January 17, 2017

Remember Who and Whose You Are

I love the story of David and Goliath (1 Samuel 17). The story of the little shepherd boy who defeated a 9 foot giant with only a sling and a stone. This past year, I felt as if I was against a giant. A giant so big, I felt helpless to battle it.

God took me back to this familiar story. What could I learn from this little shepherd boy He tapped to become the King of Israel?

The words I heard: Wendy, through this story, I am reminding you of who and Whose you are.

Who-I-am.LisaBuffaloe

Before David ever stepped foot on that battle field to fight Goliath, he knew who and Whose he was. We see this first through the words David spoke to King Saul when he volunteered to fight Goliath.

“Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine” (1 Samuel 17:34-37).

The shepherd boy remained undaunted because he remembered his personal experiences with God. How God faithfully provided for him as he watched over his sheep. David refused to allow the words of his brothers, King Saul or anyone else to define and direct him. Instead, he went back to the last place God had been faithful. The last time God provided for his every need.

As children of the Living God, we too should never allow someone else’s words or opinions define and direct us. We must STOP listening to the words of man and return to the last time God was faithful. Recall His faithfulness. The times we remember Him acting, moving, and providing on our behalf.

We again see how David remembered who and Whose he was through the words he spoke to Goliath:

You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands” (1 Samuel 17:45-47).

David measured Goliath not against his own strength but against the strength of his God. In the physical realm, the 9 foot giant should have won the battle. But he didn’t. David won and won big! He won big because the Commander of Heaven’s Armies was on his side. And He’s on our side too, my friend! Sometimes I forget this.

Whatever our obstacle … fear anxiety, sickness, financial struggles, marriage, rebellious children, depression … we do not fight alone. The Commander of Heaven’s Armies is on our side. He is for us and with us. His very Spirit indwells us to equip and empower us. He promises that we can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens us.

The key is remembering who and Whose we are.

We have a cloud of witnesses behind us who knew this same truth. When Abraham acknowledged and depended on God, God made him the father of many nations. When Moses acknowledged and depended on God, He parted the Red Sea. When Joshua acknowledged and depended on God, the walls came tumbling down. When Daniel acknowledged and depended on God, the angel of the Lord shut the mouths of lions.

Is there something in your life over which the Lord wants to give you victory? Do you believe it’s too big for God? Reread the story of David and Goliath with fresh eyes and an open heart.

And then pray David’s prayer with me:

Father, today I come to you feeling overwhelmed. Powerless. Weak, feeling as if I can’t breathe. Like I can’t take that next step. I want to curl up and hide from the world. But, Father, I know those are lies. So, in full confidence, I come to You, the Commander of Heaven’s Armies, knowing who and Whose I am. In my weakness, You are strong. In my fear, You are brave. In my anxiety, You are peace. In my sadness, You are joy. In my despair, You are hope.

Today, I remember your faithfulness …  the last time You walked me through a hard place. You used it to mold, prune and train me. Through it You ensured I depended upon You and Your alone. You used it for my good and Your glory. Keep that memory ever before me. I want to trust You here again because I know You are for me.

This is YOUR battle. I know You are on my side. I trust You for victory. Empower me to walk through this in Your strength and power. I ask this in Jesus’ mighty and powerful Name. Amen.

If you prayed this prayer with me today, please let me know.

April 7, 2016

First 5: Fix Your Eyes on Jesus w/Giveaway

“We must exchange whispers with God before shouts with the world.” Lysa TerKeurst, First 5 App.

FixEyesOnJesus

How do you begin your day?

Eyes fixed on Jesus

OR

Eyes fixed on your “to do” list

Option 2 was me a few days ago. So much to do today, Lord. I’ll feel much better if I just get these  three e-mails sent, my son’s lunch made and a few texts out of the way. Then I’ll meet with You.

That choice affected my perspective for the remainder of my morning. It started with a few choice words to my dog for throwing up under my desk. And next my son for failing to awaken early to do the chores I had asked him to do the night before. And finally my husband. I’ll leave that left unsaid. But you get the picture.

I wish this was a one time occurrence, but I confess there are days I jump out of bed and head into my day with the best of intentions to meet with Jesus later. But later never seems to come … until the next morning.

When the hard stuff hits that particular day, I have nothing. I’m empty. Without whispers from God, my emotions take the lead. Depending on the circumstances that arise, it might be impatience, anger, or unforgiveness. None of them productive or good. And most lead to shouts with the world.

The reason the Lord invites us to meet with Him in the morning is to shift our perspective off that “to do” list and onto Him.

In that quiet, focused place, we create space for Jesus to nourish our souls. When we open His living and active Word, it comes alive in our hearts. It takes root. The longer we linger, the more it remains. Over time it fills our hearts and saturates our minds.

If we begin our day with our eyes FIXED on Jesus,

when our circumstances seem impossible, we remember all things are possible! (Luke 18:27).

when we feel over committed and exhausted, we remember come to Me, and I will give you rest! (Matthew 11:28-30).

when we feel unloved and unworthy, we remember I love you with an everlasting love, and you are the apple of my eye. (Jeremiah 31:3, Zechariah 2:8).

when we feel lost and confused, we remember you will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart; I know the plans I have for you … plans for good and not disaster, to give you a future and a hope; I will direct your steps. (Jeremiah 29:11, 13; Proverbs 3:5-6).

when we have tasks that seem too great or beyond our strength, we remember you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you! (Philippians 4:13).

when we’re worried and anxious about many things, we remember do not be anxious for anything and cast all your cares upon me! (Philippians 4:6, 1 Peter 5:7).

when we feel alone, we remember I will never leave you or forsake you! (Hebrews 13:5).

If you struggle with fixing your eyes in Jesus, especially first thing in the morning, accept my invitation to meet us each morning for a short Bible teaching on our Proverbs 31 First 5 App.

First5.Logo.150[2][2]I have the privilege of serving on the writing team, along with 5 other amazingly gifted women. We are journeying through the Bible, one book at time. We have studied John, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Hebrews and soon we will jump into the book of Acts. Over 800,000 have signed up to fix their eyes on Jesus, and we would LOVE to have you! If you want to learn more, click here.

Leave a comment today and let me know if you have signed up for First 5 or if you are planning to sign up today! I will choose one winner from the comments to receive a copy of my new book, I Know His Name, and the accompanying teaching DVD. If you want to know more about my new book, click here.

A prayer for you …

Heavenly Father, forgive us for not inviting You into our lives each and every day. For every woman You have brought here, help her FIX her eyes on Jesus. As she commits to meet with You, show up in very personal ways, ways that she will KNOW that it is You. Big ways and small show up. Help her to know down to the depths of her soul how much You love and care about her. Help her to trust You in her circumstances. Give her a word, a touch, a whisper, anything she needs to hear Your voice. Thank You for Your promise that when we seek You with all our hearts, we will find You. Today we claim that promise and invite You to show up BIG as we fix our eyes on You. Thank You that You will do great and mighty works in our midst. I ask all this in Jesus’ powerful Name. AMEN

Blessings,

February 29, 2016

Grief: Finding Hope in God’s Word and Prayer

My heart aches with grief today. This past week I’ve walked alongside dear friends and families reeling from the loss of a child. One a precious six-year-old boy and another a twenty-year-old young man with a promising future ahead of him. Both deaths unexpected. Tragic. Devastating.

How can I come alongside my friends? I’ve never walked this road. I’ve never lost a child. I can only imagine because I have two of my own.

The desire to comfort filled my heart, but the words just didn’t come. When they did, they seemed trite. Insufficient for a grief so great. So I went to the One who has comforted me in my darkest times.

God reminded me of truths from His Word.

Timeless truths.

Promises that transcend circumstances.

Healing words.

Hope-filled words.

Words that are living and active and penetrating (Hebrews 4:12).

Words that promise not to return empty when spoken and prayed (Isaiah 55:11).

HopeinYouAlone

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” Matthew 5:4

“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18

“The LORD heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3

“Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.” Psalm 30:5

“[B]ut those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” Isaiah 40:31

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.  When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze, for I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.” Isaiah 43:2-3a

And then He gave me this prayer …

Abba Father, when I try to understand the loss of a child, it seems senseless, even cruel. It seems troublesome in my sight until I bring it to You … till I come into Your sanctuary, then I remember that nothing comes into our lives that has not first passed through Your hands (Psalm 103:19, Psalm 139:1-18).

Father, lead  these broken parents consumed by pain, grief, and hurt to You, the One who created their child and loves him more than anyone ever could.

I ask that during this time of deep grief, You supply all their needs according the riches of Your glory found only in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19). Thank You for Your promise that as they draw near to You that You will come near to them (James 4:8).  Surround them with Your loving kindness. Thank You that Your compassions never fail.  They are new every morning.  Great is Your faithfulness (Lamentations 3:22-24).
 
Father, thank You that those who wait for You will gain new strength.  They will mount up with wings like eagles.  They will run and not be tired, they will walk and not grow weary (Isaiah 40:31).  We pray these promises, Father …  for them to walk in Your strength, to be lifted on the wings of Your angels, to be carried by Your love.
 
Thank You for Your promise that Your eyes range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to You. Draw close to them now (2 Chronicles 16:9). Minister to them as only You can do.
 
We stand on this promise for this family:  ‘For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.  Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart’ (Jeremiah 29:11-13). Their devastating loss seems to make absolutely no sense. A life cut short before it’s fully lived. But in Your plan, Lord, somehow it does. We cannot see it or understand right now. But I boldly ask that in their sorrow, pain, and grief, as they seek You, may they find You in a way they never have before. And I ask that You uphold them with Your MIGHTY right hand.  Let them trust in Your plan even though right now seems senseless.  
 
Remind them that, although it may feel like it now, NOTHING will ever separate them from Your love, neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither things present nor in the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth or anything in all creation will ever separate them from the love of God that is found in Christ Jesus their Lord (Romans 8:38-39).
 
Thank You, Father, that the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart You will not despise (Psalm 51:17).  Father, meet them in their brokenness, fill them with love, slowly pick up the pieces and begin to put them together to make a new thing of beauty, whatever that looks like to You, Father.
 
Father, give them courage and strength to believe this promise:  DO NOT BE AFRAID OR DISMAYED FOR THE LORD YOUR GOD IS WITH YOU WHEREVER YOU GO (Joshua 1:9).  And Father, no matter where they are or who they are with, as the grief settles may they see You and experience You. Protect their hearts from well-meaning but hurtful words. Place Your ministering angels around every corner so they know You are with them.
 
Help me and all those who love and care for them continue to devote ourselves to praying for them. Prompt us and make our spirits sensitive to pray.  Whenever we think of this child, hear his name, see his school or something he loved, whatever is it is You bring to our hearts, REMIND us to pray for these parents and this family. Thank You, Father, what is impossible with men, is possible with You (Luke 18:27).
 
Finally, Father, we take comfort in 2 Corinthians 4:16-18:  ‘Therefore we do not lose heart.  Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we FIX OUR EYES ON NOT WHAT IS SEEN BUT WHAT IS UNSEEN since what is seen is temporal, but what is unseen is eternal.’ I ask all this in Jesus’ most precious and powerful name. Amen.

My sweet friends, thank you for allowing me the opportunity to share what burdens my heart today. I pray God uses it to bring comfort and hope to you as well.

If you have a family who needs this prayer, please feel free to share it. And if you are one who has lost a child and needs prayer today, please leave your name so we can pray for you.

**** I promised to announce the winners of our “I Know His Name” Bible Study Class Registration today. So below, please find the two winners. You should be hearing from Proverbs 31 Ministries very soon to receive your gifts!!

Cindy H

Mary M

Blessings to you,