Stir Me Up Lord!

Stir Me Up Lord!: June 2013

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Sweetest Fragrance

I am grateful that God always makes it possible for Christ to lead us to victory. God also helps us spread the knowledge about Christ everywhere, and this knowledge is like the smell of perfume. In fact, God thinks of us as a perfume that brings Christ to everyone. For people who are being saved, this perfume has a sweet smell and leads them to a better life. (CEV) 2 Corinthians 2:14-16  

When we put our trust in God, when we have no where else to turn, when we have nothing left but faith - that is when we truly have everything we need. That 'nothing left but Faith' is a beautiful fragrant offering to God and that my friends, is when God can deliver His miracles.

Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God. (Ephesians 5:1-2 NLT)

I want to share with you that I am so far from being an ideal Christian and how far from deserving of forgiveness I am. If you've read my past posts, you've seen that I've been suffering from depression and from some heavy burdens. I've dealt with those attacks from the enemy with the best weapon, God's Word and I knew God's Mercy and Grace were the only way out. 

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16 NKJV)

My prayers never ceased during this tribulation, but my fear was taking over my faith - yet once I grabbed hold of God's Promises, the fear began to break off with only my faith remaining. This has been by far, the most difficult trial/challenge I have ever dealt with and would never want anyone else to go through this without God.  Now, looking back I can see how much stronger mine and my family's faith have become simply because we walked through the fire and survived -  I imagine we will need that strength for the next attack the enemy sends our way. 

God gave us a miracle, we knew that Jehovah Jireh (Genesis 22:13-14) would supernaturally provide for us - because that was the only way to get out of the pit we were in. We didn't know how, but we knew He would. I want to encourage you to not give up, to keep moving forward, no matter your circumstances, no matter what the world and your flesh tell you - hold on to your faith, hold on to God's Promises and don't let go.

"Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6 NKJV

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Monday, June 10, 2013

Trusting God and Building Your Faith

Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
    do not depend on your own understanding.

Seek his will in all you do,
    and he will show you which path to take. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

When life is good, trusting God is easy. When life is in turmoil, trusting in God is a battle of faith. I believe without a doubt that God wants to bless us and that the bad things that happen aren’t God’s desire for us at all. I also believe that God can deliver us from the trials that we endure, but sometimes during the difficult times we can learn something more valuable: Faith by Trusting in God. 

When you’re at the end of your rope, that’s when God can work miracles. Last year, I went through what I thought was the most difficult time of my life; my faith grew despite not receiving the miracle we prayed for. I didn’t give up on God, I didn’t blame God, and sometime after, I was able to see how God could still use that event for His good.

As Christians, we understand that life isn’t easy - we are constantly under attack by the enemy. So when my current trial came up on me, it was no suprise. The enemy knows when we’re weak and he knows exactly how to attack us. We have to remain strong, we can’t give him any slack, that means staying in God’s Word, Praying and Serving God. We know about the Armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18) and it’s importance, so if we want to defeat the devil, we have to stay vigilant and prepared. 

This time, I let my guard down, I let the enemy gain a foothold on me when I allowed my feelings of anxiety, fear and depression to take over instead of turning to God's Word. To quote C.S. Lewis, “Faith is the art of holding on to things in spite of your changing moods and circumstances.” It’s so much harder to fight when the tide is already against you, don’t allow the enemy to gain any ground. We must recognize the attack and pick up our armor and continue to fight. Don’t give in, instead dive in - dive into the Word of God. 

The word of God, you see, is alive and moving; sharper than a double-edged sword; piercing the divide between soul and spirit, joints and marrow; able to judge the thoughts and will of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12 VOICE)

When the enemy whispers your worst fears, you have to be able to fight back with God’s promises for you. The Apostle Paul knew this all to well, that’s why he taught us that in the Armor of God, to pick up God’s Word - the sword of the Spirit, to fight against the enemy.

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." (Deuteronomy 31:6 NIV)

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
    Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
    I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. (Isaiah 41:10 NLT)

My favorite passage to turn to lately has been Psalm 23, I can read it in any version and feel God’s peace and presence. When you feel overwhelmed or don’t think you can overcome your current situation pick up the sword of the Spirit and fight off the enemy, memorize a scripture that soothes your soul and pray for God’s peace, strength and comfort. I have to remind myself often of this verse and today I discovered this wonderful note in The Voice translation that I wanted to share:

You see, God did not give us a cowardly spirit but a powerful, loving, and disciplined spirit. 
*God’s gift of faith is like a flame, and when the embers of the fire have cooled you must fan them again and keep them ablaze. (2 Timothy 1:7 VOICE)

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