Thursday, March 15, 2012

Laced with Grace…”Caged”

Fear restricts you from living life.  The enemy relies on his intimidation and manipulating tactics to utterly destroy you.  He wants to convince you that you are weak and powerless.  He wants to manipulate us into believing that there is no light at the end of the tunnel.  When we allow fear to call the shots we are falling for Satan’s mind games.

He is hoping we are gullible enough to fall for his tricks so the coward in him will not be reveled.  Just like bullies in school that use intimidation to hold power over their victims, he relies on this tactic to work and make you fall into his trap. 

He wants to defeat us with lies, deception, and intimidation to stop us in our tracks.  Fear will stop us from living life the way God intended us to live peace.  You can’t live life and live in fear too…it’s like oil and water, they just don’t mix.

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”  2 Timothy 1:7

We were created to have a relationship with our God and for us to live peacefully lives.  He never intended for us to live our lives fearful and convinced that we are trapped and have nowhere to go.

The enemy wants you to think you are a prisoner, but nothing could be farther from the truth.  You aren’t a prisoner; you are just convinced that you are.  He makes you think that you are in a cage and you can’t get free and you can’t get out, but in reality the cage doesn’t exist.  He wants us to believe that we are caged.  The definition for caged: to confine or keep in or as if in a cage.

We don’t have to buy Satan’s lies and fall for his mind tricks.

I heard about this animal (I’m wanting to think it was a lion) that had been caged for its entire life and was eventually released into the wild with wide open spaces to run, hunt, and live life as it was intended to.  When they let that animal out of the cage and into the wild open spaces, though the animal was no longer caged, it still walked back and forth like it was in an invisible cage.  Excitement and adventure awaited this lion, but he was unable to have those things because in his mind he was still caged. 

Fear keeps the prison bars there (in your mind) but they are actually not even there at all. 

Fear can keep us locked away in our past.  Like that lion released out into the open wild, we too can enter into a new chapter in our lives full of excitement, adventure, and amazing possibilities, but because of some painful past experiences we stay living in our past instead of the present.  He is free!  He could run around and enjoy life; but instead he stays in the perimeter of that small cage that he once lived when he doesn’t have to. 

We don’t have to live life as if we are in a cage.

Do not live in the past.  Do not live in fear.  Do not let the enemy make you think that you’re caged, because you’re not; he is the one that’s caged!

You can also read this devotion over at Lacedwith Grace

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Laced with Grace..."Following Him"

Today I shared a devotion over at the Laced with Grace site entitled “Following Him.”.

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all things will be added to you.”  Matthew 6:33 ESV

When you try to do life on your own and do the things that you want to do and live how
you want to live and date the people you want to date and pursue the career you
want then have a plan to turn your life over to God later when you "lived your
life to the fullest" and done all the things that you wanted to do and your about 50 years old, your actually missing out on more than you think.

When we give God our lives and put Him and His desires before our own and choose His will and the plans that He has for us instead of our own, all of the deepest desires of our hearts are granted to us and begin to unfold on our life journey following Christ. 

When we are spiritually reborn, that's when our life really begins!! 

Some think living for God is all about what you can't do and that’s a shame because they are really missing out on life.   

Life without Christ is no life at all. 

When you follow Christ and become close and build a relationship with Him you
can't help but fall in love with Him and want to be more like Him.

The more you get to know Him the more you love Him.  His love changes hearts.

When He changes your heart that is when you become a follower of Christ and you begin to WANT to live according to His Word and there are things that you DON'T want to do anymore.  When you are following in His footsteps you want to be more like Him every day.  It’s not about what you can’t do, but rather, it’s about your relationship with Him.

Following in His footsteps will lead us to His plans and what He wants for our lives, which is really what we want too!!

Many years ago I made that change in my life and pursued Christ and left my old life behind and all my plans, hopes, and dreams.  Up until then, I always thought that “church” and “God” and all of that was all about standards, rules, and what you can’t do.  I realized that letting go of my hopes, dreams, and plans to follow Him was the beginning of my life.  

When I began to live my life following Christ and following His plans and dreams and the life He had waiting for me, all of my deepest hopes, desires, and dreams were added.  All of the things that I have ever wanted (even things that I didn’t even know I wanted) began showing up in my life and the best part is…there is so much more yet to come! 

He knows us more than we know ourselves!

You will never be disappointed putting Him first in your life.  Only until you begin to follow Him and His plans will you begin to live for the first time and experience life like never before.

Are you pursuing your plans in hopes of getting what you want? 

God knows your deepest desires and longs to fulfill them… all we have to do is let go of our plans and follow Him which will lead us to all of our hopes, dreams and desires.

“For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord.  They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”  Jeremiah 29:11 NLT

You can also read this blog at Laced with Grace.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Today I shared a devotion over at the Laced with Grace site entitled “T.R.U.S.T.”.

I remember at school the teachers would break us up into teams and one student would get behind another student and we would close our eyes and fall back, trusting that the student behind us would catch us as we fell back. 

Has anyone ever done this? 

Well I have and it’s not so easy trusting that some random student that you don’t know and that doesn’t seem to want to participate will be paying as much attention as he should when I fall back for him to stop me from slamming into the ground!

 This five letter word T.R.U.S.T. has been putting me to the test!

Trust is to put your complete confidence in someone knowing they won’t let you down.  Trust is to fall back without doubting that the student behind you will catch you so you don’t hit the ground.  It might be a little hard trusting a second grader to break your fall, but if it were God behind you waiting for you to fall; you can trust that He will be there to catch you so you don’t hit the ground. 

It would be easier wouldn’t it? 

It’s easy to say that you trust God until… that dreaded call… that unwanted illness… that scary news… 

I have 7 days until my last day at work and the clock is ticking.  I have searched and applied, called, emailed many places submitting my resume and applying for positions… but still no job.

That five letter word T.R.U.S.T.  is the only thing I am holding onto right now.  It’s the only thing keeping me from getting stressed out, worrying myself to death, and imagining all the what ifs.  We must trust God to fulfill our needs and provide for us.  He knows that I only have 7 days left, He knows how many bills we have, and He has never let me down... EVER!!

Looking back at all the times He has miraculously provided should assure me that He will provide this time just like all of those times. 

Psalms 56:3-4 “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.  In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; shall I not be afraid…” ESV

Over and over again you will find in His Word that He keeps His promises and will provide on time… not our time, but His time.

Daniel trusted God would protect Him in the den of lions even though the lions hadn’t eaten for days…God protected him and shut their mouths!

Noah trusted God that there would be rain and continued to build the ark without ever seeing a drop of rain in his life…God let the rain pour!

Joshua trusted God that the walls would come tumbling down after marching around 7 times…God let those walls crumble to the ground!

It’s a scary situation and even though I am human and naturally would worry about something like this, I have a sense of relief because I can look back at His consistent pattern of promise keeping in my life and read His Word and find comfort in knowing that He is trust worthy, I can rely on Him, and He will never fail me.  I have been re-learning all over again that He is in control and I can trust Him and rely on Him to provide and provide on time. 

You can also read this devotion over at Laced with Grace
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