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July 2021

31 July – Move Your Feet Forward

Everyone can fall back into our old habits and mindsets when they fail to move forward. God speaks, or we feel prompted to take a new direction or forward step, but then we fail to do it. We vacillate and commiserate over what we are leaving behind or what changes we have to make, and instead of running into our destiny and the plans God has for us we stop, and do nothing! And the longer we do nothing, the further away from making a quality decision we get.

Finally, it seems that what we first felt impressed and encouraged to do becomes a distant memory, and we can start stepping back into the things we once left behind. Those habits and mindsets we worked hard to shift out of our lives begin to creep back in, and before we know it, we are struggling with the same old stuff all over again.

A question to ask ourselves is, “how many times have I done that in life, and how many times will I continue to miss God’s direction and best for my life because I fail to act at the opportune time?”

There are seasons and moments in life that God needs you to take action. You will be required to move your feet at some point.

Today, I encourage you to determine in your heart to MOVE YOUR FEET so that you don’t miss another thing. Decide to be brave, bold and courageous, and to take the needed steps forward that you know you need to take. God promises that He will light the path and guide you, but it’s up to you whether you choose to look and listen to where and what He is leading you to.

God never planned for you to remain in the same old place you are in, but for you to always keep moving forward from faith to faith, even when that may challenge you.

Today write down the last thing you felt you should step out on, or that you believed God spoke to you about, that you then didn’t do. Ask God if there is still time to take up this opportunity, and if He says yes, ask Him to lead and guide you again, and then most importantly, choose to follow.

If you’ve missed it, don’t despair, but ask for Gods’ forgiveness for your lack of action (or going off in the wrong direction), and ask Him to direct you in what you should do now. He is the great redeemer of our mess-ups and always has a plan and purpose for us to walk in, but the key is to keep moving forward with Him!

 “I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.” (Philippians 3:14 The Message)

 “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” (Psalm 119:119 NKJV)

“The righteous keep moving forward, and those with clean hands become stronger and stronger.”(Job 17:9 NLT)

Prayer: Lord, please help me to be brave, bold and courageous, and to keep moving forward, even when what’s ahead may challenge or “freak” me out. I want to be all that you created me to be and experience all that you have planned for my life. In Jesus Name Amen.

30 July – I Believe In You

One of the things I have realised as a parent is that you look for the best in your children. Even when aspects of their character need some work, we choose to focus on enhancing their strengths and seeing their greatness while praying and speaking into any weaknesses.

Likewise, God sees greatness in you and knows full well what you are capable of. When He looks at you, He sees the best and what others often don’t see or recognise.

Samuel 16: 7 tells of the contrast between how people saw David and how God saw him. It says, “…For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

David was overlooked by his own family and viewed as too insignificant to even be included in a celebration with Samuel the prophet. Yet God noticed David; He saw His heart and believed in what He could be.

The woman who washed Jesus’ feet with her tears was known as a woman of ill repute or a prostitute and had been written off as a no-good hopeless sinner, unworthy of any consideration or compassion. However, Jesus was different. He saw the best in her. He saw who she was created to be and not just what she had become. Overwhelmed by the greatness of God’s forgiveness towards her, she began to cry, and the tears fell on the feet of Jesus. Untying her hair, she used it to dry his feet, and then with the little she had of value, she anointed Jesus’ feet with her precious bottle of perfume. (Luke 7:36-50)

Those watching commented, “This man is no prophet! If he were a prophet, he would know about this sinful woman! He would turn her away”.

Sadly far too often, we can respond the same way. How quick are we to pass judgment, presume, and fail to look and see the best in people? We fail at the very thing for which we too have to be grateful for. That God sees the best in us. That He believes in us, and when He looks, He sees all the things that are possible for our lives.

Jesus forgave the woman because He saw the best in her when everyone else could only see the worst. Because of Jesus’ compassion and reassurance, this woman chose to acknowledge that her lifestyle was not God’s best for her and she realised how valuable she was. Jesus didn’t condemn or give her a lecture on the error of her ways; He loved and welcomed her into his presence, and it changed her life forever.

Jesus is still the same. He still believes and looks for the best in each one of us. He still believes in you regardless of what your life may look like to others, or even who and what you see when you look in the mirror. He loves you and still welcomes all who come to Him into His presence.

Today take a look in the mirror and ask Jesus to show you what He sees when he looks at you. Know that you are of value and greatly loved. That He believes the best of you. Then as you meet others today, imitate Jesus and look for the greatness and best in them too.

Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)

And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. (Ephesians 3:18-19)

Prayer: Lord, thank you that you see the best in me. Would you please help me see myself as you do and start to live out of that new understanding of who I am in you? Then please help me to show the same grace and love to all I meet today. In Jesus Name. Amen.

29 July – How To Prosper Your Soul

When you feel anxious, stressed, or downright blah about life, prospering your soul is one of the best things you can do.

The Vine’s Dictionary defines the soul as “the seat of intellect”: the seat of the sentient element in man, that by which he perceives, reflects, feels, and desires. Basically, the soul is the place that houses your will, emotions, and intellect (the thinking, reasoning part of you).

The bible also talks about the importance of prospering our souls. John, one of Jesus’ disciples who was known to have gone through both amazing and very stretching times, said, “Beloved, I wish above all things that you prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers” [3 John 1: 2]

To begin to prosper our souls is to, “be careful how we think; for our life is shaped by our thoughts”. (Proverbs 4:23)

God wants us to do and be around those things that lift us, fills our thinking with positivity, and makes us feel alive, at peace, and full of joy. As we prosper, our soul (mind, will, and emotions) are renewed and transformed, and we begin to rise up and flourish in every area of our life, which is what true prosperity is – in all things, it is well with us.

I encourage you to make a list and build into your schedule those things that lift you and bring you joy. Imagine, dream, explore, read, watch, listen to and pamper yourself with those things that are life-giving, good, and not evil, and the truth of what God says about your life.

If you can’t think of anything or are in a funk, just do something. It doesn’t have to be big; it could be simple as a cup of coffee at your favourite cafe, enjoying some great scenery, (watch or listen to something uplifting if you are stuck in lockdown), eat good food and surround yourself with positive company, do some exercise, participate in a sport, try a new hobby, listen or play music, create, go shopping, etc.  The key is to explore, discover and surround yourself with all the goodness, beauty and joy triggers in your life.

Beloved, I wish above all things that you prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers” [3 John 1: 2]

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12:2)

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honourable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” (Philippians 4:8)

“The soul of a lazy man desires, and has nothing, but the soul of the diligent shall be made rich.” (Proverbs 13:6)

Prayer: Lord, please help me understand myself better, reveal anything that is not right in my heart, and help me deal with it so I can enjoy my life more.  I’m lining up my thoughts with your thoughts today and choosing to think on and do those things that lift and inspire me today. In Jesus name Amen.
 


28 July – Take Some Time Out

I’m currently in a lockdown in our city, which has just been extended for another month. I’m choosing to trust that God will work some good out of all the mess.

One positive is that I have no choice but to stop and take some time out from my usual schedule.

Life can feel like you are riding a merry go round with plenty of action but no real movement to achieving any set goals or reaching a destination.

I’ve learnt the hard way the benefits and necessity of taking breaks to recharge and relax spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically.

Here are some reasons and positives of regularly taking time out:

Opportunity to re-evaluate your priorities

You can easily fall into step with what everyone else around you is doing, even if they are not the values, beliefs or life you want to live. When you stop, it allows you to re-evaluate and check you are on the “right track” to achieving your goals and becoming the best version of you.

Be still and wait on God.

It’s in being still and waiting quietly that you are spiritually refreshed and strengthened. It’s also how we refocus and draw closer to Jesus.

Be still, and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10)

He gives strength to the weary, And to him who lacks might He increases power”. (Is 40:29:11)

Don’t let the urgent overtake the important. When you pause, evaluate, and don’t go rushing into situations, but take time to focus on what is important, the so-called “urgent” problems will often take care of themselves.

Prepare for tomorrow. Taking time to reflect on yesterday and evaluating our successes and failures honestly helps you prepare for tomorrow.  No experience is ever wasted if you learn from it and adjust positively from mistakes and lessons learnt. God works all things out for good.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose”.(Romans 8:28)

Taking time out increases your capacity for thankfulness and the ability to count your blessings. When you are constantly rushing around, you can miss the miracles and good things that happen all around you every day. It’s good to stop and give thanks.

Give out of the overflow. Taking time out helps prepare you for the pressures and battles of life. If you are running on empty, not giving time for physical, mental, emotional and spiritual rest, you will be drawing on depleted strength instead of an overflow. When you take time out to be refreshed, you can live and give out of the overflow.

Relaxation and rest are vital to you feeling right. Your emotional, physical,  mental and spiritual health will greatly determine how you react to situations. The healthier you feel, the better you are equipped to manage difficulties and decisions.

Schedule weekly time outs. It can be as simple as turning the phone and electronics off, reading a book, doing something creative or just sleeping in. Find what prospers your soul and take some regular time out.

“Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers” (3 John 1:2)

Prayer: Lord, help me to take time out to re-energize. I don’t want to be constantly moving but never getting anywhere. Reveal to me if I need to make any changes in my life as I stop and wait on you. In Jesus name. Amen.

27 July – How To Get Rid Of Fear

Fear is one of those things that will seize any opportunity to attack and try to sap your confidence and strength.

I’ve leant that fear has a distinct voice; it’s the, “you can’t do that, what if this happens, you’re so unattractive, you’re going to fail, get hurt, sick, die, lose, or look like an idiot”. The more you listen to fear’s voice, the more you will begin to doubt God’s goodness, protection, abilities, intellect, attractiveness, and overall worth.

Whereas when I hone in on what God says about my life and circumstances by spending time in his presence and reading His words in the bible, I receive the needed confidence and empowerment to do whatever He has asked, tackle the tasks in front of me and keep pursuing my goals and dreams.

The best way I know to overcome fear is to choose to refuse to allow your heart to fear what Jesus has defeated for you.

Preach to yourself if you need to, and throughout the day, speak out what is true regarding your situation, rather than believing and being dictated to by fear and lies.

As the words of Phil Wickham’s song “God of Revival” says,

“You (Jesus) rose in victory, and now you’re seated
Forever on the throne
So why should my heart fear what you defeated?
I will trust in you alone”
.

Today determine to give fear a swift kick out the door so that you can get on with your day free from fears, negative voice and lies. For with God, all things are possible, and why should your heart fear what he has defeated. In Him, we have all the wisdom, strength and confidence we need.

“So do not fear for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10) 

“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” (Psalm 56:3)

Prayer: Today, fear I am kicking you out the door. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I believe Gods promises are true and that God has me and every situation I face today in His hands. Thank you, Lord, that you love and care about me. In Jesus name Amen

26 July – Keep Believing

God does answer prayer but one of the things I’ve learnt over time is that He doesn’t always repeat what He has done before or how we might expect. He will often answer quite differently from what we have experienced previously and just because we can’t physically see something happening, does not mean that there is nothing happening, so it pays to keep believing.

Sometimes the answer is instantly obvious, such as when Jesus and his disciples found themselves in the middle of a furious storm. Jesus stood up and spoke to the wind and the waves and they died down and were completely calm.

A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher don’t you care if we drown?”

He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. (Mark 4:37-40)

However other times when Jesus spoke into a situation nothing visibly seemed to change. An example is when Jesus and his disciples were walking along the road and Jesus was hungry and came to a fig tree that had no fruit. He spoke to the fig tree and said, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again”. The fig tree however didn’t suddenly shrivel up instantly before Jesus and his disciple’s eyes. No! Nothing visibly looked like it had changed; yet on returning the next morning along “that road again they all saw the fig tree had withered from the roots. “Peter remembered and said to Jesus “Rabbi, look! The tree you cursed has withered!” (Mark 11:14; 20-21)

So often when we pray or receive prayer we can miss what God is doing or give up on our faith because we underestimate what is going on beneath the surface and mistakenly presume nothing is happening.

But Jesus’ example in prayer teaches us that:

1. It’s by faith that we receive the things we speak and ask for. Jesus rebuked the disciples for their lack of believing and faith. He encouraged them after seeing the result and power of faith filled words to “Have faith in God, and “whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” (Mark 11:22-24).

If we lack faith the bible says to seek God and His way of doing things, and to build our confidence in His ability by hearing and speaking His word. His word and He are one, and it’s powerful when it gets down on the inside of us, and we allow it to transform us from the inside out.

Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17)

2. Things don’t always happen the same way twice. Read the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) and you’ll soon discover that Jesus didn’t always pray, speak and minister exactly the same way. Sometimes He just spoke the Word, other times He spoke and then physically did something, such as when he put mud on people’s eyes or even spat on them.

Seek God for His methods and way of working in each situation you face, rather than acting in presumption.

3. The answer to our prayer is not always immediately visible. The fig tree looked like any other fig tree even after Jesus had spoken to it. Yet at Jesus’ spoken word something had began to change. That tree beneath the surface, at it’s core and root had begun to shrivel up. Jesus’ words and faith had already worked, but it was only the next morning that the disciples were able to “see it”.

When you pray or receive prayer for something don’t only look in the physical realm for evidence of the answer. Stand believing in the truth of God’s Word and the effective power of your prayer, knowing that “whatever we ask for in prayer will be ours if we continue to believe and speak God’s word”. (Mark 11:22-24)

Today, be encouraged that when you pray God will be working. Even if you can’t see anything physically, don’t underestimate that He will be working behind the scenes, at the root of the issue and on the inside of us. Take heart and trust in God’s faithfulness and goodness, as you praise Him for your answers.

Prayer: Lord thankyou that at your word things change, and that even if I can’t see the changes, that doesn’t mean nothing is happening. Help me to stand on your word, and to keep speaking and believing in your promises until I fully receive in every way. In Jesus name Amen.

25 July – Get Rid Of Strife

Strife means, vigorous or bitter conflict, discord and antagonism; to quarrel, struggle or clash; competition, and rivalry. It’s one of the most dangerous weapons the devil has in his arsenal against us, and when we allow strife into our lives, it’s like an open door to trouble because, “where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.” (James 3:14-16)

Plus, leave strife to take root, and it will eventually limit our faith and the effectiveness of our prayers because our faith works by love, not anger or discord. (Galatians 5:6).

Strife gives the devil an invitation to bring confusion and every type of evil into our lives. That’s why he’s always tempting us to argue, become angry, speak harsh words and push us towards getting offended, impatient and critical of others.

Before we ask Jesus into our lives, we are under the control of the dominion of darkness, but the bible says our salvation delivers us out of this kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of God. (Colossians 3:1) At that point, the devil loses any authority over us. The blessings of our salvation, peace, healing, wellbeing, provision, and abundance in every area of our lives belong to us from the moment we become part of God’s family.

However, the devil does not want us to enjoy any of these things but since he has no right’s or authority over us any longer, so he has to use trickery and deception to gain access to our lives. One of his tricks is to try to get us into strife and offence, orchestrating opportunities for us to fall into conflict. He knows that the moment we step into strife, he can begin to gain a foothold in our affairs and control our lives.

If we want our faith to work, our prayers to be answered, to walk in supernatural miracle-working power, and to experience peace, joy, provision, and blessing in every area of our lives, we must kick strife out and keep it out!

To be mindful every day that if we step into arguing, selfishness, bad temper and speaking harsh words with others, that we have to be just as quick to go to God, ask forgiveness, and forgive others so that the devil can gain no foothold.

Jesus knows we need help and says if we remain vitally connected to Him and allow His love and power to be shed abroad in our hearts we will be able to live free from strife gaining a foothold in our lives.

Jesus said, “Dwell in Me, and I will dwell in you. [Live in Me, and I will live in you.] Just as no branch can bear fruit of itself without abiding in (being vitally united to) the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you abide in Me. I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit.” (John 15:4-6)

But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” (1 John 1:9)

And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.” (Romans 5:5)

Today take some time to examine the real cause of what is going on around you. Is the root of what you are seeing and experiencing a result of the devil and his tactic to use strife, and all that it brings to gain access to you and your family’s lives?

Pray, ask for Jesus’ help and wisdom as you consistently choose to remove strife out of your reactions, heart attitudes, and relationships.

Refuse to allow the devil to bring strife and envy as a means to cause confusion and evil, and choose instead to let the Holy Spirit guide your life into peace and blessing. (Galatians 5:14-16)

Above all, love each other deeply because love covers over a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8)

“Avoiding strife brings a man honour, but every fool is quarrelsome.” (Proverbs 20:3)

Prayer: Lord, I ask for your forgiveness for allowing strife, arguing, anger, and bitterness into my life. I don’t want to give the devil any further access to my life, and I ask that you help me walk in peace and love towards others. When someone annoys me, or there is an opportunity to get into strife, please help me be self-controlled and walk in the power of love instead. In Jesus Name Amen.

24 July – What To Do In Uncertainty

Whenever there is uncertainty, it is very easy for the noise to take over our lives and threaten to overwhelm us. But there are some steps we can take to survive and thrive in uncertain times.

Some helpful keys are:

1. Keep the vision before you. If you have a vision board or specific goals written down, put them before you. If you don’t have a vision, dream or know what you want in life, then take the opportunity to spend some time finding out. (See https://daylekinney.com/2019/12/01/1-dec-write-the-vision/ or https://daylekinney.com/2020/02/04/4-feb-you-can-do-it/ for more info on setting a vision)

2. You may not be able to do everything, but you can do something. Think about what can you do to make use of your time so you can keep moving forward even amid uncertainty. If you’re shut in, can’t go to work, or able to do the normal activities right now, adjust and make this time work for you rather than against you.

“God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28 NLT)

3. Shut off the noise. It’s usually other people and circumstances telling us what we can’t do, peddling fear, discouragement or their point of view. Go to reliable sources of information, seek God and His word, shut out, and turn off the rest. Use your efforts and mental and spiritual strength on what is true. Focus on what you desire out of your life, rather than merely sitting back and waiting for your circumstances to improve or for people to change their behaviour. Control what you can control healthily, and give God the care of the rest.

4. Remember to Breathe if you find yourself getting stressed and anxious:

  • Breathe in for the count of 3 and out for the count of 3. Repeat that exercise 4 times.
  • Regularly take at least 20 mins to do something fun and find different ways to relax…
  • Do some exercise – YouTube and many people on Instagram and other social media platforms have posted exercise routines if you are shut in right now. Be creative and think outside of the box and give it a try.

5. Connect with God. He is our rock in uncertain times and the one who steadies and strengthens us. Take some time to check your foundations in him, and if you realise you are not secure, or you feel a bit wobbly in your confidence, then make the most of the opportunity to put down some roots and foundations in the one who holds the universe in the palm of His hand.

Shut off the TV, radio, social media, and external noise and take time out with God,

Read the bible and get to know Him and who He is a little more.

The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” (Psalm 18:2)

If you do these things, you’ll find you’ll be able to remain calm and grounded, finding strategies and energy to keep moving ahead in some way.

Today adjust if you need to, keep your vision visible and trust God to take care of you. Then when the uncertainty passes you’ll have continued to be productive whilst being rested, peaceful and ready to continue running your race well. 

Prayer: Lord, thank you that even in uncertainty, you are in control. Would you please help me make the most of every opportunity to keep moving forward, draw close to you, and remain steadfast and consistent in who I am? I ask for your peace to fill my heart today. In Jesus name Amen.

23 July – How To Walk In Freedom

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how we obtain and maintain our ability to walk in freedom. Primarily because we can easily get things out of perspective, be prone to stress, fear, anxiety and an easy target for enemy attack when we don’t live freely or are weak in an area.

As a way to become strong and maintain this strength, God teaches us in His Word to become “fat” so that we can break off the yokes that the enemy has designed to enslave and hold us back with.

God said of these yokes, “their burden will be lifted from your shoulders, their yoke from your neck; the yoke will be broken because you have grown so fat.” (Isaiah 10:27)

It seems God has given us some keys to freedom. One key is to get really “fat” in His Word so that the yoke of any bondage or lack will be shattered off our lives.

It’s His word, and the power it carries that strengthens our spirits, renews our minds, and gives us the knowledge of who we are and the resources available to us as a child of God.

Essentially God’s saying, “the fuller and “fatter” you are on my Word, the sooner yokes, limitations and anything that attempts to take your freedom will be broken off your life…..”and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing.” (NKJV)

Today if you know you are struggling or keep getting hit in an area because it’s been a weak spot in your life, don’t be content to stay weak so that it controls you. Instead, get your bible out and find every verse that talks about that issue and God’s desire to make you strong (ie: “fat”) in it. Then:

Write down and carry these verses with you or save them on your phone.

Look at them throughout the day until your thinking starts to be renewed and you see a change in your responses.

Build your faith and understanding of God’s power to make you strong.

Schedule in a regular time in your day to “fatten up” on the Word and the anointing it holds until it starts to break off the yokes and burdens which have been holding you back and pushing you down. It’s the anointing which breaks the yoke!

But Jesus answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ (Matthew 4:4)

“He sent out his word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction.’ (Psalm 107:20)

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2)

Prayer: Lord, please help me to consistently strengthen myself in your Word so that every yoke will be broken off my life and I can walk in freedom. In Jesus name Amen.

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