The Lord woke me up early (3AM) this morning, calling me to his word. I was sleepy and tried to ignore it; After all, the boys will be up in just a few very short hours! He kept telling me not to have a spirit of fear, have faith, he will help me find rest. But not until I READ!
Oh, sweet friends, am I glad I did!! You see, I've been having my normal prayer and devotional time each morning, but I haven't felt truly refreshed. Even Jesus had to get up EARLY in the morning to pray to his Heavenly Father. We get so busy in our daily lives that sometimes we forget to slow down and let God lead us, speak to us, show us a different way. His ways are better than my ways, so why do I fight so hard to keep going my way? I think everyone runs into this season during their relationship with God. You're going about life thinking you're "okay" with Him, and focus on other areas of life.
I know God allows us to be tested, to refine us and make us like gold. And I am thankful for these tests and trials. They make me who I am today; a lover and seeker of Jesus Christ. I always love reading through Ephesians when I feel tested. The verses help strengthen my faith and encourage my relationship with my Creator. I then feel empowered, ready to face the devil's schemes.
 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.  Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.  Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,  and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.  In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.  Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
In verse 12, we are remained that the devil exists and his schemes are active. He comes to "kill, steal and destroy!" (John 10:10) Satan knows your weakness, and when you're weak...he know just when and how to attack.
The good news is God has given us a way to protect ourselves. In Ephesians we have the FULL Armor Of God. Put it on daily and be ready to face whatever Satan might throw your way! There is no better way than to start off with God's word.
2 Timothy 3:16 tells us, "All Scripture is God-breathed and is used for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness."
How is He going to teach me, rebuke me, correct me, and train me to be righteous if I'm not asking the Holy Spirit in my heart at the very start of my day? Better yet, how will I teach, rebuke, correct and train the boys in righteousness if I don't have it myself. They are watching and taking note. On the days I want them too, and on the days I don't.
Just as I thought I was finished reading and praying, I closed my eyes ready to get back to that faithful sleep I thought I was due; NOPE! 6 AM and just as I started to drift off, my eyes popped open. I tried to ignore it, again, but the Lord said get up. What, get up?? Yes, get up, get dressed, and wake Johnny for an early breakfast. "His ways are better than mine," I reminded myself. So, 6 AM I get up, get dressed, and run out to warm the car. I ran back in to gather Johnny's clothes before I woke him. I was greeted with the biggest smile! At that moment I thanked God for putting it on my heart to get up. Then off to Waffle House we went.
Be intentional today to be One After God's Own Heart!