Category Archives: Daily Devotions

Living for the Unseen World

Lord, I come to You this morning filled with cares of the world. Forgive me. You know my needs, and I know You will meet them according to your riches in glory. Help me to stop meditating on things that are seen, and start meditating on You and the unseen kingdom instead. I surely do need You every hour. It amazes me how weak I am, and how patient You are! Thank You so much! There is nothing I could ever do to thank You enough. While I can’t earn your favor, I certainly want to show my gratitude by living in a way that honors and glorifies You. I feel like I fall so short every day; that is why I have to take the time to sit at your feet. I need your direction for my day, because I seem to have a propensity to waste time or at least to spend it on things of lesser importance. Lord, I want You to be in the driver’s seat. Why is it such a struggle? This world system just seems to take over, and I feel like I am anemic, as are so many in the American church. Father, please waken your people. Help us to shine for You in this dark world.

Dear Child, you are mine. I hold you in my able hands. Let go of the concerns and worry. Just sit and worship a while. Continue to lift your loved ones up to Me. I am more than able, even when you don’t see a way. Remember to aim your affections and passions on Me, and you will find the answers you desire. You are asking according to my will, but you must also abide in Me, and my Word must permeate your soul. Nothing is impossible when you abide in Me. You know how much you need Me, so walk in that knowledge, ever looking up and not to the left or right. I will uphold you and strengthen you. I can enable you to live far above your nature and the world in general. In the world you will have trouble, but cheer up, I have overcome the world.

Rewire Me, Lord!

Good Morning, Lord. I have been so busy lately that I asked You to wake me up early this morning. Here I am, but I’m having such a hard time keeping my eyes open. As I’m half-awake, it amazes me how easily my mind meditates on things of this world—the cares of life really do seem to choke out the eternal things that should be my focus. How I hate it! Lord, like David, I want to ask only one thing of You, and that I want to seek, “that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD and to meditate in His temple” (that’s me!). Why is it so difficult sometimes? It’s my greatest desire, but I can’t seem to find the balance. I have to work; I have family and household obligations. As much as I long for Your presence, my flesh seems to have a default setting on the cares of life, and I have to force myself to do the very thing I long to do. It makes no sense! I guess it’s a struggle we all have; Paul certainly seemed to indicate the same struggle in Romans 7.

“For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate… For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want… For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner woman, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched woman that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, my flesh the law of sin. Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” (Rom. 7: 15,18,22-8:2)

That is the answer Lord, I need to walk in Your Spirit. I suppose that involves more yielding than striving. Teach me to sit still and yield. I have never been very good at being still. It’s partly my wiring I think, but nothing is impossible with You. Of course, I have had many victories; many times when I overcame my weak flesh and entered into pure worship; times when I heard your sweet voice. That is where I long to stay every moment, and I don’t think it’s impossible. I think about that book I read by Frank Laubach and Brother Lawrence—they made practicing your presence a priority, and trained their flesh to do it. I know that whatever You ask me to do, You empower me to do. Help me tap into your provision—your Spirit! Help me to yield my mind to You—moment by moment, and in the midst of the cares of life. Thank You for your provision!

Child, I am waiting with open arms. Run to me, remembering that I am your life. Without Me, you can do nothing, but with me all things are possible. That includes overcoming your weak and scattered nature. Come! That is all you must do. As you come into my presence with thanksgiving and praise, I will meet you to strengthen and empower you to live beyond life’s concerns. Your strength comes in quietness and trust. Rest in my goodness. You know it, and victory simply requires tapping into what you already know. So many are blind to who I am, to my love and goodness, to my heart for them. Though you see dimly as through a looking glass, you see enough. Be thankful— I have removed the scales from your once-blind eyes. Realize what a rare blessing that is in this dark world. The majority of people stumble in darkness. You have eyes to see and ears to hear. Use them, and let me shine my light through you. Learning to abide isn’t just for your benefit. It is your duty to a lost and dying world. Take that commission seriously. I loved the world so much that I gave my all. As my disciple, you must be willing to surrender all as well. Yet, when you surrender, you lose nothing and gain everything. It is a beautiful paradox that the world cannot understand. You are not of the world though. You understand the joy and peace that comes from dying to self and living to Me. Come to Me with these truths in the forefront of your mind. Let go of all the worries and concerns. I see them all, and will help you as you walk in my Spirit. Don’t be anxious about anything, but in everything (every stressful and worrisome circumstance) come to me with prayer and petition. Be thankful to Me as you make your requests known. As you give your burdens to Me, I will replace the worries with peace that transcends human understanding (Ph. 4:6-7). Come now my child. I am here.

Living Sacrifices

Thank You Lord! I guess I am beginning to realize that the expectations I have for myself are unrealistic. As much as I’d love to spend 24 hours a day 7 days a week serving You, that’s just not possible in this world. As it is, I have to work; I have no choice about that. Work takes up time, and even if I do it your glory and with a heart focused on You, it still means having to take time to focus on earthly things. I can set aside days or half days for You, but at this point in my life, full time service/ministry just isn’t possible. Yesterday, I began to see that, and I felt more joy in the midst of my day than I have in a long time. Obviously, You could clear my schedule, or give me financial independence if that’s what You wanted or me, but instead You apparently want to teach me something in the midst of the daily grind. There a details that have to be handled, and there’s nothing spiritual about them. Work has to be done, but I can do “as to the Lord.” That means I do my best job, and serve people well. It does not mean I walk around irritated about the constant interruptions work brings. That is what I have been doing for some time now. Please forgive me.

Lord, I ask You to give me a real sensitivity to your Spirit, so I will know when to minister, and to whom I should minister to. I continue to lift my friends to you who don’t know you. You know my desire to see these friends come to know You! Help me shine for You, and point them to You. Forgive me for being so self-occupied. Help me to walk through life with sensitivity to your Spirit that will allow me to lead others to You. Amen

Sweet Child, hold fast to what you know. You know that you must abide in Me. You know that I work best in your weakness. You know that my desire is to bring the lost to Myself. You know that I will supply your needs according to my riches in glory. Be still and know that I am God. Do not let yourself be tempted to usurp my role by trying to control everything. A branch does not strive, yet you are striving. Learn to find contentment in any and every circumstance, and trust Me to work it together for your good. Hide in the shadow of my wing, and rejoice in Me, as I rejoice over you with singing. You are treasured, and I have infinite patience that you do not have. Take on my perspective, and your attitude will improve. Let your roots go deep in my love and my Word. As you do this, your life will be established on the Rock, which cannot be shaken. Little one, you are easily shaken, because you are running to and fro trying to control everything. Roots are not meant to run, but to stand firm. Delight in my law, meditate on it day and night, and you will be like that tree planted by the water (my living water). You will yield fruit in due season, your leaf will not wither, and whatever you do will prosper. This is what you desire, and I have told you how to achieve it.  Blessing will follow obedience, so be faithful to obey all that I have commanded you to do. 

Beyond Resolutions to Full Surrender

POSTED ON JANUARY 2, 2014 BY JOY FORREST

Lord, it’s a new year and suddenly my life has changed dramatically. Mom entered glory early morning on 12/28. Oh how I will miss her, yet my joy for her helps remove the grief. Thank you for the last few months—she was stable, pain-free and happy. She kept us laughing. Now she is basking in the joy of your wonderful presence. I’m jealous of that. Today I find myself exhausted in every single way– physically, emotionally, and even spiritually. The last week has not exactly left many opportunities for much quiet time. I sure hope and pray that I will make quiet time with You a priority in this new year. After reading Mom’s journals I see it was a struggle for her too, but by the final years of her life, she was faithful to read your Word daily—for long stretches of time. I will never forget her holding that extremely heavy Bible open as she lay flat on her back reading for at least an hour each night. She did it up until a few weeks ago when she could no longer read, and then asked others to do it for her. Nina said that on the nights she didn’t read to her, she didn’t sleep as well. Lord, thank You so much for my mother! She was such an example to me! Not that she did everything right, and not that she was anywhere near perfect, but she turned to You, and she learned from her mistakes. She taught me to learn from mine as well. What a sweet blessing she was. I am forever grateful.

 

Suddenly I have something I haven’t had in years—free time. I am done with school and caring for Mom. I hope and pray this year I will use my time more wisely. You know my desires for ministry. Help me to be disciplined enough to use my time for eternal purposes.

 

Now as I enter 2014, I surrender my life anew. Fill me with yourself, and use me! I know how ridiculous it is to live apart from You, because I know I can do nothing that way. I am powerless and useless. Please Father, keep me close, and keep me diligent. I am weak, but your strength is made perfect in weakness. Let this new year be one in which I learn to wholly tap into that power and make an eternal difference in this dark world. Amen

 

My precious child, I appreciate your heart for Me. I am willing and ready to meet you as you daily yield to my leading. Do not be afraid of your weakness. I am with you, and my grace is sufficient to empower you daily. Make time with Me a habit, just as brushing your teeth is a habit. No what happens, you take the time. Not every day will be the same. Some days you will have more time that other days, but you should never skip it and move on. With all of your technology, you can listen to my Word as you drive, you can worship Me in song, and you can pray without ceasing. The key is having a mindset that is focused on Me rather than the demands and distractions of life. This does not mean you can’t take care of the business of life in this world, but it means you are to go about your business with Me guiding each step of the way. As you do that, I will direct you, and your days will be much more productive. Rest in Me. Have you not yet learned that walking in your on own strength only leads to frustration and wasted time? Let Me direct your days. I long to set you free from the chaos you call life and give you abundant life! Wake up each day and seek my face as you would seek a treasure. It will not be time wasted. You will find rest for your soul, strength for your day, and power for ministry. I desire to give these things to you, but they must be received actively. Passivity never accomplishes anything good. Seek the good, the better part that won’t be taken away. Seek my face, and expect miracles.

Lord, My Feelings are Hurt!

December 6, 2014

When people criticize us, it hurts. It happened to me recently, and my first reaction was to want to defend myself, and prove them wrong. But God had a different solution.

I am the Vine and you are the branches. Whoever abides in me, and I in her, she it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing… As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things have I spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full (John 15:5, 9-11). Abiding is not striving. It is resting in what I have done, and what I am going to do. It is leaving the outcome in My competent hands. Every effort you make moves you away from the answer I have for you. Wait patiently on the Lord. You will not have to wait forever. I will move at just the right time. Don’t let pride move you, and realize that your pride has been wounded as well as your heart. I am near the brokenhearted to bind up their wounds, but I will not nurse your pride. That is part of the reason I have allowed this to occur in your life, because the most powerful and effective vessel is one that has been fully emptied. Yes, your past has removed many impurities, but these trying fires are designed to help you see what else you can surrender to me. I want a heart fully devoted and emptied. In that state, you will be used more mightily that you have ever imagined. Let it go, and walk in humility before Me. Be grateful for another opportunity to become more useful for my kingdom. I will use it my daughter. Let me mold you into a vessel of even greater beauty. Remain malleable and willing to surrender each impurity that rises to the surface in the Refiner’s fire. Let me remove them all so that my reflection will shine clearly in your life.

Lord, How do You Put Up with Me!?

Okay, Lord I hear You, and I SO desire to obey You! My life gets busy and I disappoint myself (and You) over and over again, but as I heard in class yesterday if something is a priority we will MAKE time for it. There have been days when I preferred sleep and days when the concerns of the day took the front seat while You were pushed to the back. Please forgive me! The great passion I have to serve You is diluted at best until it is matched with discipline to accomplish the desires attached that passion. I need You to rescue me from myself, and to help me order my life better. Part of this weakness is just my natural personality bent, and there are others who naturally tend towards self-discipline, but people like that usually tend to be weak when it comes to passion. So I am grateful for what You have given me, for what You have done in spite of me, and Your ability to perfect Your strength in my weakness. Father, remind me each day, don’t let me rush out without spending time in Your presence. I know I You are with me as I go, and I know I am praying as I go, but it is not as intentional as it needs to be. I need to make You the top priority and not just the Helper as I move forward in my own agenda. I need You to be the director and orchestrator of each and every day. Move in my life and help me to tap into the riches of Your Spirit as I yield my life completely to You. Amen

His Response:

Dear Child, I stand ready to help you and to give You strength. Don’t make this difficult, but understand how easily it is accomplished when You set your affections on Me. Remember your first love. You couldn’t wait to spend time together; you made time, even in the midst of the busiest days—sometimes even at the expense of your schedule. The things you put in “the front seat” are not usually all that important, and they certainly can wait an hour or so. Push them to the back seat, and let me do the driving. I do not merely desire to ride along as you direct the schedule and spin your wheels aimlessly. I desire to choose the direction of the day, and to lead you as you go. Learn to stop and listen for my direction. I will speak if you stop. Your constant state of urgency is so unnecessary. The things that are seen are temporary, but the things that are unseen are eternal! Remember that, and prioritize the unseen over the seen. Recognize your desperate need for My leading. If you would just see your desperation, you would not be so quick to move on without my leading. Your impetuous nature is really an impatient nature. You don’t want to wait before Me, because it takes time, and you imagine that your agenda is more important. It is not. Wouldn’t it be nice to move through your day accompanied by my perfect peace rather than the adrenaline knot that stays in your stomach half the time? Wouldn’t it be easier to relinquish control to One who can handle it so much better than you can? Why do you strive so when I am so willing to carry you through? As you learn to rest in me, you will accomplish so much more—first of all for the Kingdom, but also in your personal life and business. Let me show you. I am willing. Are you?

Quiet Times in the Technological Age

POSTED ON DECEMBER 11, 2013 BY JOY FORREST

Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever. 1 John 2:15-17 NLT

Lord, this world constantly frustrates me, and some days I think my age makes it worse. I remember simpler times and long for them. Solomon said there is nothing new under the sun, but I think in these last days technology is an exception to that statement. I love it and hate it. I sit here typing on my computer, because it’s so much easier to correct mistakes, and easier to pull up study resources for Bible study, yet in the midst of it the interruptions never cease. It’s so easy to remember something that needs to be added to the calendar, and of course there are continuous notifications from email, messages, and Facebook. I know I could turn them off, but then I might forget to turn them back on and miss something important—it’s almost like slavery. I think it’s made our whole society A.D.D. It certainly adds to the challenge of meditation in the modern world. Still, when I think about it, You had constant interruptions too. People followed You around and crowded You constantly, but You took the time to withdraw to “remote” places and spend time in prayer. Even though there are new forms of distraction, I know that if anyone ever understood distraction You do. You were tempted in every way, yet didn’t sin. On the other hand, I sin daily as I allow unimportant things to eclipse essential things. Thank You so much for Your grace and mercy towards me. I ask You to help me to seek Your face wholeheartedly, and to rest in Your presence. Quiet the constant “demands” that fill my mind, and let me see Your beauty. Without You I am hopeless and constantly frazzled. Yet, You offer peace if I will just take time to tap into it.

I keep thinking that one-day life will slow down, and times of meditation will happen more easily, but I think I am just fooling myself. It will never be easy until I see Your face. Once again, it boils down to self-disciple until I get into Your presence, and meet me with all the strength and peace I need. Life is short, so I need to stop making excuses and make habits instead. What a privilege it is to have the Lord of life standing ready to meet with me and equip me daily. Why in the world do I fail to apply this wonderful benefit so often? Please forgive me, and thank You for always answering when I call, in spite of my weaknesses.

My precious child, remember that my strength is made perfect in your weakness. Therefore, you need not lament over it. Rather rejoice in the knowledge that I have used and continue to use imperfect “jars of clay” for my purposes. Look at Scripture and you will find numerous examples my ability shining best in the lives of imperfect people. Even the most powerful saints had moments of extreme weakness. Remember, Elijah’s great victory at Mt Carmel was followed by an episode of extreme cowardice. David strayed, and yet was a man after my own heart. Even though Jeremiah knew me as the Living Water, he often struggled with despair. Paul and Barnabas separated after a sharp dispute, and Peter, well you know all about Peter. Why do you think these things are recorded in My Word? It is because I want you to know that I can use anyone. Yes, I desire your worship and the sacrifice of self-disciple, but be very careful about how you approach it. It can easily become the goal rather than a means to the goal. The goal is to abide in Me. Remembering who I am and meditating on my attributes will best achieve that. Set your mind on things above. Take joy in my great love for you, and you will find the focus and peace you desire. Nothing is too difficult for Me.