“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans 12:2 NLT
“Your call will become clear as your mind is transformed by the reading of Scripture and the internal work of God’s Spirit. The Lord never hides His will from us. In time, as you obey the call first to follow, your destiny will unfold before you. The difficulty will lie in keeping other concerns from diverting your attention.”
“But the people refused to listen to Samuel. “No!” they said. “We want a king over us. Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles.” 1 Samuel 8:19-20 NIV
God warned Israel that a king would exact taxes and pervert justice (see 1 Samuel 8:11-18), but they wanted to be like other nations. So God gave them a king. It turned out that Israel had 43 kings over a period of 450 years, but only 8 of them followed the Lord. The people did not put God’s will above their own.
Jesus taught us to pray,
“Thy will be done…” Matthew 6:10 KJV
In the garden, before the crucifixion Jesus prayed,
“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” Luke 22:42 NIV
The key to following Jesus is to obey God. The Israelites wanted a king even though they were warned against it. They thought having a king would be the answer to all their problems. All the other nations had a king, after all!
Asking for God’s will to be done is not just something to tag on to the end of our prayer. It must be the desire of our hearts, our aim, and our will.
When we consider what the Bible says about God’s will, it is important to remember that Jesus said,
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 7:21 NIV
We know that God’s word reveals His will. This is why it is so important to read and study God’s word daily. Don’t be like the man who built his house on the sand.
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” Matthew 7:24-27 NIV
Jesus made it crystal clear that God’s will could be summarized like this:
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31 NIV
Wherever we may find ourselves in this life, let us love Him completely and love the people He puts in our path. And let us obey His Word. Then we can know that we are in His will.
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
In her lifetime, Melody has survived abandonment, kidnapping, sexual abuse, drug and alcohol addiction, divorce, and the death of a child. “Beattie understands being overboard, which helps her throw bestselling lifelines to those still adrift,” said Time Magazine.
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Have you wondered lately, “What is wrong with me? Why am I so discouraged and depressed?
If so, you could be under attack by spiritual forces of evil! The apostle Paul wrote about it in the book of Ephesians. He said,
“Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:10-12
Recently, a friend said to me, “I think I’m under the attack of the devil.”
I thought, “I think I am, too!”
Thinking about how we both had really geared up our efforts to be obedient to God’s will in our lives, I realized that Satan wasn’t taking it lying down! He was trying to discourage us both! He was trying to steal the Word and wear us down.
He was putting negative thoughts in our minds! Remember: Satan is the Accuser. (Revelation 12:10) He is also the Father of Lies. (John 8:44) He will attack your thoughts. Jesus said,
“Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word …” Mark 4:15
Did the devil attack Jesus? Yes, he did. Did Jesus fight back? Yes, he did. Did the devil finally give up and leave him alone? Yes, he did!
After fasting forty days and forty nights, (Jesus) was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'” Mathew 4: 3-4
Three times the devil tempted Jesus, and every time Jesus quoted the Word of God to him. That’s how Jesus fought back! Ephesians 6:17 tells us that the sword of the Spirit (our powerful weapon) is the is the Word of God. Jesus fought the devil’s schemes with the word of God. We can, too!
Let us praise and thank the Father, in prayer, for all the promises that contradict the discouragement and lies that come from Satan.
It is written, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Galatians 5:22)
Jesus has promised that if I remain in His love, my joy will be complete. (John 15:11)
It is written “God gives us endurance and encouragement.” (Romans 15:5)
By your grace, you have given us eternal encouragement and hope. (2 Thessalonians 2:16)
It is written, when I am weak, then I am strong because your power is made perfect in weakness! (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)
I thank you, Father, because you are able to make all grace abound to me, so that in all things at all times, I will have all that I need, and I will abound in every good work! (2 Corinthians 9:8)
I can do everything through him who gives me strength! (Philippians 4:13)
WOW! I feel better already! And that’s just the tip of the iceberg! The Bible is full of encouragement and love for you and for me!
This Is My Journey Unscripted.
Do you want to become a Christian? Click this link to learn more: Who Is Jesus?
When I do all the talking, I can’t hear God! That’s right. You heard me right. Do you ever have that problem? Prayer isn’t just talking. It’s listening, too.
Sometimes, in my eagerness to write, I rush ahead of God. When I don’t wait on Him, I make mistakes – not horrible mistakes, but my writing lacks something.
In other words, I can’t wait. So I write in my own strength, depending on my own abilities. That is not what God wants from me.
How do I know that I rushed ahead of God? Because I realize later that I ignored the still small voice. That’s easy to do. We hear the whisper of God’s Spirit, but do not stop long enough to consider it. We cannot wait. We have to plow on.
This quote by John Piper made an impact on me, “To wait on God means to pause and soberly consider our own inadequacy and the Lord’s all-sufficiency, and to seek counsel and help from the Lord.”
I pray that God will teach me to wait and to listen; and to know the difference between working in my own strength or wholly depending on His.
Scriptures to Ponder
“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin….” Zechariah 4:10
“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31
“And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.” 1 Kings 19:11-12
Memorizing Scripture may have more benefits than you think!
It renews your mind, enabling you to know God’s will.
Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (NIV)
I had never connected this verse to memorizing Scripture until now. But, how better to renew our mind than by memorizing Scripture! That is filling our mind with God’s Word, not something we read once, but something we know by heart! Reading the Bible is important, but memorizing Scripture is important, too!
The Holy Spirit will bring to your remembrance the Scripture you need at a particular time.
Dallas Willard, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Southern California wrote,
“Bible memorization is absolutely fundamental to spiritual formation. If I had to choose between all the disciplines of the spiritual life, I would choose Bible memorization, because it is a fundamental way of filling our minds with what it needs.“
For example, when people have hurt my feelings by what they said or what they did, the Holy Spirit has brought to my remembrance a verse memorized long ago.
“A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense.” Proverbs 19:11 NIV*
it has practical advantages
Chuck Swindoll stated, “I know of no other single practice in the Christian life more rewarding, practically speaking, than memorizing Scripture. . . . No other single exercise pays greater spiritual dividends!”
Do you ever have trouble going to sleep because you can’t quiet your mind, and you can’t stop thinking about all you have to do? I still remember the 23rd Psalm from memorizing it in childhood, 60 years ago! Sometimes, when I can’t sleep, I recite it and meditate on the verses. Nothing is more calming and quiets your mind like reciting and meditating on the 23rd Psalm. I bet many of you learned it as a child, too.
Sometimes the KJV is easier to learn and easier to remember, too. I was just trying to remember Psalm 119:105 and realized that I remember it in the KJV, but not in the NIV. As soon as I said, “Thy word”, it all came back to me!
“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105 KJV
Another Scripture I rely on when I’m worried or afraid is Psalm 91. (It really isn’t that hard to memorize!)
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
3 Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. 4 He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. 5 You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, 6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. 7 A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. 8 You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.
9 If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, 10 no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. 11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; 12 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. 13 You will tread upon the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
14 “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. 15 He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. 16 With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.” Psalm 91 NIV (1984 edition)
MyTop 5 Tips for Memorizing Scripture
Write it and doodle while you repeat it out loud several times. (I like this idea!)
Learn one verse, and then add another verse to it. Keep adding on one more verse. Always go back to the beginning and recite everything you have learned so far. You can learn long passages this way. (This is how I memorized Psalm 91.)
Play a memory game. Using dry-erase markers, write the verse on a dry-erase board. Read the verse a few times, then erase 2 words at a time. Keep saying the verse until all the words are erased.
Go for a walk and recite all the verses you have learned so far.
Make the wallpaper on your phone the verse you are learning.
Well, I hope you’ve been motivated to start memorizing. I know I have!
Some passages to memorize:
Do you have any memorization tips?
What passages do you recommend memorizing? Please share!
This Is My Journey Unscripted.
Do you want to become a Christian? Click this link to learn more: Who Is Jesus?