Have you ever been reading the Bible, when suddenly, a verse seems to leap off the page and into your heart? It’s as though God is sending you a personal word of encouragement to help you right where you are. I like to call this my “watchword.” God’s Word can actually ignite our faith. Paul tells us in Romans 10:17 that faith comes from hearing the Word of God. And if faith is the antidote to fear, it makes sense to strengthen ourselves daily with God’s Word.
I’m hoping the 21 Day Watch builds my faith. That’s why I am on the lookout for ways to become more alert to God’s work all around me. “Watchwords” from the Bible remind me of God’s strength and power. It doesn’t happen the same way every morning. Some days God gives a more dramatic watchword than others. But I never walk away empty from my time reading God’s Word.
During my years of struggling with infertility, I would often find a personal watchword of encouragement that would give me hope. Verses from my Bible study would inspire my faith, just when I was losing hope that we would ever have a baby. I remember one watchword which gave me an anchor for my soul: He settles the barren woman in her home, the happy mother of children (Psalm 113:9). I sensed God encouraging me through that verse to stand firm in my belief that He would eventually give us children, which He did.
If you long to see signs of God at work in your life, I’d suggest you start by seeking His message to you from the pages of Scripture. The way I see it, God spent over 1600 pages (in my Bible) telling me of His will, His plans, His instructions, and His love for me. That’s why I go to His Word first thing each morning. I take the problems and needs that are heaviest on my heart and I ask God to speak through His Word. I also take my hopes and dreams, and my concern for people and places, and ask God for wisdom from His Word about how to pray.
Let’s ask God to open our eyes to His WORD. Before I read the Bible, I ask Him to reveal promises that relate to my concerns. My simple prayer is from Psalm 119:18: Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.
Dare to go to God’s Word with an honest and thirsty heart. Ask the Lord to speak to you through the pages of Scripture. I believe the Holy Spirit will inspire you with a special watchword which will strengthen your faith today, and give you hope.
Leave a comment | tags: 21 Day Watch, faith, God's promises, prayer, watchwords | posted in Arm Yourself with Spiritual Strength, Be Specific when You Ask, Pray with Authority, Wake Up and Pray! Be Alert
Are you worried today? Perhaps someone you love is going through a tough time. Most of us carry burdens for those in our circle of family and friends. But the next time worry tries to enter your mind, I challenge you to pause. Try to resist the worry and hand this situation to God. The Bible tells us to “Cast your anxiety on the Lord because He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). The word cast means “to forcibly evict.” It’s the same word used when Jesus cast out demons. No wonder this exercise takes some spiritual muscle on our part.
Today is Day Seven of our 21 Day Watch. We’ve been mindful to observe how God may be at work in and around us. One of the ways we cast out fear and grow in faith is to understand the big picture, looking at the situation from God’s perspective.
Sometimes we can see the big picture only when we look in the rear view mirror of time. This happened the other night when I was at a party to celebrate the upcoming wedding of a dear friend’s daughter and her fiancé. Family and friends had joined together to shower the young couple with gifts and well wishes for a happy life together. I’d watched this girl grow into a beautiful young woman and was thrilled she had found such a special young man with whom to share the rest of her life.
All of a sudden, my mind drifted back to one morning a couple of years ago. My friend had shared over coffee that she longed for her daughter to meet the right man. We agreed to pray. My friend sought the Lord in prayer. I watched her relationship with the Lord grow in special ways as she prayed for her daughter and each member of her family. Now here we were, over two years later. She reflected on how this young man was such an answer to her prayers. “I don’t forget for a moment that this is the man I prayed for,” she said to me.
What if we could see God’s big picture plan for our lives? Especially in those situations which cause us to worry. What if my friend could have seen a video into the future and the man God had prepared for her daughter? A quick answer to prayer and all her heart’s worries would have been put to rest right away. But God allowed her to wait for her answer. To go through the daily exercise of searching for strength from His Word. Resisting worry. Turning the worry into a prayer. Learning to trust in God’s big picture for her daughter.
My friend would tell you that she grew strong through the “wait training.” As she was faithful to seek the Lord daily through His word and prayer, He gradually gave her a sense of peace about her daughter’s future, even before the answer came.
If you are struggling today with a problem, why not ask God to give you His perspective? Search for promises from His Word. Seek Him first and trust Him to answer your prayer in His perfect time. Daily life gives us plenty of chances to practice casting worry on the Lord. Those we love are watching to see how we navigate life’s inevitable anxieties. Next time you feel fear, take a deep breath. Think. Pray. Guard your heart…and your peace. And ask God to begin to reveal His big picture.
Don’t worry about anything. Instead, pray about everything…Philippians 4:6
Leave a comment | tags: big picture, God's promises, trust, worry | posted in Agree with Others in Prayer, Be Specific when You Ask, Pray with Authority, wait training, Wake Up and Pray! Be Alert