Break Every Chain

Image result for Psalm 107:13-16

It is so necessary to trust God… that’s it. Not when, not if….ALWAYS.. and until. These past days have been such a testament to this truth. I was so worried, but I trusted Him to change my mind. I was confused, but I trusted Him to bring clarity. I clung to Jesus and stayed in His word, and in the end He used my own misdirected focus for His good.

You see, The Holy Spirit laid on my heart to quit smoking last Tuesday. I didn’t question Him, I prayed about it through the week and put them down Friday morning. After a year of praying fervently to please take it, then trying over and over to just do it, I finally about a month ago finally gave it to my Father and quit trying to quit. I am His child, and He doesn’t intend for us to do anything on our own. Yet in my humanness I kept trying to do it anyway. Logically, I knew better, but still. The conviction was so great!

Here’s where He took me by surprise… Normally before I even begin to quit, I am already fretting over it. I am white knuckling it all the way. The longest for 6 months. I never stopped wanting them. I loved smoking quite honestly.

Well, this time, I felt at peace about it. But, suddenly I became consumed with my past illness more than ever since I got better. I am glad I blogged about the experience of my fear, cause I can see Him working in me during those days. And I kept seeking His word about healing and faith.

The Spirit finally enlightened me yesterday, what had happened… All the while I was focused on a past ghost, He was healing me of my addiction. When He says He works all things together for good, it covers so many things. This is one of them. I was so worried I was going to get sick again, that the discomfort of nicotine withdrawal held no bearing on me. For the first time, since I was 12, I have let go of smoking. I am a non smoker, not an ex-smoker. I say that because they aren’t part of my life now … period. 5 days… 5 days and no irritation, no needing to comfort eat, no missing my constant filthy habit. It’s just gone. The thought of holding one even in my hand is unappealing.

More than that, my fear is gone. He didn’t cause my fear, but I think of the times I prayed over and over to change my mind about cigarettes, make me sick when I smoke, whatever it takes Lord just take it from me… Well guess what, in a way I didn’t see coming He used my natural silly fear for a great mind changer. When I suddenly realized days had went by and I hadn’t even hardly noticed I quit smoking I was astonished. Well more humbled that He once again, fixed what I couldn’t.

Father, I humbly bow my head in gratitude. Words can not express how much you have given me a new life. Every time I think this is the best it can get, you show me how I haven’t even scratched the surface of your goodness. You have showed me more than a few times now, that You are never late, You are always on time, no matter how I see it through a glass darkly. I am thankful that you teach me on this road to eternity, that you are full of wondrous surprises. That it can so often feel darkest before the dawn. And for every time doubt enters in, thank you so much Lord for reminding me to continue leaning on you anyway.

You are my King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Thank you for all that you have done, all that you are doing, and all that you will continue to do.

In Jesus’ Holy name… Amen.

Ask and Ye Shall Receive

My fear has subsided. A beautiful brother in Christ whom I just met, was led by the Lord to tell me He has compassion on me and in faith I will continue to be healed. Let it be said, this man did not know me, nor did he know anything about my fear….He just felt led to tell me about answered prayers. Thank you Lord!

Of course the first step is to forgive others, as He forgives me… BEFORE a request is made. Compassion from God is never ending, just as ours for others should be. Or as Jesus said… Seventy times seven.

With God, when the person is actually a child of God, when the person belongs to God, He knows them and hears their prayers. Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd. I know my sheep and my sheep know me…my sheep listen to my voice. I know them and they follow me. I give them eternal life and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.” For those who do know him and rely on him, Jesus seems to be wildly generous in his offer: “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.

The Lord longs to be gracious to you. He rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for [trust] him!” Did you catch that? Like someone rising out of his chair to come to your help, “He rises to show you compassion.” “As for God, his way is perfect…He is a shield for all who take refuge in him.” “The Lord delights in those who fear [reverence] him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.”

However, God’s greatest display of his love and commitment to you is this: Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends,” which is what Jesus did for us. And so, “If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since God did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t God, who gave us Christ, also give us everything else?”

God tells us to give our concerns to him. Even as the situation remains dismal, “Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.” The circumstances may look out of control, but they aren’t. When the whole world seems to be falling apart, God can keep us together. This is when a person can be very grateful that they know God. “The Lord is near. 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 comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” God may provide solutions, resolutions to the problem WAY beyond what you imagined possible. Probably any Christian could list examples like this in their own lives. But if the circumstances do not improve, God can still give us his peace in the midst of it. Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”

It is at this point (when circumstances are still tough) that God asks us to continue to trust him — to “walk by faith, not by sight” the Bible says. But it’s not blind faith. It is based on the very character of God. A car traveling on the Golden Gate Bridge is fully supported by the integrity of the bridge. It doesn’t matter what the driver may be feeling, or thinking about, or discussing with someone in the passenger seat. What gets the car safely to the other side is the integrity of the bridge, which the driver was willing to trust.

In the same way, God asks us to trust his integrity, his character…his compassion, love, wisdom, righteousness on our behalf. He says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love, therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.” “Trust in him at all times, O people. Pour out your heart before him. God is a refuge for us.”

Partial excerpt

Fear is a liar

Suffering with mental illness was for me one of the most consuming, selfish, uncontrolled and distorted way of living.  It took a toll on those around me and worse on myself.

I remember reading about the possessed man in the cave in Mark 5:1-20.   I had so much compassion for his suffering.  I also greatly desired for Jesus to deliver me like that man.  The fact that Jesus did finally release me from the bondage of insanity still leaves me overwhelmed with joy.

But, what I didn’t expect was the fear of it returning.  When I struggle with the residual traits such as rapid speech, occasional ear ringing, occasional issues staying asleep, etc.,  I sometimes worry that what God has healed is coming undone. It hasn’t, but that still doesn’t stop me from worrying, which quite honestly flies in the face of the faith he commands me to have.  But still, the fear keeps cropping up.

So I pray today that the Lord would calm the storm within, and remind me that He is my good good Father. That He delivered me and He will continue a good work in me.  That whether it is fear of my past demons or of the things of this world, that He would remind me again that I am His child and I can trust He won’t let me go. And finally remind me again Lord that Fear is a liar!

 

They Will Know Us By Our Love

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We are one in the spirit
We are one in the Lord
We are one in the spirit
We are one in the Lord
And we pray that all unity will one day be restored
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love by our love
Yes they’ll know we are Christians by our love

We will walk with each other
We will walk hand in hand
We will walk with each other
We will walk hand in hand
And together we’ll spread the news that God is in our land
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love by our love
Yes they’ll know we are Christians by our love

They’ll know us by our love (love love love our love love love)
They’ll know us by our love (love love our love love love)

We will work with each other
We will work side by side
We will work with each other
We will work side by side
And we’ll guard each other’s dignity and save each other’s pride
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love by our love
Yes they’ll know we are Christians by our love by our love
Yes they’ll know we are Christians by our love by our love
Yes they’ll know we are Christians by our love

They’ll know us by our love
Our love
They’ll know us by our love
Our love
They will know we are Christians by our love by our love
Yes they’ll know we are Christians by our love

“By Our Love”
For King & Country