Let The Holy Spirit Guide Your Lives

Galatians 5.20


“So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.” -Galatians 5:16



Yes, you are a new creation in Christ, but just because you are a child of God does not mean you will not have issues, problems, or struggles.  Your sinful nature is in direct opposition to the new nature given to you by Christ.
As a child of God, you have the Holy Spirit living within you, and the Holy Spirit will lead and guide you.  However, the sinful nature will war against the desires the Holy Spirit has given you because the sinful nature wants to do evil.


REFLECTION “My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20 NLT). You are under no obligation to do what your sinful natures urges you to do because the Holy Spirit empowers you to live a pure and holy life before God.  Every day is a choice to submit yourself to God to live in accordance with His Word.  Therefore, since you are in Christ, you no longer live by the dictates of your sinful nature.  Now you are letting your mind be controlled by the Holy Spirit, and because you are letting the Holy Spirit have His way in your life, you are being led by Him.  When the Holy Spirit convicts you letting you know something is wrong, stop what you are doing and listen to Him.  It is important to be aware that if you compromise on one sin, it will be easy to fall into one sin after another.  You will not be able to show a life of victory in Christ if you continually compromise and give into temptation.  Keep your eyes open to what the Spirit has to show you and keep your ears open to hear His voice.



PRAYER Heavenly Father, thank You for giving me Your Holy Spirit to guide me into all truth.  Help me to learn from You what You want me to learn.  Let me sit at Your feet to hear You speak.  I ask that You continually fill me with Your Spirit to overflow so that I might be able to do Your will and carry out whatever it is You ask me to carry out.  Thank You for guiding me this far, and I pray that You continue to guide me as I follow Your ways.  Help me to remain steadfast in You so that I will not compromise.  May I always seek Your truth and walk uprightly before You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.



Linda A. Knowles


“Keep watch and pray,

so that you will not give in to temptation.
For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!”
Matthew 26:41 (NLT)
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Satisfaction In GOD Alone

though none go with me


“The LORD will not let the godly go hungry, but he refuses to satisfy the craving of the wicked.” -Proverbs 10:3 (NLT)



When you trust GOD, you do not need to worry.  You have no reason to because the LORD your GOD takes care of you and He is the One who meets every need you have and sees the deepest desires of your heart.  The Word of GOD says, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need,” (Matthew 6:33 NLT).  When you are delighting yourself in the LORD by loving Him with all your heart and following Him wholeheartedly, you are blessed of the LORD.

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Satisfaction cannot be found in anything or anyone else.  Satisfaction can only be found in GOD.  Those who depend on GOD and rely upon GOD alone will always find themselves satisfied.  Because of GOD, through CHRIST, you have been made complete, made whole, which means you have all you need in GOD.  He is your All In All.
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The other side of that:  GOD does not satisfy the wicked.  The ungodly are self-reliant, do not have reverence for GOD, and live for themselves.  Living in disobedience to GOD and His ways and showing disdain toward GOD and His Word brings destruction.  Surely none who wait for You will be put to shame; but those who are faithless without cause will be disgraced.” (Psalm 25:3 BSB).
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For all who are led by the Spirit of GOD are children of GOD.  The Spirit of the Living GOD (Holy Spirit) has been given to you to guide and lead you into all truth.  He is your Comforter, residing in you, a child of the Most High GOD, “The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him,” (Ephesians 1:14 NLT).
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REFLECTION Are you finding satisfaction in GOD or do you look to other things to satisfy you?  Do you truly understand that satisfaction is found in GOD alone and He is the only One who can satisfy your every need and longing?  “Fear the Lord, you his godly people, for those who fear him will have all they need. Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry, but those who trust in the Lord will lack no good thing,” (Psalm 34:9-10 NLT).  Having reverence for GOD and the things of GOD begins first with the fear of the LORD.  To fear GOD is to have deep respect for Him. The deepest need every person has is his/her spiritual need for GOD. The Word of GOD says, Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.” To be poor in spirit is to recognize your need for GOD and your need for the Savior.  When you fear the LORD, you have wisdom because the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.  


PRAYER Heavenly Father, You are the Only One Who Can Satisfy the deepest longing of my heart and soul.  You are the Only One able to breathe life into me.  Draw near to me as I draw near to You, and let me learn true reverence and holiness in Your presence.  With joy, let me drink deeply from the Well of Salvation as I cling to You and Your truth.  Fill me with Your Holy Spirit that I might be able to discern what is pleasing to You and what is not pleasing to You.  Guide me into all truth, and open my eyes to see what You want to show me and open my ears to hear You speak clearly.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.



Linda A. Knowles



You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.  I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory.  Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.  I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands.  I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you.” –Psalm 63:1-5

He Knows The Hopes of the Helpless

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“LORD, you know the hopes of the helpless. Surely you will hear their cries and comfort them.” -Psalm 10:17 (NLT)



The LORD is with you, and He sees you when it feels like everything is surrounding you or even when it feels like everything is caving in on you.  The LORD your GOD knows those who are your enemies are arrogant and proud, and even though it seems all is well with them, they are not well.  The wicked will perish.  Though trouble surrounds you, the LORD is delivering you out of your troubles.  The LORD is the GOD of all comfort, preparing a feast before you in the presence of your enemies.
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We can take comfort in the presence of GOD.  Our GOD is the One we can run into because He is our Strong Tower, and when we run into Him, we are safe.  He is the Cleft of the Rock who shelters us in the time of storm.
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REFLECTION: “The LORD is good, a strong refuge when trouble comes. He is close to those who trust in him,” (Nahum1:7 NLT). In this passage of Scripture Nineveh had slipped back to their old ways and was now worse than ever before.  Nineveh had reason to be terrified because Nineveh was contending with GOD.  The words in this context of this passage may be disconcerting to the unbeliever, but to those of us who believe, it is great comfort.  Because we trust in GOD, living for Him, though we may find ourselves in a situation where we feel helpless, remember GOD is sovereign.  He is still on His throne, and He upholds you with His righteous right hand.  We are not left without hope no matter what the situation, no matter what circumstances we find ourselves in.  The LORD is our Helper, our Strong Refuge, and our GOD is so very good.

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Keep trusting in GOD.  Keep pressing into GOD through prayer.  Keep on in steadfastness and walking in obedience. Through your GOD, you shall do valiantly. You are victorious.  You are the Child of the Most High GOD, and you are a conqueror. Your GOD does NOT fail.
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PRAYER Heavenly Father, You are the GOD who never fails.  You are the GOD of Victory.  Thank You for teaching me about Your protection and Your faithfulness.  Thank You for making me victorious.  Thank You for being My Father.  You, O GOD, are my Helper, and LORD, remind me You are my Refuge and my Strong Tower and that I need not fear because You have empowered me to persevere through my trials and to triumph over my enemies.  Continue Your work in me, and make me a light for You in this dark world; and may I be a living testimony to proclaim Your faithfulness and Your goodness to those around me.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Linda A. Knowles



“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

1 Corinthians 15:57 (ESV)

Time To Check In Our Baggage



WORRY-ANXIETY



Is being anxious a sin?  Yes, it is.  Anxiety is as much of a sin as lying, stealing, cursing, bitterness, resentment, and anything that satisfies the lusts of the flesh.
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Anxiety and Worry are synonymous.  If you are anxious, you are worried, and if you are worried, you are anxious.  The Merriam-Webster Dictionary characterizes anxious as “extreme uneasiness of mind or brooding fear about some contingency:  WORRIED, resulting from or causing anxiety: worrying.”
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The Scriptures speak about being anxious.  Anxiety involves lack of trusting in God and lack of putting our faith in Him.  Anxiety will make us focus on our problems, trials, and circumstances; Anxiety doesn’t allow for us to look to God first and foremost.  Anxiety, like any other sin, will wear us out and drag us down into the muck and mire, wallowing in ourselves.
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Jesus has a most awesome prescription to handle anxiety.  This is what His prescription is and is shown to us in Matthew 11:28-30 (NLT), “Then Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.’”
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Did you see that?  Jesus is not asking or suggesting.  He’s not making a recommendation.  Jesus has just given a direct command.  In a nutshell, He has just told us to come to Him (HELLO HE IS WELCOMING US TO THROW ALL OUR ISSUES ON TOP OF HIM), all of us who are weary and carry heavy burdens. Let’s take Note Jesus’ commands to us:  (1) Come to me, (2) Take My yoke upon you, (3) Let me teach you.  And if we follow those commands, look at the promises:  (1) Jesus will give us rest, (2) He’s humble and gentle and will show us what to do, and (3) He will give us rest for our souls, (4) Jesus doesn’t topple us over with manmade rules and manmade traditions.  His commands are not burdensome and what He tells us to do and gives us won’t weigh us down.
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Jesus also said to us as shown in Matthew 6:34 (NLT), “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”  Even the Apostle Peter urges and tells us to, “Cast all your anxiety on him for he cares for you.”  Anxiety comes with a whole host of emotions.  If we’re anxious, we will end up being scared, and if we end up getting scared because we’re anxious, then we’re going to end up being sad.  If we end up sad because we are scared because we’re anxious, we’re going to end up confused.  If we end up confused because we’re sad because we were scared because we’re anxious to begin with…  Well, we can see where this is going…
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bag-man7
We end up looking like this gentleman in the photo to the right -weighed down by multiple suitcases, unable to barely take a step, and when trying to take a step land on our faces because the load is too much to bear.
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Christ is our Yokebearer, and He can handle whatever baggage we have to give Him.  He is the Lord who is Savior and the One Who Has Redeemed Us.  Our God is the One Who Delivers Us from all our troubles (Psalm 34:19), and there is nothing like giving it all over to Him.  Part of surrendering our lives to Christ is trusting Him in all things, to trust His love and His heart for us.  He is looking out for us.  He is the One who tells us, “Come to me.”
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When we shift our focus back on to God and begin to praise Him, we will find our cares lifting as we surrender our anxiety to Him.   As we continue to praise the Lord and lift our voices in song to Him, we will find all the things of this world become so insignificant in His presence.  The Lord Your God never slumbers and never sleeps, and He is the Shepherd of our Heart!


“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” -Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)


TIME TO CHECK IN OUR BAGGAGE
Heavenly Father, You have been the Shepherd of my Heart.  You always take care of me. You have not forgotten me because You, O LORD, have engraved my name in the palms of Your hand.  I confess my sin of anxiety before You, O LORD, and ask that You forgive me as I am giving all of my cares and concerns to You right now in Jesus’ name.  I thank You that I am able to look to You, knowing You are my Redeemer and Deliverer, trusting in the finished work of Christ on the cross who shed His blood that I would be healed and set free.  Thank You for being my Yokebreaker.  Help me to always put on the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, that my soul need not be downcast because my hope is in the Lord.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Linda A. Knowles


“To all who mourn in Israel,
he will give a crown of beauty for ashes,
a joyous blessing instead of mourning,
festive praise instead of despair.
In their righteousness,
they will be like great oaks
that the Lord has planted
for his own glory.”
(Isaiah 61:3 NLT)

Your Words Are Sweet

Psalm 119vs124



“I am your servant; deal with me in unfailing love,

and teach me your decrees.”

Psalm 119:124 (NLT)



YOUR WORDS ARE SWEET

By Linda A. Knowles

 

Like Mary, O God, let me sit at Your feet

to devour the Words that You speak

For Your Words are like honey on my lips

And Your decrees ever sweet.

Deal with Your servant gently, O Lord,

and teach me Your ways;

That I may listen to all Your commands

to take heed of and obey.

 

Give Rightful Place To GOD

Psalm 139vs23-24



Idols cannot give us life.  GOD, however, is the Creator;  He is the Giver of Life.  “…yet my people have exchanged their glorious GOD for worthless idols,”  (Jeremiah 2:11).   An idol is anything or anyone that takes away GOD’s rightful place in our lives.  To exchange GOD for temporal things is foolishness.  Why would we exchange GOD who is the glory and the lifter of our heads (Psalm 3:3) for something else that is incapable of giving us life, for something which fades or withers away, something which eventually breaks (1 John 2:17).  Why exchange GOD who is eternal for other things which are not lasting?



“You must not have any other god but me.  You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea.  You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods.  I lay the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected–even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject me.  But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey my commands.”  -Exodus 20:3-6

Since we are commanded not to have any other gods but the Almighty GOD then we must take hold of GOD, and cling tightly to His truth for He is our Sustainer (Psalm 54:4) and He is not a man that He should lie (Numbers 23:19).  When we love GOD, with our whole heart and soul and mind, we won’t want to hurt or displease GOD.  We demonstrate our love for GOD by giving GOD His rightful place in our lives and obeying all He has commanded us to do.  First place in our lives is not for anyone or anything else.

GOD alone is sovereign, worthy of all glory, honor, and praise for Who He Is.  He is worthy because He is GOD and has demonstrated His love and mercy to us by bestowing His love and His blessings lavishly upon His children.  GOD is to be our First Love.  Nothing can give us lasting joy except for GOD, and there is nothing that can replace GOD in our lives.  We can try to replace GOD in our lives, but that would be breaking GOD’s commands which would displease GOD and cause us nothing but heartache.



“So that I may take hold of the hearts of the people of Israel.  For because of their idols, they are all estranged from ME.” -Ezekiel 14:5


“So humble yourselves before God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  Come close to God, and God will come close to you.  Wash your hands, you sinner;  purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between GOD and the world.  Let there be tears for what you have done.  let there be sorrow and deep grief.  Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy.  Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.” -James 4:7-10



Let’s not pull away from GOD, but let’s be faithful to our GOD and not dessert Him for things which are fleeting.  Instead, let’s worship Him in spirit and in truth, giving Him our very best because He gave us His very best, loving Him because He first loved us.  GOD is worthy of us following Him wholeheartedly.  We should never give Him our leftovers, but give Him all the honor due Him because He is GOD. 



PRAYER Heavenly Father, You are Sovereign.  There is no other who compares with You for You are glorious and majestic in all Your ways.  Forgive me for the times I have put other things before You.  I never want to displease You.  Help me to always remember that You alone are GOD and You want the best for me.  Thank You for allowing me the privilege to be able to draw close to You.  Thank You for being mindful of me and for lavishly loving me.   Thank You for forgiving me.  Because I love You, I will do as You command and walk in Your ways.  Guide me into all truth.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.



Linda A. Knowles

 

 

Follow Him Wherever He Leads

2 KINGS 6.

Hope, trust, faith, and belief in GOD are never misplaced, and with GOD, all things are possible.  Our GOD is able to do far above and beyond what we could ever ask or think.

He is the LORD who delivered His people out of slavery, the LORD who made the blind to see, made the lame to walk, and the One who calmed the sea.

The GOD who did all that is able to take you through whatever you’re going through.  He is able to get you through to the other side.  Whatever mountain you are facing, He is able to help you climb.  He is the GOD who specializes in the impossible.  Is there anything impossible for Him?  Nothing is impossible for Him, but without Him, you can do nothing.  He is the One who will strengthen you and supply you with the strength you need.  He is the One who will lead you through the storm.  He is the Cleft of the Rock where you can take shelter from the storm.  Rely and depend on Him for He is GOD.  He will never disappoint you.

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

“For you did not receive a spirit of slavery that returns you to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!'” -Romans 8:15

When you are a child of the Most High GOD, you’re surrounded by the Heavenly Hosts, protected, and safe in the arms of GOD. Just follow Him wherever He leads, and know everything is going to be all right.  Remember GOD knows what you need before you even ask Him.  He has supplied all you need to get through whatever place you find yourself in at the moment.  He cares about you and does far beyond what you could ever ask or think.

Keep your mind fixed on GOD.  Trust in Him, and He will keep you in perfect peace.



PRAYER Heavenly Father, You are so good.  Thank You for being my Shelter.  There is no other GOD like You.  You are the Sure Foundation, and as long as I stand upon You, I know I cannot sink.  You have me engraved in the palm of Your hand, and I know You have not forgotten me.  Be with me, LORD, for with You, I have no reason to fear for You have not given me the spirit of fear but of love and of power and of a sound mind.  Thank You for taking me this far.  LORD, my help comes from You alone for You, O GOD, are my Portion forever.  You are my Shield and my Fortress.  Thank You for the work You are doing in me and the work You will continue to do in me.  Have Your way in my life.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.



May GOD bless you abundantly,

Linda A. Knowles

Let God Handle Your Enemies

EXODUS



“Huddle together, you nations, and be terrified. Listen, all you distant lands. Prepare for battle, but you will be crushed! Yes, prepare for battle, but you will be crushed! Call your councils of war, but they will be worthless. Develop your strategies, but they will not succeed. For God is with us!” -Isaiah 8:9-10


Your enemies can devise all the schemes and plans they want to try to take you down. They have one major problem; they have to get through the blood of Christ in order to get to you. They can come up with clever word games and other manipulative tactics, but they can never thwart the plans of God for your life. The Word of God is not chained, and when the Word of God goes out, the Word of God will accomplish the purposes for which it was sent. The Lord of Heaven’s Armies cannot be stopped by any mortal. Immanuel (God With Us) is a declarative name, and because God is with you, you are made victorious. The Lord Your God is your Immanuel, and God being with you rescues you from the clutches of the enemy.  “What shall we say about such wonderful things as these?  If God is for us, who can ever be against us?”  Keep standing on the promises of God and obeying His commandments as He is fighting your battles and as He is taking care of your enemies.  Always remember the battle belongs to the Lord.



REFLECTION:  “If you love me, obey my commandments,” (John 14:15) Christ said, “But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you.”  In dealing with your enemies, you do not deal with them as the world does.  You don’t pray for their demise or for something bad to happen to them.  Vengeance belongs to God alone.  As a child of the Most High God, you are to continue walking in obedience to the teaching of Christ and to know, as well as to keep at the front of your mind, that your responsibility is to love your enemies and do good to those that hate you.  If you love the Lord, you will obey Him and His teachings and keep trusting in Him to take care of those who are against you.  Let God be God, and you remain blessed by loving your enemies, praying for them, and doing good to those who hate you.



PRAYER Heavenly Father, to You be all the glory.  You alone are God, and You said vengeance belongs to You.  Bless my enemies by meeting their deepest need to know You and who You are.  Lord, teach me how to do good to my enemies and show me ways to bless them.  Forgive me for the times, I have desired revenge, and help me to remember Your ways are not my ways.  Help me to remember you work all things out for good.  Father, fill me with your Holy Spirit and strengthen me as I continue to do Your will and obey Your teachings.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.



“Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore, I have set my face like a stone, determined to do his will. And I know that I will not be put to shame.” -Isaiah 50:7

Linda A. Knowles

Times of Desperation Are The Best



GRACE 2



You might be thinking, “Seriously, Linda? Times of desperation are the best? Are you crazy?”  Probably, but I have had a lot of time to think about desperation since I have been through desperate situations myself as well as knowing some others who have found themselves in situations and circumstances beyond their control. I have thought a lot about people in the bible who have found themselves in the most dangerous or crazy situations.  *Let’s face it. We’ve all had those moments where we have come face to face with trials and not knowing what to do in those situations… those situations that have had us laid out before the LORD, those situations that have had us completely at the end of ourselves, that have us carefully tuning in to hear GOD’s voice speak, paying more attention to what the Word of GOD has to say, and clinging to GOD more than we usually do.


“In my desperation I prayed, and the LORD listened; he saved me from all my troubles.” -Psalm 34:6 (NLT)

Are these times pleasant when we are going through them?  NO.  However, those are the rawest of moments where GOD can work WITHOUT US trying to help HIM because there is nothing of self to get in the way because we have given up the situation to GOD, completely surrendering whatever it is to HIM.  That’s where GOD wants us: FULLY SURRENDERED TO HIM, relying on HIM, not just in the bad times but in the good times as well…  in the time of blessings and in the time of tribulations.  *In the pages of Scriptures, we see Joseph, Daniel, and Nehemiah who all lived for GOD, served GOD, and did great things for GOD.  However, they all went through trying times.  Through it all, they clung to GOD with steadfast devotion and unwavering loyalty.  Their success did not come by walking an easy road but by walking a narrow road paved with humility, suffering, persecution, and all while walking in obedience to GOD who upheld them no matter what the circumstances or situations they were in.  GOD worked everything out for their good and for HIS purposes, and GOD can work things out for you just as HE did for them.  Joseph, Daniel, and Nehemiah were blessed for enduring their times of trial, those desperate situations.   Remember it was desperate times which took Joseph from the cistern to the palace (Genesis 37-41), Daniel from the Lion’s Den into prosperity (Daniel 6:28), and Nehemiah from cupbearer to heading up the rebuilding of Jerusalem (Nehemiah 2:1-9).  

REFLECTION “For he clung to the LORD; he did not depart from following Him, but kept His commandments, which the LORD had commanded Moses,” (2 Kings 18:6).  You can be like Hezekiah who did not depart from following GOD but kept the commandments of GOD.  Cling tightly to GOD at ALL times.  Be faithful to the GOD who has been faithful to you and who has kept you.  Be loyal to the GOD who has not let your enemies triumph over you.  Walk with HIM and follow the LORD’s commandments, obeying Him with wholehearted devotion.  Without GOD, you can do nothing.  With GOD, you are an overcomer and made victorious. *PRAYER Heavenly Father, Your power is made perfect in weakness. You are the Horn of My Salvation, and You are the Wellspring of Life.  No matter what the circumstance, good or bad, I will put my hope and trust in You for with You all things are possible.  Thank You for times of desperation because, in those moments, You teach me and show me more of Your goodness, Your faithfulness, and Your grace.  Thank you for making my feet like a deer able to climb the mountain heights You have set me on, and when I come to You to have my strength renewed as I wait upon you, let me rise up with wings like an eagle.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Linda A. Knowles

Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the word of his servant? Let the one who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on their God.”  -Isaiah 50:10

Fix Your Eyes On Jesus

“I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me.  No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us,” (Philippians 3:12-14).

As children of God, our goals are to know Christ and to be like Christ, and to be all that Christ would have us to be, putting on His mind, taking on His ways, following His example of servanthood which He modeled for us.

Always remember, Christ is your hope.  He is your salvation, and in Him, you are a new creation.  Do NOT live in your past because if you live in your past, you won’t be able to move into your future.  God has plans for you.  So run the race with your eyes fixed on Christ.  Press into God through prayer, and allow the Holy Spirit to empower you.  The Lord will reveal to you what you need to change and show you what you need to do and what you should be.


“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need,” (Matthew 6:33).


PRAYER Heavenly Father, You are my All in All, My Everything. You have redeemed me and bought me with a price.  You healed and saved me.  My past is behind, and I will go on into the future You have for me because You, O God, have ordained my steps and have plans to give me hope and a future.  Thank You for the work You have done in me and for the continued work You are doing in my life.  Thank You for saving me and setting me free to do Your will and to walk in the purpose You have created me for.  Let Your Holy Spirit have His way in my life and fill me with all of You, O God, until there is nothing left of self.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Linda A. Knowles

God Is The Jealous God

JEALOUS GOD 1


“Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame,” (Solomon 8:6).


Our God is a consuming fire, and He will NOT share His glory with another.  His jealousy is like fire.  He burns with a passion for His people who are to look to only Him as LORD and as GOD!

“So be careful not to break the covenant the Lord your God has made with you. Do not make idols of any shape or form, for the Lord your God has forbidden this.  The Lord your God is a devouring fire; he is a jealous God,” (Deuteronomy 4:23-24).


This passage shows God’s demand for loyalty and faithfulness to Him.  His jealousy is the kind that is appropriate and good.  God defends His name, His words, and His honor.  His demand for loyalty and faithfulness from His children is as passionate as a consuming fire and is an exclusive one.  GOD is LORD, and no one else is to be treated as such.  In other words, there is NO other God besides your Heavenly Father who is the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth.  No one compares to Him, and no one ever will compare to Him.  God is jealous for you.Mankind is frail, made of nothing but the dust of the ground, fading away along with everything in this world, BUT GOD is everlasting, the Omnipresent LORD, who does NOT fail.  He is glorious and majestic in all His ways, and He is jealous for you.  Remember to be faithful to the LORD in all you do for our God is a consuming fire and does NOT share His glory with another.

PRAYER Heavenly Father, You are the King of Glory, and You do not share Your glory with another.  There is no other god who can compare to You because You are the All-Knowing God worthy of all honor and praise.  Salvation belongs to You alone.  You are full of grace and mercy, and You are the Eternal One.  Help me to remember You are jealous for me and to set my affections on You alone.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Linda A. Knowles

Wisdom Fills Your Heart With Joy

WISDOM 1

True wisdom begins with the fear of the Lord, and it is produced in you by the work and power of the Holy Spirit.  Wisdom comes from God alone and is pure and holy, filled with insight and understanding, and the wise are proven by the choices they make. “For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will fill you with joy,” (Proverbs 2:10 NLT). Joy fills the heart of the one who chooses wisdom and knowledge, which come from God alone.  Gaining wisdom comes as you walk closely with God, remaining in right relationship with Him and being in tune with the Holy Spirit.  The Lord knows what lies ahead of you, and He will show you what to do and which path to take.  “But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere,” (James 3:17 NLT).  Always cling to God, The Giver of all Wisdom, because the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

MEDITATION:  “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding,” (Proverbs 9:10 NASB).  Wisdom constantly calls out and is available to all who ask; it will help you discern right and wrong.  The Holy Spirit will lead you into ALL truth, and He will always point you to Christ and His ways and His teachings.  

PRAYER Heavenly Father, You generously give wisdom to all who cry out for wisdom.  You, O God, are the Eternal God, and fear of You is the beginning of wisdom.  Thank You for allowing me to hear wisdom calling out.  Fill me with Your power and might and with Your Holy Spirit so I can have insight and get understanding so I might learn discernment.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Linda A. Knowles

Divination/Witchcraft: Spellbound Captivation (Part 1) Introduction

NO OTHER GOD 1Divination has permeated societies and cultures around the globe.  It has filled our schools, homes, businesses, churches, commercials, television shows, media, movies, books, literature, video games, and the internet.  Divination has disguised itself in what seems to be the most innocent to what is obviously blatant.  It has filtered itself through words of manipulation and deceit as well as in vain repetition.

Divination is fathered by none other than Lucifer, the devil himself, called Satan, the serpent of old, and the adversary to your soul.  In 1 Peter 5:8 (KJV), it states, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour,” and Jesus Christ Himself called Satan the Father of Lies as we can see in John 8:44 (GW) which states, “You come from your father, the devil, and you desire to do what your father wants you to do. The devil was a murderer from the beginning. He has never been truthful. He doesn’t know what the truth is. Whenever he tells a lie, he’s doing what comes naturally to him. He’s a liar and the father of lies.”

Satan will never show you sin in its actual form because Satan knows if you knew what sin looked like, there is no way you would go near it.  He will dress the sin to look fun, innocent, tantalizing, and/or seductive which will leave you wanting more if you are not paying attention and are unable to discern what is good and what is evil.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength,” (Deuteronomy 6:5).  THE FACT IS SATAN WILL LIE TO YOU.  If you are involved in any form of divination and call yourself a Christian, understand one thing:  divination removes God from the throne of your life;  And if God is not sitting on the throne of your life, there is only one other sitting on that throne.  You cannot serve God and Satan at the same time. They do not share the same throne nor do they share the same kingdom.  Understand divination, no matter what form you are entertaining, MUST be repented of and you must turn away from all divination, not just portions of it.

You are the temple of the Holy Spirit, and the basic law of the temple is holiness.  Do not defile your temple by entertaining that which is displeasing to God.

Linda A. Knowles



Coming Next:  Divination/Witchcraft: (Part 2a) Spellbound Captivation Vain Repetition & Meditation…

When There Are Those Who Never Believed You Could Be Successful

MARCUS AURELIUS

No need for revenge.

Let your enemies fall apart at the seams

while you succeed,

and leave vengeance to God alone.



“For the battle is the Lord‘s…”

1 Samuel 17:47 (ESV)



“‘…for the battle is not yours but God’s.'”

2 Chronicle 20:15 (ESV)



 

Living As Children of Light

The world we live in today has lost its moral compass, but we are not to be like the world.  We are to shine brightly for God, to be a light in this dark world, and we must be careful not bring shame to the name of Jesus whose name we bear.  Let us always remember we belong to the Lord, and therefore, we are NOT be conformed to the ways and customs of this world.  In other words, we are NOT to let the world influence us;  we are to be led by the Holy Spirit, putting on the full armor of God, to have the attitude of Christ.

 

Let us be the children of God shining as bright beacons of light.

 

You are not in Christ to continue being what you were before Christ. You cannot claim to have a relationship with Christ while still living as you were before Christ. If you are doing so, you are living in darkness and you’re not being truthful as it states in 1 John 1:5-6, “This is the message we heard from Christ and are reporting to you: God is light, and there isn’t any darkness in him. If we say, ‘We have a relationship with God’ and yet live in the dark, we’re lying. We aren’t being truthful.”

 

MEDITATION:   “Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy,” (Ephesians 4:23-24 GW).  There is something drastically wrong with the church when you can no longer tell the difference between the world and the church.  You are to be like Christ.  Christ did not follow the vain imaginations of men and He did not subscribe to the world’s philosophy.  He came and began preaching “Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.”  Repentance and confession are still part of the believer’s life today.  Repentance is turning away from your wickedness and having a complete change of mind.  Christ said, “Blessed are those who are poor in spirit.”  In other words, you are blessed because you realize your need for Him and to have Him as your Lord and Savior.  In Christ, you are a new creation, and therefore, you have thrown off the sinful nature and have taken on the new nature, putting on the mind of Christ and following after His teachings and applying them to your life.  You understand being in Christ means you are no longer your own.  You belong to Christ first, and secondly, you are a part of the body of believers.  Therefore, you must conduct yourself according to the new nature Christ has given you.

 

PRAYER:  Heavenly Father, thank You for not leaving me without power.  Thank You for equipping me to live a life that is pleasing before Your sight.  My desire is to seek Your approval in all that I do, to live as You would have me to live.  Let me be a beacon of light shining brightly for You so I may bring glory to Your name.  Father, be the One Who Lights My Way in this dark world.  Teach me Your ways and Your laws that I might meditate on them through the day and through the night.  Fill me with Your Spirit in order for me to produce the fruits spoken of in Your Word.  I ask for You to go before me wherever I go, and I ask that You be with me throughout my day.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Linda A. Knowles

Take A Lesson From Daniel

BOLD 1King Darius had just done the layout of his kingdom, broke it down into 120 provinces, appointed a ruler to each province, and CHOSE Daniel and two other administrators to supervise the high officials and to look over the king’s interests.  Daniel proved himself to be trustworthy and reliable, more capable than all the other administrators and high officers.  Daniel had great ability, and the king made plans to place him over the entire empire.  (Reference Daniel 6:1-3)

Daniel had enemies who were jealous of his success when what Daniel was doing was simply obeying God, remaining above reproach, and doing his job.  We can see this in Daniel 6:4-5, which states Then the other administrators and high officers began searching for some fault in the way Daniel was handling government affairs, but they couldn’t find anything to criticize or condemn. He was faithful, always responsible, and completely trustworthy.  So they concluded, ‘Our only chance of finding grounds for accusing Daniel will be in connection with the rules of his religion.’”

When you do what God wants you to do and live by His standards, never expect the world to applaud you because the world won’t applaud you.  Daniel remained honorable and steadfast, walking close to the Lord.  His enemies were looking for a way to bring him down, “but they couldn’t find anything to criticize or condemn.”  So they decided to plot evil against Daniel.  It’s important to note, Daniel had already been through trials, but God delivered him out of each trial safely.  No weapon formed against the Child of God is going to prosper.  Nothing Daniel’s enemies had thrown his way worked.  Nothing Daniel’s enemies did to him prospered.  Like Daniel, we, as children of the Living God, can be bold and courageous, and because we are Children of God, we know our God is able to deliver us out of whatever circumstances we find ourselves in.

Daniel’s enemies devised a plan and So the administrators and high officers went to the king and said, ‘Long live King Darius!  We are all in agreement—we administrators, officials, high officers, advisers, and governors—that the king should make a law that will be strictly enforced. Give orders that for the next thirty days any person who prays to anyone, divine or human—except to you, Your Majesty—will be thrown into the den of lions.  And now, Your Majesty, issue and sign this law so it cannot be changed, an official law of the Medes and Persians that cannot be revoked.’  So King Darius signed the law.” (Reference Daniel 6:6-9)

But in the face of this decree, Daniel remained faithful to God.  We can take a lesson from his wholehearted devotion.  The enemy will do whatever he can to trip you up, but we have been empowered by the Lord Most High.  We can take a lesson from Daniel when he combatted his enemies through prayer, “But when Daniel learned that the law had been signed, he went home and knelt down as usual in his upstairs room, with its windows open toward Jerusalem. He prayed three times a day, just as he had always done, giving thanks to his God.”  Nothing stopped Daniel from talking with his Heavenly Father.  And let’s face it when there is nothing we can do and no place left to turn, there is nothing left of us to get in the way of God’s work.  What better way to keep us on our toes than trials.  They shape us and refine us, and we learn lessons, and if we are wise like Daniel, in the face of trouble, we continue our communion with the Lord and seek Him for counsel.

isaiahDaniel’s enemies were checking in on him, found him praying even though the decree had been put into law.  The high officials and administrators made their way to the King and questioned him about the decree, and King Darius said to them the decision stood, an official law of the Medes and the Persians and could not be revoked.  We can also take a lesson from this just because there’s a law does NOT mean the law is correct.  For example, the law, in this case, was no one could pray to anyone or anything except for the King, but Daniel knew God’s law which states, “‘You shall fear only the LORD your God; and you shall worship Him and swear by His name. You shall not follow other gods, any of the gods of the peoples who surround you.” (Reference Deuteronomy 6:13-14)  Daniel chose to continue obeying God rather than man.

Now it may have looked for a moment his enemies would succeed in their plan, but that’s not the case.  Yes, his enemies were jealous and a thorn in his side.  They were busybodies, and they turned Daniel into King Darius:  “So at last the king gave orders for Daniel to be arrested and thrown into the den of lions. The king said to him, ‘May your God, whom you serve so faithfully, rescue you.’”

In keeping with honesty, I would have looked at the lions, been scared out of my mind, and would try conversing with the lions if they were looking at me like I was thanksgiving dinner.  “Hey, Mr. Lion, How Are Ya This Evening?  Hope all is well.  Please don’t eat me.”

Daniel, however, was bold and courageous.  God shut the mouths of the lions and protected Daniel.  Daniel was prayed up, strengthened by the Lord, and slept soundly all night… SURROUNDED BY LIONS.  King Darius, however, refused any of his usual entertainment, fasted, and got no sleep.

Daniel’s example of courage and steadfast obedience to God is a lesson to us all.  What the devil meant for Daniel’s destruction God used to shine forth the glory of God and was for Daniel’s good.  Here is the result of Daniel’s situation:

Very early the next morning, the king got up and hurried out to the lions’ den. When he got there, he called out in anguish, ‘Daniel, servant of the living God! Was your God, whom you serve so faithfully, able to rescue you from the lions?’

Daniel answered,  ‘Long live the king!  My God sent his angel to shut the lions’ mouths so that they would not hurt me, for I have been found innocent in his sight. And I have not wronged you, Your Majesty.’

The king was overjoyed and ordered that Daniel be lifted from the den. Not a scratch was found on him, for he had trusted in his God.

Then the king gave orders to arrest the men who had maliciously accused Daniel. He had them thrown into the lions’ den, along with their wives and children. The lions leaped on them and tore them apart before they even hit the floor of the den.

Then King Darius sent this message to the people of every race and nation and language throughout the world:

“Peace and prosperity to you!

‘I decree that everyone throughout my kingdom should tremble with fear before the God of Daniel.

For he is the living God,
    and he will endure forever.
His kingdom will never be destroyed,
    and his rule will never end.
He rescues and saves his people;
    he performs miraculous signs and wonders
    in the heavens and on earth.
He has rescued Daniel
    from the power of the lions.’

So Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian.

King Darius gave glory to God.  Daniel’s enemies were fed to the lions who devoured them before they hit the ground and prospered.

As God protected Daniel, God protects you.  As God gave Daniel courage, God emboldens you.   God gives you hope, salvation, and deliverance.  God gives you healing emotionally, spiritually, mentally, and physically.  Take your stand, and do NOT be conformed to the customs of this world.  The world offers you NOTHING.

 

L.A. Knowles

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” -Philippians 4:6-7

Huldah & King Josiah

HULDAHShe inspired King Josiah and a nation to repent.  Her name?  Huldah, a prophetess who lived in the 2nd District of Jerusalem during the time of King Josiah’s reign.  Not a lot is said about her.  However, her role in the nation of Judah was one of great significance.

Here is their story:  King Josiah, eight years old, had become king and reigned for 31 years.  He did what was pleasing in the Lord’s eyes, followed the example of his ancestor King David, and continued doing what was right.  (Reference 2 Kings 22:1-7)

Fast forward to the 18th year of his reign,

“Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the court secretary, ‘I have found the Book of the Law in the Lord’s Temple!’  Then Hilkiah gave the scroll to Shaphan, and he read it.  Shaphan went to the king and reported, ‘Your officials have turned over the money collected at the Temple of the Lord to the workers and supervisors at the Temple.’  Shaphan also told the king, ‘Hilkiah the priest has given me a scroll.’  So Shaphan read it to the king.   When the king heard what was written in the Book of the Law, he tore his clothes in despair.   Then he gave these orders to Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Acbor son of Micaiah, Shaphan the court secretary, and Asaiah the king’s personal adviser: ‘Go to the Temple and speak to the Lord for me and for the people and for all Judah.  Inquire about the words written in this scroll that has been found.  For the Lord’s great anger is burning against us because our ancestors have not obeyed the words in this scroll.  We have not been doing everything it says we must do.’” -2 Kings 22:8-11

Josiah’s response was a fitting response given the fact He had heard the Words of the Lord.  He listened to the Book of the Law which was now found, filled with despair, he tears in clothes in act of remorse.  The king was not dignified in that moment of despair.  Even Josiah himself took note, “We have not been doing everything it says we must do.”  King Josiah wanted to know what they should do.  As a result, he sent Hilkiah, Ahikam, Acbor, Shaphan, and Asaiah to go to the temple, speak to the Lord for him (King Josiah), the people, and Judah.  King Josiah had recognized God was angry at them because of their ancestors’ disobedience to the Words written on the scroll.

The men made their way over to consult Huldah about what they had found.  For them to go to her, it was obvious she was respected, and she had a message from the Lord for them,

“She said to them, ‘The Lord, the God of Israel, has spoken! Go back and tell the man who sent you, This is what the Lord says: I am going to bring disaster on this city and its people.  All the words written in the scroll that the king of Judah has read will come true. For my people have abandoned me and offered sacrifices to pagan gods, and I am very angry with them for everything they have done.  My anger will burn against this place, and it will not be quenched.  But go to the king of Judah who sent you to seek the Lord and tell him: This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says concerning the message you have just heard: You were sorry and humbled yourself before the Lord when you heard what I said against this city and its people—that this land would be cursed and become desolate.  You tore your clothing in despair and wept before me in repentance.  And I have indeed heard you, says the Lord.  So I will not send the promised disaster until after you have died and been buried in peace.  You will not see the disaster I am going to bring on this city.  So they took her message back to the king.’” -2 Kings 22:15-20

Huldah spoke boldly and confidently.  She gave the men the message the Lord had her to give without hesitation.  The message the Lord gave her was clear, and she had the courage to tell them exactly what God wanted.  Huldah was willing to be used.

King Josiah’s response to the message God gave Huldah to give him is remarkable:

“Then the king summoned all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. 2 And the king went up to the Temple of the Lord with all the people of Judah and Jerusalem, along with the priests and the prophets—all the people from the least to the greatest. There the king read to them the entire Book of the Covenant that had been found in the Lord’s Temple. 3 The king took his place of authority beside the pillar and renewed the covenant in the Lord’s presence. He pledged to obey the Lord by keeping all his commands, laws, and decrees with all his heart and soul. In this way, he confirmed all the terms of the covenant that were written in the scroll, and all the people pledged themselves to the covenant.”  -2 Kings 23:1-3 

He took the warning Huldah gave and he acted on the Word of the Lord.  King Josiah took the lead, called everyone together in one place for the reading of the Word of God, and they pledged themselves to the Covenant.  The King vowed to keep the commands, laws, and decrees with all his heart and soul in the presence of God.  King Josiah gave himself over to the ways of God.  He removed the idolatrous priests who offered sacrifices to pagan gods, removed pagan worship and shrines of prostitution from the Temple of the Lord, idolatrous priests were not allowed to eat of the unleavened bread with the other priests, destroyed altars on the palace roof and the upper room of the palace and any other altar for worship to other gods, and the list goes on of the actions King Josiah made.  He took drastic action.  (Reference 2 Kings 23)

Like Huldah, are you willing to be used by the Lord to carry out the task He has given you?

Are you willing to be shaped and molded by the Lord like King Josiah was?

Will you, like Josiah, set your face like stone determined to do the will of God?

Will you push aside God’s Word, or will you draw close to Him and take immediate action on what needs to change in your life?

Is there anything you have to do so your life falls in line with God’s Word?

Remember our God never fails.  He is the One who strengthens you and delivers you. You need only to go to Him and call out to Him.  But if you go to the Lord for counsel and He tells you what to do, then be prepared to jump into action and follow every instruction He gives you.

“And Samuel said, “Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.” -1 Samuel 15:22

 

L.A. Knowles