Waking Up with God

by Bobbie Frazier  @b2frazier                                                                            

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Matthew 7:7-8 NKJ

Jesus tells us: seek God, pursue Him! Don’t give up but continue to ask Him for what we need to be His vessel.  “How can You use me today Jesus?” is a question I try to ask daily. Sometimes at the end of the day I look back to see what has been accomplished; line items may not have been crossed off my list, but He has used me in ways I would not have sought after on my own.

Jesus tells us we must consistently pursue God. Be consistent but not robotic. How do we do that?

So many times, our mind is spilling over with to do lists even before we get out of bed in the morning. How can we consistently pursue God and still accomplish what is needed?

Ask Him for the time to spend with Him, and He will give it to you.

When I first did that, I had to be at work at 5:00 every morning. So, God woke me at 3:30. I studied His Word, I prayed, and my ritual for getting ready for the day began. At first I didn’t realize it was God giving me this chance of time with Him—I was proud of myself for waking up. Since I couldn’t go back to sleep, I would think: well I might as well do my devotions and spend time with God.

It was almost a slap in the face one morning, when I realized that even though I was up that early, I was not any more tired at night. I was able to finish my day alert and productive. God gave me the time to spend with Him, but didn’t take away anything else. WOW! God did that for me?

Now I work from home. I can study His Word and spend time in prayer at all times of the day. BUT that time can still get away from me; my lists are long, and my strength is not what it used to be.

But after spending time with God, I will have all the strength I need for what He calls me to do. My strength is not my own—it comes from spending time in His presence. Jesus told His disciples: “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing” John 15:1-5 ESV.

Over the years, I’ve come to look at exercising, waiting in line, sitting in a Dr. office, or being on hold as opportunities to be in His presence. So many things give me time to pray, to praise, to ask, and to serve. WOW—look at how much time we have to work on our relationship with Jesus! Don’t be frustrated by feeling like you are wasting that time. Be thankful for the time God has given you to worship Him.

Let’s be consistent with putting God first in all we do, asking for time to spend with Him, and He will arrange it. We must be obedient to the calling. When we find stability in who God is in our life, the consistency of spending time with Him will become a desire of our heart.

Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides forever. Psalm 125:1 NKJ

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Waking Up with God – encouragement from Bobbie Frazier, @B2Frazier on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

About the author: Bobbie and her husband Tom have a family of five children and ten grandchildren.  She is co-founder of Prayer Pocket Ministries and has a passion for prayer along with talking and writing about Jesus.  Bobbie is the author of the children’s book – Dalton Discovers the Ten Commandments, which can purchased from her website or on Amazon.

Join the conversation: How do you manage to spend time with the Lord with your busy schedule?

Are You Afraid of Missing Out?

by Debbie Wilson @DebbieWWilson

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.   Matt. 11:28 NIV 

My young friend ticked off the activities her family crammed into Christmas. They had more holiday traditions than the Okefenokee has mosquitoes. With the approach of a holiday, FOMO—Fear Of Missing Out—can hook the unsuspecting. We think more is…well, more, and less means—bless your heart; you missed out.

Someone defined busy as:

Being

Under

Satan’s

Yoke

How do we throw off this unholy bondage?

Come to Jesus.

 The first step is clear but not easy with a crowded schedule. Come to Jesus.

There’s a strong temptation when we are busy to lay aside our personal time with the Lord. All we have to do makes finding one-on-one time with Jesus feel impossible. But here’s the thing. Jesus wants the pleasure of your company. He will help you make time for Him.

This may require being flexible. But if you were young and in love, I’ll bet you’d squeeze in time for your sweetheart.

Sometimes I eat lunch with an open Bible or turn off the radio on my drive to work so I can converse with Jesus or listen to a Bible app. The time of quiet reflection refreshes my faith and recalibrates my focus.

If a time of busyness is hampering time with Jesus, ask Him to help. Look at your calendar and schedule time for Him.

Bring Him Your Burdens.

Jesus invites the “weary and burdened” to unload on Him. A burden is anything that weighs you down.

One season my responsibilities crushed me. Not only did I have holiday baking and gifts to buy, wrap, and mail, I had to prepare a workshop for the week after Christmas. One afternoon, I wrote down every crushing burden, then I pictured handing them to Jesus. The process alone lifted my spirit. But what happened next astounded me.

That afternoon an appointment unexpectedly canceled. I zipped to a nearby mall. It was like an unseen guide directed me to just the right gifts for all my out-of-town family–in an hour. And the stores gift-wrapped!

Link and Learn.

 At the end of Jesus’ life, He prayed, “I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do” (Jn. 17:4 NIV).

What? Didn’t Jesus know about all the people who were still sick? What about those who hadn’t yet heard about Him? But notice–Jesus didn’t say, “I finished all the work.” He said He’d finished the work His Father had given Him.

How can we know the work He has for us each day? We come to Him and learn from Him. Then, when we feel pressured, we can say, “Today I only have to do what God wants me to do today.”

When we live in sync with Jesus, we not only find rest for our souls, we glorify our Father. And dwelling in His presence brings us peace.

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Are You Afraid of Missing Out? – insight from @DebbieWWilson on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

debbie wilsonAbout the author: Drawing from her walk with Christ, and years as a Christian counselor, coach, and Bible teacher, Debbie W. Wilson helps women give themselves a break so they can enjoy fruitful and grace-filled lives. She is the author of Little Women, Big God and Give Yourself a Break. Her latest book, Little Faith, Big God, is to be released February 2020. She and her husband Larry founded and run Lighthouse Ministries, a nonprofit counseling, coaching, and Bible study ministry. She is an AWSA (Advanced Writers and Speakers Association) certified speaking and writing coach. Debbie enjoys a good mystery, dark chocolate, and the antics of her two standard poodles. Refresh your faith with free resources at debbieWwilson.com.

Join the conversation: Do you struggle with being overwhelmed by your to-do list?

Recognizing Your Spacious Place

by Cindi McMenamin @CindiMcMenamin

He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul.                                                                                                                       Psalm 23:2-3 NASB

Just about every time we come to a stop in traffic, I’ll hear my husband grumble. “Can I just live in a place where there’s not so much traffic and where I’m not so crowded in? Why do I have to sit on the freeways? Where can I get a little open space?”

I can relate to his heart’s cry. I feel it, too – at the end of every week – when that urge returns to get outdoors and walk. To climb a mountain, walk in the grass, breathe deeply of mountain air – all those things I can’t do while I’m living in a fast-growing city in a crowded part of Southern California. Yet, my heart still longs for a “spacious place.”

In Psalm 18, when David cried to the Lord to be rescued from his enemies, he told of God’s thunderous response and then summed it up by saying:

“He brought me out to a spacious place;
He rescued me because He delighted in me” (Psalm 18:19 NIV).

God rescued David from his enemies by bringing him “out to a spacious place.”

When the enemies of busyness, stress, and fatigue press in – and when I feel the pressure to work harder, run faster, achieve more, only to be exhausted from the endless rat race – it is then that I realize how badly I need my spacious place.

Sometimes our spacious place is a relaxing vacation or some time off from work. Other times our spacious place is a missed opportunity that gives us some down time, a closed door or cancelled trip – which causes us to slow down and rethink where to go next. It could even be a layoff from work, an injury that stops us in our tracks, or an illness that suddenly finds us bedridden.

And sometimes, God allows alone times in our lives as a spacious place to get alone with Him – an open, airy place to meet, hear from Him, talk with Him, and just be with Him.

When we find ourselves in a lonely or frustrating place with not much going on, not many friends around, or not much hope in front of us, God may have just brought us “out to a spacious place” to be with Him. We just need to realize it is our rescue.

Lord, on the days that I feel overwhelmed and pressed in, help me to cry out for my spacious place and make some time to be with You. And on those days when I have not much going on, not much hope in front of me, or no one beside me, remind me of the spacious place You have blessed me with so I can spend some time alone with You.

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Recognizing Your Spacious Place – @CindiMcMenamin on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

View More: http://chelseamariephoto.pass.us/cindiAbout the author: Cindi McMenamin is an award-winning writer and national speaker who helps women strengthen their relationship with God and others. She is the author of 17 books including her best-selling When Women Walk Alone (more than 130,000 copies sold), When You’re Running on EmptyWhen God Sees Your Tearsand Drama Free: Finding Peace When Emotions Overwhelm You. For more on her books and resources to strengthen your soul, marriage, and parenting, or for more information on her coaching services to help you write the book on your heart, see her website: www.StrengthForTheSoul.com.

Join the conversation: When is the last time God gave you rest? Please share your experience.

https://strengthforthesoul.com/product/when-women-long-for-rest/

Forgetting God

by Peggy Cunningham

“Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while. “ Mark 6:31 NRSV

What day is it? Maybe it’s a day to remember. At times, I forget God. I forget to pray. I rush remembering my schedule and forgetting His schedule. Classes this afternoon, a writing deadline, a newsletter to write, emails to answer, all the things that are constantly on my schedule. But, did I forget anything today? Yes. God’s schedule–a time with Him.

Has He forgotten me? Not a chance. With God, forgetting is a one-way street. I’m the one heading in the wrong direction.

When life gets so busy, it’s easy to not spend time with the One who gives us all blessings. This last week, I daily asked the Lord for many things–understanding in all I’m learning, health to do it all, and provision for our ministry and us––along with all those prayers for family, friends, and safety. And, I kept telling the Lord I wanted to spend more time with Him––but I had Him on hold. Yes, I had devotions, and yes, I meditated on Scripture but had I blocked out everything so I could hear His voice? Not really!

But this morning, God gave me that time. I hadn’t made time for Him, so He arranged a deserted place to be with Him. He said to them [me],”Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while” Mark 6:31(NRSV).

Our internet server’s tech guy had finally arrived to find and fix the problem we were having with our speed. They had to cut our service to work on the issue. No internet, and so many things to do! After pleading with God that He hurry those men along, I again heard Him say, “Come with Me.”

I closed my computer and opened my Bible. I began reading in Psalms where I had stopped yesterday, and this is what it said…

“Praise be to the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle” (Psalm 144:1 NIV). I have been in a battle. Any time we are giving God’s Word out, we engage in battle against a powerful enemy. He will do anything to keep God’s Word from spreading. Now I am writing to get God’s Word out, and I feel that opposition. Never before have we had so many unresolved internet problems. And some days I feel like my head is going to explode from all the new things I am putting into it. But God is using those things to train my hands and fingers so that I can write His message.

After spending time in God’s Word, I was no longer uptight about how long it was taking to get my internet up and running again. I took a walk with God up the mountain behind our house. There were no camels there in my desert, only two ponies and what seemed like thousands of birds singing to Him––a little bit of heaven, a refreshing time with my Creator. I didn’t have to travel to an exotic faraway place to get away from it all (I already live in one). I just needed His refreshing presence.

I know God will teach me what I need to know so that I accomplish the work He has for me. He is at work in me, to enable me to be effective in my service and in my writing. Today when I walked with Him, God confirmed that He is training my hands and fingers to write for Him.

What day is it today? Today (and every day) is a day to remember God. He never forgets you and me. Will you walk with Him in a deserted place today?

Peggy CunninghamAbout the author: Peggy Cunningham and her husband have been missionaries in Bolivia, South America, since 1981. In 1999, they founded Rumi Rancho Ministries. Rumi Rancho is their ministry base and home outside the city of Cochabamba where they work with the Quechua people and have a children’s ministry. Peggy is also an author. Her children’s books and devotionals are available on Amazon.com, including her latest book Shape Your Soul, 31 Exercises of Faith that Move Mountains, a women’s devotional.

Join the conversation: What has God been teaching you in your times alone with Him?

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Set Him Always Before You

by Twila Belk

I have set the Lord continually before me; because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.     Psalm 16:8 AMP

Do you ever forget anything? I do. Sometimes I’ll get on an elevator and wonder why I haven’t reached my floor. And then I’ll discover it’s because I hadn’t remembered to push the button. I forget where I’ve put things. I forget the names of my kids. I forget why I went to the other room. And if I’m not careful, I’ll forget meaningful dates or events. If I don’t keep a sticky note or some sort of reminder in front of me, I’m in trouble.

Several years ago on an August day, I realized how important those reminders were to me. I went about my business as I normally do, but I had a niggling feeling that I was forgetting something. Halfway through the day, I came across a significant document while sorting a stack of papers on my table. It was the first day of school, and I had forgotten to take my kids! Yikes!

Because I hadn’t kept that important information at the top of the pile and smack dab in front of my face, I had to put up with friends and school personnel who laughed at me and questioned my mental stability.

“Out of sight, out of mind” is a clichéd expression, but it’s proven to be true in my case.

Unfortunately, that’s also often the case with many of us regarding our relationship with God. If we don’t keep him at the “top of our pile,” we forget that he’s with us. We forget that he wants to help us. We forget that he is I AM. And because of our forgetfulness, we’re troubled needlessly with a load of care.

David wrote the words in Psalm 16:8 shown above. He knew the key to being still or (unshaken) was to have a constant awareness of the Lord’s presence. Here are some of the ways he kept the Lord continually before him:

  • Talked honestly with God and carried on a running conversation with him
  • Meditated on God’s words
  • Journaled his thoughts and prayers to God (see the Psalms)
  • Passed down his God stories to the next generation
  • Sang praises to God
  • Proclaimed God’s goodness
  • Talked to others about God
  • Danced before God
  • Opened his eyes and heart to notice God at work
  • Immersed himself in the truth of God’s Word

As with us, life wasn’t always easy for David. He faced storms, dealt with wicked people, confronted giants, had to make difficult decisions, and wrestled with inner turmoil. But because he knew God intimately and kept him at the “top of his pile,” David was able to trust him. God proved himself to David again and again and will do the same for us.

I have problems with forgetfulness, Lord, but I don’t want that to happen when it comes to you. Help me to learn from David and to keep you continually before me. If I do that, I won’t be shaken by the worries and cares and troubles of life. With you at the “top of my pile,” I’ll remember how big you are, how good you are, and how trustworthy you are. Thank you for being at my right hand.

(This devotion is an excerpt from The Power to Be, (c) 2018 Twila Belk. Used by permission of BroadStreet Publishing.)

twila belkAbout the Author: Also known as the Gotta Tell Somebody Gal, Twila Belk  loves braggin’ on God. Whether she’s writing, speaking, or teaching, she offers hope and encouragement for people to fix their eyes on him. Twila is the author of The Power to Be: Be Still, Be Grateful, Be Strong, Be Courageous and Raindrops from Heaven: Gentle Reminders of God’s Power, Presence, and Purpose as well as five other books. Mom to three grown children and Grandma to three precious little boys, Twila lives with her husband in Iowa, not far from the Mississippi River and the home of American Pickers, John Deere tractors, and Whitey’s ice cream.

Free Book Contest!  Arise Daily will use a random number generator to pick a winner 51veIj1tu+L._SX344_BO1,204,203,200_from today’s comments. To enter our contest for Twila’s new devotional book,  The Power to Be, please comment below.  By posting in our comments, you are giving us permission to share your name if you win!  If you have an outside the US mailing address, your prize could be substituted with an e-book of our choice.

Join the conversation: What kinds of things shake you? How would setting God always before you help you keep from being shaken? What are methods you could use to help you have a constant awareness of God in your life?