There are so many times through scripture where God commands us to simply trust him👆 But, how are you supposed to trust someone if you do not know them?😯 God is fully worthy of our trust!👌💜 He is the one I can ALWAYS depend on, his love never fails, and his intentions are always pure!🙌 If you are having a hard time trusting God, ask Holy Spirit to show you why and spend some time in his presence, asking questions, listening, and responding💬 Spending time with him is a sure way for you to grow🌱🌻
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Paul and Silas, undaunted, prayed in the middle of the night and sang songs of praise to God, while all the other prisoners listened to their worship. Suddenly, a great earthquake shook the foundations of the prison. All at once every prison door flung open and the chains of all the prisoners came loose. Acts 16:25-26 TPT
There are three things I briefly want to touch on in these 2 verses.
One being, there were people surrounding Paul & Silas who were listening to their prayers and praises to God.
The second thing is that even in the midst of being “chained down” and imprisoned, they still praised God for how good he is.
The third being, because of the power of their praise and prayer, it set other people who were bound down free. Their praise shook the very foundation where they were held captive and bound down.
In conclusion, the very words we speak to the father and the praises that come put of our mouth are powerful and yes, people are listening. They may not say they are, but people’s true desire in their heart is the love of Jesus. No matter the circumstance, even if we feel bound, we should be inclined to have communion with Abba and praise him. He never changes and his love endures. Therefore, our praise should be endless too. Our praise can be the very thing that not only sets us free but shakes the foundations of hell (prison one is entrapped in) and sets other people free around us too.
At first glance, you see that Paul and Silas prayer & praise set them free. Yet, in reality, it shook the foundation that kept them and others captive. Their prayer and praise broke the chains that bound them down and set them free into what God had called them to do.
My encouragment to you this morning is, in every circumstance pray and praise. God hears every word you speak and your praise to the father loosens things that have tried to keep you bound! Not only that, but people are watching. Do not be a people pleaser, but a God pleaser. My prayer is that our prayer and praise is so contagious is free’s others just as Paul and Silas.
The words you speak, the prayers you give unto the father, and the praise you bring are all contagious and have the power to shake the foundations of hell. God has given you to the power to praise and pray in every circumstance. Even when you are not sure what to say, the spirit will speak for you. When you feel weary, he will give you strength. When you feel bound, he sets you free. When you feel like you are just surviving, he brings you to a place of living abundantly!
There is nothing he won’t do for us.
In every circumstance pray and praise. You never know what new freedom is awaiting you or the freedom it may bring to who you are surrounded by. There is nothing God won’t do. Hell cannot stand a chance. The victory is already won. For the power, the glory, are yours Lord forever and ever. Amen!
Scripture for Meditation & Application
I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. Psalms 34:1 NKJV
Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples! Shout to God with the voice of triumph! Psalms 47:1 NKJV
Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Romans 8:26 NKJV
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28 NKJV
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:31-39 NKJV
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV
God laid it on my heart these past couple days to talk about how Jesus isn’t looking for us to “get clean” before we ask him in our life. Neither should the church you attend. The church you attend should be showing the love of Jesus by meeting you where you are at, sins and all. None of us our perfect. None.
I have went to different churches with different denominations. Where I have learned the most is where I felt the love of Jesus and was taught biblical principles. I’ve never learned something out of fear or condemnation. We know that fear nor condemnation come from God. Love casts out all fear and God is Love. There’s a big difference between conviction and condemnation. Condemnation is overwhelming guilt that pushes you away from God. Where conviction is where Holy Spirit points out you have something to work on in your heart through love.
When I went back to church in 2015, I was sick and in need of a doctor. In other words, I was consumed by the enemies lies, what people portrayed God to be, overwhelmed by the heaviness of my sin, and just came home from the bar a couple hours before while still battling a pill addiction. I stepped into The River and was very timid and didn’t really want to talk or be seen by anyone. However, I was stopped by 4 amazing women that day that I still love to this day. They knew that I was struggling but loved me anyways, just as Jesus does. I walked into worship and it was completely different than anything I had ever saw. People were free. They held up their hands praising God, weeping, and laying hands on one another. And then Holy Spirit hit me….Like right in the face. Some of you know exactly what I’m talking about! The song we were singing was talking about was about breaking free from addiction and depression.
I am unsure why there is this lie floating around that Jesus expects you to be white as snow when you come to him…probably just one of satans tactics…But, if we were clean and not in need of a doctor, God wouldn’t of went Jesus to die for us. It’s never too late to come to God & you’re never too dirty to come to him either.
“Come now, let’s settle this,” says the Lord . “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.
Isaiah 1:18 NLT
“Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.”
1 John 4:18 NLT
We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.
1 John 4:16 NLT
I hope everyone had a restful night, but if it was anything like the Lunney Household, it was anything but. (Not complaining…Let me tell you why!)
We left church around 9pm as it still rained and flooded the area. We came to a little dog in the road running around with a collar (no tag), wet and lost. My husband looked at me and of course I told him to put the little guy in the car! We brought him home and our puppy was, to say the least, having a puppy moment. Playing with her new friend or trying to establish dominance, I’m not really sure. Needless to say, we talked about what to do next. We called people who we thought could help and they told us to take him to the vet in the morning and see if he has a microchip. I posted all over facebook pages for lost pets and spouse pages wondering who could’ve lost their baby. This pupper is seriously the sweetest. We drove around the neighborhood searching for people who may have lost him, but came to another dead end. We opened the car door to bring him in and he dashed into the woods. (Yep, that really happened.) My husband and I prayed as we went to bed. He soon fell asleep and I began to pray to God, asking him to put protection over this little pupper that I found…and then lost. I prayed for God’s will to be done and for him to go home or for him to find safety. HERE’S WHERE IT GETS GOOD. My husband woke up this morning and opened the door to let our puppy and this little guy slept on our porch all night. Ughhh, my heart! I’m sure you are thinking a couple things…1.How did she lose a lost dog? 2. This poor puppy. & 3. Why is she telling me this?
Here is why…
During my quiet time Holy Spirit has revealed to me some things through this little guy. (So cool that he can use a puppy to bring revelation and a blog post to share with you all!)
We have all been this puppy. Searching for home. Searching for love, care, and protection. We all have been lost, myself included. How often do we choose being lost in the woods when God has provided us with everything we need? We settle for the woods because, well its adventurous and we don’t really know God when we first come to him. Our old life looks pretty appealing when God challenges us on our behaviors and worldly ways. (Or for this little pup, peeing on the laundry basket…) So we venture out in the woods, lost, “alone”, and searching for home. We can never be fulfilled unless it’s through our identity in Christ. We will continually search and even sometimes settle for less than what God has to offer, like the porch for instance.
Even if you were to get lost, fall off track, I know God still remains the same. The promises of his word tell me so!
“So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.”-Deuteronomy 31:6
It took faith for this dog to show up on our porch this morning. He ran away from us, but something drew him back to our home. Was it the love we showed him while he was here for a brief moment? When you get a taste of what God, his pure,steadfast love…you don’t travel far into the woods before you realize what you needed was back where you just were. We didn’t need the puppy to clean up before he entered our home. God doesn’t need you to clean up before you ask him into your heart. He wants you as you are at this very moment.
I just posted a verse yesterday on Instagram and it’s really fitting for what has transpired over the past 24 hours.
“This is what the Lord says: “You will be in Babylon for seventy years. But then I will come and do for you all the good things I have promised, and I will bring you home again. For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.”-Jeremiah 29:10-13
God doesn’t say we aren’t going to go through trails or tribulation’s. He promises us that he hears our prayers and that we will find him when we seek him wholeheartedly. He promises us plans to prosper. Plans to prosper doesn’t always line up with what we think is best. But often what we go through, is what shapes us into Christ-like character and puts us exactly where we need to be. Or for this lost pup, in a warm house out of the rain, snoozing on the floor.
Did God just use a dog to reveal all this to me? Yes, yes he did. That’s the cool thing about God. He will speak to you in ways that you will listen.
As we traveled down the streets of New Orleans this week, I was overwhelmed with compassion as we passed by the amount of poor and broken people we saw sitting on every street we went down. I went to New Orleans in anticipation of eating beignets and sight seeing. As we started to get closer, my thoughts drifted to Katrina and how the town was devastated and how many people were effected. We parked and began walking and I soon realized that I was in a town full of brokenness. It was a Tuesday afternoon and I really just wanted to love on every person and dog I saw. No matter what we did in New Orleans my mind wouldn’t travel far from how I could love on these people. I have been at a spot in my life of brokenness, hopelessness, needing of healing, love, grace, and mercy. I wanted God to use me as a vessel to share the Good News. I wasn’t able to do much while I was down there, but I know there is a plan for more. God wants to use people who imitate Jesus’ character. He wants to use people who are full of mercy and grace. He wants to use people who love on the broken and aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty. In that short time I was down there visiting, God brought me a sense of humility and a hunger to help those who the world looks at as “invaluable”. Even though I have never been homeless, I did once have a drug and alcohol problem. I did have a mental illness and demons that tainted my every thought and action. I did come from a place of brokenness and being completely lost. I saw someone who didn’t know what they needed, even though he was only once conversation away. I saw people who needed love and for someone to hear their testimony. I saw people who needed to be encouraged and to hear that it will be okay even if it feels like they are in an abyss. When I was walking down the streets of New Orleans, I didn’t see them, what I really saw was me. Don’t forget where God has brought you. & don’t think that people can’t change. With God everything is possible.
“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”-Matthew 25:35-40
Lord, I just pray that every person that needs healing and love from you that you place people in their life to love on them and imitate you. I pray that we never forget who we used to be before we put you at the throne of our heart. I ask you Lord, for you to make our hearts more like yours everyday. I ask you to show us people who need you Lord so we can love on them the way we needed to be loved. I thank-you for the gift of salvation, the grace, mercy, and pure love that you give to me everyday. I thank-you that you never left me or forsake me when I was at my darkest. & thank-you Abba for being my light when it was dark. In Jesus name, Amen.