Thursday, April 15, 2010

Filling Up and Standing Up Go Hand in Hand

Today I have a Proverbs 31 devotion running, called Choose Where You Will Stand, which covers the topic of standing up for our faith in a world that now seems to be completely against the mere thought of Christianity.

In this devo, I referenced Proverbs 20:5, which says, "Knowing what is right is like deep water in the heart; a wise person draws from the well within" (The Message).

This "well within" is referring to that deep place in our hearts where we have tucked away Gods truths, promises, and Words. That secret place where all those spiritual things we have learned throughout our lifetime and our Christian walk are stored. That special place where spiritual wisdom and discernment resides.

Each one of us who have professed faith in Jesus Christ, has this well within our hearts. A well that upon our acceptance of Jesus, was enthusiastically built and passionately filled to the brim with Gods love.

But at times, regardless of how deeply or how long we have loved the Lord, life can drain our wells.

The anxieties and worries that we experience every day as we face problems in marriage, parenting, finances, work, family, health, the economy, the culture, etc, can eventually cause the wells within our hearts to seem dry and dusty.

Or maybe our heart wells are running dry, simply because we have not made our relationship with Christ a priority in our lives. We have become too busy, our plates are too full, and we are pulled in so many directions that we inadvertently forget to turn to God along the way.

Or, maybe our wells have run dry, because it seems that Christianity is slowly but gradually getting pushed to the back burner in our nation, while the work of Satan and the voices of those against God are seen and heard loud and clear. Maybe hopelessness and despair for what we wish our country could still be, are the culprits.

In any case, the end result is a dry well. A heart thirsty for God. A mind that knows what is right, but that fails to tap into the well in tough decisions. A walk that does not exemplify God. An increased level of tolerance for what is not right in Gods eyes. And a decreased ability to stand up for our faith in every day situations.

I think I can safely say, that none of us want to walk around with a dried up heart well! So how do we deepen the waters of our heart again, with the living water that only God can provide? How do we dig deep into our wells, and draw refreshing water out that helps us shine as a light for Christ every day?

Thank goodness Jesus did not leave us to figure out this question on our own. 2 Peter 1:3 says, "Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by getting to know, personally and intimately, the One who invited us to God. The best invitation we ever received!" (MSG)

Hebrews 4:12 says "For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart."

These verses portray that all we have to do to fill up our wells so deep that Gods strength and power exude from every ounce of our being, is to store His knowledge and promises away in our hearts. To memorize His Words. To get to know Him intimately, and personally. To love Him with such passion, that if anyone dares to speak out against Him, that we will stand up for our faith, without regard for what others think.

That kind of faith is powerful - but rare. None of us want to be ridiculed, judged, misunderstood or shunned, because of our love for Christ. But it is those common fears, that have led our country, and our world, down a road that is getting farther and farther from the one where Jesus treads.

Those common fears are the sole reason that our children can no longer pray in school; that our government wants to remove "in God we trust" from our currency and remove the word "God" from the pledge of allegiance.

Those common fears are the reason that abortions are common place, gay marriages are legalized, businesses no longer acknowledge Christ in Christian holidays; and governments, schools and business bend over backwards to tolerate every religion under the sun EXCEPT for Christianity.

Isnt it high time that Christians start standing up for what is right in Gods eyes, instead of accepting the wrongs because we are afraid of what other eyes might think? Through Christ, we can have a faith that is stronger than those common fears.

I think it is high time that all of us, as children in the Kingdom of God, begin to speak up, and stand up! As Christians, we need to have a bold faith. A faith that is overflowing from the wells in our hearts, and be willing to take on anyone who tries to speak out against what Gods Word claims to be true and right.

The word Christian simply means Christ-like. We can never be perfect, or anywhere near capable of living up to all that Christ was, but we can strive to be like Him. We can strive to honor with Him our lips and our lives. We can strive to be transformed by His power within us.

We can strive to glorify Him through our actions, by clinging to our faith as if it we were our only lifeline, which actually, it really is.

At the rate things are going, eventually God, our God, the God of Israel, the Father of Abraham, Jacob, and Isaac, is going to be out of the picture. Are we going to let that happen?

You know, it is hard to even imagine what this world would be like today, if the Christians in all the decades past had vigorously and endlessly stood up for what is right and made their voices heard loud and clear, rather than being drowned out by the few voices that opposed all that God stood for. Hard to consider what our society might look like today, if me, and you, and every other Christian alive, vigorously and tirelessly stood up for Christ every day - locally, regionally, and nationally about the downfall of morals and values and Godly decisions in our government and society today.

Hmmmmm..... I can only imagine.

Lets bind together today, as sisters in Christ, and start filling up our heart wells with the knowledge of all that Christ Was, Is and will forever Be. Then lets stand up and fight the good fight of faith - in our homes, our neighborhoods, our communities, our cities, our states, our country.

It only took the voice of one woman in 1973, to get abortion legalized. She had an opinion, that was completely opposite of Gods Word, and her one voice was heard loud and clear. Since then, millions and millions of innocent babies have died.

Let us never forget that our voice matters. That our faith, our willingness and our passion to stand up for what is right, can make a difference. It only takes one voice to glorify God, and it only takes One God to make amazing things happen through that one voice.

Jesus has already won the battle, but in the meantime, lets stand up and defend His mighty victory!!! Lets start filling up our heart wells to the brim, so that we can faithfully stand up with power, passion and purpose for Christ.

By filling up with God, and standing up for God, we CAN make a difference.
______________________________________________

Have you stood up for your faith in a special way? Have you defended God in your home, community, city or state? Are you considering doing something radical for God out of pure passion for what He stands for and who He is? Has your voice made a difference for Christ in any small or huge way?

If so, I would love for you to share those experiences by leaving a comment! Nothing is more encouraging and motivating than to hear how others are fighting the good fight of faith, to see how God is using ordinary people to do extraordinary things, and to know that none of us are not in this battle alone.

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7 comments:

Donna said...

Tracie,

I receive the Prov. 31 devotionals and I thoroughly enjoyed yours today! I have been challenged today to keep fighting for what is right, pure, and holy!

Thank you for sharing your wisdom and for encouraging me and many other women to stand in the right court!

Blessings~

Jennifer said...

When I read your devo on Encouragement Today, I was initially frustrated by what I read as helplessness in the statement "we have no power over. . ." BUT, I am SO grateful for the link to your blog where you expand and inspire!
RIGHT ON. . .it only takes one to stand for what is true, right and good! Let's all commit to being that one; and then one will turn into many and we know Who wins!!!
May God continue to guide, bless, encourage and inspire you mightily! Thank you for being one who inspires and encourages!!!

Pam said...

Loved your Prov 31 devotional for today. Choices - we all have to make them from the moment our eyes open in the morning. Remembering the old testament story in Joshua 24 when he gave this proclamation "Choose this day whom you will serve . . . but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." Knowing my choices will determine blessings or cursings, I choose blessings today!

Jess said...

WOW, Tracie, thank you for such awesome encouragement this morning! your blog & devo on P31 is so very relevant for me, over the last year I have felt so very isolated as I have chosen to stand firm fighting for the reconciliation of my marriage, by staying in the word and crying out to God for strength, discernment and grace while my husband has abandoned his faith, our marriage and been sucked into worldly desires. My prayer is that God would be glorified have the victory over this 'warfare' and that His light would brightly shine thru me and ‘that many would see what he has done and be amazed, and put their trust in the Lord. ‘ psalm 40: 3

Tammi said...

Hi Tracie! This is exactly what I needed today! Just had a conversation with my husband about this. He's having trouble at work. Put 24 years in with a company (big company)and now it seems that it's all "for nothing." The benefits that he worked so hard for are not there..management is using part-timers, etc...you get the idea. Frustration big time! But oh! The enemy knows what buttons to push, even for our precious husbands! And it seems that "trigger" for them is THEIR JOBS. When listening to him vent, I couldn't help but hear an underlying theme. I had to ask, "Seems like this may be about more than unfairness at work. Do you have faith that God is allowing this to happen for a specific purpose in YOUR life?" OH! To see clearly through our storms! Wisdom! We need wisdom--the "defogger"--in the midst of our murky darkness! Wisdom can only be received by walking hand-in-hand WITH Wisdom (The Lord!) Let's be encouraged, ladies, to stand firm in our faith, glean wisdom from the Lord by reading His Word, pray for our husbands, and pray for our faith to grow... even when it seems we are "losing control" over our situation. (since when did we really ever "have it" to begin with??) Remember, without faith it is impossible to please Him! If we come to Him, with our troubles, we must BELIEVE that He IS, not was..but IS able to work this out for our good and His glory! And guess what..He's the rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Gotta run...need to do some seeking! Have a great day, Tracie! :)

Angie said...

This is a story shared by my bible study leader.

She was getting her haircut and could not but overhear the conversation beside her. Two women were talking about another woman that was soon to be married. This soon to be married woman had shared how she had prayed for a godly man to marry and that is what God had given to her. The two women began to make their own comments like "I don't want a godly man, I want a naughty man." My bible study leader spoke up saying how she thought it was wonderful that this woman had prayed for a godly man and that God had answered her prayer.

She could have let this conversation pass but the woman that was cutting her hair knew she was a christian. She knew this was the perfect time to stand up for her faith and her beliefs.

Teresa said...

Thank you Tracie for speaking TRUTH with conviction and unwavering FAITH to do what is right. My heart is convicted and humbled because of many of the truths and commandments you said in your devo that I do not always attend to when not in the midst of other Christians. So thank you for letting the Lord use you to speak and spread the true for us "BELIEVERS" to stand strong and firm in such times as these.

Thank you dear sister in Christ.
Peace and blessings!