Day 339: Pray Without Ceasing (Dan. 5 -6; 1 John 4)

In Daniel 6 we find Daniel in many different types of situations. At the beginning, we see him promoted and exalted as one of the King’s greatest men.  He is clearly experiencing a wondrous peak in his life.  In that moment, he thanks God for his blessings and continues to serve His Lord.  However, something happens that seems to occur whenever we as believers work our hardest to serve the Lord.  The devil attacks.

Some men who were jealous of Daniel start a rumor that he is serving God rather than King Darius. Daniel is thrown into a lion’s den because of a document King Darius signed. How does Daniel react to this situation?  He prays.  Notice the pattern here?  Daniel continued to pray throughout the high and low seasons of his life.  The good news is that the story did not end there and Daniel was delivered from the lions thanks to God.  Daniel’s service to God should be an example to us all.

When do you pray to God? Do you pray in the low times?  Do you pray in the high times?  1 Thessalonians 5:16–18 says, “Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Daniel exemplified this verse with His life.

Do you exemplify this verse in your life? I encourage you to pray without ceasing during the high and low points in your life. Miracles happen and lives are changed when you follow Daniel’s example. Pray without ceasing and grow closer to your Savior.

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Day 334: Waiting (Ezekiel 45-46; 2 Peter 3)

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Waiting is hard. Whether you’re waiting for a husband, a child, a job, graduation, healing or something else entirely. But it’s even more difficult when all you can do is sit passively and wait on God to do His work – especially when all you want to do is take control of the situation.

People tell you that your time will come and that it will be when you least expect it. Now, that may be true, but what is definitely true is that it will happen in God’s timing and not a minute earlier or later.

But something is within our control: the way we wait. We can turn a season of waiting into a season of personal and spiritual growth or we can sit it out passively or even bitterly as we watch the world go by. The choice is yours. Because sometimes God does require us to learn a lesson before He will bless us with a reward. Because sometimes it requires the laying down of self – our ambitions, our timetable, our expectations so that He can make the way for His plan, His timing and His expectations. It might seem like a century of waiting, but it’s so worth it!

Day 314: Advocate (Lamentations 1-2; Hebrews 7)

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As an attorney, I’ve had the chance to learn the importance of having an advocate – someone in your corner who will speak on your behalf, who knows how the system works and who has your best interests at heart. It’s especially vital when you’re facing the loss of your freedom, custody of your child or some other threat. Those are the moments you need a good advocate to stand by you. Learning this lesson gave me a newfound appreciation for what Jesus did for me.

“For this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.” -Hebrews 7:27

Jesus chose to become my advocate. Even when He knew I was guilty. Even when justice would have been better served if I died for my sins. He still chose to take my case – to speak on my behalf before the throne of God. And no matter how many times I messed up, He hasn’t given up on me.

I pray that this will be a lesson to us all. Not just to appreciate what Jesus has done – and continues to do – on our behalf. But to also do the same for someone else. Is there someone in your life who needs someone in their corner? Whose behalf can you speak on? Who can you encourage or stand up for?

Day 309: Jesus Gets It (Jeremiah 40-42; Hebrews 2)

“For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.” -Hebrews 2:18

I’ve heard it often: “Jesus wouldn’t get it. He didn’t live through x, y, z!” Jesus didn’t have a boyfriend cheat on them or a dad who abused him from a young age. Jesus didn’t have high school pressures, dating woes or a online pornography addiction.

We seem to think that because Jesus didn’t live through the exact steps of our life means He doesn’t get it. But He does. Jesus was betrayed by one of His best friends – someone who spent 24/7 with Him for many years. Jesus was called to do something so difficult that His tears were like blood. He had haters and Satan promised Him the whole world too in exchange for His soul. Just because the package wrapping is different doesn’t make the temptation, heart break or challenge any different.

That is the beauty of our faith – that our God sent His own son to live on this earth in human form so that through Jesus Christ we could be directly connected to God Himself. There is no longer a great divide between God and the people. Instead, we have an advocate in Jesus who champions our cause before the throne of the Holy God. When we stumble and fall, Jesus says that His sacrifice on the cross made us white as snow. When we are hurting, we only have to turn back to the moments in the Bible when Jesus wept after his friend Lazarus died or the moment Judah gave up his best friend for a couple pieces of silver. When we struggle with a bad habit, addictions and temptations, we that Jesus was tempted by Satan and mocked/persecuted by the leaders of his day.

Jesus gets it. He might not have had a cell phone or the Internet, but He is able to understand every struggle and triumph in our lives. We must only be willing to share it with Him and to draw from His strength, knowing the one who guides us has already walked this path. He lead by example and that’s the best kind of leader a girl could ask for.

Day 274: Trusting in Big Dreams (Isaiah 22-23; Ephesians 3)

“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us, to Him be the glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” -Ephesians 3:20-21

It took a lot for me to admit it: for a long time, I didn’t trust God to provide me with a husband I love and who would love me back. Like truly and romantically – not out of duty. I’ve learned to trust God in every area of my life, knowing when to step out in faith. As a result, I am living out dreams that are bigger than anything I could have ever dreamed for myself. Except for my love life. I kept that part under lock and key, telling God that in His time I will do as He asks and get married even if I wasn’t pleased with it or His choice for me. I thought I was being humble and submissive to God’s will. But then someone asked me how I could limit my God so much.

Lately, I’ve been praying a lot about learning to trust God more deeply in every area of my life – including my love life. Because He knows the desires of my heart but He also knows what is best for me. Over and over again, God has blessed me with opportunities that I was too afraid to even picture for myself – because they felt too big, too scary, too expensive, too far out of reach.

So, when God promises to do exceedingly abundantly above all that I ask or can think of, I must take Him at His word. He’s already proven it to me many times, but even if He hasn’t, I know He is my loving father and He won’t force me to anything I don’t want to and He always has my best interest at heart.

Is there an area of your life where you are limiting God? Why? What can you do today to take a step out in faith? 

Day 262: Betrothed (Ecclesiastes 7-9; 2 Corinthians 11:1-15)

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When you say I do on your wedding day, you give your promise before your friends, family and God to spend a lifetime with your betrothed. By default, that means that you say no to all the other men – no matter how perfect they may be or how alone you feel if your husband stops paying attention to you the same way he did when you were first married.

It’s the same with God. Once you choose Him, you promise to keep choosing Him. That nothing apart from Him will satisfy you. In today’s reading, Apostle Paul warns the church at Corinth against false doctrines and prophets that may attempt to steal their attention away from Jesus Christ.

We have the same temptations today, if not even more! There is a new church, denomination, organization, website, speaker, writer everywhere you look with their own flavor of religion and Truth. Whatever you want to hear to justify your life and your actions, you can find out there in the world today.

But friend, may your only Truth and plumb line be the Word of God – unfiltered, unaltered and without manmade embellishment. May your devotion be only to your betrothed and may that devotion show in how you dress, speak, behave and most importantly, how you spend your time. Don’t let anyone or anything else steal away your spiritual virginity – no matter the promises they make or the loneliness you feel. Keep yourself apart from this world, believing with all your heart that an eternity spent with your betrothed is more beautiful than any temporary pleasures of this world.

Is there anything that weakens your commitment to keep Christ first in your life? How can you minimize the distractions that threaten your devotion to him?

Day 250: Remember the More (1 Corinthians 15:33-58; Proverbs 11-12)

Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. -Colossians 3:2

Do you ever have those days when you just want to throw your hands in the air, sigh in exasperation, and run away to hide for a while? It seems like you’ve been pushing and pushing, but you remain stagnant. Life is so big and you are so small. There is so much to do in the World and you haven’t even scratched the surface. Nothing is falling into place as easily as you expected and all of the pieces are taking so much work. Emotional, physical, mental, spiritual, and even social energy…you’re completely tapped out.

Here’s the thing: it’s not just about where you are now.

We see with human eyes and we are surrounded by the human world, so it’s easy to forget that there is more. But Paul, in this passage, reminds us that there is so much more. We are, at the moment, existing as perishable, dishonorable, weak, natural bodies (vs. 42-43). Rest assured, though, you shall be more.

The darkness that seems to overtake you in this moment is not an eternal darkness. Christ shall overcome this darkness. In fact, He has already overcome the darkness!

DAY 250

That’s why we are called to live as children of the light. God calls us to do and be more, despite our human weariness. But He doesn’t call us and then leave us high and dry. He gives us a reason to remain in Him, fighting towards His will: “Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain” (vs. 58).

Surely I am not the only one who gets overwhelmed by earthly needs and wants. Throughout scripture, we are reminded that there is more. How does your life change when you keep these things in mind? (Romans 12:2, 1 John 2:15, Ephesians 6:12, Philippians 3:20-21…)

In the moments of exasperation when you’re tired of the work, remember that God has called us to be at work (Colossians 3:23, Proverbs 12:11, Romans 12:11-12, Philippians 2:14…).

How does your outlook change when you understand that you are experiencing what God had in mind? Or…do you need to reevaluate your work to ensure you are, in fact, doing what God had in mind?