Dashing Devotional~ What are You Striving For!?!

April 9th, 2014 - Dashing Devotionals

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Have you ever found yourself thinking, “If I could just lose those last 10 pounds…”, “If I could only get that promotion…”, ” If I could only have nicer things…”(and the list goes on). If you are living and breathing on this earth, then there’s a strong possibility that you’ve found yourself thinking these types of thoughts whether you realize it or not.

As women, much of where we feel our ‘imperfections’ lie are discovered only after we measure ourselves against others. Often times, we may even feel like we ‘look pretty good’, or that ‘we’ve got great things going for us’ only to go outside of our homes and see someone who has something that we don’t. Suddenly, we find ourselves feeling dissatisfied, wishing that we could change or improve something about our lives.

I’ve definitely been a victim to this way of thinking, and I’ve observed it in people all around me. The problem with this mentality is that it leads us to a place where we never feel ‘good enough’ no matter how we change, what we own, or what we weigh. Often times, even if we do finally reach ‘that goal’ that we’ve set out to reach, we may feel content for a short time, but often times, these feelings of inadequacy almost always find a way to creep back into our thinking.  This is sure to rob us of the joy of our present circumstances and the good things that are in our lives.

This cycle of comparing and competing that so many of us get trapped in ultimately means we will always be able to find someone or something ‘better’ than what we currently have, which leads us to constant  feelings of discontentment. While doing this, we waste valuable time that we could be enjoying the progress that we have made, and realizing that we have come a long way from where we used to be!

Now don’t get me wrong.  I’m not saying that there’s something wrong with wanting to improve areas of our lives and setting goals… But I’ve noticed that our society has a way of pushing beyond self-improvement to a place of striving, which ultimately stems from competing and comparing ourselves to others.

I can testify that I have done this many times in my own life. After reaching many different goals that I’ve set out to fulfill, I have found that it didn’t take long before I would end up focusing on something or someone else that was just a few steps ahead of me. This would ultimately leave me feeling like I haven’t reached where I wanted to be just yet. Instead of taking the time to enjoy the progress that I had made, or just to be content with all the good things around me, I would allow these feelings of insufficiency to continue to drive me.

It wasn’t long before the Lord began to deal with this mentality in me. He started by leading me to Galatians 6:4 in His word. This verse says, “Make a careful exploration of who you are, and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t compare yourself to others.” Now, I know what your thinking…  “Wow, this verse instructs that you need to stop comparing yourself to others!” However, I didn’t quite grasp this truth right away… It really took a good period of time of renewing my mind with the truth before I truly began to recognize that my feelings of jealousy and insecurity were doing nothing more than leaving me to suffer needlessly.

Once I began to ask God to help me in this area, He began to show me that He made me perfectly and wonderfully complex! He brought me to verses that said, “He saw me before I was born and everyday of my life was recorded in His book, “ and that “Every moment of my life was laid out before a single day had passed!” (Psalm 139:16). Therefore, I realized that there was no need for me to anxiously strive, compare, or compete anymore, because the Lord has already planned out every day of my life for me.  He designed me with a specific purpose that only I could fulfill!

I had a revelation that all we really have to do is come to God every morning and ask, “Lord what would you have me do with this day of life that you have given me?” And from there, all we need to do is sink ourselves into that, setting our daily goals based on what the Lord has instructed us to do!  And then we REST knowing he will instruct us and show us the next step to take.

Another neat thing about changing this way of thinking is that it frees up our time and our mind from thinking about ourselves and what ‘we don’t have’ to focusing on others and ways that we can bless them (which is what life is all about after all!).

If you’ve ever found yourself in a place where you feel like you just aren’t measuring up, here is a prayer that I wrote in down in my journal that has really helped me when I find myself struggling with feelings of inadequacy, jealousy, or dissatisfaction, (which is ultimately designed to keep us from enjoying the life that God has planned for us!)

“Holy Spirit, I pray that you would show me when I’m comparing myself to others, and to bring back these truths back to my remembrance when I’m tempted to compare myself with others, and feel like I’m not quite ‘good enough’ yet. I ask you Lord to please show me the work that you have for me, and I pray that you would help me to sink myself wholeheartedly into that and to be content while following your plan for me! I thank you Lord for making me so wonderfully complex and for laying out every single day of my life before I was born. I thank you that I am precious to you, and that you love me just as I am right now. Please help me to see myself as you see me, In Jesus Name, Amen!”

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Scripture Based Prayers for Taking Care of Your Body

March 27th, 2014 - Dashing Devotionals, Inspiration, True Beauty

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The Word of God is alive, powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword! When we pray according to promises in the Word of God, we are praying in agreement with what God says about us! Nothing has impacted or changed my life more than when I found promises in the Word of God, wrote them down on notecards, and put them around my house, car, or wherever I could see them throughout the day! I started doing this years ago, and it was so life-changing, that I have continued to do it ever since! Whatever season we may be in, or whatever difficulties we may be facing, God’s Word has an answer, a promise, and and way out! When we agree and focus our attention on these promises, we can and will overcome anything that comes our way!

These are some scriptures that I have found over the years relating to taking care of my health and body, and keeping it well balanced. I have turned them into prayers that I can pray over my day in regards to this topic! You can do this with any area of your life, and I encourage you to ask the Lord to show you scriptures that He has specifically for you…But I hope this helps get you started! I pray you are encouraged today by these prayers, and that the awesome Word of God reminds you who are in Christ, and the overcoming victory that you can have in Him!

Feel free to print these scripture-based prayers out for yourself! You could also write them down on notecards, in a journal, or share them with friends/family! To print out a PDF version click here!


God, I thank you that you are for me today. I thank you that you are strengthening me, helping me, and upholding me with your righteous right hand. ~(Romans 8:31, Isaiah 41:10) 

Today I make the choice to lay aside every weight, and the sin that I used to be entangled in, and I run with patience the race that is set before me, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of my faith. ~(Hebrews 12:1-2)

Today I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. I thank you that through you I am victorious in everything that I do! ~ (Philippians 4:14, 1 Corinthians 15:57)

Thank you Father that you have good plans for me in regards to my health and helping me reach and maintain a healthy weight. You have a great future for me, and you have filled me with hope! ~ (Jeremiah 29:11)

I thank you Lord that as I submit myself to you today, and resist the enemy and his lies, the devil has to flee from me in Jesus Name! ~ (James 4:7) 

Today I will take care of my body, for I am God’s masterpiece, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which He has prepared in advance for me to do. ~ (Ephesians 2:10)

Today I make the choice to be self-controlled and alert. I will stay on guard by keeping my eyes fixed on Jesus and staying constant in prayer, so I will not fall into temptation. ~(1 Peter 5:8, Matthew 26:41)

Thank you Lord, that you will guide me continually today, giving me water when I feel dry and restoring my strength when I feel weak. ~(Isaiah 58:11)

Today I make the choice to treat my body as a gift. It was bought with a price, and I will glorify God in the choices and actions I make when it comes to my body.~ (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

Today, instead of indulging my flesh with physical cravings, I will work up an appetite for God’s Word! When I make make the choice to fill up on His Word, He will satisfy me better than anything on this earth ever could! ~ (Matthew 5:6)

Today I will mediate on who God says I am. I will not be conformed to this world, but rather I will choose to renew my mind with the Word of God, and be transformed! When I do this I will be able to discern God’s perfect will for my life, my health, and my body. ~ (Romans 12:2)

Lord, today I will trust in you with all of my heart, and I will not lean any longer on my own understanding; I will submit ALL of my ways to you today, and as I do, I thank you that you will make your paths straight.~ (Proverbs 3:5-6)

I praise you Lord, for you are the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort. You comfort me in all of my troubles, so that I can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort that I myself have received from you! ~ (2 Corinthians 1: 3-4)

Lord, I thank you that my old sinful self was crucified with Christ. I am no longer a slave to any sin, and I am free from it’s power! Therefore, I will not let sin control the way I live. I do not give into sinful desires, but I give myself completely to God. ~(Romans 6:6-12)

Today I choose to think on those things that please the Spirit of God. As live by the Spirit, it leads to life and peace in every area of my life!~ (Romans 8:5)

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Dashing Devotional ~ You are Loved!

March 13th, 2014 - Dashing Devotionals

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Recently God has been calling me to a deeper walk of love. Not only in the area of loving others…but understanding first and foremost how greatly He truly loves each one of us, and me personally. I feel that most of my life I have tried to put the cart before the horse in many ways in this area, in that I have tried to love others, even asking the Lord to help me love the ‘tough ones’…But doing so without really searching out how He first loved me. We all know the saying, ‘you can’t love someone unless you first know what love is’…but how can we truly know love until we know the Fathers love for you and I!?!

As I embark on this journey of love, I am realizing more each day why it was Jesus’ number one commandment. “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” (John 13:34). I believe that if we genuinely learned how the Lord loved us, then we would be able to walk in that love and give it away…and the rest would follow! I just love how profound, yet simple Jesus made it!

Now you may be thinking, I already “know” that God loves me! Well…thats where I was up until a few weeks ago as well! I grew up in church, singing songs about ‘Jesus’s love for all the little children of the world’. I feel as if I ‘know’ deep in my heart that God is my Father, and that He loves me deeply, and I have even felt that love tangibly many times so far in my 28 years of life. However…I truly believe that learning about His love is a lifetime journey, but I know that I am being called to really pursue this area of my walk with Him like never before!

One area that speaks volumes to me when it comes to knowing His love is how we pour out His love for others. The Word tells us that Jesus demonstrated His love for us in this: that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). What an amazing truth this is!

So often it is easy for us to love those who love us back, but are we able to extend love and mercy to those who are not loving to us!?! And what about walking in love when someone you do love says something hurtful, or you find yourself gossiping, complaining or grumbling about someone who disappointed or offended you? Again, I am convinced that this kind of love can truly only be done when we first have a revelation and receive the undeserved abounding love that God has for us!

Of course this goes without saying that if you have never yet come to know Jesus personally, then it would be hard to fully understand His great love for you! But, as I shared earlier in Romans 5:8, Jesus made a way for us to know Him personally, and receive His love through a personal relationship with Him! Please click here if you would like to read more about having a relationship with Jesus!

As He takes me by the hand, and I seek Him in this area, I KNOW that I will surely find, for He promises that when we search, we will find. I know that He will be thrilled and delighted to show me His love, for it is WHO He is. Love.

So, the search for a deeper revelation and understanding of God’s great love for me has begun..I’m still FAR from mastering this… but I hope you will join me on this awesome quest of LOVE!

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Dashing Devotional ~ Walking with Jesus!

February 1st, 2014 - Dashing Devotionals

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“If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” –Romans 10:9

God designed each one of us with before the earth was created. He created man to commune with him and have a relationship with him.  The problem was created at the fall of man when Adam and Eve sinned against God.  Man’s perfect nature was now imperfect and they were separated from God.  In the Old Testament, we see how the people of that time had to offer sacrifices for their sins in order to protect themselves from God’s wrath.  But, here’s the good news!  God sent His Son, Jesus so that we could all be saved.  We see in the New Testament our new covenant, which is a promise based on what Jesus came to do for us.  Jesus came to be the ultimate sacrifice for our sins.  Instead of animal blood being shed to cover over sins, Jesus shed His blood for our past, present, and future sins.  Even though Jesus came to save us all, it is up to us to accept the gift that He gave us.  What still separates us from God is not the act of sin, but our sin nature.

Romans 10:9 says that when you confess Jesus as Lord AND believe in your heart, you are saved.  When you accept what Jesus has done for you and accept Him to be the Lord of your life, you are no longer separated from Him and now you have a new nature.  You are born again!  That means that you will spend eternity (life after death) in Heaven with The Lord.  The good news is that the benefits of walking with the Lord are not just for eternity; it is also for life here on earth.  Jesus didn’t just provide salvation or forgiveness of sins, but He also came to have a relationship with you! He has a plan for your life, and He created you for a unique purpose, but that can only be found when you give your life to Him, and follow His leading!

The good news is, He has made it so simple, and it all starts with a simple prayer! When you pray this prayer and believe it in your heart, you are born again.  The Bible says when one person comes into a relationship with Jesus, ALL of Heaven rejoices!

Prayer: Lord, I thank you for sending your Son, Jesus to die for my sins and to provide me the opportunity to come into a relationship with the one who created me.  By faith, I accept what Jesus did on the cross for me.  Jesus, I thank you that you no longer remember my sins.  I believe that everything I was is now crucified on the cross with you and I now have a new nature in Christ.  Lord, give me strength to follow the path that you designed for me.  I believe that as I walk with you that you will guide me and change me from the inside out. Today is the first day of the rest of my life!  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!”

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Dashing Devotional- What Does The Mirror Say About You?

January 16th, 2014 - Dashing Devotionals

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“Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— Let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious” - 1 Peter 3:4

We are so used to seeing ourselves in a mirror.  By looking in a mirror we can see if our hair looks messy or if our make up looks just right.  We have learned to trust what the mirror tells us.  We are so used to trusting it that often we find ourselves giving it the right to tell us if we are beautiful. However, when it comes to true beauty, the mirror (or a picture or the scale for that matter), is not a reliable source.

So, if we can’t use a mirror to see our true beauty, how can we?!?

The bible says in James 1:23 that the Word of God is like a mirror. When we look into the Word of God and see what God has to say, and how beautifully unique He created each one of us, it is then that we can begin to see our true identity.  The Word of God has so many awesome things to say about who we are as children of God! When we receive them by faith and act on them, they truly will begin to renew the image we have of ourselves on the inside, and begin to shine on the outside as well!

Yes, we certainly should take care of our bodies through balanced healthy eating and exercise! These things were given to us by God for our good, and to help our bodies function properly! And yes, we can often feel better about ourselves by getting dressed and fixing our hair, ect., but that is not what defines our worth and beauty.

When we look in the mirror and find flaws, God reminds us in the ‘true mirror’ that “You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.” (Songs of Solomon 4:7).

His Word also says that He “formed my inward parts; He covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” (Psalm 139:12-14)

When we look to the mirror to define our beauty, there will always be a chance to find a flaw or short coming. Instead, let’s make the choice to go to God’s Word to find our value and worth. After all, this is the mirror that is true, because it was written by God, and He calls us beautiful.

Prayer: “Lord, help me to remember that what the mirror shows is not what you find beautiful.  You look at my inward parts and find true beauty.  You formed me before I was even born, and you find no spot, flaw, or blemish in me.  Help me to see myself the way you see me. Help me not to judge myself according to the standards of this world, but show me in my identity and worth in you. In Jesus name, Amen.”

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Dashing Devotional ~ Living A Life of Love!

January 14th, 2014 - Dashing Devotionals

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

Reflection: When Jesus gave His life for us, He demonstrated the greatest act of love this world has ever known. If we are truly going to be followers of Him, He only asks one thing of us…And that is to love. Why would love be so important that it is the greatest and one new commandment that He gave us to live by? Because our love for each other is a testimony of Him, for God is love.

When we walk in love towards one another, it is then that our lives demonstrate that His life changing power is real. This is easy to do when we are walking in love towards those that are lovely, but how do we love the unlovable? It starts with the understanding that love is a verb. It is not a feeling or emotion, but rather, it is an action. We can begin to walk in love today by asking God to help us see others through His eyes.

When we are having a hard time loving someone, we can ask God to work in our mind and heart and cause His love to flow through us towards the other person. When we are truly loving others, it is then that we are called a disciple, or follower of Christ (John 13:35). If you know Christ as your personal Savior today, and He the Lord of your life, the greatest way you can demonstrate that to the world is by loving people around you with the Love of God.

Prayer: “Lord, I thank You that you demonstrated your great love for me by sending your only Son so that I could have relationship with you. Thank you for pouring out your love in my heart towards others. Help me love every person with your kind of love, and to see them through your eyes. Help my sincere love for others permeate my life so greatly that others might recognize and see you in me! In Jesus Name, Amen!”

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Dashing Devotional ~ Do You Have Peace?

December 20th, 2013 - Dashing Devotionals

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“For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” ~Isaiah 9:6

It’s almost Christmas time, which can be a time of great joy for many, but also a time of stress, sadness, and loneliness for others. There are so many things that can steal our peace and joy this time of year, or any time of year if we let it. But this season can be particularly challenging for some.

Despite all circumstances however…Yes, ALL circumstances, do you know that you can have true peace and joy?

No, I’m not talking about a temporary happy feeling that comes and goes as circumstances change. In fact, I am not even talking about an emotional state of being. I am talking about a deep rooted, stable, never changing peace. A peace that causes you to sing with joy from the very core of your being, even when the world looks like it is crashing down all around you.

Now, let me stop there and share that I, just like everyone else have been through some really tough times in my life. Things that could and should of crushed me…and If you are living on this earth, I can guarantee you have (or will) go through some hard times as well. But, let me tell you something. I can honestly say that through it all, I have found a peace that has carried me through each and every storm.

Sure, I have shed many tears along the way, and had any ‘normal’ emotion that anyone would feel, but  through it all, I have found the one thing that is deeper than any emotion or circumstance. His name is Jesus, the Prince of Peace.

I will never forget the night that I discovered this peace for myself. I had been saved for many years, but still found myself going through emotional highs and lows, especially during the hard times. Until one night- I had a revelation that impacted my life in a deep way.

I remember it like it was yesterday- I was going through a particularly hard season in my life. I was laying in bed with tears streaming down my face. As I wept, I leaned over to reach for my bible, seeking out a comforting word from the Lord.  I will never forget the words that I read that night, and how it changed my life from that moment on. My eyes landed on Isaiah 9:6, which says, For unto us a Child is born,unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

I am sure that I had read that passage of scripture hundreds of times before, but that particular night, the Lord spoke that verse to my heart in a very real way. I wiped the tears from my eyes, and found myself with an overwhelming sense of peace and joy in my heart. I found myself singing praises throughout the day for weeks to come. (Now, it’s important to add that my circumstances did not yet change during this time, although they eventually did thanks to God’s Faithfulness.) But, even in the midst of this storm, I had found a deep peace that carried me through.

I love this verse in Isaiah, because it foretells the Savior of the world, Jesus, coming to earth, and what He would come to bring to the world. It describes the meaning of His name in detail, from Wonderful Counselor, meaning we can go to Him with any problem we face, any time…and He cares! Not only does He care, but He wants to counsel us and gently guiding us through each situation as we turn to Him. To Mighty God and Everlasting Father, which says to me that He is both strong and mighty to deliver and save, but also a provider, protector, and deeply in love with each one of us- His children. And last but not least, one of the greatest names of all- Prince of Peace.

That was one of the most powerful lessons the Lord has taught me so far in my walk with Him.  I truly can say now that I understand what it means when the bible says that He can give us a “Peace that Passes ALL Understanding” (Philippians 4:7). This verse basically means that no matter what we are going through we can have peace, even when it doesn’t make sense.

Now, the reason I share all of this, is I have great news, this same peace is available to YOU! In fact, the Lord wants to give you His peace! Despite all circumstances, emotions, and even storms of life you may be facing, there is a peace that can carry you through. A peace so deep that it puts a song in your heart.

So, how do you get this peace you may ask? It’s simple! This deep sense of peace and joy comes as you draw near to the Prince of Peace Himself, Jesus.

If you are lacking peace, TRUE peace today, I challenge you to come to Jesus, the prince of peace. He is always there, waiting with open arms to comfort you, counsel you, and give you a deep and fulfilling peace that stays constant through all of life’s ups and downs. All you have to do is spend time with Him, (this can be done by reading the bible, praying, or worshipping), and as you do, everything that He is begins to rub off on you! It is kind of like spending time with a friend, whom you begin to become like over time… Everything He is and has He wants to pour into you!

This Christmas season, it is my greatest hearts desire and prayer that you come to know this peace that can only be found in the Prince of Peace Himself, Jesus!

Merry Christmas Friends! xo Katie

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Dashing Devotional ~ You are Wonderfully Made!

November 28th, 2013 - Dashing Devotionals

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Psalm 139: 13-18

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts,God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.

 

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Dashing Devotional~ Don’t Get Weighed Down by Weight!

October 10th, 2013 - Dashing Devotionals, True Beauty

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Don’t Get Weighed Down by Weight!

By Sarah Shaffer

For me, the ritual was always the same. I’d tap the scale and carefully climb on. With bated breath – I would wait. Then, I would repeat the process a second time to make sure everything was “accurate”.

The dictionary defines an idol as anything in the natural world that is given sacred value and power. My weight, that elusive number staring back at me on the scale would determine my mood, my joy or lack of joy, my worth – what it said about me held sacred value and power in my life. What is said about me would affect how I dressed, how I interacted with my family, what I ate, how I felt about myself, about God, about my life.

My weight was controlling me; I was not in control of my weight. Ironically, that number was often the heaviest, weightiest part of my whole day. Through time in prayer and by His abundant grace, God revealed to me that my weight had become a seductive and very powerful idol in my life. It had stolen my joy, or affirmed my worth. It had not just been an addiction, it had become a matter of sin – idolatry in my life in a very real, and very damaging way. The number on the scale held so much value that it really had complete power over me. The Lord revealed this to me because He wanted me free.

If this scenario sounds familiar to you, be encouraged! He wants you free too! He desires a radical return to Him. It is impossible to serve two gods and, for me, my weight had become a god in my life (“This is what the Lord Almighty says; I am the First and the Last; there is no other God.” Isaiah 44:6). To free me from the bondage of this sin, God asked me to totally abandon weighing myself – totally! He impressed upon me the need to throw the scale away and be done with it. What freedom (It is for freedom that Christ set us free!)!

Instantly, I could feel the heavy yoke lifting and I was freer to focus on Him than I’d ever been. That act of obedience allowed me to have correct motives for healthy eating and exercise. The Lord confirmed to me that the number on the scale is nothing more than that – a number, a piece of information. It is not a measure of my worth. It is not a sign of success or failure. It does nothing to add to, confirm, or deny my holiness. It does not represent my beauty nor does it increase my goodness.

If the scale holds sacred value in your life or is a source of addiction for you, I want to encourage you today that the Lord has more truthful measures for you. There is no fault in desiring or working toward a healthy body, but friends, remember, the beauty in you is not measured by pounds, it’s measured by the glory of the One who shines through you!

Prayer for Today: “Lord, thank you that you love us enough to keep us from trying to serve two Gods. Thank you for rescuing us from a heart divided. Thank you for beginning the process of tearing down idols – lies – that we’ve clung to as truth. Lord, we release the idol of weight to you and humbly ask that you would put weight in its proper place in our lives. We ask that weight become nothing more in our lives than what it truly is, a number, and a piece of information – nothing more. In Jesus name we pray that it no longer hold scared value and power in our lives. Holy Spirit we ask you to help us keep sacred that which is sacred and to run from lies. Lord, no longer will we give the number on the scale sacred value and we release its power over our lives. In Jesus name, Amen!”

 

{I am SO blessed to share this guest Dashing Devotional written by an amazing woman named Sarah. I met Sarah through my Health Coaching program! She went through and completed 8 weeks of health coaching, and she truly grabbed a hold of her freedom in the area of her health, weight, and finding her identity in Christ! She now leads women’s groups related to these issues, and is being used mightily by the Lord to help others find freedom just as she has! Praise God! That’s what it’s all about~Sharing the Freedom that can only be Found in Him!}

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Dashing Devotional~ Getting to Know the Heart of God.

September 19th, 2013 - Dashing Devotionals

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Have you ever read a scripture or heard a message by a pastor and thought, “Wow! Great word!”  It may even left you feeling really good inside and created a sense of hope.  But before long, you began to think to yourself, ‘that sounds great, but it isn’t going to work for me’.

Or maybe you have found yourself in awe of what God has done for someone else, but you simply are having a hard time believing that it could happen to you.

If any of these scenario’s sound familiar, you are not alone! Many people, (including myself) have had thoughts like these come to us, but I have good news! There is hope to overcome these feelings of doubt that God has an amazing plan just for you!

I have had times in my life where I would try to ‘muster up’ faith to believe a scripture that I was standing on, and no matter how much I hoped that I could believe what the Word says…. I  wasn’t able to until one thing was in place.  This was the time in my life when the Lord showed me that I had to develop my faith in the Lord, and get to know Him & His character personally before I could have faith in His Word.

Now, when I say I  had to get to “know Him”, I mean really KNOW him. You see, I had been raised in a Christian home, and grew up going to church.  I knew all of the bible stories, and I gave my life to the Lord at a young age…However, it wasn’t until I had developed a personal walk with Him before I could have confidence that He had good plans for me personally, and I could trust Him to bring them to pass in my life.

I like to explain this ‘relationship’ in terms of my relationships with my family or friends.  We all know that in order to develop trust in someone, that it takes time to get to know their character or what I like to call ‘their heart’.  The only way you can get do that on a deep and intimate level is by spending time with them.

Likewise, when it comes to developing a personal relationship with the Lord, your trust in Him will grow deeper as you get to know His characteristics. If you are just starting this walk with Him, (or looking to go deeper in your relationship), it is important to start from a place of knowing His heart! So let’s talk about a few of His characteristics to start!

Here are some characteristics of the Lord:

He is no respecter of persons. –Acts 10:34 

What He has done for one person, He will do for another.  

He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. –Hebrews 13:8

The same Jesus you read about in the New Testament is the same healing, delivering, miracle-working God that He is today.

He is full of mercy!  The LORD is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. –Psalm 145:8

“Mercy” means to withhold the judgment of what we deserve.  

The Lord is abounding in grace.  “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.” –Ephesians 2:8 (“Grace” means bestowing favors one does not deserve.)

He delights in giving us good things.  “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” –Matthew 7:11

He is faithful.  “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” –Hebrews 10:23

He is willing.  His promises are “Yes” and “Amen”.  -2 Corinthians 1:20.  His Word holds no “maybes” or “hmm… that’s a new problem! Not sure what to do about your situation.” He has an answer for you and his will for you is good!

He will never leave you. He is with you ALL the time! -Deuteronomy 31:6

He has sent you a helper and a comforter- The Holy Spirit.  “Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.” –John 16:7.  He will never expect you to go through life’s journeys on your own.  You have your very own helper and comforter to help guide you. 

He is forgiving. For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” -For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” –Hebrews 8:12

 He IS love. This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.” -1 John 3:16

He is inviting and approachable.Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” –Hebrews 4:16

He is able. “I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?” –Jeremiah 32:27

…I could keep going on and on… The list is ENDLESS! The great thing is, the Word of God teaches us all of these things & more… But what is truly awesome is when you learning these things on a heart level by watching Him show Himself faithful, loving, forgiving, etc. in your own life!

If you are desiring a deeper walk with the Lord that will produce a trust & faith in His Word, the best way to start is to get to really know Him for yourself. It is truly that simple~ the more we get to know His heart, the more we will learn to trust Him!

These are some of the truths I have found for myself over time and continue to learn more about every day!  If you are looking to develop your faith in God’s Word, or are simply seeking a closer walk with Him then I challenge you to start today! It all began in my own life when I simply started seeking a close relationship with Him by spending time talking to Him (through prayer), and reading the Word (which will reveal His heart towards you)!!!

God is so good, and has awesome plans for you! The best part is, He promises that if you seek Him…You will find Him. (Jeremiah 29:13)… So why not start today!?!

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