Bible Study Notes: The confident Mom, chapter 15 – Enjoy the journey
This is our challenge: to enjoy the challenge of motherhood. To enjoy ordinary moments of life and celebrate the little things. What can you do to make life more fun for you and your family?
Here are some things to remember when challenges of motherhood bring you down:
- Jesus notices and appreciates everything you do for your family giving eternal significance to those mundane things done in love. He rewards our faithfulness and the effort you make to serve him with gladness. Jesus washed feet, cooked meals and since he didn’t do anything that was unimportant these things must be important (John 13:14-15; 21:9). “love…action manifested in practical and beneficial ways.” How do you manifest love in your home in practical ways?
- With every act of loving service you’re stacking up eternal rewards. (Colossians 3:23-24)
- Jesus came so you could have life in abundance even in the ordinary and mundane so celebrate the ordinary in life. (John 10:10) Ask Jesus to show you how to make everyday life more fun; let him teach you.
“Joy and fulfillment are either gained or lost by how we approach the small, seemingly mundane tasks of day-to-day life.” ~ ~ Joyce Meyer
Bible Study Notes: The confident Mom, chapter 14 – Keeping it simple
Do you try to live up to the Pinterest mom? When you find you can’t do it like she does how does that make you feel? What’s your schedule like? Do you have more on your plate than you’d like? Are you too busy? Do you spiritually say to Jesus “not today, I have to…” How do we know we’re too busy? We don’t have time for God?
The secret to starting your day right is to start with God even if you have to lie in bed 5 minutes just thanking him, just saying “good morning”. Add a few minutes here and there around an infants’ schedule where you can just rest in his mercy. You can read and pray later. Don’t let this season of deviation turn into a life style. Pay for a babysitter or sitter-swap. We have to spend time with God because that’s where we get our strength and wisdom. If he’s first in our life everything else will fall in place (see Matthew 6:33). Your destiny depends on it, the enemy will fight you on this.
Get dressed spiritually:
- get a fresh start by getting rid of messes and mistakes from yesterday. Acknowledge them before God and receive his mercy and forgiveness.
- Thank God for everything you can think of no matter how small or insignificant. Gratefulness is a powerful weapon.
- Time with God is getting dressed spiritually with the new nature he’s given us. Set your mind to walking with the spirit not the flesh.
- Meditate on scriptures and set your mind to obey them with God’s help:
to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4:23-24)
and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. (Colossians 3:9-10)
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Ephesians 6:13-17)
- Give your angels something to do. They’re there to minister to you and help you serve God. Confess God’s word over specific areas of your life.
- Set your heart on being a blessing and ask God for ways that you can express his love.
- Pray specifically about your mouth – the mouth can be your undoing (It is with mine)
- Pray that you don’t enter temptation in areas of weakness. Pray about it regularly, not just when being tempted, be proactive.
No matter how small the time you give him, be faithful and it will increase.
Bible Study Notes: The confident Mom, chapter 13 – Shaping your child’s life
Discipline is love, withholding is unloving. Discipline with action not emotions because no amount of anger or outburst will motivate them to change their behavior. Calmly sit down and explain what they did wrong, show them in the Word where the behavior wasn’t acceptable, then tell them the consequences you’re going to impose. Hug them and tell them you love them then let that be the end of it. Be clear and action oriented so they have learning experiences.
Constructive discipline needs clear guidelines with consequences based on the Bible. It’s about teaching them to please God, not us. God’s part is to change their inner attitudes; their job is to choose – good choice or bad choice. We get out of balance when we try to manage all three. Do your part, let God do his, and then let them choose.
Give them increasing authority over their own lives, letting them develop the skills to make good decisions. They will need to make some bad decisions so they can learn to think things through. They need the chance to express uniqueness and personality within acceptable rules.
Bible Study Notes: The confident Mom, chapter 12 – What are you saying?
Do your words create a cycle of failure? Do you use your words to bless or curse? Negative words that reflect unbelief will undo our prayers and the prayers for our children. When we rehearsing a problem in our mind or by our mouth the doubt it creates will undo our prayers.
Talking about your problems, even if the kids don’t hear the negative comments, the enemy does and he’ll use them to enter the problem and wreak havoc. Every time we talk about our problems it makes it harder for them to change, digging a hole you can’t get out.
Our words do affect our children. God has given us spiritual authority over our kid’s lives. The words we speak about them can harm or help them. God wants us to use our authority to enrich our children’s lives and turn successive generations towards him. All children choose whether they will follow God, but if they’re brought up in a God-saturated environment we’ll greatly impact their decision.
Put your words to work – we are called to bless, no curse them. When you’re tempted to speak words of doubt think on these:
The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. Proverbs 18:21
From the fruit of their lips people are filled with good things Proverbs 12:14a
Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech. 1 Peter 3:10
Bible Study Notes: The confident Mom, chapter 11 – Dare not to compare
We’re anointed by God to raise our kids to be individuals, not carbon copies of us. He’s given them individual gifts and talents. But sometimes we’re not thrilled with our own uniqueness so we compare ourselves to other moms, trying to impress them. Unfortunately, we pass this attitude on to our kids.
There is an epidemic of insecurity in moms today. But Isaiah 54:17 says “no weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from me,” declares the LORD.” Security is part of our spiritual inheritance. Believe that you are secure in Jesus.
Don’t compare yourself to other moms at church, in media or magazines. What you don’t like about yourself is just the thing that God can use. It can be your greatest asset. Find out God’s plan for you, your children, and follow it.
What are your gifts, what did God create you to do?
“Be yourself. Be the mom God created you to be. Use the gifts He’s given you, and follow your unique, individual bent. Don’t try to follow anybody else’s program. Stick with God’s.” ~ ~ Joyce Meyer
Bible Study Notes: The confident Mom, chapter 10, Free to move forward
Even if you started poorly in life if you put God first we can end up good. Even our kids can turn out good in spite of us. So many moms feel guilty about not doing enough…shoulda, woulda, ought, but our children can overcome any mother’s disadvantages or mistakes. Guilt doesn’t please god. It breaks his heart. He sent his Son so we could live guilt free.
To live free from the guilt cycle there are scriptural truths every mother must understand:
- When Jesus went to the cross, he defeated sin once and for all. We can consider ourselves dead to sin by focusing on Jesus and not our shortcomings or mistakes. We’re free to stop being legalists and extend God’s grace and mercy with kids.
- Study what bible says about guilt, forgiveness and grace. Jesus paid the whole price for every sin we’ll ever commit, past present or future. We need to receive and believe it. Pray the word; mediate on the verses you find in your study.
- There’s nothing you’ve done so bad that God can’t forgive. Don’t ignore parenting mistakes, but acknowledge them and apologize. Then pray for your children and trust God to cover the situation. Just don’t buy the lie that children can’t recover from your mistakes.
Bible Study Notes: The confident Mom, chapter 9 – Accentuate the positive
There is nothing more aggravating than complaining, whiny, ungrateful kids with negative attitudes. But could they be getting their attitudes from us? Are they reflecting our behavior?
If we have hope in all things, why is it so easy to drift to the negative? It’s always easier to make the wrong choice; right choices are always harder and take more work. We have a Bible full of promises but we must spend time with God daily and be determined to obey him if we are to see the fulfillment of those promises. Complaining is a sin and if we engage it we open the door to the enemy and before we know it our home is a mess.
Our negative attitudes and complaining not only grieve the Holy Spirit but our family too. Choose to be gracious not grouchy. A good attitude doesn’t come from having the best of everything in life it comes from making the best out of life. God’s power can take what we think is our worst enemy and make it our best friend.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:2-4)
Bible Study Notes: The confident Mom, chapter 8 – Can somebody please help me?
Do have a best friend, confidant, or counselor? Is there someone you run to when you need help or advice? Ask yourself, how did that go, was it helpful? You know, Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to be our counselor, our confidant. Often we don’t get His help because we’re running to others and not to God, either because we’re not confident we’ll hear or be able to discern his voice.
So what can we do to improve our relationship with the Holy Spirit? Strengthen your confidence in your divine connection with the Holy Spirit by focusing on what bible says:
As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him. (1 John 2:27)
And don’t forget to ask. To tap into the wisdom God offers you need to ask him for it. James 1:5-6 says “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.”
To enjoy the benefits of an intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit you must also embrace it. Step out of your comfort zone and the Holy Spirit may lead you to places you may not choose…wonderful and amazing places.
Bible Study Notes: The confident Mom, chapter 7 – No fear here!
Do you believe that it’s normal to worry about your kids? That’s actually a lie from the enemy, it’s not an inevitable part of having children, and it’s certainly not a virtue. A mother’s love doesn’t have to be in a constant state of anxiety because the bible tells us to fear not.
What will worry do for us? It will steal our joy, drain our enthusiasm for life, and darken our days with anxious thoughts and evil forebodings. It wastes our time, makes us sick and creates mental and emotional torture. Worry is sin. It’s disobedience to God. We’re supposed to live by faith not by fear.
How can we over come worry? First, we must fix mind on God’s word, not our worries. Second, refuse to dwell on the negative thoughts that creep into our heads. Third, talk yourself out of worrying; speak life. Do it by faith and your feelings will catch up. Your emotions don’t have to dictate our decisions and reactions.
I constantly fight this area; first with my children and now my grandson. It’s so easy to fall into the worry trap. When I find myself in the grip of evil forebodings, I remind myself if it doesn’t line up with God’s word it’s a lie of the enemy. If it’s a lie then the opposite will happen. I talk myself sane with the word of God.
Bible Study Notes: The confident Mom, chapter 6 – Take a break…and believe
Do you ever feel like running away from home? I sure have. We all get weary and when we do this is dangerous territory because we can lose control of our emotions, we overeat, overspend, make bad decisions and get cranky. When we have nothing left to give anymore, we try to put something back, anything that will fill the void that children can drain from of us. Weariness is the enemy’s playground because we just don’t have what it takes to resist temptation. We must find ways to refresh and rest every day.
Would you like to live like you’re on vacation? Then take Jesus up on his offer in Matthew 11:28-29: 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. Like a vacation for our souls. Leave it to Jesus to solve the problems we can’t, to change attitudes others, choose to remain in his rest.
Bible Study Notes: The confident Mom, chapter 5 – Keep your eyes on the mirror
What do you think Jesus would do about misbehaving children? First, he’d be confident about disciplining because he has the wisdom of God’s. Second, he’d always be patient because he has the fruit of the spirit. Third, he wouldn’t worry because he trusts God for protection. Finally, he’d be a good example 24/7 because he’s the perfect image of God.
We can be like this too because we have Christ living in us. If this is true why do what he wouldn’t do? Understand, our souls and body haven’t been resurrected like our spirits. We haven’t been transformed into his likeness. We’re a work in progress and it’s a long and difficult process.
What can you do? Be patient with yourself and remember it won’t happen overnight. Just keep trusting God. Keep looking to the bible to reveal who you are in Christ and let it show you the changes you need to make with the grace of God. Only then can you live out of your true identity.
Bible Study Notes: The confident Mom, chapter 4 – Fill ‘er up!
In “The Confident Mom”, Joyce refers to moms as maternal Jekyll and Hydes. Can you relate? I know I can. One minute I’m “oh I love you my precious” then a second later Hyde says “ARE YOU KIDDING ME, YOU DID WHAT?” Do you think a mother’s love has limits or is it unconditional? First Corinthians 13:4-5 says, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.” Seriously…patient, kind, not easily angered? I know it can surely be challenging when your child dumps water on your computer (like Kai did this morning) or when you walk into a kitchen and the floor is covered with sugar, salt, spices and for a little color lets add a bottle of mustard.
When challenged by motherhood, remember you can’t give away what you don’t have. Do you believe God loves you unconditionally? Take the time to study God’s love. Confess what the bible says about his love. Spend time meditating over verses like John 3:16; 15:9,13; 16.27; 17:23: Romans 5:8: 8:38: and 1 John 3:1. As Joyce says, “If we want to pour out God’s love into the lives of our children, we must first receive it for ourselves.”
We’re often so busy taking care of the needs of others that we ignore our own needs. The result is often fatigue, weakness and even illness. The best thing you can do for your family is to spend time with God daily. But where you go, how you find the time to be alone to get that first hour of the day with God can be a challenge. Don’t ever feel guilty about this time away from your family. It’s the best investment in your family that you can make. Your time with God is a supernatural cycle of investment and increase.
Bible Study Notes: The confident Mom, chapter 3 – God can handle it
The storms of life come into all our lives at one time or another, and another, and another. Deuteronomy 31:6 says “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” How has this verse help you in your storms? How have you seen god’s hand in the storm?
He is with us always, even raising difficult children, screaming children, colicky babies, out too late teens, wayward 20 something’s. He’s there in the mountains of work, in despair over your challenging situations and in the dryness of broken relationships.
Don’t panic in times of trouble, don’t have the attitude “I can’t handle this”. Just ask God for a verse to pray and lean into Jesus. Whatever your need, god will give you the grace to deal with it.
“God will help you succeed as a mom and fulfill his plans through you, not because you’re perfect, but because he’s perfect.” – – Joyce Meyer
Bible Study Notes: The confident Mom, chapter 2 – Perfect women need not apply
Do you strive for perfection in any area of your life? But then, if we were perfect we wouldn’t need Jesus. Remember, God wants us to do only a few simple things:
- Make Jesus our lord and savior
- Get to know Him and His word and develop an intimate relationship with Him
- Lean on and trust him for wisdom and strength
- Follow the leading of the Holy Spirit to change us
Simple? Remember, these too are gradual because we learning as we walk our individual journeys. He doesn’t expect us to be perfect but to have a relationship with him. What can you do to lessen the pull of perfectionism? Separate your who from your do. We are human beings, not human doings.
If you’re concerned about the mistakes you make while your children watch just be quick to repent and get back on track with God. Your kids will see that too and it will help them to see how things are done in the real world. They need to know we’re spiritually mature and spiritually growing. Let them see you pray every day. Let them hear you praise god. But also let them watch you stumble and get right back up walking in faith. Give it to Jesus, pray they then won’t be harmed by your occasional mistakes.
If you want some example here are a few women in the bible that made mistakes:
- Sarah – didn’t wait for God to give her a son but ran out ahead and today we see the effects throughout the Middle East.
- Rahab – although a prostitute she helped the Israelite spies, married one of them and became great-grandmother of King David.
- Bathsheba – In an adulterous relationship with King David, she had a son but God allowed the child to die. Then she has Solomon who was considered to be the wisest king in the bible.
Then there are more contemporary mothers, such as your very own mentor mom. I’ve had to fight perfectionism all my life but I have learned to trust in God and remember that I am not what I do.
How have you conquered the need to strive for perfection?
Bible Study Notes: The confident Mom, chapter 1 – Are we having fun yet?
Are you a joyful mom or is your joy burdened by the daily mundane? What can you do about life’s burdens? You can:
eliminate it…does it really need done at all?
Delegate it…can someone else do it?
Procrastinate…does it really need done now?
But at a deeper level, how can you have the confidence and joy to be a mother?
- Believe God has equipped you with all you need.
- Don’t focus on weaknesses and shortcomings
- celebrate what God has given you
“God didn’t create us to raise our children under a cloud of insecurity. Insecurity saps our faith. It robs us of our joy. It cheats us out of the boldness we need to really excel at what God has called us to do.” – – Joyce Meyer, The Confident Mom
They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes. Revelation 7:16-17, KJV
This is one of the most comforting passages in all literature. It teaches that our loved ones are in a place of peace and beauty. They are under the watchful care of God and regularly experience His tenderness. The deep hunger and thirst of their souls has been satisfied. God, like a loving mother, puts His protection over them and with a kindly hand wipes away every tear from their eyes. This He has done for your dear ones who have crossed over to the other side.
If you learn to love this passage and meditate upon it, He will wipe away every tear from your eyes, also.
~ ~ Norman Vincent Peale
There is no need to wait till we reach the other side of life to receive God’s loving care. We will still experience hunger, thirst and other basic needs, but God will fulfill our needs and set our hearts at rest if we lean on and trust him. We can experience the kingdom of God right now as we dwell in his hove.
Reflect: Are you resting in the love of God? Are you experiencing is peace?
And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins. Mark 11:25, NIV
If you are not getting answers to your prayers, check yourself very thoroughly and honestly as to whether you have resentments in your mind.
Spiritual power cannot pass through a personality where resentment exists. Hate is a non-conductor of spiritual energy.
I suggest that every time you pray, you add this phrase, “Lord, take from my thought all ill will, grudges, hates, jealousies.” Then practice casting these things from your thoughts.
~ ~ Norman Vincent Peale
What we hold against another is a strong soul blocker. The Holy Spirit cannot, no, will not, penetrate into that darkness. Much is said throughout the bible on unforgivenss. It is a sin against the second law – love your neighbor. Who is our neighbor? Well, who isn’t? Holding any resentment, anger, unforgivenes…against another is a slap in the face of God. Look at all he has forgiven and continues to forgive us for.
Reflect: Is there any (list different ways you hold something against another, i.e. resentment, envy, jealousy, etc) in your heart towards another. Forgive immediately, not for them but for your own soul. For what God has done for you.
I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Psalm 34:4, NIV
A cure for fear that will absolutely work is to get close to God in your thoughts. He is the only certain, unchanging factor in the world. He will never let you down, nor forget you. If plagued by fear, do what this text says: “Seek the Lord.” That may be done by spending 15 minutes every day just thinking about God. You can split this up into five minute periods, but never let a day pass without spending 15 minutes thinking about God.
Each day, make the following statement, “I surrender myself and all my problems, my loved ones, my future into the hands of God, and I trust Him.”
Three times every day, thank God for all His goodness. Soon your life will be filled with God, and emptied of apprehensions.
~ ~ Norman Vincent Peale
There can be no fear in faith but there can be no faith without God. The more we experience God the more our faith will grow. Fear is a great tormentor and a key tool of our enemy. With fear he can eradicate our faith putting a wedge between us and God.
Reflect: Do you fight fear? Do you have trouble living to Jesus? Repent of your disbelief and let the peace of Jesus calm your fears.
This is a place of quiet rest. Isaiah 28:12, NLT
These few words remind us of a spring of cool water because of their renewing quality. The frequent use of today’s text has an invigorating effect.
Sometimes, after a busy day or even in the midst of exacting activities, stop and say these words over to yourself and note how they dissipate weariness and refresh the body, mind, and spirit.
The best method for using these words is to say them slowly, emphasizing their soft quiet melody. At the same time conceive of peace, rest, and renewal as coming to you.
~ ~ Norman Vincent Peale
Yet another piece of advice I need to take. With little time and space for quiet solitude I need to find it where I can. Often the bathroom works but that’s not even off-limits to a four-year-old. I need to seek my place of quiet rest in the midst of chaos. If Paul can find contentment in a Roman prison filled with sewage, and yes lots of noise, I can surely find quiet in my chaos.
Reflect: Where do you find your quiet rest?
You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Isaiah 26:3, NLT
If your mind is filled with defeat thoughts, fear thoughts, resentment thoughts, you are bound to be in a state of mental unrest, even turmoil, and of course there can be no inner peace.
This passage advises you to practice thinking about God, to keep your mind “stayed” or fixed, not upon your troubles but upon God.
Keep your mind on God for as many minutes during the day as possible. This may be difficult at first for you are unused to spiritual concentration. Practice will make it easier.
~ ~ Norman Vincent Peale
Any spirit that is not of God is a peace stealer and puts our focus on our problems rather than the Lord. It’s often the “little sin’s” that do us the most harm. They eat away at our soul and spirit. Those soul blockers keep up a wall between us and God and keep us from receiving his help and peace.
It’s hard for the mind to be full of wrong spirits when it’s focused on God. Even if you have to refocus every other second, eventually you will break free and enjoy God’s true peace.
Reflect: Do you have a complaining spirit? A spirit of gossip? A negative spirit? A nit-picky, nagging spirit? These aren’t of God. Pray that the lord will help you. Reject those spirits and embrace the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken. Psalm 55:22, NIV
A human mind can stand only so much weight. One mental burden piled upon another, unless relief is obtained, will in due course reach your breaking point and cause serious difficulty. Fortunately, you do not need to carry your burdens without assistance. God will help you carry them.
But how is this done? It is accomplished in the mind. Practice thinking that God is actually with you. Tell Him about your burdens, and believe that He relieves and assists you. Form a picture of yourself as shifting your burdens to Him. He is willing to assume them and is perfectly able to do so. But, and this is most important, don’t half give them. And don’t take them back. Let God handle them. Leave them with Him.
~ ~ Norman Vincent Peale
Ah, good words here. “…don’t half give them. And don’t take them back”. Too often, we want to hold a little back for ourselves. We can handle a little “I can do it”, but all that says is “Jesus, you aren’t enough, you need my help”. Again, don’t take them back. We all get impatient. We may think “God, why are you taking your sweet time? I need to help now”. But remember, God’s timing is perfect. Cast your cares – all of them – and trust he will fulfill.
Reflect: Do you at times think, “I can do it.” or “God I’ll do it, You’re too slow”. Pray for forgiveness and rest in his strength.
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” I Corinthians 2:9, NLT
Possibly life has become difficult—even dismal. You may not be getting zest or thrill out of living.
The text for today will restore the old delight in life. It tells you that you have never seen, nor heard, nor even imagined all the marvelous, amazingly fascinating things that God will do for those who love Him, trust Him, and put His principles into practice.
As you surrender your life to God, every experience of living will grow increasingly more wonderful.
~ ~ Norman Vincent Peale
It is true, we can’t imagine what God has prepared for us, not in this life or the next. But we still need to prepare to receive it. We must spend time with God, in silence and solitude, mediate on is word, live with a heart of worship and enjoy a conversational relationship with the father.
The more we do these things the more our love for the father will grow. And the more we will be able to handle what more he has for us.
Reflect: How do you prepare your heart for the Father? How does your love grow?
Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31, NIV
This beautiful sentence describes the greatest experience that can ever happen to you. It is called spiritual experience. You get it by completely surrendering yourself to God, and experiencing His presence. Then the heavy weights of your life drop away, and you are lifted to eagle-like levels of freedom and power.
But no one can permanently live in such exalted emotional heights. Nevertheless, the power stays with you so that you can move through life with a speed and strength you never had before; you can “run and not be weary.” Then even when you get up against day-by-day situations that used to be difficult and monotonous, this power is so great that it keeps you going without depletion of strength. Spiritual experience begins by lifting you to new high levels, after which it helps you to keep going with continuous power.
~ ~ Norman Vincent Peale
I love this verse and reading this with Peale’s comments has given me much encouragement. So often I do feel weary I realize I’ve forgotten to rely on God’s strength. My day-to-day will not exhaust me so long as I remain on the vine, connected to Jesus, letting him lead the way. I can feel myself breathing easier just reading these words.
Reflect: How does Peale’s spiritual experience transfer to your own life?
If anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. Mark 11:23, NIV
Almost alone this passage can revolutionize your life and change defeat into victory.
What does it tell you? That your “mountain,” that great rock-like obstruction, that tremendous barrier, can be broken down and ousted from your life. You must not doubt “in your heart.” Allow no negative thoughts to exist in your subconscious mind.
Pray that your mountainous difficulty shall be removed and, as you pray, believe that it is being done then and now. Don’t have the hazy idea that “this mountain” may be removed sometime in the future, but believe that God is removing it for you now.
~ ~ Norman Vincent Peale
Whatever the mountain, i.e.: trouble, circumstance, situation, bondage, or personal soul blocker, it can be gone. We must believe it so, not that we have some mystical power but through our unwavering belief that God will do it. He already has. Just wait and as our faith and belief grow so will the removal of our mountains.
Reflect: How is your faith during times of waiting for your mountain to move?
If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17, KJV
Never be discouraged about yourself. You may have tried all your life long to rid yourself of your weaknesses, your obsessions, jealousies, sins, inferiorities, without success. Your failure is probably that you have been trying to make yourself over. That is a long, tedious, and essentially impossible project.
But it can be done in no time at all by Christ. All you need do is to say to Him simply, “Lord, I do not want to be this way anymore,” and mean it. He will do for you what you cannot do for yourself—effect a lasting change in you. Ask Him to change you.
~ ~ Norman Vincent Peale
It’s such a hard thing to believe that we are new creatures. Paul uses the present tense here. Not we will become new creatures. The old things are passed away. We are new. But too often our own disbelief keeps us living like the old creature. Like an addiction, we hang on to the familiar. Christ has made us new. We are new. Embrace the real you and let the outward evidence begin.
Take a few minutes and have a memorial service for the old you. Bury it and forget it.
Reflect: What areas do you have trouble believing you are new?