I have a friend who travels for ministry across the USA and also internationally. This involves a great amount of time on airplanes and in airports. She recently posted on Facebook about having extra time in the airport while waiting on a her next flight. She decided to try one of those message chairs that you put money in and it messages you. It sounded nice and like a relaxing way to spend some of the extra time! However, she soon found out that it messaged the legs also and was clamping down on her legs. She could not escape the grasp of the chair and there was not a panic button to release her legs and let her up. People who tried to rescue her from the chair only made things worse as they tried pushing different buttons to try to free her. As I read her account, although I felt bad for her, I will admit that I could not help but chuckle as I vividly pictured this whole scenario taking place!
There are some spiritual lessons I thought about from her ordeal. Sometimes things can look or sound like great ideas but once we are engaged in them, we find out that we really wish we had never gotten involved. Satan is always looking for ways to catch us off guard and entrap us. He can appear even as an angel of light so he can make something seem like a great idea but it might be a trick to get us into his chair. The Bible tells us not to be ignorant of the devices of Satan. As Christians, we need to be vigilant in prayer and ask for God’s discernment in our lives. Not everything that looks or sounds good is God, it could be a trap!
This morning on FB, it brought up something that I wrote and posted on there in 2013. It is still just as relevant today as it was when I wrote it. I have added a little more to it. I feel that this message is vital to all of us.
A friend posted on her FB page that she laughed the hardest she ever had in her life. That is awesome because laughter is good for us. It has been proven that laughter releases endorphins that have very positive effects on our bodies. It feels so good to laugh. There is strength in laughter. Nehemiah 8:10 says “the joy of the LORD is your strength.” Proverbs 17:22 says “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.”
I heard about a lady who had terminal cancer and she heard this scripture and made a decision to laugh in the face of her adversity. Not only did her life change from despair to joy, but she was healed of the cancer! This was a documented healing. There IS power in joy and laughter. Don’t feel like laughing? I am sure she didn’t at first either!
If you are not feeling joy right now, there is hope for you. In Psalm 30:5 it says “weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”
Jesus came “To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified” (Isaiah 61:3).
Here is how to get joy… “In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11). May all of you experience joy and laughter today! Spend time in the presence of the Lord.
If joy and laughter are not allowed to flow, the Spirit of the Lord is quenched because joy is part of the nature of God and it is one of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). If you don’t FEEL like laughing, do it anyway! If you have to force it and it feels uncomfortable and fake at first, do it anyway! Even if you just say “ha, ha, ha” and it does not feel like real laughter, do it anyway! The same thing goes for smiling. You have control over your face and even the very act of smiling will brighten the day of others and you also will reap the rewards! Make it a point to laugh and smile today and see how it lifts your mood and also helps others!
via Daily Prompt: Quicken
But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you. Romans 8:11 KJV
This morning I asked my friend to give me a title to write about on my blog. She gave me the title “The Weight of It” so here I go.
Weights can be either a good or bad things. If you are a body builder, you might actually like lifting weights because you know that lifting weights is good resistance training and will build muscles. If you are not a body builder, you might not like weights because they could slow you down or be cumbersome to try to lift or carry. If we try to carry even a small weight, after a prolonged period of time, it can feel like it is VERY heavy! A five pound bag would seem like nothing to lift out of a grocery bag and put on the shelf but if you were carrying it around for the whole day, it may seem like one hundred pounds!
Many of us have been carrying weights around for many years and we have been slowed down or burdened by them. They might have caused discouragement, depression, hopelessness and other negative things in our lives. When we first picked up the weight, it seemed small and insignificant so maybe we did not see it as a problem but after carrying it for a while, the weight of it has taken a toll on us. Maybe someone offended you at some point (that is inevitable in life) and instead of letting go of it, you have carried the weight of it! By now, it may have caused the weight of unforgiveness, anger, bitterness, hatred, resentment and other negative things. It is no longer a small weight that you carry but a huge weight that prevents you from living a joyful life of victory.
Hebrews 12:1-2 says:
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Are you carrying weights around that you need to drop? Decide to release anything that you have been carrying that should NOT belong to you and you will see how great life can be without the weight of it.
Have you ever thought or said the words “if only”? I have been guilty of thinking and saying that so many times in my life and still slip up and think or say it occasionally. I have wished many times that time machines and time travel were realities so that I could travel back and make different decisions for my life. Of course, I would want the wisdom I have acquired over the years when I did go back in time so that I would not repeat the same things a second time. I am sure that most people who are honest would admit that they also have wished they could go back and make different choices.
Have you ever tried to drive forward while looking in the rearview mirror? If you try to do that, you will crash because you are concentrating on what is behind you while trying to go forward! We all could learn from that analogy. Philippians 3:13-14 says:
13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Paul realized that in order to reach forward, you have to quit looking backwards. If we choose to live in the past and concentrate on past mistakes, we will never move forward. When we repent for the sins, mistakes and bad decisions of our past, God not only forgives us but He forgets those things and wipes the slate clean. However, sometimes we hold those things against ourselves and have trouble letting them go. The good news is that, if we choose to do so, we can let them go and start moving forward. If we learned from our past mistakes, we have gained knowledge and wisdom to help us with future decisions so we don’t repeat the same things. Our past can either keep holding us back or help us with our future! The decision is ours so the next time we have that thought or start to speak those words, we need to stop that in its’ tracks and look forward!
This is the post excerpt.
The Forgotten Aspect of Prayer
January 31, 2017
I was in a corporate prayer meeting last Thursday and God was speaking to me as I was sitting quietly. He began to speak to me about prayer. The Church (Christians) talk so much about prayer and many recognize the importance of prayer but many are missing one very essential part of what having a strong prayer life should mean to us. If I were to ask people what prayer means to them, some of the answers I would probably hear include “prayer is asking God to do things” or ‘prayer is asking God to bless my family and friends.” These things are definitely a part of prayer but unfortunately, many people think that is all there is to prayer. I want to draw your attention to something that should be a very huge part of our prayer life that is overlooked or neglected. In order for us to have a prayer life that is effective and one that brings about greater results, we must understand what should really be included in our prayer life.
When we talk to the Lord, we need to recognize that He is the greatest, most faithful and loving friend that we could ever have in our lives. It is true that He is the Supreme Being, the Maker of Heaven and earth and He deserves great respect from us but He is also the best friend we could ever hope to have and He wants a personal and intimate relationship with us. If you have a best friend, when you get together with that friend, a big part of the friendship is conversation. If you did all of the talking and your friend could never get a word in edgewise, your friend would begin to feel like you did not care enough to listen to their feelings and hear what they had to say. That is not a conversation but a monologue! Now, try to imagine what it would be like to be God. Day and night people are pleading with you to meet their requests but they don’t stop to be quiet and let you talk to them. God is Wisdom and He desires to speak into our lives and give to us wisdom, knowledge, understanding and revelation but are we listening? Do we take time to be quiet as a regular part of our prayer lives or do we just submit our requests to Him and then go about our business as usual. What message are we sending to the Lord? Lord, I just need you to do these things for me but I don’t really have time right now to be quiet and still to hear what you want to say. How sad! That is not a relationship with the Lord but it is using God as a sugar daddy in Heaven who is the one that we run to when we need something.
Many years ago, God showed me that most people are geared towards activity. Quietness can actually be uncomfortable to people who are so used to activity and noise. I have been in “churches” where people get very uncomfortable if there is quiet. You can hear feet shuffling or nervous coughing because they are not accustomed to being quiet. God, on the other hand, loves the quiet because it is an opportunity for Him to speak into our lives, if we are listening! I have some questions for all of us. When is the last time that you just got still and quiet and listened for the still small voice of God? Was it uncomfortable? Did you find your mind wandering? Were you able to truly quiet your mind enough to listen? Think about these questions and answer them honestly. If quietness and stillness was uncomfortable and you wrestled with it, you need to spend more time on it and learn how to appreciate the quietness and having that time as a regular part of your prayer life. Doesn’t God deserve our time? Don’t we need to hear from God? I know that I need to have a conversation with God instead of a monologue because I need His guidance in my life. There used to be a commercial for a company that said when they spoke everyone listened. Don’t we need to hear from God more than any person or company? I challenge all of us to start being quiet as a part of our prayer lives. Start with just a few minutes and as you learn to be still, increase the time. Pray that God will teach you to be still and really listen for Him to speak. You will be amazed at how God can and will change your life as you learn that He has awesome things to share with you that are life-changing! Try having a real relationship with Him and watch what happens!