Sunday, August 28, 2016

"When Love Hinders Us"

August 28, 2016
“When Love Hinders Us”
“I wish you would put up with a little foolishness from me. Yes, do put up with me. For I am jealous over you with a godly jealousy, because I have promised you in marriage to one husband—to present a pure virgin to Christ. But I fear that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your minds may be seduced from a complete and pure devotion to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 11:1-3
Scripture Contemplation: Exodus 25; 34; Deuteronomy 5; 32; Joshua 24; Ezekiel 34; Joel 2; 2 Corinthians 11…

I am pretty certain that some are raising an eyebrow and questioning the title of today’s Reflections. I understand. Because I felt the same way when God gave me the title, well before He explained what He meant. Of course, I trusted Him to do just that. And I also knew that this would be something that would open my eyes and heart, and prayerfully it will for you, too.
I declare and decree that this week’s Reflections will be a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for your heart, mind, and soul. I implore you to take time this week and explore your relationship with the Heavenly Father. Really look at it, and see if you have truly and totally surrendered your absolute all to Him. Ask yourself: Does God have all of my Heart? Am I doing all that I can? Do I trust Him sincerely? Do I really believe what God says about me? Does the Father truly have the number one place in my heart and soul? My only God?
Do you know that feeling you get when you fall in love for the first time? That feeling of free-falling? Always wanting to be in that person’s presence? Wanting to know everything about them? Wanting to share everything and get to know their heart and soul, as well as everything else? Yes. That feeling. That is an awesome thing. It is a wonderful feeling that we can cherish and celebrate. And it is a feeling that we should have towards our God each and every day. It’s definitely what God has for us; even though He knows us so well, and knows that we will, at some point, become distracted, preoccupied, disenchanted, and even for some—out of love. Yet, the Father’s love for us will never, ever change. This, we can be certain of.
Yet, for some of us that love deeply; who have huge hearts that we find ourselves pouring our love out on so many, and loving some so deeply to distraction, that we miss out on our relationship with God. We neglect what should be our number one priority and relationship. And when this occurs, slowly but surely, other areas in our life start to take a hit; even if we do not recognize it.
Sadly, many of us do not even realize that we have allowed our earthly relationships to not only hinder our heavenly relationship, but we have given God’s place in our heart to someone else. And even still, there are others who have allowed their earthly love and devotion to become their god, forsaking their relationship with the Heavenly Father.
God is a jealous God. He desires to be number one in our lives. He desires to be our only God. Our covering. Our Savior. Our Healer. Our everything. He yearns for our devotion so that He may bless us in the manner that He desires. He wants to blanket us in His love while protecting us from the machinations of the enemy. God desires our attention, Beloveds. However, far too many of us are preoccupied. And far too many have allowed our horizontal relationships to dictate our vertical relationship, and receiving all that God has ordained for our lives.
It is not that God does not want us in relationships or to love anyone else. Not at all. He, however, doesn’t want it to hinder us from all that He has ordained for us while in this world. God wants us to be balanced. To be well rounded. To not be so broken over a man or woman, boy or girl, that we begin to worship the creation instead of the Creator. That we allow the love in our earthly relationships become so consuming, that we are doing any and everything to please, keep, and sustain them that there is no room for God. We have abandoned our core and key relationship, chasing after fallible love.
Come on; be honest. How many times have you, or are still so gone in a relationship that it has affected your time with God? How many times has a relationship hindered you from doing all that God has asked of you? When was the last time, your time spent with God, was longer than any of your earthly relationships? Think about it. Really think.
There is nothing wrong with being in love. There is nothing wrong with loving people for who they are and where they are at in life. There is nothing wrong with wanting them to have the very best, and supporting who they are and their dreams. But, what is not all right is neglecting, forgetting, forsaking, and disrespecting God in your life. And please, don't get it wrong; we can also be in this position with our family. Our children, parents, etcetera. Anyone that is placed above God in our actions, reverence, and worship; even if we don't believe so in hearts and minds.
How many times has God reached out to you, but you didn’t hear him? Or, you ignored Him? Or you chose that earthly relationship over being obedient to God and what He has asked of you? Far too many, I might say.
Some of us do not even realize that the love we prayed for, asked God for, has become the very hindrance to God moving in our lives. Don’t get it twisted: Once again, I’m not saying there is anything wrong with loving someone deeply, but it is something wrong when that love causes us to do things out of the will of God and become someone that is not pleasing to God. God will not take a backseat or second place to anyone. He loves us way too much for that.
There are also the times when we love so much and so deeply that we make excuses for certain behaviors that we know is not of God. We accept things that we shouldn’t. Turn a blind eye instead of speaking up. We allow ourselves to be treated in a manner that is not becoming or acceptable unto God. I’m going to say this: DO NOT ALLOW A LOVE FOR SOMEONE ON THIS EARTH TO MAKE YOU FORFEIT WHAT GOD HAS ORDAINED FOR YOUR ABUNDANT LIFE. Do not allow yourself to be treated in any kind of manner; like sheep being led to the slaughter by the enemy in disguise. Don’t allow the enemy to darken or taint a gift from God by you choosing to worship the creation and no longer the Creator.
My Beloveds, may the spirit of peace and prosperity find permanent rest in your lives. I decree that every good thing that God has ordained for your life will become evident to you. Take a step back and evaluate your heart and motives. Give God what belongs to Him, and He will continue to do what He has always done for you: Love you anyway and unconditionally. Maintain a healthy balance by first seeking God for all things, and allowing God the honor to be not only your covering but to be your all in all. You are blessed. Now go…and be a blessing!
©2016. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

"Deliberate Confusion"

August 21, 2016
“Deliberate Confusion”
“And it happened, when all our enemies heard of it, and all the nations around us saw these things, that they were very disheartened in their own eyes; for they perceived that this work was done by our God.” Nehemiah 6:16
Scripture Contemplation: Deuteronomy 13:18; Nehemiah 5; 6; Acts 26; Colossians 3; Revelation 7…

I’m going to get right to it, right now, and let you know that there is a deliberate plan going forth to cause deliberate confusion in your life. It doesn’t matter which area, just as long as confusion and destruction are the results. However, I will say this: If there are any disagreements and different points of view that exist between you and others, then count on things to get turned up quite a notch. The enemy does not play fair, Beloved. Whatever he can use against you, to bring harm and destruction to your life, relationships, career, etcetera, he is doing it. It’s time for you to lay aside every problem, situation, or thought that are bringing you unrest. Lay them at the altar and leave them there, as God exposes the enemy and all of his plots and plans.
I declare and decree that this week’s Reflections will be a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for your heart, mind, and soul. I pray you’d be inspired to seek a more personal and intimate relationship with the Father, allowing Him to reveal Himself to you in a whole new light; encountering a personal revelation of our true God for yourself, and the uncovering of plots and wickedness by the adversary.
Oh, my Beloved! How crafty and slick the enemy is. He will worm his way into your life’s situations before you even had an opportunity to wake up and give God thanks for a new day. He has already been plotting and planning ways to destroy you and especially your reputation while maligning your character. He doesn’t care who he has to use to get what he wants. And as a result, we are in a state of confusion, hurt feelings, misunderstood intentions, and far from truly and finally opening your heart before the Lord.
I encourage you to read and study the book of Nehemiah, with extra emphasis on chapter 6. My God! What God will do to bring a revelation to his children! In short; Nehemiah, a servant of God, called together the children of Israel. God instructed him to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. In the course of Nehemiah doing this, he was met with opposition. But Nehemiah didn’t care. Even if he had to build the wall alone, he was going to be obedient to God Almighty. Though his life was on the line, he went forth, and began to build the wall, with the few others that were also obedient, working tirelessly to erect the wall, all while under the scrutiny of not just those who did not believe, or the false prophets, but under the watchful eyes of the enemy. The same enemy who plotted and planned to take Nehemiah out through means of manipulation and trickery.
Yet, Nehemiah was having none of it. He did not take the bait that the enemy laid down. Even when it seemed like someone was on his side, and what he said was plausible; Nehemiah recognized the hand of the enemy at play. As words of derision and speculation spread throughout the camp, the enemy tried their best to cause disruption and deliberate confusion amongst those working on the wall. All in an attempt to get them to back down; to stop working on the wall. But God! But God, Beloveds, had other plans. He instructed Nehemiah to go forth and complete the wall. To, not fall or listen to the enemy’s whispers, or feed into their letters of lies designed to get him alone in order to kill him.
Nehemiah stated: (Paraphrasing) what kind of man do you think I am? I will not fall for this! His mind was stayed on, Jehovah Elohim. He continued to pray and seek God for direction and to finish the work he was assigned. He did not stumble or fall as intended by the deliberate confusion that the enemy was calling. He stood his ground upon what he knew was truth and right in the eyes of God. The enemy came to bring distraction by bringing deliberate confusion. His intent is to distract you so you cannot hear or see God and move in one accord with God, and with those you love and care about.
Beloved, allow me to tell you this—and please listen and hear me with an open heart. The enemy cares nothing about you. He hates you. He will do any and everything he can to separate you from God and the will of God for your life. He seeks constantly to destroy from the inside out. He is strategic in his machinations. He will use small things and build them to monumental things to bring division, confusion, and heartache to your life. But he can only do this when you allow him to. When you allow him to constantly whisper in your ear, or use others to grate on your nerve like a thorn in your side. His whole strategy is to deliberately confuse you until you are doing his bidding. Until doubt and unbelief begin to settle in your heart and mind, and your thoughts become muddled and eschewed. Until you are at the point that you cannot even recognize when he is running game on you. And by the time you realize what has taken place, he will have destroyed your life, using your own hands to do the job. And if possible, take your life as his prized reward.
Wake up! Wake up and get on your knees. Wake up and pray to the Father for truth, for covering, for instructions. Put on your armor and stand firm in prayer. This is not a game! There is a huntsman going after his prey with no other intention but to sport his dead carcass around (or ruined life, relationships, career, etcetera) in front of God’s face. Because at the end of the day? The fight; this war? It is not even about us. It is about Satan and God. It’s the enemy getting to the heart of God by killing and destroying His beloved creation, man. The apple of His eye. The one whom God chose to create in His image and with His power. Don’t you get it? The enemy is jealous of you! He hates you as deep as God loves you. He can never have or go where God has ordained and promised us. So he makes certain that he does everything he can to thwart the blessings of God in our lives. With us in a state of confusion; chances are greater that we will miss out on the manifestations of the blessings God has ordained for our lives.
My Beloveds, may the spirit of peace and prosperity find permanent rest in your lives. I decree that every good thing that God has ordained for your life will become evident to you. Do not allow the machinations of the enemy cause you a moment of unrest. Do not allow him to subtly manipulate you, and cause constant and deliberate confusion in your relationships; especially marriages. Keep your focus on God, Beloved. Do not give room to the enemy by constantly entertaining and nursing the words he consistently and deliberately is feeding your mind. Stand your ground against the enemy and completely open your heart to God. He knows exactly what to do for you. Trust Him. You are blessed!!! Now go…and be a blessing!

©2016. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved. 

Sunday, August 14, 2016

"Break Away"

August 14th, 2016

“Break Away”

“Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He will not hear.” Isaiah 59:1-2 NKJV
Scripture Contemplation: Psalm 1; Hosea 9; Matthew 25; Romans 8; 1 Corinthians 15; 2 Corinthians 6…
What is holding you back, Beloved? Who is holding you back? What has stopped you from doing what God has placed in your heart to do? What has hindered you from pursuing those goals and visions that have now gone dormant and silent within your soul and spirit? It is time to break away. Break away from all things that have gotten in the way of you walking in the will of God for your life. Break away from the things that have hindered and even corrupted you in the way of your thoughts and how you see yourself.
I pray today’s Reflections brings comfort and peace to your heart and mind. I decree it be a continued source of encouragement and inspiration; bringing peace and revelation to your heart, mind, and soul. I don’t care how long it’s been. As long as you still have breath in your body, it is not too late to humble yourself at the feet of God and receive all that He has for you and watch as your life turns around. Run to Jesus, Beloved. Run to the Lord and ask Him to have His way in every area of your life. And watch, as the blinders begin to fall off!
I won’t be before you too long today. I just want to give you a word from the Lord and encourage you. And to let you know that it is time to break away. Break away from people, places, and things that have hindered you from fully investing yourself in the will and ways that God ordained for your life.  It’s time to break away from your past, from lies spoken over your life, from the bad and corrupt company; from everything and anything that would try and separate you from the love and will of God in your life.
Many of us have fallen victim to ourselves. To the needs and desires of our flesh and have forgotten that we are more than flesh. We are also spirit. And our spirits need to be nurtured and fed. Too many of us are starving. We are malnourished because of the things we have allowed to dominate our lives that were not of God.
Enough is enough! It is time to take a stand. To stand up against the enemy. To reclaim your victory and start walking it. It is way past time to experience the fullness and goodness of our God. To allow God to love you and bless you in the manner that He has always wanted to do since He created you.
Why, Beloved? Why do we continue to allow people to rob us? To steal our joy and peace? To hinder our growth and development in the Kingdom of God? Why? And we cannot blame everything on the perpetrators without looking to ourselves first. It is time to hold a mirror up to our face, look ourselves in the eyes and start telling the truth—no holds bar.
We must begin to separate ourselves from those who are toxic to us. Toxic to our dreams and visions. Toxic to our relationship with God. Toxic to our hearts and minds. We must not be afraid to stand up for truth and for what is in our hearts. We must begin to break away from old habits, bad habits that will engulf our minds and immobilize us; keeping us from moving forward and getting all that God has promised.
When God says let go, Beloved? Do it. When He says it’s time to move? Then you move. When God says, it time to fight? Then you fight. Beloved, God knows all about us. He knows us when we need to break away from a situation(s) or person(s). Wake up and hear what God is saying to you. There is a whole new chapter being written, and you will determine the ending.
Do not stand in the way of your blessings manifesting by staying too long in a place that was only supposed to be temporary or a life lesson. Do not give up on yourself because you feel as though you’ve no control over a situation. God has put all power in our hands. Power to break chains. Power to move mountains. Power to save and change lives. Power to get your life together no matter how many mistakes you have made. It’s a brand new day. Brand new opportunities. Allow God to teach you what is needed. How to break away from those false people. Break away from dream killers and vision snatchers. Wait on the Lord and be of good cheer. And stop taking advice from those who never ever seen the real you. Or, are constantly causing you more pain than there are days Trust God. Really trust Him to make things work for your good.
Revelation 3:14, 20 NKJV “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come into him and dine with him, and he with Me.”
My Beloveds, may the spirit of peace and prosperity find permanent rest in your lives. I decree that every good thing that God has ordained for your life will become evident to you. Allow God to lead you. Trust Him where you cannot trace Him. God knows you. And He has your number. He’s been knocking for quite some time. Knocking on the doors of your heart, in your spirit. Waiting for you to answer; to invite Him in. And waiting for you to once and for all break away from anything and anyone that would seem to block your blessings. You are blessed. Now go…and be a blessing!
©2016. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, August 07, 2016

"Good News...Prayer Still Works!"

Reflections4Life™ August 7th, 2016
“Good News…Prayer Still Works!”
“…being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ…” Philippians 1:6
Scripture Contemplation: Deuteronomy 28:12; 30:9; Isaiah 33:22; Isaiah 43:18-19; Matthew 26:41; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; Matthew 6; 17:19-21; John 14:12-16; Ephesians 1:15-16; 6:18; James 5...

I know some of you don’t believe this. I know some of you have stopped believing long ago. I know that many of you have given up. I know that many are disappointed and with broken hearts and spirits today. But it’s true, Beloved. There is good news…prayer still works! Yes, it does!
I pray today’s Reflections brings comfort and peace to your heart and mind. I decree it be a continued source of encouragement and inspiration.  I declare and decree that it brings peace and revelation to your heart, mind, and soul. I implore you, Beloved, to make an effort this week to kick up your prayer life. Spend some quality and intimate time in the Father’s presence. Allow Him to fill you and speak to your heart. Let God show you that, yes, prayer indeed still works.
I don’t care what it looks like right now. I don’t care how hopeless a situation looks. I don’t care how many times you have felt disappointed. I don’t care how loud the enemy gets. None of this is going to change the fact that prayer still works! That is good news for you and for me! In this faith walk, we will face many trying times. We will encounter many storms in life. We will face situations that seem impossible. Yet, there is one weapon that we have that has been severely underused and misused: Prayer.
You don’t have to believe me today. You don’t have to take my word for it. That is why I am asking you to try it for yourself. To pray. Pray from your heart. Pray according to the will of God. Pray with a belief that you have already received what you have prayed for. Pray consistently and with purposeful intent. And whatever you do, do not let go, because God is answering. In His way. In His time. So, just know that what you ask for, the answer may not come in the package or the way you desire or imagined. However, if your heart is open to God, He will show you exactly how the answer(s) manifest.
Prayer still works. How do I know? Because I prayed and God answered. I prayed and continued to pray; even when it seemed to take a long time in coming. I am still praying. And though I am in the midst of a storm and fiery battle—I am continuing to pray, because that is my best defense. My best piece of armor that I will not allow the enemy to take from me…anymore.
Yes. Anymore. Because I know exactly how it feels to lack in your prayer life. You don’t even realize it until it is upon you. For whatever the reasons, many of us have slacked in our prayer life. We have not put on our armor of God; especially the armor of prayer. And we wonder why we are facing such devastation and battles and wonder where God is. God is where He has always been: waiting. Waiting for us to pray. To pray without ceasing. Praying fervently. Praying with belief.
Beloved, I don’t care what you are facing right now. I am telling you, that prayer still works. If you pray according to the will of God. If you pray the way God has taught us to pray. If you pray with believing that you have already received what you have prayed for. I guarantee you that prayer still works. If you seek God’s face early in the morning. If you seek Him throughout the day. If you make God your first phone call and pray according to His will, you will not only see that prayer still works, you will see your life and circumstances begin to change.
Pray without ceasing simply means that you are praying until something happens. P.U.S.H. Push through the negativity. Push through the heartache and disappointments. Push through the lies of the enemy. Push through the circumstances. Push through the storms. It may or may not happen today or tomorrow or this week, but it will happen! The manifestations will take place. Because you can believe that the moment you prayed, God heard it and answered it. However, there are principalities in the atmosphere that try and hold up the manifestations of our prayer. (Read Daniel 10:12-14) And these principalities gain strength and power when we doubt. When we don’t believe. When we stop praying. When we speak negatively. When we cease hitting our knees and pray about everything and all things. But make no mistakes: Prayer Still Works! God is not only listening, He is answering and we must do our part by continuing to pray, no matter what it looks or feels like. That we will put on the armor of prayer and stand our ground and believe with all our heart that God has not only heard us but has answered, no matter how long it takes to manifest. Be determined not to give up. Hold on. Have faith. And keep praying until something happens.
James 5:17-18 “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.”
It is burning in my soul today, Beloveds. It is burning with an intensity to let you know, that without a shadow of doubt in my heart and mind, that prayer still works. And that is good news! We have been going through horrific times. We have been hit left and right. We have and are weathering some dangerous storms. But, yet, I tell you today that prayer still works! How do I know? Because I tried for myself and I cried unto the Lord. And although the circumstances did not change in the flesh right at that moment, I felt a peace in my heart and soul that let me know God not only heard but that He sure enough answered and all I have to do is keep believing, receiving and praying.
Listen; you don’t have to take my word for it. And I encourage you not to just take my word for it. Try it for yourself. Give God the next 21 days of your mornings. Give God your first-fruits of the day. Let Him be the first One you speak to. Let Him be the first person you check in with. Not your loved ones. Not your social media, and emails; not your job; not your problems or your troubles, but God! I dare you to come before Him first. Ten minutes. That’s all I am asking you to commit to. Ten minutes in the morning. Ten minutes in the afternoon. Ten minutes at night. Thirty minutes out of 24 hours. Pray. Communicate with the Father. Be earnest. Be sincere. Talk to the Father. Listen to the Father, and I promise you—there will be a difference in your life. I’m telling you: Prayer still works! And that’s why the enemy is doing everything to try and stop you. To prevent you from opening your mouth and your heart. But the devil is a lie! And God is truth. And I know, you are going to accept this challenge and prove that prayer, indeed, still works! Hallelujah!
My Beloveds, may the spirit of peace and prosperity find permanent rest in your lives. I decree that every good thing that God has ordained for your life will become evident to you. I dare you! Prove it! Prayer still works! Give God your time. Supplicate to the Father. Believe that what you are praying for has already been answered. Keep praying until something happens. Let God wipe away every doubt. Let Him rip up every seed of unbelief that has been planted by the enemy’s whispers that have brought weeds of destruction to your heart and desires. Let God show you that, yes, prayer indeed still works! You are blessed. Now go…and be a blessing!
©2016. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.