The Beauty of a Gentle and Quiet Spirit

“Your beauty should not consist of outward things like elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold ornaments or fine clothes. Instead, it should consist of what is inside the heart with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very valuable in God’s eyes.”

 1 Peter 3:3-4

What is valuable in the eyes of God?  Clearly not our outward appearance but what is inside our heart.  Are you spending more time with the details of your surface presentation which people see or are you spending more time allowing your heart to meditate on the Word of God?  Are you making a serious effort to ensure the meditations of your heart are God honoring?  Your ruminations are the continued and extended thoughts toward something.  God is fully aware of  your heart’s meditations!  Does this prompt you to want to change your thought towards others or your situation?  DIVAs, lets stop meditating on fears, rejections, bitterness, and have nots and get the Word securely fastened into our hearts.  Whatever wind storm comes, it can not release the Word from our hearts!  Meditate on the Word.  Read it from your Bible, write Scripture on 3×5 cards, talk to God…  The beauty of the meditations of your thoughts is what He calls valuable!   In addition, the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit is what we strive for.  Not only is it a beautiful thing, but it is peaceful and content.  Let’s take a look at the meaning of those significant words:

According to Strongs, gentle is defined as: mildness of disposition and gentleness of spirit.  A meekness toward God is that disposition of spirit in which we accept His dealings with us as good and therefore without disputing or resisting. In the OT, the meek are those wholly relying on God rather than their own strength to defend them against injustice. Thus, meekness toward evil people means knowing God is permitting the injuries they inflict, that He is using them to purify His elect, and that He will deliver His elect in His time. (Is. 41:17, Lu. 18:1-8) Gentleness or meekness is the opposite of self-assertiveness and self-interest. It stems from trust in God’s goodness and control over the situation. The gentle person is not occupied with self at all. This is a work of the Holy Spirit, not of the human will. (Gal. 5:23)

Strong defines quiet as:  keeping one’s seat (sedentary), still (undisturbed, undisturbing), peaceable.

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We can all identify with what advertisers and Hollywood determines to be beautiful.  But who has the final word ~ God or you?  It really does not matter what someone else determines to be beautiful.  If you believe with all your heart, mind, and soul in what God says is beautiful you will be stunning.  So, if God’s authority on the matter is what you lean towards, what then are you doing to find yourself valuable in His eyes?  Really think about it.  Your faces are running through my mind right now as I picture the beauty of your confidence in the Lord.  You are beautiful indeed.

unknownGod’s wisdom says a gentle and quiet spirit is imperishable.  Do you have a gentle and quiet spirit?  A spirit that has no tenacity to defend itself but would rather ‘stay seated’?  A spirit that is bold in the confidence of Jesus yet meek in the workings of the flesh?  A spirit that is at peace and not subject to the storm tossed nature of our human emotions?

Let’s you and I put our energies into focusing on the things that matter to God and not be tempted to prioritize our value the way the world does.  Let’s take comfort in the things that endure.  God decides what endures and what does not.  If you believe Him, change the focus of your energies.

If you desire evidence there is plenty of that.  Take a look in the mirror.  Aside from the beauty you see reflected, you will also notice aging.  Now, before you start shifting off what we are focusing on, God designed our bodies to do just that so it is perfect.  We can’t reverse how our bodies age but we CAN be renewed in spirit!  Praise God!  This my friend, you have total control over.  There is no limit to your beauty ~ it will improve daily if you allow it.

Our flesh will one day perish but God says our gentle and quiet spirit will not perish.  God calls it valuable.  What about you?  Do you see the imperishable value?  Tuck the Word inside your heart DIVAs, God’s word is beautiful.  It will transform you.  It is the best beauty treatment out there.

In His noble grace,

Amanda

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Do You Give Thanks?

Psalm 19

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun. It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is deprived of its warmth. The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb. By them your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward. But who can discern their own errors? Forgive my hidden faults. Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then I will be blameless, innocent of great transgression. May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” (NIV)

This week is our country’s officially sanctioned day to give thanks.   As citizens of this nation’s abundant prosperity we have ample reasons to express our thankfulness.  Let’s make it a priority to honor others not just with our words but with the meditations of our heart as an expression of our thanksgiving.  You can do it!  David indeed was thankful as is evident in Psalm 19.

The heavens declare and the skies proclaim the divine influence of God.  Do you?

Day after day creation never stops providing evidence of God’s handiwork.  Do you?

Does the law of the Lord refresh your soul?

Do the radiance of His commands make your eyes light up?

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The Lord’s statues give wisdom, refreshment, joy, trust, radiance, preciousness, purity, sweetness, and reward.  Do you acknowledge this with thanksgiving?

Can you picture the sun providing warmth to everything under it?  Even a small plant that is dwarfed by a larger one will not be excluded from the warmth the sun provides.  For everything God purposes to receive, WILL.  Walking out your front door you will immediately feel the warmed air  because the sun has already penetrated the atmosphere you step into.  Do you give thanks for this?  Thanks for the sunrise everyday and therefore we are not in cold darkness? How much more does THE Bridegroom (John 3:29) extend beyond just the warming of your flesh to warming your soul?

Read over and meditate on the rest of this Psalm.  May the truth of its words edify your soul and spirit. edification.  “May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord.”  I am indeed thankful.images

Thankful to be in His grace and thankful for you,

Amanda

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The Cost of Fear

“For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, “ Abba, Father!” The Spirit Himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God’s children.”  Romans 8:15-16a

Glory to God in Heaven for that!  A spirit of slavery gives us fear.  The Spirit of adoption gives us the Father.  The Spirit of God testifies with our spirit that it is true!  We should not allow fear to harass us.

Fear is a learned emotion.  There is also an unlearned component of fear that is an automatic response enabling us to properly identify and escape danger.  Psychologist label this automatic response to fear as ‘fight or flight’.  The problem is most of the time when our ‘fight or flight’ response is triggered it is a miscue because our emotions have improperly identified something as fearful.  What we unfortunately have learned to fear is not Godly fear but the kind of fear which operates in the Devil’s domain.

Rarely is there a need for the multitude of responses our body gears up for in the ‘fight or flight’ scenario such as rapid heart rate and increased blood pressure, diverted blood, increased blood-glucose levels, muscle tension, nonessential systems shutting down to allow energy to be diverted elsewhere, and don’t even think about trying to focus on anything else. All of this because of a miscue.  99% of the time the only bodily response we really need in the face of fear is prayer.

The part of the brain that initiates the ‘fight or flight’ response can’t distinguish between a real threat and a perceived threat, or what I am calling a miscue.  Think of the things in your life that provoke you to fear.  The following are some examples.  Allow the Spirit to bring to your mind what truly causes you to be fearful so they come out of hiding and into the light of His healing.  At the Cross of Christ exchange your fears for His powerful peace.

Being alone, a diagnosis, lack, rejection, potential for pain, the unknown, aging, failure, embarrassment…

Fear is an outworking of the flesh and has a cost.  Trust is a dependence on God and has a benefit.  We are continuously presented with cues throughout our day and we get to choose how to respond to them.  We do not have to be puppets to our emotions.  The condition of our heart is what will drive our emotions.  If your heart is joyful and secure in the Lord, fear of things that threaten the flesh (including heart and mind) will not overtake your emotions.  We are spirit with flesh and blood – not flesh and blood with a spirit.  We get to tell our emotions how to respond.  We get to depend on God for a remedy for all our emotional baggage.  All of it.

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DIVA (Divinely Inspired Victoriously Anointed), we have the brilliant anointing of God therefore we must live by the cues of the Spirit not by the miscues of the flesh.  Fear tries to reside in our thoughts relating to the future.  It generally is a product of our imagination miscuing us to fear things that do not exist and may never exist.  GOD IS REAL AND HE IS YOUR FUTURE.  We must stop believing the lies of the enemy that our future consists of a bundle of fearful things.  It is nothing but a lie.

So what is the cost of fear?  The definition of cost is ‘to require a payment (something of value) in an exchange. (dictionary.com)  You give up the promises of God in exchange for the lies of the enemy.  The enemy comes out ahead and it has cost you dearly.  Are you willing to give up what it costs?

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So, we can (1) Forget Everything And Run or we can (2) Face Everything and Rise.  Do you want to allow the enemy to cause you to Run away from the ground God has given you or do you want to Rise up and defend who God says you are – The Child of the King.  The King owns the ground.  He has empowered you to defend the ground He has entrusted you to guard.  Guard every inch of your emotions.  Let a red flag wave if fear creeps into your heart.  It is a signal to Rise another level in trust with God.  It is not condemnation it is an opportunity.

We are told Jesus has conquered the world.   That means He has conquered all things that threaten our peace. He is working things through and sometimes those trials give the appearance of something fearful.  Trust him completely because He has already seen the entire picture – beginning to end.  We see in part and that part may indeed appear fearful at times.  If a mechanic took apart your entire engine to repair it and you saw it scattered in pieces around the ground you might be prompted to fear if you did not trust him to fit it back together again.  Fellow believer, He knows how all pieces fit.

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We have to let the Spirit of God and His written word be our ‘filter’ for all our sensory perceptions in order for us to be able to respond in Godly ways and to keep ourselves healthy.  Let’s stop paying the high cost of fear and let’s instead choose to live freely in truth by His noble grace.  Amen. By the shed blood of Jesus Christ of Nazareth you are:

Calm…Heroic…Bold…Intrepid…Dauntless…Courageous…Resolute…Secure…Gallant…Valiant

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It is time to say NO to fear.  You have been a back-stabbing friend to us far too long.  You are Divinely Inspired.  Your inspired thoughts are of the things of God not the debilitating cues of the enemy.

In His noble grace,

Amanda

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How Do You Respond?

“To what should I compare this generation? It’s like children sitting in the marketplaces who call out to each other: We played the flute for you, but you didn’t dance; we sang a lament, but you didn’t mourn!”  Matthew 11:16-17

The caption over this portion of Scripture is An Unresponsive Generation and the one speaking is Jesus.  He described this unresponsive generation as one that hears good news but does not celebrate and one that hears bad news and does not grieve.  When was the last time you heard good news regarding the Kingdom of God?  What did you do when you heard it?  Fellow Believers, let’s not be out of sync with the biblical season we are in.  Shall we turn our hearts to the things that Jesus loves and our backs to the things He hates?  When you hear a good word concerning God’s people or the Kingdom does it FILL your heart with joy?  Upon hearing of tribulations does your heart bemoan?  I have included a good word given us by one of our church pastors.  I pray it FILLS your heart with joy today!

A Word of Encouragement given by the Lord to Malcolm Hedding for all Christians:

On the morning of the 20th October at 4:30 I was awakened suddenly and experienced these words flooding my mind and heart. I cannot quite describe it as it was as if I was detached from them and was gazing at them as they rolled by in front of me. Still more amazing was the fact that they were etched on my memory immediately meaning that I could write them down some hours later word for word. That evening at the final plenary event of the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem, I declared them over the assembled delegates. Scripture states that a prophetic word should be tested so I share this with you for your testing. I personally believe that Jesus gave me these prophetic insights. So, here they are:

“I say unto you, a great darkness, indeed a thick and heavy darkness, is coming upon the earth …….but, I will give you light, a light that will penetrate the darkness and overcome it. Be not afraid because this will be an hour of testing for many in My Church, and even one of persecution, but be faithful in your sufferings for I have overcome the world. Truly those whom I call to walk this road share in the fellowship of My sufferings. This My people is a privilege!

Moreover, a great light will come from My throne upon Israel. Those who have despised My people will be put to shame, says the Lord. But you will rejoice because you have been faithful to me for them. Therefore, for you who have borne My name, a great joy will flood your hearts, indeed a joy that will rise up within you like a great tidal wave. It will be your strength, it will give you courage and it will fill your hearts with peace.

Above all know this, I am coming quickly, yes I am coming quickly and my reward is with Me and therefore hold fast what you have. Moreover, lift up your heads heavenward for I stand at heaven’s door and shortly it will open and I will come forth with great glory and, as My feet stand upon the Mount of Olives, I tell you, My glory will fill the whole earth.

Go forth then with joy and have in your hearts this blessed hope!

Malcolm Hedding

We are told in Philippians 4:6-9 not to worry about anything.  We are to pray in all things with a thankful heart and in doing so, God’s peace will surpass our every thought.   Whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, morally excellent and praise worthy — dwell on these things.  If we are dwelling on every ounce of goodness this leaves NO ROOM for dwelling on harmful thoughts.   Amen.

“Indeed, the Lord God does nothing without revealing His counsel to His servants the prophets. A lion has roared; who will not fear?  The Lord God has spoken; who will not prophesy?” (Amos 3:7-8)  Friends, listen for the roar of the Lion.  Let it drown out every other white noise around you.  Psssst….Jesus is coming soon!  Be joyful and pass it on!

In His grace,

Amanda

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♕ Beauty From The Ashes

Jesus gives…..”beauty instead of ashes, festive oil instead of mourning, and splendid clothes instead of despair.  And they will be called righteous trees planted by the LORD to glorify Him.”  Isaiah 61:3

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Greetings beautiful DIVAs!  Be strong and cast aside all things that hinder you today from being the Divinely Inspired and Victoriously Anointed daughter of the King you are meant to be!

Another way of saying ‘beauty instead of ashes’ is ‘beauty in place of ashes’ or ‘beauty is the reversal of ashes’. It speaks of reversing the deep sorrow of suffering to the glorious freedom of restoration. Praise God!

Do you know the joy of your salvation? That specific joy that surpasses all understanding? The kind of authentic joy that has no bounds nor does it for an instant bow to the human intellectual rational? Jesus Christ Himself is the joy of your salvation!

We can all identify with the sort of superficial joy that proceeds from fleeting, single-dimensional happiness. We can somehow possess laughter while the heart grieves. This is superficial joy.  Let’s keep in mind that even this laughter is welcomed but it is not what your Father has fathomed for you.

According to Merriam-Webster, joy is defined as ‘a source or cause of great happiness; something or someone that gives joy to someone; success in doing, finding, or getting something.’ This is a description of joy that is surface and does not have the power to penetrate the deep place in us that craves an everlasting joy. The kind that does not depend upon our circumstances, other people, or our situations. Do you find yourself satisfied with the superficial joys that Jesus had no part in delivering? If so, your soul longs to be awakened to this authentic joy whether you recognize it or not.

Can you imagine the scene…you are imprisoned by your own sin, your own bitterness, your own anger, your own sadness, or your own feelings of unworthiness. Then here comes Jesus. He frees you from your imprisonment, brushes off the ashes, and your beauty is revealed. You no longer are a slave to your worst self. You anoint your forehead with the oil of gladness and you are given the robe of righteousness instead of the robes of despair.  Beautiful.

Our circumstances might not change but we instead are the ones that experience the magnificent reversal and are then invited to be a witness of this reversal to others; all for His glory! We draw from the joy that resides deep within us. The joy that allows us to view our situations through a different lens ~ the lens of faith, hope, and love. “Though the fig tree does not bud and there is no fruit on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will triumph in Yahweh; I will rejoice in the God of my salvation!” (Habakuk 3:17-18) Now that is a joy clearly not dependent on current circumstances! Amen!  Thank you Lord for your Spirit that invites this to be a reality in my life!

Receive the authentic joy of the Lord. This is your enduring strength. One of the definitions for the word ‘tree’ in Isaiah 61 is ‘anything strong‘. Receive the joy of your salvation, receive the righteousness of God (an exchange provided for by the Cross of Christ), receive your strength ~ you ARE STRONG. Your LORD has planted you in your situation so that you (His child) have an opportunity to bring Him glory. Bring it child!

❈Reflection Questions❈

  1. How do you feel knowing Jesus, your first love, takes the ashes (the residue of something destroyed) of your circumstances and creates beauty from it? Will you give your ashes to Him full of anticipation of what He will do?
  2. How can you show yourself strong in the Lord today?

In His grace,

Amanda

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