No Such Thing

There are no ‘good witches’. This is one of the lies that permeates our culture. We all see these fictitious characters in movies and TV shows doing good things for people or cleaning their house with a twitch of their nose.

No one can be a ‘good witch’ because there are two major supernatural forces in our world – good versus evil, God versus Satan. God is very clear in his Word that witches do not get any power they have from him. God does not speak through Ouija boards or seances – he speaks through his Word. So that leaves just one place where witches or any of these things can get their supernatural power – Satan. And Satan is never good.

Satan is the great Deceiver and the Father of Lies. He can make something bad look like it’s okay. He can twist the truth just slightly to make it a very convincing lie. He can use something that looks good to bring about a bad result. Make no mistake – evil intentions lie under everything Satan does.

The story in the Bible of King Saul going to the Witch of Endor is a sad story with a interesting twist. The enormous Philistine army was approaching and Saul was terrified. He ‘inquired of the LORD, but the LORD did not answer by dreams, or Urim or prophets.” 1 Samuel 28:6. Saul was regularly disobeying God at this time, so God stopped answering him. Why give Saul an answer if he’s not going to obey? Sometimes God will stop answering us, too, if we continue to ask but are not being obedient to what he has already told us.

In the past, Samuel had helped Saul listen and obey God, but Samuel had died. Saul wanted to talk with Samuel so he went to the Witch of Endor. The witch did her normal ‘consulting the spirits’ act but then screamed when she saw Samuel appear. Why did she scream? She obviously did not expect someone to actually come back from the dead – she was used to making it all up.

And Samuel wasn’t happy about being disturbed. That makes sense. He was enjoying heaven and suddenly he’s back on earth having to deal with Saul’s fear and lack of trust in God.

Samuel told Saul because he continued to be disobedient, God was going to do what he said – take away Saul’s kingdom.

And the next day Saul and his three sons were dead.

In this instance, God worked through a witch in order to achieve his purposes. But she was not a ‘good witch’.

Don’t be deceived.

Thank you for your truth, Abba Father.

Psalm 57, 2022

Hear my prayers, Father, and show me your compassion.  I will hide myself in your shadow until my fears and worries go away.

I ask that you fulfill your purposes for my life.  I know the angels of heaven are fighting my battles and they will give me victory.

Your love and faithfulness never leave me, Father.

I am surrounded by the evil one who is trying to take pieces of me and devour me.

But I still praise you, God.  May your glorious light shine over all the earth.

My enemy sets traps for me – especially when I am weary and distressed.  The evil one digs deep pits in my path but then he falls into them himself.

I am confident in you, oh God.  My heart sings your praises.  I awake every morning with a song of praise to you.  Thank you for your love and faithfulness which has no end.

I praise you, Father.  May your glorious light shine over all the earth.

Psalm 63, 2022

O God, you are my God.  I am searching for you with all my heart.

My soul needs you.  My whole being longs to be close to you in this empty, weary and very confused world.  I treasure the precious time I get to spend with you.

I have personally witnessed your power and glory.  I praise you for your love which makes this life worth living.

I will lift my hands and heart up to you in praise for as long as I live.  Only you can fill the emptiness inside of me and make me sing for joy.

In the darkest part of the night, I remember how much you have loved me in the past and how much you have promised to love me in the future.  My heart sings for joy as I cling to your promises and feel your arms around me, holding me safe and securely to your side.

The Evil One and his team are all around me, Father, trying to ruin me.  But I know you are fighting my battles, God, and you have already won the war.

I rejoice in you, God.  All who know the Truth know you.  Liars will be silenced.

I will lift my praise to you for the rest of my life, Abba Father.

Psalm 34, 2022

God is good – all the time!

I will share this great news with everyone I know.  Everyone needs to hear this – there is no one and no thing that compares to the LORD!

Say it with me – God is good, all the time!

When I talk to God, he answers me and takes my fears away.

The light of God’s love shines out of us, his children, and we are never ashamed.  When we are lost in a pile of problems that we created, we can call on God who rescues us.  His angel protects us and sets us free!

Try him and see!  God is good!

My Father God is a safe haven and a provider for me and for everyone who has faith in him.  Those who look strong on the outside are actually weak and empty on the inside if they don’t have faith in God.

God’s children have everything they need.

Listen to me –

respect and honor the LORD and you will live a life filled with good days.  Stay away from lying and all evil.  Be a peacemaker.

God watches over those who do what is right.  He hears our cries.  God is always close to the brokenhearted.

But God turns his face away from those who do evil.

When we have faith in God, we will still have trials but God walks beside us every step of the way – giving us peace and strength.

The wicked get what they deserve.  The LORD condemns anyone who opposes the people who love him.

God rescues his children – he is a safe refuge that is always available to us.

We praise you, Abba Father, for you are good!

Caving In

Or should I call it making the ‘popular’ choice?

In 1 Samuel, Saul disobeyed God by keeping some of the ‘stuff’ that they took from the Amalekites after defeating them.  When Samuel pointed this out to Saul, Saul rationalized the sin by telling Samuel that they did this so they could give the best of the sheep and cattle to God.

Samuel then tells Saul,” Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the LORD?….Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, he has rejected you as king.” 1 Samuel 15:22,23.

Well, THEN Saul admitted that the real reason he kept the plunder was because he was afraid of how his men would react if he destroyed it all like God wanted him to do.

The bottom-line in this story is Saul didn’t trust God.  He didn’t believe God had his back.  He got all wrapped up in being a hotshot king that everyone looked up to and he didn’t want to put any of this hero-worship into jeopardy.

So Saul made the ‘popular’ choice rather than the obedient one.

Do I ever do that?  Do you ever do that? Are we ever more concerned about what other people think than what God thinks?  Do we fail to take the more Godly position on issues sometimes because it may not go over well with others? 

We probably all do, sometimes without realizing it.

If my goal is to be obedient to God, I’m going to need to make what God thinks a higher priority than what people around me think.

Pleasing God trumps popularity here on earth – every time.

Please help me show my love for you and faith in you by obeying you, Abba Father.

Whatever Works for You

Sounds good – let’s all do whatever works for us.   Then we’ll all be happy.

Or not.

“In those days Israel had no king: everyone did as they saw fit”. Judges 21:25. This is how the book of Judges ends.  It may sound good until we scan back a couple of chapters and realize what they thought was ‘fit’ to do. 

Family members were stealing from each other.  They obviously thought this was an ok thing to do.

Family members were kidnapping each other.  They thought this was ok as well.

Family members were killing each other to the point that they virtually annihilated one of the 12 tribes of Israel.  I wonder how they could possibly think this was ok but they did.  They could rationalize anything. Their moral judgement was quickly spirally into total chaos and confusion.

Because they had no compass.

Sounds familiar? Our current culture obviously has many of these same issues.

Why?

When I base what is right and wrong on what I think, I’m in trouble.  Then I’m just like these Israelites – doing what I see fit and letting my standards waiver in whatever direction the wind is blowing. When I do what I think is right, it can hurt you as well. My bad decisions have a lot of consequences.

God has been very clear to you and me on moral boundaries. His Word to us is full of direction and guidance. I might not like all of it. You may not agree with all of it. But that doesn’t change his Word to us.

The image of standing under an umbrella of God’s Blessing is stuck my head and reminds me that one of my main goals in life is to stay in line with God. When I obey God and follow the compass he has given me, I am placing my life under his umbrella of blessing. When I don’t obey God and just do what I want to do, I am stepping out from under his umbrella. I can’t expect God to bless my decisions and life when I’m not obeying him.

One example is tithing. If we have put our faith in God, we also want to put our money in his hands. This means being faithful with tithing. We can’t expect God to bless our finances if we don’t.

It’s my choice and I choose to obey so I stay under the umbrella – every hour of every day.

What do you choose?

Dear Father, I desire to walk in your path of truth.  Please guide me because your moral standards are what ‘fits’ me best.

I’m Stepping In

Stepping up.

Making the first move.

I often ask God to direct my steps.  My prayers regularly include requests for him to show me an opportunity to do what he wants me to do.

Because I’ll do it – I just want to know that its his direction and his timing.

And God responds.  Right before my eyes, he will give me an opportunity to do something he wants done or say something he wants said.

Every time one of these opportunities presents itself, I have to take the first step of faith forward, not knowing what the next step is and never knowing how this is all going to work out.

I just have to take that first step and obey.

I learned this from the story of the Israelites crossing the Jordan into the Promised Land.  God told the priests carrying the Ark of the LORD to go first.  God told them he would make a way for them but, first, they had to step into the Jordan.  “Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during the harvest.  Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing.”  Joshua 3: 15-16.

The overflowing water of the Jordan river was roaring down its path…..

and they had to step in.

An act of faith.  An act of obedience.

As soon as the priest’s feet touched the water’s edge, the water stopped flowing.  They had to commit and then they saw God respond.  In the middle of a rushing river, God opened up a path for them to the Promised Land.

It’s important for you and I to understand how this process works.  Too often we want to see God move in our lives but we haven’t stepped out in faith.  We want God to invite us to do great things but we haven’t stepped up to the plate on the things we already know God wants us to do.

For example, Jesus told us clearly, “Love God and love others.”  These are the two main things I need to be about – I already know that.  No question about it.  I find that when I’m focused on doing these things that God has already told me to do, I see God part the waters for me.  He blesses my last step and reveals my next step.

But the first step of obedience is mine.  The first step is your’s.

Where is God asking you to take that first step of obedience?  Go ahead – step into the water and watch it part in front of you.  It will be worth it.

I believe, Abba Father, so I’m stepping in.

Be Strong

It’s not a coincidence.

This is how it works when you and I are soaking in God’s Word everyday.

I am reading Deuteronomy 31 today and it’s a “God-incidence” that various combinations of the the words, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid. The Lord your God will be with you’ are repeated 3 times in one chapter. The Israelites were getting ready to enter the Promised Land which is already filled with large armies of men who aren’t going to give it up their land easily. It was going to be a long-term challenge that would require strength and courage.

First, Moses spoke to all the Israelites and said,” Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God will be with you; he will never leave you or forsake you.” vs 6.

Then, Moses summoned Joshua whom God had picked to be the next leader of his people and said to him in front of all the people, ” Be strong and courageous for you must go with this people into the land that the Lord swore to their ancestors to give them and you must divide it among them as their inheritance. The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you or forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” vs 7-8.

Finally, God said to Joshua , “Be strong and courageous, for you will bring the Israelites into the land I promised them on oath, and I myself will be with you.” vs 23.

I’m hearing you, God. I’ve got my own ‘long-term challenge’ starting up and I’m going to need a lot of strength and courage from God. I have been writing this blog for over 10 years and it has been a big blessing in my life. Almost 6 years ago my world blew up when my son, David Glasser, who was a Phoenix Police Officer, was killed in the line of duty. About 6 months after his death, God told me to start another blog about the painful, uphill battle of picking up my broken heart and moving forward after losing a child – My Family Bleeds Blue.com.

Since then, many people have told me that I should write a book about this tough, tough road of grief and loss that I am on. My reply has always been that God told me to write the blog, I’m going to wait until he tells me to write the book. Well, he did that last week. It’s time for a book.

It’s a huge project. A long-term challenge. You can add me to your prayer list if you’d like.

I’m not the only one that God has given big challenges. There is a reason why you are reading this today. It’s a God-incidence. What big issues or projects are you facing in your life? Are there huge problems where you need strength and courage from God?

God is saying to me and to you –

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid. The Lord your God will be with you.

Amen

Choose to Obey

God asks you and I, “Do you want to be blessed?”  He tells us how in Leviticus 26.

As I read this passage in his Word, this is what I hear from God –

If you are careful to obey my commands, I will shower my blessings upon you.

You will be fruitful and prosperous.

I will keep you safe.

I will bless you with peace.  You will sleep well – not fearful of anything.

I will remove all threat to your safety from your life.  Your enemies will fail.

Don’t worry about being outnumbered by the evil ones – I am on your side.  I will look upon you as my favorite child – providing for you and always being faithful.

My blessings will overflow in your life – one on top of another.

I will walk with you and live with you.  I will be your God and you will be my child.

I am the Lord your God who sent my only son to die for you so you might believe and live with me forever. I gave you freedom so you can choose to stand faultless before me.  You can choose to walk closely beside me everyday.  You can choose to love me and listen to me.

You can choose to obey.

Thank you, Abba Father.

The Unknowns

It has been hard in the past to make decisions about next steps when I don’t know how it’s all going to work out.  There have been times in my life when the ‘unknowns’ created a lot of anxiety and fear.

I love reading about Abram’s (soon to be Abraham) decision-making in Genesis.  First, God tells Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.”  Genesis 12:1. 

No forwarding address on that one.  Just go.  I’ll tell you when to stop.

And the Bible tells us in verse 4, “So Abram went.” Wow! Abram is a good role-model here for how much he trusted God.

This is my 11th year of reading the entire Bible and it is comforting to realize how much my faith and trust in God has grown as I’ve read and applied God’s word to my life. I experienced something  similar to Abram’s 2 years ago when God told me to move from Phoenix to Denver.  What?  I had been living in Phoenix for over 40 years and had never once thought about moving to Denver even though my daughter and her family were now living there. 

I prayed about it overnight and knew that I needed to do what God was asking me to do.  I have learned from experience that the only way I can expect God’s blessings in my life is to be obedient.

Then I shared what God was saying with my husband who prayed about it and the next day he said, “We need to go.”  He has also learned the importance of obedience. 

We heard and we went.

We put our house in Phoenix up for sale and I heard God telling me not to buy a house in Denver until we actually moved.  So we moved while our house was under contract and arrived in Denver on March 17, 2020 – just as everything was shutting down because of the pandemic. 

We know you’ve got this, Father God.

We were ‘homeless’ during the weeks of being sheltered in.  The first house we looked at in Denver was the right size and the right price and the right place and God said ‘yes’ so we bought it – getting a great deal on it since a lot of people were backing away from buying houses because of the uncertainty.

We knew you had something good waiting for us, Father.

These last 2 years, I have continually seen God’s hand on our lives.  There have been many situations – one after another – where I know God moved us to Denver ‘for such a time as this’.  He had a purpose for bringing us to this new city and he had blessings lined up if we would obey.

I have discovered that it’s not so hard anymore making decisions when I don’t know how it’s all going to work out.  God knows and I trust him.  I don’t experience the anxiety or fear I used to have because I know God is in control and he is working it all out for my good.  I just need to listen and do what he says.

Thank you for taking away my fear of the unknowns, Abba Father.