God has been working BIG time in my heart. For the past 3 months or so I have been on a roller coaster of emotions, both at work and in my personal life. August was a chaotic month as I wrapped up a project, and once the dust settled at work in September, a loll in my spirit set in without me realizing. It took most of the month before I came through to the other side. Once I did, God has been so graceful in reminding me over and over about His love for me and His faithfulness. As I have gotten back to a more consistent quiet time, praying and reading the Bible, and drawing closer to Him, God has helped me to get back to a good place, (resulting in October being much better.) Why do I tell you this? First, to share why in 3 months I have only posted 6 blogs, but more importantly, I want to be honest with you so that you can see that the author behind these posts is no different from you.
As I type this newest Thought for the Day, I am sitting in the airport, with an additional hour to wait for my flight to leave due to weather delays so I am making the most of this time. This “Thought” has been percolating for some time but yesterday, God gave me this illustration…when I was flying to Indianapolis, this was my view. I don’t know about you, but this see-through mesh curtain is hysterical to me. As a permanent member of the “Coach” community, I have never had the privilege to sit on the other side; (in fact this is probably the closest I have ever been,) but it is amazing what that flimsy barrier equals…
= Priority boarding and disembarking,
= More comfortable seating,
= More leg room,
= Better service
And the list goes on. Essentially, if you are on that side, you are considered “First Class,” (at least in the eyes of the airline)…but in God’s eyes, we are ALL FIRST CLASS!! I am not sure who said this, but this really captures what God has been speaking into my spirit…
“Be confident in who God says you are, not in who Satan says you are.”
We need to be CONFIDENT IN WHOSE we are. Seems simple but it is so easy to forget this. King David, “a man after God’s own heart,” prayed this prayer in Psalm 17:8-9 (ESV),
“Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings, from the wicked who do me violence, my deadly enemies who surround me.”
“Keep me as the apple of your eye!” Have you ever thought about that? God looks down on you and me and says ‘YOU are the apple of my eye.’ WOW!!! But just like David prayed to be hidden in the shadow of God’s wings, to be protected from his enemies, we need to do the same thing because we have an enemy that attacks our confidence that God loves us daily. There is a battle raging on for our souls (see Ephesians 6:10-18), our enemy; the Devil will use every weapon in his arsenal to take us out. The challenging part is to realize that the attacks are even happening, because he is a deceiver and a master of lies we can be disarmed and not even realize it. Just like I spent September in a spiritual loll, so often we can fall into the Devil’s traps as a result of voice we listen to, which will lead us to believe the wrong thing and not live in the abundant life that Jesus came to give us, (see John 10:10-11). Bob Hamp said made this powerful statement,
So what voice will you believe? The lies screamed by Satan or the still small voice of God? Listening to my friends prayer requests I realize the enemy is telling each of them a different lie…
“You’re too much ____”
“You’re not enough ____”
“You’ll never ____”
And the condemnation goes on and on! Sound familiar to you? Have you ever had any of those thoughts? Or maybe I should ask…how many have you had today? Hebrews 4:16 (ESV) says…
“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
God loves us so much and wants us to come to Him, not to condemn us for mistakes we have made, but to extend grace when we are in need. The Devil however uses our mistakes and our sins to create a barrier between God and us….but that is not God’s desire. Augustine of Hippo made this insightfull statement about the heart of our heavenly Father, the creator of heaven and earth,
“Because God has made us for Himself, hearts are restless until they rest in Him.”
“God made us for Himself,” to have a relationship with us, with no barrier between us, and until we understand whose we are, our hearts will remain “restless until they rest in Him.” Just like the curtain separating first class from coach, Sin will keep us from God. One of the most famous scriptures, John 3:16-17 makes it very clear that we are the “Apple of God’s Eye” because He sent His son Jesus to die for our sins so that “whoever believes in him [Jesus] should not perish but have eternal life.” 1 Timothy 2:5-6a (NLT) says
“For, There is one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus. He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone.”
This is the truth that the Devil wants us forget and shift our focus off of. He knows that is we understand how loved we are from God that we would be unstoppable. Just look what Matthew 27:50-51 (ESV) recalls that happened when Jesus died on the cross.
“And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit. And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split.”
The Devil thought he defeated Jesus but instead, Jesus death tore the curtain that separated us both literally and spiritually! Trusting in Jesus is the single most important decision we can make which will result in giving you all the confidence in the world. There was a man early church after Jesus had died, named Stephen who was described as “a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit”. He was arrested and put on trial because of all the work he was doing for God and gave us all an example of how confident we should be as he gave a powerful defense of his faith in Jesus (You can reach the whole account in Acts 6:8 – 7:53).
But what has always amazed me about Stephen is what Acts 7:54-60 (ESV) tells us about his confidence as he died…
“Now when they heard these things they were enraged, and they ground their teeth at him. But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. And he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” But they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed together at him. Then they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul. And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.”
That is so incredible that “as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” What would happen in our lives if we had that kind of confidence and faith? You know we can. In Matthew 7:7, Jesus invites us to…
The only thing is that we have to act. Notice that Jesus says that we need to ask, seek and knock and if we do it will be given, found and opened to you. God gave my 14-year-old daughter this incredible truth which she emailed that I wanted to close with…
“I’ve been ADOPTED by Christ and I’m being ADAPTED to living a life that’s honoring to Him.”
Can you say the same? Today you can choose to start living your live to honor God, remember you are the Apple of His Eye!! God is just waiting for you to come to Him, what will you decide?
Check out the continuation of this blog called ★ Back to the Basics – Silencing the Noise ★
If you want even more you can check out ★ Thought for the Day – You Are Chosen! ★ which we posted in the past that relates as well.
If you don’t have that confidence and have not trusted Jesus as your savior, below is a prayer you can pray to start your relationship, the words you say really don’t matter, there is nothing special about them, but the emotion and belief in your heart does. Make this your prayer today:
God take this broken, sinful person and forgive my sins. I want a relationship with you I am in need of a Savior. I believe that Jesus came to die for my sins and that He is the bridge that brings me to eternal life with you forever. Please forgive all my sins. I accept the free gift of eternal life and know that I can never do enough good deeds to earn that salvation. In Jesus Name I pray! Amen!
Please contact me if you have any questions about your new life in Jesus Christ, I would love to discuss your decision more. God Bless!