Do you talk to yourself?
I hope so. If you don’t talk to yourself, you might wind up in trouble.
Let me explain…
My 9 year old grandson was having trouble focusing on an assignment that he thought was boring. So my daughter tried to help.
She said, “Think of your mind as being like a computer. When you have trouble focusing, you have too many tabs open. Just close those other tabs so you can think about this one thing.”
“O.K.” He said…
“But, Mom, sometimes I have all of these pop ups!”
He said it just right, didn’t he? All of us can relate to the “pop-ups.” And usually those pop-ups are not positive thoughts. They are negative ones.
The “what if’s”…
So what do we do? We close the tabs, of course. And we close the pop-ups. We take charge of our thought life.
David in the book of Psalms demonstrates some terrific lessons. He took charge of his thoughts by talking to himself.
He said, Bless the Lord, O my Soul. And all that is within me, bless His Holy Name. (Psalm 103:1)
Then another time he said, Why so downcast, O my soul? Put your trust in God.(Psalm 43:5)
Or what about this: My heart is steadfast, oh my God. My heart is steadfast. I will sing praises to my God. (Psalm 57:7)
If you look through Psalms, you will see many times when David said, I will praise Him. Not I want to, but I will. He was acting from a spirit of determination. Not from his feelings. He knew how to close those tabs of negativity and replace those thoughts with faith and trust in God.
Right now, when there is so much anger, fear, and sadness in the world, we really need to learn how to do this. To take charge of our thought life, and put our trust in God. He is the answer for everything. Our shield. Our deliverer. Our Savior.
When we replace those negative thoughts with thankfulness, something powerful happens. What happens is that instead of fear and anxiety, true gratitude begins to rise up within us. We begin to thank Him, and even more gratitude rises.
Those negative emotions are replaced with hope.
Regardless of what we are going through, and sometimes it can be terrible… when we allow hope to rise within us, our outlook is different. We know that there will be a brighter future.
Now we are ready to pray. Our prayers won’t come from a heart of hopelessness and desperation. Our prayers will come from a place of faith.
We know that our God hears our prayers and we listen for direction. Then we do what He says. He has the answers, if we will do what He says…
We enter His gates with thanksgiving in our heart. We enter His courts with praise.
As we give thanks and praise God, let’s see ourselves entering His heavenly throne room. He has the answers.
Over the years I have had moments of great disappointment and injustice hurled at me. Just as you have. Everyone has had this happen to one degree or another.
When I would calm my soul through thanksgiving and go before Him, His love and grace would wash over me. There were times when I would just stay there and soak in His presence. There were other times when He would impress upon me some answers – some scriptures – and some steps I needed to take. Then I would take those steps.
One thing is for sure: God always has the answers.
So let’s do what David did. Let’s talk to ourselves and calm our souls.
Then with thankful hearts, let’s run to God for all that we need.
He’s always there waiting for us.
John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist Church, once said, “I am convinced that God does nothing on the earth, except in response to believing prayer.” When God’s ready to put a new piece of His puzzle in place, He first impresses upon the hearts of His true prayer warriors to pray for it.
We see that principle in Luke 2: 21-52.
God always has His intercessors. While many of the church leaders are parading around in their priestly robes, trying to impress their subjects, God has some less significant people praying for His purpose.
These intercessors are the ones who see and recognize Jesus!
So we see Simeon and Anna. Neither of them is a person of position or great honor; they are simple people. Both of them are advanced in years and both spend lots of time praying. It is these two who God chooses to reveal the identity of Jesus.
Both of these people have seen in God’s Word that the Savior would come, and they are praying for it to happen. The Holy Spirit has revealed to Simeon that he won’t see death until he has seen the Christ, and that’s exactly what takes place.
The joy which comes from this man is evident as he recognizes Jesus and proclaims God’s Word. Overhearing these words, Anna agrees, and her joy exudes to others – the Savior has come.
God’s methodology hasn’t changed. There are many today who parade around in their pride and arrogance, ignoring God’s plan, and even discounting his Word.
Then there are others. There are those who love God and His Word, and who spend time praying for it to come to pass. Sometimes these people are unrecognized, even by those around them. But God knows what they are doing, and He is pleased.
Our world is in great need of awakening, and that’s a promise God has made to His people. As those who will believe God and allow Him to direct their prayers, rise up to their positions of prayer, we will see His plans come to fruition.
We have already begun to see trickles of it, but we will see more. We will see God move in the hearts of people, calling them to a greater life in Him.
Significant change is on the way.
I choose to be a part of His prayer team. Do you?
This is an excerpt from 30 Days: Daily devotions Based On Scripture by Suellen Estes. You may see more at amazon.com/author/suellenestes
I can hear you now. Frozen Words. What a strange concept! What on earth is she talking about?
I have to admit it’s an unusual way of saying what I have to say today, but its origin is very sound. Its origin is none other than the Bible.
So I’ll produce a little background. A few years ago as I was studying the Bible and reading along with no particular direction in mind, some verses leapt off the page at me. You know what I mean. Verses which had never meant that much to me suddenly took on a WOW status.
He sends forth His command to the earth; His Word runs very swiftly. He gives snow like wool; He scatters the frost like ashes. He casts forth His ice as fragments; Who can stand before His cold?
He sends forth His Word and melts them; He causes His wind to blow and His waters to flow. He declares His Word to Jacob. His statutes and His ordinances to Israel. He has not dealt thus with any nation. And as for His ordinances, they have not known them…Praise the Lord!
I stopped right there, and had to read and reread them. The more I did, the more the meaning became clear, and the more their meaning became significant for learning about God’s Kingdom.
These verses talk about two different “speakings” from God. The first is the speaking which sends His Word to the earth, but it’s frozen. It’s locked up, so that it’s hard to understand. “Who can stand before this cold?”
Then comes that wonderful second speaking. The Word is sent in such a way that the snow is melted and waters flow. This time there is a revealing to the children of God. This time the Words are understood and like refreshing waters they bring life and understanding to God’s people.
In the New Testament, we are introduced to two kinds of Word. The Logos, which is all of the Word of God and the Rhema, which is the Word which is spoken to us – personally. It’s revelation, or the truth within the truth.
That’s what these two speakings are referring to. The logos and the rhema. One is the general word for all to see, and the other is when that general word is melted into your heart and revealed to you.
What a beautiful image. The frozen word becoming life giving water as it becomes clear to you that God Himself is speaking that Word to you personally.
That concept of the frozen versus the melted – the ice versus the water, permeates every aspect of our walk with the Lord.
There are many people in our world today who know that the Bible speaks of Jesus dying on the cross for our sins. Yet that Word means nothing to them because it’s frozen. They don’t believe it or receive it.
But many of those same people will one day have that word speak to them again, and their lives will be changed. No longer will they see them as rigid words of someone else’s doctrine. They will see them as the Truth, and they will find those words speaking to themselves personally. From that moment, those people will never be the same.
Now let’s take a look at ourselves. God’s plan is so vast and His purpose so deep that none of us – not one – has received all of the revelation, the melted word, that He wants to pour upon our lives. So as we continue to read and study God’s Word, more and more of the Truth will be revealed to us.
Is there a certain area of your life which needs God’s special Word to you? Are you hurting because of problems in your family? Are you suffering from financial lack? Are you or a loved one sick? Are you crying out for a revival in our world?
Every area of our lives has a Word from God which applies to that. He wants us healed, whole, provided for, and spending our time helping to advance His Kingdom. Yet until we are able to hear Him speaking to those needs, we won’t have the faith we need to receive our answers from Him.
So what do we do? We find those words which apply to us at the moment. We then read them and reread them. We mutter them to ourselves, and allow the Truth to penetrate our spirits. As we continue, something amazing happens. God speaks those words to us in a way that we know they are true. No longer are they words on a page, they are now Words spoken to us personally.
Oh, that beautiful moment. We see it’s for us! We see it’s real and it’s personal! We are drenched in the reality that not only does God love us, but He wants the best for us.
Our wonderful Creator has turned the ice and snow into the melted Word of God – penetrating our innermost parts.
A beautiful moment indeed.
P.S. If you would like a compilation of some Covenant Scriptures, addressing many areas of your life, you may download them Here.
If you’ve heard me teach for very long, you have heard me talk about “the woman with the issue of blood.” She’s one of my favorite people in the Bible, and an incredible inspiration to many.
In Mark 5:25-34 we catch her story. Here she is – a very sick lady. So sick, in fact that she has been going to every specialist she can find, and she has spent all of her money. For her to go to that much trouble, she must have been in great pain.
But she heard…
What did she hear? She heard about Jesus and how He had been healing people who were sick. And the amazing thought came into her mind that maybe – just maybe – He could heal her also.
So she went to where the crowds were gathered and observed His power over sickness and disease. She probably heard others talking about their healings, and she increased in assurance that this time would be different.
The day finally came, and this special lady was going to act.
Can you imagine how nervous she might have been? She was not even supposed to be out in public with her ailment, so her boldness put herself at great risk of punishment. And then think about the embarrassment involved. All of those people would see her erratic behavior… And what if it didn’t work?
All of those thoughts must have roared through her head as she pushed forward to make her claim. Yet she would not be denied the blessing she had come to believe was hers. This woman was determined.
So she pursued, and we know the outcome. Her healing came – not because Jesus had chosen to give it (He didn’t even see her there), but because she reached out with faith and courage.
“Who touched me?” He said – a question which confused His disciples. How could He ask that when the crowd was heavy and many were touching Him?
This was different. Someone had touched Him in a way so that he felt power leaving His body. Though He didn’t see her, Jesus could feel the anointing being transmitted to her. Her faith had pursued the healing available through Jesus, and this faith had appropriated that healing for her.
Okay, so here we are in the present day, and I think that this message should resonate with us now. There are many problems we encounter. Sickness, financial lack, and problems with families.
Perhaps we have gone to every professional and we have tried everything they have recommended. Perhaps we have even spent all that we had in order to find the answer. Yet the problem is still raging – with no solution in sight.
Yet as we think about Jesus, read God’s Word and pray, we begin to focus on a different kind of solution – a heavenly one. God is still working miracles – in the 21st century. He is healing supernaturally, restoring broken lives, and restoring broken families. He is also making a way for provision when there seems to be no way for it to come.
When I find myself facing difficult situations, this woman and her tenacity stir me to take action. I pray and read passages of Scripture or other books to elevate my faith. I have seen many miracles in my own life, and I expect to see many more.
And I know that there are times when you have to be bold as you go for your answers. You must pursue. You have to be determined to press through the crowd of casual believers and receive answers which seem impossible to many.
Then you’ll hear those words, “Who touched Me?” You’ll receive that power that only Jesus and His Holy Spirit can give.
In the last post, we saw how Jesus marveled at the centurion who was so full of faith. This man was a Roman, and had neither been trained in God’s Word nor an understanding of God’s power. Yet he heard about Jesus, and recognized the authority in which He walked. As a result, he was able to receive a miracle.
In the same chapter – Matthew 8 – we see a different story. This time, Jesus and His disciples were in a boat crossing the sea when a great storm arose. The winds were whirling around and the waves were tossing the thee vessel about. Jesus was sleeping soundly in the midst of the storm until His disciples awoke Him. “Save us, Lord, we are perishing,” they cried.
As Jesus woke up and rebuked the winds and the sea, the atmosphere became perfectly calm. Then He rebuked His disciples. “Why are you timid, you men of little faith?”
Stop and think about that. If you had been one of the disciples, how would you have reacted? Would you have been as the disciples, frightened and worried? That seems like a normal reaction, doesn’t it?
Yet if what they were doing was what He expected of them, why did Jesus rebuke them?
There is a level of faith which is far above anything that any of us has attained but which is available to those who seek Him. But it doesn’t come from seeking Him for the faith. It comes from seeking a deeper relationship with Him. (more…)
It takes faith.
It takes faith to live any life with even a modicum of satisfaction. To live a great life which honors God and brings Him glory, takes great faith. We have heard that over and over, yet often this is the very place where we need some work.
Okay, okay, we say. We know that. But how do we get more? And why does it seem to slip away so easily?
The answer to the latter question is simple. The world – the cosmos – the natural way of thinking is enmity against God. His Kingdom operates on such a different plane that we sometimes find it hard to think in Kingdom terms.
For instance, in the world, we say, “You have to see it to believe it.” In the Kingdom, the truth is that “You have to believe it to see it.”
The world says to grab hold of everything you can and hold on to it. God’s Kingdom says, “You have to give to receive.” (more…)