Words from the Heart

1. Speaking Truth in times of Adversity

My friend Cristina was giving her daughter a bath one day and said, ” Paige, put your whole head underwater.”  Her daughter did just that, and when she came back up she replied, ” Ya know what I was saying to myself mom, when I was under?…”Fear is a Liar, fear is a liar, fear is a liar.”

It reminded me of the example we have in Jesus when He was in the wilderness. The enemy tried to tempt Him into sin, but failed. Each time the enemy would try to tell Jesus to do something to disobey the Lord, and try to ruin His credibility, Jesus would speak up against him.

” If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” The devil said to Jesus, and He replies back, ” It is written, “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 3:4)

The devil tried a second time:

” If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, For it is written: ” He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.” It easy to picture Jesus speaking very firmly, ” It is also written: ” Do not put the Lord your God to the test.” (Matthew 3:6-7)

If we look back up at the second time the devil tried to tempt Jesus it is interesting to point out that he spoke the Word of God to Jesus. The only difference was he was out to deceive, and it was spoken out of context.

The devil tried once more to tempt Jesus taking him to overlook everything from a mountain:

” All this I will give you, he said, ” If you will bow down and worship me.”  Jesus then said to him sternly, ” Away from me satan! For it is written: ” Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.”  And the devil left him. (Matthew 3:8-11)

2. It’s about what is in the heart

Jesus was able to resist the enemy, because He knew the Word, and He knew it exactly as it was written when He spoke it out. He WAS the Word afterall.

“Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.” (Luke 6:45)

Jesus had the word in His heart, therefore that is what He was able to speak.

” I have hidden your Word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” (Psalm 119:11)

As we see with the devil, what was in his heart spoke of evil intention, but we have to be careful with the words we speak too.

Fear is so easy to speak into existence with our lips. We hide our deepest insecurities in our hearts.

I can think of Moses for example when the Lord called him to speak to the Israelites, and he was more concerned with the fear of what he would sound like then what the Lord was about to do. He went as far as saying, ” Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.” (Exodus 4:13) This was after the Lord told him exactly what he would need to do for the people to listen to him. We then see that the Lord has Aaron speak for Moses to the Israelites. (Exodus 4:14-15) We know the rest of the story, Moses was the one that helped the Lord to deliver the Israelites from Egypt, but it was interesting how he tried to talk God out of it from the beginning to choose someone else. Thankfully, God knew his heart and what plan he had for him.

3. We also have times when our words lead us into sin unintentionally, maybe its best to say our words can tempt us.

During the Last Supper, Jesus sat the disciples down, and at point He says to them, ” This very night you will all fall on account of me, for it is written: ” I will strike the shepherd and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.” (Matthew 26:31)

Peter than decides to speak up, ” Even if I fall away on account of you, I never will.”

Jesus answers, ” This very night before the rooster crows you will deny me three times.”

Peter speaks up again with his human certainty, ” Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.”  (Matthew 26:35)

Never and Always they say is the worst two words you can use in any conversation where one is making a promise.

Let’s go back to when the devil was tempting Jesus, the part that we did not read at the very beginning was, ” Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights he was hungry.” (Matthew 4:1-2)

Jesus was led by the Spirit, and He had been prepared because He had fasted, though he was hungry, fasting prepares us for the Lord to use us, it provides an empty vessel in which we can be filled.

After the Last Supper, Jesus tells the disciples to get on their knees and pray so that they would not fall into temptation. The disciples kept falling asleep instead. (Luke 22:40-46)

I see though that perhaps there is a parallel to what Jesus did to resist temptation in the wilderness, and was trying to help the disciples with the same direction. Though they failed, and we know Peter does end up denying Jesus three times before the cock crowed. Again, we know Jesus knew his heart and the what the plan was for his life.

Jesus did not fear the devil when He was in the wilderness, because He was secure in who He was. He warned the disciples what would happen, and instead of being prepared, they fell back into their old ways. The disciples could not resist fear, because they did not pray, and did not know the words to speak to themselves in authority that would help them be more confident. Jesus said in His prayer, ” I did what you have sent me on earth to do. I completed it.” From there, He knew the disciples were on their own until the Holy Spirit would come.

4. Words we say are important to our victory:

I was driving one day and had been dealing with something where I just felt pretty defeated, and I heard the voice of negativity say, ” You will never get through this.”

And I heard it, and I answered back,” You are wrong, because I am an overcomer, and with Jesus I can overcome anything.”

We have to change the words we speak aloud if we want to see a different result. We have to speak words that will encourage ourselves and others and that will help us move our feet to make a difference, to help us have victory over our trials.

And we need people in our lives that will speak to the identity of Christ in us when we forget, when we just need to be reminded who we are.

I loved this little piece Jesus said to the disciples, ” You are those who have stood by me in my trials.” ( Luke 22:28)

The bottom line is in times we feel we are pushed against the wall, it is very important to how we speak to the things we are facing.

Let’s be more like a child like five year old Paige and remember the words we need to declare in times of trials…

” Fear is a Liar, “

Surrounded

I remember the night of the Moore, Oklahoma tornadoes I was texting my friend Cara while her and her family were somewhere safe from the storm.

She had no clue what was happening at her home, and one of the texts I remember I sent said, ” God is going to use this.”

Cara and her husband went to see what their home looked like the next day, but there was not a home. Destruction surrounded her. She went from each part of the house now rubble on the ground.

In the middle of all of it, through the tears, God gave her hope that they would be okay; She picked up a picture off the ground of her with her husband and two children still in a frame. A few days later, they were reunited with their dog that they thought was gone was found in a crumpled pick up truck that was laying on its side.

It is so easy to feel hopeless through our circumstances. It is easy to feel victim to what we go through. It is easy to isolate ourselves from the world and just exist.

But there is always hope.

I know many in Florida Panhandle are feeling what Cara did the day after the storm.

A reporter named “Ginger” from ABC news had tears in her eyes as she described the destruction happening in front of her as a house was removed off its foundation.

People for miles are going to come home and see for the first time what is left of the walls that held so many memories they had with their families.

They too, will find it hard to see hope in the middle of it all, but I pray that God would show them there is indeed hope, that God will use it all for good, that He will use the broken pieces to shape them, and to help them to rebuild their lives.

That they would know through their pain, that God surrounds them with His love and that they will know He is there.

There is a song I listened to a few weeks ago that I cannot get off my heart, It is called, ” Surrounded,” by UpperRoom. The lyrics are, ” I may feel like I’m surrounded but I’m surrounded by you.”…”This is how I fight my battles…”

While I listened, God led me to Zechariah 2:5, ” For I, says the Lord, will be a wall of fire all around her, and I will be the glory in her midst.”

The enemy will try to keep us from seeing hope, and try to deter us from seeing that God is still God and that He still has a plan for us.

This verse above though, ” I will be a wall of FIRE all around her.” This means that regardless of what we go through that God sees it, and He will see us through it. He will help us through our trials, and where we cannot handle with what we are dealing with, that He can, and He will be our strength. It is HE that surrounds us in our time of trials.

“It is when you saw only one set of footprints that I carried you.” (Footprints Poem)

I decided to open my Complete Jewish Study Bible to see what Zechariah 2:5 said in that translation, and it simply says,

” I will be for her a wall of fire SURROUNDING her; and I will be the glory within her.”

We can acknowledge this truth in reading any of the great wall of faith heroes from the Old Testament, David for example, God delivered the enemies surrounding him into his hands many times, or take it from those who were in the surrounded in a fiery furnace that did not burn no matter how high the heat.

We just have to hold on to hope when things get tough, even if it seems unbearable, still always hope, it is in the times we feel at a loss or have lost everything that it is important to realize it is a stepping stone for a foundation that cannot be shaken.

Blessings,

Angie