The Dew From Heaven

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The Dew From Heaven

Do you feel drained? Do you feel like you have grown stale and stagnant in your walk with the Lord? Do you walk out of church feeling more drained than when you walked in?

Hosea has some insights which may help. Many times, we start looking in the wrong direction, or we search for the wrong things. First and foremost, we need to return to the Lord. It is possible that we may have stumbled, due to sin. Instead of repenting of it, we try to hide it. We let guilt pull us away from the Lord. I guarantee you, those thoughts are not from the Lord, but from Satan. He wants to keep you from returning to the Lord, finding release and forgiveness.

Sometimes we feels distance because we begin to look to the world for comfort and encouragement. However, Hosea 14:3 shows us it won’t work. The world’s ways will never save us, comfort us, or give us hope. That can only be found in Jesus.

The Lord longs to heal our backsliding. We’ve all been there. It’s a slow fade. It doesn’t happen in just a day. It happens over time. One day, we wake up and realize we are empty and dry, and we can’t figure out how we got here.

Just as the dew falls every night, watering the earth, we also need the dew of heaven. We need to be in the Word every day. It is living water to us. It will refresh us, giving us wisdom and insight to face any situation. It will restore our soul, filling us with God’s joy and peace, once again.

When we are faithful to be in the Word, our roots grow deeper and stronger. Hosea describes it as our branches spreading, our beauty becomes like an olive tree, and our fragrance like Lebanon. We will be revived like grain, growing like a vine. (Hosea 14:5-7) What happens is that we are changed from glory to glory. (2 Corinthians 3:18) People will begin to see a beauty arise within us because the Lord is transforming us to be more like Him. They will see a joy and peace that is so rare in these uncertain times. They will wonder how we can be so serene when going through the tumultuous times.

We will turn from our idols, and seek the Living God. We will have a desire to listen and obey because anything else only leads to dissatisfaction and frustration. His fruit will be found in us. (Hosea 14:8; Galatians 5:22-23) We will have learned that the ways of the Lord truly are right, and we will delight in walking in that path. (Hosea 14:9)

The more time I spend in the Word, the more I benefit from it. Recently, my family has gone through one trial after another – some big, some small. However, because I have invested the time to being in the Word, my attitude is much better in the midst of it. I have a joy and peace that doesn’t dissipate in the midst of the trials. It is priceless! When I look back on previous years when I often chose to neglect the Word, I see a huge difference in how I handled difficult times. What wasted time! However, I know I cannot live in the past, with all of those regrets. Instead, I forget those things which are behind me, reaching for that which is ahead of me. I press on toward the goal for the prize of the high calling of God in Jesus!

It’s the same for you, brethren: Press on toward that prize! It is awesome!
© 2018, Stacy R. Miller

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I’m Hurt, So What Do I Do?

What an excellent, biblical message on forgiveness!  He says a couple of really powerful things.  

It’s always more rewarding to resolve a conflict than to dissolve a relationship.

Being offended is a choice.

Just One Spark

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Just One Spark

I recently watched as my neighbor’s house was engulfed in flames. It was an awful sight! Such destruction, and so quickly! I had just come home from work less than thirty minutes prior to that time, and his house was fine. Now it was aflame.

Once the fire was out, we discovered what caused the fire. He had an enclosed porch, where he had his moped. He had added gasoline to the tank while it was still inside, likely spilling a drop in the process. Next, he decided to try to start the moped while it was still on the enclosed porch. The moped backfired, setting that tiny drop of gasoline on fire. Within minutes, flames higher than the house were shooting out the front windows.

What happened next still amazes me! The fire department was quickly on the scene. Once they got the water on that fire, within three minutes, I could no longer see any flames! It was absolutely incredible to see it!

What my neighbor did reminds me of what can happen in our spiritual lives. That tiny drop of gasoline is like the first glance, which leads you down the path of adultery. It is like that first drink, leading you to become an alcoholic. It’s like that first glance at pornography, and suddenly, you are caught in a spiritual fire from which you can’t escape.

However, there is hope! The water that quickly extinguished that fire represents what the Lord can do in our lives when we’ve gone down a dark path of sin. When we come before Him and truly repent, He pours the water of His forgiveness on our sin. No longer do we need to be in that spiritual fire!

If you have gotten caught up in a sin, the Father is waiting to pour out His love, mercy, forgiveness, and grace to you. Accept His invitation to come before Him and be cleansed from all unrighteousness.
© 2018, Stacy R. Miller

 

David Wilkerson – Conformed to Christ Alone

This devotion is excellent!   It is called CONFORMED TO CHRIST ALONE.   I loved this paragraph because it gives a clear picture of what is happening among many who profess to be a Christian.

Too many Christians want forgiveness — but that’s all. They do not want to be delivered from this present world because they love it. They are attached to their sins and do not want to give up the pleasures of this world. So they cling to a doctrine that says, “I can live as I please — as long as I say that I believe.” Sadly, these Christians do not want to hear about obedience, repentance or self-denial. They would rather live in this world without restraint.

Let it Go

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Let it Go
Do you remember the song from the Disney movie Frozen? Little girls across the nation could be heard singing that famous line, “Let it go….”

The concept of letting things go is one many Christians could stand to learn. In fact, I wish I had learned this concept when I first got saved. However, being raised Catholic for so many years, it was hard to undo the concept of paying penance for my sins. Whenever I sinned, I still felt like I needed to carry the weight of that sin for several days and say a very lengthy prayer of repentance.

Perhaps you feel the same whenever you sin. You carry that heavy load of guilt until your spirit feels bowed over. You don’t feel like you can walk in freedom and joy because of your sin.

May I offer you some hope?  Psalm 32:1-2 tells us that God blesses those whose sins have been forgiven and wiped away. God blesses us because we tell him our sins, without trying to hide them. The result: He forgives us! Yes, it is that simple!

But that’s not all! Verse 5 tells us that along with forgiving us, the Lord also takes away our guilt. In verse 6, we are admonished to pray when we have sinned so that we aren’t swept away by a raging flood. That flood could be a flood of guilt, so we clearly see that we aren’t to wallow in guilt for several days when we have sinned. We are to let it go! Verse 7 tells us the benefits we reap when we confess our sin instead of holding onto it. God protects us from trouble and puts a song in our heart.

I had to chuckle as I read verse 9 because I can see myself in this verse. It tells us not to be stupid like horses and mules. Stubborn would be a good word to substitute here for stupid. Have you ever been there? So the next time you feel like you have to carry your sin around with you instead of immediately repenting and moving on, just remind yourself that it is stupid to carry that weight with you when there is such a better way of dealing with it!

If this is an issue where you struggle, I challenge you today to do what Psalm 34:8 says. “Discover for yourself that the Lord is kind.” (CEV) Confess your sin right away and watch his kindness embrace you and fill your heart with joy and freedom!

© 2018, Stacy R. Miller

 

Offended

I was reading through Matthew 24 and noticed something I found interesting.

10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.

11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.

12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

Notice the progression:
1. Many shall be offended.
2. They will then betray one another.
3. After the betrayal, comes hate.
4. They will be more susceptible to being deceived by the false prophets because they’ve already opened “doors” in steps 1-3.

This scripture made me think about offenses in my own life.  When I get offended, am I going to take it to the Father and allow Him to help me through it?  Or am I going to choose to hold onto that offense, and thus, open a door for me to be easily deceived by the false prophets?  (And there are MANY of them out there right now.)

When I see the reality of how I could become deceived if I choose to hold onto an offense, it suddenly makes offenses seem like little “bumps” in the spiritual road that I need to just step over and go on my way.  :waving3:

Pit Bull Attack

Pit Bull Attack

Several years ago, while I was pushing my daughter in her stroller and enjoying a leisurely walk with my mother, I was attacked by a pit bull.  I was minding my own business, and without warning, I suddenly feel a pit bull jumping on me.  Isn’t that how Satan works?  He watches, just waiting for when you are carefree and unaware of his presence, and suddenly, without warning, he attacks.  He gets his teeth in you, and much like a pit bull, he doesn’t want to let go.

When I went to the Emergency Room, they cleansed and bandaged my wound, and gave me after-care instructions on how to treat the wound.  When we’ve been spiritually wounded, our Great Physician can pour the soothing oil of the Holy Spirit to bring healing, and He gives us after-care instructions in His Word.

The doctor told me that trying to stitch a dog bite would really increase my chances of getting a nasty infection.  Having decided against stitches, I was left with two huge, oozing places on my leg.  The wounds oozed nasty-looking stuff for several weeks following the attack.  When we’ve been hurt by someone, and we fail to take it to the Lord and leave it with Him, we also ooze.  It can ooze forth in cynical, bitter comments.  It can ooze out in a rage of anger.  It can ooze from our countenance.  If we take it to the cross, God can replace the poisonous oozing with the healing balm of Gilead.

A dog’s bite is very dirty, so the doctor prescribed a strong antibiotic for me.  It helped to curb any further risks of infection.  One type of spiritual infection that many of us face is that of harboring unforgiveness.  When Satan comes as a pit bull, ready to latch onto us with unforgiveness, our antibiotic may simply be telling our self, “I choose to forgive.”  Just as we may need to take an antibiotic several times a day, we may also need to repeat several times a day that we choose to forgive, rather than hold a grudge.

There were days when I didn’t want to do the extra care that having this big gash on my leg required.  Yet I chose to do it in spite of my feelings.  It’s the same way when we’ve been wronged.  Many times we may wake up and we don’t feel like granting forgiveness, but we need to make the choice to do it anyway.

Another thing the doctor told me to do while on the antibiotics was to take a heating pad and place it on the wound at least twice a day, for twenty minutes each time.  The heat would help draw the antibiotic to the wounded area, helping it to heal quicker.  It’s the same when we are dealing with a wound — whether the wound was inflicted by someone else, or as a result of our own sin.  If we stay in passionate pursuit of God, keeping ourselves hot, rather than lukewarm or cold, it will allow us to heal more quickly.  It will give Satan less of a foothold in our life where he can latch on like a pit bull.

The pit bull bit me on the outer side of my leg, right where it bends at the knee.  The wound kept trying to heal, but whenever I’d bend my leg, it would break open the scab.  We do the same thing when we’ve been hurt.  God tries to heal it, but we start rehashing the situation with anyone who will listen, and we tear open the wound again and again.

I was not only dealing with physical problems from this attack, but I was also having nightmares.  As soon as I’d close my eyes, I would see that dog, ready to jump at me again.  It was horrifying to deal with it every night.  On top of that, my daughter, who was only two years old at the time, would awaken if she heard a dog barking.  She would jump out of bed, run down the hall, screaming and crying with fear because she was afraid that the dog was coming to get her.  Even though the dog attacked me, she was with me, and she was affected by it.  When we are attacked spiritually, chances are high that it will affect those around us.

After the scab had healed, I was left with two nasty-looking scars.  In an effort to lessen the scarring, the doctor had me wear a silicone patch, often used on burn victims, to minimize their scarring.  The patch is sticky on one side, so it’s supposed to adhere to the skin.  Being that my scars were right where my leg bends, I had to wrap an Ace bandage around my leg to hold it in place.  Sometimes God has to wrap us up as well.  When we’ve been attacked by Satan, or when God decides that it’s time for us to deal with some of our own scars, God will shelter us in the shadow of His wings.  Sometimes He may even be forced to remove us from a place of ministry for a while, yet He continues to lovingly cover us with His wings.  All the while, He is tenderly ministering to us, even when we may be totally unaware of what He is doing.  We may not realize what all has transpired until many months later, or until God chooses to reveal it to us.

After the wound finally closed up, and the scab went away, many people assumed that I was healed.  Yet I knew better.  I was the one who had pain whenever I’d try to sleep on my left side.  I was the one who would cry out in pain if Rachel would come running to me and wrap her arms around that leg.  I finally went to see a specialist about it.  He told me that I needed surgery to help get rid of what was hiding in there — scar tissue.  Before I would get better, I was going to have to endure some more pain.  It’s the same with us in a spiritual sense.  Many times God will get us to a place in our lives where we have to deal with things that we’ve tried to hide.  He may need to use a spiritual knife to cut away some flesh that doesn’t belong there, or to remove some scar tissue from us.  Yes, it hurts to undergo a knife, but it’s sure worth it!  While the spiritual knife will hurt us, it will never harm us.

This whole process of trying to get completely healed not only took many months, but it was costly, and we had no insurance to pay for it.  However, if you are finding yourself in need of treatment for a spiritual ‘pit bull attack,’ Jesus has already paid the bill for you.  Go ahead and get treatment!
© 2005, Stacy R. Miller

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