“Are You In the Center of His Will?”

are you centered in His will
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
“We are just clay, and You are the potter.

 We are the product of Your creative action, shaped and formed …”

Isaiah 68:8 (the Voice)
 
 
We are the clay and He is the Potter. Let us remain pliable that He is able to work and form us.   As we do this we will be able to reflect His glory and do His will in our lives.   One of the very first things a potter will do with that clump of clay is center it perfectly on the potter’s  wheel. For us to be worked and formed for His purposes we could look at it this way…
 
 
Stay centered on His “wheel”
and you will be in the
center of His will.
 
 

Oh that we would permit His loving hands to place us where He wants us to be.   When He begins to shape us and works us, let us submit to His way of doing it.   As I pondered this devotional my heart began to think about some things that will position us that He can continue to mold us. I already stated the first and that is to stay centered or focused on Him. The other things would be

 
 
*stay humble before God.

 *stay humble before others.

*see yourself humbly for this will guard you from

self deception, which is the worst of all deceptions.

 

 
Lord, we desire that your loving hands mold and make us into the man or woman of God You desire us to be.   As we permit you to work in our lives, we know that we will be pleasing in Your sight.   Thank you for helping us to do Your will and purposes, and guide our decisions and walk as we pursue to stay in the center of Your will.
 
 


“Being Watchful Over One Another”

being watchful over one another
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
 
Have you ever walked away from someone feeling inspired to be a better person? Maybe as you shared your heart you realized that this friend that took a little bit of time to listen was ministering to you just by being there for you. In a world in which our lives seems to be swirling around us with responsibilities, to do lists and daily demands, we can fall short in being observant of those in our lives that have need to be heard. I find it sad that there are people all around us that simply have no one to share their hurting heart with.
 
 
Today I want to share with you about being watchful over those around you. I can not help but think about how our loving Heavenly Father is so watchful over us. I am so thankful that He misses not one thing that is going on in my life, yet He is challenging us in His Word to also watch out for one another. Let us look at the book of Hebrews…
 
 
 
“And let us consider and give attentive, continuous care to watching over one another, studying how we may stir up (stimulate and incite) to love and helpful deeds and noble activities…”
Hebrews 10:24 AMP
 
 
This scripture is plainly exhorting us to give attention and continuous care over each other. To do this, we must be watchful and pay attention. God is not calling us to do thorough examinations of little faults and weaknesses….honestly anyone can do this. Let us not be brought down to such a low level. Let us rise to God’s level of love, and look through His eyes at people in our path. Today I want you to know that there is someone out there that can use an encouraging word but they may not be showing it on the outside.
 
 
I cannot help but think how it can be human nature to masterfully cover up our feelings, and not be real. Our pride will deceive us to think that people will think less of us if we tell them how we are really feeling. I thank God for the people in my life that I can truly give an honest answer, and know that they will purpose to build my heart up, and pray for me. May our hearts be challenged today to study people in our midst and be quick to respond to what the Lord is showing us to do or say. He may lead us to share a word of wisdom. He may lead us to only listen. He may lead us to just pray. However He leads, this is how we can be watchful over one another.
 
 
 

So today, look around and observe those that God has put in your life. Seek ways to encourage them and bring out the best in them. Let us pay attention to one another looking for ways to encourage their heart to move forward in their hopes, dreams, and the will of God for their life!

 
 
 


“The Lord Will Always Lead You”

the Lord will always lead you
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
Isaiah 58:11 (ERV)
“The Lord will always lead you and satisfy your needs in dry lands.

 He will give strength to your bones.

You will be like a garden that has plenty of water, like a spring that never goes dry.”

 
 
 
 
When I read this scripture I am reminded that in this world there will be times that we will have needs and in particular we will have need of strength.  Isn’t it wonderful to know that we can  look to Him  with joyful expectation?   We serve a living God that understands everything we need, and He knows our need before we even ask.   In addition to taking care of our needs, He desires to flow through us as an endless spring to the needy around us. He wants to make you and I a place where His  springs of  life can flow freely. 
 
 
Let us be thankful that the water He gives is the only water that will quench the thirst of the human soul. I love how this scripture in Isaiah says that we will be “like a garden that has plenty of water, a spring that never goes dry.” No matter how much we draw upon it, those waters will continue to flow toward us to meet our every need! The only requirement is that we continue to seek Him and draw upon that river of life that proceeds from Him.
 
 

God desires to see us active in doing good for others from a heart of faith and love.I encourage you to think about the abundance in your life, and how He would have you be a blessing today. Think about the many times He has rescued you from a problem that seemed unsolvable. Thank Him for those times that your anxiety tormented you and His peace permeated you beyond your understanding. We have so much to be thankful for and as we focus on those blessings, we will be in a position to refresh and bless those around us.
 


“Our Life Is a Journey”

our life is a journey
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
“Life is a journey, not a destination”

 

Ralph Waldo Emerson
 
 
I have always loved this quote because it ministers to my heart about how to view my time here on this earth. I can remember hearing an individual sharing their heart  about a man that died and they esteemed this individual very highly. He was held in many’s eyes as a man of integrity and one who encouraged people to reach their potential. He began to share something he heard this gentleman say and it was relating to the quote I shared.
 
 
 
This man that died was also known for his words of wisdom regarding the quote by  Ralph W. Emerson, “Yes it’s said that life is a journey, not a destination”…and if you do it right, you will never reach your destination. The reason being that until the day you die, you should never cease to learn and grow to your potential.” Learning, growing and giving should be life’s experience until you take your last breath.
 
 
 
I was so touched by this! I love hearing people share things like this because it causes me to be careful to never get comfortable with where I am and to keep trying harder. The gentleman sharing said that we all have someone or maybe more than one person that pushed us beyond where we would stop because of our limitations. Do you remember a person in your life that pushed you beyond what you thought you were capable of? Maybe it was that parent or teacher that seemed hard on you and you hated it at the moment but years later, you were glad they did. Today, I encourage you to think about and also be thankful for that individual that pushed you and helped you reach for the God given potential within you.
 
 
 

It is a wonderful thing to make a decision that you will continue to grow and learn everyday of your life no matter how old we are. So as we press in to reach our potential, let us be mindful to never give up because God has much for us to do while we live our life for Him.



“I Will Rest In God Alone”

i will rest in god alone
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
We overwork our bodies at times and more than likely our minds are overworked on a regular basis. Daily responsibilities and cares can just take it out of us. Where do we run when this happens? Are we supposed to run when this happens? Of course God wants us to run to Him when we are in trouble. May I humbly submit to you that if you run from your problems that you are going the wrong way?
 

God desires that we stay in a place of rest, for it is there that we are able to live refreshed and drawing upon Him. It is there that our hearts, minds and bodies are kept in check. It is there that there is strength and peace beyond any comprehension exists. If we are honest with ourselves we need to admit there are times when we are pushing the boundaries of our bodies and minds to the point of pointlessness, and we need to return to His rest that He desires for us.

I am totally sold out in believing that God wants us to live in a place called rest that ONLY He provides. So what is this rest? Here is one definition that I loved…

 
 
“relief or freedom, especially from anything that 
wearies, troubles, or disturbs.”
 

Oh praise the Living God that we can be free of anything that tries to weary, trouble, or disturb our soul.   Let us abide under the shadow of His wings and I mean abide…live there, hang out, stay there….God wants us to remain before Him. He does not desire we come and go as we please. He does not desire that we come to Him when only when problems come up, but He desires we stay put. It is as we rest in this place that we really do experience His rest!
 

“Rest in God alone, my soul, for my hope comes from Him,”
Psalm 62:5 HCSB



“His Love Restores My Soul”

his love restores my soul
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
There is much torment in feeling guilty. It kind of feels like a prison because you are no longer free from the inside out. Memories and thoughts of the wrong you may have done seem to have voices, and they continue to haunt and remind you of what you think is irreparable. If you have received Jesus into your life, you can be cleansed by the blood of Jesus,  and you can partake of His wonderful forgiveness. Let us treasure within us how wonderful it is that the Lord will forgive us when we mess up, and He will always cleanse our hearts. As we humble ourselves to Him admitting our wrongs and shortcomings, He will bring His mercies and forgiveness to you, and  bring you back to that place of feeling clean again.

Let us look at David in the Psalms. His plea to God was for restoration of his heart in a time in which he majorly messed up and his heart was heavy with guilt and anguish.

Psalm 51:7, 8, 10

“Remove my sin and make me pure.”
Wash me until I am whiter than snow!
Let me hear sounds of joy and happiness again.
God, create a pure heart in me,
and make my spirit strong again.”

Today let us treasure the power of love and forgiveness, and look to the only One that can bring restoration to our souls.  He is the only one who is able to cleanse. I love how verse eight says “Let me hear sounds of joy and happiness again.” This is what restoration is about. When we experience freedom from guilt we are able to experience the joy that was robbed by our sin and guilt. Only God is able to create within us a pure heart, pick us back up, and cause us to continue on in His will. Thank God for the power of forgivenesss!



“Teach Us To Love”

lord enlighten our hearts to love
 
by Dona Hake
 
Yesterday I shared how God’s love is so deep , and absolutely nothing can separate us from His love.    His love is  unfathomable.  Love conquers all and God’s love covers all things. God desires that His conquering love flow through us yet there are times His love is not able to flow freely. If we do not desire to look beyond our own little world, how is He able to love through you to a lost and dying world? There is a cost to loving like Jesus and it is a matter letting go of that which is holding you back. In the book of Luke he wrote “If you love only someone who loves you, will God praise you for that? Even sinners love people who love them.”  I love the following quote by Mother Teresa, and it fits perfectly with our devotional today…
 

 

“Love,

to be real,

must cost –

it must hurt –

it must empty us of self.”

 

God is calling us to the high places of love. A wonderful place to meditate is 1 Corinthians 13 because this simply spells out what God’s love is and what it is not.
 

 

“Love is patient; love is kind. Love isn’t envious,

doesn’t boast, brag, or strut about.

There’s no arrogance in love;

it’s never rude, crude, or indecent—

it’s not self-absorbed.

Love isn’t easily upset.

Love doesn’t tally wrongs or celebrate injustice;

but truth—yes, truth—is love’s delight!

Love puts up with anything and everything that comes along;

it trusts, hopes, and endures no matter what.

Love will never become obsolete.”

 

 

Let us desire today that God’s true and real love flows through us in every way possible. Lord help us to desire to pay the cost even when it hurts. Cause us to see that which hinders us from loving like You and empty us of those things! We are believing that you are well able to do above and beyond all we dare ask or think regarding Your love operating through us!



“As Deep As the Sea”

as deep as the sea
 
by Dona Hake
 
 

Psalm 42:8 (CEB)
“By day the Lord commands his faithful love;
by night his song is with me—
a prayer to the God of my life.”

This scripture reminds me that from the time I awaken till I lay my head down to sleep that I should simply praise His Name. As I ponder this I think about all that can happen in a day and to be quite honest sometimes we may encounter difficulties or difficult people that make it hard to keep praise to Him in our hearts. The distractions and difficulties can tend to distort our focus on Him. The Lord desires that there is an offering of praise proceeding from our hearts no matter what is going on around us.

Psalm 113:3 (CEV)
” From dawn until sunset
the name of the Lord
deserves to be praised.”

I think the secret to this whole thing is that we ask Him for a greater understanding that He really is with us all the time and He promises to never leave or forsake us. No matter what happened today or what you have to face tomorrow…NOTHING can keep you from offering praise to the Living God!  So today, think about the great oceans and their depth…His love for you is deeper than the deepest sea!

“I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us. ” Romans 8:39 (The Message)



“Lord, Be Thou My Vision”

Lord be thou my vision
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
I was able to photograph this image this past week on an extremely foggy morning.   I thought this would be a perfect image for a photography group that I am a part of.   Each day we are given an assigned prompt that we are to shoot and I felt this would be a perfect shot for it.   I shared this image on Facebook and I was really inspired to share a message with you today after I read a comment left beneath this image.    My good friend commented on this image with the following inspiring words:
 

 

“Kept thinking this is life. Sometimes we get foggy vision.

We can’t really see the path or end. Thank God –
we have a merciful father whose path is true.”
 
 
This is so true isn’t it?   Even when we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we are on God’s path, sometimes things can get foggy, and hard to see.   I know when I was driving in the fog the other morning I was exercising extreme caution because visibility was terrible, yet I knew where I was going, and I knew I would eventually get there.    Along the way, I saw a bad accident, and again it reminded me to be extra careful.    Let us be reminded in times when things seem to be uncertain to proceed with caution and  trust the Lord in those times that things seem to fog our vision.
 
 
Psalm 17:5
“Hold up my goings in thy paths, that my footsteps slip not.”
 
 
Lord, help us to remember that as we stay on your path, that it is true because you are all truth.  We thank You that you are well able to keep our feet from slipping.  You have promised to be a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path.   Remind us to hold Your hand tightly in times of uncertainty and feeling we are lacking direction.   It is you that is able to give all the direction that we need to walk securely in the path you have appointed to us, and we trust You to keep us safe and our footing sure.


“To Everything There Is A Season”

a time for everything
 
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
Ecclesiastes 3:1  (AMP)

 

“To everything there is a season, and a time

for every matter or purpose under heaven…”
 
 
Have you ever heard someone say that “God sees the big picture” ?   I think this visual art that I am sharing with you today will help us understand it even more.    This image shows all four seasons at one time.    This is also a great visual analogy to help us understand that God sees my life, and every season of it.   He has specific plans for us, and they are for specific times in our life.   He well understands that there will be seasons of great growth,  seasons of great beauty, and then there may be seasons where it may appear that there is dormancy, dry times or  little growth.   I can remember one of my favorite things I read that helped me understand a deeper truth about those times when it appears that nothing is happening in or through me.
 
There was a chapter from a book t that I read  from Madame Guyon and it was entitled “The Blessedness of Winter.”   She made great emphasis of what goes on in the depths of the root system and deepest parts of a tree during the winter months.   She used the cycle of growth in a tree to help enlighten to the reader about our spiritual growth.  Even though the tree seemed lifeless on the outside during the winter months, great things were going on in the inside of the tree.   When spring arrived, all could see that the tree budding to bring forth new and fresh growth for a new season.  Never does one wonder what is happening deep within the root system of a tree during the winter months.
 
Today I encourage you to never be impatient with the working of the Lord’s hand in your life, especially in those “winter seasons”.   Trust Him and believe that His loving hand is molding and making you into a strong vessel that will continue to illuminate His glory as you faithfully draw upon Him for all the grace that you need.  Know that for every purpose He has for you, He is preparing you for it.    He may be preparing you today for something that is going to happen ten years from now.   Patiently wait upon Him and know that He will complete the good work He began in you…in His appointed time and season.



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!