Wasted Energy

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Wasted Energy

Do you struggle with worry?  Do you ever get really agitated? Are you ever disturbed by something which has taken place between you and another person?  If you are like me, you can go to bed at night and continue to “play” the situation over and over in your mind.  It is hard to turn it off.  Yet, all that worry is nothing more than wasted energy.

Jesus tells us in John 14:27 to “stop allowing ourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.” (AMP)

There are a few areas where women allow themselves to be agitated and disturbed.  One is by being a people pleaser.  By trying to please everyone, we end up in emotional turmoil.  What we need to realize is that we cannot please everyone all the time.

Another situation that leads us to be disturbed is the belief that everyone has to like us.  Dear one, there is always going to be somebody who doesn’t like you.  Guess what?  That is OK!  While God loved the world so much that He sent Jesus to die for us, I am certain there are some people in this world He just doesn’t like!  Think ISIS members, Charles Manson, or even child molesters, just to name a few.

Another area that causes us to end up in distress is our failure to learn to say “no.”  Anytime I am asked to take on a commitment, if I do not immediately know what my answer should be, I will ask the person to give me time to pray about it.

I have learned to say no over the years.  It is a wonderful freedom to be able to say no, and to do so without guilt!  Recently, I was approached by a lady from church who wanted me to help with something during one of the upcoming services.  I immediately felt I was not to commit.  On the day I would have been committed to assisting her, I received a phone call from our music director, asking if I could teach her class that morning.  Had I said yes to the earlier request, I would not have been in a position to agree to teach the class when asked.

One last area I would like to address is that of disobedience.  Several months ago, I was feeling enormously stressed.  I could not understand why until I got before the Lord.  He clearly showed me that I was holding on to a place of ministry where He had not called me.  I immediately repented and stepped down from that position.  My stress level dropped immensely.

Now if this does not help you to overcome your own wasted energy of worrying, perhaps the following information will help you in making necessary changes.
© 2007, Stacy R Miller

We “live” on stress.  It is a daily part of our lives, an every-day-burden we bear.  There is actually a chemical reaction which takes place when we feel stressed.  It releases something in our body that can actually give us a “high” of sorts.  When we allow this cycle to continue over and over, it can be very destructive to our bodies, leading to:  memory loss, loss of sleep, a compromised immune system, auto immune disease, multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, heart trouble, fibromyalgia, hypertension (high blood pressure), and cancer.

Dear sister, is it really worth your health to allow yourself to be constantly agitated and disturbed?  Ask the Lord to help you number your days and to realize how fleeting life is. (Psalm 39:4-6) Determine to set your mind on things above. (Colossians 3:1) Train your mind to think on things which are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and praiseworthy. (Philippians 4:8)

Keep in mind that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.  Is that how you want to treat the temple of the Living God?  When you start to worry, or get agitated and disturbed, ask yourself if the issue is really worth the toll it will take on your physical body.  I don’t know about you, but I want to be around for a long time – even if there are people who don’t like me!  (See the previous devotion if you don’t follow the humor in that last statement.)
© 2007, Stacy R Miller

The Waiting Room

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The Waiting Room

I don’t know too many people who enjoy sitting in the waiting room, yet at some point, we will be required to bide our time there.  God has His own waiting room for us.  In Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, we find that there are seasons to our lives.  One of those seasons can be God’s waiting room.  For those of us who feel useless, or struggle with a lack of self-worth if we aren’t doing something which we feel is productive, it can be torture to endure.

Let’s take a visit to some of God’s waiting rooms.

First, there is a time to be born. Perhaps God has shown you a ministry He wants to give you.  Before He births it, He has to conceive it in your heart, and then you must go through the ‘pregnancy’ stage where it grows deeply in your spirit.  Finally, you get to experience the birth pangs and ministry is born.

Sometimes God calls us to the waiting room to die. Sometimes dying to our flesh will be a very quick death, similar to one who has had a massive coronary.  Other times, dying to our flesh can be a slow, arduous process, similar to one who is slowly dying of cancer.

We also visit the waiting room for a time to heal.  Whether we’ve been hurt physically or emotionally, sometimes God calls us to the waiting room so that we can experience complete healing.

Other times we may be sent to the waiting room so that God can help us tear down strongholds that are hindering us spiritually.  When we are too busy, we often are unable to see those things which hinder us, so it’s time to visit the waiting room.

There is also a waiting room where we can weep and mourn.  Before we can experience the true laughter and dancing, we may go through devastating times that require us to just sit in the waiting room, soaking up God’s comfort like a sponge.  Eventually, we will find laughter and dancing replacing the depths of our mourning.

There’s also a time to embrace and a time to refrain.  We have seasons in our lives where we will be heavily involved in ministry, but sometimes God calls us to the waiting room and asks us to refrain for a while.

There’s also a time to give up.  If God is calling you to give up something, yet you stubbornly hold on to it, He may call you to the waiting room for some counseling.  He’ll do whatever it takes to get to the root of why you refuse to give it up.

There’s a time to be silent.  Sometimes God calls us to the waiting room just so we will learn to be still.  He wants to teach us to be quiet and listen to Him, and sometimes it’s only a visit to the waiting room where He is finally able to get our attention.

There’s another waiting room that can be an intense waiting, for there is a time for war and time for peace.  When we go through seasons that involve intense warfare over a situation, God may call us to His waiting room.  Once the spiritual battle is won, He may quickly transfer us to the waiting room of peace so that we can take some time to be rejuvenated from the intensity of spiritual battles.

While we may not enjoy the waiting room, God uses it to show us that His power is made perfect in our weakness. (II Corinthians 12:9) Jesus is the one who perfects of our faith (Hebrews 12:2), and sometimes the perfecting process requires a visit to the waiting room.

Are you in the waiting room right now?
© 2005, Stacy R. Miller

User Friendly

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User Friendly

In today’s society of high-tech gadgets, we often hear the term “user-friendly.”  That is a good thing for those who, like me, are technically-challenged.  Yet, it is not so good when applied in a spiritual sense.

When we are user-friendly, we are like a magnet which attracts users.  If we are not careful, we will be like a used-up box of cereal – empty.

To avoid this, pick up the Book that is user-friendly – the Bible.  We need wisdom to help us be friendly and kind, yet not fall prey to being used.  Our Bible is filled with wise words which will help us avoid becoming user-friendly.
© 2007, Stacy R Miller

Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread

The Adulteress

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The Adulteress

I love to read through Proverbs, but when I get to those chapters about the adulteress, and how to avoid her, I get a little bored.  After all, I am not ever going to visit an adulteress, nor do I have plans to ever be an adulteress! 🙂  So, how do I apply that portion of scripture to my life?

Proverbs 5:20 says Why be captivated by an adulteress?  Why waste time with a promiscuous stranger?

As I pondered on the above scriptures, it occurred to me that while we, as women, would never visit an adulteress, we can commit spiritual adultery.

There is so much in the world that tries to get our attention.  The new reality TV shows, secular books, the talk shows, soap operas, the malls, the idea of “keeping up with the Jones’s,” the Internet, and even adult toys and gadgets.  There is always something out there to tempt us to get our focus off of where we should be focusing.

I Jn. 2:15 says that we shouldn’t love the world or anything in the world.  If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  Wow!  That’s a tough one to think that if we love the world too much, God’s love isn’t even in us.  I’m not sure that I like that scripture!

It’s just too easy to get caught up in worldly things.  I remember right after becoming a mother, it was too easy to turn on Maury or Montel or Jenny Jones while I was sitting there nursing Rachel.  I missed adult conversation.  I had worked full time for many years, and suddenly, I was home with an infant who couldn’t converse with me beyond crying.  It was so easy to fall into the trap of letting the TV entertain.  Thank God, I quickly realized the effect those shows were having on me, and I switched to Christian TV, if any.  The atmosphere in the home was so different — so alive, instead of making me feel like I was drowning emotionally.

I’ve had a struggle with using the computer too.  We have only had it for about 6 or 7 months.  It’s so nice to be able to keep in touch with friends and relatives on a daily basis.  While that is good, it’s not so good when I begin, by my actions, to tell the Lord that I would rather be online than in His Word.

I even began going into Christian chatrooms, and found to my dismay, that many of them were “Christian” in name only.  There was still a lot of filth in there.  Sure, I could use the ignore button, but my eyes had already taken in what was said, and transferred it to my spirit.  I began to think of what Job said in chapter 31:1 about making a covenant with his eyes not to look lustfully upon a woman.  I made a covenant with my eyes that I wouldn’t even visit the chatrooms because it was defiling my spirit.  Not only that, while I was in a chatroom, I wasn’t spending quality time with my daughter.  We had gotten away from playing games together.  Now that I am back on track, I really look forward to those times of the day when we can sit down and play games together.

Another area where we can struggle is in our choice of books to read.  There are many secular books out there that look interesting.  Some of them even relate to where many of us are right now — parenting.  But again, if you look at Ps. 1:1, it says that the man who doesn’t walk in the counsel (advice) of the ungodly is blessed.  Well, a secular book on parenting may have a few good ideas, but the fact remains that most of what is in the book is advice which is ungodly counsel.

Ps. 119:15-16 says that I meditate on your precepts, consider your ways, delight in your decrees, and won’t neglect your word.  NIV  How often do we neglect the Word, and if honest, we have to admit that we really had no good excuse for doing it?
119:18 “Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.”  NIV
When I open the Word, this is often a prayer which I pray for myself.  I want to see those hidden treasures in the Word because they are LIFE for me!
119:31  “I hold fast to your statutes, O Lord.”  NIV  How can we hold fast to His statutes if we don’t stay in the Word enough to even learn them?
119:58  “I have sought your face with all my heart.”  NIV  Hmmmm, have I really done that?
119:72  “The law from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold.”  NIV  By our actions, can anyone tell that this is how we really feel about the Word?
119:92  “If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction.”  Verse 111 says that God’s statutes are the joy of my heart.  Do we really delight in the Word?  If we do, then it’s a joy to read the Word.
119:131  “I open my mouth and pant, longing for your commands.”  NIV  When you haven’t spent your daily quiet time with God, is your relationship with Him so close that your spirit can actually pant for Him and His presence?
119:171  “May my lips overflow with praise, for you teach me your decrees.”  NIV
119:172  “May my tongue sing of your word for all your commands are righteous.”

Father, may You show us wonderful, hidden treasures of wisdom and knowledge in Your Word each time we read it.  Let those quiet times with You become such a joyous treasure that our spirits will pant to be in those intimate moments with You.  As we have many things which require our attention every day, help us to keep our focus and our minds on You, knowing that You will keep us in perfect peace as we fix our minds on You.  Amen.
© 2003, Stacy R Miller

When to keep your mouth shut

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Teething

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Teething

When my daughter started to cut teeth, I remember how she constantly wanted to chew on something.  Since I was nursing her at the time, I ended up being the one bitten on a couple of occasions!  Somehow, chewing on something comforted her and helped to ease her discomfort.

When we study the Word, God wants us to meditate on it. (Psalm 1:2; 119:97)  It could be likened to teething.  Just as Rachel wanted to constantly chew on something, so should I desire to constantly chew on God’s Word, digesting it.

Another thing I noticed when Rachel was teething is that she drooled a lot.  I was constantly changing her bibs because she kept soaking them.  Now that we have tasted and seen the Lord is good, we should drool for the Word. (Psalm 34:8)  We should crave the Word even more than we crave our favorite dessert. (I Peter 2:2-3)

If you no longer feel like you are ‘teething’ or ‘drooling’ for God’s Word, ask God to open your eyes to see wonderful things in His Word. (Psalm 119:18)  Ask Him to consume your soul with longing for His Word. (Psalm 119:20) Before you know it, you will be running in the paths of His commands. (Psalm 119:32) You will begin to delight in reading and meditating on His truths. (Psalm 119:24)

© 2006, Stacy R. Miller

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