Rejoice Always

Live in peace with each other. And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else. Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil. May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.

1 Thessalonians 5:13-23
Rejoice always.  Just what exactly does that mean?  Does it mean to rejoice the birth of a baby?  Yes.  Does it mean to rejoice when you receive a bonus check from work?  Yes.  Does it mean to rejoice when a prayer request has been answered?  Yes.  Does it mean to rejoice when someone has gossiped about you and hurt you?  Yes.  WHAT?!?!  God wants me to rejoice when I am hurting and someone has done me wrong?  ABSOLTELY!!

What a strange way of thinking in a world full of selfish people.  The thoughts of even having to find any kind of joy in our times of hurting are completely ridiculous.  Is it ridiculous?

We are told to rejoice always and give thanks in ALL circumstances.  Whether good or bad the above passage says, “For this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”. Read that again.  Not only the good but also the bad as well are both part of God’s will for our lives when we are a child of God.

Made me stop and think when I read that verse again.  I have read this passage over many times. I can check it off my list as one that I have memorized but it was not until this morning that it all sunk in and the blindfold was removed from my eyes.

Everything event, every moment of joy, every storm and every trial are part of God’s will for my life.  He is able to take every aspect of my life and work it out according to His purpose and plan and He does so in order to bring glory to Himself.  Is that not amazing?  He allows us to make our own stupid choices and even mess up in major ways and then He is able to turn every one of our mistakes into something that brings Him glory.  WOW!

I have had people tell me that they feel incredibly sorry for what I (as well as my children) have had to go through.  They have “cursed” the presence of certain people in my life.  Let me say this…I am so incredibly THANKFUL for every person and every event that has transpired in my life over the past two years.  Do not feel sorry for me but instead rejoice with me at the work that God is doing in my life.  It is amazing!  I know it is difficult for many to see the awesome work that He is doing because you are unable to witness every event with me and only hear things through the “grapevine” but trust me when I say, I would NOT change a thing. 

I heard a sermon this morning that spoke of God allowing us to sin and make our own choices for a reason.  For those of us who are careless and often act before we think or speak, we end up making some pretty dumb moves.  I am thankful for a God who gives me those choices and does not treat me like a puppet.  He allows us those choices in order to draw us back to Him.  In order for us to become broken and realize our great need for Him in our lives we must fall sometimes.  God knows what He is doing.  His plans are perfect and are not to cause us harm.  That is what I have learned and that is what I am experiencing.

So to all my blog followers, rejoice with me!  Give thanks for every event that has transpired over the past two years because God is GOOD and He is up to something AMAZING!!!

Letting go

Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes”.


Psalm 37:7



You know that you have truly surrendered to God when you rely on God to work things out instead of trying to manipulate others or to force your own agenda in order to control the situation. You let go and let God work and instead of trying harder, you find yourself trusting more.


Surrendering your life means that you will follow God’s lead when you are not even sure where He may be sending you. You will wait for His timing, not knowing when it will come. You expect a miracle not knowing how God will provide and you totally trust His purpose without understanding the circumstances.


Christ showed the ultimate example of self-surrender the night before His crucifixion when He surrendered Himself to His Father’s plan. True surrender says that if the circumstance or hurt you find yourself in is needed to fulfill God’s purpose and to glorify Him, then you will take whatever may come your way.


This kind of faith and maturity does not come easily but true surrender is hard work and requires intense warfare against our self-centered nature.


Trust in the LORD with all your heart 
       and lean not on your own understanding;

 in all your ways acknowledge him, 
       and he will make your paths straight. 

Proverbs 3:5-6

Bruised and Broken

A bruised reed He will not break, and a smoldering wick He will not snuff out”.

Isaiah 42:3

Sometimes in life, our struggles can bring us to a place of spiritual depression. A place where you feel as if God has left you and you are standing alone in the midst of your personal storm, feeling like you just cannot take anymore. You find that you are ready to throw in the towel and say, “I’ve had enough. I’m done”. Times like this come more often than not and it is easy to find yourself wondering where God has gone.

In the middle of dark times do you find yourself sitting alone in a corner asking why or are you standing with your arms outstretched praising the God who loves you even when you feel abandoned. The story of Elijah when Jezebel is after him ( 1Kings 18:16-40) reminds me that whenever we think that we have had enough, God steps in and shows us just who He is in the midst of our storm and provides us with what we need and that He has been there all along.

When we cry out to God, the Holy Spirit can bring us the hope and peace that our heart longs for in hard times. In every aspect of our life, God provides us with His grace and love and it will always be enough when we allow that truth to sink deep into our heart and life. Only when we feel like we are sinking and weak and are struggling to get through, God is strong for us. Our weakness is His opportunity to step in and help us not hurt us.


“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30

Turn your eyes upon Jesus

O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!

  • Refrain:
    Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
    Look full in His wonderful face,
    And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
    In the light of His glory and grace.

Through death into life everlasting
He passed, and we follow Him there;
O’er us sin no more hath dominion—
For more than conquerors we are!

His Word shall not fail you—He promised;
Believe Him, and all will be well:
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell!

As I found myself in the dark place, I was weary and exhausted but the words of Turn your eyes upon Jesus would play repeatedly in my head. I was having such a hard time recognizing exactly what my eyes had become focused on and what had taken my eyes off Him. I was so tired and felt like giving up so many times because the burdens and struggles were more than I could bare and were weighing me down. I could not get my head above water and I was sinking fast. I knew what the Bible said and I knew what to do but trying to regain my focus was a lot harder than I ever thought possible. I stumbled upon the words in Matthew that said Jesus does not invite the “wise and learned” but instead the “weary and burdened”. What a great epiphany I had as I repeated those words repeatedly in my head. He is inviting me, as tired and exhausted as I was from the difficult struggles that I was carrying to “come to Him” and He “would give me rest”. This will now mean that I will have to refocus on His face and not the things around me. When I finally do that, I will find my way out of the darkness in which I have found myself. It will require aligning my heart with His once again.

Shakespeare said that “The prince of darkness is a gentleman” and this statement is quite true. He knows exactly how to sneak in the back door and how to charm us in order for our eyes to lose focus on the One who will protect and love us. As I now move forward closer to Christ, all those things that are of this world will become “strangely dim” and I will see the “light of His glory and grace”.

Individual or Team??

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

Hebrews 12:1

I had a friend ask me the other day if I preferred team or individual sports. I thought for a moment and answered with team sports but after this morning, I realize that I need to change my answer. Now not being particularly athletic I have never really played sports other than a year of softball and a year of soccer, which I hated. I LOVE to watch basketball and hockey but the idea of playing any type of sport does nothing for me. Where is this going you may be asking yourself? Well, I have started running again. When I was younger, I ran just about every day for the fun of it. No one made me I just loved doing it. I loved putting on some music and just running. Running until I could run no more. Two and half years ago I took up running again and was quite consistent with it until I had minor foot surgery and then ended up pregnant with my youngest daughter and never got back into the habit but this past Friday I started running yet again. Now because it has been quite some time since I have done any kind of running, it is more like a run/walk kind of deal because if I ran straight I feel that I would physically die.

This morning, before the sun had even made an appearance, I ventured out into the freezing cold with my mp3 player and took to the pavement. As I was running, I thought about why I prefer individual to team sports and here are my thoughts. You see I do NOT like to have to count on people for things. Partly because I have been let down so much that, it is easier just to do something on your own then to bring other people into it and find yourself disappointed with them. More than once, I have gone into something with other individuals and ended up finishing whatever alone. My reasoning became that of “you can’t count on anybody”. This in some cases is true. This morning though, as I was running, I was able to pray for each family in our neighborhood twice. While I was praying, the thought also popped into my head that we never really know what is going on inside the homes of those around us. Partly because people just do not open up to one another but instead try to hide their issues. Many times people really just do not make the effort to invest in the lives of others. It may not always be that you cannot count on people. Instead it may be that they are dealing with something that keeps them from following through. As I thought about that, I prayed one more time for the neighborhood as a collective and then for my attitude and myself.

Truth be told though, people will always let us down because we will all mess up at times but the amazing thing is that we each are running our own race in life and though we may choose to do things alone, we can never run our race alone. When Christ lives within us, we are never truly alone. No matter how fast we think that we are running, He is always right there running beside us just waiting for us to trip and fall from our mistakes so that He can pick us up and wipe away our tears. He is always there when we lose our way and find ourselves lost to bring us back home and He is always there to encourage us when we get it right. No matter how much we may want to do something on our own He is there. Sometimes we try to do things thinking that we know better but quickly life will throw a curve ball our way and we realize that only with His strength and direction can we actually hit that ball.

Running requires discipline in order to finish what has been started. This is true with our walk as well. The road under our feet will not always be easy but with focus, determination and discipline we can live a life that is honoring to our Heavenly Father. We have to put into practice not focusing on what is behind us but instead press ahead toward the goal before us, a life that God has planned. We must surrender every part of our lives to Him so that He can accomplish through us all that His plan entails. We must offer true forgiveness that can only come from the Holy Spirit and relinquish our worst enemy over to Him. It all comes down to reaching out and grabbing our Father’s hand and allowing the Holy Spirit to clean up our wounds so that we can live out the life that God has for us. It is our choice as to whether or not we will try to run that race on our own or give God the control to take over and direct us so that we can move forward because He will never disappoint us.

Letting go

“Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble,

and he saved them from their distress.

He brought them out of darkness and the deepest gloom

and broke away their chains.

Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love

and his wonderful deeds for men.”

Psalm 107:13-15

How can the lack of forgiveness and hurt affect our walk with the Lord? So many of us walk around bound in the chains of the past and become stuck in a place of unhappiness. Everyone at one time or another experiences the pain of betrayal by someone we love and care deeply for whether it be a spouse, a friend, a child or a parent and we all also carry the experiences of our own sins and hurts that we have caused to others. It can literally destroy our lives if we let it and severely hinder our walk with the Lord if we do not let it go because we can become bound up and miss the opportunity of fully living in the present.

Once we have made Jesus Christ Lord of our life, we hand over the reins, giving Him the control of our lives able to lead us in the direction that He wants us to go. It means that we are no longer our own and have been brought back to God by the shedding of His Son’s blood for us. When we allow Him to lead, we have to let go of the things in our past that are controlling us and hindering us from being able to walk in God’s perfect plan for us. Jesus said that not anyone who is trying to move forward in his walk for God the Father – but keeps looking back – is fit for the kingdom of God. (Luke 9:62) When we are walking with the Lord, we are to let go of the past and press forward because if we do not, we become stuck right where we are unable fully to accomplish all that God had planned for our lives. We cannot walk with Him if we are carrying loads of baggage because we are choosing the bondage of our past instead of the future He has for us. This then mean either we choose to throw ourselves pity parties, blaming everyone else for our misery or we can choose to rise up and be a brand new creation in Christ, choosing fully to surrender our lives to Him. Once we do that, He cleans out those closets and begins to heal our hearts making us usable for the plan that He had laid out for us even before we were born.

Now it is important that we learn from our past and realize where God has brought us but it cannot consume us to the point of becoming our focus. God is our healer and He is able to break away those chains and heal our hearts IF we fully believe that He can do it. For me, this came with the forgiveness of someone who betrayed my trust and hurt me deeply. I lived with anger towards this person for quite some time and every time I saw them, it would rage within me. Here is what I have learned. When someone hurts you, that person moves on with his or her life. If they have sinned and repented of this sin, for them it is over, God has forgiven them. They have moved on and God has redeemed them, giving them a new song to sing and a new life to live for Him. For those of us left in the wake of their sin, we must deal with the pain and hurt of the turbulence they caused in our lives. We are the ones who must deal with the resentment, bitterness and anger while they go about feeling freed of their past. Does not seem quite fair? Well here is what I have learned. It is totally fair because we too have sinned against someone in our own lives just like they have and we too have had to seek forgiveness from God for the hurt we’ve caused someone else and we too have moved on. So, why then do we dwell in self-pity and allow resentment to rage within our hearts? This is called human nature and happens when we are not willing to let go of the baggage we cling to so tightly instead of grabbing a hold of and clinging to God. You see, you cannot hold on to both things together because you cannot worship and follow God when you are clinging to the past, which has become your idol. He has to be your focus and He should be your focus because He is worth it all!

“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 3:12-14

We have to put into practice not focusing on what is behind us but instead pressing ahead toward the goal, the life God has planned. We must reach ahead and surrender every part of our lives to Him so that He can accomplish all that His plans entail for us. If not, we are allowing the past to steal our joy and happiness and distort our thinking. We must offer true forgiveness that can only come from the Holy Spirit living within us and turn it over to the hands of God and His justice. He is the One who will right every wrong ever done to us and because of this; we are able to relinquish even our worst enemy over to Him. It all comes down to us reaching out and grabbing His hand and allowing the Holy Spirit to clean up the wounds in our life so that we can live out the life that God has for us. It is our choice as to whether we will continue to allow it to strangle and paralyze our lives or say enough is enough and give God that control and move forward.

Being a Conqueror

“We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”

Romans 8:37

Life can be so difficult and most people choose to get through simply by coping. We can find ourselves unhappy in our marriages, in our friendships, being a parent and our jobs and so we settle with doing the best we can to get through. We look at it as if “oh well, this is the card I was dealt and so I’ll just settle for this life/this circumstance”. Do you really believe that this is how God wants us to live?

In 1 Corinthians 9:24-27, Paul talks about life as a race and that the goal is not just to finish this race but also to win. Our goal in life should not be to just simply sit back and cope with the circumstances that are before us but to conquer and overcome them. When we choose to overcome the difficulties that we face in this life, not only does our faith grow but also our walk with the Lord becomes stronger. Romans 8:37 says,We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us”. We are to be conquerors in this life and not just settle for getting by. When we choose the attitude “of just getting by”, we are choosing self-pity and focusing totally on ourselves and not the One who gave His life to save us so that we could live a life that is abundant and full of His blessings. How do you choose to handle life? Have you chosen to cope with what life has thrown at you or are you choosing to be a conqueror, to overcome your circumstances? What is required of us in order to overcome the difficulties of this life?

Jesus told us to
“take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33) and so
we must remind ourselves that Jesus has already had the victory over the world and over Satan. He has already gone before us and prepared the way. He knows our every circumstance and He has already had the victory over every one of them whether we are willing to accept this or not because He is
“greater than the one who is in the world.” (1John 4:4)
It is imperative that we find the joy in knowing that He has had the victory over the world. As believers, we are continually struggling with sin, Satan, doubt, and fear but we are running towards the finish line ahead and Jesus is at the end with His arms outstretched waiting for us to win, to recognize the hope that He offers to us no matter how hard we think our life is. There are spiritual battles that are being fought around us all the time and it is possible for us to stand against the enemy but we have to remain focused at all times on the prize. Spiritual deception is all around us and if we stay focused on the prize of Christ then we can stand against that deception and overcome it with His strength.

If we find ourselves choosing only to cope, we become apathetic in our Christian walk. We still believe the Truth but we make the choice to forfeit the abundance of it. When trials and hurts, persecution and attacks and troubles and disasters come our way, we must not give into fear or self-pity. We must rely on God alone to give us the strength we need to overcome in our adversity. You see, He does not usually deliver us out of the circumstance but He provides us with the strength that we need to get through it. God promises to supply our every need (Php 4:19) no matter where life has taken us but we can choose to be separated from Him by our own rebellion or by refusing to trust Him completely. If we are choosing to run the race that is life, we must practice spiritual discipline and turn over everything to Him allowing Him to move within us giving us the strength to overcome. When we are weak, we must ask Him for strength. We must allow His love and His power to fill our lives so that we can do more than just cope, we can overcome.

“Father, I praise You that you have overcome this world! You have had victory over the enemy and the trials before me and so I take joy in knowing that I can conquer all circumstances with Your strength and love. Make my heart yearn for more than just coping so that I may honor You with my life.”




This is a story of a Jewish orphan who became queen. One of a woman who played a role in saving a nation of people. It’s a story of beauty and humility. Esther is the story of patience and boldness, favor and faithfulness, obedience and bravery, and
of trust and victory.
It’s one worthy of reading. The lessons in it can speak to anyone. Although much can be surmised from several of the characters and their positions in the story, we will concentrate on Esther in this posting.

In Persia during the reign of King Ahasuerus, there was a young Jewish girl who had been orphaned and raised by her cousin Mordecai. Her name which was eventually changed to Esther when she was crowned, meant star. She was chosen as King Ahauerus’ queen after the former Queen Vashti was banished. Her promotion to this prominent position (as Ahasuerus was King over the greatest empire in that day) was after she had undergone a “beauty treatment.” It’s interesting to note that this beauty treatment which was typical for those whom a king would consider for the position of queen could last up to twelve months. In Esther’s case, the bible says she received six months of oil and six months of perfume. Oil in the Old Testament represented the Holy Spirit. I’d venture to say that she was not only beautiful physically but also inwardly. To say the least, the king was awe struck at her beauty when he took her for his queen. He did not however, know of her Jewish decent nor of her relationship to Mordecai her cousin.

Haman, King Ahasuerus’ second in control, who loved his power, opened the gates for Esther to rise up to the plans the Lord had for her. When Mordecai, Esther’s cousin (although unknown to the King and Haman) and respected person in the community, refused to bow to Haman, Haman became enraged and in his selfish anger and pride he began to plot the execution of not only Mordecai but of all the Jews in the Persian kingdom. He did this deceitfully by convincing the King (without offering specifics and with a bride which was not accepted) that a people were in disobedience to the King and that they should be terminated.

Esther heard of the decree before it was passed and was grieved by it. Mordecai admonished her (4:14) stating that she had to do something about it and that if she “remain[ed] silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to the royal position for such a time as this.” Wow! He told her if she didn’t do something to help, the Lord’s plan of deliverance would still come but that she and her family would die. Have you ever been in that place where you were told by the Lord to do something that you were afraid to do? You knew that He didn’t really need your help, that His will would be accomplished despite your part in it, but you had the choice to be blessed in the obedience or die (maybe not physically) in the lack of it. That’s where Esther was. She had to have been scared!

For three days, after learning of Haman’s decree to kill the Jews, she fasted. Then she approached the throne, and not once, but twice (Esther 41:2; 8:3). She did so knowing that approaching the King’s throne without invitation could result in death but each time she requested the King and Haman to join her in dinner. Patiently she sought the King’s favor and waited on the Lord for the right time to speak of the decree. At the second dinner, after the King again showed his favor, Esther asked that the King spare her life and that of her people. Boldly and honestly, in the presence of the King and Haman, she identified Haman and his deeds. It was at that time that she revealed her nationality and relationship to Mordecai. In her approach she fairly gave Haman a chance to defend himself and to offer a rebuttal if he had so chosen.

When the King realized the true nature of Haman (deceitful and self serving), he put Haman to death. Mordecai in turn became second in command and the Jews were spared. Esther knew the truth of 2 Peter 1:3-4, that the promises of God are given in advance of all our needs and that they are our provision for life.

When I think on the story of Esther I’m reminded of fear. Sometimes we fear doing what the Lord has called us to do because we think we may fail, be mocked, rejected and/or persecuted. Our consuming fear though should be of the consequences of not doing what He’s called us to do (Luke 12:5) It’s funny how many things we fear that never really come to pass. Even Esther, the queen of a mighty kingdom, feared something that did not happen – being put to death because she approached the throne without invitation. We must not easily be persuaded to give up our stance for what we know is right because of how we think people may perceive us or resist us. We must persist when we know the will of God is at stake. The consequences of doing otherwise are far greater than being rejected by man.

In the face of fear Esther prayed. She prepared. She petitioned the king after receiving favor, and a nation was saved. She was a light in a dark time in Jewish history. We should model our actions after hers – praying, preparing, being patient, acting and in turn being a light to the world. In her situation, Esther found that God’s timing was perfect. His timing is always best. When we learn to wait on the Lord we avoid the dangerous of leaping to soon.

Here are a few valuable lessons we can learn from Esther:
What appears to be a bad situation is indeed very much under the control of the Almighty God who ultimately has the good of His people at heart
One person can make a difference irregardless of his/her background
True beauty comes from the Holy Spirit
There’s strength in obedience
We should approach obstacles with good attitudes, humility and determination
In our times of need we should pray, prepare and wait on the Lord
When we have the Lord’s favor we usually have favor with others
God works in His own time
What ever advantages we have we must use them for the Lord

I encourage you to read Esther from start to finish. Maybe you’ll make the same pledge as I have – that if I have another daughter her middle name will be Esther : ).

“Lord, in all our comings and goings help us to lift our eyes to you and to know your voice. Steady us when we’re scared and use us as your instruments to further your kingdom. I pray that we devote ourselves completely to you and are obedient despite our circumstances. Use us in mighty ways so that the world can see your goodness and faithfulness. Mold our hearts so that we fear you and not man and so we become more concerned with eternal matters and less concerned with physical ones.”

Written by Stephanie


Keep me from deceitful ways;
be gracious to me through your law.
I have chosen the way of truth;
I have set my heart on your laws.
I hold fast to your statutes, O LORD;
do not let me be put to shame.
I run in the path of your commands,
for you have set my heart free.
Psalm 119:29-32
What if we lived this passage with our whole heart? Can you imagine the kind of joy we would experience? When we allow the shackles of sin to be removed, we are able to release the burden of our hearts that hold us back from giving our everything to God. We can turn our focus toward the race that He has planned out before us and run with a perseverance that makes us even more determined to live a life of obedience and purpose.
His ways are perfect and the path He has laid out for us is perfect. We choose whether we will stay on that path with the finish line ahead or detour down a road that will prolong the race possibly bringing about more struggles. Ultimately He knows the choices we will make and will use those struggles to grow our faith so that our joy is increased when we realize how He has worked all things out to glorify Him.
Rejoice in how God takes our sin, struggles and pain and uses it all to bring glory to His name.
Written by Nicole

Who do we love most?

I love Toby Mac’s, Made To Love song!! Love it! Love it! It talks about how we are made to love Him, we were made for Him and made to adore Him and to be loved by Him.

Have you ever really just internalized those lyrics? I was made FOR THE LORD. I was made to love and adore Him!!!! I was made to be loved by Him! Wahoo! If that doesn’t make you excited!?

So, do we live by those words? I can’t say that I do all of the time. Sometimes I forget that I was made for Him and not for myself. Sometimes I catch myself coming to Him with a list of requests before my list of praises and adoration. Sometimes I even forget that I was made to be loved by Him!

Often times I sneak up onto the throne of my life where my Lord should be. I forget why I was made. Self can be so big in our lives that it obscures our view of the one true master. “Have self confidence.” “Take care of your self, you deserve it.” “Listen to your heart.” “You’ve got to take care of number one.” “Treat yourself.” Self help books, etc… The world trumpets self, but self absorption is the last thing we need. The only thing we should be absorbed in is the Lord. He’s the only one who can satisfy our needs and desires. He never leaves us lacking.

When we’re on the throne of our lives, we always want more. We live for the next temporary high, the next sensation. We’re never satisfied. Never complete. Never content. We weren’t made to entertain ourselves or to make ourselves feel good. We were made to worship. Made to love and serve. Selfishness can wreck our lives and the lives of those in contact with us. Sometimes its destruction is subtle and sometimes it’s loud. Without the Holy Spirit’s self- control in our lives, we’re serious prey to Satan, and our lives leave a trail of despair and destruction.

Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
1 Peter 5:8

For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
James 3:16

The Lord, who made us so that He could love us, draws us into relation with Him. His instructions equip us in battle, even battles against ourselves/flesh. When we feel our inner man trying to take the throne, the Lord tells us to turn from self and instead love our brothers and sisters, and to seek after goodness, knowledge, self-control, godliness and kindness.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.
Philippians 2:3

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.
2 Peter 1:5-7

I really believe we’re fooled when we think that we can make ourselves happy. We can’t. We weren’t made for ourselves, so we can’t fulfill or satisfy ourselves. The devil would like to make us think that we could.

“Lord, I pray that we find delight only in you. I pray that we feel your God made void in our lives and that when we try to fill it with anything other than you that we feel empty and left wanting. I pray for a longing and yearning for you, one that cries out louder than our selfish longings and yearnings. I pray that we would give up anything for you, including our tendencies to try to rule from your throne. Lord, we were made to love you and be loved by you!”

Written by Stephanie