Practice What You Preach

Practice What You Preach

Philippians 4:8-9 (ESV)  Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

I heard a voice in the darkness. “Honey, it’s after 5:00 AM. Did you set the alarm?” I guess not although I thought I did. Too late to worry about that now, I try to pull myself from deep slumber. Immediately the cares and worries I went to bed with come to greet me. Warding them off, I stumble out of bed as my husband, the makeshift meteorologist, tells me that is a whopping 26 degrees outside to which I mumble, “Of course it is!”

For just a moment, let’s pause. Let me set the scene for you. I am late. I usually get up at 4:30 AM and need every moment of that time to take care of the dogs, spend time with the Lord, make lunches for my family, and get ready for work. Today is Thursday which is cleaning day in our house. I try to get our bathroom out of the way before I head out. It is also my weekly trip to the grocery store so a list is being made simultaneously. Add to this already scheduled day, our daughter’s baby shower is in two days. Her due date in just a month. Oh, did I mention that I have been sick for almost two weeks so very behind in last minute details. My mom, sister and sister-in-law will arrive tomorrow night to stay with us. On top of all that, I have a scheduled dental procedure on Monday. To some that is no big deal just a date on the calendar – but in my mind it is a date with absolute torture. Hate the dentist as a profession although mine is very patient and kind. All of these “things” came rushing into my head this morning, I almost became entangled in worry, stress, fear, and anxious thoughts. But now it is time to practice what I preach…

What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me – practice these things…

This is not a message for the unbeliever today. This is hope for the imperfect Christian. It is a word of encouragement to put down the bat and stop trying to do everything right. It is an invitation to rest. To rely on the Lord and trust in Him. Today, there is no possible way that I can do all the things that I think I need to do. The expectation heaped on me by my own hands is just too much. The Bible says, “I can do all things THROUGH Christ who gives me strength.” I must practice putting all the details of my life including those things I call priorities into the Hands of Christ and allowing Him to hand back what I need to do, say and be in any given day. So I called a meeting inside my head…

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

The only weapon in the enemy’s arsenal is the lie. If he can change your mind about God just enough to believe anything contrary to the character and nature of God – you will question everything you know about Him. If he can somehow convince you that the Lord is not with you, for you, and in you, he will have the power to persuade you to engage in detours, distractions and delays. We must learn to practice what we preach and become consummate doers of the Word until our mind and heart align with God’s Word, Will and Way and cannot be swayed.

When I was in gymnastics, I decided that I wanted to do a back handspring. I am not athletically inclined but I really wanted to accomplish this feat. So what did I do? The instructors showed me how to do a back handspring. They instructed me on proper form and execution. They encouraged me to practice all the time. So that is exactly what I started to do. I fell countless times. I made several attempts. Time and time again, I couldn’t get my feet over my head. I was on the verge of giving up but something in me just kept nagging me to try one more time. You know what happened? I learned to do a back handspring. Can I do one today? Nope. I stopped doing them and am what? Out of practice…

2 Corinthians 10:4-6 (ESV) For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.

As believers, we must protect our thoughts. Seeds of faith planted in our heart cannot grow until our heart is made up that God is for us. He is good. Working in us. Our dependency on the Lord requires a heart and mind that agrees. We must…We Must…WE MUST destroy arguments and EVERY lofty opinion raised against the Knowledge of God and take every thought captive to OBEY Christ. Why?

To say one thing and do another is a contradiction. Once our mind is made up – our flesh must follow. To worry, stress and be anxious is to accept that lie that there is something to fear other than God alone. To decide that change is impossible is to allow pride to tell us our flesh is stronger than our Savior. Disobedience to God comes with a heavy price. Grace covers sin completely. God does not punish His Children. The discipline of God is to right our way and send us into the Promise. Disobedience is the enemy’s ploy to keep us from all God has for us including blessings, favor and prosperity.

Psalm 111:7-10 (ESV) The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy; they are established forever and ever, to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness. He sent redemption to his people; he has commanded his covenant forever. Holy and awesome is his name!  The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever!

When I woke up late today, the enemy presented me with anxiety overload before my eyes even opened. I reached my hand out until it was just beyond my grasp. But you know what else met me this morning, the new mercies of God – Jesus offered me His Hand – “Here let me take that from you.” It was definitely a standoff like an old-time western movie – I had to choose who I would give my burdens and cares in that moment. I haven’t always made the right choice. There have been many days when the things that happened this morning would have resulted in me rushing around completely overwhelmed snapping at my husband and children. I would have given up my time with the Lord in order to regain some lost moments. BUT NOT TODAY!

Today I must practice what I preach. God is love. So I will be loving even though I don’t feel very loving but agitated and stressed. God is good. He will work every detail of my life out for His Good. God is with me. Christ lives in me. The important things will be done if I keep my eyes fixed on Jesus and do what He has called me to do. We must make it a conscious effort each day to respond to the promises of God rather than reacting to the lie of the enemy. To focus on the call of God rather than the taunts of the giant. What is my purpose today? “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8) The Lord knows the desires of my heart. He knows my motives and good intentions. He will never let me down if I put my whole heart and all my trust in Him. I must not only read the Word of God but do what it says to have its promises. So today…I will practice what I preach!

Romans 8:35-39 (ESV)  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.


Persuade Me – A Devotion

Persuade Me

Romans 8:37-39 (NKJV)

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 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 created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.


What’s the point? You know the feeling. The fight has been long. We grow weary in our stand of faith because it seems hope may never find us. Our sword arm is tired of holding up God’s Word like a lamp that seems to never reach the end of the darkness. Am I the only one? The only one who ever gets lost in the good fight of faith? I don’t think so. I see the Facebook posts of the fallen. I scan through the pictures on Instagram crying out for someone to reach in and help someone up. I know what it feels like to feel isolated in a room full of family, friends and the fellowship of the church. It is not your fault. I am not to blame. I am standing. Waiting on the Lord to complete all that He has promised. I am to be more than a conqueror but right now I don’t feel all that strong. I have been given the victory over every single adversary that may ever come against me in this life. But there are days that I don’t feel the power that consumes me only the crashing of the battle all around me. I speak for those who will not speak for themselves afraid that the fruit in their field may wither at the thought of weakness in the one who shared the seed that brought them back to life. Sometimes we need others to share their struggles so we know that even “more than conquerors” feel fatigue, get overwhelmed and need a hand up.

“In ALL things, we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” I study many translations of God’s Word so that I do not grow too familiar with the facts. Presented different ways with many explanations seems to peak my interest and keep me digging in the Word of God. One of the translations that I use is called the New Spirit Filled Life Bible in the New King James Version (what a mouthful). There are several commentaries within its text referencing good teaching and using Strong’s Concordance to further explain certain words and their meaning. Maybe you are thinking who has time for all that information, surely the Spirit will explain the Word and reinforce its meaning. Let me put it like this, I am desperate to know Him more. Not too long ago, we were gathered at my husband’s uncle’s house. He was about to meet the Lord and the family had gathered to comfort him in his journey. At a table surrounded by many of his family members, they began to share stories and family history all about that side of the family. Although married for more than a decade, there were many things that I did not know about his father or his paternal side of the family because his father had passed when he was a teenager. Time sped by just getting to know more and more about them. They are family. I want to know everything that there is to know. Why would my relationship with God the Father or Jesus the Son be any different? One of the commentaries broke down this very popular verse even further to say that as believers in Christ, we are capable of over and above super victories. More than conquerors is not a get by mentality but a complete takeover of every situation in our life. It is a battle that we do not have to fight on the outside but is completely reliant on what we believe inside.

“For I am persuaded” (understand, believe and convinced) that NOTHING can ever separate me from the Love of God found in Jesus Christ. Though I know that I will eventually overcome in every situation in my life, I must increase my understanding, enabling more belief until I am completely convinced that nothing in this world or beyond can or will ever separate me from His Love. I want to be over and above super victorious in my life. I want to overcome every single thing that is coming against me, but first I must overcome my own misunderstanding, disbelief, and become completely convinced as well.

Psalm 53:2 (NKJV))

God looks down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there are any who understand, who seek God.


Psalm 107:43 (NKJV)

Whoever is wise will observe these things, and they will understand the loving kindness of the Lord.


Proverbs 3:5-6 (NKJV)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.


You can never know enough about the Love of God. It is too high, deep, and wide for us to ever completely understand its parameters. It is more powerful than we can ever experience in this life. It would completely consume us if we encounter Him face-to-face. When we begin to feel overwhelmed with the circumstances and situations of life, it is imperative to dig deeper into the Word of God which is the explanation of benefits of faith. It tells us what we want, need and desire and how to get it. It defines our inheritance increasing our ability to believe that it belongs to us. Why not me? Why not now? Knowledge and wisdom can be found in many teachers but we must never forsake the pursuit of the Lord for ourselves allowing His Spirit to define the parameters of our faith and footsteps in our journey. Everyone is different. Our life plans individualized by the Lord. No two people will follow the same way just as long as we are headed in the right direction. His Name is Jesus Christ. His Spirit is alive and well inside of us. We need to feed our Spirit the Word of God so it will empower our mind with supernatural wisdom that allows us to expect more than what we see in the natural and obtain the supernatural. It is the only way that we will believe.

Psalm 27:13-14 (NKJV)

I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!


Mark 9:23-24 (NKJV)

Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”

We must believe that the Word of God is true. We must believe that God’s Love is the prevailing force in our life. Why? We fight against the unseen world not the real world. People are not our problem. (Ephesians 6:12-13) Our battle is against principalities and rulers of darkness. You cannot see them but they are definitely aware of those who choose to believe. The Armor of God are all the attributes of His Love for us. We will not use the armor if we have no confidence to keep us safe and protected in battle. However, when we see that His Love is not just our best defense but the only one that consistently leads to over and above super victories – no one will leave home without it. We must live by faith not by sight because you cannot see the enemy of your soul but he can see you and chooses to attack you more and more the closer you get to overcoming. Why? Your testimony plants seeds of righteousness that grow into a harvest of souls credited to the Kingdom. As others see what God is doing in our life and the joy that comes from just knowing the Lord, the lie of the enemy is silenced and they will seek God, too. It is our belief in God that certifies our faith and allows us to live in the realm of confident hope. Sometimes while standing, we forget what we are standing for. It is perfectly okay to ask the Lord to help our unbelief. We will never see the fullness of God promised until we believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that we WILL see the Goodness of God in this lifetime. We must be convinced.

Philippians 1:6 (NKJV)

Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ…


Romans 4:20-22(NKJV)

He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.  And therefore “it was accounted to him for righteousness.”


Weariness is not a weakness but shows that we are enduring. Wavering is the problem that we must overcome. The things we go through in life test our faith for validity. Our faith in the Lord must be genuine. Faith in God is our undoing. It shatters every preconceived nothing that we can do anything worthwhile in and of ourselves. We are born dying and achieve life through Jesus Christ. Yes, of course, the enemy is attacking your life because you want all that God has for you. So does he…his purpose is to steal, kill and destroy. But those who choose to understand, believe and be fully convinced of the Power of God’s Love will be over and above super victorious in this life. Are you tired of standing? Do you want to move on? The Lord is perfecting that which concerns you so hang on tight. He has a Plan with a future and hope worth having in the land of the living according to His Great Goodness. Plant those feet a little deeper in His Word today. Sow those tears. The Lord collects them for redemption…they are worth something to Him. Strengthen your faith by doing what you know and not responding to the world. This world has nothing – I repeat nothing for you that will ever compare to the Glory God has prepared for His Children. Do you want it? Stand up and take it. It’s coming! Don’t give up. To live in God’s Love disarms the enemy. (Colossians 2:13-15) But you must be consistent and committed by faith because the power of the enemy is only bound from those who live in Christ. Otherwise, you are fair game. There are very real adversaries in this world that we cannot see overcome only by the Love of God which is our resting place.

I John 5:1-5 (NKJV)

Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?


With this revelation of super victory today, I wonder if it has impacted you as it has me. I have the power to overcome every day and in every situation living in the Love of God. It is up to me to know, understand, believe and remain committed in my pursuit of His Presence and Power by simply learning to love Him more than I fear the things coming against me. It seems like it would be easy but friend we both know it’s not. It’s just worth it.

I Corinthians 15:57-58 (NLT)

But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.


Faith Impossible – A Devotion

Faith Impossible

Psalm 18:1-3 (NLT)

I love you, Lord; you are my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety. I called on the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and he saved me from my enemies.


Out of the frying pan into the fire. It feels that way sometimes as I walk this walk of faith learning to trust God with my life. I close the door to one battle and open another only to find another waiting on the other side. I need to hear the good news again from Isaiah 35, “strengthen those who have tired hands, and encourage those who have weak knees. Say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, and do not fear, for your God is coming to destroy your enemies. He is coming to save you.”  Even God’s strongest fighters get tired, limping along with their sword of faith dragging behind them. I am that warrior. Overwhelmed at the thought I swinging it one more time, I just want some relief. Are you there? Have you ever been there? Am I the only one who gets tired of fighting the good fight of faith? Or could it be it is in moments like this that God reveals Himself to His Children in all of His Glory? Why? Tired, drained and out of strength, we become totally reliant on His Power and Strength to overcome every enemy that comes at us in this life to be where He is. We run to the Lord as our Rock, Fortress and Savior when we cannot do it our self anymore. He will be our protection when we stop trying to defend ourselves and allow Him to be our shield, power and safety. In our weakness and total vulnerability, the true potential of our faith is discovered.

Psalm 18:16-19 (NLT)

He reached down from heaven and rescued me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemies, from those who hated me and were too strong for me. They attacked me at a moment when I was in distress, but the Lord supported me. He led me to a place of safety; he rescued me because he delights in me.


God helps those who help themselves is NOT a Biblical truth but human philosophy. It is one of the most common misunderstandings and debilitating lies that the enemy has ever told. We couldn’t save ourselves from death and the grave. I couldn’t save our son from cancer. Ultimately, isn’t that what we are all fighting for – life. Life more abundantly. The battle is definite. The struggle is real. But human strength will never be strong enough in and of itself to overcome the enemy. We need God. The Power that brought back Jesus from the grave is the only way for anyone to overcome. The picture in Psalm 18 is one of great relief. He (the Lord) reached down from Heaven. He rescued me. He drew me out of the deep waters that I was drowning in. He rescued me from my enemies who hated me and proved too strong for me. They attacked me in my moment of distress. (Wow, this is so true.) BUT the Lord supported me and led me to safety. He rescued me simply because Jesus delights in me. Nowhere in this account does it say that anything was necessary on my part but surrender. I just had to accept His Help and let His Power pull me out of danger’s way. Do I trust the Lord enough to fight for me today?

Psalm 18:25-28 (NLT)

To the faithful you show yourself faithful; to those with integrity you show integrity. To the pure you show yourself pure, but to the crooked you show yourself shrewd. You rescue the humble, but you humiliate the proud. You light a lamp for me. The Lord, my God, lights up my darkness.


Faith is my trust in God. If I trust Him, He will prove faithful. His Position of Sovereign Power over everything ever created is not in any way threatened or lessened by man’s unwillingness to believe. To those with integrity – He proves to be Truth. His Power is available for me. It is always available, but I do not always rely on Him. I try to fight my own battles and when I fall short in personal strength to overcome is when I run to Him. God promises me victory. He will give me everything that I need to win every battle, but my sinful and pride-ridden nature forgets and tries to do it myself. God rescues the humble. Humility is not a characteristic easily gained. It requires submission. But as I learn to surrender more and more of my life to His Love and Power by faith, He lights up the darkness and I realize that I have nothing to fear. I do not have to fight but rather just watch as the Lord fights for me because of His Great Love.

Psalm 18:30-32(NLT)

God’s way is perfect. All the Lord’s promises prove true. He is a shield for all who look to him for protection. For who is God except the Lord? Who but our God is a solid rock? God arms me with strength, and he makes my way perfect.


God’s Way is perfect. His Plan is always good and much better than anything that I could ever come up with. Anything less is compromise. All of His Promises are true and applicable to my life. He is my shield. His Word is my sword. But I cannot safely use His Word in my life without first securely grabbing hold of the shield of faith, because to do so is invite the enemy to engage in war against me. He hates it when I trust God and believe in Jesus Christ. I must put on God’s Full Armor to successfully stand in every battle against the adversary who wants to destroy my life. (Ephesians 6:10-12) In His Perfect, wrapped in His Armor, we can stand on faith and confidence that God will rescue us and fight for us in every situation. In this place of surrender to God’s Power, He trains us (Psalm 18:34) He strengthens us. He shields us. (Psalm 18:35) He supports us giving us everything we need to be safe and secure in times of desperation. He helps me. God makes a wide path for my feet to follow Him step-by-step through the minefields of testing set by the enemy to take out God’s Children. (Psalm 18:36)

Psalm 63:6-8 (NLT)

I lie awake thinking of you, meditating on you through the night. Because you are my helper, I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings. I cling to you; your strong right hand holds me securely.


When I lie awake at night thinking about the battles of each day, I can change things in that moment when I decide to meditate on God’s Promises and by faith dare to believe that they apply to me and my life. It takes the power from the enemy and hands it back to Jesus so that He can defeat and overcome every opposition in our life. Power is given to the one who dominates our thoughts. Why? Because we are not fighting flesh and blood but principalities and darkness that are constantly trying to inject rebellious thoughts into the heart and mind of God’s People that our Father doesn’t love us, care for us, provide for us or fight for us. Such thoughts disengage our heart with fear separating us from our Protector and Provider by a barrier of fear that causes disbelief. We know that it is impossible to please God without faith. (Hebrews 11:6) But are we convinced?

Psalm 44:3-8 (NLT)

They did not conquer the land with their swords; it was not their own strong arm that gave them victory. It was your right hand and strong arm and the blinding light from your face that helped them, for you loved them. You are my King and my God. You command victories for Israel.  Only by your power can we push back our enemies; only in your name can we trample our foes.  I do not trust in my bow; I do not count on my sword to save me. You are the one who gives us victory over our enemies; you disgrace those who hate us. O God, we give glory to you all day long and constantly praise your name. 

You have been given victory. Jesus Christ has handed us the Keys to His Kingdom. Are we using them to open up the refuge that He has prepared to us entered by faith. Do we dare believe in His Power and Love enough to stop fighting our battles and use our faith to achieve the impossible. Just a little faith has the power to change our life. (Matthew 17:19-20) Yet we believe the enemy’s report never trusting a single word that Jesus has given us unless pushed to brokenness and utter devastation battling in our own strength and power. What if we dared to sit on our faith and remain anchored in hope (Hebrews 6:19) and allowed the Lord to fight just one battle for us today? We would be victorious. How do I know? Victory always glorifies God. We were made to give Him Glory.

2 Timothy 2:3-4 (NLT)

Endure suffering along with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. Soldiers don’t get tied up in the affairs of civilian life, for then they cannot please the officer who enlisted them.


To fight the good fight of faith and win, I must endure to the end. Every trial in life bears the distinct opportunity to glorify God as He fights for us and rescues those He delights in. Faith allows us to believe that God delights in us because of Jesus and not anything we have done or not done. Our hope is that our faith will result in every promise the Lord has given us. When trials come, we can be glad. There is always a promise attached. There is blessing in victory. Joy lies ahead. (I Peter 1:6-8) Why? Because our faith is made stronger as we learn to endure until we are complete lacking nothing. How do I know? It is the Truth written on my sword. It is the inscription on my shield of faith. I must only endure. I cannot get tangled up in civilian’s affairs including the threats and taunts of the enemy cast out through other people. They are fighting for faith just like me. I must only seek to please the officer who enlisted me – Jesus Christ. I have the victory. I am blessed. I will glorify God. I will discover the true potential of faith and He will rescue me.

I Timothy 6:11-14 (NLT)

But you, (insert your name), are a man (or woman) of God; so run from all these evil things. Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness. Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have declared so well before many witnesses. And I charge you before God, who gives life to all, and before Christ Jesus, who gave a good testimony before Pontius Pilate, that you obey this command without wavering. Then no one can find fault with you from now until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again.