Friday, April 13, 2012
I have for years started my day with the Lord. I began years ago by establishing a time at the beginning of my day when I could get away by myself for prayer and studying God's word. Through the years and especially since I've been working on my bachelor's degree in Christian Counseling my “quiet time” has expanded to encompass more and more of my total day. The initial time that I set aside has become a foundation for the rest of my daily activities and He envelops me in His presence throughout my day. Yesterday as I was walking on my treadmill I heard the Lord speak ever so gently to my heart: “I created my children to be winners, not losers!”
Genesis 1:26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over all the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
Then the Lord began to explain to me what His original plan was for mankind. It was that we would be victors, not victims, rulers, not ruled over, blessed, not cursed, and fruitful, not barren. Our words were to be creative, not destructive and He intended us to rule over His creation. In essence, we were designed and created as winners, not losers! Adam gave away that authority to the devil when he sinned in the garden of Eden by eating the fruit that God had told him to leave alone, but Jesus redeemed us from that sin; He purchased us back and restored unto us the dominion and authority that Adam had given away. Romans 5:17: For if by the one man's offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.
A couple of years ago my husband and I lead a course at church by Dave Ramsey called “Financial Peace University”. It was a course teaching people how to be successful in their finances; to be able to live free from debt. One of the statements Dave made was this: “Success is 20% knowledge and 80% application of that knowledge”. We can have all the knowledge in the world but if we do not apply what we know to our lives then of what benefit is it to us?
God has given us His word, His Spirit, His authority over sin and the devil, and the directions to apply all that we know to our lives, but if we don't take that Word and use it then we are just “hearers of the word only”. James 1: 22 says that we are to be doers of the word and not hearers only or we deceive ourselves. We think everything is okay as long as we are reading the word, but it takes the application of what we read and know to be true to bring success! Faith is an offensive action, not sitting back waiting for life to just happen. You will never win without work! God gives us a plan and then expects us to work the plan! All of the answers to life's questions reside in the Word of God and become ours as we seek His will and directions for our lives and receive and follow them by faith. When we follow His plan success is guaranteed. He created us to win, not lose!
I am thankful today that God has given me the ability through Him to win over life's challenges. My weight loss journey is a progressive journey to success as I apply what I know to my daily choices. I am a winner, not a loser! Thank You, Lord, for creating me in Your image and likeness and for giving me the ability to rule over situations that arise in my life. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me and by the power of Your Spirit within me I will win this battle! I thank You, Lord, that the joy of the Lord is my strength and today will be a joyous and victorious day! Amen!
Thursday, April 12, 2012
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.
For the believer in Christ, or a Christian, even though we walk in a fleshly body we are not to receive every thought that comes into our minds. We fight battles in the mind first. So for us to win the battles we have to screen our thoughts. We are to fight not by natural means, but with spiritual weapons that are meant to stop the negative, harmful thoughts before they have a lasting effort on our lives. God gives us instructions on how to fight the battles of life in this portion of scripture. He says that we are to “cast down” arguments and things that try to exalt themselves over God and bring every thought into captivity to Christ. That tells me that there will be things that come into my mind that are not of God and I need to do something about them before they do something to me.
I am reminded of what comes into my mind first when I am dealing with a problem in my life. Usually the first thought that I have is of fear. Fear that the worst case scenario that could happen is what will happen. But the Word tells us in 2 Timothy 1:7: For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” God is not the author of fear. So if God is not the author then it has to have come from the enemy of our souls, better known as Satan. I do not have to receive something from Satan, so I must stand against fear. This scripture tells me that God gives me power, love and a SOUND MIND! The Greek word there for “sound mind” means “safe-thinking, good judgment, disciplined thought patterns, and the ability to understand and make right decisions. It includes the qualities of self-control and self-discipline. Wow, that says a whole lot! God has given me the ability to think clearly, to take control over my thoughts, and to win the battle that rages in my mind.
So, how do I counter the attack of fear when a negative report comes into my mind? Philippians 4:4-8 gives us the key to right thinking.
Rejoice in the Lord always, Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
God's prescription for defeating fear is:
1) Rejoice in the Lord – everything is going to be all right!
2) Don't let anxiety rule in your heart and mind. Instead give those worries to God!
3) Rest in God's peace and allow it to guard your heart and mind through Christ Jesus.
4) Think on good things. Meditate on things that will lift you up instead of tearing you down.
Today I am thankful that God is taking care of my children. He loves them even more than I do. I will not allow the spirit of fear to control my thoughts! God in me is greater than he that is in the world! I trust God to handle their problems and to do what is best for each of them.
How about you? What do you fear....failure, sickness, temptations to sin, rejection? All these are names that God says is under the name of Jesus. He went to the cross to defeat all these things for us! He died that we might have life and have it more abundantly.
Today I choose to celebrate what Jesus died to give me! I love You, Lord Jesus, and I thank You for defeating the devil for me. Thank You for enabling me to be victorious in this life! I cast my cares on You for You care for me and I praise You because You are worthy to receive all praise, glory and honor! Thank You for granting me success! I will win because You live in me and it's in You that I have strength to fight the good fight of faith! In Jesus Name I pray! Amen.
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Isaiah 43:1-3 But now, thus says the LORD, who created you, O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Israel; “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned. Nor shall he flame scorch you. For I am the LORD your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
I love the comfort that I receive from looking into the Word of God. He never fails to comfort and strengthen me when I am going through difficulties. This portion of scripture so aptly pictures the protection of the Lord around us when we go through difficult times. He says: “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you”. This tells me first of all that we are not exempt from problems; we will have opportunities to stumble when we walk through life. The second thing that it tells me is that I won't have to deal with difficulties by myself; the Lord will be right beside me. The picture comes to mind of a mother seeing that her child has to cross a busy street to get to the school on the other side. She doesn't send that child out into the traffic by itself, but takes its hand and walks the child to the other side to made sure it gets there safely. We do have to face problems, but the Lord is right there with us to help us through them. Notice that He says that even though we walk through rivers they shall not overflow you. He gives us the assurance that we will make it through the rivers of difficulties that come our way. Water will not drown us and fires will not burn us. We will not be destroyed by the circumstances of life because He is our God; our Savior.
Isaiah 43:10, 11 “You are my witnesses,” says the LORD, “And my servant whom I have chosen, That you may know and believe Me, And understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, Nor shall there be after Me. I, even I, am the LORD, And besides Me there is no savior.
We have been chosen to know and believe the Lord. To know Him through a living and vital relationship and to believe Him. We can trust the Lord to take us safely through life. The word “believe” in the Hebrew means “to be firm, stable, established; also, to be firmly persuaded; to believe solidly. From this root word in the Hebrew also comes the word for “faith”. The most famous derivative of the Hebrew word for “believe” is “amen”, which conveys the idea of being solidly, firmly, surely true and verified and established. That's what we have when we believe in the Lord. We are solidly established on the truth! Jesus said in John 14:6: “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” When we trust the Lord we are assured that we will be safe, firmly established and solid. There is no fire or flood that can take us out of the Savior's grasp.
I'm so thankful today that when the storm's of life come I have a refuge to go to; His name is Jesus! Last night I received some disturbing news. I don't know about you but when things bother my children that affects me, even though they are grown and married. I have two children and in the last week I have received news from both of them that storms have come into their lives. It is in these times that we are presented with the opportunity to trust in the Lord; to lean on Him; to rely on His faithfulness. I know that He will see us through these difficulties.
Thank You, Lord, for the safe place I have in You. Thank You for watching over my children; for delivering them from the fire and the flood and seeing that they come through the storms of life intact. You are our Refuge from the storm; our High Fortress; our Rock and our Salvation. It is in You that I trust. Lead us and guide us this day around the rocks and obstacles that would cause us to stumble and enable us to stand strong against the winds of life. In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Mmmmm......temptation big time!
I've done so well today but the temptation to eat all kinds of unhealthy snacks has attacked me!
Emotions are a little heightened tonight and I find myself wanting to eat cookies, chips, whatever I can find that would soothe wounded feelings!
I feel like the psalmist in Psalm 55:6: So I said, "Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest. Indeed, I would wander far off, And remain in the wilderness. Selah I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest."
Okay....let's get a grip now.....this too shall pass!
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Numbers 13:31-33 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.” And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, “The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature. “There we saw the giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.”
How you view yourself and your goals will determine your success or failure! Here we see the spies that Moses sent into the Promised Land come back, 10 with a negative report and 2 with a positive report. The people believed the negative over the positive. God had said He was giving them the land and they were well able to conquer it but because of the giants and naysayers they spent 40 years wandering around in the wilderness. They placed their faith in the giants instead of in their God!
How do you see yourself today? They saw themselves as grasshoppers in the eyes of the giants and the Word says “so we were in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.” They became what they thought of themselves. Did you know that if you see yourself as a failure, you are doomed to fail? What you believe will come to pass. If you see yourself as a victor, you will mostly likely succeed! The Word says in Proverbs 23:7 “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he....” We sometimes are so used to seeing failure that we automatically assume that we will never rise above that to see the dreams that we have aspired to have come into manifestation. Thus, our behavior follows our thinking and we repeat the failures of our past.
I have good news for you today! You do not have to continue to go around the mountain of failure over and over again. Don't listen to the naysayers! Take your eyes off the giants and focus them on Jesus, who is the author and finisher of your faith! It takes just a minor attitude adjustment to move from failure to success. Begin to see yourself as God sees you; as an overcomer! Romans 8:35; 37: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”
Nothing can separate you from Christ's love! Nothing that you can do can negate the love that He has for you and His power is available to you for success! He has made you more than a conqueror over all kinds of negative obstacles. But just as the fighter has to see himself winning before he fights his opponent, so you must see yourself as a victor before you win the battle. In God's economy believing precedes seeing. We must exercise our faith to receive what we want and ask God for in prayer. Our actions will follow the thoughts that we hold in our hearts and minds. What we focus on we will become!
There are a few things that we can do to help us achieve the attitude we need for success. We can put up pictures around the house of a person succeeding in his/her goals. Maybe you have a picture of yourself at the size you would like to be. If so, put it on the refrigerator so you can see it when you open the refrigerator door. Write out a list of your goals and begin to proclaim success in them. Begin to talk as though you have already succeeded. You might say, “I'm a winner, not a loser”. “I believe I can achieve my goals.” “I make healthy choices and my body is reflecting the changes I am making in my diet.” “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” “I am a child of God and He directs my steps and helps me make healthy food choices.” As you begin to speak out loud the positive affirmations of God's word over your life you will begin to feel like a winner; you'll feel your spirit man rising up within you to strengthen you and give you the proper perspective that you need for success.
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31) Don't be your own worst enemy. Align yourself with the Word of God today and see yourself as a winner!
Father, I thank You for placing within me the potential for success. I thank You for causing me to succeed in my weight loss journey. I pray that I might reflect You in all that I do and say today. Please direct my steps and help me to make the right food choices for success. Thank You for going before me into this day! In Jesus name, I pray! Amen.
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