Sell Out

2 Chronicles 16: 9

For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.

Do you ever wonder what God is up to? What is he doing with His time? Now you know. He is scanning the whole earth looking for those he can support and strengthen. God wants to bless us. He wants to uphold us by His strong right arm but the truth is that we won’t let Him because we don’t allow ourselves to receive from Him. Some of us lack belief, others lack expectation. Still others of us don’t appreciate His goodness.

Being blessed is a process of teamwork. The first part is that we must be dedicated to God. Do you see that He scans the world looking for a heart He can work with? Those are important words and if we are not living in the blessing as fully as we think we should be, then this is the place for us to begin our analysis. We see that God wants to bless us. He wants to support us in all we do. He is just looking for someone who will cooperate with Him. His eyes constantly search for someone who is wholeheartedly in for Him. Is that you. Is your heart for God? Are you completely sold out to Him?

If you answered, “Yes,” then God is all in for you too. My next question is, “Will you allow yourself to be blessed?” Some people have difficulty receiving. It begins with believing that God wants to bless His people. Hebrews 11: 6 reads, “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” We have to believe that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. So, He is searching the earth for those whose hearts believe that He is and that He is a rewarder. You see, you are not sold out to God nor wholehearted towards Him if you don’t believe His word and even specifically this verse from Hebrews. He is looking for someone who will believe that God is for them in every way. He wants us to lean on the expectation of His strong support.

That brings up another point from today’s verse. God isn’t looking just to sprinkle you with blessing or just give you a small step up. He is a big God and wants to show Himself strong to you. He wants to “strongly support” your dreams and goals. That means that not only is He in your corner, but He is the loudest cheerleader you have. He wants to give you all He has. That ends up boiling down to all you will receive. He isn’t trying to be a subtle encourager. He wants to get loud and flex His muscles with strength.

I think if you will mediate on this verse, you will find more here than you have previously considered. I hope it blesses you from the top of your head to the bottoms of your feet. Get your heart fully committed to the Father who loves you and who wants to be your supporter. Be sold out to Him. Believe Him and let Him help you.

End the Suffering

1 Peter 5: 10         GW

God, who shows you his kindness and who has called you through Christ Jesus to his eternal glory, will restore you, strengthen you, make you strong, and support you as you suffer for a little while.

This verse is so easy to get wrong. Some translations leave you thinking that God is going to let you suffer for a while and then He is going to come to your aid. Not so. Let’s put this verse on its proper footing today.

Sometimes, though we don’t like it, sometimes you just have to go through. Not all unpleasantness is avoidable. It makes me think of daily workouts. Frankly, they are not all comfortable. Some are downright painful, but we go “through” the workouts in order to achieve the results we want. Some days I am tired before I go and I don’t want to go but I do and afterwards, I feel great and I am proud of myself but there is no way to get to that good feeling without going through. Life is like that. The key, in those times, is to start praying for Dad’s help immediately. Don’t even try to do whatever it is in your own strength. Call on the Father and lean on His great strength.

The key words to today’s verse are “who shows you his kindness.” If we first grasp that God is good, loving and kind, then the entire Bible takes on new meaning. You will find much greater understanding of God’s actions when you begin from the premises that God is love and that His loving kindness is renewed every day. He is always available to make your journey easier. Even when there is something you must go through, He is with you to support, restore, and strengthen you. He will also make the suffering last a short time. You may have to suffer a little while but there should be the sound of good news in there that it is only a short while. Some people live years in perpetual suffering because they don’t know how to invite the Father into all their life’s circumstances.

Face it, somethings are a challenge but when you go through you feel good about yourself. God is with you, showering you with His strength and lovingkindness so that the duration of the challenge is short. He will be your strong right arm throughout if you will allow Him. Learn how to lean on Him and become proficient at reaching out to Him at the inception. Pray about your projects before you begin them. Get God on board in the beginning. He will make your path straight and smooth. He is with you always willing to assist. Don’t strike out alone. Don’t bear any burden on your own. Call on the name of the Lord and end the suffering.

Foundation Stone

Isaiah 41: 10 -12

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. Behold, all those who are angered at you will be shamed and dishonored; those who contend with you will be as nothing, and will perish. You will seek those who quarrel with you, but will not find them, those who war with you will be as nothing, and non-existent.

This is one of the scriptures that everyone should highlight in their Bibles because if you don’t need it right now, you will. It is, to me, a foundation scripture. By that I mean that it is one of the scriptures that you can build your foundation upon. Don’t you feel God’s strong right hand when you read this passage? He is with you through thick and thin and He absolutely will uphold you. You are never down and out when you have God. You may feel down. You may feel trod upon. But, you will be sustained by His strength and His love. Look to Him and focus your attention on His righteousness. As the scripture says, do not anxiously look all around you. Just look at Him and trust Him to deliver you. Keep your focus on Him and let those problems melt away under His scrutiny. He is your God. He is your strength. He is your father.

Call to Duty

Job 26: 2

How have you helped him who is without power? How have you saved the arm that has no strength?

“These are the times that try men’s souls” (Thomas Paine, The American Crisis, 1776). Undoubtedly those revolutionary times challenged the would-be Americans down to their souls. Truly, though most of us live in much more stable environments than pre-revolution America, each person usually must endure a season of great challenge. It is in these times that we find the strength of God rising to meet us in our times of great need.

When we are powerless, when our arms lack strength, when we are weary down to our bones, our Father fills all the voids and strengthens us. He sustains us and restores our souls. We see this miracle of grace throughout the psalms but it is when you see it manifesting in your own life that your own life takes on new depth and new meaning. And when you approach these trying times looking to the Lord our God, you find that his fulfilling grace is palpable. You can almost touch it, almost see it. It is real.

I am going through one of these challenging times of life and I truly want to learn and grow through it. One of my loved ones is dying of cancer and there is nothing the doctors can do. We must all face these times but they can be easier in the grace of God. So far I have learned two important lessons. First of all, allow people to help you. Allow people to be a blessing to you. Superman is a fictional character so don’t try to be a superhero. Let those who love you express their love and concern for you. It is part of their grieving and healing for you both. My friend Carol, encouraged me to share this difficult time with you. She is teaching me to let people express their love for me. Lin, our graphics genius has inspired me with such wisdom. One of the statements she made to me was, “Ivey, you give to us every day, let us give to you.” This is such a hard thing to do but I recognize that their wisdom is flowing right from the heart of God.

Secondly, I have learned that God fills us up through His power flowing right through the atmosphere and the Holy Spirit to anoint your home, hospital room and your heart. That was not unexpected but what I have learned is that He greatly uses other people and their prayers to minister His anointing, His grace, His love and His mercy in the time of need. As I make my heart tender and vulnerable, as I simply open my eyes I see the anointing of God on total strangers. People come to you in your time of need. People you don’t know will reach out to you in that Spirit which is from God. You will connect at a level which is beyond this physical realm and it will bring comfort to your soul.

Some people will not be able to rise to the challenge. Don’t judge them. They just haven’t grown in that area yet. Some of the people you think will jump to your side won’t. It’s okay. Pray for them. No, really. Pray for them, it will do your heart good and the Blessed Father will show you their own hurts and limitations. It will give your heart peace. 

In conclusion, I want my challenge to help me grow, learn and to empower me to help others. Many of you have known deep sorrow. Some of you have undergone exactly what I am going through now. We are all learning and growing and part of that growth is to learn to be vulnerable. Another important sign of spiritual growth is showing an active compassion; that is compassion which isn’t passive but which instead moves into action.

I am calling you each into active duty today. This is a request for you to pray for me and my loved ones. We have been borne up by the prayers of our friends and family. It really does make a difference. So, pray for me.

There is a second part of this call to action though. We are a body, a family. Everyone who reads this daily devotional is important to me personally as well to others. We should stand for one another. I want you to write to us when you need prayer and I want us to be able to rely on each other for prayer and prayer support. We will be using the upcoming website as a medium for us all to connect with one another. I envision a person posting a prayer request and every one of us who reads the Word of the Day saying an immediate even if brief prayer for that person.

There are people reading this devotional all over the world. We need to join hands and become a people of prayer and of support for one another. Our faith was never meant to be passive but active and living and fully expressing the power and love of our Lord Jesus and our Father who sent the Holy Spirit into the earth to give us strength and miracle working power. Join hands with me as I join hands with believers all over the world. Let us reach out and make a difference in people’s lives through the love of God. Give God’s love wings through prayer. Together we are very powerful. Alone we are weak. Be the leader and lover you have been anointed to be. In Jesus’ name.