Be sure you do it in the correct order!

May 24, 2019

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
(James 4:7 (NIV))

We have a tendency to see things and ignore the obvious. This passage is one that often falls into that category. We read this and all that most of us come away with is that if we resist the devil, he will flee. That is true, but there is a crucial step that is vitally important that it happen in the sequence as presented in this passage.

Submit yourselves to God!

First and foremost, we need to submit ourselves to the Lord and His will, for without this submission, without this relationship, there is no power to force the devil to flee! We cannot do it on our own. We do not possess the power or authority to make the prince of the air do anything. I would venture to say that the enemy finds it humorous when we try to do this relying on our own power. But, when we submit ourselves to God, we become more than conquerors. Through the presence of the Lord in our lives, we inherit the power and authority to make the devil flee. We have the authority to rebuke the devil. We have the authority to bind the enemy. That authority can only be found in one name.

But, there is a catch! There is an order. The enemy knows when you don’t know the Lord. The enemy knows when you fake it!

Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, “In the name of the Jesus whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.” Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. One day the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?” Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding.
(Acts 19:13-16 (NIV))

That authority is yours when you call upon the name of Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior. No other name has such power! Don’t forsake the power and go straight for the warfare.

Be sure you do it in the correct order!

Copyright 1998 – 2019 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you filled?

March 4, 2019

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
(Matthew 5:6 (NIV))

How many times have you experienced an emptiness inside of you that needed attention? Most of the time we associate this feeling with a physical hunger or a deep emotional scar.

You don’t hear of people experiencing a hunger for righteousness. Well, at least those who do experience this do not proclaim it in the same circles as those with the other hungers. This hunger is one of an eagerness to know God and His Will in all things. Many people who experience this hunger and thirst are not looking in the same places that others experiencing a hunger look. They look inward to find the place within them that God is quietly calling them to turn over to Him. They do not look outward in their search. There may be some telltale outward signs, such as changed habits, gentler disposition, etc., but this hunger is not one that longs for anything of this world.

We have turned this world over to Satan, and all dominion is his. Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness reject the ways of the world and long for things that are righteous in the eyes of God. As a result, those who hunger for righteousness reflect righteousness in all that they do, for they are filled with the Holy Spirit.

Are you filled?

Copyright 1998 – 2019 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you love the Lord like this?

October 6, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
(Deuteronomy 6:5 (NIV))

I love how God’s Word can say something different each time you read it. Perhaps I should say that differently. I love how God’s Word can speak to you in a different way each time you read it. To clarify, there is a difference between saying something different and having something speak to you differently. Is it God’s Word or is it our hearts and our ability to understand that is different?

Two days ago I read this passage and quickly moved on to Deuteronomy 6:6. Two days ago, that passage caught my attention. Today, I feel the need to be reminded, and to remind, how we are to love God.

Does the Lord have all your heart?

Your heart is what keeps you alive in the physical world. It is representative of the moment. Does God have you in this very moment?

Does the Lord have all your soul?

Your soul is the eternal. It is what will continue after the physical is gone. It represents your long term love for God. Does God have you for eternity?

Does the Lord have all your strength?

Your strength represents your abilities, even though they are very little when you consider all that God can do. Giving God all your strength means that you are giving everything you are to His Will. You surrender and rely on His strength. Do you fully rely on God?

I honestly do not know how many times that I have read this passage, but today, the Lord spoke to me in a way that opened my eyes, my heart and my mind to the depth of the love that we should feel toward Him. Without Him, we are nothing. Everything that we do should lift up His name. Everything we do should show the love that we have for our Lord, our God!

Do you love the Lord like this?

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Don’t waste the talents that God has given you!

October 23, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. So also, the one with the two talents gained two more. But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.
(Matthew 25:15-18 (NIV))

I find it interesting that the word for an amount of money was a talent. Have you ever stopped to think of this with the meaning that we associate with the word talent?

Both forms are valuable. Both forms are meant to be put to use.

What talents have you been given?

Are you using them?

If God gives you talents, He intends for you to use them to His glory. God has given each of us unique talents to fulfill His plan for our lives. If you do not use them, they will be taken away and your life will be unfulfilled.

Have you ever felt that God is asking you to use your talents beyond what you are currently doing? Have you ever had someone ask you to use your talents?

Think about that last question for a moment.

Does God work through people? If He is calling you to use your talents, do you think that He will place people in your life who will confirm that request? Do you think that the request can come through people? Do you ignore when people ask you to use your talents?

You may be missing out on the very thing that God has planned for you. Are you thinking that because the request came through a person it couldn’t be from God?

God uses people to accomplish His will. If we are not responsive, He will use someone who is responsive to His call.

Don’t waste the talents that God has given you!

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What is it that you ask of God?

August 27, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. “I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, `Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins. ”
(Mark 11:22-26 (NIV))

Prayer is the foundation of our faith. Prayer is more than just asking God for what you want in this world. It is a conversation with The Father. You can tell Him all of your concerns, ideas, and doubts just as you would your best friend. The more that you talk to God in prayer, the closer you become to Him in your thoughts and actions. Then, when you petition God for something in your prayers, it will be within His Will to grant it.

All too many people believe wrongly that God sits in heaven waiting to grant us whatever we want. God will give us good things, but He will not give us something that goes against His nature.

“Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:11-13)

God can only grant good things to His children. He is not capable of granting evil things. When you petition God, petition for things that are of God and from God, and not for things that are of this world. Remember Solomon. God told him that he could have whatever he wanted in this world. He asked for wisdom and God granted him this, plus much more.

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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His compassions never fail!

August 19, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”
The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;
(Lamentations 3:22-25 (NIV))

Seventy times seven! That is the number of times that God says we must forgive others when they sin against us. When that was written, that was considered a large number and was intended probably to mean that we are to forgive unlimited times.

If we, who are not perfect, are to forgive unlimited times, how much more can God forgive if His compassions never fail? If we place our trust in God, He will forgive those who earnestly seek after His Will.

Look at two different scenarios. If you had a son who constantly disobeyed and did not wish to take Godly counsel, you would want to change his attitude, but would not help him until he did. If you had a son who wished to do what is Godly and right, but constantly fell short, you would assist him in his struggles. It is his desire to do what is right, but he needs guidance. One son you would stop helping until he changed his heart, the other son you would continually help because his heart is right.

God is the same way. If you earnestly seek after God, then He will assist you immeasurably to achieve His Will for your life.

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have you placed God in a box?

February 4, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.
(Psalms 100:5 (NIV))

Many people say that God is dead. On the contrary! They only are ignoring what is right before their eyes. Just because His actual works are not yet recorded in the Bible, people fail to see the obvious. If they would only attempt to understand the prophecy that God has placed in the Bible, they would see that God is not dead. He is alive and in control.

Sometimes, even believers need to be reminded that God is faithful. We tend to put God in a box and expect Him to live up, or should I say “down”, to our expectations. God has a plan for His Creation, and His plan does not waiver. God is faithful to those who call upon Him in His Will, not their will.

Have you placed God in a box, or is God the God of Creation?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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