God Sees You

God Sees You

 

Are you troubled by many things?  Do you easily get stressed when you think about the many things that you must get done in a day’s time?  In Luke 10:38-42, we see that Martha was very troubled by the many preparations.  While her motives were good, her heart wasn’t because she LET her circumstances trouble her.  We are commanded in John 14:1 to not LET our hearts be troubled.  We must remember that it is in taking that time to sit at the Master’s feet that we will be refreshed, and able to go about our many tasks, without letting our hearts be troubled, for apart from Him, we can do nothing.  (John 15:5)

 

Do you want to see Jesus, but at the same time, you feel like you want to hide so that He doesn’t see you?  In Luke 19:1-10, we find the story of Zacchaeus, who wanted to see Jesus, so he climbed up in a sycamore tree.  Notice that this wasn’t just any tree, but a sycamore tree.  There are lots of leaves in a sycamore tree.  Could it be that Zacchaeus wanted to see Jesus, but he didn’t want the Master to see him?  But what happened?  Jesus got there, and He looked up at Zacchaeus, then he called him by name.  Today, if you are trying to hide from the Master, I tell you that He is calling you by name.  Just as Zacchaeus had a change of heart, God wants to change YOU!  And the change which He desires to bring is a change to better you and your life.

 

Do you feel insignificant?  Do you feel like your life has no meaning?  Ps. 139 tells us much about how significant we are.  God knows when you sit and when you stand.  He knows your very thoughts.  He has hemmed you in — behind and before; having laid His hand upon you.  There is no place you can go where He cannot see you.  He is the one who knit you together while in your mother’s womb.  He saw you, even while still in the warmth and protection of her womb.  Even when your body was unformed, He still saw you.  If you were insignificant, why would Almighty God take the time to see you in all of these ways?  YOU ARE NOT INSIGNIFICANT – YOU HAVE GREAT WORTH!  Father is saying to you today,  “My child, I LOVE YOU with an EVERLASTING love.”  Jeremiah 29:11 tells us that God has a plan and purpose for our lives.  His plan is to help us, not to harm us, to give us a hope and a future.

 

Are you sad, to the point of weeping, and you feel so all alone?  In John 11:33, we see that Jesus saw Mary weeping over the death of her brother, and He was DEEPLY MOVED.  Again, in verse 38, it says that He was DEEPLY MOVED.  In the depths of your pain and sadness, He has promised to never leave you, nor forsake you,  (Heb. 13:5) and He is deeply moved by YOUR tears.

 

Are you crippled physically, emotionally, financially, or spiritually?  Do you feel bowed over in your spirit because of the weight you bear?  In Luke 13:10-13, Jesus sees a crippled lady, and He calls her forward, then heals her.  Jesus sees you, feeling so “crippled in spirit,” and He says,  “Child, cast all your cares upon Me, for I care for you.  I will sustain you, for I will never let the righteous fall.”  (I Pet. 5:7; Ps. 55:22)

 

Are you sick?  I want to encourage you by telling you that the Master does see you!  In John 5:6 Jesus saw the man who had been an invalid for 38 years.  In John 9:1, He sees a man who was blind from birth.  In Mark 10:46-52, we find the story of the blind beggar.  The persistent cries of this man stopped the Master.  Jesus ceased from His activity to tend the need of this one man — a man who is nameless in scripture.  Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?”  The man was very specific, and Jesus honored his direct request.  This man teaches us three important things:  1)  Be persistent in approaching the Master.  2)  Be bold.  This man took a bold step of faith.  When he saw that he had the attention of Jesus, he threw his cloak aside.  This garment is what distinguished him as a beggar.  He knew that he wasn’t going to need it anymore!  3)  Be specific when you pray.  — I will never forget a time when I was dealing with severe moods swings from PMS.  I humbled myself and went forward for prayer because I was desperate for God to touch me.  The pastor was very specific in his prayer, praying that God would cause any hormonal imbalance to come back into perfect alignment, functioning the way in which God ordained it to function.  I began to pray that over and over, and I found a huge difference in my moods!  Praise the Lord!

 

There is another story in Mark 5:21-43 that talks about healing.  Jairus (notice that it mentions his name) was a man of importance — a synagogue ruler.  He came to    

Jesus because his daughter was dying.  Jesus went with him and a large crowd followed.  It mentions that a “woman”  who had been bleeding for twelve years presses through the crowd to touch Him.  Notice that it doesn’t say her name — giving the assumption that she wasn’t very important in this story.  The Word tells us that “immediately”  Jesus knew that power had gone out from Him.  He asked, “Who touched my clothes?”  I really doubt that He was asking that question for His own benefit.  He kept looking around to see who had touched Him.  Then, this “insignificant woman” comes forward, and what does Jesus do?  He calls her “daughter!”  When you feel so all alone, remember that our Lord is calling you, and He is saying, “DAUGHTER!”

 

Now, back to Jairus.  Some men approach Jairus and tell him that his daughter is dead.  Jesus isn’t swayed at all by the “chatter” of these men, but simply tells Jairus not to be afraid, just believe.  At this point, in verse 37, it says that Jesus didn’t let anyone follow Him and Jairus except for Peter, James, and John.  Now, we know that there isn’t anything in the Word that is “insignificant.”  Why do you think He did this?  The rest of the people believed the word that the daughter of Jairus was dead.  They accepted that as a fact, which wasn’t going to change.  But our God is in the business of calling those things which aren’t as though they were!  We see at the end of this story that Jesus brings Jairus’s daughter back to life.

 

Now, when you are going through a serious illness, sometimes you need to separate yourself from “godless chatter.”  You need to surround yourself with those who will believe with you, who will pray for you when you no longer know what to pray, who will pray for you when you no longer feel like praying.  You need to surround yourself with those who won’t judge you, but will be willing to cry with you.  You need to surround yourself with those who won’t try to tell you the solution, but are willing to BE part of the solution!  You need to surround yourself with those who are just willing to love you and stand with you!

 

Ps. 103:13-14 tells us that as a father has compassion on his children, our Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.  He remembers our frame, that we are dust.  So, He knows that we are going to have times when we doubt, fear, become anxious, get angry at Him over our circumstances, and more.  Even though He knows this, it goes on to say in verse 17 that from everlasting to everlasting, His love is with those who fear Him.  So don’t despair when you have the feelings which I mentioned.  God KNOWS you are going to do this, but HE LOVES YOU ANYWAY, and HE LOVES YOU IN SPITE OF THOSE FEELINGS!

 

Ps. 139:10 tells us that God’s right hand will hold us fast.  I just learned something new about this scripture.  A visual picture of this is a mother who is walking with her toddler in a parking lot.  She doesn’t just hold the toddler’s hand loosely, but she firmly grasps his hand with her thumb on the outside of the hand.  She has a FIRM hold on his hand.  God has a FIRM hold on YOUR hand, and He is NOT going to let YOU go!

 

God tells us in Isaiah 49:16 that He has engraved us on the palm of His hand.  He could never forget you.  Every time He looks at the palm of His hand, He sees YOU!  

 

© 2003, Stacy R. Miller

 

God Sees the End

God Sees the End

When the angel visited Mary in Luke 1:30-33, he told her that she would give birth to a child whom God would give the throne of his father David, and that he would reign forever.  She must have been quite amazed after Jesus was born when wisemen came to worship him and give him treasures. (Matthew 2:1-11)

 

When Mary and Joseph took Jesus to the temple, Mary heard Simeon say, “My eyes have seen your salvation which you have prepared for all people.”  (Luke 2:30-31)  She treasured this in her heart.  Luke 2:8-19 tells us about the angels who appeared to the shepherds, telling them that a Savior had been born. Mary treasured this in her heart. Later, when he was only twelve years old, Jesus amazed the people when he spoke at the temple.  Again, Mary treasured this in her heart.

 

In John 2:1-11, Mary witnessed the first miracle which her son performed.  The Bible isn’t clear about how many more miracles Mary was able to witness, but I would imagine that even if she didn’t see them happen, she at least heard about them.

 

In Matthew 21:8-11, everyone was going to Jerusalem, and here comes Jesus riding into town on a donkey.  Not only that, but the people line the roads, shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David!”  

 

Just a few days later, Mary saw her beloved son hanging on a cross.  Her chosen son, the son who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, the son who was to be a king, and he is hanging on a cross?  How can this be?

OH!  The emotions that must have been coursing through her!  Can you imagine what she must have felt?   She must have felt such anger and confusion.  Utter despair must have had a tight grip on her innermost being. Surely her mind was screaming, “WHY?”  

 

After all, she was there when the angel proclaimed that he would be a king.  She heard the angel say that he’d sit on David’s throne and that he would reign forever.  Why would God send an angel to tell her these things when it’s obvious that he can’t be a king – after all, he’s hanging on a cross!  She must have been asking God why he pulled Jesus from death’s grasp when he was only two years old, only to have him die a cruel death on a cross.

 

We all know the end of Mary’s story.  We know that only three days later, her precious Son rose victorious over death, hell, and the grave.  We know that He is indeed a King.  

 

Just as we know the end of Mary’s story, God knows the end of YOUR story.  You may be going through a heart- wrenching experience.  You can’t possibly see what good God could make of the situation.  You don’t understand what He is trying to teach you, or to show you.

 

There are times when my daughter, Rachel, wants me to explain things to her.  Sometimes what she asks about are things which are just too complicated for her young mind to understand.  At those times, I have to tell her I can’t give her the answer right now because she just isn’t old enough to understand.  She has to trust that I know best for her.  Our loving Father often chooses not to reveal things to us, as well. He sees that some things just don’t need to be explained to us.  We just have to trust Him.

 

Isaiah 55:8-9 says that God’s thoughts are not your thoughts, and His ways are not your ways.  His thoughts are higher than your thoughts, and His ways are higher than your ways.

Jeremiah 29:11 says that God knows the plan he has for you – plans to prosper you, not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.

Romans 8:28 tells us that ALL things work together for good, to those who love God and are called according to HIS purpose.

Habakkuk 1:5 says that He is going to do something in your days that you wouldn’t believe, even if you were told.

 

God is so much bigger than ANY problems which we face.  He will not fail us.   He will not forsake us.  Be patient and wait on Him.  Be still and know that He is God.

© 2003, Stacy R Miller   

Go Ask God, part 1

Go Ask God, Part 1

I remember a story about a wonderful saint in our church who has gone on to be with Jesus.  Everyone in the church called her “Grandma Rose.”  One day, someone asked her a question.  She paused to think upon the question, then she said, “Go ask God!”  What wisdom Grandma Rose possessed!  Too many of us would come up with some kind of answer, even if it were the WRONG answer.  Grandma Rose was wise enough to admit that even she didn’t have all the answers, and when she didn’t know the answer, she knew Who would have the answer!

Moses had a lot of questions for God.  In Ex. 3:13 he was asking God what he should tell the Israelites that His name was.  In the next verse, God told him to tell them that “I AM has sent me to you.”  When God told Moses that he was going to be God’s spokesman to people, Moses came back with these reasons of why he couldn’t possibly be the servant to speak to the Israelites.  In other words, he was questioning God’s wisdom in choosing him. – How many times have we made excuses for not doing what God was clearly telling us to do?

Once Moses spoke to Pharaoh and told him to let the people go, the workload of the Israelites drastically increased.  Moses approaches God in Ex. 5:22-23 asking Him why He had brought this trouble upon the people. – I can picture Moses whining in this particular question.  How many times do we go whining to God?  In spite of this, as you read through the life of Moses, you can see that God used him mightily to fulfill His desire for the Israelites.  God can even use us in spite of our own whining!

In Ex. 15:24, the people are grumbling to Moses about the bitter waters at Marah.  Moses cries out to God.  God told him to throw wood in the water (wood representing Christ), making the bitter waters sweet. In Ex. 32:9-10 God calls the Israelites a stiff-necked people, and He is ready to destroy them.  Moses asks God another question, seeking God’s favor for the people.  He reminds God of His promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  Because of this, God relented and did not destroy the people.  Maybe YOUR intercession on behalf of some people could cause God to change His mind on what He is going to allow into their lives.

In Ex. 33:16, Moses says, “What else will distinguish me and your people from all other people on the face of the earth?”  (NIV)  God answers him by telling him that He will go with them.  He also tells Moses that He is pleased with him and knows him by name.  – Let me remind you that God knows you by name.  Even on those days when you feel utter despair creeping in, He still knows you by name, and His presence goes with you, just as His presence went with the Israelites.

In spite of the many questions that Moses had for God, God didn’t give up on Moses.  In fact, they had an awesome and intimate relationship.  When Moses died in Deut. 34:5-6, God was the one to bury him.  In verse 10 of that same chapter, we see that there was never another prophet in Israel whom the Lord knew face to face.  Sometimes I think we fear going to God and asking Him any of our questions.  God is a loving, gracious, and compassionate God.  We don’t need to fear asking Him questions.  It doesn’t mean that we will get the answer for every question we have, but we just might get some answers that give us very clear insight.

Is II Sam. 5:19, we find David asking God if he should go and attack the Philistines.  – How often do we think to ask Father God if we should go do “this or that?”  Too many times, we just make our plans and ask God to bless them, without waiting to see if that is even His plan for us.

In II Sam. 12:16, we find David pleading for the life of the child who was conceived in his adultery with Bathsheba.  I can imagine him asking God many questions during the time that he was pleading and fasting on behalf of the child.  In spite of not receiving the answer that he so diligently sought, we find that David cleaned up, then went to the house of the Lord and worshiped.  – Many times we may not receive the answers that we want.  We need to remember that God’s ways are higher than our ways, and that His thoughts are higher than our thoughts.  (Is. 55:8)  Even if the answer isn’t what we may have desired, we need to remember that God always has our best interest at heart.

I have seen the above happen in my own life when I miscarried my first child.  Although after eight years, I still have times when I am so saddened by the loss, and feel the emptiness, I can now say that I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything in this world.  I have learned too much about my God through it.  I have come to intimately know Him as my Comforter and my Shield.  I have seen Him as the Healer of Broken Hearts.  I have seen Him take my hard heart and soften it to be responsive to the pain and despair others are feeling. 

 

 

Fear Factor

The Fear Factor

 

God gave a very clear directive to Jonah, but Jonah didn’t like what God said, so he thought he’d run away from God. (Ever been there?)  Instead of facing his fears and obeying the Lord, he paid money to go a different direction. 

 

What did his fare buy for him?

  1. He had to face a violent storm while on the wrong ship.
  2. He faced the humiliation of having all of the men on board know that he was disobeying God.  What a wonderful testimony he gave for the Lord!
  3. He got thrown overboard.  He surely didn’t count on that taking place or he would have asked for a discounted ticket!
  4. He caused great fear in the other men when they threw him overboard.
  5. He got to spend three days in the belly of a huge fish, living among all of the putrid stomach acids — the likes of which I don’t even think “Fear Factor” would use on their television show.

 

Finally, Jonah faces up to his sin.  In Jonah 2:8, he mentions that those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs.  Could it be that fear becomes an idol when it hinders us from doing God’s will?

 

After confessing his sin, Jonah finds himself being vomited onto dry land.  From there, he completes the task God set before him — the very task that had previously left him dealing with the fear factor.

 

If you are battling fear, here are some promises for you:

Ps. 27:1 The Lord is my light and salvation, so whom shall I fear?

Ps. 34:4 God delivers me from ALL my fears.

Ps. 91:5 You don’t need to fear the terror of night, the arrows that fly by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the dark, or the plague that strikes at midday.

Is. 41:10 Don’t fear, for I am with you.

Is. 26:3 You will keep in perfect peace the woman whose mind is fixed on you because she trusts in you.

Jn. 16:33 In this world you will face tribulations (including battling with fear), but take courage because Jesus has overcome the world.

Heb. 13:5 NEVER will I leave you, NEVER will I forsake you.

Do you need to take a fear factor before the Lord?

© 2004, Stacy R Miller

 

Fearing to Look Younger

I had a very interesting thing happen one weekend.  My husband took us out to eat, and while standing in line, waiting to pay, I saw a face from my past.  It was a girl who beat me up when I was in sixth grade, and she was in eighth. While I went through months of being terrified to go to school each day, that fear no longer grips me.  I even approached this gal and asked if she remembered me.  She didn’t, so I proceeded to tell her where I knew her from, what my name was, and then I added, “You beat me up.”  The look on her face was priceless!  She was so embarrassed!  It gave us both a good laugh.

 

While we can all laugh at a story like that, seeing her again didn’t put fear into me, but sadness.  She is only two years older than me, but she looks about fifteen years older.  I have been praying for her because the hard lines on her face spoke volumes to me as to what kind of life she has lived over the last thirty years. 

 

One thing I’ve noticed about serving the Lord is that it can take years off of your face.  (Thank you Jesus!)  I have been told many times that I look much younger than what I really am.  I give all of the credit for that to my Master.  Jesus wasn’t lying to us when He said that His yoke is easy and His burden is light. (Mt. 11:30) While we all deal with fear at some point in our lives, there is another kind of fear that is for our own good.  It is the fear of the Lord, and there are many rewards found in having this kind of fear.

 

Ps. 19:9 The fear of the Lord is pure, and it endures forever.

Ps. 111:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who walk in the way of His precepts have good understanding.

Pr. 8:13 The fear of the Lord leads one to hate evil.  (When we hate evil, we work hard to avoid it, and it can add years to our life because we aren’t dealing with the guilt and consequences of doing evil.)

Pr. 10:27 The fear of the Lord adds length to life.  (I believe it softens our countenance, causing us to look much younger too.)

Pr. 14:27 The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, turning one from the snares of death.

Pr. 15:33 The fear of the Lord teaches a man wisdom.  (When we walk in wisdom, it can save us from a lot of things that can could otherwise lead to excessive worrying, ulcers, and lack of sleep.)

Pr. 19:23 The fear of the Lord leads to life.  (Jesus mentions coming to give us life abundantly.  Part of that ‘life’ is learning to fear Him.)

 

Do you want to look younger?  Do you want to live life abundantly?  Get a healthy fear of the Lord, and see what benefits you may reap!

© 2004, Stacy R Miller

Cyanide, Part 2

Cyanide, Part 2

 

Do you struggle with depression?

Do you ever battle thoughts of suicide?

Do you grapple with fear?

Do you have a day-to-day struggle with cussing?

Do you have frequently fantasize or have lustful thoughts?

Do you struggle with bitterness and anger?

Do you have some addictive behaviors?

Do you constantly battle the temptation to drink?

Have you become addicted to food?

Are you caught in a web of sexual sin?

Do you look at others who worship with such freedom and wonder why you can’t seem to do that?

 

Perhaps you have been drinking spiritual cyanide.  There was a time in my own life when I could answer yes to several of the above questions.  I want to share some of my own struggle with drinking spiritual cyanide in hopes that those of you who may be struggling in this area will find hope, as well as victory.

 

When I first got saved, it seemed like I would go to church, only to find myself drinking Jack Daniels a short while later.  I could go to the altar, asking God to help me stop cussing, only to find myself cussing like a sailor before the day’s end.

 

I could attend services, promising myself that I’d quit looking for love in the wrong places, only to find myself in a compromising position later that week.

 

Even as I was faithful to read my Bible and attend church services, I constantly battled thoughts of suicide.  I just felt hopeless.  Was this really all there was to the Christian life?

Where was the victory?  Where was the deliverance for which I longed to see?

 

One night we had a special speaker at our church.  I was deeply challenged and convicted in an area where I thought I had ‘cleaned up’ enough.  Obviously, I was wrong.

 

Next time, I will share a very deep devotion about that challenge, and why my obedience to what I heard was crucial to my deliverance from sexual temptation, a desire to drink, anger, and even suicide.  This is something that has been burning in my spirit for over two months, and I have spent a great deal of time in prayer over it.  Please be in prayer, asking the Lord to help you have an opened heart to what He may desire to speak to you through the next devotion.

 

© 2006, Stacy R. Miller

 

Cannibalism

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Cannibalism

If I told you that many Christians partake in cannibalism, you would likely think I had lost my mind.  Yet, in a sense, when we worry and fret, we are becoming cannibals.  When we neglect to eat on the Word of God, it is easier for our problems to eat us.  The result is that worry lines will begin to eat into our faces.

When Rachel was about four years old, she asked my mother if she would like for her to draw a picture of her.  After my mother told her yes, Rachel asked, “Do you want me to draw you

with your stripes?”  She was talking about the crow’s feet around my mother’s eyes.

We will likely accumulate some lines on our faces through aging.  We may get some caused by dry skin, and we may even develop some from laughing a lot.  However, there is another manner by which we can accumulate those unwanted lines.  It’s called worry.

Proverbs 12:25 tells us that an anxious heart will weigh us down.  One way it can do that is by eating away at our countenance.  You can tell a lot about a person by looking at their countenance.

There is a remedy for that spiritual cannibalism.  We must cast our burdens upon Him, choosing not to let our hearts be troubled.  (I Peter 5:7; John 14:1)  We must look to the Lord and then we will be radiant. (Proverbs 34:5)

Have you been partaking in cannibalism?

© 2006, Stacy R. Miller