Afraid? Immerse Your Heart in This Verse

One of the reasons I love reading the Book of Psalms is because it’s raw and real. King David, the author of many of the psalms, reminds me in his transparency that it’s okay to mess up, freak out, be scared, feel overwhelmed, and need help. But he doesn’t stop there. He also consistently reassures and encourages himself (and me!) with truth—who God is, what God can do, how many times God has helped him before.

When scary stuff happens, David boldly vents His feelings to the Lord. He doesn’t deny his feelings. He doesn’t pretend his problems don’t exist. And he never denies reality. But then David pivots, reminding Himself how great the Lord is, how powerful He is, how faithful He is. No matter what situation he finds himself in (and there were plenty of life-threatening, heartbreaking, unjust events in his life), David always chooses to focus on the Lord and trust Him. Always.

One of those unsettling times, when David was seized by the Philistines, he had every reason to panic. Yes, he freely acknowledged his fear, but then he declared his trust in the Lord in the following verse:

When I am afraid, I will trust in you. (Psalm 56:3)

Lately, my heart has camped on this verse. When it feels the world has gone crazy, when I’m overwhelmed, when I’m fearful and unsettled, I’ve been making every effort to remember to acknowledge to the Lord (and to myself!) that I will still trust Him.

When I am afraid, I will trust in you. (Psalm 56:3)

Hint: We can replace the word afraid with any prevailing emotion and declare God’s trustworthiness over our circumstances and over our lives. Declaring Scripture in this personal way reassures our hearts. It cements truth into our troubled minds. It helps us release the heaviness of it all and entrust it to Him. This creates peace in our hearts!

When I am unsettled, I will trust in you.

When I am overwhelmed, I will trust in you.

When I am uncertain, I will trust in you.

When I am worried x 1000, I will trust in you.

When I am disappointed, I will trust in you.

When I am misunderstood, I will trust in you.

When I am brokenhearted, I will trust in you.

When I am anxious, I will trust in you.

When craziness in the world, our nation, or even our own families unsettle us and make us fearful, we can choose to trust God anyway. We can immerse our hearts in the comforting truth of Scripture. We can choose to trust the One who is always with us, always faithful, always sovereign.

CHALLENGE: This week, every time you feel afraid, upset, unsettled, or anything else, take a deep breath. Pivot to God’s Word and read Psalm 56:3. Say it aloud. Immerse your heart in it. And believe it. 



How to Pray Scripture

Do you ever wonder what to say to God? Do your prayers feel lifeless? Let me encourage you to speak God's Word back to Him!

Why We Should Pray Scripture

So shall My word be that goes forth out of My mouth: it shall not return to Me void [without producing any effect, useless], but it shall accomplish that which I please and purpose, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:11

 This encourages us because when we pray scripture, it's going to accomplish God's purposes!

Then said the Lord to me, You have seen well, for I am alert and active, watching over My word to perform it. Jeremiah 1:12

God watches over His Word and as we speak it, He performs it!

For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

The word that God speaks is alive and full of power. When we partner with Him, by speaking His Word, those words are alive in full of power!

How to Pray Scripture

What I do as I'm reading my Bible each morning, when a specific verse jumps out at me, I will stop right there and highlight the verse and pray it out as a prayer! That's the Holy Spirit speaking to our hearts. It's just that easy! Let's do a few examples together.
For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth. 2 Corinthians 13:8
Lord, I pray that I will not oppose truth, but that I will always stand for truth.
Be joyful. Grow to maturity. Encourage each other. Live in harmony and peace. Then the God of love and peace will be with you. 2 Corinthians 13:11

Lord, I pray that you will help me to be joyful. Help me to grow to maturity. Help me to encourage others and help me to live in harmony and peace with those around me.

May the Lord lead your hearts into a full understanding and expression of the love of God and the patient endurance that comes from Christ. 2 Thessalonians 3:5

Father, lead my heart into a full understanding and expression of the love of God, and give me the patient endurance that comes from Christ.

 But you, Timothy, are a man of God; so run from all these evil things. Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness. 1 Timothy 6:11

Father, help me to pursue righteousness and a godly life. Along with faith, love, perseverance and gentleness, help me to fight the good fight for the true faith.

Know God's Word

I want to encourage you to really get into God's Word. Learn it for yourself so that when you are praying that's what comes out of you. God's Holy Spirit brings to our remembrance the things that we've put in our hearts. If we have His Word in our heart then when we start praying His Word will come out. It will be a blessing to us and to those around us and the people we pray for!

Pray scripture! It's easy and it's a beautiful thing. God watches over His word to perform it and your prayers will be powerful and effective!

To watch this devotion as a video, click here!

Have a blessed day,


Through my books I love to help readers know God, know Scripture, and know how to pray. Click on the images below to learn more about each book.

             

6 Ways to Draw Closer to God


When I first became a believer, I didn't really understand how to feel close to God, let alone stay close to Him. Typically, what happened for me was, I feel super close to God on Sunday, but I'd forget all about Him by Monday. Eventually, I got to the point where I could remember Him every day and acknowledge Him every day. That's when I realized that this holy relationship thing required a lot of effort on my part.
I think we all go through seasons where we don't feel that God is as close to us or maybe we're not as close to Him as we want to be. The truth is, God is never far from any one of us, and He'll never leave us or forsake us. The good news is, if we feel distant from God, the most likely scenario is, we stepped away, so we can choose to step back!

Here are my six tips that I do to remain close to God, and I hope that they'll help you.

1. Choose to Acknowledge Him Daily

What that means is getting up in the morning and acknowledging God. When you do that, it activates your faith. It helps you to remember that God is present, and it also creates a space for God's presence in our crazy lives.

2. Ask God to Reveal Himself to You

I think there are various and limitless ways that God chooses to reveal Himself to each one of us. What we typically need is the ability to recognize when He does reveal Himself to us.

3. Make Time to Read Your Bible

When we make regular Bible reading our priority, we are declaring to God that His word is a vital component in our lives; something that we're not willing to be without. We will be strengthened and transformed because His Word is living and active.
To watch my Scripture Reading Challenge video, click here!

4. Ask God to Give You Ears to Hear Him

One simple word of encouragement from God's heart to ours fortifies us like nothing else. The truth is when God speaks to us, His words always bring light and bring truth.

5. Make Time to Pray

Really, all prayer is conversation with God, and it doesn't have to be eloquent. It doesn't even have to make sense because God knows our hearts. Prayer gives us the Holy opportunity to process our emotions or situations to God and to receive strength and encouragement in return.
To watch my video on How to Pray Effectively, click here!

6. Turn Off the TV (or Facebook, or Pinterest...)

It's all about choices and moderation and wisdom. And it's amazing when we set that side apart just for God by choosing to go without from other things, maybe for a short period of time, that we'll have more time just to think about God and realize how much he thinks about us and how much he wants to be close to us as well. I'm so glad you joined me here today and I hope that these six tips help you draw closer to God!
To watch this devotion as a video, click here!

Have a blessed day,


Through my books I love to help readers know God, know Scripture, and know how to pray. Click on the images below to learn more about each book.

             

A Simple Prayer for When You're Sick


My prayer list for those who are sick has never been longer! Join me on YouTube for a simple prayer to pray over yourself or a loved one who is suffering illness. 💗🙏
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23

To watch my new video: click here

Lord, we cry out for mercy. There are so many sick people. God, you know my prayer list, you know how lengthy it is, you know the people on it. You know, the people reading this, who are either sick themselves, or know someone who's sick. God, in your kindness and great mercy, will you please give grace and give wisdom to these people. Show us what to do and what not to do, what to take and what not to take. Father intervene as only you can. Bring healing. Have mercy, Oh Lord! In the name of Jesus, amen.

Have a blessed day,



5 Steps to Controlling Negative Thoughts


Today I am so happy to introduce you to my friend,  Annette Reeder. Annette is an author and nutritionist who shares her wisdom of how-to best care for our health (and our souls). Here's Annette:


There is power in what we think… Despite this fact, many people don’t realize they are lazy thinkers. Therefore, they are lazy in their outcomes. All thoughts are powerful. They lead us in one direction or another.

Do we want to add power to negative ones or glorifying ones? I don’t know about you, but I want to cultivate glorifying ones! Thoughts can cause a riot or lead to righteousness. Which one would you rather have? I’ll take righteousness!

When you are able to control your thoughts, you’re able to help yourself be successful in your physical, spiritual, and emotional health.
whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything, worthy of praise – let your mind dwell on these things. Philippians 4:8
Dwell is a continual action. It is not a one and done.

Do your thoughts include these types of things? I am loved. I am worthy. I’m beautiful. I am a perfect weight. I’m happily married. I can do anything through Christ who strengthens me.

When I started this transformational journey, my mind fixated on things like I am ugly. I’m depressed. I am fat. I am unloving. I’m unlovable. I am miserable. I believed they were true. Yet, when I read God’s word, it stated otherwise. Therefore, I avoided reading God’s word. Make sense? Not really. But that was the result of the things I was cultivating in my mind.

Thoughts bring things before our mind and enable us to consider them. These can be images, visions, perception, and imagination.
  • Thoughts never stand alone. They orchestrate feelings.
  • Feelings never stand alone. They orchestrate beliefs.
  • Beliefs never stand alone. They orchestrate actions.
  • Actions never stand alone. They orchestrate results.
How do you control your thoughts? Here are 5 steps on how to control your thoughts and succeed each time!

1. Identify Your Thoughts

What are your thoughts right now? Without editing them, write down your thoughts in a journal. Put a star next to what relates most closely to the patterns you want to change. Put a heart next to thoughts that honor God!

2. Question Your Thoughts

These are from a sermon by Charles Swindoll and they fit perfectly.
  • Where will these thoughts lead me?
  • Will they get me where I want to go?
  • Are they scripturally acceptable?
  • Will they build me up or tear me down?
  • Could I share these thoughts with someone else?
  • Where did they originate?
  • Do I feel guilty thinking these thoughts?
  • Do these thoughts fit me as a follower of Jesus?

3. Capture the Negative Thoughts and Throw Them Away

Take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5
Satan blinds the unbeliever and attempts to deceive the believer. Every person is engaged in a battle, whether they realize it or not. Satan wants to remind you of all the bad in past experiences. He makes you question yourself and the validity of your success.

Put away the thoughts that don’t fit with God’s plan for you. Understand your relationship with Jesus. We are raised up with Christ Jesus. This mindset controls everything.

Faulty thoughts lead to wrong actions. This is why it’s essential to identify our how we’re thinking, question our thoughts, and throw out the false ones with the trash.

4. Renew Your Thoughts

Set your mind on things above. Colossians 3:2
Whenever you banish a thought, it must be replaced, or it will return. It may try to return anyway, but you will be armed to combat the untrue, damaging thoughts if you have planted true, profitable ones.
  • If you thought: “I can’t lose weight,” replace it with: “God has given me a spirit of self-control. I can engage the Holy Spirit to empower me with self-control and lose weight.”
  • If you thought: “Food reduces my stress,” replace it with: “God gives me peace beyond understanding. I don’t need food to deal with stress.”
  • If you thought: “My health doesn’t matter to my spirituality,” replace it with: “God declared my body is the temple His Spirit resides in. When I take care of my body and am healthier, I’m more equipped to live obediently to Him.”
As you renew your mind, replacing every negative or untrue thing that’s crept into your thinking with God’s Word, your actions and results of your choices will change.

5. Rejoice in the Work God is Doing in You

Let the peace of Christ rule your hearts…And be thankful. Colossians 3:15
Praise God for what He’s doing in the present moment in your heart, mind, and life!

After a week or two, or a month, go back to step one. What are your thoughts now? Write them down. See how much has changed in how you think and reflect on how your transformed thoughts have resulted in transformed actions.

Mastering your thoughts won’t happen overnight. Your thoughts were planted long ago and have taken root over time. It will take time and effort to pluck them out.

Celebrate each successful replacement of a weed thought with a beautiful, aromatic flower thought! Before you know it, you’ll have a lovely garden flourishing in your mind!

Watch Annette's YouTube video where she shares these important 5 steps! Visit Annette's website to download her free e-book 7 Steps to Amazing Biblical Health. This great resource will help you:
  • Discover which foods keep you satisfied for longer - and why!
  • The secret to end "emotional eating", rather than giving in to fleeting desires.
  • Create a personal food plan to improve your health.
  • Learn the ultimate benefits of fasting - and how to get started now!