Friday, May 15, 2020

Devotional 5/15/20
“Face the Enemy of Your Soul”
by Dona Hake
Yesterday we looked at Psalm 118:4-14. The Psalmist declared “When I was hard pressed, I cried to the Lord; he brought me into a spacious place.”… and “I look in triumph over my enemies.” As the Psalmist was surrounded on every side he then proclaimed “but in the name of the Lord I cut them down.”
As I shared with you yesterday we must know the enemies of our own soul. I do not know about you but the longer I live the more I continue to come to know and understand what makes me tick.  I continue to learn how to question myself why I overreact or under react to things.   Face it… we are in a world that is constantly changing, and we are facing things we never dreamed we would face. I want the Lord to continually teach me that I may live victoriously no matter what I face, and I hope you do too.
If one has weaknesses deep within, their reaction to pressures and problems will surely expose it. It is sad when one becomes able to hide what is deep within them. Those are the things you let no one touch. Some may deal with these hidden things by staying preoccupied just “doing“ and keeping busy to keep their mind off of the situation. Just keeping busy or doing “good things“ to keep yourself preoccupied with dealing with what is going on is not what God desires for us.
Weaknesses within us are indeed enemies that we need to boldly face and cut down! As we ask our Lord for an awareness of where we are really at in our spiritual growth we will see! Believe me…our God is faithful and He will show you if you ask Him. It is then that God can take that which was meant for evil and turn it around for His good in you. The enemies you cut down will be your testimony to hold fast to and proclaim in Jesus Name!

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Devotional   5/14/20
“Standing Against Our Enemy”
by Dona Hake
Over the next few days we are going to be looking at a series of thoughts relative to standing strong against our enemy the devil. I am sharing with you today from Psalm 118. I have been meditating on this for the past week, and I want you to go here with me as we look at  his plots to attempt to weaken and destroy us.
“Let those who fear the Lord say: “His love endures forever.” When hard pressed, I cried to the Lord; he brought me into a spacious place. The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? The Lord is with me; he is my helper. I look in triumph on my enemies. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in humans. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes. All the nations surrounded me, but in the name of the Lord I cut them down. They surrounded me on every side, but in the name of the Lord I cut them down. They swarmed around me like bees, but they were consumed as quickly as burning thorns; in the name of the Lord I cut them down. I was pushed back and about to fall, but the Lord helped me. The Lord is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation.” Psalm 118:4-14 NIV
In this Psalm the psalmist is exclaiming  how he was surrounded by nations but he cut them down. He was surrounded on every side but he cut them down. His enemy swarmed around him like bees but he cut them down. We see here he was pushed back and about to fall but the Lord caught him!
The psalmist acknowledged his problem and his fears yet he knew how to fight and overcome his enemy. There are times our enemy can seem so big. There are times we can feel there is no way out because circumstances SURROUND us. And then there are times that our mind is bombarded with confusion and thoughts coming at us like a swarm of bees. Most people react in fear to swarming bees and this is exactly what our enemy wants to do to us with anxious and fearful thoughts. We too can cut these things down by the power of God at work in us!
Here are some questions I would like you to ponder…
Do you know your personal enemies?
Do you understand how your weaknesses get you in trouble ?
Are you quick to deal with them when you do recognize them or do you ignore them?
It is very important that we understand these things because these are the doors the devil will try to walk through and attack your spiritual walk.
The Lord speaks to us in His Word that we need to tend to our hearts for out of our hearts flow the issues of life. Part of tending to a garden is being able to discern the weeds from plants that are fruit or flower bearing. The enemy’s weeds must be recognized and dealt with or they will surely do harm to our spiritual garden.
I leave you with this scripture and I look forward to sharing with you more over the next few days about resisting the devil, and cutting down his attempts and works that are trying to destroy us.
“Be sober [well balanced and self-disciplined], be alert and cautious at all times. That enemy of yours, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion [fiercely hungry], seeking someone to devour. But resist him, be firm in your faith [against his attack—rooted, established, immovable], knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being experienced by your brothers and sisters throughout the world. [You do not suffer alone.]”
1 Peter 5:8-9 – AMP

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Devotional 5/9/20
“Do Not Carry Offense”

“Listen to the truth I speak to you: If someone says to this mountain with great faith and having no doubt, ‘Mountain, be lifted up and thrown into the midst of the sea,’ and believes that what he says will happen, it will be done. This is the reason I urge you to boldly believe for whatever you ask for in prayer—believe that you have received it and it will be yours. And whenever you stand praying, if you find that you carry something in your heart against another person, release him and forgive him so that your Father in heaven will also release you and forgive you of your faults. But if you will not release forgiveness, don’t expect your Father in heaven to release you from your misdeeds.”
Mark 11:23-26 – The Passion Translation
Let us look closely at this scripture as we meditate upon ~carry~ today. Jesus is instructing us how to face mountains in our lives. Here we see great faith and no doubt is absolutely necessary.   Jesus proceeds to bring up a matter that we must always be looking closely at. We cannot be carrying offense in our hearts against someone, and expect our faith to move mountains.
On Wednesday we looked at carrying burdens and internalizing them. Offenses can be carried in the same way. One may think if they just do not talk about the hurt that it will  fade and go away. Know this to be true, if an offense is not dealt with it will certainly grow and fester in our heart.
Carrying offense is so dangerous. It has the ability to cause one to step out of God’s perfect will… what a terrible price to pay. When one continues to hold onto offense the mountains of their life seem to get even bigger. Instead of being able to face their mountains they just keep going round and round the same mountain, and their offense keeps their heart stagnant, and hindering their faith. An offended person will grow bitter and hard, yet they will become easily hurt over the smallest of things. Interesting isn’t it?
Let us be a people that are constantly in pursuit of a heart that is pure, not carrying offense, and full of the love of God and those around us. May we be slow to anger and so very quick to forgive, and let go of any offense.
“To forgive is to set a prisoner free
and discover that the prisoner was you.“
Louis B. Smedes

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Devotional 5/7/20
“He desires to carry our burdens”
by Dona Hake
“Just because you
carry it well,
doesn’t mean it’s not heavy.”
Author unknown
Today and Saturday we will look at the word ~carry~.  I can remember an incident that happened to me many years ago. Our sons were young, and my husband was away on a mission’s trip. I decided I wanted to move a heavy piece of furniture. I never gave it a thought that I could not do it but a few days later I realized I injured my back, and I was in so much pain. Sometimes in life we can find ourselves doing things that are beyond our ability, and we pay a price for it.
Many times we do things without thinking, and we bear the consequences of a wrong decision. Then there are those things that we  think we can do in our own ability because we’ve lived like that for so long.  Doing “little things” in our own ability will eventually make us think we can do the bigger things. 
When one becomes burdened after living life like this it will take it’s toll.  We may appear fine on the outside as we display a smile yet on the inside we are burdened with things we have learned to internalize. We permit our hearts to be burdened because we simply have  not given our burdens to the Lord.
How sad it must be for our Father God to observe us in those times that we choose to live our life in our inability, and carry our own cares.  I encourage you today to look to Him, and roll your cares and burdens upon Him. Walk beside Him and yoke up with Him so that He can bear every one of your burdens .
I leave you with the scripture from Matthew 11:28. I pray that you will find rest, renewal, and a blessed quiet within your heart and soul as you serve Him this day!
“Are you weary, carrying a heavy burden?
Then come to me. I will refresh your life,
for I am your oasis. Simply join your life
with mine. Learn my ways and you’ll
discover that I’m gentle, humble,
easy to please.
You will find refreshment
and rest in me.”
Matthew 11:28-29 The Passion Translation

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Next week my schedule for publishing my devotionals will be changing. You will be receiving them on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. At the end of the summer I will return to publishing Wednesday through Saturday.
Devotional 4/25/20 
“Guarding the Tongue”
by Dona Hake
Today we will continue with meditating upon guarding our lips. Guarding our mouths and our hearts is like tending a garden. We MUST keep an eye out for weeds, and anything that would cause a problem for us.
It is that time of year where the weeds are back. We do not have to water them! They thrive no matter what… and we need to make a determined effort to maintain taking them out or they will destroy. So it is with the guarding of our words and our thoughts.
Bad thoughts are like weeds and if they are not dealt with they will become words that destroy. I leave you with the Scriptures to meditate upon that you will be reminded to tend to your thoughts and guard the words that proceed from your mouth.
“A soothing tongue [speaking words that
build up and encourage] is a tree of life,
But a perversive tongue [speaking words
that overwhelm and depress] crushes
the spirit. ” Proverbs 15:4 Amplified

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
And those who love it and indulge it will eat
its fruit and bear the consequences of their words. “
Proverbs 18:21 Amplified

“He who guards his mouth and his tongue
Guards himself from troubles. “
Proverbs 21:23 Amplified

Friday, April 24, 2020

Dear Friends,
I wanted to make you aware of that as of next week my schedule for publishing my devotionals will be changing temporarily. You will be receiving them only on Wednesday Thursday and Saturday. At the end of the summer I will return to publishing Wednesday through Saturday.
Devotional 4/24/20
“Guard Your Words!”
by Dona Hake

We are on day three of meditating on the word ~guard~. Today and tomorrow we will continue to focus on guarding our lips. Our mouths can get us into a lot of trouble or they can be used as instruments of our Lord as we speak His Word to build our faith and  encourage one other. I have a handful of scriptures that exhort us to be very careful of the words we speak. Today I am sharing from Psalm 141.

“God, give me grace to guard my lips from
speaking what is wrong. Guide me away from
temptation and doing evil. Save me from
sinful habits and from keeping company with
those who are experts in evil. Help me not to
share in their sin in any way!”   Psalm 141:3-4 – TPT

“Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; Keep
watch over the door of my lips [to keep
me from speaking thoughtlessly].” Psalm 141:3 -AMP

We need to think before we speak… plain and simple!  Philippians 4:8 shows us what our thoughts need to be resting on.
“So keep your thoughts continually fixed
on all that is authentic and real, honorable
and admirable, beautiful and respectful, pure
and holy, merciful and kind. And fasten your
thoughts on every glorious work of God,
praising him always. Follow the example of all
that we have imparted to you and the God of peace
will be with you in all things.” 
Philippians 4:8-9 – The Passion Translation
Look closely at the end of this scripture… Paul said, “Follow the example of all that we have imparted to you and
the God of peace will be with you in all things. ..”
Today let us look to Him to be the God of all peace in all things... that includes our thoughts and words. May we permit Him to instruct and guard our mouths that we will not speak thoughtless words that could hurt anyone around us, therefore hindering our testimony. We will look even closer at this tomorrow. Have a blessed day!

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Devotional 4/23/20  
“His Love Is Our Guard”
by Dona Hake
We will continue today meditating on Scripture that draws our attention to the word ~guard~. Let us read Psalm 61, a song by King David.

“Listen to my heart’s cry. For no matter where I am,
even when I’m far from home, I will cry out
to you for a father’s help. When I’m feeble and
overwhelmed by life, guide me into your glory,
where I am safe and sheltered.
Lord, you are a paradise of protection to me.
You lift me high above the fray. None of my foes
can touch me when I’m held firmly in
your wrap-around presence!
Keep me in this glory. Let me live continually
under your splendor-shadow, hiding
my life in you forever.
Pause in His presence.

You have heard my sweet resolutions to
love and serve you, for I am your beloved.
And you have given me an inheritance of
rich treasures, which you give to all your lovers.
You treat me like a king, giving me a full
and abundant life, years and years of reigning,
like many generations rolled into one.
I will live enthroned with you forever!
Guard me, God, with your unending,
unfailing love. Let me live my days walking in grace
and truth before you. And my praises will fill
the heavens forever, fulfilling my vow to
make every day a love gift to you!”
Psalm 61:1-8 – The Passion Translation
I love how the Voice translation so beautifully translates verses 2 and 3. Let us read that.
“You are the One I will call when pushed
to the edge, when my heart is faint.
Shoulder me to the rock above me.
For You are my protection, an
impenetrable fortress from my enemies.”
Psalm 61:2-3  The Voice
Let us be honest, we have all faced those times where we have been pushed to the edge as life and it’s trials present us difficulties, frustration etc. I love how David exclaims that his God guarded him with His unending and unfailing love! We too can embrace this as a truth for ourselves. Today I encourage you to ponder how God is desiring to guard you with His unending and unfailing love.   Let Him love you with His wrap-around presence!

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Devotional 4/22/20
“Are You Guarding Your Heart?”
by Dona Hake
This week we are meditating on the word ~guard~. Today we will look at the importance of guarding our heart. Oh how vital it is to protect and watch over God’s Word that you have deposited into your spirit man.
“Listen carefully, my dear child, to everything
that I teach you, and pay attention to all
that I have to say. Fill your thoughts with my words
until they penetrate deep into your spirit.
Then, as you unwrap my words, they will
impart true life and radiant health into
the very core of your being.
So above all, guard the affections of your heart,
for they affect all that you are. Pay attention
to the welfare of your innermost being, for
from there flows the wellspring of life.”   
Proverbs 4:20-23 The Passion Translation
If you seek to do that which is right, the Holy Spirit will faithfully cause you to see that which is wrong, and what could possibly make you stumble. He has promised to make our crooked paths straight. We must also persevere to be able recognize what it takes for us to leave our guard down for our enemy will surely try to use it against us.
“Be well balanced and always alert, because
your enemy, the devil, roams around incessantly,
like a roaring lion looking for its prey to devour.
Take a decisive stand against him and resist
his every attack with strong, vigorous faith.
For you know that your believing brothers
and sisters around the world are experiencing
the same kinds of troubles you endure.” 
1 Peter 5:8-9 The Passion Translation
When we give our weaknesses to God and seek Him to be strong … He will be ever faithful to come alongside of us and help us. I encourage you today to seek a deeper revelation of keeping your heart guarded for from it flows the issues of this precious life!

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Devotional 4/18/20   
“Joy Will Conquer Anxiety”
“Anxious fear brings depression, but a
life-giving word of encouragement can
do wonders to restore joy to the heart.”
Proverbs 12:25 – TPT
A side note in the translation here is:
This insightful proverb can also be translated
“Stop worrying! Think instead of what
brings you gladness. “. Our focus must
never be on what we can’t change
but on the everlasting joy we have in Christ.
Sometimes we have to find the life-giving
word of encouragement rising up in
our own hearts. This is the secret of
finding finding perpetual
encouragement by the Word
that lives in us.”
In this trying time that we are all walking through we need constant reminders that the joy of the Lord is our strength.   It is also our strength to give!   I see it all over the place…people are weary, and they are confused.  Anxiety can be a temptation and it will be a strong weight to the  heart.  It will most certainly suppress joy, and fear will begin to take root.  
I encourage you today especially in this time where there is much fear and anxiety around us… Look closely and seek out opportunities to recognize fear, and be that vessel that brings hope, light and joy to someone that needs it. Seek the Lord’s leading to those that need the salt and light within you. It is hard to see frowning faces with the natural eye now with so many behind face masks. Know this… God is able to cause us to see and give His life, love and joy in Jesus Name!

Friday, April 17, 2020

Devotional 4/17/20   
“Joy- On the Peaks and In the Valleys”
by Dona Hake
Today we continue to look at ~joy~.  We have all had times where we have let go of our joy. The secret to not letting go is stop, step back from a situation and step back into His presence where there is peace and fullness of joy.    He is our Hiding Place, the perfect place to find what we need, and His fresh direction in a matter.
Today I felt to share something that a sweet friend of mine posted on Facebook. She loves the Lord, and from time to time she will share what God is teaching her in her journey as she and her husband deal with autism in their youngest daughter.
This young lady has inspired my heart, and her words always remind me to press in, keep godly perspective, and hold fast to joy. She gave me permission to share this with you, and I pray that this will touch your heart as it touched mine.
“Autism; when a quick trip to the store to get eggs for painting becomes an epic unexplainable meltdown 😞. A year ago the situations did nothing but send me into frustration and despair as I remind myself of how risky it is to take her in public, why we can’t just have a normal day, how the looks from others tell me they don’t understand but today I’m thanking God for a renewed perspective.
Taking a moment to breathe and that He is present gave me just enough time to be reminded that this was an opportunity to become peace. Peace in my heart, that stress wouldn’t take over, and peace for her as she was so distressed she was screaming, kicking, drooling and pulling her hair out in front of everyone.
After getting her home I swaddled her and rocked her for thirty minutes, her little eyes squeezed tightly shut and her hands covering her ears. She needed an escape and I became her safe place, her peace.  I am reminded my purpose is important to her. I am the manifestation of God‘s peaceful presence to her.
Just sharing to bring encouragement that when we take a couple extra seconds to rethink our perspective instead of reacting to a situation, we can change the situation and ourselves.
I am learning to become peace and calm in my child’s storms. That beats becoming frustration and fueling her fire.  I’m thanking God is changing me through these challenges. Everyone has a choice to become bitter or better. I am looking up!”
My friends, I have read this over and over since yesterday and each time the Lord speaks deeper things to my heart. I pray that He does the same for you.  I leave you with this scripture.

“My fellow believers, when it seems as though you are facing nothing but difficulties
see it as an invaluable opportunity
to experience the greatest joy
that you can! For you know that when your faith is tested it stirs up power within you to endure all things. And then as your endurance grows even stronger it will release perfection into every part of your being until there is nothing missing and nothing lacking.”
James 1:2-4 – TPT

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!