“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden” Matthew 5:14
We ALL live on a stage that influences the lives of others- so why not decide to use our stage to inspire?
Our walk of faith is designed to be supernaturally contagious and today, this very hour, we can choose how we will live to inspire. It is astounding to think how with every Spirit-filled action of faith we have the opportunity to light the flame of another. A Spirit-filled life is an inspiring life and together we can set the world ablaze!!
Live to inspire…
To inspire kindness when the world around us is unkind!
To inspire generosity when others grasp stingily to what they possess!
To inspire grace when the world condemns!
To inspire freedom when bondage feels like the only option!
To inspire love when someone is behaving unlovely!
To inspire gratitude when everyone else is grumbling!
To inspire courage when those around you are weighed down with discouragement!
To inspire faith when doubt and fear seize progress!
To inspire honor when dishonor is dished out!
To inspire value where others have devalued!
To inspire dreams when others have mocked and diminished!
To inspire dignity when someone has been robbed of their self-respect!
To inspire perseverance when the odds seem insurmountable!
To inspire forgiveness when someone has done the unforgivable!
To inspire compassion when others would pass by without a second thought!
To inspire mercy among the merciless!
To inspire creativity in the ordinary and mundane!
To inspire godliness in an ungodly environment!
To inspire hope when confidence has dwindled to a the size of a pea!
To inspire joyfulness in the midst of misery!
“Let your light so shine before men, that they will see you good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16
When our kids were fairly young, my husband and I decided to make an investment for the family by purchasing my parents old 1973 motor-home. Though it wasn’t much to look at it sure was a stark improvement from the demands of tent camping. Complete with a small fridge, kitchen sink, stove, toilet, and a shower. It was even equipped with a battery that made it possible for me to plug in a specialty 12-volt hair dryer! Woohoo!! As a woman who enjoys her creature comforts, I can’t begin to tell you what a “happy camper” this improvement turned me into.
Some of my best memories are from those lakeside trips taken in that old motor-home. As often as we could, we’d pack all five of us into that green El Dorado and make the two-hour drive to our favorite lake. Typically, that meant trying to leave town on Thursday or Friday to beat the weekend crowd for the best spot. And by the best spot I mean the kind of spot that allowed you to park right next to the water’s edge on elongated pieces of land that jetted out creating long water coves. This camping on the water’s edge was a tradition carried over from my youth. I spent many summers trekking to that same lake with my parents and a large group of their friends. Long days playing in the water followed by BBQ’s and campfires were something I wanted my own children to experience and enjoy. Consequently, I believed the closer to the water the better the real estate. This way swimming was an all-day option.
My husband being the good man that he is would make it his aim to hunt down and stake his claim on the best spot he could find as close to the water as he could get. This always worked out marvelously until one year the water line was lower than usual. In his usual style, he scoured the land for the best and closest. Only this time it meant parking on, what looked to me like mud. Needless to say, I had reservations that I openly expressed. Namely, “I don’t want to get stuck in the mud!!” He assured me it was okay and we wouldn’t get stuck but somehow, I envisioned a Bernstein Bears scenario playing out before the end of the weekend. However, at this point, he had already made his claim, and there was no convincing him to give it up. So, he parked.
What he did next, I will never forget. To this day when questioned about the incident, he is at a loss for why he did it. Call it a whim or a moment of insanity- all reasoning seemed to be tossed to the wind. Anyone who has some experience with motorhomes understands the value of keeping it as level as possible. Everything just works better when the vehicle is leveled. Typically, this is done using wedges and wood planks, all of which we always carried with us. But on this particular occasion, he decided a shovel was a better tool than a wedge. A shovel, as in to dig holes with. Yes, you guessed it, he dug four holes (in the mud, mind you) with that shovel and then proceeded to drive straight into them.
Two days later when it came time to drive out of them, we were completely stuck like a prisoner futilely attempting to escape from their shackles. Try as we might with all the help my scrawny little arms could muster, the additional six arms of the kids, and a few extras from neighboring campers that motorhome wasn’t going to budge. So, like any rational person with a 2,000-pound motorhome stuck in the mud, next to the lake- we called AAA roadside assistance. Fortunately, their motto is- Any car. Anytime. Anywhere. We put them to the test, and they came through. We’ve been solid members ever since.
Moral of the story: When you are stuck in the mud you need some roadside assistance that is willing to go where you are and help where you’re at. Even when you are the one who dug the pit you’re stuck in. Thankfully we have Someone who is willing and able to do just that. We know Him as The Holy Spirit, and He is better than AAA.
Jesus promised us that He would not leave us as orphans!
And I will pray for the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. John 14:16-18
The Holy Spirit wants to instruct you, guide you, strengthen you and even bless you on your road to freedom. He will never abandon you, nor betray your trust in Him. Even if you fail seven times in one day, He will help you to stand up again. His patience does not wear thin, and His love will never wax cold. The temptations you struggle with are not an offense to Him. You are His beloved child, and He is your greatest advocate.
Excerpt taken from Lisa's soon to be released book: Releasing Captives! 7 Steps to breaking free from any stronghold!
her rival also provoked her severely, to make her miserable, because the LORD had closed her womb.
…so it was, year by year, when she went up to the house of the LORD; she provoked her; therefore she wept and did not eat.
1 Samuel 1:6-7
Sometimes the beginning of a new year can be a painful reminder of what isn’t. Another year passes, and we find the circumstances we hoped would remain in the past have followed us into the present. Or a desire we believed would be granted has remained out of reach. The change we planned on has not changed!
This was the case for Hannah. Year after year her arms remained vacant, her womb empty and her heart bereaved of a greatly desired child. Each year hoping in vain next year would be different, but it wasn’t. This year was the same as the last. Once again, she found herself on the wrong side of an impenetrable gloom. An unchanging circumstance beyond her control! In verse 6, we are told her “rival” provoked her severely, exasperating her misery and grief. The grief of a closed womb.
Recently I was talking with someone who found themselves in the throes of Christmas blues having gone through another season with the sharp pain of broken relationships. She expressed her longing to “give birth” to change but lacked the strength and ability to do so. I call this the grief of a closed womb.
As we say goodbye to 2017 and begin 2018, I wonder if you are experiencing the grief of a closed womb?
Is there something you have prayed for, longed for, ached for but find yourself grieved by a lack of change? Time seems to be ticking away, and yet you feel no progress has been made? Hope deferred has made your heart sick?
If this is you- I have good news! Hannah’s story didn’t end here and neither will yours. The Lord has an end result in mind, and it is good!
Fast forward Hannah’s story to the same place on the same occasion but a different year. A future year. Only this time instead of being overwhelmed with the grief of a closed womb we find her carrying a greatly desired child in her arms. Instead of a heart filled with grief leaking out her eyes, we find her heart full of joy and rejoicing on her lips.
But like Hannah, we don’t have to wait until we see the end result to experience the peace and the confidence of a good ending. We just need to pour out our hearts before Him and allow Him to pour into ours.
she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed to the LORD and wept in anguish.
1 Samuel 1:10
Then Eli answered and said, “Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition which you have asked of Him. And she said, “Let your maidservant find favor in your sight.” So the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad”
1 Samuel 1:17-18
When was the last time you prayed about the grief of “your closed womb?”
When was the last time you prayed about the longing you carry for an unrealized dream or desire?
When was the last time you wept in anguish before the Lord over an unchanging circumstance?
Hannah’s change came the day she decided to give her anguish to God! On that day the God of Israel (her God) took her anguish and gave her His peace! On that day the God of Israel (God who prevails) took her despair and gave her His confidence!
So it came to pass in the process of time that Hannah conceived and bore a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, “Because I have asked for him from the LORD.”
1 Samuel 1:20
I pray your journal for 2018 will be full of entries that begin with:
So it came to pass…
And end with:
Because I asked for… from the LORD!
My prayer for you, my precious sister, is that you will not leave 2017 with anguish locked up in your soul but that you will choose to deposit it at His throne of great grace. Placed squarely into His trustworthy and capable hands!
Enter 2018 with peace and confidence knowing He hears and He answers!
For this child I prayed, and the LORD has granted me my petition which I asked of Him.
1 Samuel 1:27