Stir Me Up Lord!

Stir Me Up Lord!: March 2013

Thursday, March 28, 2013

My Chains are Gone

With all that's going in the world lately, I shouldn't be surprised by the distractions happening around me. This Christian walk is not an easy one, we have an ever present enemy that hates us with a passion, he will attack again and again and with more ferocity every time. We must be able to encourage ourselves, focus on God and always be prepared! Paul wrote how essential it was to always wear our armor, by following his instructions we will not be weakened by the enemies attacks - instead we will be stronger because of them!(Ephesians 6:10-18 NLT ) 

Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are. (1 Peter 5:8-9 NLT)

I've been side tracked with some difficult things, so I've been trying to not lose sight of what really matters - GOD. It doesn't matter how miserable we get and  how fixed upon our worries and woes we are - we have to shift (and keep) our focus on God. 

When we keep looking to God, it doesn't mean the burden is gone, it simply means we can carry the burden. When the anxiety builds up, when the fear has settled in and when the tears start to flow - we have to give it over to God. I'm always amazed at how God sees me at my breaking point and brings me small miracles to encourage me to continue on, they are like little love notes to my heart to remind me that He's still here, He's never left me and He's with me until the end. 

In the middle of my tears, a text was sent to me out of the blue - a text that I knew was sent by the urging of the Holy Spirit - and I'm so happy she listened to His leading. I smiled through my tears, knowing all too well the timing was perfect and must be a God thing. I decided to turn on some Praise and Worship music, as my heart began to lift from the heavy sadness and soak in the beautiful power of singing praises to our Lord and Savior - I had an idea!

I needed to write down on an index card - my prayer request on one side, then on the other side - the burdens and sins I had been carrying - then I wrote on top of the burdens 'John 3:16,17 & 18' and now over that in the color red I wrote 'Blood of Jesus' - which completely covered up everything I had written. Then I took the card and held it over an open flame and burned it until there was nothing left but wispy smoke and ash.  This process slowly set in and as I soaked in the message of this lesson - my sins covered by the blood of Jesus - forgiven - these burdens I tried to continue to carry even after being given to God are lifted from me, I'm unable to take them back from the ashes - Jesus' words echoed in my heart, "Come to me, all of you are who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls." (Matthew 11:28-29 NLT) The enemy will do his best to remind us of our mistakes, but we must remember that "He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west." (Psalm 103:12 NLT). 

When we are going through a season of storms, it's hard to build ourselves up, we feel like we've been going under for so long, that we'll never make it out of the storm we're in. The strength we need to continue isn't our own strength - "He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless (Isaiah 40:29 NLT). We have to be able to stir ourselves up, encourage ourselves when no one else can - even David had to encourage himself, "Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again - my Savior and my God!" (Psalm 42:5 NLT). So when the disappointment has settled in and you want to give in, remember that you are never alone, that God is with you, He loves you and calls you His child, He sent His son to die for you and no matter your failures or doubts, He has a purpose for you and will always forgive you, because you are His masterpiece!

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

That Stinkin' Pit

Don’t tear your clothing in your grief,
    but tear your hearts instead.”
Return to the Lord your God,
    for he is merciful and compassionate,
slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
    He is eager to relent and not punish. (Joel 2:13 NLT)

When we’ve done wrong, we often make the mistake of torturing ourselves by thinking we can’t be forgiven.  We think that we need to pay for this error, so we try to cling to what was done instead of seeking forgiveness. We just can’t forgive ourselves and choose to carry the burden on our own. In doing so we allow the enemy to replay this in our minds over and over again - not able to get past the guilt. 

Often it’s a pride issue; we think we can fix this on our own - after all, we made the mistake in the first place, so we should take care of the mess ourselves. 

Other times we are just too ashamed, we’ve been down this road before, we’ve begged for forgiveness and God has shown His mercy time and time again - but yet we’re stuck in the mire and mud filled pit again, not wanting to ask for help - again - not feeling worthy of redemption, again.

I heard a great message Sunday, that helped me with this pit I’m in - I was reminded that just because we’re in a pit, doesn’t mean God can’t use that pit (yes - even if it’s the same pit we find ourselves in repeatedly) to get us shaped into the person God had created for us to be. Maybe we need to work on discipline or maybe we need to stop trying to fix everything ourselves but no matter the reason or circumstance - if we've done wrong, we need to admit our sin and ask for forgiveness, have a true change of heart and once that burden is laid down - leave it and don't pick it back up.

This doesn’t mean God gave us the burden, no God doesn’t punish His children with abuse - He’s our perfect Heavenly Father - you wouldn’t expect a loving earthly father to abuse their child to teach them! So why do people think of God as some cruel, unloving God casting sickness, hatred, evil and death to His children - those are the works of the devil and of man - NOT God!

Yet this hurt that we go through, can be used to serve a purpose! God can take anything and make it good, He brings light into darkness, He brings life where there was death, He brings healing where there was sickness! So don’t think that He can’t use that pit for teaching, growing, molding and changing us into the children of God that we were meant to be. 

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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

You Have a God Given Gift by Joe McGee

I'm sharing one of my favorite pastors video, it's a short video and I promise you'll be blessed!

Your Gifts and Talents from Joe McGee Ministries on Vimeo.

Find Joe McGee on Facebook for encouraging posts and teachings.

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Sunday, March 3, 2013

My Heart Aches

My heart feels so heavy right, I feel the pain and tears of so many ~ the Holy Spirit communicates with us all and I honestly believe right now I’m feeling the sensitivity of my Spirit to the hurt around me. I myself have been saddened by my own circumstances and have felt the tears flowing, which causes me to be reminded of our Heavenly Father’s heart and tears for His children.  As much as I can feel for my friends and family, God cares for us ALL so much more.

You keep track of all my sorrows.
    You have collected all my tears in your bottle.
    You have recorded each one in your book.
(Psalm 56:8 NLT)

So don’t turn from the One who will always be there for you, no matter what you’re going through or have been through – He will never leave you nor forsake you (Deut 31:6, Heb 13:5) so run to Him, run to His open arms and feel the everlasting peace that only Jesus can give. 

I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.] (John 16:33 AMP)

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