Devotional- Longing for God Alone

“Longing for God Alone

We are born with an innate longing to connect to something or someone who understands us completely. In the deep, quiet stillness of our heart, we long for God and God alone. And if we’re really honest, we know that nothing else will do. It is a common thread running through all our lives—the longing and the ache for more of God.

As God’s loved children, we need to be shaken to our core until we begin to grasp the price that’s been paid for our redemption. When we are pulled to our knees by the greatness of what Christ did on the cross, we can deny ourselves, find our satisfaction in God alone, and lift up the needs of others. Perhaps then this world will see what God’s love looks like by the way we treat each other. Our story of healing is one of the greatest gifts we can give to another person.

During his lifetime, David watched his kingdom rise to the heights promised to Abraham. He defeated vast armies and watched God interfere with the plans of those who attempted to take him out. David then allowed his longings to lead him into the kind of sin that caused death and devastation to others. Yet Paul said, “God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David, son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do’” (Acts 13:22 NIV).

As we turn through the pages of David’s life, we see sin, but we also see humility, worship, trust, hope, repentance, strength, and love. Yet perhaps the greatest gift of David’s life to us is his absolute trust in the goodness and mercy of God, no matter what raged around him. David’s story reminds us that it’s not how we start life that matters but how we finish it.

This raises the question of how we live through tough times. How do we bring glory to God in a difficult place? How do we look to him alone as our source of strength? The answer is we worship. Even when there’s no light on the path, or dawn on the horizon, we worship God because he is worth our devotion.

We worship God—and long for him alone. When nothing else makes sense, we thank God for who he is and how he loves us. We cry out to the heavens and declare that the Lord watches over us. He is our shield! He is our defender! He is the one who holds our head up high when we want to bury it in a pillow. No matter how things appear, and no matter what we feel, God is in control.

Every longing that we try to satisfy apart from God will always fall short. Just as God in Christ pursued us through the mud, mire, beatings, and bloody path up to a cross, he now calls us to pursue him. Not only that, but he promises that if we seek him, we will find him.

Respond

In what ways do you long to be loved by God? Transformed by God? To reach for more of God? When do you tend to be most aware of your longing for intimacy and connection with him?

How have you tried to find, know, and love God? How does knowing that God takes the initiative by loving you first challenge you? How does it encourage you?

In this season of your life, how do you sense God may be inviting you to worship? How is he inviting you to shift your focus from longing for His power to longing for him alone?”

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Mini-Series on ”Jesus is tested in the wilderness” Part 4

“If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “ ‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’ ” ~ Matthew 4:6

Quick Recap:

1. Jesus set apart time to fast and connect with God. God set him apart to prepare him to birth his purpose. 40 days and 40 nights fasting! ( This is broken down in part one of the series.)

2. Immediately the devil came to test Jesus. He took advantage of his state since he hadn’t eaten anything or drank anything, for 40 days. He tested Jesus by acknowledging who he was and by trying to confuse him with his identity. He wanted Jesus to test God and his power, to prove he is the son of God. Jesus overcame by declaring the truth toward the enemy.

3. Let the enemy know that you are aware of his plans. In the moment of acknowledging his awareness declare the truth through scripture toward him.

Above was a quick recap of when Jesus was tested in the wilderness and how he was aware of the Devil’s scheme. Today we will hit point number 4.

After every fall of the enemy and very victory you gain; there is another temptation or test getting prepared to attack you. The victory belongs to God; so celebrate it but don’t claim it and take a break. Prepare yourself to discern what is coming next. For next time the enemy will acknowledge you again and misuse promises that God made to his children. He acknowledge him and stated in verse 6, “It is written” and then spoke God’s promise over him. If you don’t mediate on the word, you will see and hear the enemy but think it’s God’s promise to you! Be careful and feed your spirit right!

Be aware at all times during this part of your wilderness. Victory is sweet but can blind us when we become too much about it. It’s not normal to take a step back after a victory but do so in a different way. Take a step back and really look at what God had you overcome. Take a step back and see how overcoming that step or situation is going to prepare you for the next one. I heard in a video of Joyce Meyer a very good quote and very true, “New levels, new devils.” New levels, new devils!!! How real is that quote???? We might never know why it works that way but it does. However each level we get a new improved strategy to attack the next devil !

Here are some areas that might get attacked! The enemy distracts us with victories and always uses the least expected person or thing!

Family members (spouses or children)

Brothers or sisters from the congregation

Job

Ministry

Your transportation (vehicle)

School

The areas that we think we don’t need to worry about, is usually where the enemy will go !!!

Hold on! Persevere! The Lord is your shepherd! He is your judge! He goes before you and he’s the defender behind you !!!!

-Victoria 💛

Sharing a devotional- Detours

“Several years ago I had gone with my wife to Hawaii for a speaking engagement. Since we don’t get over to Hawaii very often, we decided to add on a few additional days for rest and relaxation. The plans had been made. The weather was perfect. I finished my speaking engagement and we were both ready to relax. 

The first few days went by fine but then something happened that I will never forget. Before I could even know what hit me, I was suddenly ravaged by a pain level I had never felt before. Now, I’m a man, and if you know me at all, you know that I pride myself on being a “kingdom man.” However, in this moment in time, even a kingdom man had to yell out in agony. I suddenly had a lot of compassion for any woman who has ever given birth. The pain was so unbearable that I could barely speak and I felt like I was about to pass out. 

Lois quickly arranged for transportation, and we headed to the nearest hospital. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful for hospitals. I’m thankful for doctors. And I appreciate the fact that they have to gather all of the proper information before they can begin administering treatment. I don’t want them to make a mistake, so I understand that processes are important. However, when you are seized by unspeakable pain, filling out forms or waiting in a chair for them to call your name is the last thing you want to do. Minutes felt like a millennium. If you have ever been in an emergency room, then you know exactly what I mean.

Waiting is no fun when you are in pain. In fact, waiting is no fun anytime. Really. We get impatient in lines that are too long at the store. We sigh in traffic that impedes our forward progress at the speed we want to go. We want our food as soon as we place the order. Our nation is certainly the home of the free and the land of the brave, but it isn’t exactly a melting pot of patience. 

But patience is a virtue we all need. So when God puts you or me on a detour that seems to be taking too long—and especially when the wait includes pain—patience, when practiced rightly, can quite possibly even speed up the path to your purpose.”

Mini-Series on ”Jesus is tested in the wilderness” Part 3

Quick Recap:

1. Jesus set apart time to fast and connect with God. God set him apart to prepare him to birth his purpose. 40 days and 40 nights fasting! ( This is broken down in part one of the series.)

2. Immediately the devil came to test Jesus. He took advantage of his state since he hadn’t eaten anything or drank anything, for 40 days. He tested Jesus by acknowledging who he was and by trying to confuse him with his identity. He wanted Jesus to test God and his power, to prove he is the son of God. Jesus overcame by declaring the truth toward the enemy.

“Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ “ ~ Matthew 4:4

Above was a quick recap of when Jesus was tested in the wilderness. Today we will hit point number 3.

In moments of the test, your victory will always stand in two things. Calling out the enemy by his name. Letting the enemy know that you are aware of his plans. In the moment of acknowledging his awareness declare the truth through scripture toward him. Trust that God is with you and fighting for you. We must be confident in who fights for us for we can receive his promises. No weapon form against us shall prosper ( Isaiah 54:17).

This point is very important!!! We must not give the enemy leverage by allowing him to speak or test us in foolish ways. What do I mean by foolish? The Bible says “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32. If we know the truth and have a profound understanding of it, we must carry ourselves confidently. Don’t let the enemy hold you in bondage when God send his only son to die for us in the cross. When Jesus died for us, he took all the bondages that the enemy could attack us with! Jesus made us free!

We must know when to fight back and how. There are different battle plans. Here’s a list of different ones:

prayer

•fasting

•meditating on the word

•being still and trust God

•asking for spiritual support to join you

•declaring truth out loud

•getting deeper in your intimacy with God

•departing yourself from the person or object that is affecting you spiritually

•worshipping (singing, dancing, instruments, writing, painting, and etc.)

The main thing when doing all this is perseverance! Push through it all into you see or feel that God stepped in and took over. Giving up in a battle will only lead to disaster! Disaster physically and spiritually! If you feel like your too weak in your battle or test; that’s a lie from the enemy! And even if you are be weak in the Lord! When we are weak in the Lord, he becomes our strength! He will renew your strength the more you incline yourself to handle everything according to his will and not your own.

Allow your wilderness to be the territory that helped you to trust in God. To trust that he is control! That he will supply! That he will provide! That he will renew! That he will do it again! That he will restore! That he will close that door! That he will open that door! That he will guide every step! That he will never forsake you! That he hears you! That he sees you crying every day! That he is speaking to you! That he is the one that is comforting you! That he gives in double portion! That he takes away things that were not meant for us! That he is making something new! That he is entering that hard heart! That he is molding you! That he loves you !!!!!!!!!!!

Be confident that God is Immanuel and he knows all and sees all. Allow him to make you a confident child of his !!!! The enemy loves to attack when you lose focus on who you are! Don’t lose focus!

~ Victoria 💛

The Consequence of Not Trusting God

Todays devotional!

“You will have moments of weakness that test your faith and commitment. Because we are not perfect chances are you will give in to the weakness a time or two. Your flesh will decide to take the path of least resistance and the world will be your guide. I’m so thankful that in these moments God’s mercy and grace are abounding and generous! However, please understand that there are consequences to your sin and disobedience.

The Bible mentions time and again stories of godly people who failed to trust God in moments of hardship. Abraham claimed his wife as his sister more than once out of fear. Moses struck the rock in Numbers 20 in disobedience and, as a result, was not able to enter into the promised land. We’ve all been there, but we’ve all also experienced the results of not trusting God.

Proverbs 11:28 speaks to the consequences of trusting in riches (and other things) instead of God. The verse says that when we do this we will fall. No doubt that trusting in the world leads to failure. Furthermore, Proverbs 28:26 says that those who are wise enough to trust in Him will be kept safe, as opposed to those who trust in themselves. Here the correlation is that when we decide to trust God there is a safety that guards us. How encouraging is that! Such a blessing to know we have God on our side through thick and thin.

Today’s devotional wasn’t meant to be a fear tactic, but a wise warning to the inevitable consequences of trusting in yourself or the world. I’ve found that to be true and you probably have too, but my prayer is that we don’t have to face those consequences again. This is a reminder to keep your trust in God through the good, the bad, and the ugly. You will always regret not trusting Him, but you will never regret having done so.

The Benefits of Trusting God

The benefits of trusting God are immeasurable. While the Bible is filled with stories of those who didn’t trust God, it is also packed with stories of those who did! Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den and came out alive, prompting the king to worship God. David faced Goliath and conquered the giant. Esther came before the king, even though it could have resulted in death, and saved a nation. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego walked into the blazing furnace and came out without a single singed hair. Trusting in God has that kind of power—a kind of power that isn’t just reserved for those in the Bible, but a power that still lives today for you and me. A power that bends the knees of kings to worship, conquers giants, saves nations, and protects individuals.

Psalm 9:10 testifies to this power. For those who put their trust in God, He does not forsake them. This means that God will be with you in the trust journey and that’s a promise you can take to the bank. He will not give up, turn on, or go back on you or His word. He will protect, defend, and honor you.

Maybe right now you’re facing a situation that calls out all the trust you can muster. The enemy may whisper lies into your ear to tempt you away from what is good and right. However, you must stand firm. Trust God’s process. The benefits of doing this will outshine what you can see this side of Heaven, but mostly, God will be on your side. Go with that knowledge as you make your decision to follow God and trust Him.

How to Muster the Trust

What if finding a way to trust God in the unforeseen challenges is more difficult than it sounds? This is likely at times, to be honest. And when that happens you will have to gather everything inside of you to muster the trust. It may not be easy, but it will be necessary for staying on track.

In Psalm 56:3 God says that when you are afraid you must put your trust in Him. There is no other option in Who to trust and there is no other way through the fear. Plain and simple, it is trust you must muster when the flesh fights to tap out when the going gets too tough.

Furthermore, Romans 15:13 states that you will be filled with peace BECAUSE you trusted in God. No claims that the peace comes before trusting, only after. Which means when you’re searching for peace in the midst of your struggle the only way to find it is if you put your trust in God!

How do you muster the trust when you’re afraid? Just do it! I know it sounds too easy, but it can be done. As I said on day one, I constantly tell myself over and again, in times of struggle to “trust in God’s process.” I’ll say it until all I can do is believe it. I’ll also speak verses that apply to the situation over myself as there is no weapon stronger to fight the enemy than the Word of God and the name of Jesus.

My prayer now as I write this is that you’ll find trust in God and His process. When it gets tough—and it will—come back to speaking Scripture over yourself. Turn to God in your fear. Call out to Him when the trust is fading. When you do that, when you seek to put your trust in Him, He will give you peace. He will honor that and not forsake you. There is nothing stronger than the words and promises of our Almighty God.”

~ Victoria 💛

Devotional on Anxiety

Below is a devotional I wanted to share with you all. Don’t let your anxious thoughts win!

“Week 4: A Happy Heart: God’s Promise Through Paul

God’s Promise: “God will meet all your needs.” (Philippians 4:19 NIV)

My Promise: I will trust God to meet my needs.

We are running out of everything, it seems, and so we worry. But worry doesn’t work. Fret won’t fill a bird’s belly with food or a flower’s petal with color. Birds and flowers seem to get along just fine, and they don’t take anti-acids. What’s more, you can dedicate a decade of anxious thoughts to the brevity of life and not extend it by one minute. Worry accomplishes nothing. Jesus doesn’t condemn legitimate concern for responsibility, but rather the continuous mindset that dismisses God’s presence. Destructive anxiety subtracts God from the future, faces uncertainties with no faith, and tallies up the challenges of the day without entering God into the equation. Worry is the dark room where negatives become glossy prints. So become a worry slapper. Treat frets like mosquitoes. Be decisive with anxiety. The moment a concern surfaces, deal with it. Don’t dwell on it. Head worries off before they get the best of you.

Unshakable Hope Declaration

We are building our lives on the promises of God. Because his Word is unbreakable, our hope is unshakable. We do not stand on the problems of life or the pain in life. We stand on the great and precious promises of God.”

“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” ~ Philippians 4:19

~ Victoria 💛