Compromised Religion in a Corrupted Time

This is an EXCELLENT message!

 

Yesterday’s Miracle – I could have been a widow today.

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My husband experienced a divine miracle yesterday.

He was driving on a 4 lane interstate during rush hour traffic when a Toyota hit the back end of his Ford F250 pick up truck.  It hit him so hard, the truck spun 180 degrees, but also crossed over 3 lanes of traffic, yet no other vehicles were involved in the crash.  The officer was stunned when he saw what little damage was done — just the back bumper was damaged.

The guy is a loser — druggie, no insurance, and was in cuffs w/in a few seconds of the officer showing up.  He had called someone to come get him before the officer showed up. He put a bag of golf clubs in the other person’s car. Officer took the bag and opened it and pulled out one bag of drugs after another. BUSTED!!!!! Officer said the guy had a LONG rap sheet.

For several months, after verbally putting on the armor of God each morning, I plead the blood of Jesus and pray a hedge of protection over myself, hubby, and our daughter, our home, property, and our vehicles. I ask the Lord to protect us from sickness, disease, the deadly pestilence, arrows that fly by day, from accidents, and from our enemies, both seen and unseen. I have told hubby and daughter several times that it is imperative that we are relying on the protection of our God on a daily basis. Thank You Lord, for Your awesome faithfulness and protection. We praise You and we recognize it is ONLY BECAUSE OF YOU that my hubby is alive today.

Pondering on this miracle, it reminded me of another time when I firmly believe my intercession saved my husband’s life.  You can read about it here.

Pray and Be Alone With God

This is a FANTASTIC message!

Prayer Series – Persistence in Prayer

Persistence in Prayer
How often do we give up when we don’t see any results from our prayers?  I know in my own life, if I don’t get “drive-through service” with my prayers, I tend to get discouraged.  I want things done my way and in my time.  But God tells us that His ways aren’t our ways, nor are His thoughts our thoughts.  Jesus teaches us in Lk. 18 the parable about how we should always pray and not give up.  The unjust judge finally has mercy upon the woman’s insistent pleas.  Jesus points out to us that God will have even more mercy and justice for His children than an unjust judge.  So, KEEP PRAYING!

We are admonished in Phil. 4:6 that in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, to bring our requests to God.  Yes, I admit, this can take some time.  But look at verse 7.  IF we take the time to unload our burdens and cares upon the Master, His peace will guard our hearts and minds.  How often do we find the time to pick up the phone and voice our woes to a friend?  Those are times that we could have been praying.  Or do we fall into the trap of using the internet when it would be much more productive to talk to God?  Many times we won’t take the time to pray, but yet we will take the time to go visit a Christian counselor.  That ends up not only taking our time, but our money as well!  Don’t misunderstand, I’m not saying there is anything wrong with getting counseling, provided that we really need it.  I am just saying that it’s quite possible that if we take the time to spend with the Lord, we may just find that our mind has been touched by the Great Counselor.

As I was looking at Eph. 6 where it talks about the armor, prayer is actually part of that armor.  It’s not just another weapon though; it’s part of the actual warfare itself.  The Full Life Study Bible (p. 413) says that to fail to pray diligently is the same as surrendering to the enemy.  As I pondered on prayer being part of the armor, it dawned on me that when we fail to pray, it’s similar to going outside without being fully clothed.  An appropriate way to put it for women is to say that it’s like going to church without having put on your makeup!

A final thought on the subject of prayer is that we should be diligent in training ourselves to pray because our prayers please God. (Pr. 15:8)  We also know that He hears our prayers.  (Pr. 15:29; I Pet. 3:12)

Father, help me to make the choice to train myself to be more diligent in praying.  Not praying just so that I can unload my burdens, but praying so that I can be intimate with You.  Place within me a desire for that awesome intimacy that I know YOU desire for me to have.  Help me to let You be the apple of my eye, the rejoicing of my heart, the very center of my life.  Amen.
© 2003, Stacy R. Miller

Prayer Series – Finding that Solitary Place

Finding that Solitary Place
Jesus sought time alone with God on many occasions, especially in times of momentous decisions.  In Lk. 6:12, we find that Jesus went to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying.   After this particular time in prayer, He had incredible results.  He chose the twelve who were to be His apostles, He healed numerous people, and preached His most recited sermon (the sermon on the mount).  You may have heard about the famous sermon by Jonathan Edwards, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.”  He actually stood up, had his notes just inches from his face, and read that sermon.  It sure doesn’t sound too impressive, does it?  What made it impressive?  What brought about such awesome results from this message?  Mr. Edwards spent the night travailing in prayer over the message and the people who would hear the message.  You see, it wasn’t him that brought the results, it was GOD!

In Mt. 26:36 we find that Jesus tells His disciples to sit there while He went off a short distance to pray.  In Mk. 1:35 we see that He got up very early in the morning to find a solitary place to pray.  Lk. 4:42 mentions that at daybreak, Jesus was going out to a solitary place.  Lk. 5:16 reveals to us that Jesus OFTEN withdrew to lonely places to pray.

I know that as mothers, many of us find that it is so hard to find a solitary place to pray.  One thing I have started doing is to turn my thoughts upon the Lord as soon as I waken in the morning.  I commit my day to Him, asking Him to lead me and to show me what is truly important for me to do that day.  Many times, the important things are as simple as listening to Rachel when she wants to talk.  Sometimes it is being diligent in disciplining her.  Too often, I find myself punishing, rather than disciplining.

Other times, it is learning to stay at home that day and focusing on the house since another day is going to be packed with lots of activities.  I tend to stress out quickly on the days when there is much to be done.  He has taught me to play soothing gospel music.  That has helped me to focus my thoughts heavenward a lot more.  I find that in the middle of mopping the floor or cleaning the bathtub that I am worshiping my Master.  I am pondering on what the words of the song say, turning them into my own prayer.  I am training my mind to focus on Him when unseen things happen during the day.  How many of us will put something in a certain place so that we won’t lose it, only to find out later that we have lost the item?  I have learned to pray for His help at those times.  I walk around, praying, listening to hear His voice.  I ask Him to give me a spirit of wisdom and revelation to think where the item is.  WHEN I take the time to ask for His help, it never takes more than five minutes to find it.  Then, I just have one more thing for which to praise the Lord!  It’s also teaching Rachel to look to Father for the everyday things in life.

In I Th. 5:17, we are admonished to pray continually.  This refers to abiding in His presence.  In Jn. 15 we are told to abide in Him.  This is to become a lifestyle for us, not of constantly uttering formal prayers, but rather prayers of all kinds and on all occasions.  It can be as simple as hearing a siren, then praying for the people involved (the victims, the police, the fire department, the ambulance drivers, the doctors who are going to be treating the ones being helped….)  I recently took Rachel to a local event where she got to climb up inside an ambulance.  While there, I told the paramedic that we pray for them anytime we see or hear their sirens.  He was touched by that; you could see the surprise in his eyes.  I proceeded to let him know that we aren’t the only ones praying.  I know of many mothers who are making this a habit, and then passing this godly heritage on to their children.

Father, as the disciples asked You to teach them how to pray, we ask You to teach us how to pray, but we also ask of You; teach us to abide.  In the midst of the chaos, the frustrations, the noise, the busyness, teach us how to abide.  Amen.
© 2003, Stacy R. Miller

Pick Your Battles Prayerfully

Pick Your Battles Prayerfully

I have often heard my pastor tell us to pick our battles with our children.  Some battles really aren’t worth fighting.  Others need to be fought at all costs.  It takes discernment to discover which battles are the ones we need to fight.

In Deut. 17:8-10, we see that Moses was told that if he had cases come before him that were too difficult for him to judge, he was to take them to the person whom God would choose.

As a mother, I have often found situations arising that leave me at a loss on what to do.  I learned very early as a parent that it’s wise to pray for three wise and godly women to whom I could go for counsel on tough issues.  They have been a great help to me, providing some wonderful insights.

In Judges 4:4, we see that Deborah was leading Israel.  In verse six, she sent for Barak, telling him that God wanted him to gather ten thousand men to go to Mount Tabor.  God was preparing to give Jabin’s army into their hands.  In verse 16, we see that all of Sisera’s troops fell by the sword.

The correlation to us, as women, is that we should be causing our spiritual foes to fall through using the Word in our intercession for our family.  It is a powerful thing to quote the Word when we are praying.  I remember one Sunday when our youth pastor used a machete, calling it a sword, and tossing an apple into the air, then slicing it in half.  It was a fantastic visual picture of how using the Word of God can slice our spiritual foes.

Saul and his servant were out searching for some lost donkeys.  The looked for hours with no success, coming to  the point where they didn’t know where else to look.  In verse six, the servant mentions a man of God.  He states that everything the man of God speaks comes true, so perhaps, he could tell them where to look for the donkeys.  As Saul agrees to go see the man of God, he not only finds his donkeys, but the man of God anoints Saul as leader over Israel.

Sisters, sometimes when we approach God, He not only answers our original request, but if we are careful to listen, we may find Him revealing much more to us.

The story of David and Goliath is a very familiar one.  We see that David is a brave man, a warrior, and most importantly, the Lord was with David.  God had delivered David from the paw of the lion and the bear, and David was confident that God would deliver him from this vile Philistine.  When David spoke to Goliath, he was careful to make mention that he was coming in the name of the Lord.  He knew that all of his success was from God alone, and he was certain to give God the glory for his success.

We also need to be constantly aware that every good and perfect gift comes from the Lord. (Jas. 1:17) Any battles that we win, we win because God is for us.  (Rom. 8:31)

Another battle in the Old Testament that is incredible is when God gives very clear instructions to the Israelites for going against Moab. (II Kings 3) After they followed the Lord’s instructions, the valley was filled with water.  As if that wasn’t awesome enough, in verses 22-23, the Moabites see the valley of water, only it looks like blood!  They head out to plunder, not realizing that they were walking into their own destruction.

When we pick our battles prayerfully, it can cause the plans of the enemy to be destroyed.

In Acts 12, the church was earnestly praying for Peter, who was in prison.  Suddenly an angel appears to Peter, causing his chains to fall off.

Sometimes when we pick the battle of intercession, we will cause chains of bondage to fall.

In Mt. 1:19, Joseph was going to divorce Mary quietly.  But once an angel appeared to him in a dream, he was encouraged to go ahead and take Mary as his wife.  He was given a clear revelation as to what was taking place within Mary’s womb.

In Acts 16:6, the Holy Spirit kept Paul and his companions from preaching the Word in Asia.  In verse 9, we see that Paul has a vision of a Macedonian man and he concludes that God had called them to preach the gospel there.

Sometimes when we pick our battles prayerfully, God will speak clear instructions to us through the stillness of our sleep.

Do you feel the need to pray about some battles?
© 2004, Stacy R Miller

Mental Health

Mental Health

We have had so many things happening in our world over the last few years that it would be easy to fall prey to a stronghold of fear if we let our minds think upon all of the troubling things which are taking place.  Almost daily, we hear of more suicide bombings in Israel.  We are still losing some of our precious troops each week in Iraq.  Even where I live, the police departments can’t keep up with all of the meth labs.  That doesn’t even include the daytime robberies where the perpetrators just barge into your home, beat you up, then take your goods.  It appears that our city is being taken over by evil.  Even sitting here, typing this, I find my eyes filling up with tears.  It seems like our world is a hopeless place.

Let’s bring it a step closer to home.  What about the things taking place in our own life?  What about the child who has chosen to rebel against God?  What about cancer or some other disease that is ravaging our body?  What about someone who is spreading lies about us?  What about those of us whose spouse may be out of work?  How do we keep our minds and our hearts from becoming overwhelmed with fear?

Prov. 12:25 tells us that an anxious heart can weigh us down.  In John 14:1, Jesus tells us not to LET our hearts be troubled.  This is a command to us, meaning that we have something to do.  It means that we must not let those troubling thoughts come into our minds and find a place to rest.  When they come to our minds, we must remember the command in Phil 4:6 not to be anxious about anything but to give our requests to God.  Verse 7 tells us that after we leave our requests with God, His peace will guard our hearts and minds.

When the sinister things of this world enter your thoughts, make the choice not to sit and ponder on the seeming hopelessness of it all.  Don’t think upon the threats of more terrorist attacks.  Don’t think upon the unstable job market.  We are commanded to think upon those things which are true (certain, reliable, trustworthy), noble (excellent, supreme, lordly), right, pure (genuine, unmingled, uncontaminated), lovely (captivated, delightful, splendid), admirable (worthy, good), excellent, and praiseworthy.  Phil. 4:8

I have found that one way to speedily ruin my mental health is by thinking bad thoughts of others.  In Zech. 7:10, it tells us not to think evil of others in our hearts.  Often when we think the thoughts, we end up speaking those very thoughts because out of the abundance of our hearts, our mouths often speak.  Prov. 12:14 tells us that from the fruit of our lips, we are filled with good things.  The only way this can happen is by renewing our minds and causing our thought life to be renewed (remade, reawakened, reconditioned).  Rom. 12:2

Another way to bring mental health to our lives is by learning not to be quick-tempered.  Yes, I know this a very hard one to do.  I struggle with this on a daily basis.  Prov. 14:17 says that a quick-tempered person will do foolish things.  When we do those foolish things, then we have to deal with the consequences, not to mention the guilt.  That can promptly remove any sense of well being that we had been experiencing.  In Prov. 15:18, it says that a hot-tempered person will stir up dissension.  This can happen in our homes, which God designed to be a refuge for our families, not a place of conflict, clashing, and opposition.  Prov. 14:26 says that the Lord has a secure fortress for those who fear Him, and for their children, it is a refuge.

Another thing which can suddenly zap our sense of well-being is envy.  Prov. 14:30 tells us that a heart at peace will give life to us, but envy will rot our bones.  I Cor. 13 tells us that love doesn’t envy.  We are told to rejoice with those who rejoice.  When we find it hard to rejoice with others when they have been blessed with something that we would like to have, we need to ask God to help us to be able to honestly rejoice with them in the blessing of God on their lives.

There is another snare that we may not think of right away when we ponder on what can hinder our mental health.  It is that of gossip.  Prov. 10:19 tells us that where words are many, sin is not absent.  The more we say, the more we find ourselves getting into trouble.  Do you ever wonder what may come back on you because of what you have spoken?  Prov. 21:23 tells us that if we guard our mouth, we will keep ourselves from calamity, distress, or trials.  If we don’t quickly repent of speaking sinful words, there is that separation between us and God.  I know when I find myself separated from my Father because of my sin, my frame of mind is not a good one.  I miss the peace, tranquility, and calmness that I have when I know that my walk with Father is what it should be.  God wants us to be wise with what we say because then our words have the ability to bring healing and restoration to those around us.  (Prov. 12:18, 18:21,)  If we guard what we say, we guard our very life, meaning that we will be mentally healthy, not to mention many other physical ailments which we may avoid.  (Prov. 13:3)

I remember when I first got saved.  I had been with a crowd that was really rough and sinister.  I had to let my parents screen all of my phone calls because they wouldn’t leave me alone.  I was stalked by one of them for several weeks after pulling away from that way of life.  It was a very fearful time for me, never knowing when one of them was going to be right on my tail.  A dear man at church prayed over me regarding this.  From that very moment, it stopped!  I was amazed.  Several months later, I saw the verse in Prov. 16:7 that reveals to us that when our ways please the Lord, He makes even our ENEMIES to be at peace with us.  I have seen the person who was stalking me only one or two times in the twenty years since this took place, and both times, the FEAR was in THAT person’s eyes!  Light truly does chase away the darkness!  I mention this illustration because many of you may have some “enemies” who are causing your mental health to be disturbed.  I urge you to start praying the above scripture over your circumstances.  You may see God work speedily on your behalf, bringing that tranquility back into your life.

I want to close with some final scriptures that talk about health.  This can refer to mental health, as well as a vast array of physical health in our lives, if we choose to follow the decrees given to us.
Prov. 3:7-8  Don’t be wise in your own eyes, but fear God and turn from evil.  This brings health to your body and it nourishes your bones.
Prov. 3:21-22 Preserve sound judgment and discernment because they will be life for you.
Prov. 4:20-23 Pay attention to God’s word and keep His word in your heart.  His word is life to you and health to your whole body.  Guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.
Prov. 17:22  If we have a cheerful heart, it works like a medicine.  (Not to mention that it’s much cheaper than visiting the doctor!)

Awesome God, You love us so much, and you desire for us to have life, and life abundantly.  Help us to make changes in our thoughts, where needed, so that Your life, love, joy, peace, and tranquility can be ours at all times, in all ways, in all circumstances, and in all conditions.  (I Th. 3:16)  Amen.

© 2003, Stacy R. Miller

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