Response to these troubled days

 

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Yes, we are living in troubled days. Everywhere we look we see evidence of fallen man. Jesus said that Satan is the god of this world, and we see his fruit everywhere; hate, fear, and death.

How do we keep from getting sucked in to the pit with the rest of the world?

How do we keep our hope in the face of hopelessness?

How do we love when we are hated?

The quick and easy answer would be to pray. And yes, we should pray, but what about when we are so heavy laden, hurt, angry, sad, alone, abused, empty, afraid, blue, and if I can be honest… how about when we are just tired of hearing our own voice and see no change around us? What then?

The world is spinning fast, time is but a vapor, and time is short, and nothing is within our control. We can not control another person or what is going on around us. BUT! There is one thing we can control… ourselves. We can take control of our thoughts and our responses. Then instead of being reactive, we can be proactive.

So, again, how do we do that?

We shift our focus!

 

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SHIFT YOUR FOCUS

A broken hallelujah will be made whole. In your brokenness, offer a hallelujah and He will answer.

In  Hebrew, Hallelujah transcends the languages of the world. It is not translated, it is transliterated.  (click here to read more about praise)

“Hallel” means to boast or to brag on, to make a show, even to the point of looking ridiculous.

“Jah” is the short form of the name for God.

 

What do we tell our children to do when there is a fire? Stop! Drop! And Roll!

 

Praise the Lord!
Praise God in His sanctuary;
Praise Him in His mighty heavens.
 
Praise Him for His mighty acts;
Praise Him according to [the abundance of] His greatness.

 
Praise Him with trumpet sound;
Praise Him with harp and lyre.

Praise Him with tambourine and dancing;
Praise Him with stringed instruments and flute.
 
Praise Him with resounding cymbals;
Praise Him with loud cymbals.
 
Let everything that has breath and every breath of life praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord! (Hallelujah!)

-Psalm 150

So I encourage you… No! I challenge you!  Shut the world out, turn the news off, lay down the paper, hang the phone up, shut down the computer, and Stop! Drop to your knees, lift your arms, open your mouth, and let the praises roll!

You can’t change the world, but God can. You may not be able to change your circumstance, but God can. You may be waist deep in what the world calls despair, but He promises if you focus on Him, praise Him for His goodness, trust Him, give it ALL to Him, when you rise you will rise refreshed and strengthened.

He is still God, He is still on His throne, He has not left you and He never will. Don’t let the world steal your peace. Shift your focus.

 

Be Free & Stay Free

Who is with Me?

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This post is to those who follow Christ; those who are called by His Name, and for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear what the Spirit is saying.

Do NOT get side tracked by the pettines that is distracting you. There is very real battle going on and many are falling away; chasing their own tails because the enemy has come in, undetected, and are causing warriors to engage in trivial arguments over offenses to distract from the source of the problem. Men and women of God who were once on fire and bold, are now hiding behind their doors and have allowed their voice to be silent; they have forgotten their first love.

Are we more concerned and focused on the mud on the carpet instead of the thief who has tracked the mud through our house? While we run around cleaning up his mess, sweeping it under the rug, he has moved on to kill, steal, and destroy. Like ostriches, we hide our heads, convincing ourselves if we do not see him then he is not there. We pull our feet under the blankets so the monster under the bed will not grab them, instead of just turning on the light.

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Do NOT be a slacker, with slothful ease, when it is time to pick up our weapons. We MUST hold the arms of our President up. We MUST intercede for our nation. We MUST go to bat for souls.  We MUST stand and we MUST resist!  It is time to choose a side, come out of hiding, and be brave!

 downloadBut I have this [charge] against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess [claiming to be inspired], and she teaches and misleads My bond-servants so that they commit [acts of sexual] immorality and eat food sacrificed to idols.  I gave her time to repent [to change her inner self and her sinful way of thinking], but she has no desire to repent of her immorality and refuses to do so. Listen carefully, I will throw her on a bed of sickness, and those who commit adultery with her [I will bring] into great anguish, unless they repent of her deeds.” -Revelation 2:20-22

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. -2 Chronicles 7:14

 So when Jehu came to Jezreel, Jezebel heard about it, and she painted her eyes and adorned her head and looked down from the [upper] window.  As Jehu entered in at the gate, she said, “Is it well, Zimri, your master’s murderer?” Then Jehu raised his face toward the window and said, “Who is on my side? Who?” And two or three officials looked down at him.

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And he said, “Throw her down.” So they threw her down, and some of her blood spattered on the wall and on the horses, and he trampled her underfoot.  When he came in, he ate and drank, and said, “See now to this cursed woman and bury her, for she is a king’s daughter.” They went to bury her, but they found nothing left of her except the skull and the feet and the palms of her hands. So they returned and told Jehu. Then he said, “This is the word of the Lord, which He spoke through His servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying, ‘In the property of Jezreel the dogs shall eat the flesh of Jezebel.  The corpse of Jezebel will be like dung on the surface of the field in the property of Jezreel, so they cannot say, “This is Jezebel.”’” 2 Kings 9:30-37 

We overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony!

Jesus is coming quickly and His reward is with Him! Are you ready?

Don’t be fooled! This is not just “politics,” this is an attack against Christianity, against the people of God. This is demonic! Look around you! Jesus told us what to look for as a sign of His return and a person has to be blind to not see the signs!

He who testifies and affirms these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. -Revelation 22:20

Be Free & Stay Free

Count it all JOY

Does it ever feel like things are not going the way you think they should? I mean, you are trying to do everything right and be a person of integrity, but it seems the Godless people are flourishing?

Yea, I had a few minutes pity party for myself today.

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It only took a minute for me to remember…

“If the world hates you [and it does], know that it has hated Me before it hated you.  If you belonged to the world, the world would love [you as] its own and would treat you with affection. But you are not of the world [you no longer belong to it], but I have chosen you out of the world. And because of this the world hates you.” John 15:18-19

Thank You, Holy Spirit, for the reminder.

 

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Be Free & Stay Free 

End Time Bullies

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There was a boy who was being bullied. Everyday the neighborhood kids would taunt and tease him. And everyday the little boy would come home with bruises and tears.

There was one particular bully who seemed like a giant in the boy’s eyes. He was the meanest bully of them all. Now this giant of a bully would incite the other children to throw rocks at the boy, push him down, and call him names. He would spread lies about the little boy and no one would question if the lies were true; even the most outrageous lies.

The boy tried to ignore the bullying and be nice to the bullies, for he thought if he were nice to them then maybe they would like him and stop terrorizing him. So the boy would offer gifts to them. But the bullies took his gifts, scoffed at him, pushed him down, then demanded more gifts. No matter how nice he was, or how many he gifts he gave them, it was never enough.

Soon the little boy stopped going outside. He stayed in his room, scared, sad, and alone.

His father, wanting to help his young son, enrolled him in self defense classes.

“Son, I don’t want you to go around looking for fights, because the fights will come to you.” The father said. “But I don’t want you to be afraid or defenseless to stand your ground. When you stand strong, most bullies will run away. Sometimes you will come across a giant of a bully and you will have to rise up and face him.”

In the class the little boy met other boys and they became friends. As he grew in courage and wisdom he no longer felt defenseless.

It wasn’t too long after,  the little boy had to put into practice what he learned. One day the boy rounded a corner and came face to face with the giant of a bully and his gang.

“Get out of my way!” The giant of a bully demanded.

But the little boy stood his ground.

“Are you deaf? I said get out of the way!” The bully sneered with a shove to the boy.

Yet, the little boy held his ground.

“Are you blind, too?” The bully mocked. “Can’t you see my gang with me? You are out numbered!”

Still the boy did not back down.

The bully’s gang began to get nervous at the newfound boldness of the little boy. Some joined in with jeering the boy and some ran away.

Soon other children started to gather and stood beside the boy. Even though the bully continued to scream threats, the boy and his friends were not intimidated. With each threat the bully uttered, the boy and his friends took a step forward, pushing the bully back.

The little boy was no longer afraid to stand his ground, even if it meant bumps and bruises. If he had stayed hidden alone he would have never known there were other kids who would stand beside him to face the bullies down and send them running. He could stand  and not give up any ground. He could advance and take the bully’s ground from him. He just had to be courageous and put into practice all he had learned.

In many ways we are like this little boy. We are bullied everyday. Though it may not be a bully in the form of boy on the street throwing rocks at us, but the adversary we face is very real.

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The Bible says our adversary is the devil and he is very sneaky and stealth in his attack. Sometimes his attack is so blatant we doubt we are seeing what we are seeing. He knows our weak spots and he aims to hit it hard. When his frontal attacks don’t work he tries to come in through the backdoor to disqualify us; through temptations, attacking our marriages and our family, our finances, our health. He will use people, things, our past, and our minds against us. He is a dirty fighter.

Be sober [well balanced and self-disciplined], be alert and cautious at all times. That enemy of yours, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion [fiercely hungry], seeking someone to devour. But resist him, be firm in your faith [against his attack—rooted, established, immovable], knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being experienced by your brothers and sisters throughout the world. [You do not suffer alone.] After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace [who imparts His blessing and favor], who called you to His own eternal glory in Christ, will Himself complete, confirm, strengthen, and establish you [making you what you ought to be]. 

1 Peter 5:8-10

He will hit, hit, hit us until we are too weary to even fight back. His fancy foot work exhausts us and we just want to get out of the fight and go to sleep. But, my friends, this is not the time to sleep. Edmund-Burke-Quote-The-only-thing-necessary-for-the-triumph-of

Jesus knew the battle we are in. He warned us, if the world hates you, remember it hated Him first. “Listen carefully: I am sending you out like sheep among wolves; so be wise as serpents, and innocent as doves [have no self-serving agenda]”. Matthew 10:16

It is difficult, I get it, to not feel the suffocating presence of evil around us. Ten years ago we would have never imagined the blatant attacks against our Christian faith as we are experiencing. We must remember it is a spiritual war and the attack is against Christ, His Truth, and His elect. It is a battle for souls.

When the world seems to want to hurry up and get to hell, we must put on our battle clothes and fight! We don’t fight like the world. Their battle plan is to destroy, wreak havoc, create confusion and chaos. The world uses intimidation tactics.

The weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood]. Our weapons are divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.  We are destroying sophisticated arguments and every exalted and proud thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought and purpose captive to the obedience of Christ,  being ready to punish every act of disobedience, when your own obedience [as a church] is complete. 2 Corinthians 10:4-6

I don’t know about you, but I will admit that sometimes I feel overwhelmed. I get angry and I want to lash out and just slap some sense in people. Even in writing this post I had to delete some of what I wrote (well… because it was me talking and being very carnal).  It is difficult to not get caught up in the politics of the world. Sin abounds, but His grace, my friends, His grace abounds even more.

How did Jesus turn the world upside down? His love! He spoke the truth and it stepped on people’s toes. He knew His purpose, He knew He was going to the cross, He even knew who was going to betray Him, yet He loved. He was bold and not afraid of “popular opinion,” because only Truth is able to set the captives free.

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The early church were revolutionaries! They were imprisoned, stoned to death, crucified, beheaded, and scattered. Yet, they didn’t take to the streets and burn the cities down. They didn’t go on a smear tactic campaign.  They continued in Christ and boldly proclaimed the Gospel message.

For Jews demand signs (attesting miracles), and Greeks pursue [worldly] wisdom and philosophy,  but we preach Christ crucified, [a message which is] to Jews a stumbling block [that provokes their opposition], and to Gentiles foolishness [just utter nonsense],  but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks (Gentiles), Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God.  [This is] because the foolishness of God [is not foolishness at all and] is wiser than men [far beyond human comprehension], and the weakness of God is stronger than men [far beyond the limits of human effort]. 1 Corinthians 1:22-25

I ask God, how can I make a difference? I feel inadequate. I feel outnumbered.

I (and you) make a difference with Christ in us. He has already equip us with all we need to be victorious! We have His Holy Spirit. We can do ALL things through Christ Who strengthens us! He is not setting us up for failures. He is for us!

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Just look at your own calling, believers; not many [of you were considered] wise according to human standards, not many powerful or influential, not many of high and noble birth.  But God has selected [for His purpose] the foolish things of the world to shame the wise [revealing their ignorance], and God has selected [for His purpose] the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong [revealing their frailty].  God has selected [for His purpose] the insignificant (base) things of the world, and the things that are despised and treated with contempt, [even] the things that are nothing, so that He might reduce to nothing the things that are,  so that no one may [be able to] boast in the presence of God.  But it is from Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God [revealing His plan of salvation], and righteousness [making us acceptable to God], and sanctification [making us holy and setting us apart for God], and redemption [providing our ransom from the penalty for sin], so then, as it is written [in Scripture], “He who boasts and glories, let him boast and glory in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:26-31

What are we to do? 

First, we get on our knees before Him:

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

We seek Him:

In all your ways know and acknowledge and recognize Him, and He will make your paths straight and smooth [removing obstacles that block your way]. -Proverbs 3:6

We ask: 

Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God. Philippians 4:6

We listen and obey: 

If any of you lacks wisdom [to guide him through a decision or circumstance], he is to ask of [our benevolent] God, who gives to everyone generously and without rebuke or blame, and it will be given to him.  But he must ask [for wisdom] in faith, without doubting [God’s willingness to help], for the one who doubts is like a billowing surge of the sea that is blown about and tossed by the wind. James 1 

Remember the boy in the story? He did not stand against the bullies alone.

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We must come together, as true followers of Christ, in one mind, unity, encourage and pray for each other. We must stand in agreement. Remain in battle formation, watching out for each other, covering each others blind spot, and remember each other always in our prayers. Because it is not about us, it is about souls and His glory! If we truly love Him, then we love each other and we will be about His business in sharing His love and His truth to a lost and dying world. Live a life worthy of the calling, do not compromise, do not fear, and do not back down. Stand!

This is how I fight my battles!

Be Free & Stay Free

What’s Goin’ On?

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I have really been burdened lately, sometimes to the point where an anxiety attack threatens me. This is when I have to sit down, breathe, and remind myself of 1 John 4:4.

Little children (believers, dear ones), you are of God and you belong to Him and have [already] overcome them [the agents of the antichrist]; because He who is in you is greater than he (Satan) who is in the world [of sinful mankind].

I told my husband last night that I feel like the darkness in this world is rising up for its last stand. I read the news, look at social media, listen to people, and I feel evil around me. Thankfully my husband is the voice of reason and he knows the Lord; he reminded me that these things must happen. The Bible says it will happen and it will get worse.

But there is no need to panic or be afraid. Because…

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We are under such a spiritual attack and it is increasing. Do you see it? Do you recognize it? No, you are not imagining things and it is not just because “people are crazy!”

It is happening everywhere; in our homes, our schools, our government, Hollywood, and most disturbing is in the church.

Political Correctness has sucked many Christians into it’s black hole.  Too many are picking and choosing what truth they want to believe. They are not rightly dividing the Word. They hold a form of outward godliness (religion), although they have denied it’s power (for their conduct nullifies their claim of faith). 

Clearly these people do not know the word of God. So I have to ask, do they read the Bible? Do YOU read the Bible?

I could go on and on, but you probably see it in your feeds too.

Lately I have been feeling like I am in a fog. I have been feeling so lethargic, tired, for no reason. I have been struggling to concentrate and I have been feeling the enemy’s arrows flying at me.  It is like the lion is standing outside my door.  Sure sign of a spiritual attack!

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Be sober [well balanced and self-disciplined], be alert and cautious at all times. That enemy of yours, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion [fiercely hungry], seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8

This is no time to slumber! Jesus told His disciples what to look for as a sign of His return and the signs are here. We must be about the Father’s business!  Are you His? Then you have a purpose, a calling, and He has equip you with all you need to fulfill the call.

Do not get sidetracked. Recognize the attack and take your stand.

Will you stand with me? To the glory of God.

But you, beloved, build yourselves up on [the foundation of] your most holy faith [continually progress, rise like an edifice higher and higher], pray in the Holy Spirit, and keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously and looking forward to the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ [which will bring you] to eternal life.  And have mercy on some, who are doubting;  save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy but with fear, loathing even the clothing spotted and polluted by their shameless immoral freedom.

Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling or falling into sin, and to present you unblemished [blameless and faultless] in the presence of His glory with triumphant joy and unspeakable delight, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and power, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

-Jude 20-25

Be Free & Stay Free

If I could change One Thing…

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If you could go back in time and change one thing, have one do-over, what would it be? Have you ever wondered?

I had several answers when I first thought about this question. My mind quickly recalled times when I said yes when I should have said no, or said no when I should have said yes, yada yada. My answers always involved someone else.

A lesson I am learning and trying to practice (God help me), is to  stop pointing fingers, getting my feelings hurt, and shrinking back from the only person I can change… me.

In a spirit of thankfulness, I am reminded of Romans 8:28, and I have to thank God that He is true to His word. Instead of walking in regret I can hold my head up and learn from the past and not carry it into the future (or the present).

While it may be true that the past has formed us into who we are today, truer still is His grace and forgiveness can turn all the ashes into beauty, if we let Him. Healing and deliverance is found only through Him.

One thing I have learned, is to ask for help.

I have created many a mess by not asking for help. Pride and fear kept me silent.  I was drowning with a smile on my face and the whole time I was saying, “I’m good, I’m fine, I got this under control.”

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Here’s the thing about lessons; they are learned as an after affect, and sometimes experience can be an unforgiving tutor.

I think about the prodigal son and if he would have asked for help sooner, maybe he would have never had to be a connoisseur of pig slop.

There is safety in numbers. We are to surround ourselves with other Christian believers. The Father, who sent His Son to reconcile us to Him, is a Father of intimate relationship.  Since He has gone through such great effort to restore us into fellowship with Him, we can trust and believe that relationship with His body is important. We were not created to be an island unto ourselves. We are not wounded animals to go off into isolation and die by ourselves. We were created in His image and likeness to be in communion with Him, through Him, and with others.

As I walk this out, and sometimes I may stumble, I am learning I am only responsible for myself, my own actions, and before my actions turn into reactions, ask for help.

What do you think? I would love to hear from you, feel free to leave a comment below.

Be Free & Stay Free

 

 

Ultimate Makeover

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The question we all ask ourselves, huh. Who am I?

For many, the answer to this question changes depending on the season.  Sadly too many base the answer on emotions, experiences, or what others have said about us; as if someones opinions define us.

Times and seasons change. Society is a fickle people. With the ever increasing need in the world to be the best, it is not hard to understand why so many feel they are in competition. It is no wonder so many young girls are insecure and so many women are broken. Shew, it is even a no wonder why men do not even know how to be men anymore.

We have been robbed of our individual gifts and uniqueness. In all of the trying to fit in and be like everyone else to please someone else…

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You have heard the saying it is the suit that makes the man and the shoes that make the woman. Nope, that is not true and I have the sore feet to prove it.

who-are-you-really-21449257The beauty industry is making a lot of money on peoples insecurities. Don’t misunderstand me, I am not saying there is anything wrong with dressing up the outside, there is nothing wrong with accentuating the beauty we already have. Shew, some of us need some help. But, my dear friend, beneath everything, all the make-up, newest fashion, hair color, you are still you and I am still me. No amount of make-up is going to take the place of the inner peace and desire for acceptance we all have.

There is only One who can give you the peace you yearn for and He already accepts you. He created you, you are His masterpiece, with His very own hands He formed you.  He put so much detail in you that He knows the number of hairs on your head, He knows how many times your heart will beat, He knows where you will live, He knows your first day and your last breath. In addition to all of this, He gave you gifts and entrusted you with gifts to use to glorify Him.

While you may be looking around and comparing yourself to others, you do not even recognize what and Who He has placed in you and you do not see the one person only you can reach, or problem only you have the answer to. So you walk around, bent over, looking at your feet instead of lifting your head and knowing who you really are and Who you belong to. Royalty should not live like paupers. It is unbecoming to wallow in the pig pen and eat slop when your Father is the King.

And we all, with unveiled face, continually seeing as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are progressively being transformed into His image from [one degree of] glory to [even more] glory, which comes from the Lord, [who is] the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18

I am going to get personal with you for a minute, OK.  I didn’t meet Jesus personally until I was already an adult in my 30’s. Before Christ, I had already racked up a long laundry list of what was wrong with me; from childhood and on.  I made choices based on fear and insecurities that were ingrained in me. I believed every lie and was on the path to confirm every lie was truth.

After I met Christ, although all my sins were forgiven, I still harbored guilt and shame. Of course this was concealed very well; so well that I didn’t even fully realize I was carrying all the heavy baggage until later…

Then little by little my slip started to show (know what I mean, ladies?). So I tried to pull it up, tuck it in, cover it up, because I am a Christian and Christians aren’t suppose to have these issues.  The more I tried to cover it the heavier it got and on top of it all I took it upon myself to add shame, guilt, regret, and perhaps a lil’ unforgiveness to my suitcase.

I looked like this…

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Nah, I’m good, I don’t need any help,      I got this.

I just couldn’t understand why everything was going to pot; no matter how much I prayed or read my Bible. I was good at encouraging other people and believing the word, God’s promises for them, but not for myself… I was a mess.

You know why? Because I was sitting outside of the palace eating in the pig pen. I knew I was saved. I knew God loved me (even though I couldn’t understand why), but His word said He did so He must, right.

ThiefIt is like locking your door, but leaving your window open. Sooner or later the thief is going to try to break in and steal your stuff.

Jesus told us the thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy.  He also told us that Satan is the father of lies.  When we believe anything contrary to what God’s word says, we are to cast it down, because it is a lie. We are not to believe it!  But it doesn’t stop here!

When you know God’s word, you can recognize the lie and you must combat the lie with the truth!  You can’t just ignore the devil and hope he goes away. No! You have to kick him out! He takes your silence as agreement. You have to open your mouth.

God has already set you free! To walk in His freedom you must take the steps. If you want out of the prison cell of shame, regret, fear, insecurity then you must walk through the open door.

Dear prodigal, do you not know your Father is waiting for you? Sweet woman, there is no need to die of thirst at the well when He gives you springs of life and a refreshing that overflows and never stops.

Stop looking at the outward appearance. Your beauty is deeper than flesh and your worth is far more valuable than rubies.

The next time that lying demon whispers in your ear you put your foot down, stand your ground and fight back with God’s truth!

I am leaving you with some thoughts, ammunition, to get you started. Read it, meditate on it, remember it, AND BELIEVE IT!

This is God’s word and God doesn’t lie. This is the truth of who you are!

If you would like to share more of Gods promises to us, please leave a comment below.

Until I write again, or we meet in heaven…

Be Free & Stay Free