Do you have a we-evil problem?

I found weevils in our oats. Lots of them. How did they get there? One crawled in and hatched a whole lot more.

If I’d been paying attention, I could have taken care of the problem early on with a lot less damage. But by the time I looked in the bag, it was already crawling with the ugly black critters.

Of course, good TCK (“Third Culture Kid,” a fancy way of saying my passport country is not the country I grew up in) that I am, there is NO WAY I was going to throw out all those oats I’d paid for and had plans for! 

So, I froze the bag, live beasts and all.

Now, for those of you who have lived in Third World countries and are used to weevils in your oats or rice, you know that with a bit of water, those black critters float to the top. Then you can skim them off or pour them down the drain.

But if you wash the oats when the weevils are still alive rather than killing them in the freezer first, they have a tendency to crawl back out of the drain and find more places to hatch eggs.

This time, there were so many weevils that it took several washings and a whole lot of lost oats that went down the drain with their enemy before I could make granola.

So, here’s the spiritual application, in case you hadn’t guessed it yet:

If we allow the enemy with his cunning lies and sin into our hearts, our lives, our marriages, our work, our relationships, our thought lives, or even our theology, and don’t take care of the infestation straight away, but allow him to stay and make himself comfortable, devouring our lives and our relationship with God and others … he’s going to bring in a lot more of his friends and we’re going to lose A LOT.

So many blessings God wanted to give us, so many opportunities to make Him taste good to those around us, so many ways He wanted to use us for His glory, so many relationships He meant us to join with to worship and do work together… all down the drain because we didn’t take care of our sin problem early on.

But praise God, He doesn’t just throw us all away. He loves us and washes us with His grace and His love, allowing circumstances into our lives that bring the sin and lies and wrong thought processes to the surface so He can skim them off.

As we purpose to open ourselves up to His touch, He cleanses us, renews our minds and eventually makes us into something tasty and sweet with His fragrance. (I can smell the granola cooking in my oven even as I write this.)

So, if you have a “we-evil” problem in your life, Jesus is calling you to FREEZE. Now! Stop everything you’re doing and carve out that time you need alone with Him, so He can show you your sin and kill it. Then give Him time over the next few days, weeks, months and years every day in your quiet times to wash out all those wrong processes you’ve gotten used to over the years.

May He make you into something new and inviting today! And may all around you taste and see that the Lord is good!

For tips on freedom from lies and sin, visit MoreThanAConquerorBooks.com for devotionals, Bible studies, and other books by Mikaela Vincent on recognizing God’s voice and walking in His power. 

Bring us back to what matters

So, yesterday, I was joking with the Lord that I should post a photo of food on Facebook or Instagram, because that’s what so many people do that all their friends “like” on social media. I could totally take a picture of my supper, and more people will probably “like” that than any post about His beauty, His love, the joys of hearing His voice and walking as one with Him… I may still do it. Just for fun.
 
But… oh, my … He woke me up with a dream this morning that totally ATE MY SUPPER WHOLE, so to speak!
 
O, Lord, forgive us, please … We are throwing away true treasures and grabbing hold of the fleeting pleasures of this world, the things that make us happy for a moment, as what matters most to us. I am guilty, too, Lord. … Come near to us, even while we’re busy with other things that have distracted us. Call to us. Draw us back. Remind us that You alone are our One Desire. That You alone satisfy. Restore us to intimacy with You. We’ve wandered so far we’ve forgotten what it’s like. Touch us today, so directly, so intimately, so intentionally, that YOU distract us from the world and remind us of what we left behind back there when we pushed You away, … when we shut out the voices of those in our lives who walk close to You, … when we turned out all the lights that exposed our sin, … hiding so we could continue on without distraction…. Forgive us, Lord. We need You.
“They (we have) exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.” Romans 1:25 (NIV)

The Way It Is … Or Is It?

It’s so easy for us to get caught up in this world–trying to make it to the next paycheck, pass this test, get the kids off to all their soccer matches and still make supper….

Every day is so filled with hecticity. I know, I made up that word. But you know what it means. In fact, you can probably explain it in detail with your daily to-do list.

But this world isn’t all there is. And probably half those things on your list really won’t matter in the scheme of world and time if they get done or not. No one’s going to remember or care tomorrow or next week if you did all that busywork. But I guarantee your kids WILL remember you lying on the front lawn with them counting the stars before you get them ready for bed. They WILL remember that special book you read them at night. And all the times you stopped your busywork to listen. Twenty years from now all those busy things won’t matter. Only love.

Each time you love someone, not just in words–although words are SO important (I hope you husbands who mostly grunt rather than make intelligible sounds hear me on this one!)–but in deeds, in actuality.

So take a look at your hecticity today. Lay down what you can, even if you never pick it up again. And pick up a child instead. Pick up the phone and call your mother. Pick up groceries for your elderly neighbor. Pick up something of value.

Every act of love today counts for all eternity. 1 Corinthians 13.

(Photo above is from Out You Go, Fear!, a Pure-As-Gold children’s book by Mikaela Vincent. To see all her books, visit MoreThanAConquerorBooks.com.)

Something of Value…

What is the most difficult thing you struggle with these days? Relationships? Emotions? Success at work, or in school, or in parenting?

The heart of every issue we face in this life is spiritual. We are not physical beings having temporary spiritual experiences; we are spiritual beings having a temporary physical experience.

Treat every moment as if it counts for all eternity.  And that means, do everything in love. 1 Corinthians 16:14. Because love is eternal. 1 Corinthians 13:13.

Pride, selfishness, judgment, feeling you’re right all the time … will gain you nothing but arguments and empty dissatisfaction. But love triumphs over all. Romans 8:31-39. Even if you “lose” that earthly fight, it’s worth it to win the heavenly rewards that come from choosing to love.

And the rewards are all the greater when that person you are loving is persecuting you. Revelation 2:10, Matthew 5:9-12. Interesting, isn’t it? When people insult us, mock us, or do evil things against us for our love for God and for others, they are actually helping to pile up a mound of eternal treasure for us in heaven.

So, rejoice next time someone repays your loving acts with evil attacks. Forgive them. And love them all the more. For great is your reward. 2 Corinthians 4. Not only in heaven, but here on earth. Romans 12:9-21. For a heart full of love and grace is a heart full of joy and freedom. Romans 12:9-21.

And when you get to heaven, you will have something of value to lay at your Savior’s feet. Dare to Become a Kingdom Culture Leader

In training for reigning-MoreThanAConquerorBooks-Mikaela Vincent

 

Taking Our Thoughts Captive

Take your thoughts captive-Mikaela Vincent-MoreThanAConquerorBooks

Make sure the voice you’re listening to is God’s

Do you find it difficult to wake up for a quiet time? Have you felt busy? Weary? Dry? Angry? Discouraged? Bitter? Lonely? Worthless?

We were created for oneness with Christ and with each other, listening to and obeying the Head together as one body, and using all our gifts to build each other up and bring forth His kingdom here on earth. Matthew 22:37-40, John 14:15-15:17, Ephesians 3:16-5:21.

So it comes as no surprise that our enemy wants to block that from happening. John 10:10, Ephesians 6:10-20. And the place where he wages war is in our minds. To not give in to his schemes, we must take our thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5.

  • Stand on the Truth. Just because you believe something doesn’t mean it’s true. Only what God says is true. John 8:31-32, 42-47. To test your thoughts for enemy lies, run them through this sieve:
  1. Does it agree with the Word—not just one or two passages, but all of it? The Word is best interpreted by the Word. Luke 4:9-12.
  2. Does it agree with God’s character—especially His love? Matthew 22:37-40, 1 John 3:16b.
  3. Does it draw us closer to Christ? John 14:15-15:17, James 4:7-8.
  • Don’t mind-read; stick to the facts. The Accuser sets us against our brothers and against God’s purposes. So, be quick to surrender your opinions over to Jesus and ask Him how He sees that person or situation. Don’t imagine hidden actions or motives behind people’s words. Instead, listen. James 1:19. If the meaning is unclear, ask, “When you said…, did you mean…?” Only God is omniscient; only He can read a mind. James 4:11-12, Matthew 7:1-5, 1 Peter 5:5-6.
  • Look for what God’s doing and follow Him there. Don’t just act on your thoughts. Seek the Lord’s. Proverbs 3:5-7, Isaiah 55:6-9. Talk with Him, not only in your quiet times, but all day long. Get in the habit of surrendering your every moment to become His. Ephesians 6:18. Pray with those you work with, live with, mentor, or lead before making a decision. Together, ask God what He wants to do, and then share with each other what He’s saying to your hearts. John 10:1-5, 27.
  • Purpose to do the opposite of what the enemy is doing. Sometimes the enemy’s plans are more visible than God’s. Is he keeping you from your quiet times? Then set aside an even longer time to be with Jesus. Is he discouraging? Then worship. Is he causing dissension? Then forgive, ask forgiveness, and pray for those who persecute you.

Visit www.MoreThanAConquerorBooks.com for more encouragement, Bible studies and books to help you draw closer to Christ.

 Some … think of us as if we walked according to the flesh. For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled. Do you look at things according to the outward appearance? … For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.”2 Corinthians 10:2-12

Diving into the Depths of God’s Love

 

Most of us live a bit of a see-saw ride with God. One day we’re up, the next we’re down. One week we’re full of Him, the next we’re dry and empty. We can’t always recognize what went wrong, but we seem to move from feeling close to feeling far, then close, then far again.

Have you ever felt that way? In and out of the throne room? What would it be like to dive in deep with the Lord and just stay there?

Like a fresh spring of water welling up inside that never goes dry. Psalm 87:7, John 4:14. Like eagle’s wings to soar over everything that stands in our way. Deuteronomy 32:11, Exodus 19:4. Like victory in every battle. Romans 8:35-39. Like rest and peace, whether storms rage or not. Isaiah 30:15. Like abiding in Him and never leaving His embrace. John 14-15.

Do you want that? Your King is standing in front of you now. His deep heart of love is saying to you, Stop your busy schedule and look at Me. I know you love Me, or you wouldn’t serve Me so faithfully. But I’m calling you to be still. To gaze into My eyes and see My great love for you burning there, the flames of passion that took Me to the cross, where I laid down all My abilities and gifts and God-qualities and died in your place so you could be free—not bound by chains of legalism or performance, not weary of running hard and getting nowhere in man’s eyes. No. I created you for Myself. Formed you for the purpose of knowing Me, enjoying Me, becoming one with Me.

“I didn’t call you to burn out, but to burn so brightly for Me, empowered by My love and My Spirit, that the darkness around you is dissipated by the single flame that is your heart of love for Me.

“When others look at you, what do they see? Can they see Me? Or do they just see you busy? Do they see you burning with passion for My name, for My fame? Or do they just see you burned out?

“Look at My hand reaching out for you. See the nail scar there? I paid it all for you already. It’s done. It’s finished. No need to work hard to gain My approval. I already approve.

“So take My hand now. Let’s you and I become one. Not just on your up days. But every day. Speak to Me. Listen to Me. Walk with Me. Ask Me what to do in the big circumstances and in the small.

“I didn’t leave you here to do this all on your own. I created you for relationship. So look into My eyes. Dive into My embrace. And stay here with Me, even when you step out into the dark world. Let Me be the Light that empowers you and shines through you.

“In your own light and power you will burn out, become discouraged, even fail. Whether you’re here or there makes no difference, only that you are in Me. Then you will be exactly where I want you to be.”

(For a free guide to knowing God’s voice, sign up on our Home Page at MoreThanAConquerorBooks.com.)

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” James 4:8 (NKJV)

“As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God.  My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God? O my God, my soul is cast down within me; Therefore I will remember You. …  Deep calls unto deep at the noise of Your waterfalls; all Your waves and billows have gone over me. The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night His song shall be with me—a prayer to the God of my life…. Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God.” Psalm 42 (NKJV)

Psalm 46:10, John 14:15-15:26, Philippians 2:1-16, Revelation 1:14, Galatians 1:10, John 8:12, Matthew 22:37, Romans 2:4, Proverbs 3:5-7.

Whose Side Am I On?

Before you enter a fight, make sure you know which side you're on. Are you obeying pride? Fear? Selfishness? Sin? Or are you fighting for your brother in love?

Fight the Good Fight

Life is a battle. Ephesians 6:10-20, 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, 1 Peter 5:8. We face difficulties every day. Sometimes we fight well, but other times, it’s as if we’ve forgotten which side we’re on. We hurt others, fight against God’s plans, act without praying, believe what the enemy tells us instead of what Jesus says…. John 8:42-47.

How do we stay on our King’s side, fighting as one for the things of His heart? Psalm 45:1-5.

  1. Know Who your Commander is. Love is His name, and love is His command. 1 John 4:16b, Matthew 22:37-40, John 14:15. If what you’re thinking or doing is not loving God and loving others, check your motive for another master (like pride, control, doubt, self-defense, religious pride, anger, selfishness, revenge, etc.) Galatians 5:1-25.
  2. Know who your enemy is. We have a real enemy, but it’s not our brother. Ephesians 6:12. Am I jealous, judging, attacking, ignoring, looking down on others, assuming things about people and talking behind their backs, running over them rather than listening and praying with them, forcing others to do what I want instead of seeking God for what He wants, or oppressing my brother/sister in any other way? Matthew 7:1-5, James 4:11-12. Don’t fight against your brother. Fight for him against the real enemy. 1 Peter 5:8-9.
  3. Know your Sword. Ephesians 6:17. The Word is best interpreted by the Word. John 1:1. So be careful not to let the father of lies twist Scripture or distract you from the Truth with arguments based on tradition, reasoning, doubt, or even your own imagination. John 8:42-47, Luke 4:9-11. Rather, make sure your stand 1) agrees with the Word, not just one portion, but all of it, 2) agrees with God’s character, especially His love, 3) draws you/others closer to Him.
  4. Fight for the things your King fought for. Jesus is our example, and He only did what His Father was doing. John 5:19, 1 John 2:5-6. If it wasn’t something Jesus fought for, should you be fighting?
  5. Surrender to your King. Pride is at the root of every conflict, and our King opposes pride. 1 Peter 5:5, James 4:1-2. So, no matter how right you believe you are, lay all your thoughts, opinions, ideas, agendas, goals, plans, actions and desires at Jesus’ feet, and ask Him for His. Isaiah 55:6-9. Get into the Proverbs 3:5-7 habit of seeking God to direct your paths, rather than leaning on your own understanding. James 4:6, Psalm 45:4, Philippians 2:1-15, John 14:15, 1 John 5:3, 2 John 6. Walk in humble surrender, and win!

“Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:10-12 (NKJV)

 “Though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (NKJV)

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