Ardith Keef Daily Devotional

Blessing:

     Soldier of The Cross, there is little more dangerous than thinking blessing is defined by being healthy,  having money in the bank, and having everyone like you.

      Yes, it's wonderful to know we can ask, and He will supply our needs. Yes, we should  ask for healing unless the Holy Spirit restrains us.   As much as possible, we should be at "peace with all men."

     It is equally important to receive hardship and heartache as blessing.  It is a matter of believing God's Word and agreeing with Him.   It's foolish to look for trouble, and it is not noble to take on unnecessary pain.

     Our children need to see us thanking the Lord for times when we are misunderstood or when there is loss.  We must learn to agree with God.

     How rich is the experience of being able to thank the Lord for difficult situations.  After all, He has allowed it.  Yes, He can lead us out, but it has never been His intent for us to avoid the things that chisel us.

     We are being watched by both the seen and the unseen.

     It bothers me so when in periods of financial comfort and health, Christians tend to say they are "so blessed".    

     We are blessed because we are born into The Kingdom of His Dear Son.
     We are blessed when we recognize Him.
     We are blessed to have One to whom we can come to ask for provision.
     We are blessed because we have the Bible, which is "alive and full of power."
     We are blessed because we know He is preparing a Place for us.
     We are blessed because we have each other and can lay down our lives for each other.
     We are blessed because we have prayer.
     We are blessed because we have the Indwelling seven-fold person of The Holy Spirit.

     We must teach our children to seek real blessing. 

     Blessing is learning to be content with both much and with little.

     Commit it to Him, and do it with and in front of your children.  Aloud.

     Today.    

Attack!

     He loves to attack in the wee hours of the morning when sleep is evasive.  He reminds you of the worst things you have ever done. In the dark, they seem unbearably terrible.  You feel beaten.  You feel like a complete failure.   Your mind is a giant screen that plays and replays moments you would give anything to forget.

     In the dark, the bills smother you, and the amount of work to be done is overwhelming.   The worry about your children is more intense.

     Fear, regret and self-doubt swirl about. 

     When the sun comes up, it is different. 

     There are mental beatings that take place in the night for all.  There is an enemy who hates you and it seems he has more room to move about in the dark.

     Learn to resist the enemy.  If you pray about this, the Indwelling Holy Spirit will remind you to think on the things God has promised.  You might need to get up and sing.  Or write a note of encouragement to someone.  Memorize a verse.

     Catch it as soon as it starts and recognize what is happening.  Resist and he who intends to harm you will flee.

     Talk to Him about it and do it aloud.   The enemy shouldn't be allowed to get your attention in the same manner again.

     Do it today. 

Aways a Decision:

     There is always a decision to make.  Time is about making choices.

      Many years ago, I heard A.W. Tozer say that in his life, there had been only one or two times when he knew for sure the Lord had given clear direction for an action.

     Of course in times of crisis, we come to Him and He give  us Light and Wisdom.  So many want Him to give traffic arrows at each junction.  Of course, that would eliminate The Cross.

     My wanting His guidance can't be about making sure there is no discomfort or failure in my life.  It has to be about The Cross.  The death of the flesh.

     When I don't know what to do, I do nothing unless there is a compelling deadline that is imminent.  I mean really imminent.

     He who is Wisdom wants us to walk in The Light and grow in Wisdom.   It often takes mistakes to gain Wisdom.

     Soldier, be a no-matter-what Christian.  In prayer, take up The Cross and follow hard after Him.

     He will lead.  Promise.

     Present yourself to him for absolutely anything He wants.  Today.
     Aloud.

    

Our Strange Lord:

     Have you noticed there is only one account of the Israelites walking through the sea on dry ground?

     There is only one burning bush story.  Only one floating ax head.  

     Our God calls us into the unknown, and most Christians are so afraid of that frontier, they miss the excitement of what God can do.

     He never calls us into the always-safe.  It is safe because He calls us and leads us, not because we can get all our ducks in a row first.

     The taking up of the Cross is a commitment to let Him transform us into His likeness.  That means being available for things that are impossible.

     He does it.  We don't have to know how He will do it.

     One foot in front of the other.

     Do you trust Him enough to be available?

     Tell Him now.  Aloud.

Prayer and Light

     Soldier, when you pray about a matter, the thing that happens is that Heaven opens up and you see what is really happening.

     Those who walk in The Light not only have fellowship with one another, but they also see what is really going on.

     We are  not of this world, and it is critical to pray accordingly.  So, Soldier, acknowledge your position before Him, and ask for sight.

     I am in the middle of a horrible family trial. This morning, I asked the Lord to part the seas and let us walk through on dry ground.  Why not?  We can ask.

     Soldier, His Word is a Lamp unto our feet and a Light unto our path.

     For goodness sake,  look up and move on.

Health and Wealth:

     The health and wealth theology is a lie of the enemy.

     Soldier,  yes, you are an adopted son.  Yes, you are in the Kingdom of Light.  Yes, there is the Sabbath Rest.

     Nowhere in God's Word are we told that we will be always healthy or wealthy.  There are wonderful verses about saving, not loaning money, giving,  and even giving sacrificially. But health and wealth is never promised.   That preaching is false.

     Hallelujah, we know divine healing is real and I have experienced it.   We know the Lord honors giving back to Him the first fruits, and I have tasted that and continue to experience it.
    
     The real truth is, there is no experience of faith or taste of the supernatural unless there is deliverance and release.  For that to happen, there has to be trial and testing.

     Soldier of The Cross, we take up the Cross and follow hard after Him.

     The issue is knowing Him.
     Recognizing Him.
     Being made like him.
     Laying our lives down for the  Brethren.
     Being a Living Sacrifice.

     It is not about being healthy and having stuff.

     Tell Him He can fully have you.
     Now, and aloud.

  

Victory:

     Be reminded that He is sovereign over all.

     When we get there it will all make sense.  We'll see even the most unjust events of time made right in eternity.

     He uses the oddest things to bring about His will and to reveal Himself.   He uses illness, birth defects, tragedy and poverty.  And in particular, He allows unfairness and misunderstanding.  When our children go astray, it is beyond unbearable.

     It is all His business. 

     Can He really be trusted, or do we only talk and sing about  the Everlasting Arms?

     You are a Soldier of The Cross, and that means you have made the decision to take up The Cross and follow hard after Him. Are you willing to let Him do anything with your life?

      When you tell Him He can do anything with your life, there is a release and a broader grace to endure things that can't be avoided. 

     We bring much on ourselves, but there are always things that are so unfair and twisted, words can't completely describe them.

     Every day and every hour by prayer.  Deal with matters in prayer and then be vigilant about your thoughts.  Most people live in the thought life instead of the Now.

     Soldier, keep moving in the Light of God's Word.
    Trust Him, and tell Him so.  Aloud.

    

Pressure:

       Most of pressure experienced is related to duties yet unfulfilled.

       I am always amazed when a bride is in a tizzy about a wedding that is months away.  The comment is always "There is so much to do".  The fact is, it is not about much to do, it is about what is yet undone.

      Soldier of The Cross, you must function just the same where matters are resolved or unresolved.  The issue is, what is before you?   What should you be doing now?

     Is the undone being brought to Him in prayer?             

     Is it about your need to have nothing undone, or is there an impending responsibility to get it done now?

     Soldier, most pressure we experience is an emotional hologram, often projected by the one who so hates all of us.

     We take it all to Him.  We have the armor, and it is donned in prayer.

     Take it to Him as soon as anxiety rears its ugly head.
     Deal with it aloud, claiming His word.

     Then look up and move on.  We are in His Army. We always do the next thing.

Need To Know:

     When someone begins sharing negative second-hand information about another believer, you must stop the conversation.

     Most Christians simply don't have the backbone to ether stop the conversation  or extricate themselves from it.

     You're not accountable to the speaker, you're accountable to the One who says you should not participate in gossip.  The problem is, gossip is so interesting.  In fact, just hearing the words, "did you hear about Susie's marriage breaking up?" makes the flesh quiver and tingle with the desire to hear all about it.

     I have often preached about this matter.  Years ago I walked in on a conversation in my home.  Two women in the church were talking and when I came in the room, one of them turned to me and said "We don't like "so-and-so".  I suppose I should not have been surprised, but these were women who had both been in  years of my Bible studies. I held up my palm to them and immediately left the room.

     We are so often unaware of our vulnerabilities and fall into the enemy's cleverly placed traps.

     Gossip is a terrible, terrible thing.  God's Word is abundantly clear.   The problem is, we are not aware of these things until we take them to prayer.  The Indwelling Holy Spirit is quick to nudge the Soldier of The Cross and alert him or her.

     You have told the Lord He could have all of you for anything He wants.  You have told Him you want to be changed.

     That means you are going to be held to the standard you long for.  Listening to gossip is like drinking from a sewer.  It causes contagious infection.. 

     Take this matter to the Lord and learn to be discerning and obedient.   

     Ask to see what is really happening, and ask to learn to  obey in this area.
     Ask aloud.
     Today.

 

 

The Tongue:

     I have never understood why Christians complain about the weather.
    
     It makes no sense.  There is nothing that can be done about it.

     This is something the Soldier of The Cross needs to avoid.  Murmuring about anything chips away at the ability to see and hear the Lord.

     The Bible calls it a sin, and it is so common in our churches.

     A good definition of murmuring is : a subdued or private expression of discontent or dissatisfaction.

      Murmuring is a mark of immaturity and is a virus.   There are ways to prayerfully address and discuss issues that need attention or change, and they are the opposite of complaining.

     He Who is The Word holds us accountable for our words.  When we bring the matter to Him in prayer, we will then be  more sensitive to what we say.   As a rule, this is the  most difficult change, in that it is often a life habit.

     Bring this to the attention of children.  Make a priority of reporting things that are negative in such a manner that eliminates whining.

     Take it to Him. Aloud.

 

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