Friday, July 24, 2020

Devotional 7.24.20
“Empowered In His Presence”
by Dona Hake
We continue with our meditation upon standing in the presence of our enemies. Oh that we would continue to grow in our revelation that God is with us no matter what we come against. In Psalm 18:35 from the Passion Translation the psalmist proclaims how he is empowered.
“You empower me for victory with your wrap-around presence. Your power within makes me strong to subdue, and by stooping down in gentleness you strengthened me and made me great!”
Psalm 18:35 – TPT
If we are found weak in our souls and faith we will be fearful of our enemies. We will not have what it takes to stand strong in their presence. When we are strong we will identify our enemies, and then we will pursue them. Let us read now from Psalm 18:36- 40 from the Passion translation.
“You’ve set me free from captivity and now I’m standing complete, ready to fight some more! I caught up with my enemies and conquered them, and didn’t turn back until the war was won! I pinned them to the ground and broke them to pieces. I finished them once and for all; they’re as good as dead. You’ve placed your armor upon me and defeated my enemies, making them bow low at my feet. You’ve made them all turn tail and run, for through you I’ve destroyed them all! Forever silenced, they’ll never taunt me again.”
Psalm 18:36-40 TPT
Praise God that He surrounds us with His presence and He has given us His Word which is always our defense. In Psalms 20:8 from the Passion Translation the psalmist proclaims here that God gave him victory on every side! We too can proclaim that we have victory in every area of our lives in Jesus Name. There is no other Name or no other place that we can find the strength, the true strength that will fight our battles. As we pursue Him in the midst of any battle, let us listen carefully as He answers us with words of direction, wisdom, and courage.
“Some find their strength in their weapons and wisdom, but my miracle deliverance can never be won by men. Our boast is in the Lord our God, who makes us strong and gives us victory! Our enemies will not prevail; they will only collapse and perish in defeat while we will rise up, full of courage. Give victory to our king, O God! The day we call on you, give us your answer!” Psalm 20:7-9 TPT

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Devotional 7.23.20
“My Testimony…”
by Dona Hake
We will continue on meditating upon standing in the presence of our enemies. Many times our hearts can be gripped with fear in the face of danger. God is faithful to show Himself faithful when we trust in Him.
Today I would like to share a testimony that I experienced as a very young believer. I was only about twenty years old, and I worked as a receptionist for a photo lab and corporation. In the winter months it would be dark by 5 PM when my day ended. I did not own a car so I depended on people giving me a ride home during those dark days.   Then came the evening when everyone left before me, and I realized I have no one to ask to give me a ride home. I lived in an apartment in a very bad section of the city and I did not like the thought of walking home those six long blocks in the dark.
Prior to this evening when I would walk , and it was still daylight, there was this huge dog that would sit on his porch, and he would always come and greet me.  I always looked forward to being with him at the end of my work day. He loved how I would talk to him and pet him. I would say goodbye to him and be on my way.
Then came that evening  when it was pitch dark, and I had to walk home alone. I was nervous yet I tried to remain calm and pray as I walked.  As I passed this home where this dog lived he promptly came down over the steps and I stopped to pet him but this time he did not go back to his porch but he persisted to stay by my side for those six long blocks. It was if he sensed my fear. As I neared my apartment there was a particular block that was known to have danger and a lot of crime . I heard a gang of guys and they were walking towards me and yelling at me and my heart began to really be tempted to fear. But they just did not come near me…instead they turned and went the other way.
I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that when they saw that huge dog close by my side,   they decided to go the other direction. As soon as I got to the street where my apartment was, the dog turned around and walked those long six blocks back to his home. Yes, I believe this was the Lord‘s hand upon me using that dog to protect me. I worried about that dog getting home safely. Sure enough the next day he was there on his porch ready to greet me again!
Even though I walked that dark walk home that evening, and my heart was very tempted to fear, my Lord let me know how He was going to take care of me. I can still remember how closely that dog stayed by my side, and the confidence and protection I felt as he stayed near me.  It showed me to never try to figure out how God is going to move in my life.  I hope this testimony encouraged your heart.
“Lord, even when your path takes me through the valley of deepest darkness, fear will never conquer me, for you already have! You remain close to me and lead me through it all the way. Your authority is my strength and my peace. The comfort of your love takes away my fear. I’ll never be lonely, for you are near.”
Psalm 23:4 – The Passion Translation

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Devotional 7/22/20   
“…In the Presence Of Our Enemies” 
by Dona Hake
Last week as I was before the Lord preparing the last devotional of the week, the Lord had directed my heart to move on in a different direction. The words He impressed very clearly upon my spirit were “standing in the presence of your enemies.”
It is important that we expect the Lord to speak to our hearts. I feel we are living in a very troubling time like we have never experienced before. We need our Lord’s fresh word of wisdom and direction in this time in which the enemy is attacking our nation in so many ways. The one enemy of every man’s soul is the temptation to grow weary and become discouraged. Discouragement alone can become a strong enemy to our soul if we permit it to. The Psalmist David had many enemies but He lived in expectancy before his God. God always showed Himself faithful to David even in the most hopeless of times.

“In the morning, O Lord, You will hear my voice; In the morning I will prepare [a prayer and a sacrifice] for You and watch and wait [for You to speak to my heart].”
Psalm 5:3 The Amplified Version

As you read through the Psalms you can see that David experienced many times of weariness, discouragement, and his soul was cast down. One thing for sure David understood how faithful his God was as he called upon Him for help. He learned the secret of watching and waiting before the Lord. Over the next few days we will be looking at the importance of knowing our personal enemies and pursuing them.  We are going to meditate on going forward into the battle before us knowing our God will straighten the crooked paths, and make our focus clear even in the greatest battles.

“O Lord, lead me in Your righteousness because of my enemies; Make Your way straight (direct, right) before me.”
Psalm 5:8 The Amplified Version

Friday, July 17, 2020

Devotional  7/17/20 
 “Walking In Holiness”
by Dona Hake
I would like for us to meditate today on a portion of scripture within Romans 12:12-2 TPT
“…And live in holiness, experiencing
all that delights his heart…”
The transformed heart embraces a passionate desire to live in holiness and desires to delight the heart of God. The man that falls into being pulled and tugged by the voices and influences of this world will constantly deal with a battle that causes instability,weakness, and guilt as he tries to walk before the Lord.
The secret to the flourishing life of a transformed believer is to constantly keep our minds renewed to what God’s Word instructs us to do. Our feelings, our experiences or opinions can never be considered as we purpose to stand strong. We can not weaken , we can not stray in our convictions of the truth.
I was touched as I read this scripture in the Psalms. What a beautiful prayer from the heart of the psalmist! He was pleading with God for rescue from  deceitful and unjust men.  We too can stand strong in the presence of our enemies that are trying to pull us down. Our hearts can be lifted above the forces that may try  to discourage our hearts. Be encouraged as you read and pray this scripture.
“Pour into me the brightness of your daybreak! Pour into me your rays of revelation-truth! Let them comfort and gently lead me onto the shining path, showing the way into your burning presence, into your many sanctuaries of holiness. Then I will come closer to your very altar until I come before you, the God of my ecstatic joy! I will praise you with the harp that plays in my heart, to you, my God, my magnificent God!”
Psalm 43:3-4 – The Passion Translation

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Devotional 7/16/20   
“Surrender and Follow”
by Dona Hake
I would like to continue in our meditation on living a transformed life. Let us look again at Romans 12:1-2.
“Beloved friends, what should be our proper response to God’s marvelous mercies? I encourage you to surrender yourselves to God to be his sacred, living sacrifices. And live in holiness, experiencing all that delights his heart. For this becomes your genuine expression of worship. Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you, but be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think. This will empower you to discern God’s will as you live a beautiful life, satisfying and perfect in his eyes.”
Romans 12:1-2 -The Passion Translation
Now let us look at Psalm 1:1-2

“What delight comes to the one who follows God’s ways! He won’t walk in step with the wicked, nor share the sinner’s way, nor be found sitting in the scorner’s seat. His pleasure and passion is remaining true to the Word of “I Am,” meditating day and night in the true revelation of light.”
Psalm 1:1-2 -The Passion Translation

In Romans we see the word surrender, and in the Psalms we are exhorted to follow. The believer  that has totally surrendered their  heart to God is the man or woman that truly follows him no matter what is going on around them. This believer does not stop in the midst of a storm and say “Where is God in all this?“ or “Why do I have to go through this?”.   
The believer that truly surrenders
will delight in God‘s law and press in…
This my friend is what delights the heart of our Lord… He loves knowing we are close behind Him as we follow Him as He leads us and guide us in this life.   He has a plan and direction for each and everyday of our life.  Let us trust Him in it all.  This is the transformed life!

Friday, July 10, 2020

Devotional 7/10/20   
 “The Obedient Heart Is a Joyful Heart”
by Dona Hake

Yesterday we looked at the scripture from Proverbs chapter three. We meditated upon the danger that comes to our hearts when we think we know at all. We must be mindful that pride comes before a fall, and the devil will craftily take opportunity to use this to keep us from doing the Lord’s will. Let us look at that scripture again…
”Don’t think for a moment that you know it all, for wisdom comes when you adore him with undivided devotion and avoid everything that’s wrong. “
The secret to the blessed, abundant life is to adore him with a devotion that is never distracted by this world. Again, the transformed heart will avoid anything and everything that is wrong. Because of the work of the Holy Spirit in our life we can trust that He will lead us in right paths that echo His Name. As we remain humble before Him we will hear His voice of correction and instruction to keep us going forward in the transformed life.
Let us look at the following verse that tells us the wonderful blessing of the obedient life that seeks to live totally for Him.
…”Then you will find the healing refreshment your body and spirit long for. Glorify God with all your wealth, honoring him with your very best, with every increase that comes to you. Then every dimension of your life will overflow with blessings from an uncontainable source of inner joy!”
Proverbs 3:7-10. The Passion Translation
Oh the beauty of knowing that our Lord desires that we live this life overflowing with a joy that is uncontainable!  Today let us look for those that need hope and joy, and let us be used by Him!

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Devotional 7/9/20 
 “The Undivided Heart”
by Dona Hake

I would like to continue our study from Proverbs 3.
“Don’t think for a moment that you know it all, for wisdom comes when you adore him with undivided devotion and avoid everything that’s wrong.”
Proverbs 3:7 – The Passion Translation
I love this scripture for it is a good healthy warning to all of us. Anyone of us could fall prey to such an attitude, and how sad this is in the eyes of God. We should always be willing to listen to correction and instruction.  Surely if one continues in a “know it all attitude“ they are heading into the devil’s snare which is living in the sin of pride, and pride always comes before a fall.
In the book of James he tells us that wisdom will come to our hearts and minds when we need it. All we have to do is admit we do not know what to do or which way to turn, and then humbly ask Him for the wisdom you need. One with a “know it all attitude” will be too proud to ask for help, and that pride will keep them from doing that which is right in the sight of the Lord. Again… we must diligently guard our hearts and ask ourselves the question “are we conforming to the ways of this world or are we in the process of constant transformation before the Lord our God ? The heart that is being pulled and tugged by the ways of this world is being conformed to it. This is the heart that is divided.
God is looking to and fro for the heart that is undivided . Oh how He delights in the heart that avoids anything that is wrong.  When we desire an undivided heart toward God, we are desiring to live passionately for Him.  God loves a passionate heart!!

“I have longed for you with the passion of my heart; don’t let me stray from your directions!”
Psalm 119:10 -The Passion Translation
“Give me an understanding heart so that I can passionately know and obey your truth.”
Psalm 119:34 – The Passion Translation

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Devotional  7/4/20
“Walking Close With Him”
by Dona Hake
Let us continue with our meditation on the transformed life of a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. Let us always yield to the Master with a heart that is pliable. Here is where the transformed life begins, continues and flourishes. If we act and live in accordance with the prevailing standards, attitudes and practices of this world… we are yielding our hearts in the wrong place, and little by little we are being conformed to this world. Beware!  for this is why so many Christians are unable to live and serve God with a whole heart. Be ye transformed!
As we purpose to yield to God a pliable heart , without a doubt… our heart will be transformed!   One of the best secrets of a yielded heart is when God is your best Friend.  Close fellowship with Him will nourish transformation within us. The Lord desires our fellowship. He desires to be our friend and our confidant. As we walk ever so closely with Him we will find ourselves talking to Him about the smallest of matters . Our thoughts and desires are heard and seen by Him sometimes before we even realize that they exist. After all isn’t that how good friends are with us? The slightest change in our faces or behavior, and without us saying a word they know something is going on deep within us.
When we purpose to walk the transformed life we see God in everything around us. We will see Him as the answer to ANYTHING that could come against us, we will see Him as our strength when we are weak, we will just see Him at work in every detail of our life…He shall be our Everything!

“Become intimate with him in whatever you do,
and he will lead you wherever you go.”
Proverbs 3:6 The Passion Translation

Thursday, June 2, 2020

Devotional 6/3/20
“Keeping a Pliable Heart In the Master’s Hands”
by Dona Hake
I would like to pick up on our meditation upon upon Romans 12:1-2. The message of these Scriptures is let us NOT conform to this world but rather be transformed by the constant renewal of our minds. Transformation will always be going on in the heart that is a pliable clay in the hands of the Master.
So let us question ourselves…what will keep our heart pliable in the hands of our Lord? Let us look at some definitions of this word pliable. It means to be easily bent, yielding, adjusting readily to change. As I ponder these definitions I see how much our hearts MUST be pliable in order to be transformed as our Lord desires us to be. 
Every though our Lord never
changes, things around us will.   
We need to always be prepared for the work of His hand in our lives to help us, and lead us in any change that is shaking our world.   We need to absolutely yield to Him, and be willing to bend and stretch even when it is uncomfortable to our flesh.  
Over the next few days we will meditate upon Proverbs 3:5-10 in light of resisting conforming to this world. Let us read it from the Passion translation.
“Trust in the Lord completely, and do not rely on your own opinions. With all your heart rely on him to guide you, and he will lead you in every decision you make. Become intimate with him in whatever you do, and he will lead you wherever you go. Don’t think for a moment that you know it all, for wisdom comes when you adore him with undivided devotion and avoid everything that’s wrong. Then you will find the healing refreshment your body and spirit long for. Glorify God with all your wealth, honoring him with your very best, with every increase that comes to you. Then every dimension of your life will overflow with blessings from an uncontainable source of inner joy!”
Proverbs 3:5-10 – The Passion Translation
Today we will meditate upon verse five. Let us ask ourselves, “Do I trust Him completely?“ Or do we trust Him until things are not moving as we expected so we sprinkle into the mix our own thoughts, and opinions.  Many times our own ways will arise in our minds as a result of past experience or fears and failures?     How much do we rely on our own solutions and value our own opinions above the solid unchanging truth of God’s Word, and His  wisdom?  Remember this…look for those “yield signs” placed in your way by  His Spirit so that you can remain on the right path.
Many times we may pray for answers from God. The scripture states that He will clearly lead us in every decision, not just a few. Every decision and every situation that we face, Our God has a specific path for us to walk through, and He has answers for every problem we will ever face.
Today I would encourage you to ponder the questions within this devotional. It is good and cleansing to continue to challenge our hearts with questions that will keep us on the right track. Let us keep our hearts challenged on a daily basis that we remain in a place of total trust in our Lord. May we look to the Holy Spirit for His help and guidance in the realm of how we handle those opinions we embrace. God is the desiring to be with us in everyday in every way. The pliable heart is the heart that yields and surrenders to His gentle loving hands that He may do a wonderful work in our lives that we may glorify Him.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Devotional 6/20/20
“Walk In Love, Be Just, Walk Humbly
by Dona Hake
We continue with our meditation upon being transformed. As I said yesterday God desires to be delighted in His heart as we live to serve Him in holiness. Let us reflect on a portion of Micah 6:8 from the Amplified version. I will sum it up in a nutshell.
Be just.
Diligently practice walking in love.
Walk humbly with your God.
In the Amplified version there is emphasis on what walking humbly is:
“setting aside any overblown
sense of importance or self righteousness.”
As we purpose to live the transformed life we need to daily remind ourselves of who we are in Christ. Remember, you are only who you because of the good grace of God. Oh that we keep our minds renewed to this!
Many times the sin of exhibiting an overblown sense of importance or self righteousness stems from the sin of envy, fear of failure, or comparing ourselves to others and their accomplishments. I am quite sure there are other reasons for such behavior but those are what I felt to mention here.
I encourage you today to rejoice in where God has brought you from. I think human tendency can fall so much on focusing on who we are not and what we do not see happening within us.   While we do need to press in to strengthen anything that could hinder our going forward, we need to keep looking to Him.  Let us ponder that we are all a work in progress, and know that He is able to complete that good work in us.
You can not make it happen, ONLY God can transform you!  He is able to do great things in your very own unique transformation process that is able to exceed your prayers, goals and highest dreams. So let us walk in love, be just, and walk humbly before God and man.

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!