He’ll Lead On Level Ground

Show me what You want me to do. You are my God. Let Your good Spirit lead me over level ground. – (Psalm 143:10, ERV)

As I begin the first day of the second week of school, this is a great way to begin my day. I need His guidance in all that I do, and His Spirit to lead and guide me in the way that is best. This carries over into every area of my life – spiritually, physically, emotionally, and inter-personally. How I go about my day matters. My attitude and approach to all that I do, impacts not only my own children, but more than one-hundred other children each day as well. Add to that all of my colleagues and countless others that I encounter in a day, and how I navigate can have either a positive influence on many, or can be a terrible taste in the mouths of far more than I care to count. It is essential that I am dialed into the Lord and His will, in order to be led in the direction to which I am called. May we each seek the Lord each day as we rise, trusting Him to show us His way, as He leads us over level ground on the path which He has prepared for us.

God, show me Your way,I Will Go

so I may walk well;

following Your lead,

let my life truth tell.

May Your Spirit show,

the path I’m to take;

and Your love light shine,

through choices I make.

May each word I speak,

give glory to You;

and each act be done,

as worship that’s true.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we seek You, You show us what You want us to do. Thank You that Your good Spirit leads us over level ground. Thank You that You are our God. Forgive us for not seeking You and attempting to go forth in our own strength. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would seek You in all things at all times, as You are our Source and Supply. Lead us to love others well, so they too may come to know the grace and goodness that is found in You alone. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You, and allow Your Spirit to lead us over level ground. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. – Psalm 23:6

A Powerful and Purposeful Life

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. – (2 Timothy 1:7)

 

The gifts God gives are abundant and beneficial. That which He deposits within us, by His Holy Spirit, provide all that we need to live a powerful and purposeful life in Christ. Some of the above mentioned gifts are a bit easier to embrace than others. As one who has grown up as an athlete, the self-discipline portion makes sense and translates well to my spiritual life. Creating time each day to spend in God’s word is as natural as knowing the need to run regularly prior to a big race. Life is an ongoing race, so the daily training is essential to successfully navigate each new twist and turn as it comes.

 

Love too, seems to flow freely, as it has been poured abundantly into me. Having a godly and gracious grandmother and mother, who model what it means to love with all that they are, has set the standard for how I am meant to love my own children, and all those whom I encounter. Additionally, I am blessed with a circle of church family and friends that demonstrate the love of Christ, tangibly, to one another and to the community in which we reside.

 

To set aside timidity is to stretch the borders in which this introvert dwells. It is only by His power, that anything of worth can be accomplished, and I have to constantly remind myself that “greater is He who is in me, than he who is in the world.” It is only through self-discipline and love, that I am able to receive His power and say “yes“, when He asks anything of me that requires me to be bold. Ironically, this occurs daily, as the mere act of pressing the publish button is one of obedience, rather than of a desire to display my devotional life. By His Spirit, we can do abundantly more than we would ever imagine possible. May we go forth in His power, setting aside our fears and embracing His love, as we seek to submit to the Lord and live a disciplined life according to His good and perfect will.

 

For God does not give,Faith in the Fight

a spirit of fear;

but one of power,

as we choose draw near.

His Spirit is love,

and self-discipline;

to show us the way,

and keep us from sin.

Each time we choose love,

and set aside fear;

we show those in need,

how the Lord is near.

Lord, make us each bold,

strong in Your great might;

so we may run well,

and fight the good fight.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You did not give us a spirit of timidity, but rather You give us a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. Thank You that as we embrace Your Spirit within us, You accomplish amazing things both in us and through us. Thank You that we have the privilege of joining with You on our journey, and that it is Your joy to help us grow. Forgive us for our fearfulness and lack of love or self-discipline. Teach us to trust You more, so that we may be bold in Your power, and consistent in our faithful investment in You and Your created. Lead us to love others as You intend us to love. May many come into a saving relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we let go of our fears and embrace Your power and love through consistent time spent with You. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. – Galatians 5:22-23

Unity, Liberty and Love

Be willing to accept those who still have doubts about what believers can do. And don’t argue with them about their different ideas. – (Romans 14:1, ERV)

 

There will always be differences of opinion among believers, as there are things that the Bible does not deem right nor wrong; and therefore each are a matter to be taken up individually, between God and man, personally. What is acceptable for one, may be off limits for another. Our charge is not to dispute our differing views, but rather to be accepted and handled with love. If each of us is acting according to our conscience (the leading of the Holy Spirit), then we are doing right in the eyes of the Lord – even if it is not the same as our sister or brother. “Our principle should be: In essentials, unity; in nonessentials, liberty; in everything, love.” – (NIV footnotes for Romans 14:1)

 

What the Bible clearly establishes, these are non-negotiables. The things that have not been clearly laid out nor established, for these we must trust each to walk in the wisdom and counsel that the Lord provides, so that we may maintain united as a body of believers. In all things, whether we stand in agreement or not, we are called to operate in love. May we accept one another in love, choosing our conversations with wisdom and grace. Let the Lord be our guide and example as to how we are to operate in unity, liberty and love.

 

For the Lord calls us,Intended for Obedience

to accept in love;

any uncertain,

of His law above.

For some things it’s clear,

God’s way is laid out;

yet still there are some,

we must pray about.

We’re not to argue,

with differing views;

in love, just listen,

God’s voice will ring true.

What is yes for one,

not for another;

we’re not meant to judge,

sisters and brothers.

Stand firm in the truth,

liberty in grey;

all things done in love,

is walking God’s way.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You love and know us individually. Thank You that what may be acceptable and safe for one, can be a resounding “NO” for another, because of Your love and protection for us individually. Thank You that You know our hearts and minds, and You determine what will lead us down a path of destruction, and what will not bring harm at all. Forgive us for either assuming that Your answer should be one way or another for those around us, or for not listening well to the answer that You are clearly offering before us. Teach us to trust You more so that we may be united in the essentials, grant liberty in the nonessentials, and in all things, operate in love. Lead us to love with Your wisdom and grace, so that many may come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we are united as a body, and gracious and loving to all. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him. – Psalm 34:8

Seek to Sow

He replied, “… I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” – (Matthew 17:20-21)

 

Jesus was responding to the disciples’ questions as to why they could not heal a boy who had been suffering from seizures caused by demon possession. They were not being condemned for their lack of faith, but rather He was showing them how essential faith would be in all that they would be called to do in the future. The seeming mountains that stand in our way cannot be moved in our own strength. However, in Christ, the mountains are mere molehills, and He can accomplish all that He calls us to do, if we choose to allow Him room to be Lord. May we seek the Lord with all that we are, and allow Him access to our whole heart so that our small seeds of faith may flourish and grow great in Him.

 

Let not our eyes,Seek to Sow

fix on our trial;

look to the Lord,

all hope to beguile.

The smallest seed,

can grow, multiply;

tended by Christ,

bear fruit, fortify.

All things can be,

established in Christ;

mountains made plain,

needs become sufficed.

He is enough,

for our hearts to trust;

small seeds of faith,

He’ll grow and raise up.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You do not expect us to do things in our own strength, nor do You call us to somehow muster mountains of faith on our own. Thank You that You take our small seeds of genuine faith, and You grow them in Your grace. Thank You that You move in spite of us, and that all things are possible in You. Forgive us for fixing our eyes on the mountains, rather than on You, the Maker of mountains. Teach us to trust You more, so that we might see all things as opportunities for You to move, rather than road blocks in our path. May we live and love in the faith You are growing in us, so that many may come to know the saving grace that is available in You alone. Be glorified, Lord God, as we seek to sow the seeds that You are growing in us. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God. – 1 Peter 2:19

If We Love

No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us. – (1 John 4:12)

 

When we are in relationship with Christ, His Spirit lives in us. Our love that comes from the Father, extended to all whom we encounter, is a glimpse of God Himself, to those who know Him not. This is both a great privilege and a tremendous responsibility. Imagine with joy, knowing that we get to represent His hands and His heart to the world. However, in doing so, it is essential that we love others as He loves us. Christ’s love is patient and kind, not envious nor boastful, nor rude. It does not seek recognition nor return. It is not easily angered and does not keep score. Christ’s love does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truth. His love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres. Jesus’ love never fails. In order for us to love as He loves us, we must fully rely on Him. On our own, we will fall miserably short. In Him, we are equipped to love beyond what we would have thought possible. May we go forth in His love, so that many may gain a glimpse of just how glorious our God truly is.

 

Though no eye has seen,Adventurous & Cautious
the face of the Lord;
we have seen in part,
through love He affords.
His Spirit within,
faithful human hearts;
grants us all glimpses,
His glory, in part.
Christ’s love is selfless,
it’s given away;
no expectations,
to somehow repay.
It always speaks truth,
it never keeps score;
it always protects,
leaves us wanting more.
God’s love always hopes,
ever perseveres;
it will never fail,
it wipes away tears.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that though we have never seen You face-to-face, we have been given glimpses of Your glory through the hearts of those whom love and serve You. Thank You that when You dwell in us, Your love is made complete in us. Thank You that we have the privilege of being extensions of Your hands and heart to the world. Forgive us for falling short – for not loving as You would love. Please grant us Your eyes to see others, and break our hearts for what breaks Yours. May we be moved by the things that stir Your heart, and then act upon those things in love. Lead us and guide us in Your goodness and grace. Let the lost be found as they are given glimpses of who You are through the love of those faithfully following You. Be glorified, O God, through our love. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

And the Lord said, “I will cause all My goodness to pass in front of you.” – Exodus 33:19

Obeying God First

In this increasingly “go with what feels good” culture, it is essential to not only be aware of what God deems right and wrong, but to also be in a close relationship with Him, so that we are able to hear His still small voice as He speaks to us, individually, about what is and is not permissible for us.  There are some things that the Bible clearly defines as right and wrong.  Yet there are other areas, that are a bit muddy.  These are the places where it is paramount to pursue Christ for answers, rather than just going with whatever society says is good.

Acts five conveys the story of Peter and the apostles being arrested and jailed, simply for speaking the truth of what they had witnessed through the life, death, resurrection and ascension of Christ.  The Sadducees jealousy got the best of them, and they threw the men of faith in prison.  When brought to trial, the high priest asked them why they had gone against what they had been told (to stop teaching in His Name).  “Peter and the other apostles replied: ‘We must obey God rather than men!” – (Acts 5:29)

Though few of us face the fear of prison for sharing our faith, we do deal with social pressures to stay silent, and to go along with societal norms that directly disregard what God has spoken.  There is a delicate balance in loving others, yet speaking the truth in love.  We cannot go around shouting to people that they “must turn or burn“.  Rather, our charge is to live in such a way, that people are drawn unto us, and begin to ask questions as to why we are the way we are.  God will provide opportunities for truth to be told in His time.  He is tender and kind, and longs to draw people unto Himself.  May we be living examples of His love, and may we choose to obey God first, always.

In tune with You, Lord,Obeying God First

we shall hear the way;

to do as You ask,

to honor, obey.

We must truly seek,

to hear still small voice;

then choose to follow,

obedient choice.

Let not fear of men,

keep us from what’s true;

our final answer,

will be unto You.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we have access to mighty examples of those who have faithfully followed You.  Thank You too, that You do not expect us to do this on our own, but You provide us all that we need, through Your word, and Your Holy Spirit.  Forgive us for folding to social pressures, or for staying silent when we were meant to speak.  Teach us to hear Your voice clearly, so that we may be Your voice to those who know You not.  Let our lives lived in love, speak volumes to all who are around us.  May many come to know Your goodness and Your grace, as they enter into a personal place of seeking Your face.  Be magnified, our great and mighty King.  Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort.” – 2 Corinthians 1:3

Supplied by the Spirit

Each of us, whether we are aware of it or not, has an assignment.  God has created and gifted each one of us with something special in mind.  However, we are not born with an instruction manual, nor do we receive a special guide book at our moment of redemption, thus we find ourselves in a space of needing to seek Him to find out what He has planned.

We do have an instruction manual of sorts for our lives, as the Bible shows us how to live in love and trust in Him, among other essential things found in a life formed by faith.  Also, because of Christ’s sacrifice, we are able to call out to God in prayer, any time, and ask whatever we need.  The critical element in helping discover our given assignments, is the gift of the Holy Spirit.  “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” – (Acts 1:8) When we invite Christ into our lives, we invite the Holy Spirit as well.  Just as the early disciples received God’s power to do as He had called them to do, we too, can receive the very same power to do all that He is asking of us.

Three things that the disciples did, that we must still do today, are: to join together with fellow believers, pray together in faith, and wait.  It seems that the first two are the easier of the three to manage.  In this instant gratification society, waiting is a tough sell.  Patience and perseverance are characteristics that seem a rarity, rather than the norm.  The standards that were established all those years ago, still apply today.  All things that are worthwhile take work and waiting.  We are told that the same is true with our walk with Him.  “Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.” – (Romans 5:3-5)

The disciples were told to go and wait after Jesus had ascended into Heaven.  We also, are meant to wait on Him, when we need to know what comes next.  As we are faithful to wait, the blessings discovered by spending time intentionally in His presence, are well worth the investment.  He is faithful to answer as we ask, we simply must press in and persevere, trusting that He hears our every prayer.

Call on the Lord,Supplied by the Spirit

then faithfully wait;

for His answers,

not early nor late.

Patiently pray,

for the Lord is good;

He knows our need,

we are understood.

Allow access,

to both heart and mind;

trust Him to touch,

He is gentle, kind.

God will equip,

us to do each task;

know what He says,

and do as He asks.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You made the way for us to be in a relationship with You, and that the very same power You poured out on the early disciples, is available, ready and dwelling in the hearts of those who believe.  Thank You that You equip us for all that You ask, and that You strengthen and encourage us as we listen and wait on You.  Forgive us for forgetting to slow down, or for growing impatient in the waiting.  Teach us to trust in the wait, and help us to persevere, so that we may hold the holy hope You have for us.  May we live in love as we walk in obedience to all that You ask, and may many come to know You as a result.  Be glorified in all that we say and do.  Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.