Receive The Powerful Influence Of The Word

Precious Words
by: Emily Dickinson

He ate and drank the precious Words ~
His Spirit grew robust ~
He knew no more that he was poor,
Nor that his frame was dust~

He danced along the dingy Days
And this Bequest of Wings
Was but a Book ~ What Liberty
A loosened spirit brings ~

Greetings fellow sojourning DIVAs!  Praying you are finding contentment with your circumstances and joy unending in Jesus Christ of Nazareth!  Let’s walk through this poem and discover the emancipating spiritual application.  Keep looking back at the poem to recall the words.

Do you perceive if you allow it, the written word will exert a powerful influence upon your spirit? Do you consider the Word of God to be precious to you as Emily Dickinson spoke of it?  The Lord says, “I satisfy the thirsty person and feed all those who are weak.” (Jeremiah 31:25) And, “If anyone is thirsty, he should come to Me, and drink!” ( John 7:27) The following verse in Isaiah shows us six ways we can drink Christ as the living water:

You will joyfully draw water
from the springs of salvation,
and on that day you will say:
Give thanks to Yahweh; proclaim His name!
Celebrate His works among the peoples.
Declare that His name is exalted.
Sing to Yahweh, for He has done glorious things.
Let this be known throughout the earth.
Cry out and sing, citizen of Zion,
for the Holy One of Israel is among you
in His greatness.”  Isaiah 12:3-6

Expect, after you drink Christ as the living water, for your spirit to become strong and healthy.  Inform your soul that in Christ you are no longer poor in spirit nor are you unable to do the things the Lord has laid out for you because your souls feels weak.

Drink in the precious words of Christ and it will enable you to not feel burdened by the darkness of these days but you will rejoice in the Light that is in you!  Allow the Light in you to shine in the darkness ~2 Corinthians 4:6 (in these dingy days)!

How do we soar above these days and above our circumstances?  By the lightness we feel when the Word of truth is tucked in our hearts.  Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you.”  (John 14:27) And, “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:30)  Don’t be tied to the things of this world but instead be set free from this world’s burdens as Christ indeed has set you free.  Because of this, don’t desire to turn back to chains!  (Galatians 5:1)

Do you know what “Liberty a loosened spirit brings”?  Lazarus experienced deliverance when Jesus came to his aid.  “The dead man (Lazarus) came out bound hand and foot with linen strips and with his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him and let him go.” (John 11:44)  Paul and Silas choose to pray and sing even though they were shackled in chains in prison and as a result “suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the jail were shaken, and immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s chains came loose.”  (Acts 16:26)  Do you know this freeing liberty of a spirit not hindered by chains?  When nothing is keeping you tethered to this world?

Let’s look at some verses that speak of how Jesus is the Word and how powerful that Word is:

“The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact expression of His nature, sustaining all things by His powerful word.”  Hebrews 1:3a

“The things concerning Jesus the Nazarene, who was a Prophet powerful in action and speech before God and all the people.”  Luke 24:19

“For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.”  Hebrews 4:12

“He wore a robe stained with blood, and His name is the Word of God.”  Revelation 19:13

Emily Dickinson was said to have written, “To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else.”  To live this life as we see fit or how someone else sees fit for us, I suppose can be “so startling it leaves little time for anything else.”  However, this is not the way the Lord has intended us to live. For us to truly live we are to live to Christ (Philippians 1:21).  In this way, life itself does not become startling nor overwhelming and it leaves time for all things Christ.

The Word BECAME flesh. (John 1:14)  Can you imagine the power involved for the Word to become wrapped with flesh?  What will you allow the Word to become in your life?  Will you allow your mind to receive the powerful influence of the Word?  If so, it will loosen your spirit.  Let’s not hesitate for a moment to receive.

In His grace,

Amanda

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The Untraceable Yet Undeniable Ways of God

“Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God!
How unsearchable His judgments and untraceable His ways!”     Romans 11:33

Greetings my fellow sojourners!  Aren’t we tremendously blessed to have DIVAs companions walking alongside us in this faith walk together!  You bless me!  I have attached several verses below that are well worth the trip to your Bible.  You will be blessed as you read them so please do not pass them up!

God gave the oceans their boundaries (Proverbs 8:29, Jeremiah 5:22, Job 38:11).  Have you at any time contemplated the veracity of that statement as you noticed the incredible expanse of the sea and the power it possesses?  Why does it halt at the sand and not flood the entire earth with its incredibly capable force?  Because…God gave the sea a boundary line.  This truth perpetually renders me speechless and amazed every time I get to behold the sea and all its wonder.  God is completely in control of His creation.  Not one created thing is more brilliant, more capable, more powerful, more intelligent than God.  No one.  God gave the ocean and boundary line and God also gave Satan a boundary.

So what about when events like tsunamis happen?  When giant waves caused by earthquakes or volcanic eruptions under the sea pass over the boundary God gave them?  This event can cause inland flooding by a thousand feet (300 meters) or more.  Entire beaches have even been stripped away by tsunamis.  Does this indicate an event outside of God’s control or out of His grasp?  Hardly.  When things seem to occur that appear to be out of sink with what God originally ordained we might me tempted to wonder if God is possibly ‘not in control’ of that crisis.  I read something recently along these lines regarding forest fires.  I find it utterly fascinating that forest fires are a healthy and necessary way for the forest (trees as well as animals living there) to maintain themselves.  Recently, we were hoping to visit the Okefenokee swamp but were unable to do so because of an enormous fire caused by a lightning strike.

We often think it a travesty when we hear of forest fires but if God created the forest to require natural burning in order to maintain the ecosystem,  who are we to call it a tragedy?   First of all, these fires turn dead trees and decaying plant matter to ash which then allows the nutrients to return to the soil instead of remaining captive in old vegetation.  Secondly, even rodents are caused to run out of the burning area and are then eaten by predators which ultimately helps to keep the rodent population in check.   Thirdly, some species of trees and plants are dependent on fire and must endure a fire every 3-25 years in order for life to continue.  Many forests struggle against diseases such as pitch canker and bark beetle infestations.  Fires often kill these pests and help keep the forest healthy.  In addition, when fire removes thick bands of shrubs, the water supply is increased because fewer plants are absorbing water.  Therefore, streams become fuller and thus benefiting other types of plants and animals.   So what about when a tsunami-like crisis hits our lives?  Do we know that God also gave Satan a boundary concerning us?  (Job 1:12, 2:6, Luke 22:31)

Do we think God allows trials in our lives that may seem harsh? (John15:2, Zechariah 13:9, Jeremiah 9:7, 1 Peter 1:7, Isaiah 48:10) Are we distraught when we realize God desires for us to hold our feet to the fire so that we become pliable for shaping?  Do we need to maybe allow the heat from God’s purifying flames to chase out what does not belong in our ‘temple’?  (1 Corinthians 3:16)  We must remember that God is for our good at all times and because we do not see all ends nor do we understand all situations we must suffer trials so that we ultimatley do not become content with the status quo.

Many times we can extract examples from nature and therefore understand spiritual applications in our own lives.  Can you see from these two examples how deep and rich God’s wisdom and knowledge is concerning nature?   On the surface, we may at times question what we hear and think and wonder, ‘how can that be’?  Even more so in our own lives, we are apt to look at our circumstances from purely a surface perspective because we do not have the willingness or maybe even the ability to see the depth of the purpose of the trial.  Are we willing to accept that His judgments are unsearchable and His ways untraceable?  I find it fascinating to think that try as we might we will not be able to trace out God’s ways and purposes. Do you trust Him enough in your own life that even if you do not understand your circumstance fully that He has an ultimate plan that is beyond your understanding?  Let’s both agree to trust God completely, even if we do not understand.

In His grace,

Amanda

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Be Serious, Be Alert, And Deploy The Sword Of Truth

Greetings fellow sojourning DIVAs!  I sure miss you!  My family and I recently toured Fort Moultrie, a fortification on Sullivan’s Island built to protect Charleston, South Carolina during the Revolutionary War.  I have always wanted to visit this southeastern part of the country and I had no idea I would love it so much!  I grew up being fond of this period of history partly because I have an ancestor that signed the Declaration of Independence.  As you have probably heard me mention before, I am apt to find a spiritual application for many of life’s experiences so as my family and I viewed a couple of men re-enacting how the army’s soldiers trained inside Fort Moultrie I found myself slack-jawed.  They demonstrated and explained how the soldiers were required to train for hours each day because they never knew when the enemy would attack and their proper training would mean the difference between success and failure.  As the soldiers trained, they were required to wear their full wool uniform which included pants, jacket, and hat (even in summer). This was so outrageous for me to even consider in my mind because the day we were there the temperature was 97 degrees and extremely humid!  I had a difficult time not losing my patience while standing there in comfortable shorts!  Whew!  The ranger and his volunteer went on to tell us the very specific order the soldiers had to follow as they grabbed ammunition, loaded and packed their weapons, and aimed and fired all without error 3 times every minute ~ that is every 20 seconds!  This perfection had to occur amidst 1) the smoke of their weapon fire,  2) the noise and smoke from every other soldier’s weapon firing, 3) even as the enemy approached on all sides (they still had to stand courageously), 4) comrades falling, 5) cumbersome uniforms and 6) the unrelenting heat.

Have you discerned the spiritual application yet?   The Bible, which is our guide book in this life, tells us the enemy roams around like a lion waiting for someone to devour.  So what are we doing to prepare ourselves for these encounters?

“Be serious! Be alert! Your adversary the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour. Resist him and be firm in the faith.”  1 Peter 5:8-9a

Imagine this truth flashing before your eyes written on a sign with a bright warning light. Our FOCUS most certainly is Jesus and not the enemy.  However, part of our time should be spent being ‘serious’ and ‘alert’, readying ourselves for the enemy’s approach and subsequent taunts so that we are not caught off our guard.   Therefore, we must put on our battle gear (Ephesians 6:11) just as these Revolutionary soldiers did and prepare ourselves for whenever the enemy may strike.  We should continually wash minds with the truth of the word so that we are not only prepared to defend ourselves with the ‘sword of truth’ at a moments notice but anyone else who might benefit from our help.  Like the soldiers, the way we prepare is by practicing.  We memorize scripture and we do it over and over again just like the soldiers practiced in order to be sharp.  They did not do it once a day and say ‘good enough, now I am hot and tired and done.’  They did it continually for hours each day even though their current conditions were less than ideal.  They practiced until they achieved what is called muscle memory ~ it was automatic.   I theorize that the common notion of not ‘being able’ to memorize something is a lie orchestrated by the enemy himself and we have lazily chosen to believe it.  He does not intend for us to pick up our sword (memorize scripture) and battle him.  He intends for us to be weak and helpless; accepting the status quo.  Don’t stand for it.  It does not matter if you do not have every single word of a verse you are memorizing perfect.  But you should know enough of the words to have an understanding of the meaning so that you can speak it out in your or someone else’s defense.  Practice this until you can use it and do not have to think about it.  Do it like the soldiers did.  Do it in the heat (during trials and when it is not comfortable or easy), do it as a part of your daily routine, do it amidst all the noise (in your own head and outside your head), do it when others around you are falling and it brings questions to your mind, do it when you know the enemy is approaching and tries to distract you, do it when ‘smoke screens’ are set up to persistently distract you, do it when life has it cumbersome seasons, and while you’re at it understand that your will must conform completely to what you are memorizing.   I believe we have become sloppy in our Christian life and in some respects, really desire to live a ‘spoon-fed’ existence.  This is a deception and an utter distraction.  You and I have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16) and by memorizing, internalizing, and applying scripture the closer we will draw to this truth.

Show the enemy you have no intention of sitting down while he looks for opportunities to launch his fiery darts.  Know God’s word and speak it out; this puts you on the offense as opposed to the constant defense.  Show the enemy you have a tenacious resolve and are no timid Christian when it comes to defending the rights you have as a child of God!!  Let’s be fully aware that this takes persistence, a mind fully engaged, and eyes focused on Jesus.  The heat of trials is no match for you!!  Before the trial comes, already have this settled!  When things look dark and fear tempts you to buckle, you will stand firm.  When the enemy puts up a smoke screen and taunts you to think you have nowhere to turn, you call out to the Father and expectantly wait for His direction.

This is what a warrior in God’s army does.  And this is what you must do.  You are much loved.

In His amazing grace,

Amanda

P.S.  Sure missing Deanna this week but she found the song for us!

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Who Are You By God’s Grace?

“But by God’s grace I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not ineffective.”                                                 1 Corinthians 15:10a

Greetings fellowing sojourning DIVAs!  As a child of the Creator, as a daughter of the King, as a taster of the Heavenly gift, we MUST know God’s grace and KNOW it is not ineffective in our lives!  If you find yourself operating under this delusion let this be a flag that you have been deceived.  I tell you, the enemy knows your weak points and will use them along with your flesh nature to try to minimize your effectiveness and your perceived value in the Kingdom of Heaven.  We should not allow this to be so DIVAs.  There is a difference in proclaiming our own righteousness and the righteousness of God!  The righteousness of God tells us who we are in Him and it is by His grace that we are effective!  Let’s not allow our past to cloud our focus, judgment, and ability regarding our present work.  We must place our faith in who we are IN CHRIST and not what mere man says we are or what we think our past dictates who we must be.

If our past dictates what our future will be then what does that say about our salvation?  Doesn’t our salvation give us a new future?  Salvation trumps all sin ‘cards’ you once held in your hand.  If you believe this, then push full-throttle into the life you have been given in Christ.  The covenant He made with you and me means we live the life He says we have been given not the life someone else (or ourselves) says we are destined to live.  If we put our focus on man instead of God we will believe what man says and the work we do will end up matching that belief.  If we put our focus on God and persevere in the work HE lays before us we will surprise even ourselves.

Have you ever consider the way you continually talk about your inability is an insult to your Creator?  Do we do this to sound humble before men or maybe it just tumbles out of our mouth because we feel slighted by God on account of our thinking He has overlooked us?  I have heard many times that saying “I am a saint” is outrageously boastful and farfetched.  Not making this claim in the earshot of man may on the surface to appear humble but stating this claim before God is careless.  Is it possible for God to save you for eternity but unable to sanctify you here on earth?  Is this a work beyond His ability?  Preposterous!  Is it an attitude of defiance on our part?  As the verse in Corinthians indicates, it is by God’s grace that you are what you are and His grace towards you is NOT ineffective.  His grace towards you is in regards to all things and, is not limited to salvation.

Search your heart.  Which relationship do you discern is most important to you?  Is it more important that you strive to be in right relationship with God or with His creation (spouse, children, parents, friends)?  His creation has not given you the gift of salvation nor has the ability to make you a saint through sanctification but are we acting as if we ‘owe it all’ to someone other than Him?  What do our actions reveal?  Is it not God that mercifully allows our heart to even continue to beat?  We must be careful that we do not sloppily misplace our gratitude.

Who are you by God’s grace?  A righteous saint with an important purpose in the kingdom of Heaven right now.  His grace towards you is NOT ineffective.  Stand boldly DIVAs, and keep your eyes on Jesus.

by His grace alone,

Amanda

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Do You Have An Indomitable Spirit?

Greetings all!  We all maintain very busy lives but just wondering what have you done this past week to demonstrate the love of Christ to someone?  I would love to hear!  As we navigate these busy lives do we understand that our mission is not our own personal successes but the successfulness of living FOR Christ?  I personally want to fully understand this point and am grateful for others that daily remind me of this valuable initiative.  What about you?  All who walk this journey behind me, next to me, and ahead of me bless me in indescribable ways.  Do you feel the same about others in your Christian walk?

So, what is an indomitable spirit anyway?  For starters, it would mean possessing a spirit that is nearly impossible to subdue or defeat!  Amen to that!  Synonyms for the word indomitable are:  invincible, unconquerable, unbeatable, unassailable (unable to be attacked, questioned, or defeated), invulnerable, unshakable, and unsinkable.  Do you consider yourself to be a person with an indomitable spirit?  Is your spirit unshakable in the face of trial?  How about in the face of daily subduing the flesh nature?  Are you able to conquer all things that come across your path solely by the power of the invincible Spirit?  Leaning in and yielding to the Spirit of the Living God that is in you will strengthen your spirit to become indomitable.

Below are some verses that highlight ways the Spirit of God is indomitable.  Let’s allow the Spirit to teach our spirit these characteristics and start consistently behaving in this fashion.  It is not impossible, improbable, nor impracticable!  By the power of the living God, we get to tell our brains what to think and direct our emotions what to feel.  Hallelujah!

“Who is the King of glory?  The Lord, strong and mighty; the Lord, invincible in battle.”  (Psalm 24:8) By yielding to the Spirit, we should expect to also be strong and mighty; invincible in our struggles to achieve the things of God as well as be able to resist the things of the enemy.

God’s righteousness is seen in the life of the Messiah.  Jesus had the Spirit without measure and through the Spirit of righteousness, He won the victory for us (Isa 11:5; 42:6, 21; 51:8; 53:11; 1Jo 2:1).  We have also been given the fullness of the Spirit and should allow our spirit to be trained to be invincible.

We all have certain unavoidable situations we tend to ‘wait out’ until the stress passes.  What we do in that ‘waiting’ should be a good indication of our spiritual health.  Do we wait in a sort of agonizing or a pitiful kind of way?  A way that indicates we have resigned ourself to the situation? Or do we pray ourself through the circumstance, all the while building ourself up in our most holy faith and completely trusting the invincible Lord in all the angles?

“The unassailable fortifications of your walls He will bring down, lay low and cast to the ground, even to the dust.”  (Isaiah 25:12)

Walls constructed by anyone but God WILL BE brought down and made of dust.  People may be tempted to think they are unassailable but God is the only unassailable One.

“Therefore the Lord God said:  Look, I have laid a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation; the one who believes will be unshakable.”  (Isaiah 28:16)

Is your spirit unshakable BECAUSE your one and only foundation in all areas of your life is Jesus Christ of Nazareth?  Have you been tested and found to be unshakable?  What if you faced every single trial that came your way and told yourself that you intended to be found unshakable in it?  Praise God!

“These will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will conquer them because He is Lord of lords and King of kings. Those with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.”  (Revelation 17:14)

The Lamb will conquer His enemies.  Do you intend to conquer your enemy by the power of the same Spirit?

“Peter started walking on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the strength of the wind, he was afraid. And beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out His hand, caught hold of him.”  (Matthew 14:29-31)

If is never Jesus’ power or faith that fails but ours.  When in the deep waters of your trial and you fear you might ‘sink’, reach out to Jesus.  He will catch hold of you and enable you.

Those that crucified Jesus may have thought they won the fight but little did they know Jesus is completely unbeatable.  What they assumed was His defeat was actually His obedience to the Father’s will which secured our salvation.  When we are in the Father’s will we should also consider ourselves to be unbeatable in relation to this world system.

Do you have an indomitable spirit?  Maybe you don’t quite yet but set that goal before you and reach for it.  Ask the Lord to guide you as you press forward, always remembering you have the same Spirit in you that Jesus had when He spent His time here.  You are a blessing!

In His grace,

Amanda

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