The Way of the Lord – From His Heart – October 21

From His Heart daily devotional with Dr. Jeff Schreve

THE WAY OF THE LORD

“Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not right.’ Hear now, O house of Israel! Is My way not right? Is it not your ways that are not right?”
Ezekiel 18:25

Whenever I do a funeral, I will sit down with the family to discuss their dearly departed and the service they want for him/her. From time to time, someone will request we play the Frank Sinatra song, “My Way.” Do you remember that classic hit?

For what is man, what has he got?
If not himself, then he has naught
To say the things he truly feels
And not the words of one who kneels
The record shows I took the blows
And did it my way.

Whenever this request comes up, I kindly but firmly let the family know that anyone who “did it my way” ends up in eternal ruins. “My way” is the highway to hell. Proverbs 14:12 tells us, “There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.”

There are only two ways to go in life: my way or God’s way. Which way are you going?

GOD’S WAY

God’s way is far different from my way. God’s way so often makes no sense to you and me. In the Christian life, we walk by faith, not by sight. We obey the Word of God, even when we cannot understand the whys and wherefores of it all.

Think about God’s way to take Jericho—the strong, fortified, impregnable city in the land of Canaan. Needless to say, His way had absolutely nothing in common with man’s way. God told Joshua to have the people march around the city with the priests carrying the ark of the covenant one time per day for six days. Then on the seventh day, they were to march around Jericho seven times. At the conclusion of the march, the priests were to blow their trumpets and the Israelites were to shout! When they performed this seemingly ridiculous plan, God would level the walls, and the soldiers would walk in and easily take the city.

That was God’s way to victory. Joshua and the people obeyed, and they took Jericho by the power of the Lord. What’s the point? God’s way typically seems crazy to us, but it is the way to victory and blessing because it is the way of obedience to His Word. Your way/my way is the way to defeat and destruction because it is the way of independence and pride, two things God hates.

OUR WORLD

As we view the things taking place in our world, take special note of who is going “my way” and who is going God’s way. Those who riot, rebel, abuse, pervert morality, and seek revenge are not in step with the Lord. They are in sync with the devil, the original rebel who gathered an angelic posse to try to overthrow the King. That did not work out too well for him and his fallen cohorts—and it will end in eternal punishment in the lake of fire.

To put it simply, our way is not right and will never be right. The sooner we humble our hearts before God and yield to His way, the sooner we will experience His joy, peace, and blessings.

The Lord says, “Return to Me, and I will return to you” (Malachi 3:7). The ball is in your court. Which way will you go?

Love,

Pastor Jeff Schreve,
From His Heart Ministries


Dr. Jeff Schreve believes that no matter how badly you may have messed up in life, God still loves you and has a wonderful plan just for you. From His Heart provides real truth, love and hope on over 700 radio stations each day, in 182 countries each week on TV, and is always available online.  Pastor Jeff takes no income from this ministry. All donations go to furthering the broadcast outreach. As a listener/viewer supported ministry, we thank you for joining with us to help speak the truth in love to a lost and hurting world. Go to www.fromhisheart.org for more information.

5 Sure Signs of Being Emotionally Drained: And How to Find Renewal Again

Debbie McDaniel

5 Sure Signs of Being Emotionally Drained: And How to Find Renewal Again

Life often has a way of draining us dry. Sometimes we don’t see it coming. But over time, busy schedules, pressures, responsibilities, and other demands in life can start to overwhelm us. It’s hard to keep everything flowing smoothly. Maybe a difficult crisis sends us spiraling. Maybe it’s not one big thing, but a series of little things that add up over time. And we start to grow weary.

We can often be really good at taking care of others, but we might forget to re-fuel our own lives. We don’t take time to slow down, finding ourselves in a continual state of “go.”

Yet God never intended for us to live on the fast track. He made us with needs for renewal in him. Jesus himself took time to pull away, for rest and refreshing, for quiet moments with his Father. He understands our weaknesses and promises to give us grace and strength for every battle and struggle we face.

The problem is – we don’t often come to him to even ask for help. We may try and struggle through it on our own, thinking we’ve somehow got a handle on it all. Maybe we even start to think we know better than he does. Or we strive hard to keep the “perfect” image going.

Until we hit a wall.

And all the pieces start to fall.

A reminder if you’ve been facing broken days or feeling drained and weary – like you just can’t go on: You’re not alone, not ever. God is there and waiting to help you. He’s never far away; you can come to him right now and find refreshing for your soul. Sometimes the quick fixes don’t work in the long haul. We need what only he can offer – renewed purpose and hope, fresh healing and strength, day by day.

Photo Credit: Unsplash/Aricka Lewis

5 Sure Signs that You’re Emotionally Drained:

5 Sure Signs that You’re Emotionally Drained:

These signs, among many others, may give you the awareness you need to find renewal and strength again. Please know you’re not alone. Many of us have struggled here and then moved forward into freedom. Don’t give up; God is close and longs to help you.

 

1. Emotional Heaviness and Stress

You’re weary and exhausted, and the things that once brought you life and joy no longer do. You feel unorganized with a continual, nagging sense that you just can’t finish it all, no matter how hard you try. There’s an overriding sense of pressure and stress that seems to hang overhead. You’re forgetting things, even important things. It’s a weight to carry, and you feel burdened down with the load of it all.

Photo Credit: Unsplash/Chris Arock

2. Relational Strain

2. Relational Strain

You feel constantly irritated, impatient, even angry with others. You don’t want to respond in these ways, but you feel trapped in the cycle and completely overwhelmed. You’re crying more than you ever normally would and feel like you’re just struggling to hold it together for another day.

 

3. Unable to Rest

You’re having trouble sleeping. You wake up with worried thoughts, and though you know you need sleep, it’s hard to get a full night’s rest. When the alarm wakes you, you’re not refreshed. You find it’s hard to get moving and you’ve lost your peace and joy.

Photo Credit: Unsplash/Chris Arock

4. Physical Weakness

4. Physical Weakness

You have physical symptoms that point towards being emotionally drained. You’re not eating well, or maybe you’re struggling with eating too much. You’ve stopped exercising because there’s just too much to do. You feel anxious, worried, stressed, or fearful, and you can’t seem to shake it off. You seem to be getting sick too easily. Your immune system is trying to work overtime, but your whole body feels weakened. You’re struggling with headaches, stomach issues, high blood pressure, shortness of breath, even chest pains or panic attacks. These among a list of other ailments should be enough to send a person straight for help. But the truth is, many still try to just suffer through, alone, in silence, hoping it’ll get better soon. Yet all of it seems to be dragging you downward even more.

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5. Pulling Away from God

5. Pulling Away from God

You’ve found yourself pulling away, distancing yourself from God and time with him. From other people who you love. From church. Maybe the downward spiral has left you feeling all alone and in despair. You’re struggling with feeling depressed, and dark thoughts have started coming through your mind. You know you’re battling with the enemy’s lies, but it’s become harder to even know what is really true.

If you find yourself struggling here today, maybe this is your wake-up call to get help now.

Photo Credit: Unsplash/Suhyeon Choi

How to Find Renewal Again:

How to Find Renewal Again:

Only in Christ can true renewal be found. If he’s not our foundation, we’re seeking only temporary relief. He reminds us continually in his word, that he understands our weaknesses and has also walked through these very battles. He knows what we need and will lead us through to the other side of the struggle. But we first have to get our eyes in the right place. Off the problems, off the feelings of being overwhelmed, off all the stress and stuff that pulls us down and leaves us drained, and up to him again.

Photo Credit: Unsplash/Sarah Diniz Outeiro

Go to God first.

Go to God first.

Pray. Confess your need for him.  Confess any sin you know you’ve been holding onto that’s difficult to let go of. Ask him for the help of his Holy Spirit. He may show you things you weren’t even aware of that have caused your downward spiral into exhaustion. He may lead you to make better decisions, to let go of toxic attitudes or relationships, and will guide you into healthy new places. God loves us more than we could ever fully know. He longs to help us and is always there. His words of life remind us that he is our strong tower and refuge in every storm or difficulty of life. He promises to help us, and he is faithful to see us through.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

“I lift up my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip, he who watches over you will not slumber.” Psalm 121:1-3

But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

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Open up his word.

Open up his word.

Put on the armor of God every day. Read his words of truth and life and speak them out loud. Pray them, share them with others, and meditate on them through the day. Start memorizing verses that bring you hope by writing them out and hanging them up where you’ll see his words through the day. His Word is like a healing balm to our souls. It is the truth that never changes in a constantly shifting world. It is light in the dark and gives clarity and wisdom to know how to walk wisely in hard places. He promises that his words of life will never return void without accomplishing all that they are meant to do. We can trust his words in every stage and circumstance of our lives.

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” Ephesians 6:10-11

“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Psalm 119:11

“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,” Acts 3:19

Photo Credit: Unsplash/Priscilla du Preez

Stop trying to carry it all.

Stop trying to carry it all.

Lay it down because you’re not meant to make everything happen on your own. Get rest. Take care of yourself. Eat healthy. Go outside and take a long walk or exercise again. Find a hobby you love to do and make time for it in your day – it’s that important. Watch the sunrise or sunset and notice things you’ve forgotten to notice all around you: the people you love, animals or pets you love. Nature, beautiful flowers, the stretch of an ocean, sounds of rushing waters, or the majesty of a mountainside. Learn to breathe deep again, and find times of rest for your soul. Allow God to fill you up with the power and peace of his presence. He alone is our hope-restorer and burden-bearer.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

“Cast all your anxiety on Him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31

Photo Credit: Unsplash/Soroush Karimi

Choose joy.

Choose joy.

Because truly, joy is often a choice. We may not “feel” happy; we may be struggling deeply with things that are pressing hard, but God reminds us to choose joy and that he will be faithful to give us the strength we need through whatever we face. Give him praise for the work that he is doing within you. It is often a bigger work than just about us and what we’re facing. It’s about others around us and his greater work within us that brings light and hope to a dark world. Laugh every single day. And if you don’t have something to laugh about, find something. Or if it seems too hard to do, read or watch something that will bring a smile to your face and deep laughter to your soul. Jesus came that we might have abundant life, but the truth is, the enemy will do all he can to steal that right away.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10

“Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10

“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Proverbs 17:22

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Talk to a trusted friend, pastor, or counselor.

Talk to a trusted friend, pastor, or counselor.

Surround yourself with other believers. Don’t try to do this life thing on your own. Don’t buy into the lie that says you have to cover your weaknesses and that you can’t be real about the struggles you’re facing. We all have weakness. We all will struggle and face difficult times. We’re human; we’re not perfect. But we know the One who is and often just need to be reminded that others have walked this way before as they share their hope stories. We are stronger together and the enemy cannot stand against us with God in our midst.

Sometimes we need help and healing that comes through the care of a professional counselor and medication to help us get stronger again. There should never be any shame or guilt over seeking out medical help and attention for persistent and difficult problems. Many people deal with struggles of depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and mood disorders that should never be ignored and left untreated. If you’ve been struggling with these things and feel stuck, or you know and love someone who is, please get help. Know that God’s greatest desire for you is to live free. He wants nothing more than for us to reach out to him for help.

“Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.” Proverbs 11:14

“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2

Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17

Debbie McDaniel is a writer, pastor’s wife, mom to three amazing kids (and a lot of pets). Join her each morning on Fresh Day Ahead’s Facebook page, for daily encouragement in living strong, free, hope-filled lives. Find her also on Twitter and at her blog www.debbiemcdaniel.com

 

 

Photo Credit: Unsplash/Juliandra Durkin

 

A Word with You – October 21, 2019

You Didn’t Call

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I remember the time that my son got in real late. And I remember because that really wasn’t his usual style. And, of course, I was waiting calmly and patiently for him to get home and, you know, waiting to hear his explanation; except for the hand cuffs and the bright light that I greeted him with. Now, he had good reasons. There were car problems, and there were people who really did have to be dropped off before he was, and, oh yeah, they got lost. It all checked out, but I was still an unhappy father for one important thing that he missed. Can you guess what it is? Uh-huh, “You didn’t call!” Every parent knows, and most teenagers learn that you’re making a big mistake when you don’t call home.

I’m going to read our word for today from the Word of God from 1 Chronicles 14. David is in his unstoppable years; everything he does works, and there are secrets here to being unstoppable. Verse 10 says, “David inquired of God, ‘Shall I go and attack the Philistines?’ And the Lord answered him, ‘Go and I will hand them over to you.'” In verse 14, it says, “David inquired of God again.” And in this case he happens to be asking Him about a strategy for defeating the Philistines. You see, David checked with the Lord apparently on everything…well, almost everything.

One day he did a great thing. He had the ark moved from the suburbs so to speak, the outer country, to where it would be in the center of things. But it was only to be handled by the Levites. That’s the law! And they didn’t do it God’s way and a man died while transporting that ark. Now we read in chapter 15 of 1 Chronicles, “You are the heads of the Levitical families. You and your fellow Levites are to consecrate yourselves and bring up the ark of the Lord to the place I have prepared for it. It was because you, the Levites, did not bring it up the first time that the Lord our God broke out in anger against us. (Now listen to this.) We did not inquire of Him about how to do it in the prescribed way.”

In other words, David is saying, “We messed up because we didn’t call our Father; we didn’t check to see how God wanted this done.” Our tendency is to pray about something, and then check in same time, same station maybe tomorrow. Or pray when we’re losing the battle. Can we learn a lesson from David when he was in his unstoppable years? Pray first about which battles to fight. Not every battle is one God wants you to be involved in. Get His orders before you get involved.

Then ask the Lord about how to fight the battle. Pray until you start to feel His plan for that battle unfolding. The ark incident teaches us that you can do a good thing in a way God doesn’t want it done. Good thing, wrong way, and it won’t work.

Too often, this guy’s got to confess to you, I will pray about something in the morning, and then I’ll put myself on cruise control and just kind of go ahead and not check in again until I hit a crisis. I’m a victim of my own momentum. Our Father expects us to check with Him frequently, regularly, all through the day, before a call, before an email, before a signature, before we drive, before we park, before we make a decision about where we’re going to go next. “What do You want me to do, Lord?” “How do You want me to do it?”

You can be unstoppable if you move through all your day’s choices in consultation with your Heavenly Father. Like earthly kids, we tend to get in a mess, and then come into the Father’s presence with our head hanging. And our Father says, “You didn’t call.”

© (c) Ronald P. Hutchcraft
Distributed by Ron Hutchcraft Ministries, Inc.

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