Our country is turned upside down. Violence, hatred, and division seems to be the norm. However, even in all of this you will still find the chosen few spreading love and encouraging unity.
Let’s take a moment to think about the parable of the good Samaritan. A traveler fell among thieves and was left for dead, but there were three who passed by him who could have intervened.
First, the priest who saw the afflicted man’s circumstance, yet chose to ignore him and carry on with his life as if nothing never happened. In fact, in reality choosing to leave the poor man to die alone and without help. He made a conscious decision to move to the other side, so that he could attempt to separate himself from what was going on right before his eyes. He chose to turn a blind eye to the man’s situation.
Next, came the Levite who decided to get close enough to look at his situation, scrutinize it, analyze it, and yet still moved away untouched, unmoved, and unwilling to do the hard work of getting involved. He may have been a little concerned or just downright nosey, but still he would not do his part to do what was right in the time of need. He chose to remain an onlooker, a silent observer to injustice without the willingness to stand up and lend a helping hand.
Finally, came the good Samaritan who had compassion for the one he saw afflicted and treated unfairly. He helped bind up his wounds, and did what was necessary to find him safe haven and the necessary care that he was unable to request or fight for himself. He took on the responsibility of bearing the afflicted traveler’s burden as his own. He had compassion (sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others). He felt empathy (the ability to understand what another person is experiencing or feeling by placing oneself in their position). He stepped up and helped out while others refused, although the traveler’s situation and problem did not affect him personally. He chose to get involved. He chose to set aside his own interest and pursuits for that of another. He chose to give of his time and resources for the good of another. He chose to take a stand for good in the face of evil.
In light of all the turmoil that is going on round about us on today, which of the three are you? Be honest. Now go do what is good, acceptable, and perfect in the sight of God.
Tired, Tired, TIRED! How many of you have ever felt tired before, that overwhelming tiredness of not just your body, but your mind and soul too? That deep, down, draining tired that won’t let go no matter how much you fast and pray! How many can admit you are in that place right now?
Never been there. Great! I hope you never do. Me, on the other hand? Yes, I’ve been there and done that, and I don’t want to go back anytime soon nor ever if possible. It’s a bad place to be, a dangerous place, but so often we all find ourselves there unexpectedly at some point. Life drains us. Responsibilities pull us here and there. Disappointment after disappointment overwhelms us. People betray us. Good situations suddenly turn bad. On and on it goes. Yep, this thing called life, and then just like that we find ourselves in this place: deep, dark, daunting.
We fight and we fight hard for a season, but how many of you know that’s not enough! We need God to step in on our behalf, and don’t worry He will in due season if we faint not. We fight for our marriages to not fall apart. We fight for our position on our jobs. We fight for others approval. We fight for our good name when others try to disparage us. We fight for our political and religious beliefs, especially in this day and age. We fight for our children to stay on the straight and narrow in the midst of a world that tells them that God’s holy standards are not necessary anymore. Fight, after fight, after fight, and then suddenly we find ourselves in this place, a place of sheer exhaustion, worst than you could ever imagine or explain to the busy passerby and judgmental onlooker (who really doesn’t care anyway because they have their own battles to fight).
Before you get down on yourself too much, look to the bible for encouragement and direction, and you will find great bible heroes who also struggled and found themselves in this place. Too tired to fight for a season, but with enough wisdom to know not to quit and definitely not to turn back. No matter what, never quit! Remember Elijah slayed all the false prophets because God was with him, however he too found himself in a place of despair, bone tired and afraid. Yet, God stepped in on his behalf and fed and strengthed him to fight again. He will feed and strengthen you too, and you will go forth with a greater anointing and greater faith because of your relationship with Christ. He’s an on time God! Trust Him!
I will end with this personal story. Years ago, I had a dream and the Lord showed me and my spouse fighting battle after battle. We were fighting like superheroes. It was impressive! However, it was not enough and eventually we became weary! We had fought and given our all, yet still we found ourselves in this place. Tired and worn out, but not defeated even if we thought so. Too often we all get lost looking at our situation instead of our great God! Don’t. Look to the Lord, our solid rock and our refuge!
In that dream the Lord showed me also the answer to this tiredness and to coming out of this place, and so I share it with you in the hopes that you too can find the way out. God showed us coming together in earnest prayer and turning the battle completely over to Him, removing our own hands, our own ways, our own thoughts, and simply submitting it all to Him. Do you know what happened when we did? Immediately the battle was won, and victory was ours! Wow, so much wasted time and energy when all we had to do was simply release it to God.
The very next morning I woke up, and I told my husband the Lord said a storm is coming, and you know what it did. The strange thing is for some reason I forgot to hold on to the rest of the dream, and so we suffered and struggled for a season. Fighting in our own strength and without unity. However, when I came to my senses I remembered what the Lord had said, and so we came together again in prayer and released it all to God. We removed our hands, and placed it in His all powerful hands, and just as He promised victory was ours!
So on today I encourage you to simply release whatever it is that is weighing you down to God. Jehovah-Shalom. The Lord is our peace. Rest in Him, and He will restore you and give you strength and wisdom to fight another day, but this time you will go in the name of the Lord and not your own strength. Victory is yours!! Be of good courage. Emmanuel, God with us, shall never leave you nor forsake you!!
Words To Stand On…
1 Kings 19: 4-8
4 But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.
5 And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel touched him, and said unto him, Arise and eat.
6 And he looked, and, behold, there was a cake baken on the coals, and a cruse of water at his head. And he did eat and drink, and laid him down again.
7 And the angel of the Lord came again the second time, and touched him, and said, Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee.
8 And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God.
Isaiah 40: 28-31
28 Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.
29 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.
30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:
31 But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
13 And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.
14 The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.
15 And the Lord said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward:
Walk It Out…
Stop and take a moment to meditate on this devotional and more importantly the mighty Word of God. How does this apply to you on today? What are you currently believing God for in your life? What do you need to let go of or stop doing immediately? What do you need to begin doing? Pray and listen. Now step out in faith and go forth in Jesus name!
Do you believe? Can you see?
25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.
26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.
27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.
28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.
Did you catch that??? His response…
My Lord AND my God.
Now he believed. Now he could see.
My Lord and MY GOD.
Do you believe? Can you see?
14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Forgiveness of others is required as a child of God. However, does forgiveness always mean reconciliation of a damaged relationship is possible or necessary?
I don’t think so.
Should reconciliation be the goal?
Yes. Maybe. Time, experience, and discernment will help you to know.
There are consequences that follow broken trust and sin for everyone involved, whether in a family, church, marriage, or occupation. There are steps that must be taken to begin the process of reconciliation and healing.
The offender must be truly repentant and willing to be held accountable, for example truthfully reporting progress to someone else, such as a pastor or mentor. The offender must identify the source of their issue, and immediately stop all behaviors that allowed the enemy to creep into their life and relationships.
The offended should remain tender hearted yet prayerfully vigilant. The offended must realize that the desire for retaliation or revenge must be released to God when they choose to forgive.
Love is kind and covers others, but wisdom sets boundaries and protects you. There’s a time to stay, and a time to walk away (even if only for a season). Either way, you must be spirit led and prepared for the difficult journey ahead.
Your thoughts? Please comment below. I would love to hear from you!