Lam 3:55-58

Lamentations 3:55-58 (NKJV Strong’s Bible)I called on Your name, O Lord, From the lowest pit. You have heard my voice:  “Do not hide Your ear From my sighing, from my cry for help.” You drew near on the day I called on You, And said, “Do not fear!” O Lord, You have pleaded the case for my soul; You have redeemed my life.
Please pardon this last week. I had my biopsy and it has had unfortunate side effects – to put it mildly I have not had an appetite in so long….I cant even remember.

This has taken a toll on my depression, so I did what I normally do. Reach out for hope, love and prayers. And? I was blessed.

I spent some time with my mother who shared these verses with me. Isn’t it awesome when God talks to you?

I was so encouraged because it reminded me – He hears me.

Hears every cry, every whimper. Everything and? He says: “….Do not fear!” How you like that – an exclamation point to make sure you know He means business.

Lord, I’m tired. I’m tired of constantly being sick, of constantly being in pain….so much Lord. But I will not fear for you are with me.

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Gods plans vs your plans

Theres Gods plans and theres your plans. Someone once said God laughs at our plans – I don’t know if I believe that (I mean I think God has a sense of humor – but that just seems mean); but I get the idea behind it.

“Woe to the rebellious children,” says the Lord,
“Who take counsel, but not of Me,
And who devise plans, but not of My Spirit,
That they may add sin to sin;  (Isaiah 30:1 NKJV)

Lemme tell you a story.

IMG_7022It was about 13 years ago when I saw this cute guy in our church. I would make eyes and flirt from afar – but nothing to dramatic. I was/am a lady after all.

Anyways, one Sunday we happen to leave church at the same time. We left so late most of the doors were locked and it was known what doors were locked and unlocked. Back to the story – I thought “Score! Leaving the same time as him….lemme be all cute and coy when I walk out the door.” So there I went and BAM!

I walked into the wrong door.

Isn’t that like life?

We think and we plan and….we forget about God. Then BAM! we walk into a wall (or locked door).

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. (Matthew 6:33 NKJV)

God wants us to seek Him first in any and every situation. Its hard, not gonna lie. I struggle with that; but ya know thats our fallen selves. Its in our nature to only rely on ourselves. I mean we are our best support right?

Wrong.

Several years later I told that story to some friends (my husband was there) and I asked him if he remembered it? His response? “No, I didn’t see it.” My husband is sweet and loving, I know he saw me walk into the door cause he laughed really loud. But it now reminds me – how much more loving & patient our God is.

We fail, we turn our back and once we ask forgiveness? He forgets it. He doesn’t see it. No matter how many walls we walk into – He’s always there with arms open, stretched out waiting for you.

Isaiah 35

Strengthen the weak hands,
And make firm the feeble knees.
Say to those who are fearful-hearted,
“Be strong, do not fear!
Behold, your God will come with vengeance,
With the recompense of God;
He will come and save you.” (Isaiah 35:3-4 NKJV)

This chapter is talking about the wonderful Highway to Holiness. The road to God. Its a road that “…no lion shall be there…” (see 1 Peter 5:8) and that ….

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
And the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.
Then the lame shall leap like a deer,
And the tongue of the dumb sing.
For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness,
And streams in the desert. (Isaiah 35:5-6 NKJV)

This is the Christian walk. You know I didn’t get this for a while, that there was a way to be happy and fulfilled. When I was first diagnosed with bipolar NOS – I did my research. I researched up and down about bipolar disorder. I needed to know – but what ended up happening? I lost sight of God. I thought I knew it all and I knew how to fix others too – mind you I didn’t have a degree.

I didn’t give up on my relationship with God but I did push Him to the side. Remember I knew it all.

But how little I actually knew.

Through situations, God has opened my blind eyes. My hands are strengthened, my knees no longer feeble. I still get fearful – but I know where to look to now. I know when I get scared who is protecting me.

What about you? Friend, are you still searching? Are you still unsure? Remember wherever you are – He is there waiting with arms wide open.

Listening to God’s voice

Yeah I know and I’ve felt like you – “how can you hear Gods’ voice? Is it audible? Is it just you imagining?” So many variables and so many questions I’ve had about this…but then?

You see, today I go for my biopsy. And my anxiety has been out of control just waiting for today.

I’ve been on the verge of panic attack-ness when I decided to put on the internet radio station I listen to. Then this song came on.

You see how God speaks?

No. Not only with a loud voice or huge gesture. Sometimes it’s a simple reminder in a song you hear, sometimes it’s a smile you see in a person. Sometimes it’s in your smile to someone else.

The point is to let your heart be open. God doesnt go according to your plans and ideas. Sometimes He’s ….. no all times He’s the still small voice trying to tell you what you need to hear. Friend, I pray you have a blessed day opening up your heart (and your ears) listening for Gods still small voice.

1 Kings 19:11-12 (NKJV)

God’s Revelation to Elijah

Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.

Isaiah 31

 For thus the Lord has spoken to me:

“As a lion roars,
And a young lion over his prey
(When a multitude of shepherds is summoned against him,
He will not be afraid of their voice
Nor be disturbed by their noise),
So the Lord of hosts will come down
To fight for Mount Zion and for its hill.
Like birds flying about,
So will the Lord of hosts defend Jerusalem.
Defending, He will also deliver it;
Passing over, He will preserve it.” (Isaiah 31:4-5 NKJV)

So the other day I talked about not trusting in the Lord. How I was looking toward people for approval – help – anything. You name it? I was probably doing it. Well, this chapter focuses on what happens when you don’t trust in the Lord.

These verses spoke to me especially. Its on how much God wants to defend you. How God will fight for us like a “…lion over his prey….”

Now when a lion would grab one of the sheep out of the flock, it would crouch upon its prey and the shepherds would, all of them, come around and they would start yelling and making a lot of noise and all and they would try to scare the lion off. They would try to get the thing all frightened and scared off by just yelling, make a lot of noise and all. But the Lord said, “Like a lion that is on his prey, and though the multitude of shepherds make a lot of racket, he’s not going to move. He’s going to hang on to it.” So the Lord is going to come down. And He’s going to fight for Zion. God is going to defend the people. You don’t have to depend upon the arm of flesh. We sing the song, “The arm of flesh will fail you. Ye dare not trust your own. Put on the royal armor.” — Chuck Smith

How beautiful is that?

I mean yea, its a scary illustration (lions are scary creatures) but think about how much it shows the fierceness God has for us. Even when we fail Him, when we forget about Him or even just push Him away – He still wants to protect us. He still loves us. He wants us to return our hearts and attention (isn’t that basically the same?) back to Him. He wants us to see how much we need Him.

In the end, all that matters is God. He’s reaching out to you and He’s waiting – isn’t that beautiful how patient He is? Friend, trust. God will protect you. Trust that He has you in His arms.

Trust– the most hardest thing to do – but oh so rewarding.

 Return to Him against whom the children of Israel have deeply revolted. For in that day every man shall throw away his idols of silver and his idols of gold—sin, which your own hands have made for yourselves. (Isaiah 31:6-7 NKJV)

 

Isaiah 30

“Woe to the rebellious children,” says the Lord,
“Who take counsel, but not of Me,
And who devise plans, but not of My Spirit,
That they may add sin to sin;
Who walk to go down to Egypt,
And have not asked My advice,
To strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh,
And to trust in the shadow of Egypt!
Therefore the strength of Pharaoh
Shall be your shame,
And trust in the shadow of Egypt
Shall be your humiliation.
For his princes were at Zoan,
And his ambassadors came to Hanes.
They were all ashamed of a people who could not benefit them,
Or be help or benefit,
But a shame and also a reproach.”

The burden against the beasts of the South.

Through a land of trouble and anguish,
From which came the lioness and lion,
The viper and fiery flying serpent,
They will carry their riches on the backs of young donkeys,
And their treasures on the humps of camels,
To a people who shall not profit;
For the Egyptians shall help in vain and to no purpose.
Therefore I have called her
Rahab-Hem-Shebeth. (Isaiah 30: 1-7 NKJV – Please click here for the whole chapter)

This whole chapter was so convicting to me. It just screams: “Jessica stop it!” Don’t ya just love when God speaks to you?

You see, previously I was a fitness blogger. I was obsessed with all things fitness – annoying friends and family with my pseudo-knowledge of all things health and fitness. Then? After – I honestly don’t know time frames – but generally around a year ago I started having trouble with my weight. I would lose weight just to gain it right back – just couldn’t keep the weight off. Do you know how frustrating that is? Especially when you’re “touting” your knowledge on all things fitness. I felt guilty.

Then I started having stomach problems – won’t go into much detail but in the end, I found out I may have Celiac Disease. I actually go for the biopsy next week -BUT. Yes, theres always that but. I recently went to a restaurant and had some Gluten. The symptoms from being “gluten” can range from a couple of days to weeks. Depending on how much you ate.

So, I’m in the middle of suffering and I’m like “Lord. Why did this happen? Wasn’t I following you the way you want?” Then – God spoke to me.

Therefore thus says the Holy One of Israel:

“Because you despise this word,
And trust in oppression and perversity,
And rely on them,
13 Therefore this iniquity shall be to you
Like a breach ready to fall,
A bulge in a high wall,
Whose breaking comes suddenly, in an instant.
14 And He shall break it like the breaking of the potter’s vessel,
Which is broken in pieces;
He shall not spare.
So there shall not be found among its fragments
A shard to take fire from the hearth,
Or to take water from the cistern.” (Isaiah 30:12-14 NKJV)

I mean I am sitting here sick as a dog – I can barely function and? I took to Instagram and Facebook to complain. “I hafta keep up my following – those people (insert something dramatical here) me…” 

You see, I’ve been looking for approval from everyone but God. I mean when you post a picture because “you need to” – should give a sign that you don’t need to. I mean how wrong is that? I have no problem with Social Media – as long as it doesn’t take the place of the Lord. Which is what I did…still do. God forgive me.

I know this has basically been the posts from the last couple of days  – but idolatry and pride? Dude you guys – they are sneaky. They don’t come into your life like a monsoon, but like a nice spritz of water from the sprinkler. You get wet if you pass by – but you don’t notice. Please friend – look to your life. Are you following God? Or are you following something else? Don’t let the enemy trick you down the wrong path.

Therefore the Lord will wait, that He may be gracious to you;
And therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you.
For the Lord is a God of justice;
Blessed are all those who wait for Him. (Isaiah 30:18 NKJV)

 

Isaiah 29

Woe to Ariel,[a] to Ariel, the city where David dwelt!
Add year to year;
Let feasts come around.
Yet I will distress Ariel;
There shall be heaviness and sorrow,
And it shall be to Me as Ariel.
I will encamp against you all around,
I will lay siege against you with a mound,
And I will raise siegeworks against you.
You shall be brought down,
You shall speak out of the ground;
Your speech shall be low, out of the dust;
Your voice shall be like a medium’s, out of the ground;
And your speech shall whisper out of the dust. (Isaiah 29:1-4 NKJV)

The literally meaning of Ariel is Lion of God – a name that Jerusalem apparently gave to themselves. I say apparently because – well they had turned their back against God, sought to live on their own strength.

13 Therefore the Lord said:

“Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths

And honor Me with their lips,

But have removed their hearts far from Me,

And their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men, (Isaiah 29:13 NKJV)

In this pride, God will bring them down. He will show them their sin and deal with them.

How true is that of us friend? we try to convince others and ourselves how good we are, how we don’t need to change our relationship with God or even trying to show others how we don’t need God. We develop this…..idea – we are fine the way we are.

But how are you really?

Do you have things you trust in more than God? Do you even trust in anything? Do you trust God?

God is there, friend, looking to rescue from the mire that is your life. He has seen all that you have done, will do, are thinking about doing – He has seen it all. And? He still wants to love on you and rescue you.

Don’t let your pride and doubt keep you from God. Reach out – its not too late.

In that day the deaf shall hear the words of the book,
And the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity and out of darkness.
19 The humble also shall increase their joy in the Lord,
And the poor among men shall rejoice
In the Holy One of Israel. (Isaiah 29:18-19 NKJV)

Isaiah 28

Therefore hear the word of the Lord, you scornful men,
Who rule this people who are in Jerusalem,
15 Because you have said, “We have made a covenant with death,
And with Sheol we are in agreement.
When the overflowing scourge passes through,
It will not come to us,
For we have made lies our refuge,
And under falsehood we have hidden ourselves.” (Isaiah 28:14-15 NKJV)

This chapter is of the people of Ephraim (another name of the northern nation of Israel); who were drunkards. So much so that it is specifically named in the by the Lord. Even the priests and prophets had become drunks. Now we are not talking about casually drinking but heavy drinking.

The leaders were addressed and chastised in this chapter.

This made me think about myself – how full of my self I was. How proud I was…well let’s be honest – how prideful I still get. How I thought some things of God didn’t apply to me – that I was better than I thought.

you see, I was ok – I put my trust in other things to get me through life – NETFLIX, my weight loss – and so on. It helped me deal w my anxieties and panic attacks and that’s what mattered. But All it did was push my loved ones away – especially including the Lord there.

Friend, its so easy to get side tracked – put idols, lie to ourselves, lie to everyone. That sidetracked viewpoint will make you think “….it will not come to us….”; it will put your trust in something else. And? That road leads to death.

Give ear and hear my voice,
Listen and hear my speech.
24 Does the plowman keep plowing all day to sow?
Does he keep turning his soil and breaking the clods? (Isaiah 28:23-24 NKJV)

But God is calling you – trying to teach you. Show you where you are going wrong. Like a plowman….don’t keep going down the wrong path. Don’t keep “….plowing all day….” don’t keep “…..turning…” the “…soil and breaking the clods…”. Learn an see what God is showing you.

Bread flour must be ground;
Therefore he does not thresh it forever,
Break it with his cartwheel,
Or crush it with his horsemen. (Isaiah 28:28 NKJV)

God is opening the door….don’t keep “threshing” that bread flour. It doesn’t lead to life – look to Him. Hold onto Him because He is the only way

Isaiah 27

In that day sing to her,
“A vineyard of red wine![a]
I, the Lord, keep it,
I water it every moment;
Lest any hurt it,
I keep it night and day. (Isaiah 27:2-3 NKJV)

This is again speaking of the Kingdom of the Messiah – and during these verses talk of how God will take care of Israel.

Isn’t that beautiful?

God in His mercies will take care of Israel – who refused Jesus as the Messiah. Who not only turned their back on God, but worshipped other Gods; doing atrocious things because of that worship.

All that evil and hate they had going on – God still loves them. You know what? That applies to us greatly!

We have hated, killed, lied, stole, murdered and God still loves us.

Did you hear that? God still loves us.

Or let him take hold of My strength,
That he may make peace with Me;
And he shall make peace with Me.” (Isaiah 27:5 NKJV)

“….We can only be fruitful when take hold of the strength of the LORD. As long as we hold on to our own strength, what we really have is weakness…..” —David Guzik on Is 27:5

Friend, one day I will tell you of my story – but for now? I’m a horrible, horrible person. I have hated, lied, stole and murdered. There is no way God should forgive me of my sin, no way. I wouldn’t. But thats whats so awesome about God – He completely forgives and loves me.

In our disgusting, sinful ways – He chooses to see what He made. He chooses to see us as we could be, should be.

Friend, hold onto that thought. God loves you no matter what. He died for you. Reach out to Him and accept Him into your life.

If you have Him in your heart – hold onto that thought. You can never escape Gods love.

Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the morning,
And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 Even there Your hand shall lead me,
And Your right hand shall hold me. (Psalm 139:7-10 NKJV)

Remember we are His.

Isaiah 26

You will keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever,
For in YAH, the Lord, is everlasting strength. (Isaiah 26:3-4 NKJV)

this chapter in Isaiah talks about the day of the return of the Messiah, Jesus. The day where just everything gets set right basically. Cities will be decimated, people killed, evil will be gone for a thousand years. Powerful thought right? The Messiah returning and just getting rid of the evil of this world.

Definitely. But those that trust in Him….He protects. God works in mysterious ways, yes? He does things we just can’t understand – especially during the tribulation. But those tribulation Christians? They trust in God and He guides them.

I know I’ve talked about trusting God several times, but ya know what? Its that important. Our relationship with God is nothing if we don’t trust in Him.

I am in no way saying its so easy to trust, but it is important.

For He brings down those who dwell on high,
The lofty city;
He lays it low,
He lays it low to the ground,
He brings it down to the dust. (Isaiah 26:5 NKJV)

To not trust in the Lord is to trust in yourself and what you can do. Thats not what God has planned for us. 

So what, you say? Well, God will bring down everything that is not glorifying to His name – in the end. “…The lofty city…” the walls that you built up around yourself – God will bring down. whether its before the rapture or after – you will see the glory of God.

The question is do you want to wait that long? Do you want all that pain and suffering? God is offering to you a …. lifeline if you will. His son came to die on the cross to give you a way out. A way to be saved. Why wait?

God is calling out to you friend, will you answer Him?

The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us,[a] not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9 NKJV)