“Craving God and His Strength”

Pray and learn
by Dona Hake
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.”
Along with this scripture I would like to share with you a quote  by Ralph Waldo Emerson, this is what he said,
“No man ever prayed without learning something.”
As we ponder the scripture from Psalm 105:4 and this quote 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 that it can bring to your soul…if you allow it to.  The truths to be found in our Lord have endless depths, and as we pray and seek Him, He will take us into deeper revelation of the truths in His Word.
Do you desire to go deeper and deeper in the things of God?   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 and everything about Him! 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.”

“The Heart That Listens To God…”

quick to hear Oct 2014
by Dona Hake

James 1:19 (AMP)

“Understand [this], my beloved brethren.

Let every man be quick to hear [a ready listener],

slow to speak, slow to take offense and to get angry.”

This scriptures shows us how important it is to listen carefully, think before we speak, and keep ourselves from stepping into the trap of offense.    This verse has a wealth of wisdom in it for us. It also shows us that it is just as important to listen to another’s heart for the unspoken words and feelings they may be feeling. Many times we may feel that we have the right answer for someone yet it is not the appropriate time for that word to be spoken. As we take care to listen, our words spoken will be in the appropriate time  and will be edifying to the hearer.  
I feel that this scripture also ties beautifully to our meditation from yesterday.   I shared with you about your spiritual hearing.   We looked at different translations from John 10:27, and  each translation basically emphasized the importance of hearing, listening, responding, and recognizing the voice of our Lord.   Many times we are not hearing people’s hearts simply because we are not listening and responding to the voice of the Lord as He speaks to us.   The more we are in tune with hearing and responding to God, we will find ourselves hearing and responding to people around us in a way that is more Christ-like.  Many times we may feel that we know what an individual may need  to hear but we need to ask the Lord for the proper season to share it.

Proverbs 25:11 (AMP)
“A word fitly spoken and in due season is like apples of gold in settings of silver.”

Listening to someone may be the greatest gift you could give them. Choice words are even a greater gift to one that is in need. After you have listened carefully you will find they will be much more apt to hear your heartfelt and choice response. They will be more likely to take heed to the wisdom that you feel you are to share too. I believe the Lord can help us to guard our tongues that our words will be as choice silver and gold.  The heart that listens to God will truly hear and speak a word that is fit and proper for the moment.
Lord, help us this day to become more and more sensitive to Your loving voice.   May we learn to hear and respond to it in the way that You are desiring us to.   We thank You for those opportunities in which we can be used as Your mouth piece and minister the perfect and proper word in due season to the one that needs it most.   In Jesus Name, amen!

“How Is Your Spiritual Hearing?”

my sheep
by Dona Hake
Have you ever heard when someone jokingly or not so jokingly says that an individual has selective hearing? Selective hearing is the capability to block out sounds and noise. It is the notion of ignoring certain things in one’s surrounding environment. Many times you can see this in small children. They may tend to hear only the fun and exciting things, but things such as “It’s time to clean up your toys, and get ready for your nap.” may not be one of those things that is eagerly heard. The question is are there times that we have selective hearing with the Lord, and we are unaware of it?
There are times we can all identify where we are reading the Word or hearing the Word of God, and our spirit has been pricked by the power of the spoken Word of God. We just know it was God specifically dealing with our heart yet we walk away and do not take heed. We may go home from church and proclaim what a good word your Pastor shared yet not take heed to it, and apply it to our life. This is selective hearing and lack of being a doer of the Word.   We need to be very careful and cautious over our hearts that we are not guilty of this. I found several translations of John 10:27 enlightening so I will share them with you for your meditation.



“The sheep that are My own hear and are listening to My voice; and I know them, and they follow Me.” (AMP)

My sheep respond to my voice, and I know who they are. They follow me…” (GW)

” My sheep recognize my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” (TLB)

“My sheep respond as they hear My voice; I know them intimately, and they follow Me.” (The Voice)


The word *know* defined is to be able to distinguish, as one from another. The Lord wants that we KNOW Him and we KNOW His voice!   Today I ask you are you listening to hear if He is calling your name?   Have you felt a gentle tug on your heart, and you wonder if it is Him?   Let us learn to listen and recognize His precious voice and leading in our lives.  Today I desire to encourage your heart to be listening closely for His voice. Many times His voice is loud and clear and many times it is a mere whisper. Be quick to recognize it and respond. God truly desires this intimacy with us as we heed to His Words and walk willingly along side of Him as He gently leads us.

“Keep Your Eyes On Him!”

Fix Your Eyes_main
by Dona Hake
I want to share a story that I have shared with you before, but it is a good one to bring you the truth of keeping your eyes on Him.  I can remember a particular weekend over a year ago that I was taking care of my son’s two puppy dogs.   It was a Sunday morning and I had to be get to church a bit early so  I switched things up a bit to make things go faster, and save time.  I strategically tried to feed three doggies, one parrot, and forty some beautiful fish. Well, I thought I had totally accomplished all the feedings, or maybe I thought wrong?
I was finally sitting down to eat my oatmeal and coffee, and our German Shepherd quietly laid on the chair and just kept her gaze on me. I thought it strange because she would usually head into our bedroom to sleep right after she has her run in the yard. I finished eating, and was cleaning up, and I turned around to find her positioning herself that I could not walk around her. She sat there and lovingly stared into my eyes. She was determined not to get out of my way until I got her quiet message. I said, “Aasha what’s wrong?” Her eyes spoke loud and clear! “You forgot to feed me!” Oh my gosh…here she was trying to tell me something, and I was not getting it. I felt so bad when I realized that I had fed everyone but her. The poor thing was not going to give up, and her strategy was to stay in my presence, and stare me down till I realized she had not eaten yet!
How many times do we have needs, and we get impatient with the Lord, and just walk away from His presence, and get into our own ability. Oh how important it is that we just stay in the Lord’s presence, and keep our eyes fixed on Him because He is our provision, and all of our needs are met by Him.  My puppy dog knows where her food comes from, and she was not moving till I got the message!!  Thank God He never forgets us! Today I encourage you to set your gaze upon Him, and do not look to anything but Him for each and every need you have.

“O God, my heart is fixed (steadfast, in the confidence of faith)…”

Psalm 108:1

“He shall not be afraid of evil tidings; his heart is firmly fixed, trusting (leaning on and being confident) in the Lord.”
Psalm 112:7


“Where Do You Live?”

forget the past
by Dona Hake
We all have yesterdays, and we all have pasts.   Some things in our pasts may be a delight to think upon, and then there are those grievous things that you have walked through that brought your heart down and robbed your joy.  I can remember my husband sharing in one of his sermons, “If you live in the past, you’ll have no current joy.”
 This is a very powerful statement, and it should cause you to consider where we are “living.” I think one of the saddest things is seeing people live in the pain of their past yet they have so much to be thankful for in the present moment. If you live in the past, even when there are good things going on around you, you may be hindered from even noticing them. The past has the ability to rob you of the good things that are in your life RIGHT NOW! We need to stop and purposely think of each and every good thing that God has blessed us with. If you allow your mind to dwell on bad memories of the past you will miss the joy of the moment.

Philippians 3:13 (TLB)

“No, dear brothers, I am still not all I should be, but I am bringing

all my energies to bear on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead…”


So I ask you today, “Where do you live?   In the past or in the present?”    I want to encourage you today that if you are constantly tempted to look over your shoulder into your past to stop! Stop and look at who you are today and how far God has brought you. Stop and think about every blessing you possess whether it be spiritual blessings, family, friends or material things. Let us not allow the wonderful joys in our present be robbed from us because we feel we are unable to go forward. Know this, God can heal you from the pain and scars of your past. He can give you hope for a future, and He can bring joy unspeakable into your heart and peace that passes all understanding that will permeate your mind. Enjoy the current joys that are around you and allow God to give you the strength to continue to move forward!


“God Is Our Understanding”

counsel is mine
by Dona Hake
Think about all that God is to us.   We can look to Him as being the love of our life, He is Light, He is our Healer, He is our Provider…     I could share so many things that He is to us but today I want to share with you that He is our Understanding.   When all seems dark or something may seem confusing I want to encourage your heart today to look to Him as the one that is able to give you the understanding that you need.
The understanding of God is a wonderful thing yet we must first fear His Name and have a respect for it.   This is the beginning of His wisdom and understanding to be  given to us.   As we follow His guiding principles we will have good sense and be decisive.  I would like to share a scripture with you from Psalm 111:10.   The one translation from the Extended Bible says it simply, and that is “those who obey and do his orders have good understanding.”  I love the way this is worded simply because it calls God’s Word or His commands “his orders”.   Are there times that you feel you can pick and choose from His Word?   God desires that we embrace all of His truth and make it ours to obey that we may live a blessed life.    
Today, let us reverence the Lord in every way possible.    Lord, help us to be humble as we hear Your Word and read Your Word.   May we draw close to You that we may hear Your tender voice as You desire to instruct us in the way.   You are good, and may we see all of Your commands as  good and profitable in our walk with You that we may grow thereby.   In Jesus Name, amen!
Psalm 111:10  The Living Bible
How can men be wise? The only way to begin is by reverence for God. For growth in wisdom comes from obeying his laws. Praise his name forever.

“Walking Where Truth Echoes His Name”

walking where truth echoes his name
Follow Him and stay in His footprints!
by Dona Hake
Yesterday I shared with you that God desires for us to walk within His footprints that are guided by truth and righteousness.   His steps are solid, and as we purpose to walk within those footprints, we  will be within the borders of His will for our life.   This is where God desires that we live, abide and serve Him.    The scripture that I shared with you yesterday was from Psalm 85.







Psalm 85:13 BRG version

Righteousness shall go before him; and shall set us in the way of his steps.”

Today I want us to reflect upon the beauty of staying by our Lord’s side clinging to Him and His ways. 
 I love knowing that as I abide in Him, He is going to continually restore my soul and lead me into His paths where His truth speaks of Him.   I love knowing that as I walk closely to Him that my life will speak and echo of His righteousness and His truth.
Psalm 23:3 (VOICE)
“He makes me whole again,
steering me off worn, hard paths
to roads where truth and righteousness echo His name.”
Let us look now at how He lovingly steers us away from worn, hard paths yet how many times do we
return to them. Those worn, hard paths could be habits and patterns in our lives that have ultimately gotten us in trouble. Those worn paths are those that have developed because of doing the same thing over and over again. God is calling us to allow Him to step in and guide us on the paths of His desire for us.
Maybe you have walked the path of a habitual worrier. Maybe your worn, hard path has been one of constantly walking in fear and anxiety over your future. Regardless of what it is we can make the choice to walk on the path that is guided by His hand. His hand deals only in truth and right things. His path does not make provision for us to walk in our own ability but rather to draw upon His.
Let us look to His way, His paths, and we can live a life that is blessed because when we walk hand in hand with Him, that path echoes His Name! God bless you!

“Righteousness Will Go Before Him”

righteousness will go before Him
by Dona Hake
 I want to wish everyone a very Happy New Year.    Have you been thinking about this day being the first day of 2016 as a clean slate?   Many of you might have set some goals, or are bringing some desires to the Lord in which you want to see come to pass.   Nevertheless, I feel  strongly that no matter how we see this January 1st, we must carry with us in our hearts the desire to diligently seek Him everyday, every minute, and every step.   Of course He desires that we have new goals and desires, but let us first of all give them to Him, and permit Him to bring those things to pass in our lives.   After all He is our Shepherd, shall we think today about how we should make sure that He is never out of our sight, and may we purpose to draw daily upon His grace for all that we need and all that we need to do.

Psalm 85:11-13 BRG Bible

” Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven.
 Yea, the Lord shall give that which is good; and our land shall yield her increase.
Righteousness shall go before him; and shall set us in the way of his steps.”

May we continue to grow in truth and righteousness this new year.   I love how this translation says, “Righteousness shall go before him; and shall set us in the way of his steps.”   As I meditated on this I began to think of a small child on the sands of a beach finding some big footsteps of an adult.   Walking along, the child carefully places her feet inside the big footprint.   So it is with us as we desire to cling to our Lord and follow Him closely.   His footprints are established in truth and righteousness.  They are rock solid, and as we purpose to walk within his footprints, we will always be within the borders of His will for our lives.
Lord, we thank You this day for a New Year in which we can set our hearts to live for You and serve You.   May we be mindful that we are living for Your truth and righteousness.   Help us to be mindful of keeping ourselves in the way of Your steps and not our own.   Even in those times that Your way may not make sense to us, help us to be mindful that Your ways are higher than our ways, and You understand the big picture of the work in our life.   In Jesus Name, amen!

“Seeing Through the Eyes of God”

see others as Christ

Psalm 32:8 (ERV)

” The Lord says, “I will teach you
and guide you in the way you should live.
I will watch over you and be your guide.”
 The Lord desires that we have Him guide us in every aspect of our lives. Today I am sharing this scripture in light of how we treat others. I love this scripture because the psalmist is proclaiming that the Lord has spoken that He will teach us and guide us in how we should live.

Many times it can be easy to fall into the trap of focusing on people’s faults rather than the good things about them. God desires we LIVE to LOVE!!!! Criticizing is not showing His love in any way. The more you focus on anything negative in others the bigger it is going to become to you. Jesus admonished us with the following words from the book of Matthew:


Matthew 7:3-5 (ERV)

“Why do you notice the small piece of dust that is in your friend’s eye, but you don’t notice the big piece of wood that is in your own? Why do you say to your friend, ‘Let me take that piece of dust out of your eye’? Look at yourself first! You still have that big piece of wood in your own eye. You are a hypocrite! First, take the wood out of your own eye. Then you will see clearly to get the dust out of your friend’s eye.”


The Lord understands that we will encounter the faults and shortcomings of others but He desires that we handle ourselves in His love. The fault of someone else may cause you to be offended or irritated   but it comes back to asking Him to help you to be longsuffering and for His guidance in dealing with such things.

Today let us focus on Jesus’ last words of these verses, “Look at yourself first!” As we continually give our hearts and minds to Him, He has promised to teach us about all that we need in this life.  As we are obedient to His process, He will take care of everything that pertains to us and He will lovingly deal with those around us, in His time.  Let us also remember that the Holy Spirit is a complete gentleman and He will not impose Himself on anyone. The more we pray for others, the more our heart will be enlarged to love and carry people in prayer rather than be critical toward them.

Lord we ask You this day to help us to see people around us just like You see them.    May we purpose to grow in the fruit of Your Spirit, and may we have hearts that love rather than seeking to find fault.  Lord, we ask that You search our hearts, and we invite You to help us to grow in the areas in which we need help and strength.   We thank You for that Lord, in Jesus Name, amen.


“He Is the God of Faithfulness”

great is his faithfulness
by Dona Hake
Lamentations 3:22-23 (VOICE)

“How enduring is God’s loyal love;
the Eternal has inexhaustible compassion.
Here they are, every morning, new!
Your faithfulness, God, is as broad as the day.”


There is nothing so loyal and beautiful in this life than the love of our God. Everyday He faithfully sheds His love toward us and His compassion cannot be exhausted. As He shows His love to me, it challenges my heart to love the same way. He desires that the love that flows from our hearts to be loyal, enduring and never grow tired and weary. After all, we were created in His image therefore He can enable us to love like Him.

There may be people in your life that you find very easy to flow with and get along with, and yet there are those that just seem to drain you of your energy for they are more challenging.   Allow this scripture to challenge your heart. Seek to draw upon  His love from above that never runs out of energy and it endures the toughest of challenges.

Remember that every morning you awaken He is seeking new ways to show His love to you. Everything about God begins afresh each day and His compassion is NEVER limited. Everyone of us has a new day ahead of us and each of us will face different challenges. Know this, the God of all love is able to help you endure anything with the love that flows straight from His heart!


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!