Tag Archive: obedience


Has anyone been feeling discouraged in the battle lately? Is anyone sick of finding yourself at rock-bottom emotionally? If this is your reality right now, please continue to choose to hope for your future to change. Life can be different, but as we know, it takes work.  I would love to share some truth about how to begin to do battle in our minds, but first, would you consider Hebrews 11:6:

“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

Choosing to change the way that lays out for us in the Bible is a good start. I say this realizing that many of you feel anger, hostility, disappointment, and even bitterness toward God. Some may feel like they cannot possibly believe in God. Faith is not easy, but the starting place for healing is to come to God choosing to exercise faith (against what you feel) that he exists, that he is good and that good reward will come from seeking him. He knows you and loves you. If you have not invited this God into your heart and life as your only Savior, you will not know the victory he can bring. There is hope in God. There is no hope in this life, or in eternity apart from Jesus. This being said, believers have been told to wage war in their hearts and minds. During my worst days, I found myself asking, “how did I get here in this really bad state of mind!?” Answer: I thought my way there. No matter what the circumstances there are two ways to process: by faith or unbelief.

I have often chosen to interpret my life through eyes of unbelief, and have found myself in dark places. I’ve heard it compared to tumbling down a staircase. Normally, you would begin at the top of the stairs and take step after step until you reached the bottom. The top step is a thought that is against how God has told us to think in Philippians 4:8 (read it!). Choosing to walk down the steps one bad thought at a time, we end up at the bottom of the stairs in a really bad state! Eventually, that certain “staircase of thoughts” or that pattern of downward-spiraling thoughts becomes habitual. When you have thought a certain way for an extended amount of time, you can end up at the bottom, in a dark place in your mind after the first thought. I’m asking you to consider your thought patterns.

Sometimes we can think thoughts that we do not even realize we are thinking. If you find yourself in a bad place emotionally it helps to pull out a sheet of paper and list all that you can remember thinking in the past five minutes. Next, evaluate each of these thoughts in light of what God says is true in the Bible. Practicing this is seriously so helpful in renewing your mind. God does tell us what is true, while the Enemy lies and deceives us. Believe God. He is for you (Romans 8:31-32).

The good news is that as believers we can put off our old self, and live the beautiful, redeemed life that Jesus has bought for us with his own blood! It’s possible to be freed, beginning in your mind. Here is how we fight:

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

…One thought at a time.

Follow the link below for a worksheet to help you take your thoughts captive and be obedient to Christ!

Renewing_a_thought_worksheet-_extended-_-final (1)

 

(post written by Lauren Mathers)

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Just Do It

Have you ever had someone tell you that you were stubborn? I’ve always known that I had a tendency toward stubbornness, however God brought to my attention that my stubbornness at times wears a bit of a disguise. Stubbornness, disguised or not, can keep us from being obedient to the Lord in what He has called us to do. Have you ever prayed and prayed and prayed about something that you knew God wanted you to do? Yeah, maybe he didn’t speak audibly to you, saying “You shall do _______” and list off specific things. It seems we often try to force God into making our desires come to fruition instead of saying “Thy Will be Done” it’s “My Will Be Done”. Out of stubbornness we try to change the mind of God through prayer knowing full well that the specific thing we are seeking His guidance on, He has already told us to do. God never intended for prayer to be a stalling tactic but I know in my life I have used it as one and I’m sure I’m not alone in that. We let our excuses, fear and feeling of inadequacy run rampant in an attempt to make sure we let God know that we aren’t the right person for the job. So now we know more than the God who created us? I think not! He knows what we are capable of and incapable of and He also knows that by ourselves, we don’t have anything to offer, but with Him living through us and in His strength we have everything to offer a broken, fallen world and He wants to use us for His glory. 

I looked up the word stubborn and one definition popped out at me, “unyielding”. Often times we let our stubbornness rule over us which causes us to be unyielding to God. We in essence say, “I know better than God” and we fail to listen and surrender to His Lordship. When we think we know best, and we fail to surrender to the Lord, maybe not outright, maybe it’s disguised but we say “No” to God by our actions. At the root of stubbornness is pride – trusting and loving myself more than I fear (respect/reverence) and trust in the Lord.

I know in my life I have used the stalling tactic of “God I really don’t know what your will is? Please tell me.”  And then the Lord says “Well haven’t you read my Word lately, I’ve laid it all out in their for you. If you know my Word, you’ll know my will” In my mind I come up with all these reasons why I shouldn’t serve the Lord in a certain capacity, when after months of “praying and meditating” on it like a “good Christian”, I realize that I’ve been dragging my feet out of fear and unyielding stubbornness to God’s plan because doing so would cause me to have to step out in faith, to surrender to the Lord, and to go out of my comfort zone. I’m not saying we shouldn’t seek God’s guidance but so often we know exactly what God wants out of us and yet we use stall tactics, one of them being prayer. I at times find myself saying to the Lord, “I’ll serve you in this way because it’s easier. It requires less time and energy, it’s more comfortable for me. It doesn’t challenge me. I don’t want to do what you want me to do, I want to do things my way.” But is that really doing as the Lord commanded us to do in 1 Samuel 12:24, “But be sure to fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you.”  With that mentality am I really fearing the Lord, am I serving the Lord with all my heart. Am I really bringing Him glory by just serving Him because it’s convenient and requires little of me.

I see myself a lot in the character of Moses. After the Lord laid out for Him exactly what He was to do, he said to the Lord in Exodus 3-4(my paraphrase), “God you must be out of your mind, can’t you find someone who is more capable? You have to know I’m not good with words. I’ll be humiliated. What if they don’t listen to me?” Excuse after excuse.

So how about you? Are you throwing at God all the excuses in the book of why you can’t do what He is telling you to do? Are you plugging your ears while God is talking and/or talking over Him with selfish prayers with an agenda to have your own way? Are you letting your fears rule over you instead of letting God rule over you?

I challenge you. Be dangerously surrendered to the Lord. Lay self aside and go all out for God. Trust Him with your insecurity and uncertainty and like the Nike slogan says “Just do it!” Stop stalling. Get there and start living a life of wholehearted service for Him remembering that it might not be easy, it’s gonna take work, but also realizing it’s not about you! It’s for God’s kingdom and glory.

Unleashed

I went on a retreat with the youth from my church this past weekend. The theme for the retreat was “Unleashed.” Going into the retreat I had no idea what that meant and I was wondering to myself why they were calling it Unleashed. I soon found out what that really meant.

You see we have things in our lives that keep us in bondage, things we place before our relationship with Christ. These can be anything– internet, phone, television, video games, boys, texting, cell phones, self harm, obsessive focus on weight, eating, and exercise, beauty, money, caring to much about what people might think, you name it. There are so many things in this world that we get hooked on and tied down to. We tend to put these things first in our lives when what really needs to be first is our relationship with God. We were reminded this weekend that we need to be unleashed of these things that are holding us back from being our best in Christ. One of the youth leaders on the trip unleashed from the notion that she had to wear makeup so she didn’t wear any make-up during the retreat. We all have things that we need to let go of and give to Christ, things we need to be unleashed from. It’s when we are truly become unleashed from those things that we find lasting freedom in Christ.

“Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey-whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves of righteousness. I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness. (Romans 6:15-19)

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1)

So I ask you this….what do you need to be unleashed from? What is holding you back from your relationship with God? What is keeping you enslaved?

A friend of Speak Don’t Bleed by the name of Megan wrote this months devotional blog. Megan has struggled with an eating disorder for 15 years. Just recently she went into treatment and has come out stronger and more equipped to fight the temptations that Satan likes to taunt her with. She wanted to share her heart with you in hopes that it would be an encouragement to other girls who are struggling.

Lift Up the Hands That Hang Down

by Megan

I am coming to a place where the Lord wants to bring further healing. Therefore, the enemy is fighting all the more fiercely against that healing. I am finding myself facing temptation after temptation to slip back into old patterns. I have been so discouraged the past couple days as I have faced fatigue, feelings of frustration regarding food and body image, and feelings of depression and despondence. This is all my resistance coupled with Satan’s attacks against God’s next moves of healing.

Lift up the hands that hang down! I cannot evade this growth point in my life. I face this crisis of belief head-on, or I miss the healing that the Lord has for me at this juncture.

The Lord is no longer satisfied with where I am. It is time to move on and to step into higher levels of healing, to develop the hind’s feet that He has for me so that He can take me to higher heights. Those strong legs will not develop from these feeble legs if I walk around the mountain that He has for me to climb. This is where the rubber meets the road and where I choose which way I will go. I hate it when what was ok before is now disobedience. But this is refinement, sanctification, and maturity. Praise the Lord that He has done so much restoration and has more to do.

In my frustration tonight, I tried to go to bed early. I became horribly sunburned today, however, and could not sleep for the pain. I believe that the Lord used this sunburn to bring me to His throne. He will use anything I suppose. I opened up my favorite devotional, and it fed my soul in a way that was beyond perfect. This appropriate application of scripture doesn’t always happen, but it seems that God brings it in my crises of belief to call me and to convict me. The author highlighted Hebrews 12:12-13, which says, “Lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; and make straight the paths for your feet, lest the lame be turned out of the way; but rather let it be healed.”

The author of Hebrews calls us to lift up the hanging down hands. He calls us to strengthen lame knees. I think that this is where we “work out our healing.” God desires to heal me; however, I have a great responsibility in that process. Verse 13 says to make straight the paths of my feet and to go in the right direction. I have the glorious responsibility to choose to walk straight forward to the mountain that so frightens me. I must face the obstacle that depresses and frightens me in order to see God’s supernatural healing and power come in the face of it. My healing is not passive. It is active cooperation with Jehovah Rapha.

So many times, I have come to the crisis of belief, felt the pain of brokenness and surrender, and run away whimpering, back to my comfort zone of illness. This time, I am ready to face it head on, drive through it with hands stretched to the heavens, with strengthened feet, walking a path straight forward in obedience up the mountain of testing. The only way to see the walls come tumbling down around Jericho is to keep marching the entire duration of the seven days. What if they had stopped on day six? The walls would have never fallen, and they would have retreated defeated and discouraged. I am called to march forward, with hands raised in worship and feet set in obedience until I see the promise of the Lord come to fruition. I will plow ahead to see the waters divide, the Red Sea open, the walls come crumbling down, and my full healing take place.

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Let’s Go

Are you ready, beloved?

No, Lord. Not yet.

Ok, my love. I will wait.

Are you ready, dear child?

Lord, no, I am too scared.

Child, my love drives out fear, but I will wait.

You must come forth, precious daughter.

But Lord, I don’t know what will happen.
The mountain looks steep.
I cannot imagine climbing it without falling.
How can I ever get to the place of promise?

I have been waiting for you to ask, apple of my eye.
Lift your hands,
Surrender your feet.
Fix your gaze on Me.
Come forth, and we will go together.
Do not delay your healing any longer.

Ok, my King.
I trust you.
Let’s go.