God’s Manna Provision

I have been reading “The Light and the Glory” by Peter Marshall and David Manuel. It chronicles God’s hand in the founding of America. We just celebrated Thanksgiving. The starving Pilgrims had a ration of 5 kernels of corn each that first winter of 1661-1662.

God’s manna provision for them was an Indian that spoke English. His name was Samoset. He then introduced them to Squanto. Squanto lived with them and taught them how to plant corn and live off the land. The first course of their second Thanksgiving was a plate with 5 kernels of corn on it as a reminder to them of God’s manna provision.

The Lord has manna provision for us as well. It often comes in an unexpected answer to our prayers. In March of 1977, I was reading in Philippians 1. As I came to verse 20, I fell on the end of my bed and cried out to the Lord. I wanted Him to be magnified in my body whether by life or by death. Two weeks later I fell headfirst into a 6 foot ravine. I didn’t remember that fall for 3 1/2 years.

How did the Lord answer my prayer through that fall? I was bedridden and unable to work for 6 1/2 years. Though I accepted the Lord as my personal Savior in 1958, He wooed me into an amazing, not equaled on this earth, intimate relationship with Himself. He also gave me a new asset: brain injuries that remain to keep me dependent on Him.

Our trials have manifold benefits. Ephesians 3:10 says that through them He displays His manifold wisdom. James 5:11 says that there is an end intended–that He might demonstrate His mercy and compassion as He did with Job. 1 Peter 1:7 says that our fiery trials purify our faith to prove it genuine.

Job was tested. His first response in his cascading trial reveals his heart to us. Job 1:21 says, “…The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” Verse 22 says that Job did not charge God with wrong.

Next, Job lost his health. With his wife’s words, ‘Curse God’ ringing in his ears, his second response also revealed his heart. Job 2:10 says, “…Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?”

This morning I read Job 23:8-9. It says, “Look, I go forward, but He is not there, and backward, but I cannot perceive Him; when He works on the left hand, I cannot behold Him; when He turns to the right hand, I cannot see Him.” Job was longing to see the Lord in his circumstances. Yet, his faith words are recorded for us. Verse 10 says, “But He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold.”

The Lord tests our faith so we can see what is in our heart. I recently listened to a Voice of the Martyrs interview with Andrew Brunson. He is a missionary pastor in Turkey. I was so taken with his tried-faith. Though it was an imaginably hard trial, his faith remained. He would say, ‘The Andrew is Christ can…’ Though he was fighting fear daily, was emotionally spent, and he felt on the edge of insanity at times, his standing in Christ carried him through his two years in prison.

Lord, I ask You to help us discern and accept what You are doing in the trials that You allow in our lives. According to Your word, they are intentional and beneficial. Help us not resist but embrace all that You have for us in our trial. May we comprehend and grasp how our faith is truly steadfast in our standing in Christ, no matter what our circumstances are.

Contrasting Standing And State

I love Romans 5:3. It helps me remember the difference between my standing and my state. It says, “Through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand…” Ephesians chapters 1-3 define our standing, while chapters 4-6 define our state. In Ephesians 4:1 Paul said to walk worthy of our calling. Verse 2 says, “With all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love.”

We are eternally settled in our standing, but our walk (state) can fluctuate moment by moment. It depends on how deeply God’s word is implanted in our hearts. Psalm 119:11 says, “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.”

Our standing is continual, perpetual, with no break in continuity. However, our state can ebb and flow. Mark 4:17 is a great example. It says, “And they have no root in themselves, and so endure for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word’s sake, immediately they stumble.”

The children of Israel were to be circumcised. It was a sign that they were set apart for God. Colossians 2:11 says that we are circumcised without hands. Romans 2:29 says that circumcision is in the heart by the work of the Holy Spirit. This is the work of sanctification. At salvation (standing), we are set apart for the Lord. Our walk (state) is progressive, ongoing.

Romans 12:2 says, “And be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…” JB Phillips says to not let the world squeeze you into its mold. The deeper we implant God’s word, the greater the depth of inner transformation. Metamorphosis is the process of the crawling caterpillar being transformed into an air bore butterfly. The difference is eating leaves (walking in the flesh) or drinking deeply of sweet, life-sustaining nectar (walking in the Spirit).

God’s words is living and active. As we bring it into our hearts, it will transform the way we think and act. His hidden word is our weapon to overcome the lusts of our flesh. 1 John 2:14 says, “…I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the wicked one.”

This is our key to overcoming any fleshly stronghold. It is God’s implanted word, deeply rooted, that actively penetrates between our soul and spirit. It is like a skilled surgeon’s scalpel. It is precise (addressing our need) exact (no grey area) to bring the needed character quality transformation that will set us apart from the world’s system.

I invite you to my Facebook page, under Marilyn Adams, to read my daily devotionals.

God’s Implanted Word Revolutionizes

Isaiah 55:9 says, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” God’s word reveals His ways and His thoughts. When we bring His word into our heart, we are planting revolutionary seeds.

Think of His word in Hebrews 4:12. It says that His word is active, it penetrates, and it discerns. Now think about the areas of your life where you feel defeated, stuck in a rut, failing to gain victory over your renegade thoughts, and unsuccessful.

Here is the antidote. Psalm 1:3 says of the one who mediates, “He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither, and whatever he does shall prosper.” Joshua 1:8 says, “The 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.”

Note the words ‘never depart from your mouth.’ Now let’s go to Matthew 15:18. It says, “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart…” Matthew 12:34 says, “…For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” What presently comes out of your mouth? Remember, all words are first thoughts.

What we hide in our heart affects every aspect of our lives. Hidden unresolved issues, bitterness, buried emotional pain, inner negative dialogue, and unforgiveness, all become the filter through which our words emerge from. Therefore, to be successful, thriving, and prosperous in all we do means inner core change. Only the implanted word has that kind of transforming power. Want to revolutionize your life?

Psalm 19:7 Amplified says, “The law of the Lord if perfect, restoring the (whole) person; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.” It is time to change the filter in your heart. Out with the old and in with the new.

The Power Of A Blessing

God’s word never changes. Joshua 1:8 says that we are to observe to do. Therefore, we need God’s wisdom to make His word applicable to our lives in our present situation. His wisdom will give us His perspective.

Before salvation, our flesh was unbridled and self ruled. Have you ever set your mind to do something and you were interrupted by someone else’s need? Did you react because your goal was blocked, or did you respond with spiritual flexibility?

Galatians 5:19-21 is a list of the works of the flesh. There are nine that pertain to fleshly attitudes: hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders. Verse 22 is the fruit of the spirit. It is visual, evident fruit of one who is controlled by the Holy Spirit. There are nine: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. It is an intentional contrast to help us recognize who is in control at any moment in our lives.

We are called to bless those who are reacting in their flesh. 1 Peter 3:9 says, “Not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this…” Our fleshly reactions are evil. We bless one who is walking contrary to the Lord by NOT reacting in our flesh. Flesh has no power over the flesh. 2 Corinthians 10:4 says that we don’t fight with our flesh. We fight through the power of God’s word. We take up our weapon of the opposite spirit which quenches the fight. Where there is no wood, the fire won’t burn.

When our agenda, desire, or will is blocked we have a choice. We can react in our flesh, or we can respond in our spirit. In that moment of decision, if we remember Who redeemed us and Who we serve, we will respond as the Lord would have responded.

Ephesians 4:20-21 is a great governor for our attitude and actions. It says, “But you have not so learned Christ, IF indeed you have heard from Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus.” The Lord uses our adversities to train us to conform our thoughts, purpose and actions to His will in all things.

Any fleshly reaction within us is an opportunity to right then die to ourselves. Our hidden flesh is reacting to another’s flesh. It’s a good thing. We wouldn’t have known that was an unyielded part of our inner being unless we reacted. When God’s word is hidden in our heart, we will not sin in the moment of that flesh-temptation. His truth has taught us to stand and to keep on standing. We stand strong in our spirit because it is fortified by His word written in our hearts.

Tearing Down Strongholds

In order to tear down a mental stronghold, we have to first understand how it was erected. In 2 Corinthians 10:5, it says to bring every thought captive. It is impossible to monitor every thought. Therefore, we need a foundation of truth that will be our sentinel to alert us of a pride-thought.

Verse 4 says, “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds.” Our flesh-thought can only be fought with His Spirit-word. The more His words of truth are hidden in our heart, the more we readily recognize the lies of the enemy. Faith comes by hearing the word. Our door shield of faith is what quenches all the fiery darts of the evil one.

It is imperative to look at our areas of defeat through the magnifying glass of His word. How do they measure up? Let’s take Matthew 15:18. It says that the things we say are coming from our heart. Matthew 12:34 says the same thing.

Matthew 15:19 says, “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts…” An evil thought is anything that undermines the truth of God’s word. Have you ever had a thought of suicide? That opposes Psalm 139, Psalm 119:73, Jeremiah 1:5, Isaiah 43:7. Therefore an evil thought is a fiery dart lie. When we accept it, believe it, and make it our own, it will become a stronghold that controls our lives.

Take an area of defeat in your life. You have tried many avenues to get victory but they all failed. Defeat is a heart negligence issue. Proverbs 4:23 says to guard our hearts with diligence. Our heart is our belief center. Therefore, take your area of defeat and ask this question: what do I believe about myself? 2 Corinthians 4:13 says that we believe and speak what we believe. If what you believe does not line up with Scripture, then it is a lie-stronghold.

Colossians 3:9-10 says, “Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him.” Ephesians 4:22-24 says to put off, then renew our mind, then put on. Sandwiched between putting off and putting on is the essential of mind renewal.

We will have no victory until the stronghold is destroyed through truth. Confess your sin (defeat) to the Lord, acknowledging that you have been living satan’s lie. Then renew your mind through truth. Gird that truth around your mind.

Here is my faith affirmation: I have victory through Your death on the cross. Through faith I now root out and pull down, destroy and thrown down the strongholds that are defeating me. I will continue to renew my mind with truth, building new strongholds that will establish my heart and strengthen my walk with You Lord.

The Goodness of God

The goodness of God is an inexhaustible subject. This morning though the Lord gave me some new aspects to mediate on. Thinking back to when I stood and drank in the power of Niagara Falls on the Canadian side, there are similarities.

Tons of water pour over the Falls every second. There is no way to describe the magnitude of that power. It roars. The water is unrelenting. It rushes over the top, cascades to the bottom, and sprays water everywhere.

Here is one of my favorite verses. Psalm 107:9 says, “For He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness.” Do you ever long for something? Is your soul hungry for something that is not food? The Lord alone can satisfy.

Here is another favorite. Jeremiah 31:14 says, “I will satiate the soul of the priests with abundance, and My people shall be satisfied with My goodness, says the Lord.” Satiate means to fill to the full.

David expressed God’s goodness in Psalm 27:13. He wrote, “I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” David also wrote Psalm 23. Verse 6 says, “Sure goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life…” God’s goodness is a right now powerful present reality.

Now, consider this. God’s goodness is inextricably connected to His love. His love is woven into the fabric of our lives. His goodness exudes from His love. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good…” That means everything in our lives, the trials and the hardships are His goodness at work, with no exception or exclusion.

When we gaze upon Him, and meditate on His goodness, we will see every situation in our lives through that goodness. It will transform our understanding and keep us focused on Him, and not on our circumstances. Psalm 34:8 says, “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him.” The Hebrew root word for ‘see’ means to drink deeply.