Joyce Meyer – Morning Devotion: Suspicious of Suspicion

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We’ve all experienced this at some point in our lives. I’ll personally say that everyone who has said they loved me didn’t really mean or show it. Those discrepancies between word and action caused me to live EXTREMELY guarded for a while. I’ve been working on it, but still today I have my hesitations with motives and hidden agendas. Regardless of those feelings I’ve learned to love unconditionally with hopes of eventually experiencing the same…loving God’s way 🙂

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1 Corinthians 13:4-7 KJV

Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

Suspicious of Suspicion

In today’s scripture, these words about love are familiar to most of us, but I can honestly say that living them has not always been easy for me. As a child, I was not exposed to this kind of love–in fact, I was taught to be suspicious of everyone. I was told that the motives of other people were not to be trusted.

While it is wise to be aware of people’s motives, we must be careful that we don’t allow our suspicious nature to negatively affect our feelings about everyone. An overly suspicious nature can poison your mind and affect your ability to love and accept other people. Consider this example.

Suppose a friend approaches you after a church service, and says, “Do you know what Doris thinks about you?” Then the friend tells you every detail of the things Doris said. The first problem is that a true friend wouldn’t share such information. And the second problem is that with an already suspicious mind, you now believe secondhand information.

Suppose that one day in church, Doris is sitting just a few rows in front of you, praising the Lord. Immediately you think, “She’s such a hypocrite.”

Then the Holy Spirit directs your thoughts to your own condition, and the fact that you were praising the Lord while harboring bad feelings toward Doris. Didn’t Jesus tell us to make peace with others before we present our gifts to Him? (See Matthew 5:24.)

Convicted by these words of Jesus, you apologize to Doris for the bad feelings you have toward her…and she stares at you in absolute shock. Then you realize your mistake. You misinterpreted the information your friend shared with you about Doris, allowing the devil to turn you against a wonderful, godly woman.

This is a good example of how suspicion can cripple relationships and destroy our joy while it leads us astray.

It took me a while to overcome a lifetime of suspicions, but I finally learned that when we love God’s way, we have no place for suspicions of others.

Pray: Lord, I thank You for showing me how to overcome my suspicious nature by teaching me how to love others with Your kind of love. Thank You, Jesus, for being patient with me and for being my great example. Amen.

From the book Battlefield of the Mind Devotional by Joyce Meyer. Copyright © 2005 by Joyce Meyer. Published by FaithWords. All rights reserved.

Morning Devotion: Battlefield of the Mind – Don’t Quit

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Scripture…

Galatians 6:9 KJV
And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

Don’t Quit

I’ve been a Christian for twenty-three years,” Cheryl said. “I’m just not getting anywhere. I’m as weak as I was when I first accepted Christ as my Savior. I still fail. I just don’t know if it’s worth it.” Tears streamed down her cheeks as she continued to talk about her failures. “By now I know all the right things to do, but I don’t do them. Sometimes I deliberately do something mean-spirited or unkind. What kind of Christian am I?”

“Probably a growing Christian,” I said.

A startled look appeared on Cheryl’s face. “Growing? Did you hear–? ”

“Yes, I heard. But if you weren’t growing, you wouldn’t lament your failures. You’d be satisfied about your spiritual level or tell yourself how good you are.”

“But I’m so discouraged, and I fail God so many times.”

I went on to tell Cheryl she was correct–that she had failed. All of us do at times. If we’re not careful, we allow the devil to point to what we haven’t accomplished and where we have been weak. When that happens, it’s easy to feel bad or want to give up.

That’s not the way of the Spirit. No matter how we mess up our lives, God doesn’t give up on us. The Spirit constantly nudges us.

We can allow our thoughts to dwell on what we haven’t done or how spiritual we ought to be after all these years in our Christian faith. If we focus on what we’re not or what we haven’t accomplished, we are allowing the devil to make advances on the battlefield of our minds.

“Don’t quit. Don’t give up.” That’s the message we need to hear. I think of Isaiah 43:1b-2: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you…; I have called you by your name; you are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned or scorched, nor will the flame kindle upon you.”

This is God’s promise. He doesn’t promise to take us completely out of troubles or hardships, but He does promise to be with us as we go through them. And when God is with us, what is there to worry about?

Pray: God, despite my failures, You are with me, encouraging me not to give up. Please help me to remember that, with Your help, I can win. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

From the book Battlefield of the Mind Devotional by Joyce Meyer. Copyright © 2005 by Joyce Meyer. Published by FaithWords. All rights reserved.

The Prayer of Consecration – The Confident Woman Devotional (Joyce Meyer)

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Today’s devotion touched a sensitive spot. Being a woman of faith I have to admit there are times I want to go my own way.  You think you have “submission” down to a science until that “thing” comes along and you find yourself somewhere in left field! For me, consecration has to happen DAILY… Sometimes MULTIPLE times a day. The hardest thing is keeping flesh under subjection. In order to live the life God has planned for us, we have to consecrate and submit. Knowing that God has called and sent me, I was convicted while reading because I haven’t been doing all the things I’m supposed to do… This one got me deep!  Read and be blessed.

Isaiah 6:8 KJV

Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.

The Prayer of Consecration

In the prayer of consecration, we dedicate our lives and all that we are to Him. In order for God to use us, we must consecrate ourselves to Him.

When we truly consecrate ourselves to the Lord, we lose the burden of trying to run our own lives. I would rather voluntarily follow God than struggle to get Him to follow me. He knows where He is going, and I know I will reach my destination safely if I allow Him to lead.

I consecrate myself to God in prayer on a regular basis. I say, “Here I am, Lord. I am Yours; do with me as You please.” Then sometimes I add, “I hope I like what You choose, Lord, but if I don’t, Your will be done and not mine.”

Consecration and/or dedication to God is the most important aspect of succeeding at being ourselves. We don’t even know what we are supposed to be, let alone know how to become whatever it is. But as we regularly keep our lives on the altar in consecration to God, He will do the work that needs to be done in us, so He may do the work He desires to do through us.

Pray: Lord, I gladly consecrate myself – body, soul and spirit – to You today. Take my life, shape my life, and use my life for Your glory. Amen.

From the book The Confident Woman Devotional by Joyce Meyer. Copyright 2011 by Joyce Meyer. Published by FaithWords. All rights reserved.