Monday, September 27, 2010

Stand Your Ground and Take Your Stand

Since the last time I posted here a lot of things have changed. We moved into a small duplex, my husband and I are both working on our doctoral degrees, we have another truck, and my hubby got a job. The house will be gone by December of this year, and through all the heart ache and changes, one thing we have had to do is stand.

What does this mean, to "take your stand"?

Taking it from a dictionary the word "stand" means the following:

a : to support oneself on the feet in an erect position

b: to take up or maintain a specified position or posture

c : to occupy a place or location

d : to gather slowly and remain

e : to remain valid or efficacious the order given last week still stands

f : to endure or undergo successfully

The phrase "Stand Your Ground" is a battle metaphor. To stand and fight to defend the ground on which you stood rather than to run and give up ground to the enemy as he approached was to do the brave or honorable thing, and sometimes it was the difference between a military defeat and a military victory.

There are many opportunities in life every day that we can either choose to run away from responsibility or embrace it. Both of those decisions have consequences that will continue to reproduce themselves in the future. An example of this can be the opportunity to brush your teeth everyday, twice a day. Doing so will give you long-lasting healthy, white teeth. Failure to brush your teeth will cause infection, discoloration, and loss of teeth at an early age. Running away from responsibility brings about hardship for future generations as well. Your children will feel the consequences of your choice to ignore responsibility, either by emotional pain, or following in the same decision patterns.

Standing your ground means that you do not even have the choice to give up, back down, or run away, those things do not exist to you. What does exist is your faithfulness to stay in your position, place, and property until the next thing happens. Standing and staying responsible for the daily things in life entitle God to give us more to be responsible for. Our willingness to be mature and choose resilience over running opens the door for further advancement and responsibility in the kingdom.

Through out my work in counseling clients I hear more often than not, "But it would just be easier to give up and stay the way I am than to change." Although this may be true, it leads to a path of destruction, laziness and abuse of boundaries. I always respond with, "Then you don't need to be here with me because you are wasting my time and your money. Your proof is in your pursuit, if you really want to change you will put something into it." This usually works and change happens as the client invests and takes a stand against their past patterns of________(you fill in the blank).

Below are a list of scriptures that have been my encouragement the past few months and what God has shown me.

Exodus 33:21Then the LORD said, "There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock.

When there were times I wanted to give up and not do anything because the path I was walking led to heartache and anger, God shared with me that I can choose to stand on Christ, of whom is my rock, my firm foundation. I turned my feelings over the Him and felt the load leave.

Deuteronomy 11:25No man will be able to stand against you. The LORD your God, as he promised you, will put the terror and fear of you on the whole land, wherever you go.

As calls poured in for people wanting money I didn't have, God showed up that He is for me, and NOONE is against me. He has turned my mourning into dancing.

Joshua 7:10The LORD said to Joshua, "Stand up! What are you doing down on your face?

How easy is it to sit down for a moment only to realize that it turned into a pity party? I found myself saying," No one understands what I am going through, I am all alone in this, What good is it going to do just to get up and pray again?" It is in these moments when the enemy wants to make the situation all about you and make you forget about what God has done, is doing, and is going to do to help you along the way. In this aspect God was telling Joshua, Get off your butt, stop being distracted and see, hear and know what I have for you!

2 Samuel 22:34He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to stand on the heights.

There will be times when the only way to go is up, and it is in those times we see Who it is that is holding us up away from the turmoil of life.

Samuel 23:12 But Shammah took his stand in the middle of the field. He defended it and struck the Philistines down, and the LORD brought about a great victory.

This is a great example of standing ground and keeping the enemy off your land! He is under your foot, and he is just a mouse with a microphone wanting to tell you to run away, yet we have already won so keep standing and staying in the position of victory!

Psalm 20:8They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm.

This reminds me of a teeter-totter in that when God defeats the enemy He raises us up and we stand firm in our victory.

Psalm 26:12My feet stand on level ground; in the great assembly I will praise the LORD.

It seems that standing may be a boring thing to do, yet in reality there more action to it than you think!! Standing your ground also involves a lot of moving around, being aware of your surroundings, listening for a call of battle or change, and even more so praising the Lord for the battle has already been won. If you stay distracted while standing you will miss your call of change. Remain focused, alert and in position for whatever may come next!

Psalm 33:11But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.

Oh how sweet this is, that even when my plans and choices have failed, His steadfast plans for my life stand firm and true.

1 Corinthians 15:58Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

As stewards of God's Kingdom we are given the authority to remain in His Grace and Favor over our lives. Making decisions out of Godly Wisdom and not out of our emotions shows God our rate of maturity and willingness to obey. God created us with emotions, but our His spirit to guide us with His wisdom, not our own swaying feelings and thoughts.

Ephesians 6:13Therefore 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.

There will seasons of life where you have done all you can, thought all you can, cried all you can, ran all you can, prayed all you can, asked all you can, knocked all you can, paid all you can, saved all you can, pushed all you can and after you have put on God's armor, you STAND. Standing in God's favor, promise and letting Him show you when its time to walk forward!!! And is possible to stand and walk at the same time..thats another blog post. Until then....STAND YOUR GROUND!!!!


Jessica Smith

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Light Affliction

Sitting in my car (seems like God talks a lot to me while in the car) at a stop light. I tapped my fingers restlessly while looking at other people in their vehicles. Thoughts of the past few months whipped in my head. Let's see, we've had four buyers for our house, all of whom have walked away. We have had the house on the market over a year trying to do short-sells. My husband has applied to so many jobs and is constantly rejected over and over, and now we have one month to move out and find a rental home. On and on the thoughts had processed into my mind as I waited and waited at the red light. Why on earth was everything a constant wait, or rejection? That's when God spoke to my heart.

"Jessica, what are you doing?"

"Waiting at a red stop-light."

"Why are you waiting?"

"Because the light is red."

"Jessica, what would happen to you right now if you were to run that light while it's red?"

Glancing up I notice a large semi-truck zoom through the intersection.

"I would have been hit and killed by that truck."

"Jessica, right now you have a destination in mind, and its painful to have to wait. Right now you are at a stop-light not just waiting, but I am protecting you. If you were to run ahead of me, you would be seriously injured. I am protecting you from something far greater than you understand right now."

"Wow, Father, I never thought of that before."

"And Jessica how long do you have to wait at a stop-sign?"

"Not very long."

"But for a moment."

Armed with new revelation, as I went to church last night to work with our college and career students, my husband delivered a powerful message called, "Hanging By a Comma". Needless to say it came out his broken spirit and humble attitude. One of the verses he shared was:

2 Corinthians 4:17 (New King James Version)

17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.

Oh my! God kept speaking...and He has a sense of humor too. For our LIGHT AFFLICTION, which is BUT FOR A MOMENT, is WORKING FOR US a FAR MORE EXCEEDING and eternal weight of glory.

Really, How awesome is God? Although we may desire to be where we know we should be know, until our character and maturity match or vision, we cannot hold it's weight. Being processed in the waiting periods of our lives is necessary to bear the weight of our destination.

Yes, we may not understand this issue with the house and finances, or why everything we have knocked on has come to say no. But for a moment.......


Jessica Smith

Monday, January 18, 2010

Seperation of Light From Darkness

"Shine your light and let the whole world see....." I sang as I drove my Ford Focus home after church services. At that same moment thoughts of worry, fret and doubt filled my mind saying, "Jessica, how can you shine your light when you are losing your house, you have no money, no insurance, and are filing for bankruptcy?"

I continued singing, "Saviour, He can move the mountains, My God is Mighty to save,He is Mighty to save." And again I heard, "Really? You know what is really going on here, you are going to be homeless too."

I ignored those thoughts and sang, "Forever, Author of salvation,He rose and conquered the grave,Jesus conquered the grave." I had enough and I rebuked the enemy, "You have no right to accuse God of not being enough for me. I break doubt, fear, and the attack of the enemy off my mind, heart, soul, and family. Be gone in Jesus name!"

Finishing the song as I pulled into my driveway..."So take me as You find me,All my fears and failures,Fill my life again.I give my life to follow Everything I believe in, Now I surrender. Shine your light and let the whole world see,We're singing for the glory of the risen King...Jesus "

There are times in our life when what we are living in doesn't match up to the promises and vision God has placed on our life. The facts of life do not match the faith of our promised land. The enemy finds the weak or doubt filled places, speaks a lie and waits to see of we agree with it or throw it out.

The facts in my life says I am poor and without money. The word of God declares that I am seated with Him in heavenly places and everything I need I can ask of the Father and it shall be given to me as I seek Him first. The fact says I will not have a house, but the Word of God says I am the house of the Lord, the temple of the Holy Spirit. Facts say that everything is against me, but the Word of God says that no weapon formed against me will prosper.

God is showing me how He separates light from darkness. With His Word! In the beginning God created light...the sun? No, light to break the darkness away, divide, and to bring into order areas of confusion. God wants to show you and I that we have the same power to speak light and darkness, to bring clarity to our situation, and future. I speak the written word of God, I speak His promises for my future, and battle in worship not to survive, but tell the enemy he has already been defeated.

We fight from the place of victory. In worship, in prayer, in fasting...and as occupying troops we fight the enemy off the land that is already ours!!! We separate the light from the darkness, as God gives us this new revelation of who we are, where we are standing, and why the battle has already been won!

So I agree with what God says over my life and will leave this last scripture with you to think and pray on:

Hebrews 4:12 (New King James Version)
12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.