Elevate

Don’t Lie On Me

 

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So something you all may not know about me is that I fiercely believe in living in truth and respect for others.  I can honestly say that this is something that I model daily.  Being that I value truth and respect so deeply, these are the only two things that I get really upset about.  When I say upset, I mean UPSET.  If I feel like someone is being disrespectful towards me or if I know that someone has lied on me, I have been known to go into a place of unholy anger.  A place that requires me to seek God in order to escape.  Because I know myself, I try to live my life in a way that gives no one a chance to be disrespectful because I’m always going to be respectful to everyone.  I also try my best to be very transparent and I live by the rule that you shouldn’t do anything that would be embarrassing if someone else knew.  I feel like this saves me from feeling the urge to lie and doesn’t give anyone the opportunity to lie on me.  To be clear, to lie on me is considered disrespectful.

The Angry Place

This is a story that only my husband and a few close friends know that I am going to share.  And I’m going to share just to show how faithful God is in fulfilling His promises.  A couple of years ago a woman that I considered to be my friend lied on me.  And not only was it a horrible lie, it could have cost me something very important to me.  Sadly, I would not have even known that she lied, but the person who controlled “the very important thing” called and asked me about it.  I was so furious that I couldn’t even sleep the night I found out about the lie.  The woman who lied is not someone that I could avoid, at this point I saw her on an almost daily basis.  So I tried to figure out why she lied and I couldn’t come up with any other answer than that she lied to get herself out of trouble.  This fact made my anger worse, because why would she try to get me into trouble with a lie when the consequences would have been the same for her as it was for me?  Then I started to rehearse how I would confront her about the lie, because the level of anger I was at was not the level that would allow me to let the lie slide.  I had to pray that my words would come out right and that I would say what needed to be said without being disrespectful and without sinning.  

The Confrontation

When the time came, I told the truth in a way that left no room for the lie to prevail.  The woman who lied on me ended up admitting that what she accused me of did not happen.  And I remembered God’s promise in Isaiah 54:17 “‘No weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from me,’ declares the Lord.”  God did not allow this weapon (the lie) to win the battle against me and I was able to refute the tongue of the woman who lied on me.  This is a promise that I have seen fulfilled firsthand.  What I realized during that confrontation made me pray for the woman who lied on me.  I saw a fear in her that I have never known.  And although I was still angry that she lied on me, I prayed for her because I knew that she did so out of desperation.  I also had to be obedient to God’s Word in Luke 6:27-28 (NIV) “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.”  In this moment, I decided to just love her.

Don’t Lie On Me

I was able to move on.  I still had to see the woman regularly so I decided that ,although I did not trust her anymore, I would put this past me and at least have a friendly relationship with her.  Things were going well for over a year and then she struck again.  She told another lie that was in her own self-interest.  I could not believe it!  Another lie that definitely would have cost me the same thing that I love had it been believed.  And again, it was behind my back so I was caught off guard.  Except this time I was armed with the promises of God.  Enough time had passed and my faith had been strengthened so much that I learned from the previous lie and was able not to be so upset, as a matter of fact, I didn’t react in the same way at all.  When I was asked about the lie, I told the truth and decided to let my word be my word.  I believed the Word of God was true in Exodus 14:14 (MSG) that says, “God will fight the battle for you. And you? You keep your mouths shut!”  The only time that I spoke about the lie was when I was initially asked what really happened.  I didn’t confront the woman about the lie.  I didn’t worry about it after I told the truth.  I just stood on God’s promise and let Him fight my battle for me.  And you know what?  It worked!  The entire dilemma handled itself without me from that point on and it was proven that I did not lie.  The beautiful thing is that no one even believed the lie to begin with.  The woman that lied on me suffered the consequences and I am still cordial with her when I see her.  Luckily, God has pretty much removed her from my life, I only see her occasionally now and it’s never long enough for her to fabricate any stories concerning me.  I know this happened because I kept God’s command to pray for those who mistreat me.  1 John 3:21-23 says, “Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from Him anything we ask, because we keep His commands and do what pleases Him. And this is His command: to believe in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as He commanded us.”

I know that this may seem like a petty example of how God keeps all of His promises.  But it shows that if you believe, you can apply God’s promises to any area of your life.  When you start looking for ways that God has shown Himself faithful it helps to increase your faith in Him.  Start looking for God to show up in every situation, I guarantee that you will find Him carrying out His promises.

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Still, You Must Live!

 

Still, You Must Live

I don’t consider myself a Bible scholar, I’m just a woman trying her best to follow Jesus and make God proud. With that being said, I cannot say with certainty that we are living in the end times, but what I can say is that we are living in uncertain times. By uncertain I mean that you never know what new tragedy you will read about on any given day. Just this morning, right before I began writing this post, I read about a woman being beat by the police for having an open container on the beach, I read about a toddler hanging from a balcony without the knowledge of the parent, and I read about an 11 year old who committed suicide by jumping from the roof of a 16 story building. Not to mention the almost daily stories of missing children, mass shootings, war, and rumors of war.
This world has no shortage of real life horror stories. I wish that I could protect my children and just keep them in my house, homeschool them, and feed my family from our farm. The problem with this is that I don’t have a farm and even if I did, I wouldn’t know the first thing about farming. My husband and I both have to work for a living so keeping the children home and homeschooling is off the table. It’s hard not to have a sense of trepidation every time I drop my kids off at school in the morning, but because God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV) I cannot allow the state of the world to paralyze me and my family. This is where I replace fear with the promises of God.
This week’s promise come from John 10:28 NKJV:
John 10:28
This is the promise of Eternal Security that the sheep of Jesus can hold on to in the moments where we are just afraid to make a late night store run in a safe neighborhood because human trafficking is everywhere. Jesus has promised us that no matter what happens to us on earth or in heaven, we will live eternally just because we choose to follow Him. Even when it doesn’t feel like it, we have to have the faith to know that we are in His hand and the enemy doesn’t have enough power to snatch us out.
I also think about this promise when I think back on my younger days and how I could have easily headed down the wrong path in life. It makes me pretty emotional thinking of all the things I have done wrong in life, so many mistakes that I willingly made without caring about the consequences. Because I have free will, Jesus let me make those mistakes but He never took His hand off of me. He held onto me because before He formed me in my mother’s womb, He knew me and set me apart for His holy purpose (Jeremiah 1:5 GW).
John 10:28 is not just speaking of life as we know it, this verse is telling us that no matter where we are, heaven or earth, we will always be with our Creator. So even if tragedy strikes “we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands” (2 Corinthians 5:1 NIV). So go out and live! Do what God will have you to do without fear of could happen. I’m going to leave you with this Word from God, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.  All who rage against you will surely be ashamed and disgraced; those who oppose you will be as nothing and perish.  Though you search for your enemies, you will not find them. Those who wage war against you will be as nothing at all.  For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.”(Isaiah 41:10-13 NIV).

 

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Answered Prayers

answered prayers

“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of Him.” 1 John 5: 14-15 NIV 

One of my first posts on Elevate Through Faith was called “God Promised” and in that post I discussed what I consider the ultimate promise: John 14:2-3, “My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going to there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am”. I consider this the ultimate promise because my end goal is to be with Jesus on the throne (Revelation 3:21).
Throughout the Bible, there are several thousands of promises that God has given us. Because I know that God cannot tell a lie, I know that I can rest in these promises without hesitation or doubt. When I originally wrote the post “God Promised” I planned to do a series about God’s promises but did not know where to start because there are way too many to choose from. I recently received a mailing from In Touch Ministries and inside the package was an envelope with nine flash cards of scriptures with some of God’s promises printed onto them. I decided that this was perfect for me because it took away some of the agonizing that I would undoubtedly do if I had to choose the promises myself. So this is the first blog in my God Promised Series, so stay tuned for more!
The Promises of GodThis is the envelope that the flashcards are in.
1 John 5: 14-15 declares that if we ask God for anything that is in alignment with His will, that God hears us and that He will give us what we ask.
Let’s take a look at 2 Kings 20 which tells the story of how God granted a prayer from a righteous man, Hezekiah. Hezekiah was the king of Judah and in this text, he was deathly ill. The prophet Isaiah went to visit the king to give him a message from God. The message from Isaiah was “This is what the Lord says: Set your affairs in order, for you are going to die. You will not recover from this illness” (2 Kings 20:1 NLT).  Hezekiah started to pray immediately because he was not ready to die. In his prayer to God, Hezekiah reminded God that he had lived a faithful life, devoted his life to serving the Lord, and lived righteously. Before the prophet Isaiah had left the grounds, God spoke to him, telling Isaiah to go back and deliver a new message from Him. Isaiah did as instructed and told Hezekiah, “This is what the Lord, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you. On the third day from now you will go up to the temple of the Lord. I will add fifteen years to your life. And I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria” (2 Kings 20: 5-6 NIV). God not only extended Hezekiah’s life, but He also gave Hezekiah a bonus blessing by delivering his city from Assyria. Remember God “is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us” (Ephesians 3:20 NKJV).  What I love about this text is how confidently King Hezekiah approached God in prayer, not once did he ask God to add years to his life, he reminded God of why he deserved to live. God answered Hezekiah’s prayer because it is within God’s will to grant the requests of the righteous.
I love to write my prayers in a journal, I’ve been doing it for years. Recently I found one of my journals from 2013 in which I prayed for my husband to start attending church with me. I honestly forgot about this prayer until I found the journal a few weeks ago, and my husband and I have been attending church for years at this point. Finding a church home has meant so much to my family and we are both serving in our church. But the level of faith that my husband has reached since we became members is astonishing. But that’s not my point. My point is that I asked God in prayer for my husband to start attending church, and because my request was within His will, He gave me what I asked. And not only did He give me what I asked, He far surpassed what I asked. That is the Ephesians 3:20 blessing! God is so faithful that He goes above and beyond for His children. And God gets the glory for everything that has transpired since then. Our lives are so much better, our relationship with each other is so much better. And I credit it all to God!
As you see from my example, God did not grant my request immediately, because He knows what steps need to take place before He gives us what we ask for. There are definitely times where God will not give us what we ask for in prayer because what we have asked for is not within His will. But the truth is that most of the time we ask God for things that we aren’t even prepared to receive. Sometimes our character needs some work, sometimes other events need to precede our requests, sometimes we need to leave some of the people in our social circle, and other times we need to meet someone new who will be instrumental in our prayers being answered. Trust God’s timing and know that if your prayers are not answered immediately, they are at least in progress. How can I be so confident in this you ask? I am confident because God promised.