The Lord’s Prayer

women kneeing in prayer

Recently I had the honor of sharing with a group of women.  As I prayed each day prior to the day, the Lord began to speak to me about giving them insight to the Lord’s Prayer as given in Matthew 6:9-13.  I felt the Holy Spirit say give them a new meaning, one they can use when journeying deeper in their relationship with Me.  I call this a Jesus Habit. Prayer and studying God’s Word are a true level of connecting with Him in an intimate way.  It’s important to attend church or a Bible study to gain insight from others, however, your quiet personal time with God will bring new meaning to your relationship with Him.

Read Matthew 6:9-13, take note of my comments and write ones of your own as God speaks to you.  There is meat in these scriptures.  Use this as a guide in your daily prayer time.  I would like to say, don’t let others or the devil make you feel as if you have failed if you do not hold to a specific time of day or a hard rule of when and where to seek God.  He is always with you.  So whenever and wherever works! The point is just do it!

One more thing, get a Bible! Don’t relay on your phone, tablet or iPad, even a computer.  There is nothing better than the written Word in a tangible printed way.  Write in the margins, add pages using some of the new techniques used by art journalers. Let your Bible express your love for Jesus.  As your relationship matures your Bible will reflect that relationship, or provide a history of your journey, no electonic device can show your love better.

v6 “But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.” 

Intimate, private relationship with God – praying and studying His Holy Word alone grows your relationship with Him.  Empty platitudes spoken in public prove  nothing but expose your pride.

v7-8 “And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words. So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.” 

Do not be meaningless, repetitive, God knows your mind and heart’s motive. He knows before we ask so be honest. Come surrendered and humbled, lay yourself open before your Lord.

v9 “Pray, then, in this way: Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.” 

Recognize His Authority, Who He is, the great I AM. Then declare His  Holiness… Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord for the whole earth is filled with His Glory.  Isaiah 6:3

v10 “Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.” 

Acknowledge the need for God, and the need for all people to know Him, we have a responsibility in representing Him to the world through our life and in spreading the Gospel with those we encounter.

v11 “Give us this day our daily bread.”

We are depend, so make our-self dependent on God for all things.  Acknowledge that only God can give you what you need…physically, emotionally and spiritually.  Matthew 6:33 says “seek Him first, His Kingdom and His righteousness and you will receive all you need.” 

v12 “And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.”

God forgives us of our (debts) sin, through this we have an example of forgiveness for those who hurt or sin against us.  We cannot claim God’s forgiveness if we harbor anger and unforgiveness towards  others.  Ask God to continually and daily to reveal any bitterness we may hold in our heart.

v13 “And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the   kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.” 

God does not tempt us with evil,  James 1:13 says “Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.“ Ask God to guide you and give you discernment.  God will deliver you from evil when we stand in God’s strength and authority based in His Word.  James 4:7  tells us to “Submit to God, resist the devil and he will flee.”  Finally have confidence in God,  I Corinthians 10:13  confirms God is there for us, “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.” 

This afternoon of sharing turn into an amazing day of lives changed through God’s Word.  I am but his empty vessel, set on a course of sharing truth, and the life changing experience found in living and serving the one truth God…Jesus Christ!

Be Blessed,

Laurie

 

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Prodigal Daughter; The Road to Repentance.

progical daugther BOver the last few months I have had the honor of ministering to the women incarcerated at our local county detention facility.  When God first called me into this ministry I had no idea of how much I would grow as a Christian and how God would push the boundaries of my life and my husband.  In bringing the Gospel to these hurting women God has help me look at my own life and the personal need for repentance.

Jesus said, “they that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Luke 5:31-32 KJV

The New Testament (which literally means “new covenant”) was written primarily in Greek. So it is often helpful to look at the original Greek words used in the Gospels to gain a better understanding of what God is teaching us. In Greek, the word used for “repent” means “a complete and total change of mind.” In order to truly repent we must deliberately turn away from our old way of life and strive to follow a new path.

Let’s look at Luke 15 and the Parable of the Prodigal Son.  In these scriptures Jesus intended for the younger son to be a character to which we could all relate.  We have all been guilty of disgracing our heavenly Father by placing our personal desires and cravings above all else.  God is very much like the father in this story because He loves each of us just as that father did individually, uniquely and unconditionally.  God has been with us always, for better or worse.  We must believe that God stands by us at all times, even when we choose to worship ourselves and harmful behavior instead of Him.

In the story, the son travels a great distance to separate himself from his father.  Do we not do much the same when we make choices that are contrary to God’s design for our lives?  Because of those choices we experience spiritual separation from God.  The son reaches his all time low in verse 17 when he comes to the revelation that “he came to himself” in the King James Version.   The son realized that his behavior has brought him financial, physical and spiritual poverty.  He decides to return home and ask his father to allow him to work as a servant.  The son believed because of his “sinful” behavior his father would never forgive him but just maybe he would consider allowing him to be a servant.  He made a humbling personal choice to turn away from his sins and return to his father, this is the essence of redemption.  How many times have you thought God will not forgive me? Not this time…I really messed up this time.  I’m here as a testimony that God’s love for us is at the heart of His forgiveness.  Just like the father in the parable…the father in seeing his son coming in the distance called to his servants to bring a fine robe.  In this the father re-establishes his relationship with his son, showing the son his love and forgiveness.  As scripture says “still a long way off” the father meets the son on the road.  God meets us along our journey, walks along side us encouraging us to continue discovering who we can be as His child, loved and valued.

I’m so glad God is not like us.  His capacity for forgiveness and compassion has no boundary.  God wants nothing more than for us to turn away from our sins and turn toward Him.  Amazing that we can return to Jesus just as we are…not “fixed”, we have only to make a commitment to meet Him along the way and GOD WILL BE THERE!  Deliverance and Freedom becomes real for you and me.

Thank you Doug for your support in this journey!

Be Blessed, Laurie

Thank you to Michael K. Mason for the wisdom he shared in his book “Amazing Grace”.

Murdered Innocence

 

 

 

 

 

“The devil…he was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
James 8:44 NASB

Today we live in a sex fueled world…in culture that does not value sexual integrity and purity. Instead, it values instant gratification and pleasure at all costs. Throughout history and today women are exploited for sex. Men have used women to satisfy their sexual desires without regard for the women they prey upon. Teenage men today are caught up in the age-old game of how many notches (sexual experiences) they have on their belt is as prevalent today as it was yesterday. The young women who become their victims are spoken about and many times unknowing shared by a group of young men. Each time they have sex with her they take a part of her soul. This begins a cycle of shame for most young women.

The dating world gives way to sex before marriage making it as common going out to a movie or having dinner. While you believe this is part of dating the reality is its sex out of marriage. Sex outside of marriage breaks down your ability to express the highest form of physical love created by God to build intimacy between one man and one woman. You will carry those pre-marital experiences into your marriage. Innocence dies through these experiences.

The Big Lie:  Women today believe the only way to receive and feel love is by giving their bodies over to men through sex.  Sex is fun and not meant exclusively for marriage between one man and one woman.

Fact:  A healthy woman usually only gives her body to someone she thinks of night and day and with whom her heart and spirit have already connected (unless there is dysfunctional or addictive behavior involved). And when she gives her mind, heart and soul, her body usually follows right behind. The four are intricately connected.

Fact:  Men use the words “I love you” to get sex. A male can enjoy the act of sex without committing his heart or bonding spiritually with the object of his physical desire. While a man needs mental, emotional and spiritual connection as well…his need to gratify his physical desires leads the way while the other needs follow behind.

 

Truth: Intimacy can best be defined by breaking the word into its syllables: “in-to-me-see”. This connection with your husband or wife is a longing to be seen and accepted for who you really are deep down inside, as well as to see the other person deep down inside so that you truly know each other. God created the act of sexual intimacy as a gift to give a husband and wife a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual bond with pleasure beyond description.

“For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become on flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.” Genesis 2:24-25 NASB

Ok, so where does this truth leave you? Let’s look at where you are now in your life.

1. You are unmarried and still holding on to your sexual integrity. If this is you…fantastic! Hold on to that! Find other like-minded Christians to help you stay accountable and pure. In the book, “Every Young Woman’s Battle”, the following is a glimpse of what an amazing gift is waiting for you in marriage.

Imagine what it is like when two sexually pure people get married. He has guarded his heart and she is the only naked woman he has ever seen. And she has never been held so intimately that she knows the smell of any man’s skin but his. She has no one to compare his gentle touch and caress to. No comparison. No disappointment. No guilt or shame. Their sexual intimacy is shared  between two bodies, two minds, two hearts, and two spirits that unite to become one-flesh union. When this level of intimacy is experienced within the commitment and safety of a loving marriage, it can be one of the most earthshaking experiences this side of heaven.

2. You are the parents. Pray for God to give you the strength and courage to set boundaries, speak freely and honestly about your mistakes. Get together as the mother and father and discuss how you will approach your children about dating and intimacy. Don’t just go with what you did…today we must take steps to keep our young people safe from the pressure put on them. Make sure your home leads by example in every area by setting a godly standard in your personal life, as well as music, movies and social media. Ask the difficult questions or if necessary seek out a trusted Christian mentor for them. Make sure they have accountability with others of the same-sex i.e. woman to woman or man to man.

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2 NASB

3. You have blown it. You find yourself sexually compromised and like a broken record you just keep going around and letting the scratch or crack hang you up. There is hope! Jesus paid the price at the whipping post and cross for you! You can bring all those past experiences before the Lord ask Him to forgive you. You also need to take that extra step and lay down your pride and confess with your mouth to another Christian. Those experiences can either anchor you to the past or thrust you into the future. Start today by renewing your mind daily in the truth found in the Bible. The closer you draw to God, the more you know Him, He will reveal and heal your mind and body. Take steps to become accountable for your life.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 NASB

Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” James 5:16 NASB

Do not lose hope it may take time. There may be residual physical damage, however, it is God’s desire that you live a life of joy and peace walking in His love and grace.

I hope these words are of encouragement to you. If you have not accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, you can ! Simply ask Jesus to come and dwell within you bringing His Holy Spirit to guide you and ask forgiveness from the sin in your life. Acknowledge the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross for you and that He is the son of the one true God.

Be Blessed,
Laurie

Know the Enemy

spiritual-warfare-rurfbattle

The devil is out to get you.  Why is this concept so hard for many to believe?  Why do our churches rarely ever address the power in the darkness and how it brings havoc to our lives?  Why don’t they teach us how to fight Satan?  I’m going to leave that question for you to address with your pastors, elders and leaders.  I would like to share some discoveries I have made through experience as well as the inspired writing of John Hagee.

The older I get the more blessed I feel.  I look back on my life and I now can recognize the battle fought for me in the heavens. God has sent His angels to war for my life many times when I didn’t deserve saving.  Jesus saw something in me, something I couldn’t see and He rescued me for His plan.  Because of His love I am a vessel used by Him to bring glory to His kingdom.  Now at 61 years young I am discovering my place in His kingdom and the true meaning found in this scripture…

“For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb.  I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well.  My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them.”  Psalms 139 13-16

Jesus love me first and I was precious to Him and His intention for me was there from the beginning.  As I devote time to studying His Holy Word, worshipping Him in a community of like minded believers and attending meetings lead by Godly people who speak truth my faith and love for Jesus Christ grows in passion and strength. Knowing God is key in doing battle for His Kingdom. As I position my life as a servant to Jesus Christ…I am changed.  Let me be perfectly clear I am not without sin.  I still make mistakes, bad decisions, Satan and sin still know me and call me by name.  However, I can fight this battle because I have Jesus on my side.

Satan sends his demons and spirits to disrupt God’s plan.  Understanding him and how he operates will help you win the battle.  When you identify his lies and method you can use the power God has given you to destroy the devil’s attempts to keep you captive.  The more you study the Word of God, the more the Holy Spirit reveals the areas in your life that need to come under the total authority of God’s Word.  Once revealed, it is essential that you take action.  However, if you choose not to separate yourself from these destructive influences, you allow the evil forces to grow stronger.

“Then it goes and takes along with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first. That is the way it will also be with this evil generation.”  Matthew 12:45

Battle Truths 

  • Do not be deceived; the devil’s forces are active in and beyond the walls of the church.
  • Underestimating the devil is suicide; it is akin to becoming an ally with the opposition for your own defeat.
  • Rationalizing sin is Satan’s substitute for confession and repentance.
  • Satan’s primary target is our mind, we must guard against thoughts that are contrary to Scripture and submit them to the directives found in God’s Word.

“For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.”  2 Corinthians 10:4-5

Satan takes pleasure in using demonic spirits to influence people serving in ministry and involved in church because he uses them to spread his doctrine of strife, doubt and discord like a deadly virus.  You must ask yourself…Where is my thought life taking me?

“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”  Philippians 4:8

“Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him.”  Mark 11:23

Satan uses doubt to bring distrust into any situation.  He will sow seeds of doubt in our belief in the supernatural power of Jesus because he knows if he can hinder our ability to fully grasp hold of God’s power through His Holy Spirit…Satan loses.  The devil’s ultimate goal is to stop your ability to accomplish your divine destiny.

SATAN’S DEMONIC SPIRITS

Spirit of WORRY

“For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?  Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?  And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these.  But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith!  Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’  For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.  But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:25-33

Anxiety attacks you emotionally and physically.  Worry is faith in fear not in God.  When you sense the spirit rises up within you seek God and the truth in His Word. You cannot change what you will not confront.  What you will not conquer will conquer you.

Spirit of FEAR

“When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.            Revelations 1:17-18

“Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,  surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”  Isaiah 41:10

Fear paralyzes the mind; it weakens the will and destroys the dream within you.  Once the spirit of fear has a hold in your life it sets a course to destroy your life and future.

Spirit of RESENTMENT

The definition of the word resentment is a feeling of indignant displeasure or persistent ill will at something regarded as a wrong, insult, or injury.  Anger towards any person whom you perceive has offended you.

King David cried out to the Lord to be healed from those that offended him.  I believe the feelings brought by being offended was far more dangerous than the actual offense.    Being offended leads to resentment which in turn leads to bitterness which is emotional poison.

Read Psalms 17, 27, 35, 109 and 143 for help and healing.

“No mature Christian who is seasoned in the Word has any reasonable excuse to live their life offended.”  Brian Houston – Hillsong

Once you are held captive by this evil spirit relationships are destroyed, it takes the joy and peace out of your life.  You will find yourself continually finding reason to begrudge those around you.  Something as simple as not being invited to a social event when you thought you should be can stir up jealousy and bitterness.  It also gives way for pride to distort your self worth.  Being passed over, losing a contest, missing an opportunity for a bonus or promotion.  Cain fell victim to this spirit and killed his brother Abel.  King Saul chased David across the hills of Israel in an attempt to prevent him from becoming king.  Satan’s plan is to fill your mind with this emotional poison.   It is said that resentment is cyanide of the soul.

Spirit of REBELLION

God has a definition for this spirit,

“For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He has also rejected you from being king.”  1 Samuel 15:23

“You shall follow the Lord your God and fear Him; and you shall keep His commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to Him.  But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has counseled rebellion against the Lord your God who brought you from the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of slavery, to seduce you from the way in which the Lord your God commanded you to walk. So you shall purge the evil from among you.”  Deuteronomy 13:4-6

This spirit resists or defies any form of authority.  Our churches today have allowed this spirit to corrupt society like never before.  Their watered down sermons focus on        self-pleasing, instant gratification rather than God-pleasing and sacrifice to serve.  Our leaders are failing to teach basic precepts found in the Word of God.  One essential precept is submission to righteous authority.  This lack of submission or obedience has caused truth to become a blurred gray area in which people make up their own belief, truth, and identity.

Our children turn to gangs to find the boundaries they are not receiving at home.  There is a generation that is quick to loot and burn, they partake in acts of violence against those who have take an oath of service to protect us all in the name of “right to protest”.  Many times they cry racism as an excuse for their behavior.

This vicious spirit uses domination, intimidation and manipulation to undermine us.  They are strongholds that have infiltrated our lives and the lives of our love ones.

  • Domination: sole purpose is to control others, it demands attention and power,
  • Intimidation: forces people to do things they don’t want to do, uses bullying and exploitation,
  • Manipulation: managing someones actions or emotions in an unfair manner, manipulators force or seduce others to achieve their own end results, it is motivated by self-gratification.

The spirit of Rebellion makes idols of our wills, opinions and lusts.  God will not share His throne with any other man or spirit.  Only through repentance and submission to the will of God can we be free from rebellion’s grasp.

Be a Warrior not a Victim

How can we become God’s warriors?  Acknowledging the existence of demonic spirits and their master Satan is the first step.  Knowing that we are all victims in some way.  We must identify the weak points in our armor.  All of us are unique therefore everyones armor is different.  Know yourself through honesty and humility, submit yourself to Jesus Christ.  Spend time understanding His love, coming to Him totally surrendered, heart and mind open, asking for forgiveness…God can break the bondage you are captive in.

We must be mindful of the battle which is raging between Satan and his demonic spirits and our Heavenly Father.   God created us for His pleasure and divine purpose, Satan destroyed that prefect union in the garden through lies and temptation.  God came to earth in Jesus Christ His son, to make a way to repair our brokenness, bring atonement for our sin and infuse us with His supernatural power through the Holy Spirit.  His love for us is greater than any weapon Satan can muster.

“For you shall not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.”  Exodus 34:14

“You shall have no other gods before Me.”  Exodus 20:3

Our Heavenly Father gives several warnings to His people about worshipping other Gods, this warning is as important today as it was in the old testament because Satan has learned how to disguise himself today among social and political issues distracting us from our true purpose.  Unfortunately, it’s working…we are in end times as spoken of in the Bible, we as believers must arm ourselves and use all the supernatural power available to us through God’s Word and the Holy Spirit.

It’s only through repentance and submission to the will of God that we can be freed from these spirit’s evil grasp.  We all are suffering under one or more of these spirits, our emotions must be carefully guarded to protect our supernatural peace…what the Bible describes as “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding.”

“And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:7

My prayer for you and for myself is that God would give us discernment and reveal any area of our life that would invite a demonic spirit in and through His grace remove it from us.  Giving us the wisdom to see with His eyes the devil’s lies before they can bring harm to us and those we love.

Thank you to John Hagee for his insightful writing. Much of this post is from his book “The Three Heavens”.   I strongly suggest you purchase this book there is so much to grasp, such amazing insight and wisdom!

Be Blessed, Laurie

The Road We Travel – Part II “In the Eye of the Beholder”

in the eye of the beholderFor ladies young and old our appearance plays a huge part of who we are.  In a world so caught up in how the physical body looks the road to feeling comfortable in your skin is difficult.  Every form of media tells us we have to look like a A&F models.  In fact some of you may not know but when A&F launched one of their first catalogs the young men were shirtless.  Their catalog looked more like a glamour magazine than advertising clothing.  In their stores they put large screen TVs with videos running of young people scantily clad with clothing that looked two sizes to small.  This has been going on for decades.  During my time braless halter tops and mid-drift blouses with one inch zippers on jeans were the rage.  Bathing suits had less fabric than underwear.  Today, plastic surgery to increase or decease your body is common.  Products that will help you lose weight, grow your eye lashes, hide wrinkles are billon dollar industries.  Satan wins this battle everyday.  All of this creates insecurity, low self-image and unworthiness.  To further complicate things the devil has us believing we need to look like a princess to catch and keep the prince.  Unfortunately, how we look often determines whether doors will open or close in life as well.  So in all of this how do we as Christian Women find our truth, our identity and value.  How do we balance obsession with a healthy view of self?  

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.”  1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NASB

First, I want to address your appearance.  I believe it is important to take care of yourself.  Eat healthy, moderate exercise and take care of your physical body.  I truly believe everyone has an optimum weight that is not so much a number or size but how we feel and how our body functions.  We need to find a balance, a comfortable place one that can be maintained without obsessing.  I guarantee this will be a life long challenge, maybe as a woman your greatest…to keep how you see yourself from becoming an obsession.  I can prove this with one example.  Have you ever been shopping for clothing and nothing you try on looks good or fits? Be honest for me that’s most of the time! If you are young finding your unique comfort zone now will help you as your life unfolds.  Learning how to love and feel good about yourself is not the true solution to overcoming how you see yourself. Your identity MUST be found in Jesus Christ, only when you find it in Him will you be able to discern and fight the devils traps.  It is vital for you to understand how precious you are in God’s sight…so valuable. Loved and valued so much that Jesus went to the cross for you.  You also should value your life because you were made in His image; you are His most precious creation. His love for us is truly unmeasurable. And as a Christian woman, you are the daughter of the King; redeemed and made into royalty through the work of the Cross. But when you make “feeling good about yourself” a focal point, you quickly take your eyes off Christ and become wrapped up in self. Unhealthy behavior will feed a continuing cycle of obsession and balance.  Sometimes in an effort to find yourself the devil will speak lies to you causing destructive behavior.  Getting help is essential, please don’t let Satan use self-inflicted physical abuse to destroy you. 

Scripture tells us that you are not to have confidence in yourself but in Christ only.  It’s important for you to focus on how our Lord sees you, how what’s in your heart is the measure of who you are in Jesus. Your confidence and strength must come from the heavenly Father.  Any other source is fueled in pride.  You will walk a fine line in this as well.  You need to continually be asking Jesus to refine away your prideful thoughts and realize that you are who you are inside and out because of who created you.  You must believe that God created you in love and that He loved you first. 

 “For we [who are born-again have been reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, set apart for His purpose and] are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory and take pride and exult in Christ Jesus and place no confidence [in what we have or who we are] in the flesh.”  Philippians 3:3 AMP

Paul tells us that he counts all his personal accomplishments “as rubbish” compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ.  This must be your priority as well. When you understand that it’s not about you but about how you can serve a God who loves you.  When you make your life pursuit in knowing God and loving Him as He loves you freedom is found. 

“But more than that, I count everything as loss compared to the priceless privilege and supreme advantage of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord [and of growing more deeply and thoroughly acquainted with Him—a joy unequaled]. For His sake I have lost everything, and I consider it all garbage, so that I may gain Christ.”  Philippians 3:8 AMP

Jesus could not be more clear when He says, “If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me” 

 And Jesus was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to follow Me [as My disciple], he must deny himself [set aside selfish interests], and take up his cross daily [expressing a willingness to endure whatever may come] and follow Me [believing in Me, conforming to My example in living and, if need be, suffering or perhaps dying because of faith in Me].”  Luke 9:23 AMP

It may seem hard to believe that self-denial, rather than self-esteem, could actually be the solution to female insecurity. But when you let self fade into the background and become consumed with Jesus Christ, your personal insecurities will melt away. You no longer look to yourself…your talent, beauty, or uniqueness to find confidence. You must not depend on others for accolades because gratification through objects and people don’t last but are just a momentarily.  Instead, you learn to find your confidence in who He is, rather than in who the world says you are.

Charles Spurgeon said, “If a soul has any beauty, it is because Christ has endowed that soul with His own, for in ourselves we are deformed and defiled! There is no beauty in any of us but what our Lord has worked in us.”

The world would lead you to believe that you have “beauty within you” and that if you could only learn to love yourself “just the way you are” you would be confident and happy. The TRUTH, as Spurgeon so plainly put it, “We do not actually possess any beauty or goodness of our own accord.” 

“Every one of them has turned aside; together they have become corrupt; There is no one who does good, not even one.”  Psalms 53:3 NASB

The only beauty, confidence or worth you can ever have is in Jesus Christ. And His loveliness will only come shining through in your life when self has gotten out of the way. 

As John the Baptist declared, “I must decrease, but He must increase.”  John 3:30 NASB

Rather than trying to build up your self-esteem and “feel good about yourself” (which doesn’t produce lasting confidence anyway) you are to let thoughts of self fade completely into the background. Remember that to “deny yourself” according to the Bible literally means to lose sight of yourself and your own interests. You will only gain lasting security when you look away from yourself and toward Jesus Christ. 

God’s Word is full of information about your identity and position as a believer in Jesus Christ. Let the wonder of God’s perspective on you soak in. Do you fully realize what it means to be:

The question “who am I?” is not nearly as important as the question, “who is He?”  Learning to see yourself through God’s eyes is key for He is the Beholder.

Be Blessed,  Laurie

The Road We Travel – Part I “Father of Lies”

Serpent-goddess-eveI can’t sleep and so here I am writing a blog entry to a Wednesday Night Life Group I lead called “Girls Only” which consists of High School Girls.  Have you ever know something to be so true that it hurts?  Make you physically ill?  Deep down inside of me there is this TRUTH and I wish that those around me could experience what I’m feeling and the truth found in Jesus.  That’s how I feel about what I’m going to share.  It’s after midnight and this is so important it’s keeping me up.  God has laid this burden on my heart for all of you.

From the day you were born into this world until you breathe that final breath you are a traveler.  Wow, I’m even having a hard time putting into words what I want to say because it’s so important and on my heart I want you to receive what needs to be said.

The devil is a liar, a thief, a destroyer.  He is pure evil and if he can win the battle and ruin your life he will.  In fact you are so precious to Jesus and those who love you Satan lurks around looking for opportunities to temp and destroy you.  Satan takes great pride in continually twisting your thoughts and perception.  If he can destroy you when your life is just getting started he will.  He will use the world to distort how you make decisions, those around you…teachers, movies, social media, friends, young men and unfortunately even family can sometimes be his weapon.  He will use the need for us to feel accepted and loved as a source to make you his and put you in situations where your innocence will be stolen.

In His Word, God warns us over and over about Satan and how there is a spiritual battle raging over us.  You must learn how to fight the devil and bring the power found in the Holy Spirit to protect you.  You must open your ears and listen to your parents, mentors and best friends.  I pray that those people in your life are first of all lovers of Jesus, second that they understand the pressure you are under, the battle you are in and are willing to listen, pray and offer godly guidance.  More importantly you must be willing to listen and take their help.  You must get on your knees and ask God to give you discernment in all things and then take time to pray, listen, wait, and search the scriptures. Remember every situation you face has been faced hundreds of time over for centuries and God’s Word has the answers, those answers come when you surrender yourself and allow Jesus to speak to you.

So what are the main areas Satan will use to destroy you… self-image, love, worthinessacceptance, and intimacy.  All of these are linked together and are key in Satan’s plan however they also belong to God and when you see yourself the way God sees you the devil loses.

The fall of man destroyed that special union between man and God.  Each one of us are now born with an emptiness that can only be satisfied in God.  However that does not come naturally to us and so you choose human love, comfort and relationship but they cannot fill the emptiness.  In your hunger to fill your empty heart you choose what is tangible and immediate, unfortunately that is not of God.  You become self-seeking, self-gratifying, self-loathing  and even self-destructive. I know this sounds hopeless but I’m living proof that God is here and He is supernatural and powerful and through His love for us we can conquer the emptiness that leads to our self-destructive nature. 

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this [present] darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) places.” Ephesians 6:12 AMP

Most of you have heard some of my testimony, well, God doesn’t want you to have that kind of testimony.  His plan for you is amazing, filled with love, acceptance, rewarding relationships and a life where you are witness to God’s kingdom and all the glory found there. There will be bumps and challenges along the road without a doubt because that’s written in His word as well.  The problem is you start taking matters into your own hands and listening to what the world is offering.  Satan manipulates you into believing lies about who you are and how you should live.  Even Disney’s best and most popular fairy tales these days show a rebellious young woman going against her family, only to face hardship and then win the prince in the end! How ridiculous is that, think about it. If you are repeatedly exposed to the same type of story with a similar ending soon you began to believe that as being truth.  Everything around you has a distorted view, Satan has done an excellent job at telling lies and spinning an accepted reality far from the life God has for you. 

You are of your father the devil, and it is your will to practice the desires [which are characteristic] of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks what it natural to him, for he is a liar and the father of lies and half-truths.  John 8:44 AMP

Where is Jesus in all of this?  He loved you first!  The Psalms could not say it better, before you were even conceived He knew you!  You know this because you have felt that love through your parents.  His love is even greater but to understand and receive it you must stop listening to the devil and start relying on God’s Word as absolute truth.  You must discover your identity in our creator.  Through the process of understanding God loved you first and receiving this love, you find truth.  Knowing God changes everything. Also you must call upon the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit to subdue the devil and bind him.  Only through Jesus will you free yourself of the hold Satan has on you. 

“For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well.  My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them. How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them!  If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand.  When I awake, I am still with You.”  Psalms 138: 13-18

I’m leaving this entry here…in the next blog I will begin to breakdown how the devil twists each of the areas I listed above and how precious you are to God and how He loves you.  Our Father plays no favorites, each of you are equally loved and valued in His eyes.  How God’s truth is the only truth you can live by.

Be Blessed,

Laurie

Experiencing God’s Supernatural Power

The following is an excerpt from an email I received from Thomas Griffin.  He and his wife Mandi have an online ministry.  They are one of many emails I receive each day full of encouragement. I am ashamed to say I don’t always read each devotional email I receive.  Today God drew my attention to this one and when I started to read it I new exactly why…I have experienced this and felt God’s direction with such strength that it brought me to tears.  If you have felt this as well be glad and encouraged because God wants us to let go and allow his Holy Spirit to consume us and use us in a supernatural way! So enjoy and let go the next time you feel the Holy Spirit directing you.
Thomas, Thank you so much for sharing in such a personal way!
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The last time I felt this compassion of the Lord, I stood at the back of a 200 seat auditorium after just leading worship. As I looked out across the crowd, tears began to violently pour. I didn’t understand what was happening at the time but I know now it was the compassion of the Lord.
I never planned on praying for anyone that night but while I stood at the back of the room, the pastor I was traveling with motioned for me to come to him. I thought he wanted me to come back up to the keyboard and play behind him as he spoke but that wasn’t the case. He asked me to pray. As I began to lay hands on people, tears flowed even stronger. Like a waterfall crashing to rocks, my tears crashed down my cheeks to the floor as I pushed through my trembling to speak the prayer of faith over individuals.
Every person the Lord had me pray for was visibly and physically touched. It reminded me of stories where many came to Jesus and the bible says “He healed them ALL.”
The power of God struck them and my tears started to feel like fire running down my cheek. My heart broke for each person and love wrecked my whole being. All I could do was keep moving from person to person asking Abba to touch them and standing in faith that the healing Jesus paid for would be manifested in their bodies. I felt as if I didn’t keep moving on to another person that my own body could not take the overwhelming compassion, brokenness for the hurting and needy in the measure in which is was coming. The tears flowed for two solid hours.
We saw mighty things. A man who couldn’t bend to even touch his knees was instantaneously healed. Eyesight was healed. Migraines ceased and many more with physical strain were healed. When we came back to our home church a man had sent in before and after scans where tumors had dissipated and stage 4 cancer had vanished. I remembered praying for this man and feeling like I could barely stand under the power of God as I prayed.
All those tears were from Jesus. That compassion was not of this world and I felt it again when I wrote you last night. I know He is healing many even right now as faith is arising. IN JESUS NAME RISE AND BE HEALED!  Many of you are being touched even now. I hear the Lord causing a laughter to come out of your mouth as the sickness melts away! GLORY TO GOD! GLORY TO GOD! If I knew how to write in tongues I would hahahah! Glory to God!
I will stand with you in prayer as I record tomorrow this prayer of faith. I will not eat, I will surrender all of my being to the Lord so that He can move through me as He has promised. He alone is glorified in this. As many of you are being healed you need to call someone and speak healing over them. As you feel the power of God touch you now or as you listen tomorrow, you need to walk though your surroundings and lay lands on the sick that are near you.
You don’t even have to say anything, watch what Jesus will do through you as you are being touched by His power. You don’t need to pray, you just need to receive and be a conduit. Don’t complicate the simplicity of His truth and power. Only believe. There are many of you that will be used to heal others by the Spirit of God while you are being healed.
For some, like how Moses face shined with the Glory of God after He met with God, so will you carry a presence of the Lord that is present to heal. I see in my spirit many will not even say a word but go to others and touch them and the power of God will flow through you. THEN when they ask “what was that?” you will testify simply that “Jesus is healing you both!”
I believe the unsaved will be touched. Jesus healed all who were sick that came to him… believers and sinners alike. If that’s you and you feel that healing power now, GO NOW lay hands on your loved ones, even some while they sleep. Go to your office tomorrow and know you are a carrier of the healing presence of Jesus.. shake hands with people you know need healing and let Jesus minister to them through you! Then testify of His love, compassion and power! Tell them “God is healing you because He loves you and gave himself for you!” What more needs be said? He will draw all men until Himself! Let HIM do the work!
Today before I prayed for one single person, my son came to me and we prayed over a struggle he was going through and in that moment EVERYTHING changed. That was before I even slid out of my covers to wake up.
My friends be encouraged, reach out and touch Jesus. You are HEALED even now. The healer is present to heal because He finished your healing on the cross and it is your season for the manifestation of the healing.
I cant wait to agree with you in faith as I record and release this prayer to you tomorrow. I still have a few people the Lord has laid on my heart to reach out to individually before I release this prayer to those who submitted a prayer request, but it will happen tomorrow Lord willing…and I believe He does WILL IT!
He gave His only son, would He withhold any good thing from you then? Never. He is Our good father!
Thomas and Mandi Griffin + five
Be Blessed,
Laurie

JOIN THE BATTLE! A Mother’s Day Word

Womens Day 2017 gif“My heart rejoices and triumphs in the Lord; My horn (strength) is lifted up in the Lord…My mouth has opened wide [to speak boldly] against my enemies, Because I rejoice in Your salvation.” 1 Samuel 2:1

This Sunday we celebrate Mother’s Day an annual tradition which has been corrupted by a monetary commercial driven society.  Mother’s Day was started when Ann Jarvis wished to honor her mother with a memorial service.  Ann Reeves Jarvis her mother was the daughter of a Baptist Minister.  During the American Civil War many people, especially children died from measles, typhoid fever, diphtheria as well as tuberculosis.  The main culprit was living conditions in the home.  She formed an organization known as Mother’s Day Work Clubs, women visited households to educate mothers and their families about improving sanitation and overall health. Both of these amazing women were fighters.  They are the heart of Mother’s Day!

God has given us a very special position in the world…only women can bring new life.  Our bodies were created uniquely to carry and protect.  A vessel and safe place for new life.  With that position we also are a refuge for those we love in this world.  Why not extend that love, comfort and safety to others?  Anyone we encounter?

God has also anointed us with great power…the power of the Holy Spirit which is a pure and supernatural power giving us all what we need to minister, heal and speak life in a broken world.

Matthew 10:1 says Jesus gave us authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness.  Now that is power!

How can we use this power to help those in need?  We can make ourselves, our homes, places of work a refuge for the hurting. In fact anywhere there are people we can offer refuge and light.   I know through the years I have always tried to keep my home clean, neat and cozy because I felt when my husband and children came home they should feel loved.  I may not know what they faced during their day so I wanted to create a place they would feel safe and loved.

Our words and attitude play a huge part in creating that safe place…no matter what we have faced that day we must bring those things before Jesus and allow Him to purify us.  He will give us all that we need to be that place of refuge and light.

Awareness is another part of bringing refuge and light to others, slow down and take notice of those round you.  Use God’s eyes to recognize the hurting.  Let the Holy Spirit direct you!  We live in a hurry up world, people bury their faces in their phones, sadly we have lost the need for human contact, our phones do that for us with social media taking over the need for eye to eye contact and conversation.  Why not get back to that?

Several years ago I was at a Wal-Mart at the check out line. The line was long with 3-4 before me.  As each person got their opportunity to check out they had no patience for the young woman working the register.  I even heard one of them speaking rudely to her.  Another grab his purchase and walked off in a huff.  Finally there was one person in front of me.  The cashier’s phone rang and she answered it.  She was visual upset, she began working with the customer in front of me setting her phone down for a moment to complete the transaction.  The customer was speaking under their tongue with much cruelty which just upset the young woman further.  As I moved forward she picked up her phone and I heard her say “Please find it! Just keep looking!” then she hung up.  “Hello” and she raised her head with tears in her eyes, I continued “Having a rough day?  What’s wrong?”  She explained how she had misplaced an earring given to her by her mother and it was very special.  She didn’t realize it was missing until she looked in the mirror in her car before coming in to work.  In that moment I felt the Lord say, “Offer her encouragement, pray with her right here and now!”

I wish I could say I just stopped right there and prayed with her but I hesitated and Satan won the battle. 

I did offer her encouragement but I didn’t allow the Holy Spirit to take over.  “I didn’t allow” is the key…How many times have you been in that same situation?  You know God wants you to do something and you freeze, make excuses and just walk away.

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12

If we are going to truly make a different for Christ, take part in inviting those in need to received the love and grace found in Jesus…WE MUST BE BOLD!

We must allow the Holy Spirit to guide us continually!

Ok I know your thinking, “How can I prepare myself to minister to others…be that place of refuge?”  We must spend time in His presence “dwelling” in His shelter or secret place. That begins with meditating on His Word and praying, listening and waiting, and finding a spiritual mentor.

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High…Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress…My God, in whom I trust!”  For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper and from the deadly pestilence.  He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.”  Psalms 91:1-4

I recently tried just taking time to “dwell in His presence” wow it was fantastic!  Look for my upcoming blog about it.  There is just too much and this experience needs it own writing.

Be Blessed, Laurie

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me…Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor.  He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed.”  Luke 4:18

Take Me to the Early Church!

early-church--770x300I’m so hungry for the Holy Ghost and for an awakening to happen! I can feel it in the air! I read today another lover of Jesus Christ who has experienced the fullness of walking in the Spirit here is his desire…
“I remember when Holy Ghost filled churches were a place that you could get supernatural deliverance.
When they were more concerned about the spirit moving than a time schedule.
I remember when the power would sweep through the building and it was genuine & authentic not a lot goofy putting on.
I remember when Pastors taught believers how to walk in the Spirit and how to pray effectively for results.
I remember when the church had all nite prayer shut ins.
Corporate fasts… and supernatural breakthroughs would happen.
I remember when saints knew they weren’t like the world and were loyal & dedicated to ministry. They worked alters and labored in prayer for people to really get converted.
They gave and supported wholeheartedly as unto the Lord.
I remember when believers knew it was a cost .. a sacrifice to be a disciple of Christ.
They wanted you to tell them the truth that would help them mature and stop making excuses.
I remember when they wouldn’t think of skipping service- they came to give to the atmosphere and not take.
So much has changed.. have Devils changed?
Has Satan decided to go easy on everybody?
Has he stopped oppressing people that we don’t need the same old-time power of the Holy Ghost?
I’m convinced that this modern pseudo charismatic church doesn’t have the supernatural flowing simply because it can live without it.  Sad day in America when the saints settle for a lite weight milktoast version of church. Doing “life together” and taking journeys..motivational speeches in dark rooms.

“After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.”  Acts 4:31

Thank you Marlin J Reid for your inspiring words of truth!

Be Blessed, Laurie

 

 
 
 

I AM DEVOTIONAL – More than just Visitation Rights

IAMYou don’t get visitation rights with Jesus. He is not some estranged child that we only get to see on Sunday. But that’s how we do church in a 21st century culture. We expect God to show up and visit us at the predetermined time at the predetermined place. 

“And in Him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit.”  Ephesians 2:22

 A habitation is quite different from a visitation. Face it, we are doing church all wrong! We have concentrated on getting God to show up in our precious white washed sepulchers when He just wants to abide with US. Jesus said, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” I would much rather have the power residing within me every moment of every day than just hoping for a housewarming gift on visitation day.

“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”  John 15:7

Now think about when we do gather together it is a celebration of Him dwelling in us and a sharing of how He is changing us daily refining us. A telling of how He is using us! Our Sundays or whatever day we join together becomes a powerful experience, a place where those lost and hurting can receive through an anointed outpouring of the Holy Ghost! Church becomes God’s hospital!

A few of these words came from a good friend who loves Jesus.  Thank you Curtis Dunning.

Be Blessed, Laurie