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Archive for the ‘Inspiration: When Life Hurts’ Category

I depend on God alone; I put my hope in Him.  He alone protects and saves me; He is my defender, and I shall never be defeated.  My salvation and honor depend on God; He is my strong protector; He is my shelter.  [I will] trust in God at all times… tell Him all [my] troubles, for He is [my] refuge.                              — Psalm 62:5-8 (Good News Translation)

Where would you be without God?  Look around you right now— think about what your life would be like without God in it?  I know I would be so broken that I wouldn’t even be able to stand straight.  Think about it, there are times in life when smiling seems impossible, but we’re able to have supernatural joy because of God.  He is our everything.  Stop for a moment to reflect on where you’d be without Him and jot down your thoughts.  If you journal, consider using the notes from your moment of reflection as your journal entry for the day.  Then, meditate on His word and let this deliverance scripture be your devotional prayer throughout the day.

Employ purposed living,

Aziza Bailey

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What an abundant blessing You are, God

Lord, Your love is so amazing that I never get used to it.  Just thinking of the sacrifice of Jesus causes me to get all choked up.

I don’t ever want to take for granted, what my Savior did for ME on the cross.  Without the blood of Jesus, I’d be lost.

I don’t ever want to put Your passion for me on the backburner on simmer.  You taught me love by the way you intricately planned greatness for me despite the cost.

The way You protect me, even from myself.  And favor me, when I don’t deserve it.  I often sit back and reflect on my life and where I’d be without You and the truth is, I’d be done.

My existence and victory is because of and through You, Lord.  I’m so grateful that You love and relentlessly pursue this one.

I’m so appreciative that You have Your eye on me as if You’re an admirer carefully watching me from across the room.  As beautiful as that picture is, You are much more than that, You’re my deepest love watching me from the heavens above.

Lord, the thought of You takes my breath away– how You think of every detail concerning me.  You provide for everything I could possibly need.  I’m caught up in the rapture of Your perfect love.

What an abundant blessing You are, God!

 

Poem written by Aziza Bailey, inspired by Ephesians 1:3-12

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Surrender it all to God and forgive.  Every betrayal and measure of pain that you’ve endured, stop carrying it.  Some of us have had some unspeakable and horrific things done to us by individuals we thought we could be safe around or trust.  We’ve continued to carry the pain, unable to let it go.  Surrendering to forgive is an ongoing, perpetual choice that we have to consciously make every time we are offended.  God works in us through our prayers— as we posture our hearts to forgive others, He heals our hearts so we can live free.  Many of us have been holding on for so long that we don’t even realize the extent of the baggage that we’re carrying and the weight of it all is breaking us.  How big is your bag? Let it go, dear.  Whoever they are and whatever they did to you, you have to stop carrying around all of that pain.  Cast your cares on God.  I want you to take a few moments to do this forgiveness exercise with me.  I have some baggage that I need to let go of as well.  So let’s go!  Grab a garbage bag, some sheets of scrap paper and a pen.  Now, write down every trespass you can think of on a separate piece of the scrap paper.  Come on now, you know you’re still harboring a boatload of stuff, you’re going to need way more than a couple of sheets.  Now start writing.  Once you’re finished writing, we are going to pray about each and every item of baggage that you’re carrying.  Immediately after you pray about the trespass out loud, crumble up the sheet of paper and and drop it in the garbage bag.  Repeat these steps, one item at a time, until you have finished praying about them all.

Heavenly Father, I’ve been holding on to this stuff for so long.  Some of it has robbed me of my joy and my dreams and I’m wiped out tired.  Lord, I cast my cares into Your capable hands because I know You care for me.  I release it all to You.  I forgive each and every person that has offended, betrayed, violated and hurt me, starting with __________.  Colossians 3:13 says that I should forgive those that I hold a grievance against, just as You have forgiven me.  Lord, right now, I am letting it ALL go.  I forgive it ALL.  I hold them harmless and remove their sins as far from me as the east is from the west.  I am free, whole and delivered from the bondage of harboring unforgiveness.  Lord, I thank You for taking care of ALL of my baggage!  In Jesus’ perfect name I pray, amen.

Now take your baggage and dump it.  It sure feels good to travel light!

Employ purposed living,

Aziza Bailey

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Yesterday we reflected on moving beyond merely “giving up” something for 40 days toward a lifestyle of giving ourselves up to God— walking out the gospel and fully surrendering our lives to God’s will.  Surrendering to God sounds like a great plan, but practically speaking, how do I do it?  If you’re asking yourself this question, you are not alone.  I’ve asked myself this many times throughout my life.  It seems with every new trial, I am wrestling with this very question. With all the drama/pain/uncertainty/hurt/mistrust/anxiety, how do I surrender it all to God?  It’s a mixed bag of emotions sometimes, isn’t it?  What we’re asking is both a literal question and an explorative one. How do we surrender and can we surrender?  Let’s start with the latter.  Can you surrender?  Can you afford to let it all go and trust God?  Let me ask the same question, but in a slightly different way— can you afford to not surrender?  Everything has costs.  What are the personal costs of trying to control everything and not surrendering to God’s will or His sovereign Lordship over your life?  What are the costs of holding on to the drama/pain/uncertainty/hurt/mistrust/anxiety?  What are the costs of not letting go?  Not forgiving?  What are the costs of not being free to trust Him?  Stop for a moment to reflect on the costs by making your own list.  If you journal, consider using this list as your journal entry for the day. 

Now I’ll ask you again, can you afford to not surrender?  The reality is that none of us can. Because Jesus tore the veil, we are able to experience the blessings of God’s presence.  We have the gift of knowing we can surrender to Him and be protected by our Lord’s sovereign will and love.  There’s no better place than this!

“Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God. May Your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing.”  –Psalms 143:10 (New Living Translation)

Continue to let this short, but powerful scripture jump start your devotional prayer for today.  Pour your heart out to God– He’s listening.

Employ purposed living,

Aziza Bailey

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This journey has stirred up an indescribable excitement in me.  In an attempt to dig in deeper for Lent, I’ve rediscovered that the presence of God is literally my favorite thing in life— God is my BFF.  I can personally connect with Psalm 51:11, when David cries out asking the Lord to not cast him away from God’s presence.  There are many things and people that I love and appreciate, but truthfully I can effortlessly live without them.  However, the presence of God is not one of them.  I desperately need God’s glory in my life.  Just like David, in the midst of wrongdoing, I run to the presence of God and when all is well in my life, I run to His presence.

This journey has amplified the fact that I’ve failed at being deliberate about pressing in to God’s presence in the past.  I clearly recognize that every time I enter into His presence, it’s a life-changing moment for me— I’m refreshed, filled up and overjoyed.  So why is it that I sometimes let days go by without pressing in?  Yet, when God manifests His presence, it’s a sweet fragrance.  His presence gives me the boost I need to run the course well.  Let’s take a minute to assess our daily routines.  Where can we be more intentional about scheduling time to dwell with Him?

Employ purposed living,

Aziza Bailey

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It’s so easy to get caught up in sadness or to become depressed about the trials of life.  However, I can’t help but get overjoyed when I think about God’s hot pursuit and passion for me.  Even if I question everyone else’s love, I can always count the ways my God loves me…

  • He loves me so much that He sacrificed His best for me: John 3:16
  • He cares deeply about my well being and my future: Matthew 10:30 and Jeremiah 29:11
  • I can run to Him any time of the day or night and not worry about inconveniencing Him: Proverbs 18:10
  • Even when I mess things up, as I often do, I can count on God: Romans 8:28

Take a few minutes now to make your own list and count the ways of His love for you!

Employ purposed living,

Aziza Bailey

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Lord, we continue to posture our hearts toward walking in love– we thank You for Your love, Your rest, Your peace…  no matter what we endure or set to achieve in life, we know that what really matters is Your love for us— what counts is what Jesus did for us at the cross.  Father, today we’ll slow down— we’ll refrain from losing patience and acting too hastily, we’ll love more and forgive with abundance.  We will stop to listen to Your leading, we will surrender to Your Spirit.  All of You and none of us today, Lord.  Show us where to go, what to say and who to bless today— we are wide open to carry out Your perfect will, Father.  Have Your way in our hearts.  Utilize even our weaknesses for Your purpose, Lord.  Take all that we are and use it for Your glory, alone.  We yearn to be content in You during suffering and tribulations.  When we go through trials, we posture ourselves to seek You like never before.  Realign us toward what matters most so that we can keep the gospel the main focus and experience the truth of the cross. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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