Monday, August 15, 2022

Our True Home

 

By Andrea Merrell


As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, 

O God. I thirst for God, the living God. 

When can I go and stand before him?

Psalm 43:1-2 NLT


As the saying goes, Be it ever so humble …


We all know the rest, but while some relish the fact that there’s no place like home, there are others who would rather be any place but. Home should be a place of safety, acceptance, and love. Unfortunately for many, it has become a place of abuse, neglect, and abandonment.


Home is defined as a dwelling. The place where one resides. Some say home is where the heart is. The place we long for. The place where we feel safe, accepted, and loved. The place we belong.


But where do we really belong? In Jesus Calling, Sarah Young writes:

Seek my face, and you will find all that you have longed for. The deepest yearnings of your heart are for intimacy with Me. I know because I designed you to desire me… I made you in my image, and I hid heaven in your heart. Your yearning for me is a form of homesickness, longing for your true home in heaven. ~Jesus


Wherever you make your home here on this earth, never forget as a child of God that your future, eternal dwelling place is in heaven where you are fully safe, accepted, and loved.


That’s our true home.


(Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and Stuart Miles.)


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Wherever you make your home here on this earth, never forget as a child of God that your future, eternal dwelling place is in heaven where you are fully safe, accepted, and loved. via @AndreaMerrell (Click to tweet.)


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Monday, August 8, 2022

Pulling Down Strongholds

 

By Andrea Merrell


For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal

but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds.

2 Corinthians 10:4 NLT

 

“What strongholds have you built in your life?” the pastor asked. A question that required some serious thought and prayer.


The Bible talks about “pulling down strongholds,” but what does that mean, and how do we make it happen?
 

A stronghold is defined as a place that has been fortified or where a particular belief is strongly defended or upheld. The pastor called it “the place from where the Enemy can attack” (speak, deceive, or manipulate).


We can unknowingly build these places in our heart through failures, illnesses, addictions, failed relationships, abandonment, or any number of ways. We can also create them through religious, legalistic thinking, human reasoning, false arguments, and teaching that does not line up with the Word of God. Each one creates seeds of doubt that, left unattended, grow into a wall that hinders our relationship with the Lord. It gives the Enemy a platform from which he attempts to steal our peace, our joy, our finances, our health, and even our life.


The Bible clearly tells us to pull them down. The MSG puts it this way:

We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity.


Ask God to show you if there is a stronghold in your life. Then destroy it, and build an altar in its place—the place where you commune with the Lord.


(Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and renjith krishnan.)


TWEETABLE

Do you have a stronghold in your life? Ask God to show you, then destroy it and build an altar in its place. via @AndreaMerrell (Click to tweet.)


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Sunday, July 31, 2022

How to Catch a Rat

By Andrea Merrell


The Devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of 

fire and brimstone.

Revelation 20:10 NKJV


Rat droppings … the last thing I expected to see on my counter first thing in the morning.


Once I got over the heebie-jeebies—and the complaining—I devised a plan to get rid of the pesky varmints. Clean up the area. Check. Look for signs of where they’ve been. Check. Put out poison. Check. Make sure not to leave any food out where they can get to it. Check. Call an exterminator if needed. Check.

Since the Lord likes to use situations like this to teach me spiritual truths, He certainly did with this one. He reminded me of the biggest rat of all … the Devil. The ultimate enemy who sneaks about in the darkness to wreak havoc but always leaves a trail. Just like dealing with my unwelcome critters, I need to always have a plan.


  • Clean up the area. Check my heart. Confess my sin (1 John 1:9).
  • Look for signs of where he’s been. Do damage control. Recognize the thief who has come to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10).
  • Put out poison. Resist the Enemy (James 4:7). Combat him with the Word of God.
  • Make sure not to open myself to attack. Don’t give the Devil a foothold in my life (Ephesians 4:27).
  • Call the exterminator. Call on the Holy Spirit for wisdom and guidance (John 16:33). And remember that the Enemy has already lost (Revelation 20:10).

A rat is a small animal that can do a lot of damage if we’re not on top of things. The Devil is a larger foe who can do minimal damage if we stay on top of things, armed with the Holy Spirit, the name of Jesus, and God’s Word.


That’s how you catch a rat.


(Photo courtesy of Microsoft 365.)


TWEETABLE

To defeat the Enemy, arm yourself with the Holy Spirit, the name of Jesus, and God's Word. via @AndreaMerrell (Click to tweet.)


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Monday, July 25, 2022

Whose Approval Are You Seeking?

 

By Andrea Merrell

Fearing people is a dangerous trap,
    but trusting the Lord means safety.

Proverbs 29:25 NLT

 

Pleasing people can become a full-time job—one that comes with no paycheck or benefits. The only thing it produces is frustration and insecurity.


When we constantly try to win the approval of others—fearing what they think or say about us—we create a self-made trap.


The Word for You Today says:

A trap is just another word for a prison. If someone other than God can determine your worth as a person, that someone can make you feel like a prisoner anytime they decide to. When a critic’s opinion becomes your own opinion, you’re living in a prison of your own making.


My pastor recently said, “The Lord is not interested in confirming your wrong opinion of yourself.”


In Galatians, Paul writes, “Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant” (1:10 NLT).


Let’s face it, trying to impress people and win their approval is fruitless and pointless. Don’t allow anyone—not even yourself—to determine your worth as a person. The only opinion that matters is God’s. What He says stands, and He already thinks you’re amazing.


(Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and Stuart Miles.)


TWEETABLE

Trying to win the approval of others is pointless. Don’t allow anyone to determine your worth as a person. The only opinion that counts is God’s. via @AndreaMerrell (Click to tweet.)


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Monday, July 18, 2022

The Good Ol’ Days

 

By Andrea Merrell

This is the day the Lord has made.
    We will rejoice and be glad in it.

Psalm 118:24 NLT

 

My grandparents used to talk about their early days when they could buy a Coca Cola for a nickel or gas for twenty-nine cents a gallon. Bread was a quarter, and a brand new car less than five-hundred dollars. They called them the good ol’ days.


But were they really that good? Times were hard. Jobs and necessities were scarce. In those days, people had to work extra long and hard to make enough money to even pay those small prices. In today’s economy, there is no comparison.


The problem comes when we live in the past and dwell on all the things that were good. That’s when we tend to forget about all the good going on in our life today. Prices keep rising. The cost of living goes up almost daily. But we live in a world of abundance, convenience, and incredible technology.


The psalmist said, “This is the day the Lord has made.” That means today. Now. And we are instructed to “rejoice and be glad in it.” To thank God for it. To commit it to Him and trust Him to meet our needs. To live it to the fullest.


Don’t live in the past. Refuse to worry about tomorrow. Embrace today, and thank God for every single blessing He pours out. With Him, the good ol' days are still to come.

 

 Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash


TWEETABLE

Don’t live in the past. Refuse to worry about tomorrow. Embrace today, and thank God for every single blessing He pours out. via @AndreaMerrell (Click to tweet.)

 

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