understanding

Overcoming Uncertainty

One of the scariest places to live on planet earth is in you own universe of uncertainty. What will be happening in the coming year or the coming weeks?  Who is telling you the truth about what is taking place in the world with the virus and job losses and all the prophetic voices?  Whatever happened to the bands of people coming to the southern borders and how about the stimulus change thrown at the American people while millions go into foreign accounts?  Instead of a $2,000 stimulus, why not $5,000 or $10,000 since the national debt doesn’t seem to be a big deal?  When you reach the peak of uncertainty in a world that at one time made some kind of sense and seemed somewhat normal, you have only a few options left. You can panic. You can prepare. You can pray.  And you can rehearse what you know is true. Don’t panic, but pray, prepare and rehearse what you know is true.

1.  God is in control of all things and even the things that are out of control. John 19:11

2. God loves me and wants me to live as close to Him as I can. James 4:8

3. The power of God’s peace has no impact on me unless I live in a personal relationship with Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

4. God is for me and not against me. Romans 8:31

5. Jesus is coming again.  John 14:3

6. God is my protector and provider. Philippians 4:19

7. The government can’t do for me what God can do. Acts 5:38-39

8. I know I am His, and He is mine. Song of Songs 6:3

9. I know my time here is short.  James 4:14

10. I know God ultimately wins because He has never lost. Luke 24:6-7

Don’t live in uncertainty, but move towards what you know (The One who) is true.

“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32

Learn this Prayer

Learn this prayer, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am in trouble…” Psalm 31. This was a prayer of David who cried out to the Lord in a time of need. This single petition is repeated around eleven or twelve times just in the Psalms. Perhaps you were like me growing up learning different prayers to pray, like the “God is great” prayer before a meal or the “Now I lay me down to sleep” prayer and the “Lord’s prayer”. There’s definitely nothing wrong with those prayers to the Father, but this humble and desperate prayer of David is the prayer for the times we live in. The proud will not say it and the oblivious will only petition God for what they want. But the sincere child of God who realizes the trouble we are in will recognize and repeat this prayer. Your life maybe great and I hope it is, but know that as a nation we are in the deepest spiritual waters we have ever been in. And mercy is our greatest need right now. The Lord asked the blind man, “What would you have me do for you?” Jesus would asked that question for our sake. What may look obvious to you may be oblivious to others and I say that because not everyone understands the trouble we are in and the mercy of God we need. Psalm 123:3 extends the plea for God’s mercy, “Have mercy on us, O LORD, have mercy on us.”

Let me encourage you today to learn this prayer because the trouble we are in will become increasingly obvious and you will already know what to ask the Father. His mercy is our greatest need!

Not of God

Everything that sounds right and spiritual is not of God. We are at a day and time when hardly anyone knows the difference between what is of God and what is not of God. Just because hands are lifted high in worship or the shout is “Hallelujah,” doesn’t mean it is for God. Every declaration that is right and spot on and spiritual is not of God. The devil is such a deceiver that even he will join in with true worshippers, but only as a mocker. I’m taking what I find in the Word of God and drawing the conclusion that the same things take place today. Here’s an example: Acts 16:16-18 “Now it happened, as we went to prayer, that a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much profit by fortune-telling. 17 This girl followed Paul and us, and cried out, saying, “These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation.” 18 And this she did for many days. But Paul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And he came out that very hour.”
That demon possessed slave girl was saying what was right and it sounded spiritual, but it was not of God. And in our world today, we are flooded with what sounds right and spiritual, but it’s not all of God. You say, “Does it matter?” It did to the apostle Paul, so I would say it should matter to us. How did Paul know what the girl was saying was not of God? Well, first Paul understood what she was saying was not of God “after many days.” It said he was greatly annoyed meaning what was coming out of her mouth didn’t bear witness with Paul’s spirit, even though it was true what she spoke. The girl didn’t include herself as a servant of the Most High God. Paul was keenly aware of the schemes of the enemy as we should be. It was on their way “to prayer” when Paul understood what the girl was saying was not of God. If you ever come to the place of knowing what is of God and what is not, it will be the result of a fervent prayer life.

Spot the Sniper

One of the most challenging assignments in the military has to be that of a sniper. Snipers are unique individuals highly trained with their weapon and disciplined to remain statue-like still in the midst of unfavorable conditions. They also must be willing to take kill shots from great distances and then willing to live with their actions. Snipers understand their life depends on the ability to strategically position themselves and remain hidden. Very few soldiers qualify for this critical duty, and those who do are exceptional and remain silent about their exploits.
You must know also that Satan has his own highly skilled snipers who’s goal is to take you out. If you ever become a target because you are a threat and show to be working for the kingdom of God and making extraordinary advances, just be consciously aware there is a sniper in the distance with cross hairs on you waiting for the perfect circumstance to pull the trigger. These satanic snipers have taken many of God’s people out of the service of the Lord. They blend into the environment of your circumstance so well, you think it was something else or someone else that hit you. I know about satanic snipers because I’ve been hit more than once, and only by the grace and power of God I’m still serving in the Lord’s kingdom today. So as you mature in your faith, understand this truth and don’t be an easy target! And whatever you do, don’t let the enemy take you out.
—Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”
—Ephesians 6:11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the schemes of the devil.

Reactors

You should be fully aware of this and be disciplined in your responses. John 8:6 “This they said, testing Him, that they might have [something] of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with [His] finger, as though He did not hear.”

Instead of reacting to the intense circumstance of a woman caught in adultery and the demand of religious authorities for an immediate answer about what to do, in silence Jesus stopped down to write something on the ground. What He didn’t do was react, like so many would today. He didn’t rush to defend her nor answer under the pressure. Even today the enemy wants you to “react” and to live a life that shows you have no self-control and are quick to take a sides. This is how we get into trouble and make decisions without prayerful considerations. This is how we get in trouble because many times we don’t have all the information. Yes, there may be a few a times you need to immediately react, but you shouldn’t live that way. Children are little reactors, but as you grow and mature, you should take every decision to the Lord and live in the awareness that the enemy wants reaction to discredit your witness for Christ and to hurt relationships and marriages.

The next time you feel the pressure, remember that in a very dramatic intense moment, Jesus kept His mouth closed and stooped down and wrote on the ground. Don’t take the bait the enemy throws at you, because it’s going to happen over and over again. Be one that stoops down to pray before responding.

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