Thursday, February 28, 2008

Highway to Holiness

"And a great road will go through that once deserted land. It will be named the Highway of Holiness. Evil-minded people will never travel on it. It will be only for those who walk in God's ways; fools will never walk there." Isaiah 35:8
As I was driving down the freeway this verse came alive to me. The Lord showed me that the way to Him is like a highway. Once we receive salvation, we are on His Highway. Each car is like a person and they vary in shape, color, size and age. As each car goes down the freeway, each one goes at a different speed. Some are cautious, some go fast with intensity and others just crawl along. The speed that our car takes on the Highway is like our spiritual walk. How is your speed? Also, notice how each car is in a different location and at times they move in and out of traffic to find a position in the lanes. That is how God moves us around in ministry and in our calling. One important thing that the Lord showed me was the on ramps. You see, some people come to the Highway from roads that are straight and direct, which is like the road that led them to the Lord. Other roads to the freeway entrance may be long, bumpy and have many turns. No matter how a person got to the Highway, it does not matter, for the destination is the same. We as Christians, need to give people the directions to get to the freeway and point the direction to the freeway on ramps. The journey is Jesus! I also thought of those on the Highway that may end up getting off the freeway and getting lost in places they did not expect. Have you ever been lost when you got off at the wrong exit?
     I love this vision that God showed me about the Highway of Holiness, for it meant to me that it didn't matter if my road to get to the Highway was tougher or more bumpy in comparison to the other freeway entrances, it just matters that I stay on the Highway. I also reflected on the speed signs on the Highway and how I could choose to go slowly and below the limit or I could speed ahead of my God and go way past where He wants me to be. I know that I need to follow God's Word, which is like that speed limit sign, because only God knows how I need to proceed. The next time you get on the freeway, picture all this around you and how it connects with your spiritual journey with Jesus!
Question: Are you in the lane on the Highway that the Lord wants you to be in? Are you keeping the speed limit by staying in God's word? What was your road like on your freeway entrance?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Going Deeper

"but who delight in the law of the Lord and meditate on His law day and night. They are like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither-whatever they do prosper." Psalm 1:2-3
I remember a time in my life when my health was in question. I was experiencing dizziness and lightheadedness. Along with those symptoms, I was experiencing frequent migraine headaches. This was a very difficult time for me for I was questioning, "Why me, God?". Life was difficult for me in the struggle of getting through each and every day. Then as I was in God's Word one day, I realized what He was trying to tell me through this experience. God led me to Psalm 1:2-3 and the message from this passage became very clear to me. He showed me a vision of a tree and how it was open to all the elements. A tree can experience wind, rain, fire and many other disasters which would totally wreck the top part of the tree. But what about the roots? With the roots being underground, it is protected from those severe elements. Where were my roots? Were my roots solid under the ground and receiving nourishment from the water or were they like this picture, not connected and lacking nourishment? God clearly showed me that no matter what happened to me above the ground, as long as my roots were connected to the living water, which was God's living Word, then I would be alright in my spirit. You see, the only thing that really matters to me is my relationship with the Father! If I am in His Word daily and have a relationship with Him, then the storms of life will not really matter. Even if the storms of life make a mess of my tree which is above ground, what really keeps me alive is the living water under the ground. I once heard the phrase, "let not the circumstances of this life dictate the circumstances of your heart". Now this phrase had meaning to me and what was happening to me physically did not matter to me as much as my spiritual health. Eventually my health improved but my spiritual health has remained steady.
Question: Are your roots firmly planted and receiving nourishment from the living water? Are you experiencing any physical challenges in your life right now? How can you dig deeper this day and not allow the circumstances of your life dictate the circumstances of your heart? What can you do today to find safety and security in God's Word?

Friday, February 22, 2008

Giants that Face Us

Then the Lord commissioned Joshua son of Nun with these words: "Be strong and courageous, for you must bring the people of Israel into the land I swore to give them. I will be with you." Deuteronomy 31:23
There came a point in the life of Moses that he needed to commission Joshua to take over the position of leading the Israelites to the Promised Land. I think about that moment when Moses passed on the baton to Joshua and now he had to lead. What do you think he felt? Do you think that Joshua felt overwhelmed, fearful and full of doubt in his abilities? I think he did! When Moses turned over the leadership to Joshua, all God wanted was for the new recruit was to accept the new position and go forward with what had been assigned to him. We may face those same emotions as the Lord may move us to a new territory. One emotion that the enemy will throw our way is fear as well as doubt. We must always expect those emotions as new recruits but what does God say in scripture? "BE STRONG AND COURAGEOUS for you MUST bring the people into the land". You see from this verse, God is saying that he wants you to fight that giant of fear and doubt and claim  the phrase, "I WILL BE WITH YOU". We  are not to worry, fear or doubt because God will help us through the new assigned task. God wants us to stand there, receive His commission and He will take care of everything for us. 
As the Lord may take you from one place to another, just as Joshua, we may be faced with giants. The giants may be those things in which we think are impossible to achieve. This may cause fear in us. But we are not to be fearful, for the Lord has planned to put you in this new place and you are not alone for He has said that He is with you every step of the way. God will take us from familiar territory to unfamiliar territory and it may be a little scary, but all we need to do is to trust in Him for He has brought us to this new land for His purpose. The Lord wants us to be strong and courageous, not to fear the giants in the new land. He has us protected and all we need to do is to put one foot in front of the next and know that He is with us and has equipped us to tackle these new tasks that lay before us!
Question: What giants are facing you today? Look at where the Lord is leading you and if He is moving you from one land to another, He wants you to not fear the giants in that land, for He is with you!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Shelter of His Wings

He will cover you with his feathers, He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection. Psalm 91:4
This has been one of my favorite bible verses because of my pet lovebird, Millie. Millie was a peach faced lovebird that I got when she was only 6 weeks old and I had her for almost 11 years. She died last year in October 2007, but through those many years that we shared our lives together, she taught me many lessons. One of the lessons I learned was about her feathers. I saw her go through molting seasons, where she lost feathers and new ones grew in. That was a painful process for her. The new feathers were called "pin feathers". The reason for that is that the hard casing that wraps each new feather  lies close to the skin and it is like pins on their skin. Although Millie was getting new feathers, it was painful and God showed me that often when we are going through a growth process in life, it may be uncomfortable and maybe even painful. Can you picture having needles stuck in your neck? That is what birds have to go through to get rid of the old feathers and get ready for the new ones.
   Another thing I learned through Millie was about her feathers and how it relates to God Word. I read Psalm 91:4, and because I knew what it was like underneath Millie's wing,  I understood the concepts of being sheltered and protected underneath God's wings. As you can see by the picture above, the most protected and tender part of a bird's body is underneath their wings. This is truly a very special place! When I lifted Millie's wings, I would feel the warmth underneath the wing and the how soft were her feathers. This place was not only warm and protected but it was the area that was closest to her heart.  I think of us being covered with God's feathers and I know how very protected we are. Like the old expression,  "like water off a duck's back" it is true, because there is an oil that is waterproof and no water can penetrate that protected area. So when we are covered by the feathers of the Lord, we are well protected and sheltered from the storms of life. When I found myself in the storms of life, I would picture myself, tucked under Millie's wings in that very soft, protected and safe place knowing that God's is protecting and sheltering me. Through Millie,  I learned how much God loves me  and that no matter what circumstances I am going through, no matter how tough the journey, I can stay underneath God's mighty wings.

Question: Have you ever found refuge under the shelter of His Wings? Can you trust God's Word that He will cover and protect you, no matter what the circumstance you are facing in life?

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Listen to His Voice

"Serve only the Lord your God and fear him alone. Obey his commands, listen to His voice, and cling to him." 
Deuteronomy 13:4
I remember reading the book, "Hearing God's Voice" by Cindy Jacobs. It was about the importance of listening and that if we are not quiet, we will not be able to hear God's voice. How very true, for we cannot listen if we are talking. This reminds me of when I was the substitute teacher for a Kindergarten class a few weeks ago.  I was in the front of the class, explaining to the children, how to complete their next assignment. I glanced at the class and they were looking at one another and they were talking. I stopped talking and just observed them talking to each other. As I watched them for awhile, I saw them laughing, talking and paying no attention to me. Then, after awhile, I think they realized that I was quiet and slowly they began to look up at me. They realized that it was "quiet" and now, they were finally ready to listen! I thought of that situation this morning, for isn't that just like us? We may be so busy talking to God and asking Him to answer our prayers, that He may not be able to be heard over our own voices. How often do I listen and just be still so that I can hear His voice? No wonder I miss what He is trying to tell me, and that is because I am making too much noise. In order to hear His voice, we just need to be still and allow Him to talk. Just like the class, the more that they talked to each other, I became quiet. Don't you think that when God wants to tell us something and we are doing all the talking, He becomes like the teacher that has to wait for the children to be quiet?! God knows when He has our attention and we are ready to listen. God will speak to us when we are quiet and really listening. What a great lesson today, to take time out to be quiet and listen to His voice. That is really what God wants from us.

Question: When was the last time you prayed and were quiet so you could hear God's voice? How can you become a better listener when it comes to hearing His Voice?

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


"There you and your families will feast in the presence of the Lord your God, and you will rejoice in all you have accomplished because the Lord your God has blessed you." Deuteronomy 12:7
The word "rejoice" brings many images to my mind. I picture it as a celebration with a grateful heart. I recall many celebrations in my life such as birthdays, weddings and other special events that I have celebrated. Then I thought about rejoicing about God. That too can be a celebration. I realized that no matter what the circumstances that may surround our lives, that it does not have to dictate the circumstances of our hearts! We may find ourselves in unpleasant situations that are beyond our control and yet, in the middle of the storm, we can still rejoice. You see, we have a God that is beyond hurt, pain or even suffering. We can still praise God for being who He is and all he has blessed us with, no matter what our circumstances. I remember hearing about two ways that people can perceive life. They can look at life from the perspective of having a glass half empty or they can see it as having a glass that if half full. How am I to look at life? Am I to keep looking at the things that are going wrong in my life? Or does our God want us to see beyond that and see all the blessings that He has given us? I believe that His Word tells us to come before Him and just praise him, no matter what is happening around us. Praise Him! Rejoice! Thank Him for all that He has blessed you with. After all, we were able to get out of bed this morning and take a breath of air. There are many people that did not wake up this morning. So, we can start rejoicing by praising Him for the life He has given us, and He has blessed us with one more day on this earth.

Question: What are you truly grateful for this day? What has the Lord blessed you with, that you can praise Him for? Take a few minutes to tell God what you are grateful for and rejoice with Him for that blessing.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Mountains and Valleys

"The land you are entering to take over is not like the land of Egypt, from which you have come, where you planted your seed and irrigated it by foot as in a vegetable garden. But the land you are crossing the Jordan to take possession of is a land of mountains and valleys that drinks rain from heaven. It is a land the LORD your God cares for: the eyes of the LORD your God are continually on it from the beginning of the year to its end."    Deuteronomy 11:10-12
Has the Lord ever taken you from one place to another and everything that you had ever known as being familiar, was now gone? Then you find yourself in a new place and everything is new. There are often seasons in our lives where God will move us from one situation to another, just as He did with the Israelites when He moved them from Egypt to the Promised Land. As the scripture says, the people were so used to growing their crops on the land without water. They had to plant their seed and irrigate it "by foot". What that tells me is that they had to use their own human efforts to bring water, in order for the seeds to grow. You see, in Egypt when the Israelites were slaves they lived in a place where they had to work and put great effort into the cultivation of their crops. This was going to change dramatically, for the Lord moved them away from the familiar and took them to the a place of mountains and valleys. Now, the Lord said that He was going to provide the rain and irrigation from the Heavens! The precious water would be provided for them now and they will not need to labor in the same way as they had before. The life of the Israelites would never be the same again, for their lives will now have mountains and valleys. The LORD promises them that He is always there and watching over them. God cares for them in this new season and the best part of this new journey is that He was continually with them. Will this new season be easy? No, change would be difficult for the Israelites, as change is also difficult for us. I learned from the changes in my own life, that when the Lord decides to move you from one place to another, He will take you, often times, to unfamiliar places and everything will be different. We are not to continue what we are doing in a different location, but we are to learn by the new location, on how to live.

Questions:What changes are you currently going through? What are you having to release from the old location and what are you having to learn in the new location in your life? Just know that your God cares for you and that His eyes are continually on you!
Link: My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers