Are You Rested?

Are You Rested?

I often hear ladies comment on how they haven’t slept well, then they add that when they get rested up, they will be fine. I know that in my own life when I haven’t slept well, I feel like I’m not very useful. I feel sluggish and my mind seems a little fuzzy. I just don’t feel very productive on those days.

In studying on the word ‘rest,’ I discovered that the Greek word for ‘rest’ is ‘useful.’ As I pondered on many different women who have taught me many things, I realized that those women are women who learned to be broken before the Lord, dependent upon Him. They learned through many trials not to run in their own strength. They are wise enough to know when to slow down and give their bodies a rest. Only after resting (either through a nap or a time of quietness with the Lord), can they truly be useful again. We cannot function at our fullest when we fail to get our rest.

Jesus tells us that His yoke is easy and His burden is light. We find so often that people want to pile on us one burden after another, and then they refuse to help us carry the load! Yet, when God places something on our shoulders, He also promises to help us carry it.

Satan has always sought to pervert the scriptures, and he wants to divert our attention from that which is vital and of true value. (Phil. 1:10, AMP) One method that is common with women is that we have a hard time saying ‘no.’ It seems the only time that we DON’T struggle with saying ‘no’ is when we say the word to our children. It is so important for us to take inventory from time to time and see if we have gotten ourselves involved in too many activities. Is it possible that we are volunteering too much? Could we be involved in too many Bible studies or prayer groups? Are we attending too many play groups with our toddlers? Are the children in too many sports activities?

If you aren’t sure if you are involved in too many activities, one way to find an easy answer to these questions is to ask your husband. For some of us, we may be fearful to even bring it up with him because deep down, we know we are out of control with our activities. We know that our husband will tell us that we do too much outside the home, and we don’t want him to be right! God has commanded the husband to love and protect his wife. One way he is able to do that is by his keen ability to discern when things are getting out of balance with outside activities.

For some of us, we look for fulfillment in our multitude of activities. Martha did the same thing in Luke 10:3-42. We fail to realize that true fulfillment comes when a woman busies herself with the good part, which will not be taken away from her. (Lk. 10:41-42) It’s then that we will find ourselves truly rested and useful – to our Lord and to our families, and to those around us.
© 2004, Stacy R Miller

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Boo!

Boo!

 

On those rare occasions when life seems to be going fairly well, I sometimes let down my guard.  Catching me off guard, a trial will jump out and yell, “BOO!”  I’m left feeling like someone has pulled the rug out from under my feet.

 

We shouldn’t be surprised when trials come our way.  James tells us that when, not if, trials come, we should face them joyfully.

 

We are often like the man who looks at his reflection in a mirror, walks away, and forgets what he has seen.  We can focus on our good deeds, forgetting the poor attitudes that remain in our heart.  God may choose to test our heart through tribulations so that He can uncover those things which we’ve hidden in our heart. (Proverbs 17:3)

 

In order to be effective and productive in our walk with God, we are told to make every effort to add goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love to our faith. (II Peter 1:5-8) Our Father knows that we will never develop self-control and perseverance unless we are exposed to some trials.

 

The next time you have a trial jump out and yell, “BOO,” remember that God’s desire is for you to develop perfectly and completely.  Don’t run in fright, but embrace those times of hardship.  You will be amazed at the new dimension you’ll have in your relationship with the Lord.

 

© 2005, Stacy R. Miller

Trick or Treat

Trick or Treat

The Bible teaches us that Satan is a master schemer. II Cor. 2:11 His goal is to trick us into bondage. That bondage can come in many forms. Unforgiveness can leave us chained to the one we refuse to forgive. Food addictions lead us to being overweight, not to mention the guilt and low self-esteem that is caused by our lack of control in that area. Sexual bondages seem to be rampant in our society. We can be compulsive shoppers, always looking for a fix, only to find that the thrill of it passes so quickly. Being overly concerned about how we look may cause us to look good on the outside, but leave us with unseen chains wrapped around us. Greed has led many people astray and into shackles which seem impossible to loosen. As we fall prey to Satan, I can almost hear him, deviously laughing, shouting, “Trick or treat! I got you!”

The Bible is clear that we are slaves to whatever masters us. II Pet. 2:19. Paul said in I Cor. 6:12 that he would not be mastered by anything. The way that he kept from being mastered was by knowing the truth. It’s in that “knowing” that we can be set free. John 8:32

I find it comforting to know that even in bondage, God hasn’t deserted us. Ez. 9:9 While we were still sinners (and in bondage), God still loved us enough to send His Son to die for us. Rom. 5:8 That is the best treat we could ever have!

Jesus said in Luke 4:18 that He came to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and to release the oppressed. When He arose from the dead, can’t you just hear Him declaring to Satan, “Trick or Treat! I won! I have the final victory!”

My dear sister, Jesus won that victory for YOU! Whatever bondages you may be struggling with, He is still with you in the midst of it, and He has promised to never leave you, nor forsake you. Don’t be ashamed to bring your shackles to Him. He would love nothing more than to set you free. After all, He’s already paid the ultimate price for your freedom. Let Him unshackle you today!

© 2003, Stacy R. Miller

Are You Listening?

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Are You Listening?

We live in such a fast-paced, busy world. It’s so easy to be bombarded by the myriad of voices that we can physically hear, yet never hearing that still, small voice of the Father.

Deut. 8:3 says that man doesn’t live on bread alone but by every word that proceeds from mouth of the Lord. The word “proceeds” could be translated “proceeding” because it is referring to an ongoing process of God speaking to us. He has much to say to us, but are we listening?

In Isaiah 55:3 God tells us to hear Him so that our soul may live. If you never listen to your spouse, your relationship is going to die quickly. When is the last time you took the time to really listen to Father speak? It will bring life to your weary soul.

In John 10:27, Jesus says that His sheep hear His voice. The literal meaning of this portion of scripture is that His sheep are hearing His voice, meaning that it’s an ongoing process. If His sheep are hearing His voice, then the implication is that the Shepherd is speaking quite often to them. Are we listening to our Shepherd? It’s the Shepherd who leads us beside the still waters, who restores our soul, who causes our cup to overflow, who guides us in paths of righteousness. He can’t do these things to sheep who won’t listen.

In closing, I want to share something personal with you. I sat down to read the Word one Sunday afternoon. I hadn’t gotten very far into it before the Lord spoke four different devotions to write. I had this thought stick with me for several days: If God can speak four things so quickly to me when I take a few moments to sit still before Him, what am I missing out on when I refuse to take the time to listen for His voice?

Ps. 46:10 Be still and know that He is God.
© Stacy R Miller

About Me

I am a home school mom of an “only” who will be graduating in 2014. I was blessed to be a SAHM mom for the first thirteen years of her life. During that time, the Lord began to really do a work in me. I read nearly everything Elizabeth George wrote, and consider her a great mentor to me, even if I have never met her. Her books were truly life-changers for me in how I viewed my role as a wife, mother, woman of God. It was during that time that I began to really devour the book of Proverbs, and especially Proverbs 31. I began to have a passion arise within me to encourage other women in our journey through life. Through that passion, the Lord has enabled me to use my own life-lessons and turn them to devotional form.

 

After being a SAHM for thirteen years, my husband’s business was drastically hit by the economic crunch. Since I had learned over the last several years that I am to be help-meet to him, I knew it was time for me to reenter the workforce. I am very thankful that I was able to find a job that I really enjoy at a local hospital.

 

Through this journey, we’ve discovered that while home schooling during high school years with mom working outside the home isn’t easy, it IS possible. We’ve had to make a lot of adjustments and allowances to make it work, but it has been worth every bit of effort.

 

My hubby and I just celebrated 25 years of marriage in May 2013.  We had a few years where we really struggled in our marriage.  However, after much prayer and stick-to-it-iveness, I can honestly say that we are happily married, and that we act like newlyweds.  Just ask my daughter, who is constantly saying, “Take it to the bedroom,” whenever she sees out our outward forms of expression toward each other.

As you visit my blog, I hope you find encouragement, hope, refreshment, and inspiration.  If you do, then I give the honor to Jesus. It is for His glory that I set up this blog.  His Name be praised!

Asthma testimony

My brother bought me a book called A Place Called Heaven.  It is a story about a man who died in a car crash many years, went to heaven, then was sent back.  It is a beautiful and amazing story.  There was one part in it that really stuck with me and I just have to share it with you in case it resonates with you.

 

When Gary (the author) got to heaven, a friend of his met him and was showing him around.  They came upon a room that had all kinds of body parts (arms, legs, eyes, etc.)  Gary was a bit shocked at the sight, so he asked what it was for.  His friend described it as a spare parts room.  So if someone needed something new for their body, they could pray, and God would send an angel to deliver it.  However, as Gary watched an angel take a part off the shelf and head to earth, he saw the angel battling principalities and powers.  Next, he heard the voice of the person who had prayed for this body part.  They were speaking doubt and unbelief.  This caused the angel to come back to heaven and sadly take the body part to the unclaimed blessings room.  And this goes right along with James 1:6-7 where it says,  ”But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.”

Immediately upon reading this, my spirit got very excited.  In reading this section of the book, the author pointed out that when Jesus was upon the earth, there was never a time where He refused to heal someone who asked to be healed.  All the more reason for me to get excited!  Matthew 7:7-11 confirms this.  7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

9 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

I began to think, “I want new lungs!  I don’t want to deal with the asthma anymore!”  It changed how I pray.  I told the Lord exactly what I wanted and everyday, as I prayed, I let Him know that I was anxiously awaiting my new lungs, and I thanked Him that they were on their way.  In a matter of days, I noticed a big change in how I felt.  I started using my inhalers a lot less.

Within four days, I was completely off the inhalers.  This was HUGE because I was using two different inhalers a total of six times a day!  During the course of developing the asthma, I also began suffering from food allergies.  Milk would cause an anaphylactic reaction.  Eggs would cause me to have a huge asthma attack.  I also began to notice that wheat would cause breathing issues as well.  However, after having my faith greatly increased by realizing the truths in the book I had read, I decided to believe for the Lord to deliver me from the food allergies as well.  And guess what?  HE DID!!!

I used to deal with extreme chest pain whenever the weather turned really cold or windy.  Not anymore!  Whenever the barometer would fall, my chest would hurt so badly that it would often bring me to tears.  Not anymore!

The last day I used an inhaler was January 4, 2011.

So, what do you need?  Ask for it, and believe God will send it your way!  Grab hold of the horns on the altar, and don’t let go!  Don’t begin to confess doubt and unbelief.  Have faith!  And remember that Hebrews 11:1 describes faith as being sure of the things we hope for and knowing that something is real even if we do not see it.  Keep believing, even when you don’t see it.

Are You Expecting

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Are You Expecting?

How many times do we pray about something, intending to leave it at the altar, only to pick it up again? Many times our controlling nature kicks in, and we try to ‘help’ God in answering our prayer. Sometimes we simply need to lay it down at the altar and say, “Lord, help my unbelief!” (Mk. 9:24) Instead, we try to cover up our lack of faith, our struggles with doubt. The root of why we try to cover our doubts may be fear. It could be fear of what others would think of us if they knew we struggled with doubts and unbelief. We may even fear that if we admitted our doubts to God, that He may punish us by refusing to answer our prayer.
Yet, I John 4:18 tells us that there isn’t any fear in love because fear brings with it the thought of punishment. Mature, perfect love doesn’t fear. We are loved by a God who is perfect, and so we don’t need to fear punishment because of any doubts or unbelief that we may have.

Instead of trying to hide our doubts, we need to tell God every detail of our needs, including our fears, doubts, and lack of faith. Then His peace will keep constant guard over our hearts and minds. (Phil. 4:7 Phillips) It’s at that point that we can begin to do as Psalm 5:3 says: In the morning, I lay my requests before my Lord and wait in expectation. I love that verse! It spurs me to wait and see what wonderful, creative answers I will receive from the Lord regarding the many prayer requests I have.

The Message version of this same verse says, “Every morning I lay out the pieces of my life on your altar and watch for fire to descend.” We probably all have at least one area in our life that constantly tries to trip us. It may be our temper, our tongue, our thoughts, compulsive shopping, compulsive eating, or even excessive time on the computer. Too often, we muddle through the day, hoping that somehow we will overcome, yet we don’t really have the faith to believe that we will ever truly get the breakthrough we desire. We live our lives, failing again and again, day after day.

We need to press in! Don’t give up! We need to keep going, grasping ever more firmly that purpose for which Christ has grasped us. (Phil. 3:12 Phillips) Ask God to help you learn to sense what is vital, and to prize what is excellent and of real value — recognizing the highest and best, and distinguishing the moral differences. (Phil. 1:10 AMP) Then, watch in expectation as you lay those pieces of your life on the altar. Watch for the fire of God to descend on you, transforming you into His likeness with every-increasing glory. (II Cor. 3:18 NIV)

Sister, are you expecting?
© 2004, Stacy R Miller

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