A Devotion May Be Someone's Only Bible

Spirit & Body

We have two bodies as such. The physical body and our spiritual body. The Spirit is an important part of both. Giving our hearts to Christ brings that spiritual body into balance and therefore, helps us understand the ups and downs of the physical body – even accept them when others cannot.

Developing a Good Habit

When I first embraced Christ as my Savior and Lord, I struggled with fears and insecurities.

Somehow, I realized my genuine desire to know the Lord would help curb my anxieties. I also felt I was not spending enough quality time with Jesus. I made a choice to carve out time every day to meet with the Lord. Developing this habit took months. I often missed my time with Him, but eventually the habit formed. Spending quality time with Jesus has helped me receive His love and experience inner peace.

David had a habit too. It wasn’t some insidious practice that dragged him down like a ball and chain, but a good habit that opened the doorway to God’s kaleidoscope of blessings. David learned to praise God, and he did it early every morning.

I’m sure David had a special place where he poured out his praises to God—a place where he developed ears to hear his Creator. There, he meditated on God’s Word. His praises and prayers paved the way for his day to team with God.

We, too, should come before God consistently and passionately. Great rewards await us as we develop this habit. Negative habits tend to lose their grip as we draw near to God and as we make spending time with Him a priority.

Whether at dawn, in the midday, or late at night, we can come before God to a place of our choosing. As we develop this habit, God will meet us there, move on our behalf, and open doors no one can shut. Spending time with Him will shape us into whom we need to be for His glory.

Make it a point to develop good habits.

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(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



Pay Attention

Without thinking, I bent over to pick up the package on my porch. That’s when I felt the stabbing pain in my back.

Doctors had warned me to change my habits so my damaged disc could heal. I knew to bend my knees, not my back, but I had mindlessly reverted to my old ways. I had prayed for God to heal my back. Now, I uttered a different prayer and asked Him to help me pay attention. God answered by reminding me that my greatest need was not for physical healing, but for spiritual healing—healing that would require paying careful attention to my thoughts, words, and actions.

The writer of Hebrews tells us to pay close attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from God’s teachings. Not an intentional turning away, but a mindless drifting away. And that is exactly how the enemy traps me—distracting me so that I travel mindlessly through the day, unaware of my careless words, the hurting person in my path, or the not-so-good decisions made in haste. These old ways of doing life—pursuing my agenda and failing to pay attention—set me up for the pain of regret.

My physical therapist prescribed daily exercises to gently push the tissue around my disc into place, supporting healthy alignment of my spine. Doing these exercises each morning increases my mindfulness throughout the day.

In the same way, spending time each day reading God’s Word and listening to Him gently aligns my perspective with His. Doing so reminds me His goal is for me to reflect His image. It also gives my weary soul an opportunity to heal.

By living intentionally and paying attention to what God has said, we can avoid painful regrets and be transformed into His image.

If you have places in your life that ache, ask the Lord what He is trying to accomplish through your circumstances, and then pay attention.

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(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



Self Defense

When the sirens blared and the lights flashed, I jumped and held my breath.

My response was the speaker’s purpose. She wanted me to understand how I’d freeze up when faced with a threat. She was right. The blood rushed to my heart and caused my hands, arms, feet, and legs to turn into noodles.

Debbie Gardner from Survive Institute gave life-saving advice on overcoming fear. If I’m threatened by someone, breathing, inhaling, and exhaling are important. If I can escape, I should. If I can’t, then gripping my hands in fists to keep the circulation flowing and stepping back to create space between me and the attacker is essential. Instead of focusing on fear, I must focus on the people I love and want to live for to stir the courage to yell, “No!” or to go for the attacker’s throat. If all they want are valuables, giving them my purse makes sense. On the other hand, if they want my life, going for their throat with a water bottle, a marker, keys, my hand, or whatever works to stun them is the right procedure. After that, I can run and call 911. 

Debbie’s instruction addressed physical threats and the importance of being prepared mentally in a crisis. But what about spiritual threats and attacks? Job was attacked repeatedly, yet he continued to inhale. He knew God authored his life’s breath.

When attacked by Satan, we can inhale God’s breath. To escape, we should turn away from the temptation and run the other way to create space between us and the problem. If the Enemy keeps coming, we can shout, “No!” and focus on the people we love and don’t want to harm by our actions. We can also go for the throat or, as I like to picture in my mind, poke him in the eyes with spike heels. We can say, “Get thee behind me, Satan” and then call on Jesus to set us free.

Job's friend Elihu reminded him God breathes life into each person. With life, God has given us the responsibility to choose obedience or rebellion. His self-defense plan includes prayer, repentance, and grace to lift us from Satan's snare.

When temptations dog you, turn away and call on God. Seek His wisdom and breathe in His grace and peace.

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(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



Burdens

For years, I yelled, “Move, move!”  

I yelled at my past and my failures. But once as I prayed, Jesus reminded me His yoke is easy and His burden light. As I meditated on this verse, I saw myself yoked to a huge ox. As I pushed against the yoke, the ox dug in and remained immovable. I kicked and whipped the animal and yelled at it to move, but it stood like a stone. As I strained at the yoke, feeling the weight of the immoveable burden, I finally fell down in defeat.

I asked the Lord, “Why can’t I move this object?”

He said, My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.

But isn’t my past my burden? I wondered. After all, I created the failures when I led life my way. I now suffer from the consequences of those decisions and can’t seem to escape them. They are reflected in the behavior of my children and how they relate to me. And my ex-husband continues to speak abusively to me and my son. Twenty years have passed with no repentance from him—only vain attempts to cover up his black heart with his money.

“I can’t change the mistakes of my past. They are immoveable,” I said to the Lord.

Exactly, He said. You can’t change your past. Only I can change people’s hearts and heal the wounds of the past with My love and your faith in it.

God’s yoke is easy, and His burden is light because He carries the majority of the load. As we walk beside Him in sweet trust and faith, He moves what we can’t. Until we stop striving to fix our past, He can’t move in our lives or in the lives of those around us.

“Yes, Lord, I will release this burden to Your miraculous ways, rest in Your Love for me, and see You move in my life.” I sighed as peace filled my heart.

We all need God’s grace and words of love, forgiveness, and mercy to wash over us every day. We need to believe Him when He says He no longer remembers our past sins. We must forgive ourselves, raise our heads, look into His eyes of love, and give our burdens to Him.

Are you giving your burdens to the Lord?

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(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



Able, Not Disabled

“You don’t look like you need to park in that handicapped spot!”

Startled by the man’s sharp, abrupt tone, I turned to see where the voice came from. “What did you say?” I asked. He repeated his words, then turned and walked away, shaking his head and saying something to his friend.

I felt hurt and angry. How could he know my handicap? Could he see my constant burning or know weakness in my spine? Why did I need to have his words frame my thinking or attempt to smash the moments of joy I had planned for this little shopping trip?

My day was not his to mess with; it was already given to the Lord the moment I opened my eyes. Later that night, I sat with the Lord as He reset my heart and mind. The Holy Spirit reminded me that my accident was always woven into the purpose He had ordained for my life.

In this painful place, I find more peace as the Holy Spirit enlightens me to God’s perspective. My mind told me I was of no use to Jesus anymore. That was a lie the Enemy peddled to my heart. But Jesus is the truth. God gave me His perspective: He is for me, not against me, because I am His child.

God sees our heart and develops it to bring our desires in step with His … to delight in Him. This means desiring what He wants in my life. My life won’t be satisfying if I am trying to do it in my own way.

Although I am unable to do what I once did, Jesus has enabled my ears to hear His voice clearer and more often. Obeying His voice has become my joy. He has given me more purpose now than I could have ever imagined. My disability trains me to see my life in His perfect hands. I am able not disabled.  

If you’re dwelling on past losses, ask God to release you from that captive thinking. Trust Him to bring peace with your disability, loss, fears, or uncertainties.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



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