Friday, May 25, 2012

That's Not Enough

Three years ago, I overcame my dental phobia; to God be the glory. However, when I left the dentist from my initial visit I was traumatized. Nevertheless, I followed his instructions to the letter and, today, I have healthy teeth and gums. I am truly grateful to the Lord for the whole experience and He has taught me many things along the journey. For the sake of space and time, I will share with you the one that continually comes up in my spirit and ministers to me.

For years I was only brushing once a day for barely a minute. I suffered greatly for this. Now that I brush like I am supposed to, along with flossing, brushing in between and rinsing I am the better for it. The thing that amazes me about all of this is that after brushing and rinsing, I still have food in my teeth that comes out with flossing. After flossing, I still have food in between my teeth. Finally, after brushing in between my teeth, I get the last particles of food out. From that, this is what the Lord often speaks, "That's not enough."

What's not enough? Just as brushing for 60 seconds once a day is not enough to get all the food particles out, neither is only reading the Bible enough to promote a healthy spiritual life. In fact, doing the minimal can be detrimental to your spiritual life. This truth is found in these verses.

Joshua 1:8 (NKJV) This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

James 1:22 (NKJV) But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

John 15:4-5 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.

In order for Joshua 1:8 to bear fruit in your life, you must do all that it says. You must speak it, meditate on it and do all of it. In order for James 1:22 to bear fruit in your life you must do the word that you hear. If you don't you will be frustrated, disillusioned and hard to get along with. In order to bear fruit you must abide in Christ. Live in Him and let Him live in you. In short, learning is NOT enough. It is imperative that you live out day to day the truths that you receive from the Word. Also, getting saved is not enough. In order to progress in your spiritual journey, you must desire the milk to grow in order that you will be able to handle the meat.

What I am saying to you today is that doing the spiritual minimum is NOT enough. Therefore, if you are only doing the minimum, I pray that you make the necessary mid-term corrections to grow up in all aspects of Him. Read, study and pray every day. Set up some kind of program to memorize scripture. Speak the Word over your life that pertains to what you are dealing with every day. Seek the Lord for ways to enhance your spiritual life so that you don't fall prey to the trick of the enemy. He will lure you with a logical lie saying that all you need to do is read your Bible. He will lie and say that praying on the way to work is enough. He will lie and say that you are ok as long as you go to church once a week.

Don't listen to his lies! It is not enough to do just enough to get by! Delight in the law of the Lord! Meditate in it day and night! Press toward the mark for the prize of the upward call in Christ. Be determined to know more of Him, to please Him and to be made more like Him. Press, pray and pursue your purpose like never before. Spend your life being spent by Him.

I pray that you have been blessed by today's devotional and remember, if you are doing just enough to get by in your walk with the Lord, THAT'S NOT ENOUGH!

Prevailing in Him,

Dr. Sheila

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Grow In Grace And Knowledge

Praise the Lord! Last Sunday, Dr. Poole preached a message entitled, And The Child Grew. Ever since I heard that word, the Holy Spirit has been prompting my heart. He did this from His initial pricking of my heart from the end of the message. He said, if you are the same place that you were last year, then you have not grown. If you have not grown you are in sin. What? I'm in sin if I am not growing? Why? Because in 2 Peter 3:18 Peter said, "But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ." When he said, "but grow," this was a command and and not a suggestion. God is therefore commanding us as believers to grow up in all aspects of Him, and if we are not growing, it is a sin.

Okay, so, he preached that message last Sunday and the Lord has been bringing it before me ever since. In response to His leading, I quit going to Facebook on my free time. I downloaded a couple new books and began to read, as well as purposing to read the devotional that comes to my email before I go to bed. I'm excited about growing!

One of the books that I downloaded was The Strategy of Satan by Warren Weirsbe. It confirmed the Lord dealing with me about my spiritual growth. He stated these four things that a believer must do concerning the Word of God. A believer must, know God's Word, memorize God's Word, meditate on God's Word, and use God's Word.

Yesterday I was reading about memorizing God's Word. Again, the Holy Spirit pricked my heart. Though I have memorized several passages of scripture, I haven't memorized any in a while. Wiersbe mentioned a systematic memorization program to aid in scripture memory. I googled it and came up with several resources, including apps that will help me along the way.

Today I began my journey and I am excited about what the Lord is doing in my life. I encourage you to strengthen your spiritual life by doing what you need to do to grow. It is important to learn and live this Word in order to grow in grace and knowledge. Remember, Jesus grew. He is our ensample and example. Therefore, that let's us know that God wants us to grow too.

The Kingdom will not prevail with babies. So do what you need to do to grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. If you purpose to do what you need to grow, your life will never be the same.

Prevailing In Him,

Dr. Sheila

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Worry Is The Wrong Focus

What are you looking at? Quit staring. Take a picture it will last longer. Have you ever asked that question, or used that statement when being stared at? I remember being a teen always thinking that someone was staring at me. What in the world? I was so insecure! Anyway, don't you wish worry would say these same things to you? Ha! That would be nice and perhaps we would listen and change our focus.

However, worry doesn't speak to us that way. In fact, it is like a magnet that draws every negative force to the mind. The last thing worry is trying to do is repel itself. Therefore, the negative magnetism of worry draws these kind of thoughts. What if I lose my house? What if my kids walk away from the Lord? What if this is cancer? What if my spouse leaves me? What if I never get married? What if? What if? What if?

With that said, let me cut right through the chase. What if's are indicative of worry and worry IS a sin! But Dr. Sheila, there is no Bible verse that says, "Worry is a sin." You are absolutely right. The Word does not say, "worry is a sin," but is is definitely displayed. Look at these verses.

Matthew 6:25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?

Matthew 6:31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink? ’ or ‘What shall we wear?’

Philippians 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.

In the two verses in Matthew, Jesus told His disciples, "Do not worry." In Philippians, Paul wrote, "Be anxious for nothing." Think of these in terms of when you were a child and your parents may have told you, "Eat your vegetables," or "Make your bed." They were not suggesting to you to eat your veggies or make your bed. It was a command that warranted your obedience. Failure to comply with the command meant bad consequences. You know what I mean?

With that in mind, Jesus telling His disciples not to worry was NOT a suggestion. It was a command. Failure to comply with the command was disobedience and all disobedience was, is and forever shall be sin. So, no the Bible does not say "worry is a sin," but as believers we are commanded not to worry or be anxious for anything in obedience to the Lord.

Therefore today out of obedience to the Lord, instead of focusing on your problem which leads to worry, focus in on Him. Do you remember the blog I did on F.O.C.U.S.? I encouraged you to Fix your eyes on Jesus, Overcome the Obstacles, Commune with God in Prayer, Understand the Seasons and Stand on the Word. Go back over those teachings and begin with fixing your eyes on Jesus and let Him readjust your focus. When you do that, you will see clearly that the Almighty God is powerful, yet personal and more than able to take care of you.

God bless and have a great day in the Lord!

Prevailing in Him,

Dr. Sheila

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Powerful Yet Personal

Praise the Lord for He is good and His mercy endures forever. Great is His faithfulness!

I read something in a poem today that nearly put me on tilt! It was a short poem, but this one line did it for me. "You're powerful; yet personal." Those four words set my heart ablaze, making my heart burn for more of Him. The Almighty God, creator of heaven and earth knows my name and is intimately aware of and concerned about me! That is how that statement translates for you and me.

This profound statement has to be translated and broken down into layman's terms because our natural proclivity is to just see this as a religious statement. When it is seen as a statement, and not see it through the lens of life, it causes problems with how we view God. In other words, it makes God seem obscure, out of reach and out of touch. If we as believers only see Him as the Big Guy in the Sky or the Great God Somewhere Out There, we will never experience Him as our loving, caring, sharing, heavenly Father. He is the Great God who created the universe, yes, BUT He is intimately concerned about our every day lives.

Read Psalm 145 and particularly pay attention to verses 3 and 18. Meditate on them throughout the day and let it saturate your heart. Prayerfully you will discover His power and His person, and know, by way of revelation, that He loves you and cares about you.

Prevailing In Him,

Dr. Sheila