Tag Archives: strongholds

getting rid of the huisache

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Huisache (wee – sach) ~a native plant in Texas.  In the spring, it puts forth beautiful yellow flowers and when you look at the shrub it has nice green foliage, inviting to deer and birds.  One small problem, huisache will take over your land if not maintained and kept under control.  It seems that the more you try to mow it down or cut it down, the more it seems to spread. So in other words, the more you try to physically disturb it, the more it grows.   The problem is you have to get down into the plant’s root system.  Something we’ve learned about controlling the huisache at CHR is we have to be intentional in the fight. We fight the root of the problem by spraying the stems and leaves of each plant with a very strong and powerful herbicide and let it do its work.  Then he can come in and pull out the dead plant, root and all.

Seeing my husband working our land, reminds me of how God works in us. As “pleasing” as the huisache can look from a distance, once you get up close you see the thorns and you learn how it will methodically overtake your land.  Sounds just like the Enemy.  He made rebellion against God—which is the root of all sin—seem very attractive.

So just like with the huisache, I have to fight the lies, the doubts, the deception the Enemy whispers to me, desiring me to turn my eyes away from my Father.  I have to be intentional day by day, moment by moment.   I must keep my focus on knowing the Lord and believing in His promises.  Then, and only then, will I be ready and equipped to fight the battle against the one who wants me to turn away from God.

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV


in her Momma’s arms

sleeping AB

I sit quietly in awe. Quietly watching this precious little one nestled snugly in her momma’s arms.  Their breathing is in harmonic motion, in and out . . . in and out . . .a quiet, a peaceful rhythm.

Her momma gently whispers words of love over her as she has her tucked safely close. In her mother’s arms she is safe, protected, nurtured.  Momma’s arms hold her close to her beating heart, that heart that was the familiar sound this little one heard day in and day out while her mother carried her for nine months.   And now out in this world, this world that is so filled with chaos, her momma continues to hold her close, to cover her with mother wings.  A stronghold of love.

I sit watching, pondering in awe. Pondering meditatively.

As I see my very own little girl embrace her own little girl, my heart is full.  My heart is full of love for this new little one who has been  remarkably and wonderfully made.  My heart is full of love for the one who was remarkably and wonderfully knitted together inside my own body.

But most of all, my heart is full of reminders of the One who covers me in His arms, who holds me close in the midst of the chaos.

I am reminded of the times my life has been crumbling to pieces around me, troubles were crashing into me right and left, life seem to be imploding.  I was alone, or at least that is what the enemy wanted me to believe.

Clinging to Psalm 46, He pulls me in to cover me with His Love, to be my stronghold against all that is clamoring to tear me apart.  He is always there to whisper His words of Love into my heart.  Pulling me close, the chaos turns into peace.

I can hear His heartbeat because He created me to be His.

God is my refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Therefore I will not fear,
Though the earth should give way,
And though the mountains fall into the heart
of the sea.
Though its waters roar and foam,
Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride.
Psalm 46:1-3

So as things of this world are vying to pull me away, to create disharmony, when I have to hold it together, even when I don’t feel like it . . . it is here, here with my God, my Creator, that I find solace, my stronghold.  It is here, I can let it go.  I cling to His arms and hear His tender heart calling me close.  It’s here in the magnificent, or the insignificant, in the joyous moments, or the disappointing times, the uplifting, or the casting down, the contentment, or the perplexities and uncertainties that I rest secure. Resting secure in the harmonic motion of His peace and His grace.

Rest in His arms, just like that precious little one in her Momma’s arms.  Rest no matter what the world throws your way. Find His peace in the chaos.


truth

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 “Truth is a glorious but hard mistress. She never consults, bargains, or compromises.” – A.W. Tozer

Truth.  The dictionary defines truth as “the real facts about something : the things that are true.”

Biblically speaking, truth is “not merely truth as spoken; truth of idea, reality, sincerity, truth in the moral sphere, divine truth revealed to man, straightforwardness.”  (Strong’s Greek)

Truth is, we all want someone who we can be vulnerable with . . .

someone we can show transparency, exposing our hurts, shortcomings, struggles . . .

someone we can be completely up-front and honest with.

We want that person to be lovingly understanding of us, show us integrity, be merciful. Yet, so many times in life and in our relationships, we find ourselves turning away from others because people let us down. So we run, or maybe we do a fast walk, or even a slow, sulk.  And then we drift apart . . . or perhaps completely turn away.  So instead, we turn further into ourselves, living in pretense.

But the real truth is . . . we can have that Someone.  

In Christ, I have the Truth.

You will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free. – John 8:32

I don’t have to live in the trappings of pretense, of the believing the lies the enemy wants me to hear.  The Truth has set me free.

Truth. It does exist . . . it is real . . . it is straightforward.

Sometimes, the Truth has stopped me right in my tracks.  At other times, Truth is tapping me on the shoulder – redirecting my focus, my eyes.  Instead of looking inward, or avoiding the eye contact, Truth tells me to look upward.  Truth reminds me to look around and get myself back on the right road.

 And then there have been times, Truth has had to get me square by the shoulders and look me straight eye-to-eye, just like a parent with a child.   Gently, but firmly, steering me home.

Truth . . . God’s Truth does not consult, bargain or compromise.

His Truth gives me comfort and hope.  It is my Freedom.


even in the dark

 

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It never ceases to amaze me . . . when I’m on the hunt for something to share with someone . . . The Word speaks to me.  Sometimes it’s a tug on my heart.  Or maybe a tap on my shoulder or a pull on my arm.  And then there are the times when it hits me smack in the head.  That’s exactly what happened the other day when I read Ann Voskamp’s post, How to Get Through the Dark Places.

There is nothing, absolutely nothing, that can defeat me. I can say, “I get it.” N.O.T.H.I.N.G.
And there is no place His light won’t go to find you, to save you, to hold you.

The darkness doesn’t understand the light, doesn’t comprehend the light, doesn’t get the light, doesn’t overcome the light, doesn’t master the light.

Darkness doesn’t have anything on light, on hope, on faith.

The darkness that sucks at the prodigal kid doesn’t have anything on the light of his mother’s prayers.

The black of pornography that threatens at the edges doesn’t master the blazing light of Jesus at the center.

The pit of depression that plunges deep doesn’t go deeper than the love of your Jesus and there is no place His light won’t go to find you, to save you, to hold you.

That low-lying storm cloud that hangs over you can’t master the light of Christ that raises you.

Darkness can’t drive out darkness. Only light can do that.

Only words of Light can drive out worlds of dark.
Only deeds of Light can drive out depths of dark.
Only lives of Light can drive out lies of dark.

Darkness can never travel as fast as Light. No matter how bad things get, no matter how black the dark seeps in, no matter the depths of the night — the dark can never travel as fast as Light. The Light is always there first, waiting to shatter the dark.

You can always hold His Word like a ball of light right there your hand, right up there next to your warming heart.

You can always count on it: Jesus is bendable Light, warmth around every unexpected corner.

So press on.  Keep running the race – even in the dark.


for chains to fall

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He brought them out of darkness and the deepest gloom and broke away the chains.
Psalm 107:14

I’m learning much about silence in prayer during this season.  But even in the silence I can find the comfort, the peace this mother’s heart needs, I find it daily in His Word.  The wordless responses are met with His Promises.

For all the children . . .

I pray for Grace to be made real in their lives.

I pray for the sweet calling of the Holy Spirit to be met with openness.

I pray for the look in the mirror to be met with fearless honesty with the Creator, the one they’ve called Abba Father.

I pray even when they feel lost to themselves, even when they question, that they are never lost to Him who died for them. 

AND

I pray for chains to fall as . . .

 one of them is struggling, coming to terms with the hard parts of his story.

You’ve broken the chains of many, Lord.

My son has chains too.  Not chains made of iron but from the sins he forged on his own free will, thinking this is a freedom, an identity, maybe an escape.  But these chains are entangling, not liberating, because they have taken him away from You.

The Word says, “The Lord sets the prisoners free.

How we want so much to hear the sounds of the chains falling, never to be picked up and put on again.

How much we so want to hear him say how You have done great things for him and set his heart free.

How much we want him to recognize his conforming to the world is the worst kind of slavery.

We don’t know the reasons Lord.  We don’t fully know the challenges he faces, only in part.  But we do know that You know all of them.  We ask that the chains be broken link by link by link, so he can turn again to You.  And the things that have captivated him will lose their lure and he will understand they are the tools, the schemes of the enemy.

You’ve broken the chains of many.  Break his.


flesh vs. Spirit

…the flesh desires what is against the Spirit, and the Spirit desires what is against the flesh, these are opposed to each other, so that you don’t do what you want … (Gal. 5: 19-21 HCSB)

Reading on in Galatians 5, the list of the fleshly things, saying that the works of the flesh are obvious, reads like this:
sexual immorality
moral impurity
promiscuity
idolatry
sorcery
hatreds
strife
jealousy
outbursts of anger
selfish ambitions
dissensions
factions
envy
drunkenness
carousing
and anything similar …

you know what struck me about this “shopping list” of flesh works.… so many of the acts that are on this list have become so “accepted” by our culture. In fact, we could say this IS our culture.   That is exactly what the flesh is —- the human frailties (physical and moral) and passions.  The first three on the list (sexual immorality,moral impurity,promiscuity) actually do involve our Flesh and are each a form of self-idolatry.

 There is a battle waging in man—-the yearning inside.  We can either look to the flesh to fill those voids, those “bents” in us OR we can look to God to fill in those holes.

Have you given up on the battle waging on in you?  —– Remember:  No battle is ever won without Power. I have none . . .  HE has it all!


strongholds

text written by Beth Moore

[Strongholds always lead us into isolation; we’ll come into hiding and if we’re not careful we’ll only have relationships with people who will be a shelter NOT for us to be healed, but for us to practice our stronghold.]

Strongholds – the word jumped out at me while looking through some exchanges today and really hit home with me as I pray for one that is wandering through the world of deceit.

 “A stronghold is anything that exalts itself in our minds, “pretending” to be bigger or more powerful than our God. It steals much of our focus and causes us to feel overpowered. Controlled. Mastered.” Beth Moore

When we allow a stronghold to captivate us, to lure us in, it is as if we have been put into a fortress – with the Enemy standing guard.  This fortress may be a fortitude of pride, lust, pleasure, greed, lack of faith.  It could be  “human reasoning” that what we’re doing is acceptable because of the subtle arguments offered by someone who is against what God has designed for your life.  

We put up these walls or fortresses around  our emotions, our beliefs, to protect us from further pain.  Walls work two ways. Either to keep in or to keep out.   The walls of a stronghold allow us to hide ourselves in whatever the Enemy has lured us into… those holes in our heart that give him a foothold, then become his stronghold on us.

And so, I continue to pray against the strongholds . . .

“Do not fear, for I am with you; I will bring your descendants from the east, and gather you from the west.  I will say to the north: Give them up! and to the south: Do not hold them back!  Bring My sons from far away, and My daughters from the ends of the earth – everyone called by My name and created for My glory.  I have formed him; indeed I have made him.”  Isaiah 43:5-7


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