DAILY DEVOTIONAL by Katie Messer: “Through The Valley Of Achor” Week Eight, Day Two

DAILY DEVOTIONAL by Katie Messer: “Through The Valley Of Achor”

Week Eight, Day Two

 

“Your eyes saw me when I was formless; all my days were written in Your book and planned before a single one of them began.” Psalm 139:16 (HCSB)

 

Life in every way is a created art. While we were still without form, the Lord knew every detail of our lives, before time began. How amazing to think that in the midst of the furious winds and torment of life, Jesus Christ, has already provided a way out of each and every hurricane (1 Corinthians 10:13). As the winds begin to blow within the stories of our lives, and we begin to see signs of even greater destruction on the way, may we turn our hope to the LORD—for He has already made a way out of the chaos for us (1 Corinthians 15:57-58)!

 

Prayer For Today:

Dear Jesus, thank You for the victory over this. I have to confess that I do not know how to speed up the discomfort to achieve the victory, but I know that all of Your ways are good (Psalm 92:12-15). Help me to root myself down deep into the truths of Your Holy Scriptures. Help me to be an example of steadfast love to (name)_________. Please allow Your hope, despite the details we have, remain in our hearts. Help (name)_______ to realize that victory—be it now or in heaven—will indeed be realized and fully grasped by Your victorious name. In the mighty name of Jesus I pray, amen.

DAILY DEVOTIONAL by Katie Messer: “Through The Valley Of Achor” Week Six, Day Three

DAILY DEVOTIONAL by Katie Messer: “Through The Valley Of Achor”

Week Six, Day Three:

 

 7On God my salvation and my glory rest; The rock of my strength, my refuge is in God. 8Trust in Him at all times, O people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.” Psalm 62:7-8 (NASB)

 

The psalmist calls the Lord the “rock” of salvation. The original word used in this verse is “tsur”, which means rock or cliff. What a powerful term—allow us to delve into its meaning by using another verse that uses the same word, “tsur” for rock. When the Israelites wandered within the desert, they voiced their grumbles and complaints to Moses frequently. They could not understand how God was going to save them. They had given way to their fears that God had forgotten them—even after manna and quail had been provided for them daily (Exodus 16:13-15). Moses took some of the elders of Israel with him as he cried out to the Lord for guidance as to how to address the people’s need for water (Exodus 17:4). What the Lord did next would be echoed into the New Testament. The Lord told Moses to take his rod that had been used to strike the Nile and have the elders witness what would happen next. The Lord said that He would stand in front of Moses by the rock of Horeb to provide water for the thirsty people from a rock (Exodus 17:5-6, Numbers 20:11 & Psalm 105:41)). Regardless of the desperate thirst or need we may be experiencing in our own stories, may we cry out to the only One who can sustain us and truly quench our thirsty souls; Jesus Christ (John 7:37, 1 Corinthians 10:4). The glory, praise and undivided loyalty of our lives should continually align with the Lord due to His unfailing love. In the present desert of trauma and heartache of life, call out to the Lord, knowing that He will indeed meet all of your needs in His perfect timing (Psalm 62:7-8, John 6:35).

 

Prayer for Today:

Lord, forgive me in my grumbling. Forgive me for not trusting You to provide for the needs of both myself and those I love in this time. Thank You for the example of how You provided for the grumbling people of Israel while they went through trial after trial. Help me to trust in You during this horribly difficult time. Help me to encourage (name)_________ to reach out to You for guidance and strength as well. You are our Rock. You do provide for my every need in ways I would have never expected. Thank You for caring for my life. Thank You for caring for (name)__________ life. Please allow us to eat of Your provisions today and walk in faith. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

DAILY DEVOTIONAL by Katie Messer: “Through The Valley of Achor” Check Point before Week Three

DAILY DEVOTIONAL by Katie Messer: “Through The Valley of Achor”

Check Point before Week Three

 

Check Point: The Heartache of Hello

 

Within a new season of trauma or intense stress, there are many things that change rapidly to alter our surroundings from comfortable to chaotic. In this time, we are forced to not only give up things and routines that have been familiar to us, but we also have to acknowledge the arrival of something new—something unwelcome and foreign into our lives. If you are reading this today and feel that you cannot bring yourself to meet another new doctor, read and sign yet another paper within the court case or even face another day of this present anguish—may your heart be encouraged this very page.

 

As we are willing to realize that heartache is a blessing, we can more fully grasp the fact that our work on this spinning planet is not yet done. Stop and think about that for a moment. The moment that we stop having to work hard to benefit the lives of those around us either directly or indirectly through direct acts of service and prayer, we are surrendering our calling as believers in Jesus Christ. Ladies, in times of debilitating distress, may our hearts and hands reach for the LORD. It is in Him alone that we will find our rest, our hope, our assurance and our peace in the midst of the storm. And as we prayerfully continue to walk out each day, as difficult and gut wrenching as they may be, we are bringing glory back to the LORD—which is our purpose for drawing each breath.

 

May we not allow the devil to taste the victory of our own defeat due to devastation. No, as believers in Jesus Christ, we have the ability to tap into the eternal source of life giving power. What is that power? The mighty and undisputed name of Jesus Christ. Remember, the demons know the power of Jesus Christ’s name and have to flee (Matthew 8:28-32), the angels know the powerful name of Jesus Christ and cannot stop worshipping (Revelation 7:9-12), and creation itself stands still when told to by His mighty word (Mark 4:36-41). The question is, do you sincerely understand the power that you have been entrusted with, as a follower of Jesus Christ (John 14:27, Romans 8:15 & 2 Timothy 1:7)?

 

 

Thank You, Jesus Christ, that You alone are the Mighty Healer and Eternal King (Deuteronomy 10:17, Psalm 89:27 & Revelation 1:5-8). Thank You for Your perfect knowledge and grace (2 Corinthians 12:8-10). Allow me to claim the truths found in Your Word in times of trouble and tattoo them to my heart (Psalm 119:9-16 & Psalm 119:105).

As The Wind Blows

A while back, in the midst of cleaning the house and preparing meals, our toddler son brought in a beautiful bouquet of little yellow flowers from our backyard. He proudly walked up and held them out to me with a broad smile and his chest puffed out. He had picked these just for me and he was overflowing with anticipation for me to take his gift. I had been so busy and tired that day… as had pretty much been the case for every day previous that year as my husband was traveling much for business. But, something about the way he approached me caused me to pause. I knelt down and smiled warmly as my heart was reminded of a dream the Lord had given me years prior.

 

In this dream, I saw streetlights at night along a beautiful park. These stately lights then turned into burnt matchsticks that were bent over and smoldering. And from there, I could see dandelion seeds taking flight from the smoldering matchstick as the wind blew. At the time of the dream, I was preparing for the missions field and a foreign culture. Yet all the while, I had a strong sense that this dream would apply to a later time, but had no idea what it could mean. Then, after marrying my husband and moving to the Middle East with our precious ten-month-old son and our precious toddler daughter in toe, something struck a cord within my soul.

 

I was burnt out, feeling overwhelmed and utterly out of ideas of what to do with our littles in the day. I needed a break—so I thought. I needed to just get away and recharge—so I kept telling myself. Yet, as I would meet with a wise, older Christian woman about once a month, I was blessed to glean from her insights on life. And among them, she kept pointing out how much the Lord uses us mothers to forward the kingdom of God here on earth. And it is not simply on our “refreshed days”, but often times through our heartache and times of great need for intervention of His divine nature, that we are able to see and experience His presence all the more profoundly.

 

After another wonderful time with this precious older woman of the faith while still in the Middle East, I headed back to our home to my husband and our now sleeping children. I could not shake the feeling that I was missing out on something. That somehow I was focusing on the wrong things during our time abroad. And then, the dream of the dandelion seeds in the wind came back to mind as I thought of our children.

 

Because of Your adversaries, You have established a stronghold from the mouths of children and nursing infants to silence the enemy and the avenger.” Psalm 8:2 (HCSB)

 

It hit me like a ton of bricks. I was that burnt out instrument and complaining rather than seeking the Lord’s guidance and continual renewal. I was that smoldering match. But, what encouraged my heart—and what was affirmed through prayer in that moment—was the reality that raising Christ loving and Christ following children is vital in combatting the enemies of God. Stay with me here….It is in such seasons of prolonged fatigue and sleepless nights that God was able to show Himself all the more glorious in my own story. It was when I was willing to cry out with my need for Him and claim the truths of His Living Word, contained within the Holy Bible, that I would find a renewed sense of focus, meaning and willful hope. Perhaps you too can relate. It is when I have been willing to say, “this one is so far beyond me, Lord…I just cannot go another step. Please take the lead. I just want to honor You”

It is there, in that very moment that the Lord intervenes in truly miraculous ways that astound the mind and baffle the senses.

 

“He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.” Psalm 40:2 (NLT)

 

All these memories came rushing back to me as I hugged my son and thanked him for his flowers before he ran back outside to play with our daughter who was already on the rope swing. And as I walked into my husband and I’s master bathroom to place my new bouquet next to the very same type of flower bouquet my daughter had given me just the day previous, my eyes saw something that affirmed it all. Where the delicate little flowers had rested the day previous, now white little puffballs were bloomed in their place.

 

It was such a profound and meaningful encouragement to my heart from the Lord. Although I was indeed exhausted and trying to take care of two extremely active children, the fact remained—these children are my seeds.

 

As mothers, and women in general, we have the awesome privilege to not only physically, but also spiritually invest into the lives of our children. And whether it’s a “good day” or “bad day”, they watch us to see how we choose to respond to the circumstances the Lord allows into our day.

 

He makes me as surefooted as a deer, enabling me to stand on mountain heights.” Psalm 18:33 (NLT)

 

Ladies, I encourage you this every moment, to ask the Lord above to breathe afresh upon you. He can take any situation and breathe life, hope and direction into it (Ezekiel 37). Acknowledge your need for His guidance, favor and continual mercy amidst the chaos (Psalm 71:20). Ask the Lord to breathe anew upon your soul to refresh you in this time of need—right where you are—so that you may glorify Him even in your fatigue and responsibility (Psalm 138:7). Ladies, please take this to heart, the care and guardianship of the next generation is of highest importance to the Lord (Genesis 1:28, Psalm 113:9, Psalm 127:3, Mark 10:14).

 

Thus, may we not only be in prayer for this next generation daily, but may we pray for the Lord to equip us to minister, mold and model lives that are sold out to the cause of Jesus Christ. May we be willing to follow the Lord in obedience and speak of His eternal glories to the little ones of this upcoming generation.

 

In your strength I can crush an army; with my God I can scale any wall.” Psalm 18:29 (NLT)

Through the power of His holy name, we have been given not only the victory over hell, but over all forms of confusion, fatigue, inferiority, comparing and all other forms of evil that the devil would love to use to discourage us as mamas, and women in general. Take back what is yours, as a daughter of the Most High; take back the victory that was handed to you personally as Jesus Christ victoriously defeated evil and it’s many forms as He bore our sins upon the cross and gave us His healing (Isaiah 53:3).

 

“For Your faithful love is higher than the heavens, and Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds. God, be exalted above the heavens, and let Your glory be over the whole earth.” Psalm 108:4-5 (HCSB)

 

Walk in it. Own it. Ask the Lord to blow upon the current situations in your own life and take His message of hope, restoration, peace and healing to all people groups who are in critical need of encouragement (Ezekiel 19:10).

 

May the LORD cause you to flourish, both you and your children.” Psalm 115:14 (NIV)