Did you know joy is your right …

“Did you know joy is your right as a believer and follower of Jesus Christ? But the enemy wants you to feel beat-up and condemned for things you have done in the past. He wants to rob you of your God-given right to joy. We all have to hide in the wounds of Calvary. We have all fallen short of the standard. We have ALL rebelled against God’s authority over our life. But we are also blessed because our sins have been forgiven.

A lot of Christians don’t understand the power of God’s grace. They are forgiven and they are on their way to heaven, but they think they have to pay for what they did by being sad and beating up on themselves when nothing could be further from the truth. Grace wins! But until you acknowledge and accept that, you will allow the enemy to steal your joy.

Read all of Psalm 32 and Psalm 51. Remember to take note of anything that stands out to you as you read.

YOUR TURN

Where would you rate your joy on a scale between 1 and 10, with 1 being completely nonexistent and 10 being as good as it can possibly be?

What would it take to move that score closer to a 10?

FINAL THOUGHTS

If you are not full of joy, then you are not full of the Word of God. He wants you to have joy, whether you believe you deserve it or not. Psalm 16:11 says, “In His presence is fullness of joy!” “

If you have struggled to find joy, take some steps to get closer to receiving it!

Steps ⬇️

1. Identify what is stealing your joy.

2. How is it holding you hostage or how are you letting it hold you hostage.

3. Begin to pray about it. Not just once a day but every time you feel the need to! Do it daily!

4. Start reading the word. Verses that speak into your process, copy it down and post in in common areas. Like your bedroom, bathroom, car and etc. The more you see it the more you will remember it and apply it.

5. If it’s possible take yourself out of all things that is not edifying you. Negative people, movies, music, group chats, social media, or social places.

6. Take away the responsibility of joy from the thing or person you placed it on and bring it back to God’s hands.

7. Speak, see, and hear everything about joy.

Be still warrior …

“You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.’ ” ~ 2 Chronicles 20:17 NIV

Have you gotten use to fighting with God your battles ?

Have you been in seasons or processes, where fighting was your only choice ?

Have you personal heard God tell you time after time, “you must fight”?

Has he shown you strategy of how to attack the enemy right back ?

Has He shown you how you are part of His army and a warrior in His kingdom ?

If your answer is yes to all these questions, what do you do when God tells you, “ You will not have to fight this battle…”? That He wants you to be still and just watch. When He personally tells you, “ I’m God, so let me be God. There is nothing you can do to change anything.”

What do you do when He tells you, “Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you”? For so long your position and standing firm meant, prepare yourself to attack and take back what the enemy took from you. But now your position and standing firm in no longer so much your body mechanics but your spirit fully grounded in your identity in Christ ! Now your position is displaying in stillness the fruit of the spirit. How ironic is this position. When being still becomes what gives you what once you thought you needed to fight so hard for. You no longer need to work for it because it’s going to be handed to you, as long as your still in your identity displaying your fruit.

What is your fruit ? Is it love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, or self- control (Galatians 5:22-23)? Imagine you still carrying one of these fruit ? Fruits are a display of actions or deeds. Now it becomes a stillness in consistent firmness. Firm meaning to hold tight to what is right, to what you were born to purpose, to birth, to give, to show, and your identity!

Have you felt like being still meant being lazy or unworthy ? If so, do not tolerate such thoughts in your mind nor your spirit. Being still is the opposite. As Christians it cost everything we are to stay still and firm. Our flesh is use to moving and solving issues. However the flesh is a constant battle because we must deny its desires every time, for the will of God to manifest. So to stand still is to completely trust God. Trust in his works, his promises, his times, and his plans for us.

For a while us saying we trust God is acceptable by words. There comes a time though where God wants all of who you are to display it.

When we are called to be still, we are called to WATCH. Be still is the first blessing! Why? When we get so busy on fighting our focus is distracted or temporary. Our faith is short distance and not longevity. When we are still our parameters extend to the heavens!! In an act of stillness, we see everything and hear God clearly. Our eye sights see what’s in front, but our faith is able to touch and grab hold of what’s to come. We become a witness to God’s work. We become an instrument that he tunes up to play differently. We become a walking testimony. We get the privilege of saying, “ I had nothing to do with it. I tried but I couldn’t. God told me to be still. In the middle of me being still He worked in me, while delivering me my promise. He did it all, no one else did. What he did was impossible for man but my God is real and he works! “

Be still warrior for God is about to deliver your promise !!!!

~ Victoria 💛

Morning Reflection ☀️

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” ~ John 16:33 NIV

“The source of peace is God, not myself; it never is my peace but always His, and if once He withdraws, it is not there. If I allow anything to hide the face, the countenance, the memory, the consideration of our Lord Jesus from me, then I am either disturbed or I have a false security.

Lord, in my consciousness this morning a crowd of little things presses in and I bring them straight to Your presence. In Your wisdom, say, “Peace, be still!” and may my ordered life confess the beauty of Your peace.

Reflection Questions: What happens when I try to manufacture peace from within? What do I allow to come between myself and God? What false sense of security do I need to guard against? What little things crowd into my life and mar the beauty of God’s peace?”

«La naturaleza del hombre está clara»

“Pues no hacen iniquidad Los que andan en sus caminos. Tú encargaste Que sean muy guardados tus mandamientos. ¡Ojalá fuesen ordenados mis caminos Para guardar tus estatutos!” ~ Salmos 119:3-5

“Porque sabemos que la ley es espiritual; mas yo soy carnal, vendido al pecado. Porque lo que hago, no lo entiendo; pues no hago lo que quiero, sino lo que aborrezco, eso hago. Y si lo que no quiero, esto hago, apruebo que la ley es buena. De manera que ya no soy yo quien hace aquello, sino el pecado que mora en mí. Y yo sé que en mí, esto es, en mi carne, no mora el bien; porque el querer el bien está en mí, pero no el hacerlo. Porque no hago el bien que quiero, sino el mal que no quiero, eso hago. Y si hago lo que no quiero, ya no lo hago yo, sino el pecado que mora en mí. Así que, queriendo yo hacer el bien, hallo esta ley: que el mal está en mí. Porque según el hombre interior, me deleito en la ley de Dios; pero veo otra ley en mis miembros, que se rebela contra la ley de mi mente, y que me lleva cautivo a la ley del pecado que está en mis miembros. ¡Miserable de mí! ¿quién me librará de este cuerpo de muerte?” ~ Romanos 7:14-24

“Engañoso es el corazón más que todas las cosas, y perverso; ¿quién lo conocerá?” ~ Jeremías 17:9

“No es difícil comprender lo que dice el Salmo 119:4. Comprender lo que Dios quiere que hagamos es cosa clara. Sin embargo, sí hay un problema, y aparece en el versículo 5: «¡Ojalá  fuesen ordenados mis caminos para guardar tus estatutos!» Verá, sucede que nuestros caminos no están ordenados según lo que Dios quiere, sino según lo que cada uno de nosotros desea. Hay un tremendo conflicto entre la voluntad de Dios, que vimos en el versículo 4 y la naturaleza del hombre que se implica en el versículo 5. Hay algo que está desesperadamente mal con la naturaleza del hombre. Nuestros caminos por naturaleza no se ordenan para guardar los estatutos de Dios, aunque están claros en su Palabra. ¡Qué contraste más grande existe entre «sus caminos» en el versículo 3 y «mis caminos» en el versículo 5!

El amor por Dios y su Palabra con todo nuestro corazón, es algo directa y diametralmente opuesto a nuestra naturaleza pecaminosa. Jeremías lo expresó de la mejor manera: «Engañoso es el corazón más que todas las cosas…» 

No necesito preguntarle si ha experimentado la frustración de saber lo que la Biblia dice que debe hacer, pero, descubrir que lo que hace es exactamente lo opuesto. ¡No hay duda que lo ha experimentado! Todos comprendemos la tarea expresada en el versículo 4: sus mandamientos han de ser muy guardados. Si hemos memorizado la Palabra, o estudiado los versículos del Salmo 119 con cuidado, vemos que el énfasis del autor en los mandamientos es enfático. Pero, está claro que nuestros caminos no están ordenados para guardar sus estatutos.

Aun el apóstol Pablo experimentó este dilema y lo expresó en la carta a los romanos, «Porque sabemos que la leyes espiritual; mas yo soy carnal, vendido al pecado…» ¿No le gustaría ser libertado de esta esclavitud, de esta frustración? Es fácil hablar de las bendiciones de la salvación cuando se está dentro de los confines de un emocionante servicio de adoración. Pero, ¿cómo poder transferir eso a la práctica en el diario andar de nuestras vidas, en lo cotidiano, en las diferentes circunstancias? ¿Cómo poder ganar la victoria de modo permanente?”

Cual verso te ves batallando mas y tu vida espiritual? Cada una lleva una palabra profunda y directa! La salmista y el apóstol lo dijo. Pero aun no siendo perfecto cuando notamos nuestra área débil a el Señor, el se segura de trabajar con nosotros para cambiarlo.

Be Strong in Christ

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” ~ John 15:1-5

“As I’ve studied what the Bible says about honor, and as I’ve become more intentional about honoring my husband, I’ve come face to face with an important realization. Honoring my husband demands way more from me than mere submission. 

Please understand; I’m not anti-submission with regard to the biblical framework of love and respect. It’s just that to truly honor my husband, I have to set the bar much higher.

Honor requires self-sacrifice and humility. It challenges me to bridle not just my words, but my thoughts as well. It makes me bite my tongue. Honor confronts me with my sin. Honor, even more than submission, is an imposing benchmark. It’s a sublimely powerful target. For if I take aim and hit the bullseye of honor, I am probably covering all the other virtues that make for a good marriage. 

Finally, if I want to honor David, I have to become honorable myself. So honor conforms me to the image of Christ. In short, honor requires a strong walk with the Lord. To truly honor my husband, I must first become strong.

To explore the biblical concept of honor, let’s go back to the first marriage—between Adam and Eve. If you want to understand God’s blueprint for marriage, it helps to look through the lens of what theologians call “original intent.” What did God originally intend for marriage to look like before the fall?

In Genesis 2:18-22, we see that God’s purpose for creating marriage was to provide companionship. Everything which God had made up to that point was good. But when he looked at Adam, he said, “It is not good for the man to be alone” (NIV). Something was missing. The Genesis account explains that there was no “suitable helper” for Adam, so God plans his next step: “I will make a helper suitable for him.” God goes to work to create a woman from the very stuff of man, his same substance. 

Being a helper is not for the weak. Being a wife means being your husband’s rock of support when everything around him feels like it’s crashing down. When you grasp what it means to be a support, you begin to get an image of your role as being more like a rock than a doormat. Your challenge is to become strong so that you’re a source of strength for your husband at all times.

• Marilynn says that honor requires self-sacrifice and humility. Why do you think this is the case?

• As we abide in Christ (see John 15:1-5), we’re enabled in our role as our husband’s helper. What are some practical ways you can make abiding in Christ a daily reality?

• Every husband is different. What are some specific ways you could help your husband?

• There are many ways that today’s culture encourages women to dishonor their husbands. What are some examples of this? What are some ways Christian wives can counter this?”

Fasting Tips ⏳

“Helen Keller was once asked, “Do you think there is anything more tragic than to be born blind?” And her answer was, “Yes. To be born with sight, but no vision.” There are many people who have lost their vision. There are many people who don’t know where they’re going. Do you know where you are going?

If you’re not careful, you will be satisfied with a touch from God that gives you vision, but not clarity about what you’re supposed to do. You will find yourself asking, “Why am I here? What is God’s plan for my life, and for my family? What is God’s purpose for my life?”

There is something called “The Second Touch,” and the key is that you become so hungry that you say, “Lord, I appreciate the first touch. I appreciate when you saved me and I appreciate when You gave me light that I’ve never seen before. But now I’m serving You, and I need You to touch me a second time and clarify my vision.”

Read the entire story in Mark chapter 8 and focus on verses 22-26. Highlight parts that are most meaningful for you.

“They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, “Do you see anything?” He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.” Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. Jesus sent him home, saying, “Don’t even go into the village.” ~ Mark 8:22-26 NIV

YOUR TURN

Think about how you would describe the concept of “a second touch” in your own words.What does the phrase “being in the Lord’s presence” mean to you personally?

FINAL THOUGHTS

Many times we go through “divine misery” before we experience “divine change.” Disappointments come when people reject you or tell you “no.” Don’t fold up and cave in saying, “Well, the whole world is against me.” Know that you’re in a place where God’s about to take your “divine misery” and give you a “divine change.”

FASTING TIP OF THE DAY

At this time in the fast, it is critical to drink plenty of liquids. Your body is purging impurities and you are beginning to burn fat at a rate your body isn’t used to. Drinking lots of water helps your body eliminate these impurities. As you go through this process, you will begin to feel the difference in your body as it begins to thrive.”

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?”