The God of Done and Doing

Go out, you and your son Shear-Jashub….Isaiah 7:3

God is always doing a new thing. In God’s economy it is a matter of done and doing. God has done the work to accomplish everything we need and He is doing the work of a new thing in our lives if we are willing to believe it.

Isaiah’s son goes by the name “Shear-Jashub,” his name means, “a remnant will return.” His son is given a name that foreshadows the new thing God will do for Israel after they are forced into captivity by the Babylon for 70 years.

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I am not sure what life is throwing your way at this present moment. It may feel oppressive and overwhelming, it may seem unfair or confusing, but know this, as you hold fast to your Lord, you stand in victory over your enemies. Remember, it is the remnant who will return to the land of the living. It is those who remain faithful to their allegiance to the Lord Jesus Christ who will be brought back into the Land of God’s provision and care.

Those who live outside the place of God’s blessing are those who have placed their eyes upon their circumstances and not upon their victory. There are those individuals who do not believe God can do a new thing, so they remain in captivity. Their lives lack peace, contentment and joy, because of their unbelief.

Lord, I believe you are doing a new thing. I understand completely and fully that you are Sovereign over all things. If my sin has caused my captivity, Lord, forgive me. Father, I trust you. Although I cannot see the future, I know that as I remain faithful to you, I will sit in the place of blessing. I will experience the joy of Christ and bask in your glorious presence. Jesus, fill my heart with your joy and love today. Thank you that you are the God of done and doing. I praise you that you have accomplished everything I need in your son and that you are always doing a new thing, restoring what the locusts have eaten and taking what the enemy meant for evil and using it for good, in Jesus name, amen.

The Hedge of God’s Protection

The Hedge of God’s Protection

Then I, myself, will be a protective wall of fire around Jerusalem….(Zech 2:5)

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Could it be that sometimes we do not get burned by simply being outside of God’s will, but instead, by attempting to leave it? God is our hedge of protection, our resting place. He covers us in the shadow of His wings and we can dwell in safety in His presence. He goes behind and before us. His burning love for us is undeniable. He longs for us to be at rest with Him; sitting with Him in places of victory, standing firm with Him in safety, contentment and security.

We cannot always see the hedge, but when we start to leave it, we feel the intensity of its heat. It is easy in that moment to try and believe God is oppressive or that He is keeping us from something better. However, God’s hedge is set up for our protection. It is the things we cannot see that He fights to protect us from. It is His wall of fire that keeps us from devastation, destruction and the like. Inside the shelter of the most high we find just what we need. We lack no good thing in the presence of His grace.

There is a reason why God sets up certain hedges in our lives. He’s keeping us from the things that seek to destroy us.

In ancient Israel a hedge was set up around a field to keep out wild animals who could destroy the fruit of that land. If a hedge was destroyed or taken down it meant that the fruit of the land was now at risk for enemy attack.

Inside the hedge of God’s protection is the place of God’s abundance. It’s where we eat of His fruit. It’s where we experience His love in it’s fullest measure. However, sometimes, when God gives us an orange, we grumble for a pear. We don’t like what He has provided, because it doesn’t match up with our expectations. Accepting the provision of God takes full surrender, trust and a willingness to believe God knows what is best for us.

Lord, today, I trust you. I believe in your provision. I long to rest in the fruit of your land. I do not want to leave the hedge of your protection. Lord, forgive me when I stray. Make me more like you, Jesus. Be my provision. In Jesus name, amen.

A Country Divided: Destruction from Within

And the people will oppress one another…(Isaiah 3:5)

Our country is more divided that it has, quite possibly, ever been. We work against one another putting ourselves in different camps: Christians and Muslims, Republicans and Democrats, pro-life vs. pro-choice, no guns or more guns. You get the idea.
One of the consequences of Israel’s rebellion against God was that because of their stubborn hearts they started to oppress one another. Truth be told, the further we remove ourselves from God, who is love, the further we will drift away from unity and grow in hatred for one another.
Love is what brings people together. Love is what allows us to move past hatred and
towards unity.
I have heard so many different times about people losing Facebook friends over a post on some social issue or a disagreement during election time. Attitudes like this only polarize us as a country even more. The banner of our country is not love and unity it is hatred and polarization.
Unless we turn to love, we will destroy ourselves from within.

Unless we turn to love, we will destroy ourselves from within.


Now, I believe that the only type of true love that brings people together in solidarity is found in Christ. However, if you believe differently from me on this issue, I can respect that. We can certainly still be friends, but in my opinion, we will never become truly united without understanding and extending God’s unconditional love to our fellow man. It’s far too easy to default to hatred.
What really burns me is when I see Christians pointing the finger, creating different camps and ostracizing people, because they are not like us. We feel as though its our duty to tell them how badly they’re sinning. The world screams hypocrite, because quite frankly, on many levels, we are acting as one.
I don’t see many Christians on social media being honest about their own personal struggles with sin, but I do see many Christians feeling as though its their duty to call out sin in others in the public arena. I think if Christians really want to show the unconditional love of Christ that binds people together in solidarity they have to allow love to be their banner. Please, don’t negate the truth, love without truth is not love. There must be a balance of the two.
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I wonder what would happen if instead of feeling as though it’s our duty to blast sin in others from our social media platforms, we took the time to invite those different from us into our homes. What if, we just simply made a choice to love them, for where they were at, in that moment. Of course, use wise judgement in this and don’t put your family at risk for their safety, but the majority of the time this would not be an issue anyways.
We often have such a tremendous fear of people who are different from us. We don’t need to fear them. We need to try and understand them. When someone feels understood by us, we have won the right to speak into their life. Without first understanding someone and hearing their story, it is highly unlikely they will hear what we have to say about the truth of the gospel. Especially if they are a group that has been ostracized by many Christians.
As Christians, we have to remember that we are not the Holy Spirit. It is the Spirit who draws people to conviction. It is the Spirit that opens blinded eyes to see. I wonder what would have happened to Jesus’ ministry if He would have operated like us, ostracizing people, creating different camps and only feeling the need to blast sin in other people. Sure, Jesus called people out on some stuff, but, Jesus’ ministry was first and foremost directed by love, with a beautiful balance of truth. Jesus gave us the perfect example on how to treat our fellow man, “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.”- 1 John 3:16

Love.


Love is what we all long for in our lives. Love is what brings healing, hope and restoration. Love fosters unity. Love brings people together.
The religious leaders in Jesus’ day were men who were a lot like us. Their lives were not characterized by love and so they were quick to condemn. They were almost always angry. They even made it their personal vendetta to make sure the son of God, a man whose life and ministry was all about love, was murdered. They did not balance truth and love, but lived according to the letter of the law. They were all truth and no love.
As Christians we cannot only be all about love though either. The reality of sinful man is just that, they’re sinful. Therefore, they’re in need of forgiveness of sin. They’re in need of a cleansing from the inside out from the darkness of their own hearts. That is the truth we as Christians must walk in. Man is sinful, Jesus lived a perfect life without sin and the only way for sinful man to be restored back into right fellowship with God and experience eternal life in the glories of Heaven for all eternity is to repent and place their faith in the resurrected Lord, Jesus Christ.
How we present this message to the world either polarizes us further from people or brings us together. The balance of love and truth make all the difference. A right understanding of the two will keep us from creating camps, living in self-righteousness and ostracizing people. Our love, through Christ, and God’s truth found in His word can draw people together through the life-changing transformative work of Jesus Christ.
Lord, forgive us. Forgive us when we allow self-righteousness to enter our hearts that causes us to polarize ourselves from other people. Lord, I think much of the world doesn’t want much to do with Christ, because His followers are not first broken over their own sin. We’re too busy pointing the finger. Help us to deal with the plank in our own eye first. Help us to balance love and truth. May we never allow our lives to be led by only love or only truth, but gives us wisdom in knowing how to live in light of love and truth. Lord, help me to extend love to those who are different than me. Jesus did that. He ate with them. He invited them to dine with Him at His table and extended His love to them. Lord, I want to live the same way. Father, help us. As a nation, we Christians, who claim your name, repent for our hatred. We repent for our self-righteousness. We repent for how we have not lived like Jesus. Give us grace. Lord, pour it into our hearts, so we can extend it to others, in Jesus name, amen.

Hiding in the Bathroom Stall

“come, let us walk” …Isaiah 2:5

I remember as a child I was walking around a college campus looking for a class I was supposed to be attending and I got lost, so I did what any 5th grader on a college campus would do, I hid in the girls bathroom for an hour and waited for the class period to pass. I remember at one point someone came into the bathroom as I was in hiding in the stall and I thought to myself, “Heather, don’t breathe, stay silent, they’ll never know you’re here.”

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The paths we set out on either get to us to our destination or get us lost. Whenever we walk, we’re headed a purposeful direction. We may not think it’s purposeful at the time or we may not be willing to admit it, either way, we are allowing ourselves to be led by two different driving forces; the places our hearts tell us to go, or the wisdom of God.

We must remember that our steps, accumulated, one after another will either put us in places of victory, deliverance and blessing or we’ll find ourselves in places of destruction, confusion and uncertainty. If our steps our leading us towards destruction, like me in the bathroom stall, when someone comes looking for us, it’s far too easy to go into hiding out of embarrassment, shame or willful rebellion. If our path is too enjoyable to leave, then, we have to wonder if we really know Christ at all.

If our path is too scary to leave, because we’ve found great comfort in it, then, we have to allow truth to penetrate our deception. This means allowing for others to come alongside of us and help show us the way.

Now, as an adult, I’m the type of person that isn’t afraid to ask for directions if I’m lost. Yet, when I get lost in my faith, because of sinful actions done in deception, I’m not always as quick to reach out, because I feel embarrassed and ashamed of the path I’ve allowed my feet to trod. Yet, there is beauty in the body of Christ when I can say to someone else, “I’ve gotten lost, because I led my own self. I didn’t allow God to lead me, so please, help show me the way out and hold me accountable to the path God has for me.”

Lord, forgive me when I traverse a path you have not called me to. I am so quick to try and force my own understanding into my life sometimes. I can quickly hide in shame or guilt. Yet, you’ve given me a family in the body of Christ to help guide my way towards freedom. Lord, help me not neglect the beauty of this family you’ve given me. I want to be transparent. I want to walk so closely with you that when others see me, all they see is a woman who knows of her Saviors love. God, order my steps, I want to walk in them, in Jesus name, amen.

...in your very presence
foreigners devour your land…..(Isaiah 1:7)

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There is a place of rest with God that is a place full of His bounty, peace, and provision. Few people actually experience such a place, because more often than not their thoughts drift away from the promised land of God’s victory and bring them into places where the enemy seeks to destroy the harvest God has placed before them to feast upon.

As we go into Thanksgiving, a day full of food and feasting and we celebrate with others what we are thankful for, remember that much of your life is determined not by who God is, that never changes, but instead, by who YOU believe God to be. That’s right, your belief about God is either founded in truth or embedded with deep, idolatrous lies.

Our lips might say we are thankful, but our hearts may very well be allowing the enemy to destroy the harvest God wants to plant in our hearts that is full of His love, joy, and victory. We cannot experience the fullness of God’s blessing if we are allowing the enemy to trample all over our minds.

If we are allowing him to devour the bounty of God’s provision we’ll soon find that the harvest is not plentiful for us and we’ll start to believe the lie that says- God is not sufficient, when all the while He has provided for our every need. The problem is not with Him, but with us.

Many of us have allowed destructive thoughts to seep their way into the places of God’s bounty. We are not experiencing the fullness of the grace of God or the joy of knowing Him, because we are full of unbelief, pride, bitterness, anger, and selfishnesses.

These attitudes quickly seep into our souls like cancer that starts slowly eating away at us. Until we center ourselves back on right beliefs about God we’ll always believe that He is lacking, when He is not. We’ll never truly be thankful because whenever we believe God to be insufficient we’ll seek sufficiency in something else. We’ll run after worthless pursuits. We’ll never have enough, until we can say, at the depth of our being, “Lord, thank you, I have everything I need in you.”

Lord, if I have allowed any destructive thoughts to seep their way into my mind, please show me. I long to be like you. I want to see the goodness of your provision, the bounty of your blessing in my life. Lord, the bounty is there, help me to see it, even in the midst of strife. You are always enough. When my thoughts about you become idolatrous in nature because I believe you to be lacking, please show me so I might repent. Father, today, I am thankful for your grace, forgiveness and unending love for me. I am thankful that you take a child of yours and continue to walk with them, even when they fall short. Thank you for not giving up on me. Thank you for your sufficiency. All I need is you, in Jesus name, Amen.

A New Thing

Behold, I am doing a new thing….(Isaiah 43:19)

Many of us live in the past. We allow our most life-altering moments to go with us into our present and then, in turn, into our future. We have a hard time seeing how anything good could come from the wrong that has been done to us. We cannot see light at the end of the tunnel or hope for the darkness that has befallen us, so we bury hurt, pain and disappointment. This attitude only stores up a root of deep bitterness in our hearts and makes us people who are less trusting, transparent and vulnerable.

There’s something about life that can harden the soul if we allow it. The only way to soften a soul hardened by pain and disappointment is to start hoping in the promises of God found in His word.

God always shows up when it seems as though life couldn’t get any worse. If we are willing to believe that He is “doing a new thing,” we’ll be able to live with hope. Hope softens a heart once hardened by anger, pain and disappointment. Hope whispers into our torn and tattered souls; don’t fear, I’m with you, and through this pain, I am doing a new thing.

Lord, we do not give up or give into despair today, because we know through you there is always hope. We know that in the darkest moments of life you are always working and doing a new thing. Please, do not allow us to cut ourselves off from the growth you want to do in us by not believing with hope in the promises of your word. Father, I give up everything, including the past, so you can do a new thing in my heart today. Help me Lord, to walk by faith and not by sight. Do not allow me to take a step unless it is being directed by you, in Jesus name, amen.

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When I am afraid, I put my trust in you- Psalm 56:3

When I was a child and became afraid I would run to either my mommy or daddy because I knew in their arms I was safe.  For these are the very same arms of the Father we can run to when our hearts feel afraid.  He is a good, safe and loving Father who we can place all our hope in.  He silences the voices of fear, doubt, and discouragement and places us in safety, security, and peace.  The only thing we have to do is run into His arms.  That’s it, just run into His embrace and stop running after our own devices to fill our worried hearts.  As we sit with God, He whispers His love into our hearts over and over and over again, for His great glory and for our greater good.

Fear is a real thing we wrestle with daily.  We fear people, the unknown, real life circumstances and being rejected by others.  We fear not having enough, not being enough and not knowing enough.  Our biggest fear is sometimes found in not becoming what we’d hoped, or not becoming what we believe will make us acceptable to other people.

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The problem is, our worth and affirmation cannot come from people, things or status.  Living for these things only puts our hearts in a constant state of fear.  We’ll live our lives trying to attain some goal that is literally unattainable.  We will foster relationships not for the sake of knowing others, but for the goal of being known by others to pat our egos and puff up our low self-worth.  We’ll run up credit card bills, seek the constant approval of people and make ourselves weary from it all.

The Christian learns to put a leash on their fears and place their trust in God.  It is to say, “Lord, I am terribly afraid of not fitting in, measuring up or being good enough, but I place my trust in you.”  God meets us in our honest confession and He brings us into places of safety in our hearts and minds.  He is the calmer of our fears, for He is a good and loving father.

Lord, you are good.  Forgive me when I run around trying to solve all my fears on my own.  Forgive me when I do not place my trust in you, but try to fix my own problems.  Lord, I want to be silent before you, to hear only your voice and to trust only in your name.  Abba, daddy, you are good and I long to trust you with each step.  Guide me back to you when I stray and remind me of your love for me in Jesus name, amen.