Category: Faith


Pray Praying!

    Pray While Praying

Lord Heal

Lord, there is someone hurting today. Someone has been left to bear a most pressing burden on their own; lift that burden and give them rest. Someone has been seized by the unbearable pain of abandonment; hold them in your arms and caress away the hurt. Someone is perplexed by the enigmatic conundrums that seem to plague their lives; simply this moment so that they can exhale.

Lord, somebody is at the point of giving up, shine a light into their darkness so that they may see that they are standing on the edge of a breakthrough. Lord someone has been convinced that their life is not worth living, reveal the cross so they will see that you thought so much of their life that you gave yours to save it. ~ Dr. Rick Wallace

Taking a Leap of Faith
Sharon Jaynes

Today’s Truth
“I can do everything through him (Jesus) who gives me strength,” (Philippians 4:13 NIV).

Friend to Friend
Several years ago, on a trip to Kauai, my husband and our friends, Larry and Cynthia Price, decided to go on a zip line through the jungle. After being jostled and tossed like ragdolls in the back of a retired army jeep, we finally made it to the top of the mountain from which we were going to zip down—risking life and limb I might add.

I hopped out of the jeep and eyed the cable suspended high above the valley below. After watching Cynthia fly through the trees, I climbed up onto a wooden platform and surrendered to Jack, a jovial, burly Hawaiian, who strapped me into a harness and placed a helmet on my head. With a simple click of a metal buckle, he attached my harnessed body onto a seemingly flimsy steel cable. As I stood on the edge of the platform eyeing the disappearing earth below my feet, I had a choice. I could say, “no thanks” and ask to be released from the cable, or I could jump.

I chose to jump. My body flew over the treetops and the stunningly beautiful gorge. I was Tarzan’s Jane and this was my jungle. Airborne. Exhilarating. Risky.

Jacob was with us that day. He was a stranger among our little band of adventurers. Jacob was alone. No friends. No spouse. No family.

“Jacob, what brings you up to this mountain today?” I asked.

“I’m afraid of heights,” he answered.

I then noticed the thin line of perspiration beading over his upper lip. The slight tremble in his voice. The mechanical one-foot-in-front-of-the-other halted gait up the hill.

“You’re afraid of heights?” I asked. “Then why are you here?”

“I’m going to conquer it today,” he determinedly answered.

I was struck. We were here to have fun. He was here for a totally different reason. When Jacob stood on that platform, I prayed for my new friend. For Jacob this was not just a joy ride…or just maybe it was.

I’m not saying that God told Jacob to go to the top of a mountain, attach his body to a flimsy cable, and fly over the gorge at the risk of life and limb. But I am saying that obedience often requires a leap of faith. Too often we say yes to God, but live the no because of fear. We stand at the precipice of belief and a decision has to be made. Am I going to trust God or not? Am I going to attach my heart to the cable of His love and take a leap of faith, or am I going to freeze in fear because I don’t trust that He has my best interest in mind? Am I going to settle for safety and miss the thrill of seeing God work through me?

As we live and move and have our being in Jesus, God will take us to some amazing places. And there will always be a choice. Will we jump headlong into the adventurous journey of His perfect plan, or will we hang back for lack of faith? Jacob stood on the platform, took a deep breath, and jumped. He flew over the treetops, careened over the river, and landed safely on the other side of his greatest fear.

We clapped and cheered. Jacob took a bow. God smiled.

In Him we live and move and have our being…and sometimes we soar.

Let’s Pray
Lord, sometimes I’m just flat out afraid. Afraid I’ll fail. Afraid I’ll be rejected. Afraid I won’t be good enough. Lord, forgive me for all those “I’s.” Forgive me for focusing on my weaknesses rather than Your strength. Today, I’m believing that I can do all things that You call me to do because I know that You will give me the strength I need.
In Jesus’ Name,
Amen.

November 5, 2012
Be My Portion, Part 2
Gwen Smith

Today’s Truth
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in Him” – (Lamentations 3:24, ESV).

Friend to Friend
I sometimes run to God as if He’s a celestial Wal-Mart purposed to satisfy my every want. Change my family. Fix my job problem, God. Do it my way! Instead of leaning in to hear the whispered will of the Lord, I selfishly shout my will, my desires and my demands. Lord, give me relief from life-pressures instead of giving me strength to endure them. When I’m desperate to fill my mega-sized heart-cart with things that I want, I rob myself of what really matters: the pursuit of God and the blessings found in Him alone.

The truth is that even those of us who are Jesus-girls, you know… good Christian women who strive each day to live for Christ… continually sin and wallow in the shallow, unsatisfying waters of discontentment. We tell God what we’d like Him to do for us so we can be happy and then expect Him to intervene in ways that suit us. We blur the lines between our wants and our needs – between our plans and God’s plans.

In part one of this devotion, we were reminded to rest in God. We looked at His care of the sparrows, considered that God loves us even more than he does the birds of the air, and were challenged not to worry. Today, we focus on prioritizing God above all else. Matthew 6:33 instructs us to seek God first: to look to Him as our Ultimate. Our Portion. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (Matthew 6:33, ESV)

David modeled this beautifully when he called out to God in the midst of trouble and recognized Him as being enough. I cry to you, O Lord; I say, “You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living” (Psalm 142:5). In Psalm 119, the psalmist recognizes God as his portion and takes the moment of surrender a step further by tethering his satisfaction with obedience. You are my portion, O Lord; I have promised to obey your words. I have soughtyour face with all my heart; be gracious to meaccording to your promise (Psalm 119:57-58).

Life is unpredictable. There will always be days that we want to yell, C’mon, God! Throw me a bone here! I could use a little help, please! It is not a bad thing to call to God in the midst of our struggles. In fact, we should! We must! The big game changer, however, is not God’s presents – but His presence. Refuge from our circumstances and contentment in the midst of them is found in the center of our surrender.

So what’s the connection point between our longings and His provision? Perhaps the better question is not what but who? The late pastor and theologian Charles Spurgeon said it this way, “It is not ‘The Lord is partly my portion,’ nor ‘The Lord is in my portion’; but He Himself makes up the sum total of my soul’s inheritance. Within the circumference of that circle lies all that we possess or desire. The Lord is my portion. Not His grace merely, nor His love, nor His covenant, but Yahweh himself.”[i]

Once again, Spurgeon hits the nail on the head. We are distracted cravers when we expect our people, places and things to fill our hearts as only God can. God loves us so much. Why do we forget this all the time? His plan is perfect and we can trust Him. He knows our needs and desires. When we seek Him as the answer instead of for the answer, God enables us to rest in confidence that He’s working on our behalf and in our best interest, to bring glory to Himself through our lives.

Set your list of wants aside today and seek God. Go before Him with a heart of worship and adoration. Get lost in His presence. Remember His mercy. Relish His grace. Love Him. Seek Him. Choose Him as your Portion.

Let’s Pray
Dear Lord, Please be my Portion. Forgive me for the times when I seek Your blessings before I seek Your heart. You are all I need. In Jesus’s name I pray, amen.

November 2, 2012
Be My Portion, Part 1
Gwen Smith

Today’s Truth
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” – (Lamentations 3:24, ESV)

Friend to Friend
I am a lot of things, but low maintenance is not necessarily one of them. Straight up, I am a girl with some constant cravings. Though I do try to savor life moments with gratitude, I fail all the time. Many days, I find myself looking beyond my now to my next, longing in discontent. I seek God’s blessings instead of seeking God. I seek His hand instead of His heart. This frazzles my peace and messes with my joy. It tangles my heart in knots until I begin to dance through my days to the tune of, “I can’t get no satisfaction!”

Why do we desire God’s presents in our lives more than His presence? Does God need us to tell Him how to be God? Isn’t that what we do when we stomp our feet before His throne and whine about all of the things that need fixing instead of praising Him for the strength He graciously gives us to get through? While we’re certainly encouraged by Scripture to make our requests known to the Father (Philippians 4:6), the highest calling on our lives is to love God with all of our hearts, souls, bodies and minds (Matthew 22:37). We can do both, but we are commanded to seek God first: to look to Him as our Ultimate. Our Portion.

Asaph wrote Psalm 73 with a lot on his mind. He was flustered about all the bad people around him. He wondered why God wasn’t smacking them around for being so wretched and was struggling to keep his eyes on his own life. (Sound familiar?) Then his woes turned to worship as he entered into the sanctuary of God (v17). His heart began to untangle as he remembered God’s sovereignty. In Psalm 73:26, he finally landed in a good place. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heartand my portion forever.

He took a deep breath and found his God-confidence.
Oh, how I can relate to that!

The Bible shows us time and time again that when we prioritize God – when we look to Him to be our Portion – we are supernaturally equipped to rest in Him. Do you remember that old hymn His Eye Is On The Sparrow? Girlfriend, God doesn’t miss a trick. He knows what’s going on.

And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, He will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?

“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘what will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.

“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today(Matthew 6:30-34, NLT).

If divine eyes rest on tiny sparrows and flowers of the fields, how much more are the needs and desires of God’s children known to Him?

Let’s Pray
Dear Lord, Would You be my Portion today? Help me to trust Your plan and rest in Your grace – beyond what I see or feel. In Jesus’s name, amen.

“One of the most common causes of failure is the habit of quitting when one is overtaken by temporary defeat.” ~ Napoleon Hill

Doubt Your Doubts

October 29, 2012
Doubt Your Doubts
Mary Southerland

Today’s Truth
Hebrews 11:1 – “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”

Friend To Friend
Billy Graham once said, “Most of us do not understand nuclear fission, but we accept it. I don’t understand television, but I accept it. I don’t understand radio, but every week my voice goes out around the world, and I accept it. Why is it so easy to accept all these man-made miracles and so difficult to accept the miracles of the Bible?”

Faith is a personal issue and often demands that we give up what we can see for what we cannot see, but just because we can’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Let me share some ways to weaken your doubts and strengthen your faith:

  • Read the Bible consistently.

Romans 10:17 “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.”

You may have heard the familiar Old Chinese saying, “There is a good dog and a bad dog fighting within each of us. The one that is going to win is the one we feed the most.” The same is true when it comes to faith and doubt. We weaken our doubt by strengthening our faith in God. The Word of God feeds the new nature God gives us when we surrender our life to Him. As that new nature grows stronger, the old sinful nature becomes weaker and as that old nature becomes weaker, faith in God grows. A steady diet of the Word produces strong faith. Read the bible each day. Memorize a verse of Scripture each week.

  • Turn to God constantly.

Mark 9:14-29 tells of the man who brings his demon-possessed son to Jesus Christ and pleads, “If you can do anything, take pit on us and help us.” Jesus responds, “If I can! All things are possible to him who believes.” The dad exclaimed, “Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief!”

Sounds just like us. We believe but we also doubt. In those moments, we must be honest enough to cry out to God. Jesus didn’t punish this man for his doubt. He healed his son. God always responds to honesty.

  • Focus on God continually.

Psalm 34:6 “This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.”

We focus on the mountain while crying out to God for help, wondering if He really will do anything. We need to remember what God promises and does not promise. God does not promise to remove the mountain or that we will even understand the mountain. However, God does promise to help us climb the mountain and He does promise to climb it with us. We must make the continual choice to fix our gaze on God and our glance on the circumstances. When doubt comes, refuse it.

  • Seek out faith-builders persistently.

Ecclesiastes 4:12 “And one standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer; three is even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.”

We need to look for people who will encourage us to be faithful instead of constantly looking for ways to undermine our faith. Did you hear about the farmer that had a brilliant dog? He also had a neighbor that was negative – no matter what. If it was raining, the farmer would say to his neighbor, “Boy, look at it rain. God’s washing everything clean.” The neighbor said, “Yeah, but if this rain keeps up, it’s going to flood.” Then the sun would come out and the neighbor would say, “If it keeps that up, it’s going to burn the crops.” The farmer thought, “What am I going to do with this guy?” He made a plan. The farmer trained his dog to walk on water. He didn’t tell his neighbor – just took him duck hunting. Boom! Boom! They got two ducks. The farmer said to his dog, “Go get ’em.” The dog sprinted across the water, picked up the ducks and hopped back in the boat, nothing wet, just his paws. With a confident smile, the farmer asked his doubting neighbor, “What do you think of that?” The neighbor quickly replied, “He can’t swim, can he?” Do you know people like the neighbor? Run from the doubters in your life. We struggle enough with doubt on our own and should not compound it by investing time in doubters and cynics. Look for people who walk in faith, who believe God and study His Word. They will encourage and build your faith while weakening your doubts.

Women have so much in common. We have the same problems, the same fears and the same doubts. Don’t let fear and doubt wreak havoc in your heart and mind. Stay in God’s Word. Don’t be afraid or ashamed to cry out to Him when you are afraid. Keep your eyes on Him and look for other women who do the same. Will you join me in a new commitment to becoming a woman of faith? Remember, when doubt knocks on the door, just send faith to answer it – and you will find no one there.

Let’s Pray
Father God, I want to become a woman of faith, but I am so weak. I constantly battle fear and my faith seems so small. Please give me a new thirst for Your Word. I choose to focus on You, Father, instead of focusing on my circumstances. Help me find faith and learn to be a faith-builder each day. I now turn to You, Lord.
In Jesus’s name I pray, amen

October 23, 2012
How to Manage Emotions Part 1
Mary Southerland

Today’s Truth
Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control. (Proverbs 25:28, NIV).

Friend to Friend
You have probably discovered the truth that you simply cannot trust your emotions because they are unreliable, misleading and will constantly betray you. A friend verbally blasts you and rage consumes your spirit. Your business is in decline and depression slithers into your heart. Caught in the comparison trap, you find yourself avoiding those who are more successful. Anger is a constant companion, finances are tight and rest is a distant memory. A sense of bone-deep weariness saturates your soul as your own heart ridicules the authenticity of your life. “You might as well give up. It’s no use. Just quit!” the enemy taunts.

Each day seems to offer the perfect setting for negative emotions to take hold of and destroy a life, but daily life is also the perfect setting for emotional control to shine. Control puts emotions in their God-shaped place, discarding negative emotions as the spiritual leeches they are while safeguarding and reinforcing positive emotions. I am amazed at the number of people who base eternal decisions on feelings while seeking confirmation and even direction from emotional responses. I almost missed one of the highest plans for my life because it didn’t feel right.

My husband, Dan, was Youth Pastor at Sheridan Hills Baptist in Hollywood, Florida, where Bill Billingsley, one of the greatest men I have ever known, was senior pastor. He and his amazing wife, Betty Jean, had an enormous impact on me personally and on the ministry of speaking and writing to which God has now called me. It was in the midst of my God-ordained transformation at Sheridan Hills and the youth program’s greatest growth that Dan dropped the bomb – he felt God calling him back to Southwestern Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Well, I felt God calling him to stay put!

I loved Sheridan Hills. It was home. Going back to seminary meant I would have to go back to teaching elementary school. Teaching wasn’t the problem, but placing our son, Jered, in daycare was. We had waited so long for this chosen baby, and the thought of handing over his care to strangers broke my heart. How could this possibly be God’s plan when it felt so wrong?

My favorite worship time at Sheridan Hills was the Wednesday night service — for two reasons. I enjoyed the contemporary worship and in-depth Bible teaching. I also treasured the fact that, each week, while Dan was in meetings and Jered was in the nursery, I could slip into the empty, darkened auditorium for an hour of solitude.  However, the Wednesday night after Dan shared the numbing probability of our return to seminary, my usually refreshing solitude dissolved into a tantrum of crying, praying and pleading with God to let us stay.

When a hand gently patted my shoulder, I looked up into the tear-filled eyes of my pastor. “I have something to tell you,” he said. Pastor Billingsley was not only a spiritual mentor in my life, but a loving father figure as well.  Expecting a word of wisdom or encouragement, I was shattered by his words, “I have cancer.” Speechless, we sat in pain-filled silence, weeping; each flailing in our own sea of emotions and questions. Bill Billingsley then spoke the words that have guided my steps from the moment he gave them life. “Mary, just remember that God’s will penalizes no one.”

I immediately knew I had a choice to make. I could stubbornly hold on to my emotional comfort or submit to God’s will. My choice to obey God plotted the course for an incredible journey filled with purpose, a life of sharing God’s hope and healing with women across the world through speaking and writing. Had my emotions ruled, I would have missed God’s best and highest plan for my life.

Emotions are a gift from God. While emotions themselves are not sin, the place we give them can be. Since God created us with the capacity for strong emotions, we can rest assured that He has a plan for managing them. It is a step-by-step plan that begins with our commitment to being honest and transparent about every emotion, especially the negative ones.

Step one:Identify the source of negative emotions. Proverbs 23:7 (NIV) reminds us of a simple but powerful truth, “For as a man thinks, so is he.” Negative emotions are nourished in many ways – by daily challenges, a painful past, hurt or rejection, an undisciplined thought life or Satan himself. Some people qualify as “carriers” because they not only transmit negative emotions but constantly use others as their personal dumping ground.  In managing negative emotions, it is imperative that we identify their source and eliminate it.

Step two: Label negative emotions correctly. We are masters at mislabeling emotions because we fear exposing our true emotions will affect the way others see us. It is time for us to take off and burn the emotional masks we wear because healing and restoration begin at the point of emotional integrity.

Going back to seminary proved to be a spiritual marker for our family. At first, I cried every day and seethed in anger each night. I couldn’t blame God so I blamed Dan! I missed being home with Jered, even though he loved the seminary daycare and Miss Nancy, his incredibly gifted and caring teacher. I complained about others raising my son, even though Dan picked him up after lunch each day and kept him every afternoon. I resented having to work, even though my teaching assignment was at one of the best elementary schools in Fort Worth and my principal was a precious Christian man.

Gradually, God broke my hardened heart as I realized that Jered was flourishing in daycare as he made wonderful friends, learned how to adjust to changes, and enjoyed priceless time with his dad. Teaching school became a passion and, in many ways, prepared me for the calling I now live.

Looking back, I now see how I gave negative emotions free reign. The result was wasted emotional energy, health problems, spiritual disobedience, and mental exhaustion. Do not walk that path, girlfriend. Instead, right now, commit to emotional integrity and discipline. God will surely empower that commitment.

Let’s Pray
Father, I come to You, knowing I have allowed emotions to dictate my actions. I no longer want to live at the mercy of my fickle emotions. I want to control and manage them in a way that pleases You and brings emotional discipline to my life. Today, I choose to surrender the control of my emotions to You. In Jesus’s name, amen.

October l5, 2012

I’d Be Happy If…
Sharon Jaynes

Today’s Truth
“Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers (and sisters). Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows” (James 1:16, 17 NIV)

Friend to Friend
Adam and Eve lived in a perfect world. All their needs were cared for. They had perfect communion with God and each other. They were “naked and unashamed.” The only restriction placed on them was that they were not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil located in the middle of the Garden. God warned them, “If you eat of it, you will surely die.”

As they basked in the light of God’s love, darkness slithered into the Garden with his plan to kill, steal and destroy the image bearers. And how did he do it? He did it with the most powerful weapon of all…lies.

“Now the serpent…” The great deceiver clothed himself as a serpent and slithered up to Eve with a game plan to destroy God’s prized possession. He didn’t come with a sword, or a gun, or even a knife for his attack. He simply wielded lies.

The serpent knew Adam and Eve would not buy into a radical flamboyant denial of God, so he slithered into the garden with a twist and a turn of the truth. He began by causing Eve to doubt… “Did God really say you must not eat from any tree in the garden?” (Genesis 3:1).

Satan knew exactly what God had said. He was simply trying to confuse Eve. Perhaps he was evaluating just how well she knew the truth. He found out.

“We may eat fruit from the tress in the garden,” Eve replied, “but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die” (Genesis 3:3).

Bingo. She didn’t know the truth that well after all. God never mentioned not touching the fruit. That seems like a pretty good idea, but it was not what God said.

Second he denied God and lied about the consequences of disobedience. Satan said, “You will not surely die.” (3:4). He didn’t even try to disguise the deception. He told a flat-out lie.

And finally, he told her she could be like God: “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil (Genesis 3:5). In other words, “God doesn’t know what He’s talking about. He’s holding out on you. You don’t need Him. You can be your own god.”

Eve rejected the truth and believed the lie. She believed that she could be like god…in control of her own life. “When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her.”

And as she sunk her teeth into the forbidden fruit of deception and the lie slid down her delicate throat, the temptation settled in her soul and fermented into shame and condemnation. Her husband, who chose the woman over God, also felt the sickening rot of sin settle in his very soul. Suddenly shame and fear entered the world, and Adam and Eve hid from God like wayward children.

All temptation is an attempt to get us to live our lives independent of God. Satan is not very creative, but he is very affective. And he has been lying to us ever since. Why? Because it works.

Every one of his lies springs from the idea that happiness is just a decision away. Satan wants you to believe God is holding out on you. You can be like God. You can be your own god.

Rather than being thankful for what we do have, he points out what we don’t have. Think about it. Eve had at her disposal every tree in the garden except one. Every one! That is a smorgasbord of goodness! But rather than being thankful, she bought the lie that the one thing she couldn’t have was the one thing that would make her happy. I would be happy if… Is any of this sounding familiar to you? It should. Satan uses the same tactics with us that he used with Eve. Ingratitude is the infection of Eden, and it is cured with praise.

Eve believed the enemy’s lie over God’s truth. His plan worked. But what the serpent did not know was that God’s amazing plan of forgiveness and grace was about to unfold. Satan did not win the battle for man’s soul in the garden. Jesus Christ won the war on Calvary’s Cross. When Jesus said, “It is finished,” and then breathed his last, He made a way for all mankind to regain all that Adam and Eve had lost.

Nothing Too Hard

“Is there anything too hard for Jehovah?” (Gen. 18:14).

Here is God’s loving challenge to you and to me today. He wants us to think of the deepest, highest, worthiest desire and longing of our hearts, something which perhaps was our desire for ourselves or for someone dear to us, yet which has been so long unfulfilled that we have looked upon it as only a lost desire, that which might have been but now cannot be, and so have given up hope of seeing it fulfilled in this life.

That thing, if it is in line with what we know to be His expressed will (as a son to Abraham and Sarah was), God intends to do for us, even if we know that it is of such utter impossibility that we only laugh at the absurdity of anyone’s supposing it could ever now come to pass. That thing God intends to do for us, if we will let Him.

“Is anything too hard for the Lord?” Not when we believe in Him enough to go forward and do His will, and let Him do the impossible for us. Even Abraham and Sarah could have blocked God’s plan if they had continued to disbelieve. The only thing too hard for Jehovah is deliberate, continued disbelief in His love and power, and our final rejection of His plans for us. Nothing is too hard for Jehovah to do for them that trust Him –Messages for the Morning Watch

*********
The question is: Is there anything to hard for God? Certainly not! God is not perplexed by your problems. He is not confounded by your concerns. He does not become discombobulated by the loftiness of your desires.

It is time for believers to stop walking in the mundane and start participating in the miraculous. It is time to raise the expectations you have for your life. God meets each of us at the level of our expectations. It is time to unpack your dreams and activate your visions.

I’m not speaking about wishful thinking here. I am speaking of walking in the will of God and using faith to access God’s very best. God has supernatural blessings locked in escrow for the one that is audacious enough to believe.

God told the unbelieving Israelites in the wilderness: “As you have spoken in my hearing so shall I do to you.” To follow up on the same issue, the writer of Hebrews said that the Israelites did not enter into the promised rest because of unbelief. The land was already promised, but failure to step out on faith and believe God for the spectacular cost an entire generation a trip across the Jordan River into the promised land.

2 For indeed we have had the glad tidings [Gospel of God] proclaimed to us just as truly as they [the Israelites of old did when the good news of deliverance from bondage came to them]; but the message they heard did not benefit them, because it was not mixed with faith (with [c]the leaning of the entire personality on God in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness) by those who heard it; [d]neither were they united in faith with the ones [Joshua and Caleb] who heard (did believe). (Heb, 4:2, AMP)

Are you stepping out on the word of God and trusting Him to honor His promises? The woman with the issue of blood stepped out on faith after being told multitudinous times that there was nothing that could be done for her. The blind man believed that he could see. The lame man believed that he could walk and each of them reached into the well of faith to claimed their miracle. They met Jesus at the threshold of the supernatural and what was His response? “According to your faith you have been healed.” When the Centurion came to Christ requesting that his servant be healed, he had enough faith to believe that it was not necessary for Christ to step into his house. He told Christ that if He would just speak the word it would be done. The bible said that Christ marveled at the faith of this man, who was not even a Jew but recognized the messiah and the power of faith. How would it feel to have a faith so powerful and lucid that it makes Christ marvel. That is audacious faith.

When Joshua stopped in the middle of battle and prayed that the sun stand still, I can imagine that God looked down and said, “Now that Joshua just gets it.” Keep in mind that when God told Israel that they would not make it into the promised land, it was Joshua and Caleb that got a pass. They were the only two that believed that they could take the promise land. Joshua had a history of believing God for the impossible and he experienced more than his share of miracles.

The nation of Israel’s first generation missed the promised land because they were afraid of giants. So, what are the giants in your life? Maybe its the opinion of those close to you. Maybe your giants are the memories of your past failures. Maybe its a damaged self-image based on past abuses experienced at the hands of others. Maybe its the fear of the unknown. No matter how huge your giants are, God is not shaken by the size of your issues. God is ready to execute His power on behalf of those that trust in Him without fail.

9 For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him….(2 Chron. 16:9, NKJV)

So, I ask you once again: Is there anything too hard for God?

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