Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Submit Resist And Be Free

Notice the Cross?

The devil got you down? I don’t know about you, but my enemy comes daily to see if he can trip me up in one way or another. It can be exhausting when he hits on a weak or tender spot where I have not gain the upper hand yet. So…when I read the following scripture in James, hope arises. God’s order brings focus on how to handle the schemes of my adversary. 


Submit yourselves, then, to God.
Resist the devil,
and he will flee from you.  
James 4:7

The scripture has a three-step process. Submitting ourselves to God comes first. In this scripture, ‘submit’ means to voluntarily subdue yourself under your commander and cooperate with his instructions. 

Why does retreating into God’s Presence come first?
Let me suggest why it is a wise beginning.

First, we can anchor our soul in Him and make sure we have our armor in place.

Next, God can give us wisdom on scripture to claim and which angle to attack. He knows our maturity level and he adjusts the plan of action accordingly. When we head out to conqueror, we can be united with His strength and focus.

Thirdly, we can ask the Lord if there are any breaches in our wall of protection. This means checking up on your thought life and any questionable attitudes or lack of forgiveness. By searching ourselves for these infractions, we can sure up our boundaries where the enemy has legally come in and plundered.

The devil will first try to commandeer our thoughts by inserting his lies until he gets us to believe his leadings. When he has our way of thinking captured, he can subvert our will. After our thoughts and will are captured, then our devotion will fall sooner or later as well. So look for thought processes that are lies and do not line up with the Word.

Last, look for questionable attitudes, unjust judgments towards others or any unforgiveness. Sometimes, our attitudes are apparent so in essences we are choosing to believe a lie. However, other times we are unaware and need to pray for insight.  

When breaches are wiped out, then we can proceed confidently. Remember… your adversary is very skillful so he can be hard to detect. Cowering will only encourage your enemy to persevere and press farther into your life.

What does it mean to resist the devil?  In this scripture, it means to establish, to withstand, to oppose, and to resist. When we have come from the Presence of God with a plan, then we need to be consistent in carrying out that plan no matter what. It will involve establishing what you believe, speaking it forth and then sticking to your convictions no matter what thoughts, feelings or circumstances come your way. And if you fall down, get back up. It is never to late to gain a victory. Why? With God and His grace at your side, all things are possible.

When will the Devil flee?  The devil‘s goal is to get you to doubt God’s Word… to see his lies as truth instead. He will send whatever causes you to back off from the Truth until he knows you will not fudge or budge. Keep in mind… the longer you withstand, the stronger you become. Our endurance is matured in the struggle. In the end, God’s glory will radiate from us as a testimony to His faithfulness to uphold His Word.

Are you having trouble withstanding your adversary? Don’t give up. God is an ever-present with us. Give Him a chance to show you how profitable believing His word is. I promise you that you will not regret the time spent learning the process.

Friday, August 24, 2012

God Is All You Need

Welcome Madeleine Calcutt to Friday Friends. As you read her testimony and the scriptures she relies on, take time to remember when you made that decision to follow Christ. What Scriptures do you stand on to assure yourself of His presence in your life?

It has been said by someone wise,
“It is when all you have is God,
that you realize He is all you need.”

Twenty years ago, I was down on my knees with disaster happening around me in my family life and I realized that I could not deal with it on my own.  The trouble had been building up for decades and friends were no help.  I had no one but God.  He led me through the chaos and guided me through the mess in my mind, and cleared a pathway for me.  I got to know Jesus and accepted Him as Lord.  I knew that my sin would overcome me if I didn’t repent, so I did, and this opened the door to freedom and to an amazing relationship with God, and now I know that there is Someone there for me and I will never need to get desperate again.

As I reread my favorite scriptures daily, they help me to reaffirm my relationship with God.

2 Corinthians 4:8&9
We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.

Ps 34:18
The Lord is close to the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Philippians 4:13 
I have the strength to face all conditions by the power that Christ gives me.

Psalm 68:19-20 
Praise the Lord who carries our burdens day after day
He is the God who saves us. He . . .rescues us from death.

2 Chronicles 20:12 
Be not afraid nor dismayed . . . for the battle is not yours but God’s.

Colossians1: 13 
He rescued us from the power of darkness and brought us safe into the Kingdom of Heaven of His dear Son, by whom we are set free, that is, our sins are forgiven.

A poem, or words of a song: 
Some through waters,
Some through the flood,
Some through great sorrow,
But God gives a song
In the night season
And all the day long.

Madeleine deals with chronic fatigue syndrome everyday. It has been challenging for her to fine the energy to write and fulfill her calling. Although she has to adapt with periods of rest, she also pushes herself to new heights. Giving in to the fatigue is not an option.

Have you been able to express the praises of your Savior to help someone else lately? If not, I encourage you to pray for someone who may need to hear your particular story. Testifying of our salvation is so freeing and helps to let others know that Jesus can do the same for them if they are willing to believe. Testifying also helps us to reaffirm within ourselves that we are His and assists us in remembering how faithful He has been to help us to mature.

Madeleine has had a teen novel and adult novel published and has written children’s picture books, plays, children’s stories, a collection of short stories for adults about women, and has branched out into freelance journalism.  Her inspiration comes from God.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Jumper Cables Kind of Day

We all need infilling and refueling as we walk the 'Road of Righteousness'. I hope that as you read this song I wrote, you will feel a power surge from the Holy Spirit Himself. The song has no ascribed tune yet. However, as you read over and ponder the words, I pray the right tune for you will become evident.

I woke up just a moanin'
But I knew I had to keep a goin’.
My spirit felt on empty
So to my bible, I went a searchin'.
Soon the power was a surgin’
Cause Your words began emergin’.
It only took a few peaceful moments
In Your Presence to feel energized again.


It was a jumper cable’s kind of day.
I needed a jolt from you, Lord, just to start me on my way.
Drained of all the power on the trials of yesterday
So I needed a recharging before I headed out today.

The red line revives up the bloodline
And the black one is the prayer line.
When both these are connected,
Double power is sent from heaven.
Keep a tight check on the grippers
So the infilling can be quicker.
Soon my spirit starts a revvin’
Cause my soul has received the blessin’ (to go forth).

Begin your day with a scripture, a song or a melody in your heart. Even though your quiet time with the Lord each day may seem like it cost you, in the end, it will actually save you and keep you on the path towards victory.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Relax and Enjoy God

FROG -Fully Rely On God

Christianity does not have to be so difficult to understand. Sometimes it can be very simple like this poem I wrote while listening to a pastor friend of mine preach.


I am a little nightlight,
Who shines forth the word of God
So others can see the way to go
And not have to stumble in the dark.
But if I forget to turn me on
And shine forth God’s grace and mercy
Then please put me in my corner
And plug me into the King of Glory.

Basically, God has given us two commandments to follow. Love God and love your fellowman especially those who are fellow believers with you.

Matthew 22:36-40
Amplified Bible (AMP)

36 Teacher, which kind of commandment is great and important (the principal kind) in the Law? [Some commandments are light—which are heavy?]
37 And He replied to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind (intellect).
38 This is the great (most important, principal) and first commandment.
39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as [you do] yourself.
40 These two commandments sum up and upon them depend all the Law and the Prophets.

The word use for love here is “agapao” and is translated as “beloved”. A beloved is someone who we love, cherish and adore. Someone we are passionate about and devoted to. Although we may have to use wisdom when loving others, with God we can pull out all the stops.

When you start to really love another person, how does that change your attitudes and actions from day to day? Mainly, you will do whatever it takes to be with that person and you will do whatever takes to please them as well.

Does God deserve any less consideration?

We tend to cut ourselves off from the only one that can really help us. If we put our trust in friends and family alone, then we may miss the wisdom we really need to succeed. There are many times when God wants to advise us through the power of the Spirit alone. Nothing else will do. If we will develop our relationship with our Beloved and learn how to listen for His counsel, then when we get into a sticky situation, we will already know Him and how He operates within us.

Although God is sympatric with a busy life, He also knows at what point He is being ignored. He wants us to be out and about. However, He doesn’t want a wave of our hand with a “Hi God. See ya later” each morning as we leave the house. Later will never come unless we are vigilant.

Genuine growth in a relationship with our Beloved has to come before we will enjoy and appreciate more fully His Presence in our lives. I challenge you to relax and enjoy your Beloved today. Have a cup of coffee or tea with Him. Talk to Him about your day or whatever is on your mind. It doesn’t have to be serious all the time. It can be funny or even silly like telling Him a joke you heard. Your beloved is waiting for you to share your heart with Him so the two of you can grow together.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

A Rally Point

Many may feel their religion is supposed to be private. Nevertheless, those who have come into a relationship with Christ know our Lord has commanded us to go public. 

In Matthew 28: 18-20, we read these words:

19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Going out into the entire world with Christ-centered principles is not an easy task as the owners of Chick-fil-a found out, and even more so last week. Chick-fil-A is a family-owned company. From the day Truett Cathy started the company, he began applying biblically-based principles to managing his business. He has stayed true to those principles no matter what it has cost him or his reputation.

So why am I bringing this up? Saturday night, as I was walking around a mall in Atlanta, GA the Lord began to speak to me on the merit of this issue.

“This is one of my rallying points.” He said.

“What do you mean Lord?” I said.

“I am going to use prominent individuals to rally my people together.” He said.

Then He brought the Chick-fil-A stance to my mind.

As I pondered last week’s situation, I asked the Lord for wisdom in what He was trying to say.

Following God’s biblical principles is not always easy and definitely not popular. When God raises a standard to follow, we have a choice to make. Are we going to follow Him or not? God never makes those choices for us because He desires our willing obedience above all.

Showing your outward support of godly principles is risky. On August 1, when I stood with Chick-Fil-A, it was not to condemn anyone but rather to say God has shown us a better way. Heaven knows I have my own battles with godly principles. But biblical standards are something I have learned to appreciate, treasure and strive to meet even through I may fail. God’s ways are always going to be higher than our human reasoning. However, if we are going to fulfill God’s mandate to go and teach what He has taught us, then sacrifice is apart of the process. Just “blending in” is not usually God’s plan of action.

So what is God asking of us? This is what I sense to be true. To be willing to step forward, unite whether we all agree or not, and to show the world a better way, God’s way to truly be free. To truly live what we believe. To be willing to stand in the face of opposition with a loving and grace-filled heart towards others in spite of what we believe. And they will know we are CHRISTians by our love.

Are you on the fence? Do you have the courage to join with the body of Christ as God purifies us and unites us as one? These are challenging times and fence sitting may not be an option much longer. But remember…you will never be alone in this venture because we are all learning anew what it means to present the gospel in a way that draws others in by the power of the Spirit.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A Basket of Gratitude

This is a piece I wrote almost 10 years ago. It won a $100 contest prize and was my first published article (AWE magazine Fall 2003). I hope you enjoy my trip down memory lane.

Gratitude is like…a basket that God gives me to store the quilt scraps of each past experience until He is ready to use them in the design He has in mind for me. My gratitude basket helps me to gain perspective on each circumstance that I have had to face so far. My gratitude basket reminds me that I am never alone. I have learned that dependence on Him is His special gift to my heart. God stores all these baskets up in the attic of my mind so that I can easily retrieve them. Each fabric piece that I have paced inside a basket represents a part of the circumstance that I am so grateful for now. Try to imagine the colors as I describe each piece of cloth. There are many: prayers, bible study, waiting, tears, special people, revelations, waiting, confirmations, waiting, changes to be made, fear, waiting, hope, laughter, promises, selfishness, waiting, give up yet?, obedience, humility, grace, attitude changes, maturity, waiting, wisdom, knowledge, understanding, dreams, future, storm is calm, victory is won, promotion. The pieces are endless; yet, each is necessary to make the quilt complete. One less piece would leave a hole. The Father Himself is the only one that has the vision and willingness to see me through until the quilt is complete. But whatever He has envisioned for this quilt to look like, it must be something really beautiful. He always has my best interest at heart.

How full is your basket of gratitude? Let your heart be filled anew with gratitude for His faithfulness and all the things He has seen you through. How is your quilt coming along? matter what, God the Father has your best interest at heart.