a loveless world,” said Jesus, “is a sightless world. If anyone loves me, he will carefully keep my word and my Father will love him—we’ll move right into the neighborhood! Not loving me means not keeping my words. The message you are hearing isn’t mine. It’s the message of the Father who sent me.”

‭‭John‬ ‭14:21-24‬ ‭MSG‬‬

When we have the love of God ruling and reigning in our hearts, He will reveal and make manifest a Himself to us, with that illumination, we can see EVERYTHING! LOVE IS SIGHT! A LOBELESS WORL IS A SIGHTLESS WORLD!

A STUDY OF PSALM 91

“Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭91:1-2‬ ‭NLT‬‬

The first thing that comes to mind is that we live in the shelter of the Most high, that is our dwelling place, we don’t visit there and later move on but we dwell and live there. There is a sense of permanence to the living arrangement. The shelter of God is our permanent home address!

Secondly is to find rest in His shadow, to stand in someone’s shadow you have to be close to them. So close that their shadow can fall on you and shield you from the vagaries of the weather, When you are that close to God you are protected! When you are that close to God, you know that you can trust Him. He is going no where, He is ever present, always there, always available, steadfast, sure.

Thirdly is that He is our refuge and place of safety. A refuge is defined as the state of being safe or sheltered from pursuit, danger, or difficulty, a place or situation providing safety or shelter. The starting point for protection is being close to God. If you need protection today, I encourage you—don’t look out at your enemies. Don’t look around at your circumstances. Rather, get closer to God. Trust him to be your shelter and your refuge.

GOD NEVER FAILS!

ARE YOU A FRIEND OF GOD?

“What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure. You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God. Do you think the Scriptures have no meaning? They say that God is passionate that the spirit he has placed within us should be faithful to him.”

‭‭James‬ ‭4:1-5‬ ‭NLT‬‬

The scripture above tells us that friendship with the world and it’s systems is enmity with God,. The question before each of us then today is Are you a friend of God? Are you willing to do all that is needed to maintain friendship with God?

Are you allowing God to change your world – through you? Are you a city changer?

MEND THE BROKEN

““They have treated superficially the [bloody] broken wound of My people, Saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ When there is no peace.”

‭‭JEREMIAH‬ ‭6:14‬ ‭AMP‬‬

Many times when we suffer pains or hurts, we spend years hiding from that pain instead of dealing with it, we use “Christianese” to cover up. ‘It is well’ we say, ‘God is in control’ we say, ‘nobody understands’ we say, and many more such words that come from our lips and not our hearts. We wallow in a place of despair, pain, discouragement, we trudge on alone, putting up a brave face, hanging on by a thread yet on the inside we are shattered and broken. We put on bandaids saying, ‘it’s not so bad’ yet the wound festers, the pain deepens. Because we don’t deal with the pain, the pain steadily and surely deals with us. Before we know it, it begins to manifest in extraordinarily low self-esteem and acute vulnerability to dysfunctional relationships.

The brethren are no help either as we either ignore or fail to notice the pain that is etched deep in the eyes and souls of outbreaks brother or sister, even when they reach out for help, we do not hear or make them feel less than just because they dared to be vulnerable.

The time has come for us to allow ourselves be open with one another in Christ, to be the ear that our sister needs, the shoulder our brother needs, the heart that feels and understands the pain in the eyes and souls of others.

Can we lay aside the religious bravado and allow ourselves to heal truly and fully? Can we help each other face the pains in their lives that have become giants threatening their very existence, can we make room for them to open up and deal with their fears that they might find peace?

We can only overcome what we have confronted and confronted truthfully! Our comforter and ever present help, the Holy Spirit is there always to help us

Your story is not over because of past pains and hurts, You can overcome, you will overcome, I am not saying it will be easy.  I am saying it will be worth it.  And YOU are worth it!

REACH FOR YOUR DREAMS

“Too many people are not living their dreams because they are living their fears.”

From The Confident Woman Devotional by Joyce Meyers

This word hit my so strongly this morning. I realized that all I do is to please and make everyone around me happy and comfortable. I invest so much of myself to satisfy others and in the process lose sight on me. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with doing things for the benefit of others, in fact so much joy is derived from doing just that. Jesus our example tells us to bear each other’s burdens, to live at peace with All as much as lies within us. My point this morning is that in doing that we should not lose sight of who we are, we should not forget to be the men/women God created us to be, we should not please men and displease God!

In other words, instead of doing things out of our heart, we do them because we are afraid of what will happen if we don’t. “Someone will get angry! I will get left out! People will talk about me!” It is time that we started being the person we really want to be. The person God created us to be! The World Changers! The Overcomers! The Winners! It is time to reach for your dreams.