Seriously, what is your sign? You probably know without looking it up, don’t you? Astrology has become part of culture. Some look to it for hints about the future and for guidance. In today’s society, we can read our horoscope just about anywhere. If someone is really desperate, they can hire a roadside psychic. It is easy to think we can make better decisions for ourselves if we know the future, but I want to challenge that way of thinking.
Life is what happens to us when we are making other plans. It’s a famous quote first noted in Reader’s Digest 1957, but it has been repeated in multiple variations in songs and movies. Think about it. What great parts of your life happened to you unintentionally? In general, it is not good for us to know the future. If there is something we need to know, God can communicate it to us since he is the only one to clearly and perfectly see the future. If we need guidance, wouldn’t it be best to ask the Lord?
Sometimes you may not sense a clear answer and feel lost, but you can trust God for peace and to ask him to show you the steps. If you still feel lost after a time, then talk to a Christian friend. Another person with the same Holy Spirit in them that is inside you can draw out some deeply hidden God spoke to your heart and confirm what you think you have heard.
A close relationship with God will put you on the right steps for your best happiness in God’s perfect will for your life. If you have never committed your life to Christ, you are on a path away from God and may be feeling despair. It is never too late to turn that around. Give God the reigns of your life by accepting Christ into your heart and receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit inside you.
A few years ago, I edited a free ebook called Never Forsaken: A Testimony Collection. Something miraculous happened as I read the submissions. My own faith grew. Of course I had faith God exists, but I did not necessarily know how to apply all of the promises God has for us in the Bible.
I learned one such promise and application when I read one of the testimony submissions by a woman named Kristen Nelson. She shared a testimony of how God healed her wrists and included a Scripture from John 10:10. It says, “…I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” She didn’t have inoperable brain cancer. She simply wanted a fuller life.
Sometimes people are afraid to pray for God to help us in little ways as though He were too busy or something. Other times they are scared to ask God to help people on their deathbed because we are all destined to die. This is my new prayer for people on their deathbed. “Dear Lord: All of our days are numbered, but You came to give us life abundantly. While this person is here on earth, give them life to the fullest. Thank You for being our Healer. In Christ’s Name, Amen.”
A few days ago, I prayed it over my elderly cat who has not been well. That particular day she would not eat and could hardly stand. We were all preparing our hearts for her death. Then I prayed this prayer over my cat. Guess what? The very next day she was eating and walking around. She even ran upstairs! She may die tomorrow, but today she is living life to the fullest because God is good.
“For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will…” —Ephesians 1:4-5
I feel God has stirred a memory for me to share with you. My mother’s friend had no children of her own but desired to have a daughter. After spending a great deal of time and money on the adoption process, she flew to China to adopt the young orphan girl. When she arrived, she discovered that the girl had an older sister. She decided to adopt both of them. Again, she went through the long expensive adoption process. However when it was time for the two girls to travel to their new home in the United States, the older sister refused to go. She refused her new mother, and in doing so rejected her sister and the amazing new life of love and family that awaited her here in America. Instead, she remained alone in an orphanage. This true story reminds me how Jesus laid down His life for us; yet, some refuse to come. Some reject a loving Father, multitudes of brothers and sisters in Christ, and citizenship in heaven. Do not let your opportunity to be adopted into the kingdom of heaven slip away. It has been paid for and is simply waiting for you to say, “Yes, Lord. I will come with You.”
PRAYER: Father God, I confess I have made mistakes in my life and sinned against You. I believe Your Son died on the cross, and His blood paid for my sins. I believe You raised Him from the dead, and He is alive today. Thank You that Jesus Christ is my Savior. In Christ’s Name, Amen.
There are many reasons people doubt Christianity. How many of the following reasons apply to you? Answer true or false.
- People consider me a rebellious person.
- Friends think I have too much pride.
- I avoid certain situations because I am fearful.
- I suffer from deep emotional pain.
- My family says I am stubborn.
- I hate conformity.
- I have not forgiven someone for abandonment/death/divorce.
- I have not forgiven persons for neglect/abuse.
- I have not sought healing/counseling for neglect/abuse.
- It is hard for me to accept my own vulnerabilities/weaknesses.
- I think I should be the master of my own life.
- I do not think God is loving.
- I do not think Jesus is the Son of God.
- My identity is in my family.
- I often worry and have anxious thoughts.
- I have not sought information about God.
- I depend on my physical beauty to gain approval.
- I depend on my skills/success to gain provision.
- I depend on wealth to protect me.
- I depend on indulgence/pleasures to make me happy.
- I depend on intellectualism to make all of my decisions.
- Righteousness seems boring to me.
- I enjoy my sins.
- No one has taken the time to explain the deeper things of Christ.
- I have never asked Christians about God or to visit their church.
Even one single reason can block you from knowing the true God. You need God’s help to see He is loving, and Christ is His only Son. Ask God to show you if He is real. Ask Him to tell you if Jesus really is His Son that died on the cross for Your sins. When you discover all these truths, do not waste a moment! Tell God you trust Him to save your soul. Tell Him you do want to live eternally with Him in heaven. Today, you have been invited into the kingdom of God.
MY PRAYER FOR YOU: Lord, I pray for any person reading this list and their loved ones to overcome these blocks to salvation. Bring about healing for the ways in which they have been wronged. Open their eyes to Your true character and the true nature of Your Son. Inspire forgiveness, wisdom, and righteousness in their hearts. Deliver them from any thing that keeps them from accepting Christ fully into their lives. In Christ’s Name, Amen.
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” —Matthew 7:7
Back in the 1990s, there were Magic Eye posters everywhere. Magic Eye posters look like a patterned image, but there is a hidden 3D image inside that pattern. It is some type of stereogram optical illusion. For some reason, everyone around me saw the 3D image immediately. They talked about how cool it was to see. Meanwhile, I could not see it no matter how hard I tried. I stared at it and tried their tricks and tips to no avail. Then one day, I finally saw it without really trying hard at all. Suddenly, I could not help but see the hidden images.
I have often thought how much this mirrors my walk with God. Everyone had talked about how great Jesus was, but I saw absolutely nothing. Then one day, I met Him for myself. In fact after that point, it would have been impossible to unsee Him. Now I am in agreement with the others. God is beyond great and well worth serving.
If you keep hearing about how Jesus is so amazing, but you haven’t seen anything so far….don’t give up seeking Him. Tell the Lord you want to meet Him. Seek Him out in prayer. No one will be able to stop you from becoming a committed Christian.
“For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh….” —Galatians 5:17
When I was a young girl, I dreamed of getting married and having children. As I grew into my teen and young adult years, that dream faded. A new dream of an accomplished career emerged. I felt fulfilled by intimate relationships without marriage and no longer wanted children. Then I became a Christian, and the Holy Spirit birthed in me a desire for His will for my life.
I felt the Spirit redirect my life focus. God wanted me to remove the career from the lofty place it held in my heart and allow that original dream of marriage and children to re-enter. This was not an automatic shift in my heart! I was in conflict with God, but I prayed that the Holy Spirit would change me. I prayed for God to send me a husband and for a desire for children. Years later, my prayers were answered. I am currently happily married with two wonderful teenagers, and I could not imagine life without them. I should also mention that God has given me a distinguished career as well, but it is so much less important than my family. Now it seems hard for me to understand how I ever prioritized career so high in my life before Christ. God is good and knows our innermost desires. He delights in giving us good gifts. Our greatest joy will be found in His path for our lives.
I heard this testimony from a widow in my Christian church home group. She said her driveway started cracking and crumbling beyond repair. It needed to be replaced. The widow knew she did not have the funds for a new driveway so she started praying. She felt the Lord told her not to worry about it. He would take care of it for her. As time went on, the driveway grew worse. She began to become concerned that her car was being damaged by it. She was feeling desperate and reminded the Lord again of His promise to her. The next day there was a knock at the door. It was an employee of the water company. He notified her of a large water main break in the area. They pulled up her driveway, fixed the water main break, and then repaved her driveway. The widow had received a brand new driveway without paying a single penny! The Lord comes through on His promises.
“The LORD will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life…” —Psalm 121:7
My son will soon be a teenager. When we celebrate his birthday, we will not only commemorate the day he was born but also the fact that he has survived so much adversity. If I shared every harrowing situation he has experienced, we would be here all day so I will just share some of the most difficult examples. He nearly choked to death, almost drowned, and was even hit by a car. Then, of course, there are his allergic reactions to everyday products and allergy-induced asthma.
Sometimes I feel like there is an invisible force that means to harm my son. I cannot see what is happening in the spiritual world, but I know God protects me and my loved ones. I see evidence that God does what He says in Psalm 121:7. He keeps us from harm and watches over our lives. God is good.
“I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” —Philippians 4:13
I had been smoking for twenty years. I hated the bad habit, but I did not have the power to stop on my own. Then I saw an advertisement for a smoking cessation pill and decided to give it a try. After a few days, I had not even cut back on my smoking. It did not seem to be working on me. I tried combining the pill with a nicotine patch. Nothing decreased my desire to smoke. Although the pill had failed, it was causing some frightening side effects. I started suffering from intense panic attacks. I wanted to quit so bad that I continued taking the pills. After three weeks, I was still a smoker.
Then one day my heart started racing. I felt like I could not breathe. I told myself it was just a panic attack and tried to relax. After about 30 minutes, the panic attack was still going strong. In desperation, I cried out to God and begged Him to make the anxiety attack stop. Then I heard the Lord. He said, “I will do this if you will stop smoking.” My heart must have agreed because it stopped in that second. Oddly, the desire to smoke was also completely gone. The Lord took away my desire for cigarettes, and I never smoked again. That is the strength of our Almighty God.
“Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first.” —Revelation 2:4
Before I was saved, I could hear absolutely nothing spiritual at all. After I was saved, my ears were opened—not only to the Lord, but also to other spiritual entities. Sometimes I heard angels; other times I heard demons. At least twice, I am fairly sure I heard directly from Satan. It seems like it would be easy to know the difference, but discernment of the spirits was not a gift of mine. I tried very hard to listen to the Lord and tune the others out.
Then things changed after I met up with an old friend. She also had spiritual ears, and I tried to be open minded about the angels she said she could hear over the next year or so. During this time, the Lord spoke to me clearly and repeated the Bible reference “Revelation 2:4.” I would flip there, read it, and feel confused why He said I had forsaken my love for Him. He said it so often that I no longer had to flip there because I had memorized it.
Over time, my friend and I drifted apart. I realized the love I had forsaken Him for were these meaningless voices of angels. (Who even knows if they were angels?) I returned to asking only for the Lord to help me, praying to the Lord only, and for the Holy Spirit to help me discern His voice. There is no other entity on earth that can help anywhere near as much as my powerful one and only God. Praise be to Him!