I WILL Wednesday 2/19/20

It’s I WILL Wednesday!

I WILL Wednesday is all about speaking the Words of God to change your life, but this week is a little different. This week is about knowing when to keep quiet and declaring that you will do just that!

“I will watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin; I will put a muzzle on my mouth while in the presence of the wicked.” Psalm 39:1

There are times to speak and there are times when our words fail us. Then there are times when we are full of emotions and the words we speak have the potential to betray us. We misspeak or are misunderstood because we speak impulsively from a place of despondency. David knew this feeling well. That’s why he vowed to keep watch over his ways—be careful and cautious—not to sin with his mouth.

This is so important. 2 Corinthians 10:5 admonishes us to demolish every argument and pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God and to take every wayward, negative, ungodly thought captive and make it obedient to Christ. Sometimes, however, we let those thoughts become words and those words have the power to reek havoc in our lives. Instead of speaking the wrong things, be like David and say, “I WILL put a muzzle over my mouth!” Ok, I’m not saying that you should use a device designed for animals. But I am saying you should take it that seriously. Do all you can to prevent your lips from causing destruction, in your life and in the lives of others. When your heart is overwhelmed and your emotions are in overdrive, learn to muzzle your words, and instead, speak the Word of God.

David was especially cautious “in the presence of the wicked.” There are those who seek to cause trouble for you. We also have a very real enemy who seeks to devour, and he will use your words to do it.  Proverbs 18:21 says “Words have power in matters of life and death” (The Voice). Your words can build, influence, inspire, and encourage. Likewise, your words can tear down, defame, impair, and destroy.

Which will you choose? In the heat of the moment, don’t allow complaining, cynicism, gossip, anger, or bitterness to flow from your lips! Choose to speak words of life, or say nothing at all! Put a proverbial muzzle over your mouth and declare like David, “I WILL watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin.”

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Don’t Throw It Away (Vision 2020)

It’s the second week in February, and it’s time for a vision checkup! We all started the year strong, but where are we now? Are we still going? Has discouragement set in? Have you given up?

What ever point you find yourself at today, I’m writing to encourage you. I’m also writing to encourage myself. It’s with tears that I write, but this Word of God is burning in my heart “do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.”   Hebrews 10:35

The writer of Hebrews wrote this passage to Christians who had become discouraged. They were contemplating giving up their belief in Jesus and going back to Old Covenant methods and customs. But God gave this gentle reminder.

Confidence, in this passage, in its truest translation, indicates bold faith in what God has promised. It is strong confidence that what God promised, He will do. Don’t throw that confidence away, because it is what you need to endure.  Verse 36 explains, “For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise.”

Whoa! What I NEED is confidence, bold faith in God’s promises. It keeps us going so we can’t throw it away.

When it looks like you have failed, don’t throw it away.
When friends walk away, don’t throw it away.
When growth is slow or stagnant, don’t throw it away.
When doors close, don’t throw it away.

The second part of Hebrews 10:35 gives us reason to hold on. When you hang on to your confidence, you will be richly rewarded. What has God promised? What vision has He given you? Can you see it in the Spirit? Can you grasp hold to it with your faith? The glorious reward from the Father will be more than you think or even imagine. As verse 38 explains, “the just shall live by faith!” Because we believe God, we should live with confident expectation. When we live By faith, we don’t concern ourselves with what it may look like, but at each step of the way, ask yourself “What has God said?”.

Please, dear friends, don’t throw away your confidence! There is a rich reward awaiting you if you just keep going.

Pray with me,

Father, help me have bold faith to hold on to the promises You have given me. Come what may, help me to keep going until I see the evidence of everything You’ve promised. You are faithful and Your Word will never fail, so Father, help me believe.
In Jesus’ name,

Amen

Confess:
I WILL live by faith.
I WILL stand firm on every promise God has given me.
I WILL not be moved by circumstances that come against me.

Read other posts in this series, Vision 2020

Write the Vision (2020)

The Limits of Your Best

Do Not Despise Small Beginnings

You Were Made For This

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You Were Made For This

It’s the last week in January. I hope you are still pushing and moving forward, doing what God assigned you to do. Don’t let 2020 be like every other year; we start great but quickly fizzle out. This year we want to see what we have been praying for. We want to see the fruit of our hearts burning desire. We want the assurance that we are walking in His will for our lives.

Well, can I tell you something? Yes, you! You need to know that you were made for this!

Ephesians 2:10  tells us “we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

In Christ we’ve been made new! A work of art, touched by the Master’s finger of love, made into a masterpiece. He took our messed up lives and made something beautiful, so that we can do the good works that God predestined for us.

Before you knew your name, there was a divine assignment designed just for you. Jeremiah 1:5 recounts God’s Words to the prophet Jeremiah. “Before I even formed you in your mother’s womb, I knew all about you. Before you drew your first breath, I had already chosen you to be My prophet to speak My word to the nations” (The Voice).

Likewise, Paul shared his testimony in Galatians 1. He too, tells how he was chosen from his mother’s womb. Paul wasn’t called because of anything special he had done, but by God’s sovereign election, Paul was made to do the work of the Lord.
You too, were made for this!

Whatever your “this” is, is a divine calling by an all-knowing God. You were created for good work! Before any training, before any degree, before you were born, you were made for this! So you cannot fail! You were created for this!

Read the other posts in this series:

Write the Vision (2020,  

The Limits of Your Best,

Do Not Despise Small Beginnings

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I WILL Wednesday 1/15/2020

It’s I WILL Wednesday!

One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in His temple. For in the day of trouble He will keep me safe in His dwelling; He will hide me in the shelter of His sacred tent and set me high upon a rock. Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at His sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the Lord.  Psalm 27:4-6

Sometimes we just feel generally happy. Needs are met, family is well, doggy is wagging his tail. All seems right in your world. We just feel good. This was not the case for David. Yes this Psalm begins with David confessing faith over fear, but he still had enemies! Vicious enemies who desired to utterly destroy him. Wickedness came against him, armies surrounded him, threats of war rose against him. Everything was not good!

In this period in David’s life, he could have asked for anything. Protection, peace, an end to all this turmoil. Instead, the one thing David desired was the presence of God. He names several blessings that he found in God’s presence.

1. In the Lord’s dwelling, David was safe. (Vs. 5). This was not just a position, but also a posture—the presence of the Lord is a safe place. Though danger looms, my heart can rest in the safety of my Savior.

2. In the shelter of the Lord, David was hidden. Concealed from all the noise around him. He was very conscious to the reality of his situation. However, David’s security, as our security, is found in the Lord.

3. David was set high upon a rock. Jesus Christ is the Rock, our foundation that we should build upon. If I am on the Rock, the storms may come but I will not be moved.

4. David was able to lift his head above his enemies. Yes his enemies were still present, but David did not set his focus on them. He set his eyes on the Lord so that he might gaze in His beauty.

With all these blessings that stem from God’s presence, it’s no wonder why David responded, I WILL sing! We should respond that way too! Singing praises to our Lord, for He is worthy, He is faithful, He is constant, and He loves us. It is in Him where we can truly rest in the midst of danger, in the midst of the rain, in it the midst of our enemies. We can rest in Him. He is my safe place. He is my hiding place. He is my rock. So I will shout and offer sacrifices of joy, and I WILL sing a song of praise to My God.

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I Will Wednesday 01/08/2020

It’s I WILL Wednesday!

The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked came against me to eat up my flesh, my enemies and foes, they stumbled and fell. Though an army may encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; Though war may rise against me, in this I will be confident.  Psalm 27:1-3      

Happy New Year!

For many of us, the new year brings renewed focus. We look at our dreams and aspirations and we set out to put practices in place that help us reach those goals. If you are anything like me, you do this year after year. Some years we do well, but most often, by February, we’re adjusting our plan or even resigning to defeat. So many times obstacles appear and deter us from our goals. One main deterrent is fear.

Fear can stop us in our tracks and make us succumb to doubt.

King David thwarted fear with his confession found in Psalm 27. Though enemies threatened him and uncertainties loomed, David said “in this I WILL be confident.” “In this” refers to the truths declared at the beginning of the passage. Two beautiful truths that we can rest in.

The first truth, “the Lord is my light and salvation.” Darkness cannot cause me to fear, because The Lord is my light, He illuminates my path. No darkness can exist in the presence of His brilliance. Enemies cannot cause me to fear because the Lord is my salvation, He rescues and He saves. No enemy is a match for the power of God.

The second truth, “the Lord is the strength of my life”. King David was a skilled warrior. He was victorious in battle many times, but He never attributed his success to his own skills or abilities. He knew that, only in the Lord’s strength, could he win. The word strength here can be translated “Stronghold”-a fortified place of protection. In God’s strength I can only prevail.

We, too, can look forward with confidence knowing that we walk in the Lord’s illuminating light, in His Divine protection, and in His unrivaled strength. Then, come what may, we can say I WILL be confident.

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I Will Wednesday 12/11/19

It’s I WILL Wednesday!

I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised;
So shall I be saved from my enemies.   Psalms 18:3

In today’s passage, King David declares, “I WILL call upon the Lord. . .” Remember, Psalm 18 is a psalm of praise to God for deliverance from enemy oppression. David acknowledges that it is God who delivered him from his enemies. Not his prowess, bravery or might, not his skillfulness or any other ability. Only the hand of God was strong and mighty enough to deliver him.

As we look back over 2019, every moment hasn’t been great. Many have been very difficult, and if you are like me, some moments seemed designed to destroy me. Oh, but when I called on the name of the Lord, He delivered me. He saved me from distress. He saved me from going under. He saved me from myself. He delivered me.

After this point, King David faces many more trials, disasters, and disappointments, as will we. We can, however, face them confidently knowing that we don’t face them alone. We call upon The Strong One, The Mighty One, The Faithful One, The Only One who is Worthy to be praised.

The ONLY One who is mighty to save us from our enemies, even the enemies of our soul. Enemies like depression, loneliness, anxiety, illness. So whatever may come and whatever may go, I WILL call upon the Lord, I WILL cry out to Him, and I WILL trust Him.

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I WILL Wednesday 12/4/19

It’s I WILL Wednesday!

I WILL love you, oh Lord. Psalm 18:1

In today’s I WILL passage, King David declares that he will love the Lord. This is very timely for the Advent season. This season is all about love. God loves us so much that He sent His Son. ( John 3:16) Jesus loves us so much that He came to earth to show us the way and became the ultimate sacrifice for our sins (John 1:1; Romans 5:8 ).  With love on display in such a beautiful way, we are compelled to respond.

Sadly, such a beautiful love has been rejected by a sinful world. Instead of embracing this love, some turn to the pleasures of sin that only provide temporary gratification. Even still, God’s love pursues us, seeking to change our hearts by His grace, favor, mercy, goodness, and kindness. God took the initiative, He made the first move. Therefore, “we love because He first loved us”( 1 John 4:19 ).

We should love the Lord God with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our strength (Deuteronomy 6:5). Jesus says that it is the greatest commandment, and also to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Let’s make an intentional effort, this holiday season and every day, to love. First, love the Lord emphatically. Then love others, which should be a natural extension of our love for God. And not just with words! Intentionally demonstrate love! Love is the reason Jesus came. That’s why we can say, I WILL LOVE!

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I WILL Wednesday 11/27/19

It’s I WILL Wednesday!

The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I WILL trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. Psalm 18:2

This is another praise filled passage from the heart of King David. He ascribed to the Lord, the glory due unto His name (Psalm 29:2 ).  Rock, Fortress, Deliverer, Strength, Shield, Horn of Salvation, and Stronghold are the attributes used to describe God. They are the reasons David could confidently say “My God . . . in whom I will trust.” Every beautiful truth about our Father proves that He is fully trustworthy.

Though this is true, many believers struggle in the area of trust. We believe, yes, truly believe, but when it comes to seeing the fruit in our own lives, we stop short of trusting with abandon. Even when we want to. Especially when we need to.

Some translations read “in whom I take refuge.”  To take refuge is to find a safe place. This reminds me of the old hymn “‘Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus.” The hymn writer shares about a sweet, tender place in his relationship with the Lord—a place of trust. That is a place where we can lay our burdens down, cast our cares at His feet, and receive the comfort and strength we sometimes so desperately need. The hymn writer ends the chorus in the popular hymn with the line, “O, for grace to trust Him more.” The days that I need to trust the most, are usually the days that my faith fails.  That’s when I pray,  “Father, give me the grace to trust you more.”  He is faithful to give me the grace that I need to confidently trust.  That’s why I will confess daily, I WILL trust!

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I WILL Wednesday 11/20/19

It’s I WILL WEDNESDAY!

I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Psalm 16:8

This week, we are looking, at King David’s declaration of victory, I WILL not be shaken!

Psalm 16 speaks of David’s place of contentment and even rejoicing in difficult times. It also speaks prophetically about our Savior, Jesus and the hope that He brings.

How did David have hope in trying times? How did he find a place of contentment? He kept his eyes on the Lord.

I’m reminded of Peter when he walked on water. Before he began to walk, it was dark, foggy, windy and wet. Yet at the bidding of Jesus—“come”—Peter walked on the water.  The scripture says “But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’”   Matthew 14:30.  Peter saw the wind and began to sink. The wind didn’t cause Peter to sink, it was his shifted focus. He took his eyes off Jesus and put his eyes on his surroundings. Remember, the wind was already boisterous, the darkness was pervasive, the fog was present and the water was still wet. But when Peter had his eyes on Jesus those things didn’t matter. With eyes trained on Jesus, he didn’t sink, he couldn’t be shaken.

Where’s your focus? Is it on the circumstances around you, or on the Savior who walks with you?  When your eyes are on Jesus, nothing can shake you. Focus on the Savior. Look to Him to be your comfort, your strength and your inspiring example. Keep your eyes on Him, the Author and Finisher of our faith journey Hebrews 12:1-3.

King David knew this well. That’s why in the middle of the storms in his life, he could declare “my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will rest in hope (v. 9 )”.  As he walked closely with the Lord, David could say from experience, “In Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore (v. 11 ).” The storms will rage, and hard times will come, but when you keep your eyes on Jesus you can say, I WILL not be shaken.

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