Tag Archives: trust

Week #40 Matthew 11:28

Matthew 11:28Matthew 11:28
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28 “Come to me, all you who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest.

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“Come to me , all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

I love to help people. What about you? Are you as eager to receive help as you are to offer it?   I know it took some work for me to openly and regularly accept an offer from others help carry my load.

Are you weary today? Maybe you have been carrying a load that is above your weight limit.   If that is how you feel I want to remind you that there is hope for each of us. We have an open invitation from our Savior to come to him many times in scripture. Each invitation is extended to us based on his recognition of our needs and offers at valuable exchange.

Here is Matthew 11:28Matthew 11:28
English: World English Bible - WEB

28 “Come to me, all you who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest.

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he acknowledges that life on earth is not easy and we will find ourselves tired and weighed down by the circumstances of life. In those times, when we are struggling to find the strength to face each new day, or a reoccurring challenge, or a continual disappointment, that is the day we need to say “YES” to Jesus’ invitation to “come to me.”

His invitation offers an exchange of our burdens for rest. His rest comes as we lay down our worries, our concerns, and our frustrations at his feet in prayer. Choosing to express trust in him. Acting on our belief that he is here to give us rest and to help us face our situations in life with renewed strength, a greater hope, and deepened faith in Christ’s promises; to never leave us or forsake us no matter what happens in this life.

Let’s remember to respond, “YES” to his invitation and do our part in the great exchange~ accept the offer and receive his treasured rest. I know there are times his gift of rest came through my response of  “YES” to someone’s offer to help at just the right moment.  How about you?

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

Welcome if you are joining me for the first time. This post is part of my weekly series “Wisdom Wellspring”. Take a moment to visit the page to learn about the heart behind the series and view previous posts.

Proverbs 4:23Proverbs 4:23
English: World English Bible - WEB

23 Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it is the wellspring of life.

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“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

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Week # 30 1 Corinthians 10:13

1 Corinthians 10:131 Corinthians 10:13
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13 No temptation has taken you except what is common to man. God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted above what you are able, but will with the temptation also make the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

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“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind.  And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.  But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”

 

Whatever circumstances we face in life 1 Corinthians 10:131 Corinthians 10:13
English: World English Bible - WEB

13 No temptation has taken you except what is common to man. God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted above what you are able, but will with the temptation also make the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

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assures us that we are not alone.  The Lord is there and can relate to each of our situations.  His desire is for us to overcome.  He is faithful and will provide a way out.  Our job is to turn to him, trust him, and follow him with endurance even when we can’t see the way out clearly.   Only he can make all things work for good.

Preserver~ He is faithful!

For more reflection on God’s faithfulness click here: Faithful

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

Welcome if you are joining me for the first time. This post is part of my weekly series “Wisdom Wellspring”. Take a moment to visit the page to learn about the heart behind the series and view previous posts.

Proverbs 4:23Proverbs 4:23
English: World English Bible - WEB

23 Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it is the wellspring of life.

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“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

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Week # 26 Proverbs 29:25

Proverbs 29:25Proverbs 29:25
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25 The fear of man proves to be a snare, But whoever puts his trust in Yahweh is kept safe.

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“Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.”

The quote from Lecrae says it all!  Trust in the Lord and live free and safe rather than living for people’s acceptance only to live caged in fear until who you were meant to be dies a slow death.  Live each day free in Christ living out God’s plan for your life!

This has been a personal struggle for me that I shared about in “What will they think?”.  Click here to read more.

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

Welcome if you are joining me for the first time. This post is part of my weekly series “Wisdom Wellspring”. Take a moment to visit the page to learn about the heart behind the series and view previous posts.

Proverbs 4:23Proverbs 4:23
English: World English Bible - WEB

23 Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it is the wellspring of life.

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“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

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Week # 24 Psalm 56:3

Fear has the power to grip us to the point of making us believe we are powerless.  Our response to fearful situations reveals our power level and our level of vision clarity  provided by our life lenses that we learned at over the past two weeks.  I know this all too well.  I vividly remember the day I was gripped by fear in a way I had never experienced.

It was a beautiful Summer day in Germany, we woke up that July morning to news of fresh snow fall on the mountain we would be exploring, the Zugspitze.  We took the train up the mountain with great anticipation of the fun and beauty that was before us.  The train alone was exciting for the kids, who were 10, 7re 10, 7
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7 The anger of Yahweh was kindled against Israel, and he sold them into the hand of the Philistines, and into the hand of the children of Ammon.

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,and 6 years old at the time.   They were excited to see snow since we had just moved to Germany from the state of Georgia.  We were not disappointed.  Everyone was able to walk in the snow and through snowballs, it was joyous.  Then my husband spotted his reason for making the journey— the summit.  He wanted to climb the rock face and touch the cross at the summit.  I gladly supported him.   The children and I remained on the safety of the observation deck where we could enjoy the view as Daddy made his climb and take pictures to record his triumphant accomplishment.  He returned to us so excited and he wanted to take our oldest with him.  Reluctantly, I let her go.  I was trying to convince myself to trust that this was a good decision.  I’m married to a natural risk taker and adventure seeker, unlike myself, and our measure of safe is determined on far different scales.

So against my better judgment off she went with her Daddy.  She returned safely and full of smiles.  Her excitement was contagious so of course her little sister and brother would not be left behind.  One by one they went, with each one it became much harder for me to watch as they climbed the rusty ladder leading to the summit rock face.  My fear grew as I noted the safety precautions that other local families had been using as they climbed.  They linked everyone together with ropes and wore helmets.  I struggled to believe this was still a good idea and began to let fear cloud my vision. I could see my petite 6 year old stretching to reach each bar until she climbed onto the rock face.  Then she took hold of an iron rope that served as protection from falling off the edge.  It started about her waist level as she moved closer to the summit her arm stretched  higher and higher until it was fully above her head holding on.  My heart raced, I was pacing, and gripping my son and daughters hands very tightly.  Then, she let go of the rope.  Now making her way holding only her Daddy’s hand.  At this point I was struggling to verbally encourage myself that it was going to be okay.  She might be on the edge of a mountain summit but she was going to be just fine.  Right Lord, just fine, you are going to keep her safe?  And He did she returned to me full of smiles and excitement that she did it!  She was a big girl!

Then it was time for me to release my baby boy to this adventure.  You would think at this point my trust would have been greater since there were two successfully completed trips.  Rather than trust my husband and the Lord I continued to look through my clouded lenses of fear. The view of what I believed to be true— this was dangerous and my husband is not recognizing the serious hazards he is exposing our children too without any safety equipment.   I just knew the other side was even more dangerous than the side I could see.  I wanted to have control but I wasn’t in control.

Zugspitze summit

That is when it happened.  He crested the top of the ladder and stood up on the rock face.  As he took each step on the mountain, I found myself pulling my girls closer to me and the wall of safety behind us.  I became glued to the wall and forced my daughter to do the same not letting them move to watch them climb.  In my mind somehow this was keeping the situation under control.  I was gripped with fear.  I was acting irrationally.  Tears were swelling in my eyes and I felt breathless.  I was angry that my husband would do this to me.  Why was he willfully putting our children is such a dangerous situation?  My oldest remembers trying to assure me and tell me it was safe up there.  What was keeping me from hearing her and from believing her?  Fear.

Looking back I can see that I was living in low battery mode since we were busy moving overseas and trying to get some exploring done as a family before my husband’s unit deployed.  I was fortunate to have a few moments to myself let alone find time for a regular quiet time and my prayer life was sporadic as well.  My focus was not on my daily relationship with the Lord leading to my blurry vision that opened the door to fear.  I missed out on experiencing the exhilarating moment of the Zugspitze summit as a family because I forgot to recharge my night vision goggles(NVG’s) and they lost there power.  If I had them powered up they would have helped me look at life from God’s perspective—-to live life unafraid of mere mortals.  A  life lived with God in focus and the world slightly blurred.

If I only would have had my NVG’s powered up then I would have been able to view the truth my daughters were trying to help me see.  I was so gripped by fear I wouldn’t let myself even consider what they were telling me.  As I held them tight against the wall they were trying to encourage me— saying: “It’s safe Mommy.  You can’t see it from here but it is flat up top with lots of room to walk and the view is really cool.”

Being bound by fear left me closed off from the truth that was right in front of me.  It is very scary to think I was open to such paralyzing fear.  It truly wasn’t until months  later that I realized how I had masked the truth of the situation.  I was sure that I was the only one with the truth.  How could I be wrong?  But I was very wrong.  That situation opened my eyes to some very serious trust issues I had.   I thought I trusted God, but did I fully trust Him with everything?  I thought I trusted my husband, but did I truly trust him with our children?  The truth remains, only when we are fully trusting and believing in God’s sovereignty  are we able to walk through the darkness of this world unafraid, cross the tightropes of life with balance, and climb to the mountain summits with confidence and courage.

Let’s live our lives abundantly on full power with our “spiritual heart full of love for God and His people, and a trusting daily relationship with Him.”   Remembering to recharge and “strap on our NVG’s to help us clearly see the Lord at work and keep trusting that He does and will work all things for good” when we wander into the fearful places of life.  Fear has no grip in a heart and mind that trust God to work all things for good.  Let’s practice our self defense moves—- powered up with trust in God with clear vision allowing us to avoid and escape the assault of fear.  We will reverently fear the Lord alone because “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”(Proverbs 1:7Proverbs 1:7
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7 The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of knowledge; But the foolish despise wisdom and instruction.

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) and the “fear of man will prove to be a snare”(Proverbs 29:25Proverbs 29:25
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25 The fear of man proves to be a snare, But whoever puts his trust in Yahweh is kept safe.

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).

What will we chose today trust or fear according to Psalm 56: 3-4Psalm 56: 3-4
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3 When I am afraid, I will put my trust in you. 4 In God, I praise his word. In God, I put my trust. I will not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?

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?

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

Welcome if you are joining me for the first time. This post is part of my weekly series “Wisdom Wellspring”. Take a moment to visit the page to learn about the heart behind the series and view previous posts.

Proverbs 4:23Proverbs 4:23
English: World English Bible - WEB

23 Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it is the wellspring of life.

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“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

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Week #22 Romans 8:28

Pause with me this Memorial weekend to remember those in our Military that have died sacrificially in service for our nation’s freedom and the protection of those in pursuit of freedom.  I’m personally very thankful for the bravery and sacrifice of our fallen Heroes and their precious loved ones left to carry forward their legacy.  May we never forget their sacrifice as we live lives with honor and integrity in the freedom we have been given.

Am I the only one challenged by the statement by Paul that “in all things” the Lord works for the good of his people?   Really, all things in my life from the crazy, hurtful, disobedient, lovely, confusing, and …… he uses them all for good?  When I run into word challenges within scripture like this weeks, all and good, it leads me to dig deeper.  I will either do a word study, looking into the original language or compare translations.  I decided that we will look at this verse in multiple Bible translations to make sure we don’t lose or miss any truth that Paul is passing on to us.  So take a moment and read through the following translations and make not of common phrases and truth that runs through and we will meet again on the other side.

New International Version

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

King James Version

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

New Living Translation

“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”

New American Standard Bible

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”

The Message

Verses 26-28 “Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along.  If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t mater. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans.  He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God.  That is why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.”

Did you see it?  I think it is pretty evident that Paul truly meant “all things” in God’s hands will be worked out into good for those who love him.  Does that settle it in your mind?  Or are you still challenged?  Let’s dig a little deeper because we are looking at this concept of truth with the backdrop of what is happening in our own lives and this world.  Part of my backdrop today is the aftermath of the Manchester Terrorist attack on their precious children.  How does that work out for good?  I don’t know!  I don’t understand it!   But I do know that when I don’t know and I don’t know how or what to pray the Lord has provided his Spirit to help me and pray for me, so that in the Lord’s timing and way I will find peace and even sometimes understanding.

Have you ever been encouraged that the Spirit was filling in your prayer gaps? Just incase you can’t recall a time I want to share a precious experience of a sweet friend who was facing many “why God experiences”.  In the middle of her circumstances she found herself one Sunday without her dear husband who had to remain home as he continued to recover for a series of unexpected and complicated surgeries.  Once again she was missing him by her side. Then, to prick at her heart even more it was announced that we would be celebrating communion.  She found herself overcome with the desire for her husband to be able to celebrate it too.  From the quietness of her heart she cried out her wish.  As she recalls it was just a thought— not a prayer.   She knew he would be missing it as he watched the service live from home.  Following church she gathered her children and they headed home.  As they shared lunch she shared with her husband her wish that he could have celebrated communion with her today.  With a big smile, he said “I did!”  She was speechless.  Then came the question, “but how can that be?”  Through his grin he shared with the family how their neighbor, a minister, stopped by to visit with him and serve him communion.  And he said, “If that wasn’t amazing enough he was serving me at the same time as you were having it at church.  I could see it on the screen behind him!”  She was overjoyed and full of amazement that the Lord would answer her wish.  Let’s just say when she shared her experience with me her face was beaming with gratitude and joy.  There was not doubt that she was refreshed by the Lord’s goodness and love He had showered over her family.    Sometimes we get to see and experience the good in all things and other times we continue to persevere believing that God has something good He is still working on.

Does her answered wish encourage you like it does me?  I’m so thankful for friends of the faith that share their faith builder moments with me.   I hope you have a few family or friends like this.  If not, pray and ask Him for some and keep your eyes open because the Lord will answer your prayer.  He didn’t design us to walk alone but in relationship with Him and fellow believers.

Each of us are responding to the truth Paul shared in Romans 8:28Romans 8:28
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28 We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose.

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through  different lenses of life based on two factors:  1. Our spiritual heart condition. 2. Our trust relationship with God.    If either of these factors are out of focus our experiences in life will also be out of focus according to how God sees them. Whether we are in a season of why God experiences like my friend, where are you God experiences, or wow God experiences, we have opportunity to look at them with clarity, confusion, or despair.    Clarity comes from looking through clear lenses of a spiritual heart full of love for God and His people and a trusting daily relationship with Him too.  It’s kind of like Night Vision Goggles(NVG).  When we find ourself in the darkness of this world we need to strap on our NVG’s to help us clearly see the Lord at work and keep trusting that He does and will work all things for good!

Let me know how you see the Lord working in your life this week!

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

Welcome if you are joining me for the first time. This post is part of my weekly series “Wisdom Wellspring”. Take a moment to visit the page to learn about the heart behind the series and view previous posts.

Proverbs 4:23Proverbs 4:23
English: World English Bible - WEB

23 Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it is the wellspring of life.

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“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

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Week # 21 Ephesians 2: 8-10

Did you have an opportunity to share your story last week?  If not, I’m sure an occasion will be presented soon.  I love the way last weeks verse, Matthew 28: 19-20Matthew 28: 19-20
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19 Therefore go, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I commanded you. Behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

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, compliments  Ephesians 2:8-10Ephesians 2:8-10
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8 for by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, that no one would boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared before that we would walk in them.

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(if this is your first time joining us click here to read more).  Both of these scriptures direct the focus in our life to Christ working in us for the purposes of God’s kingdom.  How does your story boast of God’s handiwork?

Sometimes that is an easy question to answer and other times it is difficult depending on the season of life we are in.  When our answer doesn’t come easy we should take time to reflect on how the Lord has worked in our lives in the past.  A purposeful pause might be just what we need right now as we are on the edge of entering the second half of 2017.

A good place to start might be with asking ourselves how has God’s free gift of grace impacted our lives?  Our answer to this question will reveal if we are accepting His grace freely and are living according to what He has created us, in Christ Jesus, to do.  An honest reflection requires us to start by defining God’s grace according to His standards.  Why?  Because, it tends to get muddled up when we try to define it within human parameters.  What do I mean by muddled up?

Well, we tend to want to continuously tie an “if– then” condition to grace.  For example, in my Sunday School Class, an illustration of restaurant tipping is often used to differentiate between God’s grace and an individual’s grace standard.  God’s grace standard is given freely without connection to if the individual deserves His grace.  God graciously provided salvation for us before we did anything to deserve it.  We receive God’s grace through faith, of any size, by accepting His offer and trusting His ability to freely gift us eternal salvation.

The tipping illustration places us in a service providing restaurant.  The person serving our table has a level of faith that their customer will provide a “monetary tip” for services rendered to the best of their ability.  What should our standard for tipping our server be?  As a paying customer we have been conditioned to measure the service provided by various personal standards.  How often are we trapped by our engrained service standards and “tip” based more on what they deserve rather than freely tipping with grace to bless our server?  From the conversations in my class I can tell you grace tipping is more of an acceptation rather than the standard. This topic is met by  some of the following comments:   “If I get bad service how is the person ever going to know they are terrible?”  or “I only give what they deserve, I shouldn’t have to tip, it’s the owners job to pay their staff.” This is meant only as an example— please don’t feel judged if your not a grace tipper.

I hope you didn’t get lost in this illustration.  The point I hope we will all take away is—- grace is given without consideration of merit and in many cases extended when by all measure when not deserved.  God’s free grace is absent of any “if or then” calculations.   But,  if we are focused on living life still trying to “deserve or earn” God’s grace.  Then, our understanding could be compared to believing that God is more like the paying customer who gives grace based on what we have done or are doing.  Does this belief align with scripture?  According to Ephesians 2:8-10Ephesians 2:8-10
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8 for by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, that no one would boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared before that we would walk in them.

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the answer is, no.  Paul states very clearly that we are saved by grace through our faith in God NOT by anything we do beyond freely receiveing it all, because even our faith comes from God.

If our very faith, is the basis of receiving grace, comes from the Lord what is our role?   I propose that it is to act on the faith we are given through belief in Christ and to obey his commands.  Jesus gave us our first step when he revealed the greatest commands of the Lord in Matthew 22:36 -40Matthew 22:36 -40
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36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law?” 37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 A second likewise is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”

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—  first, to love the Lord with all your heart, soul, and mind and second to love your neighbor like you love yourself.  When we obey these commands(John 14: 23 -24John 14: 23 -24
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23 Jesus answered him, “If a man loves me, he will keep my word. My Father will love him, and we will come to him, and make our home with him. 24 He who doesn’t love me doesn’t keep my words. The word which you hear isn’t mine, but the Father’s who sent me.

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) it leads us into deep relationship with the Lord, increases our faith, and pours out into our love for him, ourselves, and our neighbors.  When we embrace the faith He has given to us we are able to live out His commands in love through His free grace.

Personally the concept of free grace was not one that I embraced immediately when I first believed Jesus is my Savior.  I spent many years believing that I had to earn God’s grace.  As I held onto this belief I felt like I couldn’t measure up or do enough for God and others.  My feelings of inadequacy became the substance of the walls that I built.  Barriers that separated me from experiencing God’s free grace and who He wanted to be in my life.  I blocked His love because I didn’t feel like I was good enough.  I couldn’t forgive myself, so I questioned  how or why the God of the universe would forgive me, love me, or even listen to me?  It breaks my heart to think of all the time I wasted behind a wall of unbelief, fear, and insecurity.  Maybe you can relate to the walls I built in my life or maybe you have other walls built to keep God at a distance.  If you do and are still struggling with this belief my prayer is that you will chose to believe in His unconditional love for you, as His child.  That you will act on the mustard seed of faith He has given you to receive His free gift of grace today.  It is as simple as us telling Him we believe in Jesus His Son and we receive His gift of grace— the key that brings us freedom from our sin.  After that we are free to continue to act on our faith and seek His help to obey His commands.  Now, let the boasting begin— of how God’s grace has invaded our life and caused us to live as the handiwork God created us to be in Christ!

Does boasting always mean through words?  Let’s consider how we can boast of God’s grace by extending grace to others through forgiveness, unconditional love, kindness, and maybe even some grace tipping.

How will you express the free grace you have been given this week?

Who needs to hear your story of grace and freedom?

Join the conversation I would love to hear your ideas!

**If you find your mind wondering back to the question of our source of faith being God himself?  I encourage you to answer your questions.   Here are some digging deeper scriptures for personal study. (Acts 3:16Acts 3:16
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16 By faith in his name has his name made this man strong, whom you see and know. Yes, the faith which is through him has given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.

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, Acts 15:9-11Acts 15:9-11
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9 He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith. 10 Now therefore why do you tempt God, that you should put a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? 11 But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, TR adds “Christ” just as they are.”

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, Acts 26:18Acts 26:18
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18 to open their eyes, that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive remission of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’

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, Romans 1:17Romans 1:17
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17 For in it is revealed God’s righteousness from faith to faith. As it is written, “But the righteous shall live by faith.”

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, Romans 4: 1-8Romans 4: 1-8
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4 1 What then will we say that Abraham, our forefather, has found according to the flesh? 2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not toward God. 3 For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” 4 Now to him who works, the reward is not counted as grace, but as debt. 5 But to him who doesn’t work, but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness. 6 Even as David also pronounces blessing on the man to whom God counts righteousness apart from works, 7 “Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, Whose sins are covered. 8 Blessed is the man whom the Lord will by no means charge with sin.”

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, Romans 4:16-17Romans 4:16-17
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16 For this cause it is of faith, that it may be according to grace, to the end that the promise may be sure to all the seed, not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all. 17 As it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations.” This is in the presence of him whom he believed: God, who gives life to the dead, and calls the things that are not, as though they were.

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, Romans 5:1-2Romans 5:1-2
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5 1 Being therefore justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ; 2 through whom we also have our access by faith into this grace in which we stand. We rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

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, James 2:21-22James 2:21-22
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21 Wasn’t Abraham our father justified by works, in that he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? 22 You see that faith worked with his works, and by works faith was perfected;

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Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

Welcome if you are joining me for the first time. This post is part of my weekly series “Wisdom Wellspring”. Take a moment to visit the page to learn about the heart behind the series and view previous posts.

Proverbs 4:23Proverbs 4:23
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23 Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it is the wellspring of life.

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“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

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Week # 13 Wisdom Builder Isaiah 26:3-4

How often do you experience perfect peace?  We live in a world that moves at a breathtaking pace that leaves many at the end of the day feeling further behind than when it began.   This weeks  “Wisdom Wellspring” verse Isaiah 26:3-4Isaiah 26:3-4
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3 You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you; because he trusts in you. 4 Trust in Yahweh forever; for in Yah, Yahweh, is an everlasting Rock.

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reminds us that perfect peace is found in our mindset, not necessarily the circumstances of life.    Take a moment and read the verse out loud and make note of who will receive perfect peace and who provides it.

Those whose minds are steadfast” God keeps in perfect peace.   What is the key to a steadfast mind?  According to Isaiah the key is trust in the Lord.  So if we really do trust in the Lord, why do we spend so much time feeling anxious for the day and our future?  We are failing to use the key to peace and a steadfast mind.  We don’t believe enough in the Lord to trust him with everything.

Guilty as charged!  I have to admit the times I am not at peace are completely linked to the times I’m not trusting God with every area of my life.  It’s hard because it isn’t natural to let go and trust.  But when I withhold my trust it reveals an area of unbelief or lack of faith in my Rock.  Can you relate to this struggle to believe and trust?

Currently our family is in a big trust season.  Many Military families can relate.  It is the waiting period just before my husband will be told where our family will move next.  Sometimes we are given options ahead of time and others we just know it’s coming.  Over the many years of this process and fretting over the what if’s, when’s, and how’s that start to race through your mind when you don’t have control we have a solid belief that God is always in control.  Our confidence in God grew through the experience of looking for how God’s purposes for each location drew us closer to him.  We now are able to have a steadfast mind securely trusting in the Lord to put us exactly where he can use us for his purposes.  It has taken many moves to build our faith and trust in this area of life but I can honestly say the Lord is keeping us at perfect peace as we wait and trust him for the outcome.I don’t know what you are experiencing in your life right now but I hope you find encouragement to trust in God like Jesus did during his time on earth.

As I reflect on this verse I keep being reminded of the story in Mark 4:35 -41Mark 4:35 -41
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35 On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let’s go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the multitude, they took him with them, even as he was, in the boat. Other small boats were also with him. 37 There arose a great wind storm, and the waves beat into the boat, so much that the boat was already filled. 38 He himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion, and they woke him up, and told him, “Teacher, don’t you care that we are dying?” 39 He awoke, and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” The wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40 He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? How is it that you have no faith?” 41 They were greatly afraid, and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”

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(hover over the scripture reference to read it) where Jesus calms the storm for the disciples.  Take a moment to read it as a refresher.

Who made the decision to travel across the lake?  Jesus did.  Why do you think the disciples and Jesus were having opposite experiences on the stormy waters?  I believe Jesus was trusting his Father completely to watch over him as he rested through the storm and the disciples minds were not steadfast so they were easily overcome with fear based on their visible circumstances.  Oh how I desire to have a steadfast mind like Christ in all my circumstances of life.  What was his response to the panicked cry of the disciples?   His response was one of perfect peace.  He didn’t respond to their emotional babble rather he spoke to the situation in the power the Lord gave him- “ Quiet! Be still!”  Then he questioned the fearful and faithless response of the men.

Like the disciples we too are in a daily battle for a steadfast mind.  The original Hebrew word for steadfast provides a visual picture of a laid siege or depending on protection.  So if we think of our trust in the Lord being the key to secure the laid siege in our mind— the belief in the sovereign power of God in all our circumstances.  We are locking into God’s perfect peace.   Isaiah says God will keep us in perfect peace when we are locked into trusting him.  The hebrew word for keep speaks to watching and guarding.  It even describes the meaning of keep as to guard with a military camp within as a protection from penetration.  This is a very exciting visual.  Can you see it taking form in your heart?

Our faith comes from God who gives us the ability to believe in Christ our Savior.  An individuals belief and acceptance of Christ puts us in a new position of peace with God(Romans 5:1-2Romans 5:1-2
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5 1 Being therefore justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ; 2 through whom we also have our access by faith into this grace in which we stand. We rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

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).  That leads to a personal faith increasing our belief and trust in the Lord’s sovereignty.   Which then reinforces our protective siege of God’s truth in our heart and mind.  We secure our steadfast mind with the key of trusting the Lord.  When we trust on the Lord and not ourself then God is able to complete his work.  He will keep us in perfect peace by his guard within~ our peace with God himself our eternal Rock!

Do you trust in the eternal Rock to provide you with perfect peace?  If you are struggling today with answering with an honest “yes” then take a moment to reflect on what Jesus meant in John 14:27John 14:27
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27 Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, give I to you. Don’t let your heart be troubled, neither let it be fearful.

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when he spoke of peace.  He was not leaving and giving peace as the world defines it.  An absence of war or fighting.  The peace Jesus refers to is the peace experienced in closeness with God and the security provided by him that creates an atmosphere of tranquillity beginning within.  He is all about transcending the limited experiences of this world.  If that isn’t enough then consider the symbolism of the Hebrew word for Rock in Isaiah 26:4Isaiah 26:4
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4 Trust in Yahweh forever; for in Yah, Yahweh, is an everlasting Rock.

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.  Begin by imagining a steep cliff that is used for a personal refuge.  It is a place that symbolizes one of  security and defense.  That are provided because it is known to be inaccessible and it’s foundation is immoveable.  That is what God is for you~ your refuge, your security, your defense, your immovable foundation, and your eternal perfect peace!

Will you trust the eternal Rock with your today, tomorrows, and eternity?

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

Welcome if you are joining me for the first time. This post is part of my weekly series “Wisdom Wellspring“. Take a moment to visit the page to learn about the heart behind the series and view previous posts.

Proverbs 4:23Proverbs 4:23
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23 Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it is the wellspring of life.

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“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

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Week # 8 Wisdom Builder Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust is something we begin to learn from the moment we take our first breath.  We trust unknowingly most of our early years.  Until one day we experience something that is hurtful or scary that awakens the reality that not everything or person is worthy of our complete trust.  Each of our life experiences have developed the level of trust we give within the relationships we develop and daily determine our level of interaction with the world around us.  These realities also play a role in how we trust God.   

Proverbs 3:5-6Proverbs 3:5-6
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5 Trust in Yahweh with all your heart, And don’t lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him, And he will direct your paths.

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It isn’t easy to trust the Lord all the time.  We tend to reflect our trust level with the things of this world  into our relationship with God.   Our hesitancy to trust could be due to memories of how things have gone in the past.

Moving bring my hesitancy to trust the Lord into the spotlight.  Each move our family makes is an opportunity for me to trust God and lean on him to make my paths straight.  The last duty station move I was faced with the choice—- was I going to trust and lean on Christ or turn to my own understanding.   It was a struggle because, as many of my Military friends can relate, our moving assignments known as “orders” don’t always come at effective and helpful times.  This particular time we knew we would be moving and the decision on when and where was long overdue.  There was talk of the possible locations and housing was highlighted by all our friends who had been there as an “immediate” concern.  Deep in my heart I knew I could and should just trust the Lord with all of these details.  Each conversation, over the months of waiting, I had about the pending move chipped away at my resolve to trust.  The looks and words spoken continued trying to knock me off balance.  Maybe you can relate to these– “really you don’t ______ yet” and “what are you waiting for” or “if I were you I would have already______”?  These statements left me to question my peace I had in trusting God.  I was tired of feeling that way so I asked the Lord to “please give me a verse to cling to during this challenging time.”  Psalm 5:3Psalm 5:3
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3 Yahweh, in the morning you shall hear my voice. In the morning I will lay my requests before you, and will watch expectantly.

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was the answer and my motto for the move became “waiting expectantly on the Lord.”  It was like my trust banner that my heart and mind would wave in the face of doubts that would come my way with every new thought, opinion, and look.  The waiting continued to the point my husband had changed jobs just a day before the next assignment was given.  I’m pleased to report within a few hours of the long awaited news of our next assignment the Lord provided a house that has blessed the whole family.

Do you trust the Lord with all your heart?

Who’s understanding do you depend on when you are making decisions each day?

Do you believe if you submit to Christ’s way he will make your paths straight?

Remember straight paths can come in the form of right way of life, conduct or thought, and sometimes even experienced as smooth and unhindered.  Straight paths are not promised to be perfect and without challenges.

Do you have a story of when you chose to trust the Lord and he made your path straight?

I’d love to hear so join the conversation!

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

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The Journey

You can take the first step!

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“Listen to your heartbeat”

When is the last time you took a moment to be quiet and listen for the sound of your heartbeat….dun dunt – dun dunt? Or experienced yourself breathe…the still air drawn in as it lifts your chest and extends your abdomen before the release…awe. I think it takes courage to be still with yourself.  I believe we don’t take enough time for stillness in our overstimulated lives,though that is just what we need.  Stillness before the Lord. Have you ever considered that our very life began with a heartbeat, followed by a breath of life that awakened the anticipation of our first step in life’s journey. I have learned the importance of being brave and taking the first step to be still with the Lord.  Because it is there that I find the courage for the next step of each journey even when the path is difficult or unclear.

Much like a child learning to walk, we are driven by the desire and inspiration that power our courage to take each step and keep get up when we fall.  I’m sure we family-822558__340each have an image in mind of a precious child taking their first steps. For me, it’s the twinkle in her eye that reveals a desire within to just get to her daddy’s hands. Because she’s inspired to be swept up into his safe and loving arms to celebrate her accomplishment or pick her up when she falls, she is courageous.  She trusts her daddy.

How trusting are you of your Abba Father?  I know the level of trust that I have of my Abba Father is reflected in the courage with which I live my life. Maybe you can relate?  It’s not a natural thing to be still before the Lord. But as I shared earlier I have learned to “just do it”, like the Nike motto inspires us.  I remember a time when

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“Just Do IT!”

I had to do just that- choose to be courageous.  The choice became evident one day when I was wrestling with the feeling that I was missing out on life. Part of me argued that missing out didn’t make sense because I was involved in so many “good” things for the kingdom. That argument won the first round.  I let the feeling linger just setting it aside as I trusted that it would pass while I kept doing “good” things.”  Then, unexpectedly, came round two as I was reading in my devo time.  There it was!  A message from Christ himself about how abundant life with him is intended to be something we experience now. (John 10:10John 10:10
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10 The thief only comes to steal, kill, and destroy. I came that they may have life, and may have it abundantly.

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). I was missing out!  I was not experiencing much joy in my life, no matter what I did.

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John 10:10John 10:10
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10 The thief only comes to steal, kill, and destroy. I came that they may have life, and may have it abundantly.

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To my knees I went.   I chose to be brave, to pray, and seek the Lord about why I was missing out on the abundant life he has for me. The feeling I had was a nudge to reflect and be still with the Lord. When I did, it become clear I had been letting the thief rob me without putting up a fight. I needed to be still with the Lord and delight in Him so He could refocus my desire, he could inspire me for His Kingdom, and cultivate my courage to step out with confidence as he shows me his ways. A verse that I turn to often is Psalm 25:4-5Psalm 25:4-5
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4 Show me your ways, Yahweh. Teach me your paths. 5 Guide me in your truth, and teach me, For you are the God of my salvation, I wait for you all day long.

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. One day it literally kept me from a complete breakdown…but that faith adventure is for another time.

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Psalm 25:4-5Psalm 25:4-5
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4 Show me your ways, Yahweh. Teach me your paths. 5 Guide me in your truth, and teach me, For you are the God of my salvation, I wait for you all day long.

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What is your desire?  Listen for it.  Where is your inspiration found?  Experience it as you breathe.  Are you living with courage? What steps are you taking to live out the desires and inspirations the Lord has placed in you?  No matter what your answers are, know that   you can find courage in the Lord.

We can be courageous and take the next step!   We need to just come to the Lord with childlike faith (Luke 18:17Luke 18:17
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17 Most assuredly, I tell you, whoever doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a little child, he will in no way enter into it.”

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) even the size of a mustard seed (Mathew 17:20) and trust our Father in Heaven. In Psalm 37:4-6Psalm 37:4-6
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4 Also delight yourself in Yahweh, And he will give you the desires of your heart. 5 Commit your way to Yahweh. Trust also in him, and he will do this: 6 He will make your righteousness go forth as the light, And your justice as the noon day sun.

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we are reminded that when we delight ourselves in the Lord he gives us the desires of our heart. How will you delight in the Lord today? This week?

Are you looking for renewed desire, inspiration, and more courage for your journey?

Can you relate to needing to be still with the Lord and just breathe? He is waiting!

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“You can take the first step with God!”

Please share how you spend time delighting in the Lord.

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess  Sherry

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BREATHE!

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“Oxygen is essential to life”

How is your spiritual breathing? Have you been holding your breath too long? Take a deep breath. Hold it…..keep holding it….okay BREATHE. Did just the thought of holding your breath make you anxious? I don’t like the feeling I get after holding my breath for too long.  My heart starts to race and I begin to feel light headed. Why do you think that is? Because breathing oxygen is essential to life and our breath rate is usually in rhythm with our heart rate. They are dependent on each other to do their job- provide O2 to the body.

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“Maintains strength in our spiritual life”

Like physical breathing is essential to our physical life, taking time to spiritually BREATHE is essential to our spiritual life. Living out my identity in Christ should be as automatic as each breath I take, right? But why isn’t it? Oxygen taken in with each new breath is essential to maintain the strength of life in our body– from all the tiny cells to, each major organ.  Likewise, the way we live out our identity in Christ maintains the strength of our spiritual life. I am challenged by the harsh reality that I am not as immediatly aware or alarmed when my spiritual breathing has been interrupted as I am when I am forced to hold my breath for more than 30 seconds.  I can begin to feel the panic rise up inside, as I desire to release the old air and receive the new to avoid loss of consciousness or ultimately loss of life.

So what do I mean by spiritual breathing? Well recently I’ve been challenged with principles to help maintain spiritual balance in my life or taking time to BREATHE. I tend to put principles into acrostics making them easier to remember and put into practice. Here is my BREATHE acrostic:

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“BREATHE”

Believe God is able ~Remember you are redeemed and release ~Everyday eternally focused ~Available and aware ~Trust with thanksgiving ~Humbly resist ~Exhale ~

When I keep each of these “BREATHE” principles active in my life I am strengthening my spiritual life through responsible relationship with the Lord by living my identity in Him. I notice that I become spiritually oxygen deprived when any of the principles are out of balance or rhythm. Let’s take a brief look at these principles.

Believe God is able. This principle challenges us to keep who God is in alignment with who we believe He is. Sometimes this looks like remembering that He is the great I AM who holds all that is dear to me in his all-powerful, majestic hands. This principle asks us- “What do you really believe about God’s ability to provide and care for you and all that you hold close?” This of course cramps the style of any of us control freaks, right? ~Psalm 46:10Psalm 46:10
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10 “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the earth.”

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“Be still and know that I am God…” ~ Deuteronomy 7:9Deuteronomy 7:9
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9 Know therefore that Yahweh your God, he is God, the faithful God, who keeps covenant and loving kindness with them who love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations,

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“Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God…”

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“He is faithful!”

Remember you are redeemed and release. Knowing who God is and remembering he has redeemed us as his daughters is the foundation of one’s identity in Christ. When I reflect on the power and sacrifice that were exercised for my redemption it calls me to a place of surrender and release. I surrender to his never-ending love where I am able to experience his gentle kindness. In this sweet relationship I release my hold on the shame of my sinfulness and allow him to wash me in his forgiveness. Remembering this also releases me from the snare and trap of the enemy leaving me free in Christ. ~1 Peter 1: 17-211 Peter 1: 17-21
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17 If you call on him as Father, who without respect of persons judges according to each man’s work, pass the time of your living as strangers here in reverent fear: 18 knowing that you were redeemed, not with corruptible things, with silver or gold, from the useless way of life handed down from your fathers, 19 but with precious blood, as of a faultless and pure lamb, the blood of Christ; 20 who was foreknown indeed before the foundation of the world, but was revealed at the end of times for your sake, 21 who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead, and gave him glory; so that your faith and hope might be in God.

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“…live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear…. it was not with perishable things …you were redeemed from the empty way of life…but with the precious blood of Christ…He was chosen before the creation of the world… through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.” ~ Ephesians 1:7-8Ephesians 1:7-8
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7 in whom we have our redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8 which he made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence,

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“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding.” ~ 1John1: 9-10 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us…”

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“A new day dawns with eternity at heart!”

Everyday is eternally focused. “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”(Mathew 6:21) These words of Jesus ring true don’t they? Keeping our heart and head focused on where our real eternal treasure is difficult and takes determination. I struggle to fix my eyes on what is unseen because of the lure of the seen is so tangible and tempting even though it is temporary. ~ 2 Corinthians 4:16-182 Corinthians 4:16-18
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16 Therefore we don’t faint, but though our outward man is decaying, yet our inward man is renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is for the moment, works for us more and more exceedingly an eternal weight of glory; 18 while we don’t look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

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“ Therefore do not lose heart…outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day…our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen…what is unseen is eternal.”

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“Here I am Lord!”

Available and aware. This principle reminds us “it’s not all about me”. Though I will make plans for my days and weeks it is the desire of my heart that the Lord will direct my feet. Some days it is evident that the Lord has better plans for the day than I do. My response to his redirection reveals my heart attitude toward being available for the Lord’s purposes and determined to press on in difficult circumstances. It also is evidence of my sensitivity to the teaching of the Holy Spirit. I must remain available to do the good works the Lord has prepared for me in advance.  I also need to be aware of his leading and the needs of others in my life. ~Philippians 3: 13-14Philippians 3: 13-14
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13 Brothers, I don’t regard myself as yet having taken hold, but one thing I do. Forgetting the things which are behind, and stretching forward to the things which are before, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

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“…Forgetting what is behind and straining…I press on toward the goal…for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” John 14:26John 14:26
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26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and will remind you of all that I said to you.

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“…the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send… will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have said to you.”

Trust with thanksgiving. Philippians 4:6-7Philippians 4:6-7
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6 In nothing be anxious, but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus.

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sums this up. We are not to be anxious or worry about anything. Rather we are to trust God wholeheartedly with everything. To not be anxious means trusting God through petitioning in prayer and believing he is able with a thankful attitude. This is not easy but I do breathe more easily when I practice this principle.

Humbly resist. Resist what? The temptation of pride to take control and live like I don’t believe God is able. Pride is the root of all sin and it is the hardest for us to detect in ourself. A heart of humility helps us live selflessly and resistslide1 the tendency to control and capitalize for personal benefit. Proverbs 16:18Proverbs 16:18
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18 Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall.

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“Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 3:7Proverbs 3:7
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7 Don’t be wise in your own eyes. Fear Yahweh, and depart from evil.

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“Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil.” 1John 2: 16-17John 2: 16-17
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16 To those who sold the doves, he said, “Take these things out of here! Don’t make my Father’s house a marketplace!” 17 His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will eat me up.”

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“For everything in the world- lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life- comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.”

Exhale. Exhale everything into His hands and exclaim His excellence. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6Proverbs 3:5-6
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5 Trust in Yahweh with all your heart, And don’t lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him, And he will direct your paths.

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) When we take time to exhale, we are able to maintain an attitude of worship and experience the peace of the Lord in relationship with him. I am able to see him at work in the big and little things of life. Then I am moved to worship him with my life.

Take the time to review the principle verses that speak to where you are in your relationship with the Lord.

Armor Up, pride down, Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

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