“Keep Your Mind Fixed”

Moods and Thoughts
 
 
Philippians 4:8
Amplified Bible (AMP)
“For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them].Practice what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and model your way of living on it, and the God of peace (of untroubled, undisturbed well-being) will be with you.”
 
 
 
As Paul wrote this in Philippians he was stating the importance of understanding what you are thinking about at all times.    I think it would do us all good if we paused on a regular basis during our busy days and ask ourselves…”Right now, where is my mind fixed, what is captivating my thoughts?”   When God’s Word is not permeating our mind, we can quickly feel overwhelmed and moved by that which is going on around us. If we are weak and feel alone, we can easily be sucked into depths of sorrow and sadness. Circumstance can cause anger and fear as well. God will always show us how to rise above what is going on around us as we stay full and overflowing as we draw upon Him, especially in the realm of our thought life.
 
 
 
Paul said to practice this habit of keeping your mind fixed on all that has virtue and excellence.
 
 
 
“Practice what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me,
and model your way of living on it, and the God of peace
(of untroubled, undisturbed well-being) will be with you.”
 
 
I encourage you to model your way of living by Paul’s example.   Take inventory of your thoughts as much as you can.     I hope you will value the blessing and benefits of your mind being filled with sweet things.   Let your mind be busy with thinking about anything that would bring blessing to God and those around you.   God is good, and He desires that we too live to bring His goodness to everyone we encounter!  God bless you!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


“But When You Ask…”

but when you ask
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
I was meditating upon James chapter one this morning, and would like to share with you about the word ~expect~.    I had an experience yesterday, and I feel this is somewhat of a good analogy of the truth regarding expecting from God.  I went to the drug store to pick up a few items.   I paid for all my items, and headed for the exit door, and the shop lifter alarm went off.     Oh my…I hate when this happens!!!!  I turned and looked at the young lady that just helped me at the register, and said “What do we do now?”    She knew what I meant because I paid for all that was in my bag.   I ~expected~ her to deal with this and help me because I knew I paid for it,  and she knew I paid for it.   She said, “Don’t worry about it, just ignore the alarm and go.”     You see, when I walked into the store, I decided what I wanted to buy but in order to walk out the door, it must be paid for first.  I knew that I did exactly what is expected from a customer in a store.   We all know that you do not pick something up and just walk out the door with it.   The rule is that you pay first, and then that product is your possession.   Today we are looking at rules or guidelines that the Lord has laid out in His Word regarding receiving from Him.   
 
 
 
When we pray, God desires we follow specific steps in receiving.   We cannot decide to make up our own rules about such things, so why is it at times  people think they can create their own rules  regarding spiritual things and still~expect~ God to come through for them?    Keep that thought in mind and read this scripture:
 
 
 
James 1:6-8    (NIV)

 

“But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.  Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.

 
 
 
God knows our needs and desires, and as we pray for them we need to be in total faith and not waver.   James lays it out here that we MUST believe and no doubting is allowed.   He likens a doubter to a wave that is blown and tossed by the wind.    You see, when you ask in faith and determine to resist doubt you can expect the desired outcome.  James never said that when you asked in faith there will be smooth sailing did he?   It is more than likely that we will encounter challenges and detours as we determine to stand in faith for something.  No matter what “alarms” go off around us, we are able to stand in faith, because we  know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we have followed the precepts that the Lord has asked of us.   
 
 
Today I encourage you to be single-minded and stable in all that you do.   With God’s help you can, and you will stand in that place of great expectation from Whom all blessings flow!


“Let Us Receive”

let us receive
 
by Dona Hake
 

“You open Your hand
and they are filled
with good things.”
 
Psalm 104:28b

 

Today I want to share about how important it is that we  pay attention to our hearts.   Is your heart being kept full, strengthened and maintained by the power of the Holy Spirit?  You know He desires that we be full and stay full that we may live the victorious life that He intends for us to live. How many things in life do we diligently pay attention to ?   Just think about it …our gas tanks, our bank accounts, the parking meter, food in the refrigerator, etc… We keep a mental note and physical notes that we are maintaining these things, yet our spiritual being could be totally starving and dehydrated, and we do not even notice. When we are starving and dehydrated in our spirit man, eventually we are going to pay for it. We will not have the strength that we need, therefore we cannot persevere. As our peace is no longer present, we will react to things in a way that we wished we had not. On and on I could go sharing about the good things that God desires we stay full of as we maintain our time with Him and in His Word. He desires we be full!  His hands are full of good things, and He desires you partake of them!
 
 
 

Let us diligently watch over the gauge of our hearts and minds. Pay attention to the warning signals. Let us be watchful that we do not become deficient in things that He desires we be filled with. We actually come to this place of  when we begin to live life from our own resources and our own ability. When we stop trusting God for the littlest of things, it eventually snowballs into every area of our life. God desires to fill us that we bubble over with hope as we trust in Him. As He fills you there will be new strength.   Your youth will be renewed as the eagle.  I encourage you to receive from His hand today. God is so good, trust in Him!!!

 
 

 

Romans 15:13 ERV
“I pray that the God who gives hope will fill you with much
joy and peace as you trust in him. Then you will have more
and more hope, and it will flow out of you by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

 


“and He Shall”

and he shall
 
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
These three words AND HE SHALL are powerful words to ponder.   With God there is no ifs, ands, or buts….God says HE SHALL!!!!  Our God is faithful, and if He says He is going to do something, He never wavers, He never changes, and He does not have mood swings nor does He have favorite kids.  I love knowing that God has promised to keep His Word with all of His children, and He will perform it in our lives.
 
 
 
 
Let us continue to give thanks to the Lord for the many things that He does for us.  Be thankful in the good times but also in the storms.  Have you ever been weary while in a storm? I think we can all acknowledge that some time in our lives we have experienced being weary and have been tempted to lose heart in a matter. Our God is the faithful one that says, “I SHALL strengthen your heart!” What a beautiful promise to rejoice and be thankful for!
 
 

Psalm 27:14(KJV)
“Wait on the Lord: be of good courage,

and he shall

strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.”
 
 
 
 

Let us ponder the three words “AND HE SHALL”. The scripture does not say “wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and it is likely he will strengthen your heart.” Nor did it say “wait on the the Lord: be of good courage and perhaps he will strengthen your heart.” NO! it says, “He shall.” If He said He shall, then He will! Today let us meditate of having hearts that are determined to wait and be of good courage because the faithful One has promised to strengthen us.



“As You Awaken Each Day”

as we awaken
 
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
It is important that we face our days with the acknowledgment of the rich and tender mercies of the Lord!   When you wake, are you only consumed with the duties of your day or do you pause and thank Him for His new mercies?   You know…that is so important.   Even if you only have a few minutes, it will make the difference in your whole day.
 
 
 

 

Maybe you are reading this first thing n the morning or maybe you started your day many hours ago. Regardless of when you are reading this, I want to bring to your heart a reminder of God’s wonderful mercies in your life. No matter how busy your day is, and no matter how good or bad it seems to be going, I encourage you to ponder this…
 
 
Lamentations 3:22-23
New American Bible (Revised Edition)
“The Lord’s acts of mercy are not exhausted,
his compassion is not spent;
They are renewed each morning—
great is your faithfulness!”
 
 
As we look to Him at the start of our day we can stand believing for bountiful blessings flowing from His hand into our life. We can know that everything we will need to sustain us is there, and all we have to do is ask Him for it. I love knowing that I serve a God that is FULL of mercy and He promises that it never runs out nor can it be exhausted! As you meditate upon this, I encourage you to set your gaze upon Him and allow your spirit to receive all that He has for you today. We can look to Him in prayer and believe that His fullness will be upon us as we trust in Him.
 
 
 
Psalm 90:17
“And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us,
and direct thou the work of our hands upon us…”
 
 
 

I believe as we allow His beauty or His grace to be upon us, He will direct the work of our hands. He will begin to deal with how we view everything. He is well able to put us in alignment with His will as we stay humble to Him. He will in turn cause all that we set our hand to to be blessed and prosperous.



“Create In Me…”

create a clean heart in me
 
by Dona Hake
 

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and
renew a right, persevering, and steadfast spirit within me..”
Psalm 51:10

As the psalmist prayed here you can see he plainly realized that he had lost something, and he wanted it back. He was walking in the blessing of feeling right, he was a persevering person with a spirit that was steadfast, yet he knew something was wrong.   When we mess up and do not ask the Lord to help us, things are not the same. The longer we put it off the more we will become callous to our spirit trying to let us know that something is not right within us.

 
 

I have shared this little teaching analogy before but it will serve to minister to your heart again since we are looking at cleansing and renewal.   I can still remember when I shared with some preschoolers a simple little object lesson about forgiveness. It was precious watching their innocent little faces and their eyes light up as they took hold of the truth. I was teaching them the importance of knowing their hearts were clean. I mixed up a big old batch of mud. I took them all outside and we sat down around the bowl of mud. I squished my hands into the mud (may I add the little boys were loving how gross it was!) and rubbed it up and down my arms and my hands were caked with mud. I emphasized to them how bad it felt not to be clean, and I just wanted it off of me.
 
 
 

I shared with them that the mud was symbolic of our mistakes, our sins, etc. I had a pitcher of fresh, clean water beside me. As I poured the pure, clean water over me, the mud totally cleansed my arms and hands, and into the ground the mud was absorbed. “Where is the mud?” I asked them, and the point was made beautifully. It could not be seen anymore and it was gone! These kind of visual analogies are so powerful, not just for children but adults as well.

Psalm 51:2-3 Amplified
“Wash me thoroughly [and repeatedly] from my iniquity and guilt and cleanse me and make me wholly pure from my sin! For I am conscious of my transgressions and

I acknowledge them; my sin is ever before me.”

There are two key words here that the writer wrote and these are our keys to living with a clean heart and those words are CONSCIOUS and ACKNOWLEDGE. It is plain and simple, as we stay conscious of the condition of our hearts and we acknowledge it before God, He will always help us, and work within us and renew us again. Let us be quick to humble and repent when we are out of align with His perfect will. We serve a merciful and loving God. Think about anything that has hindered your steadfastness and strength in Him and ask Him to cleanse it so your heart pure and totally restored. This is truly freedom!



“Inquiring of the Lord”

Pray and learn
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
Yesterday I shared with you what the Lord was speaking to my heart relative to seeking Him diligently as He has made provision for all of our needs.   I would like to continue with that today!
 
 
 
 
Psalm 105:4 (AMP)

 

“Seek, inquire of and for the Lord, and crave Him and
His strength (His might and inflexibility to temptation);
seek and require His face and His presence [continually] evermore.”
 
 
 
As we ponder the scripture from Psalm 105:4 we too can see that as we truly seek the Lord in prayer, reading, and the hearing of His Word that there is much to be found. Even if you have read a scripture many times over, there is always freshness and newness of life which can minister to your soul…if you allow it to.
 
 
Today I encourage you to crave Him and His strength. Think about those things you love to eat. Sometimes it will hit me and I will start craving a particular food because I love it so much. So it should be with our love for our Lord! The more we seek Him the more we will find ourselves needing to seek Him more. The more you experience HIS strength and HIS ability, the more you will crave to turn your face to Him and receive all that He is! Remember that all that He is, and all that He does is brand new everyday. He desires to teach you continually and answer all the questions of your heart. Crave Him, step into His presence, and prepare yourself to learn and receive His portion for you today. God is good!
 
 
 

Jeremiah 33:3 (CJB)

“Call out to me,
and I will answer you —
I will tell you great things,
hidden things of which you are unaware.”



“Keep On Asking”

keep on asking
 
by Dona Hake
 
Once again the Lord has used my feathered friends that I feed to speak to my heart.   I faithfully feed the birds, and I have specific feeders for specific birds that visit my deck.    The Morning Dove loves my ground feeder, and I know what food they love especially when it is cold.   Over the past few days, I moved some feeders around so the birds would have access to their seed and corn yet be protected from the snow covering it.   Much of the food was placed under my patio table, and this works perfect, and all the birds can safely feed there.  I wanted to acclimate them to the change before the storm.   All the birds did well today, except for some of the doves.   The main ground feeder was covered in snow so some of them pitifully sat, and waited for me on the deck.  This is what they normally do if the feeders are empty…they sit and look in the direction of my windows.   I had to photograph this for your visual.  I knew she was hungry yet she thought there was no provision.   Do you know that there are times that we have a need, and the provision is right under our nose, and we miss it?
 
 
The Lord began to minister to my heart that we too are like the doves.   He provides all that we need especially in the storms of life.   Even though He is our provider, He does expect us to do our part.  Let us read the scripture…
 
Matthew 7:7 (AMP)

“Keep on asking and it will be given you; keep on

seeking and you will find; keep on knocking [reverently]
and [the door] will be opened to you.” 
 
 
Now…back to the dove!    She had all the provision that she needed only feet away from her, yet she was missing that which was under her beak (she doesn’t have a nose)   :)   If only she would seek I thought, if only she would take a closer look, and take some initiative.   So it is with us at times.   God has given all that we need, but we may be looking for it to come in another way, so we just sit.   God desires that we keep on seeking.   He desires that our faith be active, and He promises we will find.    We need to be diligent to persevere and seek  all the Lord has for us.   He promises to bless the heart of the one that seeks Him with their whole heart!   …and by the way the Dove finally figured it out, and her belly was filled!
 


“Pray About Everything”

instead pray
 
by Dona Hake
 

The Word is telling us in Philippians to worry about NOTHING.   Not the littlest of a problem should tempt us to worry, but oh how hard this can be at times.    Sometimes our minds can become nervous as anxious thoughts wander through our mind, and may ultimately  affect us physically.   
 
 
 
I shot weddings for seven years, and even in my seventh year I would still deal with “butterflies” in my stomach right before a wedding.   Once I was at a wedding and things got rolling, I would be fine, but the bottom line for the “butterfly” thing in my stomach was the fear of something going wrong, or things being out of control.      Even after all the experience I had, I would still be tempted to fear that I may not have a successful day or make some sort of a mistake.   There were many times that the time allotted for me to shoot would be altered drastically due to unforeseen things.   I had to learn to flow with this, and keep my peace so that I could  take beautiful images of such a memorable day.   I learned that worrying and lacking peace contributed nothing  and no matter how I try to organize things…my plans could be subject to change.    We need to assure ourselves that God is all about desiring to perfect anything that concerns us.
 
 
I would always have to remind myself that when I felt tempted to feel inadequate  that I was at the best place ever.   When we come to realize our inadequacy without Him, it is  then that He is  able to show Himself big on our behalf.   He desires that we look up to Him anytime we have a need and just ask Him and thank Him for His answers!
 
 
 
 
 Philippians 4:6-14 (TLB)
 
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your
needs, and don’t forget to thank him for his answers. “
 
 

Today I encourage you to give your anxious thoughts and worries to Him and expect Him to move on your behalf.  Do not ponder how you think it should all work out, but watch and wait expectantly as He unfolds the answers in your life.  Most importantly, do not forget to praise our wonderful God that is faithful to answer our prayers.  God bless!
 


“He Directs the Humble In Heart”

with justice
 
by Dona Hake
 
 

Proverbs 25:9 (The Voice)
“With justice, He directs the humble in ALL that is right and He shows them His
way.” We can stand in knowing that He will direct us to walk in the right path
and He will be faithful to cause us to walk in that path.

 
 
 
1 Peter 5:5 (Amplified)
“For God sets Himself against the proud (the insolent, the overbearing, the
disdainful, the presumptuous, the boastful)—[and He opposes, frustrates, and
defeats them], but gives grace (favor, blessing) to the humble.”
 

 
 
Wouldn’t it be a blessing and a good feeling to know that you are on the right track in everything you do?    It is so important that we are seeking daily that God has His hand on all that we do, and that we are following the direction of His sweet Spirit.        The scripture I am sharing today from Proverbs 25:9 is very plain that God directs the humble in heart.    It not only says that He directs the humble but He directs them in ALL that is right.  Yesterday I had shared how magnificent the handiwork of our Lord was in the creation of the heavens and the earth, yet after He created it all, His eyes are still looking to and fro for the one that will serve Him with a humble and contrite spirit.  
 
 
 
 
In 1 Peter  5:5 it was written that God actually sets Himself against the proud in heart.  I do not know about you, but I certainly do not want God to set Himself against me.   The truth is that when ever we exalt our opinions or experiences against God’s Word, we are positioning ourselves to have our hearts rooted in pride.  God hates pride, and He resists it.
 
 
 
 
 
Lord, we ask You today to help us be mindful of the condition of our hearts and the realm of our thoughts.   May the flags go up in our spirits when we begin to think too highly of ourselves, and seek to put our opinions or experiences above what Your Word says.   Your Word is the highest truth, and we ask You remind us to stay in a place of humility.   We delight in knowing that You are drawn to the humble in heart.   Show us Your ways of humility, and cause us to grow in it.



6 Responses to “Devotional”

  1. Lisa Viands says:

    This is a good way of teaching the kids to forgive each other(Matt. 5:7). I like the power of this gentle scripture and lesson… Thanks!!

  2. Selena Neely says:

    Ralph &I are really enjoying your devotional together.

  3. Selena Neely says:

    Oh, what a wonderful reminder! I want to break the magnifing glass of worry and trust God for each step I take.

  4. Dona Hake says:

    It is interesting Selena how the more we worry the bigger and more magnified things get in our minds. Oh how important it is to trust our God for the smallest of things! Thank you for sharing!