I’ve heard a lot of media types say this year is one of the most difficult “of all time.” As humans we tend to look at history from our own timeframe. When we do that it negates all the trials and tribulations so many before us have endured. . As Christians we need to grasp hold of the many promises of which God clearly states in His Holy Word. When we do, we find that people have successfully endured extreme hardships for 1,000s of years because they placed their faith in Him. . Join me and a few guests these next few weeks as we explore just some of those promises which help us, not only endure, but to find joy and peace no matter what the world hurls at us. . Go to https://emboldened.net/ and follow to receive your daily email of promises made and kept by God.
What battles are you facing right now? For me it’s my fears about the direction the country is going. I am a patriot through and through. I’m not a fan of people who twist history to meet their needs for victimization. That may not sit well with people but I will not judge others for living imperfect lives while I, myself, live imperfectly every single day. That being said I can only live in God’s Truth which is the fact that the only battle I have some control over is the one that tries to pull me away from God. . When I don’t first get on my knees and pray; when I don’t continually look to the Lord for guidance; when I don’t trust that God is the ultimate warrior in the battles for Truth and Justice — this is when I need to remind myself to tighten my own warrior belt and take up my shield. . Our real battles are being fought in realms unseen. Our job is to surrender to the knowledge that God will fight for us when we ask. He will beat back the armies that wish to destroy us. And as King Jehoshaphat commanded the people of Judah to act before battle, we need to give thanks to the Lord, for His love endures forever!” . It’s time to completely turn your battles over to God. Let’s face it, you haven’t had too many victories without Him. Wave your white flag. Get on your knees and pray. . Join me starting July 27 as I begin 30 Days of Praise for all the great things God has done. Follow me to enjoy this journey! http://www.emboldened.net. .
Where do you place the idea of “persistence” in your life? In God’s realm it is one of the most highly touted human characteristics. . Persistence gets us to grab hold of the life God wants for us. It molds us into better people. Persistence takes us over the finish line when we continually pray in worship, thanksgiving and petition. . Persistence is not about never changing course. It’s about never taking your eyes off the ultimate goal — even if that means our course zig zags a bit. When I was learning to sail the first thing we needed to understand was reading the wind. Sensing it’s direction and using it for the most power and energy. Frequently that meant having to “tack” or sail in a zig zag. As a sailor you need to be fully in tune with the unseen in order to persist toward that spot on the horizon you’ve picked out as your ultimate goal. . I have pleasing God as my ultimate goal. And through prayer, meditation, worship, and paying close attention to His unseen and seen ways I set my sail toward Him. It may mean I zig zag my way but through persistence I know I will reach my goal. . Please join me in this adventure as I begin 30 Days of Praise starting July 27. Go to my blog (link in bio) and follow me to receive a daily praise and to add your own daily praise ❤️. . I look forward to setting sail with you! .
What’s your reaction when encountering people who doubt — doubt your understanding of facts, science, faith, morals, values? . We’ve become this society where what we know to be true and good and right is what everyone else MUST agree with. At a time when you’d think we’d grown to be more interested in varied ideas it’s seems our desires to expand our minds and sphere of real friends keeps shrinking. An “echo chamber” is one in which we can only hear our voice. And unless we are God, our voice can frequently be wrong. . As a Christian, I see other Christians falling into a sea of doubt about the lessons and way of life we are called to. We don’t want to be the lone voice outside society’s echo chamber. On the flip side we are called to be our Christian brothers’ keepers — being merciful to followers who struggle against societal lies and snatching each other out of the fires. And even more merciful to non-followers who have yet to accept the Truth of God. . A Christian’s “doubt” should only lie in the struggle with God’s Word as lived out in the world— not the Truth of God’s Word. When we see our Christian loved ones sinking further into that struggle with the world is when we need to act with God’s authority and be His lifeline. . When you doubt the right way to live out your life what action do you hope those around you take? Mercy or with condemnation?
What lies are you fighting right now? Bold faith, trust in God, and knowing His love for you are the weapons against satan’s ever present lies.
1. “The One born of God keeps me safe — the evil one cannot harm me” 1 John 5:18
You are a child of God. A raging battle is going on in the spiritual world for your soul. Knowing that your father is fighting for you and trusting that all things are done for your good gives us strength. Many Christians have issues with the idea of satan. But as I discussed with a fellow Christian, the Bible does not shy away from satan. Jesus had a number of conversations with him. If you are going to accept the blessings from God you need to accept that satan is at work trying to keep those blessings from you.
2. “I have loved you with an everlasting love.” Jer 31:3
The only love that will never fade is the love God has for us. It never wavers, it never decreases. Even if your physical world is not filled with love, we can draw on God’s love to persevere. This is not an easy task. A mom in a struggling marriage, with children who always seem disappointed in her said, “I remember that God loves me but sometimes I just need someone to physically hold me.” Run to the arms of the father. Fully surrender that need to God. He will light the way.
3. “He has rescued me from the darkness and I have redemption and forgiveness of sins.” Col 1:13-14
When we accept Jesus as our savior we throw up the lifeline to rescue us. Notice the word is rescue. If someone doesn’t want to be rescued they can make sure they aren’t. Throw up your hand and grasp His. You will be pulled out of your darkness. I have a Christian friend who had been a drug addict and alcoholic for many years tell me she had a dream of being a fish and a hook dropped down from out of the blue. She bit at it and it hooked her mouth and yanked her out of the sea. The next day she knew she never wanted another drink again in her life. God speaks in so many ways to us, just reach out.
4. “We are God’s handiwork.” Eph 2:10
When women sit around talking you’ll frequently hear us complaining about one body part or another. “I’m too chubby.” “Ugh, my hair.” “I wish my lips were plumper.” But think about it — you are uniquely you. You were created out of tiny DNA pieces that became you! It pains me to see satan’s forces at work taking our little complaints and elevating them to destroying our self-esteem. And worse, convincing people they are a mistake and must chop off body parts or take dangerous drugs to limit natural growth. No matter your height, your hips, your lips, your tomboy nature, your kinky hair, you are you and you are God’s creation. We’d save a lot of money and angst if we accepted that every time we looked in the mirror.
5. “I call you friend.” John 15:15
Boy do I wish I had known this when I was younger. An intimate relationship with Jesus and the Father not only brings us so many blessings but brings joy to the Almighty. He longs for that friendship. He will never stab you in the back. He will never forsake you. He is with you at 7:00 a.m. when your feet hit the floor and at 2:00 p.m. when you find out you were laid off. He’s even with you at 3:00 a.m. when your bills are swirling in your head. Pick up your spiritual cell phone and give Him a call.
6. “And I know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him.” Rom 8:28
I once heard a funny twist on “why do bad things happen to good people?” Instead, how about “why do good things happen to us bad people?” When we say “bad people” I’d bet most people think, “well, it’s not like I’ve killed someone or stolen a million dollars.” But a pastor asked, “Have you stolen anything at all? Have you ever taken God’s name in vain? Have you not been able to forgive someone? Have you ever coveted something?” In fact, there’s only one truly good person that something bad happened to — Jesus. And Jesus suffered on the cross so that our sins are forgiven. So with that in mind we must be thankful for the good stuff God sends our way and trust that any bad that we encounter God is working out a blessing for us somehow, someway in the end.
7. “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building up others according to their needs.” Eph 4:29
Yes, yes, we know not to gossip and to be kind to others. But are you gossiping about yourself? Are you unkind to yourself? When we talk to our friends, family and strangers how much do we tear ourselves down with “I’m not good at xy or z.” Or again with the physical degradation of ourselves? That’s not to say we should be boasting. But remember, we ARE God’s creation. So speak in positives. Don’t give the devil a hand up on tearing yourself or other’s down.
8. “As God’s co-worker (fill in the blank).” 2Cor 6:1
We are in this together. The entire story of the planet is built on covenants WITH God. He could’ve just made the animals and plants and wiped his hands on his robes and said, “Looks pretty darn good. Time for a nap.” But no, He made us. He made everything else FOR us. So He expects us to work with Him to tend to the needs of this glorious place. That includes sharing with others His love for His creation.
9. “We have the mind of Christ.” 1Cor 2:16
How often have you finished a prayer with “In Jesus’ name, Amen”? Do you know what it means? It means that Jesus is standing beside you, writing shorthand as you pray. He then takes that prayer to the Father and speaks for you. But the responsibility of a mature Christian is to discern the mind of Christ while speaking that prayer. We know His values and have His desires for us in mind. When we have the mind of Christ we can pray boldly and act boldly because we know that we are aligned with the spirit of God.
10. “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” James 1:22
We can say we know God. We can know God loves us. We can see the blessings and be thankful. We can know the right things to do. But if we don’t go boldly and actually DO the Word of God can we really say we truly know God? We need to obey His Word and leave the consequences to Him. Surrender, trust and receive full blessings.
The backdrop of our lives these last few months has been Covid but our “regular” lives haven’t stopped completely. What other trials have you experienced this year? . On top of quarantine our family is facing cancer. My beloved mother in law has uterine cancer and has been receiving cancer treatments. Then after her 5th treatment she experienced another health emergency and was in the hospital for over a week. This incredibly vital, otherwise healthy, god-centered woman has really taken a hit. But her “down” days still are nothing of what I would expect of myself. She always has at least a glimmer of hope and trust. That’s why she is one of my touchstones. . In John 12:9-11 the Jews were showing up in droves to meet Jesus and the man he had brought back from the dead. Lazarus was a powerful witness to Jesus’ divine authority. But the priests were threatened by this authority and looked to put Lazarus to death — again. There’s so many lessons in this vignette but I was struck with wondering what Lazarus must’ve been thinking. Here he had suffered a horrible illness and died. Then he was raised from the dead and now people wanted to kill him again because he was with Jesus. When was he going to get a break? And yet he stayed confidently with Jesus. . When we are living witnesses of Jesus’ holy authority we are guaranteed to experience trials. When, in His name, we proclaim boldly what God wants for our lives we will be tested. But keeping Jesus firmly at our side will bring us through strengthened and loved. . What are you being tested at today? .
What bold steps have you taken? It’s time to rejoice. It’s time to re-ignite. It’s time to be honest. What steps have you taken toward your bold goals?
As a born “doer,” the Book of James really speaks to me. James writes, “What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds?…As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.” For many of you, fulfilling those deeds means having to be bold. And yet something is holding you back from having full faith that God has your back. For others, you have taken the step forward and are experiencing a revitalization.
You may be at a crossroad. I encourage you right now, at this very moment, to say a prayer and take that step forward.
IF YOU HAVE TAKEN BOLD STEPS PLEASE REPLY SO WE CAN CHEER YOU ON! IF YOU NEED ENCOURAGEMENT PLEASE REPLY SO WE CAN PRAY FOR YOU!