Testify

“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony” – Revelation 12:11

This blog is a ministry. Not only for others, but for me…and at times I feel more so for me. I have found myself writing at certain milestones in my life. They are the places where God spoke to me about certain areas that I needed His penmanship…His guidance. Over these last few months I’ve read over my devotions a few times. I can remember the pain I felt as a penned the words of Picking Up Stones…Broken Pieces…A Man Who Will Take Me To Church. I also remember the victory I felt when writing I Will Remember and Lover of My Soul. As I’m writing, I’m smiling…I feel the victory…and it is overwhelming how humbled I am by His grace. But I’m still close enough to the pain that I’m reminded of where my help comes from. Tonight, honestly, I’m still Defeating My Goliath of fear. This morning, in my prayer time, I still found myself calling on my Savior to help me let go of insecurities. At times, I become frustrated with myself because on certain days I still feel so broken. And on these days it’s easier to allow Satan to poke at my old wounds. Cliff Kirkland wrote a song, “I’m Still Here.” It speaks of the struggle that we sometimes find ourselves in when learning to overcome our flesh. I relate to his words. I’ve cried a few times and said those words. My natural eye looks at my visible surroundings and I shout at God, “I’m STILL here…right here…in this pain. I’m still battling my same fear!” But as God will sometimes do…He, again, made Himself real to me.

One year ago, I had lost my song. One year ago, I didn’t feel I had a thing to offer another individual. One year ago, I was certain that I would hurt forever. But, oh what a difference God makes. Last night, I stood in a church and with some of my dear friends present (my best friend on the front row) and I sang these words, “I just came from the throne room today. I’ve been talking with Him. I was reminded where I am and where I’ve been. I’ve sailed many water rough and deep. But Someone has sailed each one with me. Safely and surely, I’ve rode the storm with my dearest Friend. And oh I am safe thus far…” It was another milestone for me. My best friend has had a front row seat to all my pain this last little while. I looked at her when I sang those words about my being reminded of where I am. God snapped His fingers at me. It was as if He said that, “People are watching you. What are you going to tell them? Are you going to fail the test or are you going to make this a testimony. The devil tried his best to steal my joy and victory last night. But tonight, I’m writing to testify that I remember where He brought from. I remember the loss of who I was…the loss of everything I knew as secure. I remember feeling so hopeless and not being sure of how or where to begin again. There are days that I feel I’m still there…but I know that I’m not. I’ve been tossed around and I’ve had a few hard blows. Who hasn’t? But my Savior has brought me through each storm…and I am safe thus far on my journey.

Don’t give up. Don’t settle on the desires that God has placed in your heart. If God has given you a promise than He will bring it to pass. If He has told you He was going to take you through than guarantee, one way or another, you will be brought through. I was reminded of how far I’ve come. I’m aware that there is still progress that must be made but I am so thankful that I’m not still there…in that same hurt. I’m also so thankful that I have my Savior to pilot this journey I’m on.

There is a congregation sitting back and watching you. They are watching how you will respond to your trials. I’m going to make my test a testimony. I’m safe thus far…and if God allows me the privilege, I will write again to testify of my victory that I am still safe in the arms of my Savior.

Author: Britney Wilkes

Copyright © 2010-2011 Devotions Of Grace Blog – All Rights Reserved


Published in: on May 31, 2011 at 1:12 pm  Comments (7)  

Take Me There to Get Me Here

Jonah was called by God.  He received the Word of the Lord telling him to go to Nineveh and cry out unto the people to depart from their wickedness and return to the ways of the Lord.  But Jonah was scared and ran, trying to hide from God.

Jonah boarded a boat to flee from the direction God had given him.  Once on this boat, the Lord sent a storm.  All on the boat cried out to their gods trying to calm the storm.  Jonah was sleeping below and they woke him and asked him to cry out to his god.  Jonah told them to throw him into the sea.  After much discussion, they threw Jonah into the sea.

Jonah was sinking into the dark abyss.  It was dark, deep and dreary.  The weeds were wrapping all about him, and he had no way out.  But the Lord sent a great fish to swallow Jonah.  Here in the belly of this great fish, Jonah was alive although he felt he was in hell.  But during this time, God was able to talk with Jonah – he was able to get his full attention.

Why are we always so stubborn? Why do we keep trying to run from the call of God?  Why does God have to carry us to extremes to get our attention?

Jonah believed that once he was thrown overboard, his life was over; his death imminent.  But this was not God’s plan.  Somehow, God had to get Jonah’s full attention so that he would hear God’s direction.  So even though Jonah thought all hope was lost, this was actually a new beginning.  God could now have Jonah’s full attention to talk with him and explain His plan. Sometimes, God has to carry us there to get us here.

I believe there are many of us who have had an experience just like Jonah.  We may not have recognized it at the time, but looking back, we can see the similarities.  We heard God’s Word; we knew what He wanted us to do.  But instead of following His direction, we choose to ignore it and run as fast as we could in the opposite direction.  While running, everything that could go wrong went wrong.  Was your life falling apart?  You stumbled, struggled and thought there was no way you could continue.  At this point, you sat quietly in the dark, crying out to God to save you from this horrible condition.  Finally!  God has your full attention.  Now, you are listening, learning and ready to step out and follow your call.

How many times do we feel we are at the end – we see no way out of our situation, totally giving up?  But it’s at this time that God can work.  We are so busy up to this point trying to figure everything out for ourselves and not letting God work or direct us.  But when we finally get to the bottom – the deep dark abyss – God can step in and bring about a new beginning.

Is God calling you?  Have you received direction from the Lord, but have refused to heed the call?  Don’t be like Jonah and run.  Stand proud and walk uprightly before the Lord.  He will guide you and direct you through each and every storm.  Just know that if you refuse to follow your call, God will take you there to get you here!

Author: Michelle Drummond

Copyright © 2010-2011 Devotions Of Grace Blog – All Rights Reserved

Published in: on May 26, 2011 at 11:41 am  Leave a Comment  

Weak Material

“And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.

And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:

And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.” Matthew 7: 25-27

A few weeks ago, I listened as a woman shared that she had wanted these verses read at her wedding. Her hearts desire was that she and her husband build upon a strong foundation so that when the troubles that life offered raged against their marriage, they would be able to withstand. She cried and shared that she felt they had. She stated that she thought she had done everything right. Even still, her marriage failed. The lady with whom the woman was sharing with stated something that truly caught my attention. She said, “You can build on the most solid of foundations, but if the material you are using is weak, the building will eventually crumble.” The woman began to cry. She was able to reveal deceptions, both from her and her husband, that were revealed later in their marriage. They hadn’t been honest from the beginning. They overlooked certain area’s that they possibly felt weren’t important at the time. The materials that they used to build the marriage was weak. So eventually, the marriage crumbled and great was the fall of it.

A friend of mine is getting married. I see such a light in her eyes. The love she has for her fiance is apparent and I feel that it is beautiful. I remember the new feelings of love. I remember the great expectations of what love will be like….and surely every new bride feels her love will be different from all the others before her. If not different…just as special and just as real. I had the opportunity to share with her the other day. I told her that it isn’t the man or the woman that makes a marriage special. I feel a marriage is only special if they allow God to be the center of their relationship. Undeniable, every relationship will eventually struggle. The reality is that the new does wear off. But it’s a commitment that has been made to come together during these times that will make the difference. It’s the material that is used to build a relationship. Honesty…love…understanding….all the necessities that can’t be neglected. Neglected area’s make for area’s of weakness that left unattended, will eventually break.

A few individuals have shared the struggles that they are having in their marriage. The materials they used had been weak. Some feel they are ready to give in and divorce. This is acceptable in today’s society. I recently read that many feel marriage is a dying institution and should no longer be recognized. I say that “what God has joined together, let no part asunder.” The beauty about building on a solid foundation is that you are able to securely tear down a weak building and build a strong replacement…a building redesigned and updated according to the desires of your heart. But as any building…it requires the proper maintenance. Never fail to check your relationship and replace that which is broken.

Guard your marriage. Place that which is precious inside and lock the door….and then be careful who you give a spare key to.

Author: Britney Wilkes

Copyright © 2010-2011 Devotions Of Grace Blog – All Rights Reserved

Published in: on May 25, 2011 at 11:23 pm  Comments (1)  

More Than Enough

I spoke to a man the other day that is serving a life sentence for a crime he committed over 20 years ago.  When I learned that he was serving a life sentence it surprised me.  This man seems to have a smile etched on his face.  He wishes everyone a good day and is very respectful to others.  Other inmates go to him for advice.  They ask him for help and he does what he can to assist them.  My curiosity finally got the best of me and I asked him, “Why are you so happy?  You are in prison!” He smiled at me…and with light shining in his eyes, this inmate taught me one of the greatest lessons I’ve learned.  He said, “Ms. Wilkes, being in prison is a state of mind.  I’m just as free as I choose to be.”

A free person who has every right given to man can be in prison in their mind.  A man who has all the financial security this world can offer can be poor.  An individual who has every possession, nice clothes, a fancy home, and a wonderful family can be lonely.  These perspectives are all found in your state of mind.  If you change your perspective, you can change your state of mind.  And in order to change your perception, you have to change your view point…the way you look at situations.

I was upset about a situation that was going on in my life the other week.  I spoke with my best friend about it and I told her that I was tired of being upset.  Life will always be life…and with life comes situations that aren’t going to always be comfortable.  Every individual will go through hard times.  I had grown to the point where I realized this as reality and I had finally become tired of allowing the situations around me to change my state of mind.  I want to be happy when I shouldn’t be happy….when life seems to offer pain, I want to feel peace.  I wanted to be like that inmate!  He is in prison but he is FREE!  We’ve all heard lessons taught on how it is easy to offer praises to God when life is easy, but when hard times  come we question the God we are serving.  It’s a good lesson to be taught.  But I’ve already come through enough to know that my God is going to be with me.  He has yet to fail me so history has concluded that he wont fail me in the future.  So, I began praying that God would allow me this happiness.  “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.  I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound:  everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.  I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.” – Philippians 4: 11-13.

God spoke and told me through His word that I was looking toward this world and man to strengthen me.  He reminded me that through Christ I can find this happiness.  I can be happy when everything around me seems to be failing if I allow God to provide my strength.  He reminded me to consume His word daily.  God is truth and the word He has given His children speaks His truth. “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” – John 8:32.  A man in prison can have freedom in his mind if he chooses this freedom.

Satan loves to attack the mind of the believer.  If he can consume them with their present situations he can cloud them from viewing a better future.  But the truth of God’s word tells us, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.   And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” – Jeremiah 29: 11 – 13.  If he can cloud our vision of who God is then we forget ALL He has done.  But we serve a God that speaks to peace and calms the raging seas.  We serve a God called to a dead man and commanded him to “COME FORTH!”….and he came forth.  We serve a God that stepped from the majesty of Heaven to save a lost soul such as mine.  So this present situation that the devil would use to mock me and imprison my mind is NOT too big for my God.

I’m happy today because I choose to be.  I’m happy because I know the truth of who my God is…and He is more than enough….more than sufficient..He is more than able to take care of me.

Author: Britney Wilkes

Copyright © 2010-2011 Devotions Of Grace Blog – All Rights Reserved

Published in: on May 17, 2011 at 12:14 pm  Leave a Comment  

Are You Willing to Suffer?

Acts 5:12-42 

I’ve always heard the saying, ‘when the going gets tough, the tough get going’; but thinking on this today I wonder if this is meant in the sense of the tough stand stronger or the tough run the other way? When walking the path God has lain before you, do we stand strong and suffer a little pain to continue, or do we just give up and take the easy way out? I believe in too many instances, we give up and take the easy road instead of persevering and gaining the victory. Not to say that we turn away from God, but instead of pushing through the pain and defeating this mountain, we look for the shortest way around the problem without actually having to deal with the problem! Leaving it for another day, hoping our faith will be stronger and better able to fight the climb.

I think back to so many stories in the Bible where the apostles/disciples were beaten, broken, stoned and imprisoned because of their stand for Christ; and we can’t even walk a road with freedom to share Christ’s love without whining and complaining about how tough it is. Get over it!!! We have it so easy compared to the many that have walked this road before us; we don’t face abuse or death because of being a Christian or proclaiming and sharing God’s Word. We should count ourselves privileged to walk this road and to suffer daily to share Jesus’ love. We can freely share a word of encouragement or have prayer with anyone who asks and at any time without the fear of facing prison or being beaten.

Have you chosen to walk this road and feel you have been left alone to make the climb? Fear not, for God will send His angels to release you from your prison at the exact and appointed time for you to receive your victory! Rejoice while facing this trial, even though it’s hard and you see no end in sight, know that through this time of sorrow, suffering and shame, you are growing and receiving from the Lord. And when you think you can hold on no longer, the angel of the Lord will open the prison doors, sit you on top of the mountain where you can share your victory with someone else facing this trial.

Today, who do you choose to obey – man or your Heavenly Father? Do you choose to walk this road, face the pain, suffer for the cross and endure until the end? Or will you choose to give up and take the path of least resistance, knowing you’ll have to face this battle again? Who will you choose?

Author: Michelle Drummond

Copyright © 2010-2011 Devotions Of Grace Blog – All Rights Reserved

http://www.drummondband.com

Published in: on May 9, 2011 at 3:26 pm  Leave a Comment  

Adopted by a Savior

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the Spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together.” Romans 8:14-17

I remember the night my Mom passed away so vividly. I can recall small details that shouldn’t make a difference but paint that scene in my mind. These details call to attention the memories that defined the 14th of August as a milestone in my life. Small things…like I was wearing a shirt that had frogs on it that night. I used a blue rag to wash my Moms face. My toenails were painted a deep burgundy. The doctors left shoe was untied when he told my family that he couldn’t resuscitate her. My two high school best friends were at my grandmother’s house before 7 the next morning. In fact, they came each morning and encouraged me to eat breakfast that week. My uncle spoke to me while I was sitting on the back of dad’s truck. One evening I locked myself in my bedroom to get away from the crowds of people and I overheard one of my aunts tell another aunt to leave me alone. That detail still makes me smile. These insignificant things help to paint the scenes of loss. One memory, however, doesn’t have a detail to call it to mind. There is one memory that I carried with me for years without a single reminder to call it back to my attention. That memory is the feeling of being lost….of being forgotten in a way. Through the years, at Mother’s Day especially, I would hear individuals say that they know their mother will always love them no matter what. Those stories would tear at my heart because I didn’t have that unconditional love of a Mother anymore. I didn’t have that one person that would still love me even if I did horrible things….and I felt alone.

Now, fast forward about 10 years. I remember standing in my office. I was absolutely broken. My heart felt shattered. Tears were pouring from my eyes and the feelings of being lost and alone consumed me…and then I felt arms come around me. They were strong arms and they held me tightly. After a few moments of allowing me to cry I heard the calming sound, “Shhh…” When I could listen more clearly I heard these words, “I’m right here. I love you and I couldn’t love you more if you were my daughter.” Fast forward again to a completely different scene in my life. I was texting with this awesome lady of God when I read these words, “Baby, it would be my honor if you would call me Mama.” If this were a video blog you would see me smiling right now. Because 10 years ago I never thought that I would feel that love that only a Mother can give again. I never thought that God would restore unto me not one, but two Mothers! Two women who have adopted me as their own. They actually call me theirs! I have such an awesome family now. It’s overflowing with an abundance of love. I’m so beyond blessed to have them in my life. I’m so grateful I have this love. I did nothing to deserve it. I wasn’t expecting them to walk into my life. I didn’t really know how much I needed them. But I have them. I don’t feel like a girl who doesn’t have a Mom anymore. I feel completely blessed. So completely blessed.

I cried last night. I cried tears of joy again… As I was in prayer I thanked my Savior for restoring something so precious to me. In my spirit, God began to shower me with His love. These verses were called to my mind. “I am joint-heirs with Jesus Christ. I have been adopted as a child of God.” The sheer wonder of this is humbling. The idea that I belong to God is unfathomable. He has adopted me as His own. He has taken on all of who I am and has made me His. He has taken all my worries…all of my difficulties…all of my insecurities…all the mess that comes with me….He has taken it as His own. And just as any parent would, He made a way to provide an answer to all my trouble when He gave His only begotten Son to suffer the death of the cross. The blood that Jesus shed is sufficient to provide all that I need in this life. My adoption papers were signed 14 years ago…signed and then sealed in the Lambs Book of Life.

I pray that you don’t know the feelings of being alone….feelings of not having someone to love you unconditionally. But if you do, I’m honored to tell you that you don’t have to continue with that emptiness. God is more than able to complete your life. He is able to offer you more love then you ever imagined. He is able to fill that emptiness with such an overflowing abundance of love….The beauty is that even though we don’t deserve this love…even though we didn’t do a single thing to inherit such a blessing…it’s still offered…and offered freely as part of the adoption.

My “sister”…family as part of my adoption…explained something to me over the weekend. I had gone through one of those weeks that remind you of old pains. With those old pains brings about old insecurities. She has been so faithful to remind me that I will not lose her love…but I still battle this fear at times. She was patient as she explained that even though she might become hurt, frustrated, annoyed, and even angry with me in the future…it will not change the fact that I am her family…and a s part of her family, she will always love me. So, though I may fail in my attempts of serving my Savior…though I may become consumed with doubt and insecurities…I am still His. My human condition doesn’t change my Father’s love for me. I have been adopted as His. He loves me. “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8: 35, 38, 39

Author: Britney Wilkes

Copyright © 2010-2011 Devotions Of Grace Blog – All Rights Reserved

Published in: on May 5, 2011 at 2:08 pm  Comments (5)  

Satan Knows My Name

“And if your right hand serves as a trap to ensnare you or is in an occasion for you to stumble and sin, cut it off and cast it from you.  It is better that you lose one of your members than that your entire body should be cast into hell.” Matthew 5:30

Given my line of work as an Addictions Treatment Counselor, I have the opportunity to speak with many different individuals from every different walk of life. I have counseled very successful men who became dependent on a substance to fill a void in their life. I have also counseled men whose life seemed as if it was designed for failure. The one thing that all these men have in common, no matter their history, is their inability to rationally say no. They are addicted to something that has clouded their rational perception of life. Their thought processes have been consumed by feeding their addiction. They have lost ability to objectively look at situations and make beneficial decisions. It’s the counselor’s responsibility to bring to light these thinking errors that has led to poor decisions. This reshaping of an individual’s thought process is called Rational Self Analysis. The process of putting this into place effectively…is called hard work…and at times, painful work.

Paul put into words the fight within man so beautifully. He basically said that the things I ought not to do, I do it…and the things that I should be doing, I don’t. This is called the “flesh”. The part of an individual that wars against what is right. The flesh wants us to react to certain situations in ways that wouldn’t be pleasing to our Savior. The flesh wants us to continue in the same sin that caused us to make bad decisions and lose focus on who and what God would have us to be and do. The men I counsel tell me often, “I know now that I shouldn’t have done it, but I thought I was strong enough to handle it at the time.” But assumptions are not reality.

Sin works the same in the Christians life. It shows no favoritism among the individuals it affects. It doesn’t matter what walk of life the person comes from or who they are. The devil shows no sentimentality to the life of the believer. Just the opposite, Satan is intimidated by a believer who has completely sold out for Jesus Christ. He knows that this is opposition to his purpose. “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy…” John 10: 10a. He will do his absolute best to destroy an individual who has the potential to lead a lost soul to Jesus. He will remind the believer of failures, guilt, and shame. He will seclude them from the family of Christ and convince them that this is how they should live their life. But, this is isn’t so. This isn’t the promise of those who are called according to the will of God. Yes, the thief does come to steal, kill, and destroy. But, the rest of the verse reads, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” John 10: 10b. Abundant life…abundant joy…abundant victory….this is all found at the feet of our Savior. We have to know this as truth though. We have to know the truth of God’s word and who He is. We have to understand what Christ desires for His children. If we, as Christians, truly understood who Jesus is than we would take hold of the promises He has selflessly provided. As children of God, we have the ability to stand against Satan and proclaim with confidence that, “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment though shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.” Isaiah 54:17.

Because we have these precious promises that our Savior has given us…and because we have the ability to walk in joy and happiness….because of ALL that Jesus has done for me…I refuse to stay defeated. I refuse to allow the devil a moment of satisfaction at my expense. I can look back at my life and see where I have given place to the devil and allowed him to steal my peace. I can look back and recognize poor decisions on my part that led to the loss of more than I care to dwell on. And because I know that these are areas in my life that I need to guard against my stumbling again in sin, I have made the choice to cut these things out of my life. This process has hurt and still hurts today…but I know the end result of allowing this in my life and I am not willing to walk that road again. I am not willing to part with more than I have already lost. I have most certainly lost some precious things as a result of the decision I made to cut some things from my life…but I will lose a few precious things if the end result is keeping my soul from Hell. Some people don’t understand why I have made the decisions I have and honestly, I don’t care to reason with them. God and I know why. That’s all that matters.

Just like I tell the men I counsel…it’s not a weakness to recognize what your limitations are. It’s a strength. You have to know who you are…good and bad to be able to walk this road called life. Use what you are blessed with and stay clear of what could steal your blessing. Cut things out of your life that could cause you to stumble and take hold of the Word of God. Don’t dwell on the things that brought the weaknesses to your attention and instead praise God that you can make the decision to not repeat the same things again. Just because you choose to walk away from stumbling blocks doesn’t mean that you won’t face the enemy again. But facing Satan helps to assure me that evidently I am doing something right for the kingdom of God. Evidently, Satan sees something within this servant of Christ that threatens his prosperity…and that makes me happy. Yes, the devil knows my name and he attempts to come against me over and over it seems. But the Lord of Heaven and Earth also knows my name. He has written it in the palm of His hand and it is there that I am kept from all the fiery darts of hell. I refuse to give up. I pray that this same passion will burn in your heart. Cut out that which could cause you to stumble in sin and press toward the mark of a higher calling in Jesus Christ.

Author: Britney Wilkes

Copyright © 2010-2011 Devotions Of Grace Blog – All Rights Reserved


Published in: on May 2, 2011 at 8:52 pm  Comments (9)  

No Pain, No Gain

“9Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? 10For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. 11Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” Hebrews 12:9-11 

Do you enjoy pain, correction or chastisement? I know I don’t, but even though this is something that I do not enjoy, it is a necessary part of life. Growing up with parents who were more conservative and stricter than many of the parents today, I fully understand this part of life. And I fully believe this discipline has helped to shape me into the person I am today.

My Daddy had four daughters, and his work was cut out for him. He wanted the very best for us, but in turn, expected the best from us. He expected us to help with daily chores, to make our beds and straighten up our rooms before leaving for school, and be responsible for our actions. Many days, I tried to get by with half-way doing what was asked of me, or to skip it completely and hope I could sweet talk my way out of the discipline that was sure to follow for not doing my part. Especially when it came to making my bed in the mornings…..I still to this day cannot stand to make up my bed! But every time I did not follow through with me chores, my Daddy was sure to follow through with his discipline. He had the dreaded wooden lint brush that would find its way to my backside in hopes of reminding me that his word was to be taken serious, and this chastisement would help me to remember this in the future. And most days it did, as my sisters and I hated that lint brush (so did my Momma), and made every effort to avoid the meetings with it; but we were kids/teenagers, and inevitably, we would test our Daddy’s words and face the consequences once again…… OUCH!!

This is so true even in our personal relationship with our Heavenly Father. He wants the very best for us, but in turn, He also expects us to give Him our very best. He has asked us to be ministers of His word, to be compassionate, to be obedient to His guiding, and to do our daily “chores”, i.e. pray, read our Bible and love one another. But there are days when the flesh side of us wants to be lazy, rebellious or just plain fleshly, and we don’t follow the commandments that have been laid before us. We slip into the flesh side and hope that with a little repentance we can sweet talk our Father into not chastising us for our mistakes. But His word clearly tells us, it is grievous for us not to be chastised, even though we would count it joy not to receive that spanking, but in the end it would not profit us to not learn from our mistakes.

There are also times, when we have followed our Father’s word, both physical and spiritual Fathers, but we still receive chastisement or correction. This is not a punishment; this is a trimming away of bad character or bad habits that are forming within our life. Our Father is watching us daily, talking with us and guiding us; and during these daily times of fellowship, He is noticing weeds or nasty fruit that is trying to grow and take over within our hearts. So before this weed can take hold, He takes out his pruning shears and begins to trim away those bad vines so they cannot take root and spread or put forth bad fruit. These times can also be painful, because it may not seem to be a bad thing in our life, but we cannot see the big picture and may not realize where this bad fruit is trying to lead us.

There are many things in this earthly world which seem harmless and fun, but in our Father’s eyes, He sees the destruction and harm that can come from continuing in these things. One example for me is music. Back in 1996, I was convicted of listening to music other than gospel music. This was a personal conviction and not one He has laid on everyone’s heart. And this was hard – I wasn’t doing anything bad while listening to this music, and I enjoy listening to country music and music from my younger years. But the Lord saw something in this music that He does not want to be a part of my life, so he has cut that from my life. Is this to say that I never listen to any music except gospel? I have to say that is my goal, but at the same time, I do not force my conviction on others, so there are times when I do hear other music. During these times, I try to keep my mind focused on other things and not focus on the music. Do I slip and enjoy the music, YES! Does the Lord remind me of my conviction…..YES!! And I accept my spanking, get my focus back where it is supposed to be and thank my Father for correcting me.

Today, are you experiencing a battle with things in your life that the Lord wants you to let go of, but you can’t understand or see the reasoning behind it? Please understand, He sees the future, He knows the plans He has for you, and He knows what’s best for your life. Yield to Him, even though it may be painful or hard to let go, and know without a shadow of a doubt, that He is using this to help you move closer to Him. The pruning process is always hard and at times painful, but each time he prunes us, good fruit grows more plentiful and our steps lead us to a closer walk with our Father.

Author: Michelle  Drummond

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Published in: on May 2, 2011 at 9:26 am  Comments (1)