Joshua said to them, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Be strong and courageous. This is what the Lord will do to all the enemies you are going to fight.” … So Joshua subdued the whole region, including the hill country, the Negev, the western foothills and the mountain slopes, together with all their kings. He left no survivors. He totally destroyed all who breathed, just as the Lord, the God of Israel, had commanded…All these kings and their lands Joshua conquered in one campaign, because the Lord, the God of Israel, fought for Israel. Joshua 10:25, 40-42 NIV
Lord, You are on my side. While the battle before me is great, mentally, physically and spiritually, You are stronger. Distractions and discouragement are the Devil’s greatest tools. There is no attack that stands a chance in facing Your power.
Answer me quickly, Lord; my spirit fails. Do not hide your face from me or I will be like those who go down to the pit. Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life. Psalm 143:7-8 NIV
There is nothing that compares to a morning begun with You, Lord. I offer You my firstfruits. You deserve so much more and I refuse to give You the leftovers. When I am in a rut, the best way to avoid the spiral is to bring gratitude to each moment of the day. Every breath I breathe, I give to You. Every word I say, I give to you. Everything I do, I give to you.
At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me. Matthew 18:1-5 NIV
How can I be more like a child? They have a curiosity unparallelled. I have so much to learn but sometimes hesitate to ask the questions. They have a heart that is pure of intention with no other motives. They have creativity that is unhindered by others’s comments or criticisms. They have joy in the simplest of pleasures: a rainbow, a popsicle, a cannonball into the pool. The innocence of a child is unmistakable, completely unable to comprehend any evil that is in this world. It is so easy to overlook children when in adult conversation, but they crave attention and delight in it. My heart smiles when my 4year old daughter comes up while in the middle of some task and out of the blue, with all the sincerity in her heart, says “Daddy, I love you.” I want to make Your heart smile, Lord.
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times…. “His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’ “But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened. “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”
Matthew 18:21-22, 29-35 NIV
Lord, help me today with the mental battle against distraction and discouragement. Expose it and defeat it. Help my faith to be more child-like. Thank You for all the little things of today. May forgiveness be the prayer of my heart.