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How to Guard your Heart by Laura Grace

gate heart Be a Gate Keeper! Guard the Soul 

I think there are a lot of Christians out there, like me, who truly do not know how to guard their heart. First and fore most we must give more weight to the voice of the Shepherd than anyone else.

We don’t need pretty lies of exaggerating how wonderful we are, and we don’t need Input from amateur counselors or the peanut factories. We certainly don’t need help allowing unbelief! 

Because we are “word of God” people, we think if we can’t rebuke it, cast it out or get it gone via spiritual warfare, we are failing somehow. Not true.

Some people just ‘are what they are” and we must learn how to deal with it!

  1. Step number one we need to keep learning and meditating on who we are to Jesus. that knowledge must become so real to us, nobody can talk us out of it. If the voice of someone else’s opinion of us screams louder than what God says, we must reinforce what he says about us until it’s more real than anything else. 
  1. In keeping with that train of thought, the accuser of the brethren (the devil) is always going to try to remind you of your past. That’s his job. He is evil. He isn’t going to stop so you must learn to overcome him with YOUR TESTIMONY. You speak it to him: “I am saved, God’s child, I’ve been forgiven of that” and if the person who is allowing the enemy to “USE THEM” to accuse you keeps it up, start to ignore it. It’s the best defense you have. IGNORE IT. You can’t argue with demons.

 

You can’t cast them out of someone who wants to stay that way. No, they may not be demon-possessed- they just listen to his lies and it’s become a part of them, like WEEDS. You cannot go into someone else’s garden and start yanking weeds out. You are trespassing! You are going to have to ignore it and tend to your own garden. Not what you want to hear, but true. Change the subject, dodge the questions, or say “I don’t want to talk about that right now.”

 

  1. Do not ask for counsel from those who have no clue what you are talking about, or what you have been through. I don’t care what their credentials are or how much they “seem” to care. Ask God who you should talk to about something. SEEK HIM FIRST! He is your Shepherd, your counselor and your friend, and he is always listening. 
  1. You live in the world, so best to get started learning how to cope with things. Go to a rest room or go outside and pray. I’ve done this over the years, went to my car. Prayed, or even went to a restroom, prayed in whispers asking God for help, wisdom and guidance. I assume everything I go through he is RIGHT THERE WITH ME because he said he would be.

 

  1. Family can be the hardest, because they knew you before you knew Jesus. Family has expectations that often feel like obligations. If we are a good sister, daughter, mom or son we will do this or that supposedly. Jesus told his own mom he was going about the Father’s business, but another time he did change water to wine because she asked him to do something about the situation. There are no pat answers, we must learn to say; “I am praying” I am “seeking God” and let everyone know (including your family) you are on a mission to do God’s will. We are not born “being like Jesus’ It’s something we are walking out.

 

  1. Whatever weapons you know of right now (with God) use them, he will add to your skills as you use what he gave you. I started out a Lutheran Just ‘praying the Lord’s prayer” and now I know all kinds of spiritual warfare tactics. God is not in a hurry. You are in a school called life and he is willing to walk with you as your Father and help you to grow.

 

  1. Learn from your experiences, write them down. Use a Journal use the computer and ask God to teach you in EACH situation how to handle it better next time. I have noticed things I run from I will usually face again, so best to learn to overcome it.

 

  1. Give that other person the benefit of the doubt, whenever you can. Did they mean to hurt you or were they hurting themselves, distracted, or just clueless? We need to ask God “Why is this happening? Or “what do you want me to learn from this?”

There are some people who are just plain bullies, but what about the mandate to love them?Do we keep taking the hurt?

If I tell someone something wounds my soul and they keep doing it anyway, I am probably going to pull away from that person.  When you go, say a prayer and give it to Jesus. Be willing to be reconciled later, if that’s what he wants you to do. 

WHEN we guard our heart it’s not just against people. WE protect our heart from becoming bitter, angry, full of self-pity, and a host of other things the devil sends at us. There is no end to the things he will try, to destroy our very hearts. Do you know why?

BECAUSE my friends, that’s where the word of God gets planted and takes root. It’s where he speaks to us. It’s where rivers of life flow out of us!

Satan would rather take you out than take out a church building. If he can take you out, he has stopped the flow of God’s spirit to hundreds, or perhaps thousands of people due to the ripple effect. (you touch a life, they touch a life, and so on and so on and so on).  Some people gaurd a church building more zealously than they protect their own hearts from the evil one. It’s a full time job! 

 

 Guard your heart! It’s where your inheritance lies. It’s worth fighting for.

 

Laura Grace, Author, Grace to Grow Click here to Buy:

https://www.amazon.com/Grace-Grow-study-guide-Rescue-ebook/dp/B077L71XP1/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1525753636&sr=8-1&keywords=grace+to+grow+by+Laura+grace

 

Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. Prov 4:23

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…..nor give place to the devil…..(A message to the church) Eph 4:27

MEN IN A lot of people think when it comes to faith, that I have faith by sticking my head in the sand. Not so. 

Many years ago, a small passage in Ephesians seems to jump off the page at me. “Nor Give place to the devil,” (Ephesians 4:27 NKJV). 

Like the men in black (if you’ve seen the movie) there is always “something” trying to destroy us at any given time. Always. 

James and the other Apostles would not have said “Resist the Devil” if there was no devil. He is the master of fear tactics, lying, coming against God and making false accusations about our Father in Heaven. He is “the father of lies.” In John 8:44 Jesus spells this out for us quite clearly.

He lied to the disciples, and made them fear for their lives when Jesus was crucified. That’s why Peter denied Jesus (three times) “Fear.” 

Fear is why people don’t want to pray in Faith (They might look stupid) and fear is why so many do not stand against the status-quo. As a woman pointed out at a meeting last night I went to “Sheep are dumb, they follow each other into the danger.” (Paraphrase) 

I pondered this passage many times in my life: “Neither give place to the devil,” and it occurred to me that even though the danger may be real, and even though there may be testimonies of all the bad things that could happen to me, I have to choose and decide once and for all whether I will believe God’s word, or whether to believe the lies of satan that are arrayed against me. 

“Fear” really is a liar. Yes, there are times we must be cautious. No, we should not go where angels fear to tread, or just run out and try to defy gravity without being armed with the Word of God and his presence. At the same time, we have to realize that literally thousands of lies are probably coming at us, every single day. 

There are testimonies of those who have not stood on God’s word, and had a bad outcome. Think back with me to the bible, and how all those people did not go on to the promised land, along with Moses. Why? Because they feared they were doing it all in vain. They had to get past their unbelief, but they refused to do it. Moses could lead them to the waters of God (so to speak) but he could not make them drink it. 

That was a decision they had to make for themselves. 

I choose to find out (from God) what is his voice and what is the devils. Because my friends, there is a devil. And Jesus is not going to do ALL the work for us, nor is he going to make all the decisions for us, that only we can make. 

It was his voice speaking way back in the Old Testemant: “CHOOSE” (Life or Death). to this day we choose what voice we will listen to. Please don’t decieve yourself. God wants to speak to you today. (John 10:4). First we pray for ears to listen and ears to hear. We pray to have a sheep nature, and accept him as our Shepherd, and the bishop of our souls. 

I am encouraging you today: There is a devil. Don’t give place to his lies in your mind and heart. If you don’t know what is God or what is the devil, ASK GOD For his input! Pursue him like Jewels! Listen for him like he’s a treasure! This is what I have have done, and will continue to do. -Laura Grace, Author, Grace to Grow 

 

 

 

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Building #10 The Measure of Spiritual Maturity. What does it mean to be “Grown Up” In Christ? And how do we know if we are (and if others are?)

GROWING TREE ROOTS I don’t know about you, but I’d like to have a grown-up for my leader. Many people aspire to be leaders, coaches, teachers, and the like; but they are not always qualified. 

I said, they are not always qualified. 

How do we know if they’re qualified? What do you think would be “God’s measure” of maturity? have you ever thought about that one? (I have). 

We’ve all heard the stories of how someone wasn’t “picked” for the team. I was one that nobody wanted on their baseball, football, or even volley ball team! I was not good at it. I didn’t want to be good at it (bad enough) to practice.

I let go of even trying long ago, because guess what? I didn’t care! (about sports) enough to put my heart into learning, practicing, and becoming great at it. 

I did, at some point, need to stop whining and admit to myselfI don’t want this bad enough to do the hard work.” Step #1 to Growing and Maturity: Admitting the truth about ourselves in the light of God’s Truth! 

I’m sure out there “somewhere” there are ministries that choose their leaders by their maturity level in-Christ, but I don’t think there is many. Sad to say, the mainstream church world often makes their selections based on willingness, an outward appearance of maturity, faithfulness to church services, and attending bible school and colleges. The main goal is often raking in more bodies (to fill the pews) and not growth and maturity for the ones who are in those pews. 

They have board members who look at the resume’, pray about it, and make their choice as to what they think is the best candidate for the (open slot) or job.

So, if you were picking a leader, or a pastor (of a church) what would be your measure for maturity? 

I make that decision every day of my life, when I decide who I will listen to and who I will not (listen to). Ephesians 4 says God gave us Apostles, Evangelists, Prophets and Teachers to help us come to maturity (in Christ). 

I learned a long time ago, a person who is blind will lead me into the ditch. A person who is not mature will not help me get mature. I want a leader who is stronger, wiser and more mature than I am. 

Therefore, if I do not listen to someone’s advice, it doesn’t mean I am rejecting them, personally. I simply learned (a long time ago) That listening to Jesus comes first. To put anyone’s council above His, is a form of idolatry. 

Am I perfect? No! Have I made mistakes? Yes, I have. But my heart and mind are set on the words “Take my yoke upon you” (Words of Jesus) “and be yoked to me.” (Matthew 11:28). 

The Lord is my Shepherd (primarily) and everything else is subject to him. 

Years ago I sat under a minister for a time (online) and hardly anyone understood why. It was because of his Testimony.  A testimony (for me) is the true measure of maturity. Not what school they went to, not how many days they warmed a pew in the church. 

I”ve met many who attended church for 30 years, and like a submarine, nothing seemed to really get INTO their hearts. They are no different today than they were 30 years ago, other than knowing how to speak christianese. 

Like a tree, a testimony is a measure of how much work God has actually done in a person’s life. Are they born again? Filled with God’s spirit? Have they walked in the fruits of the spirit and learned to walk by the spirit of God? Have they cried out for, and received wisdom (from above) and not relied on the wisdom of man (and his ways?). Are they tried and true? 

It’s out of balance to say we don’t need anyone but God and it’s out of whack to say we only need church, and just follow along with whatever supposed “leader” comes our way. It’s unhealthy to gather around someone who just “says what we want to hear” and it’s foolish to assume every person in a leadership position was put there by God. If that were the case, Paul and Jesus would not have wept over flocks being deceived by wolves in sheeps’ clothing and they would not have interceded with tears over those being “led astray.”

Did you know Jesus cried (and wept) for those that would not listen to him? That was more serious to him than starving children or the physical suffering of humanity. Why? 

Because: He knew if he could successfully save the human soul (and we would listen to him) all the rest would be taken care of. God’s wisdom leads to us being “alright” in the Spirit first, and then in the natural. He wants us healthy (Spirit, Mind, and Body!). He wants us mature, which means we have grown up INTO his Headship.

I would dare say this means “We’ve God the mind of Christ” in all things. 

To get the mind of Christ, we have to continually give up our own ways of thinking. We have to push out the voices of the immature, the unsteady, and the godless and faithless, and INCLINE Our ear to the word of God via His Spirit. 

So here’s my standard on whether I will listen to you (or not). What is your Testimony? If you don’t have one to overcome with, how can I follow you? 

“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.” (Revelation 12:11 NKJV). 

In conclusion, if you have found a church that truly has a loving, parental heart to see you Grow (UP) IN Christ, stick to them like glue! If you can see they love you, and want you to grow, stay put! If they have other agenda’s, face it and pray, and ask God for a church that helps you get where you need to be. This is my advice, and I believe it is sound. LOVE yourself enough to get good spiritual food. 

Put your Spirit and Soul First, and the rest of you (body) as secondary. This is what it means to love not (your physical life) Unto Death. You put it under, and put it second to your growth and development in Christ. Enough said! -Laura Grace 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Building on the Rock #1 Your Prayer life

Prayer 1.jpg

Good Morning! God has something great for us today! (Let’s pray) 

Father I ask you in Jesus’ name. Please get me closer to you! Help me hear from you! Please cause me to have that “relationship” that everyone is always talking about, with you Father…..In Jesus’ name we pray. amen” 

In Timothy 1 Paul says (to Timothy) “FIRST of all…” Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men…..” 1 Timothy 1:1

I have asked the Lord for years now, cause me to do thy will, cause me to say what you want me to say, cause me to do my part, and when I get to heaven, I want you to say, ‘Well done.”

I see that the plan of How-To-build-wisely is threaded all through the old and new testament. As I sought on how to build he let me know “FIRST” Is your prayer life.

When we pray about (all things) we are choosing the pearl of great price (God’s wisdom) over our own. I know a lot of people say make “sure” It’s in the bible, but ….

One time my husband was asking God to speak to him and he was touched to add transmission fluid while he was out of town. It was low, and no indicator light came on to tell him.

He said “I”m so glad the Lord showed me that!”. He was seeking really hard for God to “speak to him.” and I know we all wonder, will he tell me great things today? Maybe I”ll write another book of the bible (like Daniel, or Isaiah!).

And tell me……WHERE in the Word of God is the word tranmission Or even “transmission fluid?”” Not there! Did he get deceived, I wonder? 🤨🤓

Surely as we pray, we do not leave ourselves off the list. Every week I see answers to prayer (every week!!!) Why? Because I pray every week! Do I think I’m too stupid to make decisions without God? Can’t I just “function” without him?

Sure I can (to some degree) but see now doing it all myself would be that “wood, hay or stubble” he was talking about. it’s the easy way, and seems like less trouble, takes less time.

isn’t that why the pig chose the straw house? It was easier?

(to be continued) Laura Grace

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Driving the family car…….spiritually speaking that is! :)

car pic

Yesterday I was facing a hard day at school (bible school) as I was studying critical thinking, many details on how to do a paper “the proper way” In true University style. I have learned about scholarly sources all kinds of details about plagiarism, and ….Well it’s all quite detailed, formated, cut and dry. I am a free thinker who loves to pray, be creative, and Uh, guess I pride myself a little bit on “being free spirited” and walking inthe spirit.I believe in pray, open your mouth, and let the river flow!

Details that I am experiencing in school right now are a difficult challenge for me. I cannot deny I need it, I just realy didn’t WANT to grow some more!

I am ready to be a big girl now, and go out and do more things for Jesus! You know the frustration, right? 

“Let’s get this show on the road” we say (to God) year after year after agonizing year! “Gosh daddy, have I not grown enough yet?” “Can I drive the car now, please?” “Tell me again how to adjust the mirrors,” Dad says. “BUT all the other kids are driving Dad, they never check the mirrors! They’ve been driving for a long time now! I am careful! Please Dad Please?” “Take the car,” he says, “show me again what you know, but only around the block.” “Oh Gosh Daddy,” (Humph) “This just isn’t fair!” (sigh) I’ve been at this for thirty years now. God has let me “drive the car” spiritually speaking. I’ve ran into a few things, bumped into others at times, and sometimes don’t even go exactly the direction he says. I am learning! One day he will say; “You’re ready girl” for a big long road trip!’ “I am sending you out.” 

Until then. he just said I have to understand how the entire car works! (No exceptions). And maybe the other kids won’t have to do this but, I do! (for some reason I can’t understand right now) But guess what? I will before it’s all over, understand perfectly why My Father Required so much of me. 

with love and prayers! Heb 6:11-13 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Laura Grace 

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Know it alls & One-uppers! Do we know how to listen? (Grace to Grow)

know-it-allBoy I tell ya……….OH Good morning by the way! 

Know it alls…..one uppers…….Or People who just have to be the center of attention, or who always have to be “right.” Ever met anyone like this? You just get the feeling they are not listening, but chomping at the bit, waiting for their turn to talk. 

I’ve had some experience with being a talk -a-holic. I can remember some comments my husband has made to me such as “You’ve been talking for an hour straight, without taking a breath” (this was a few years ago) Or sometimes I would stop on my own and say, “I’ve been hogging the conversation,” To which he would reply “Help! I”m talking and I can’t shut up!” (making fun of me!). When we first got together, 14 years ago now, I was just in desperate need to be “in control” Of the conversation at all times. 

My goal? Well, sometimes it was to get him to understand me (which is about me) or to get him to see it my way (also about me) to get him to agree with me (about me again!) OR sometimes to straighten him out! How easily our desire to help, can easily turn into an ego trip. I have, in the past found myself saying “WELL, if they aren’t going to listen to me then………They can just go their own way!” (Crossing my arms, thinking I won’t put them out unless they are on fire!) All signs of immaturity by the way. 

But, there is the art of listening, too. You know, years ago, When I first found out I’d been taught some things wrong (even about what it says in my bible) I kind of decided to not listen, and I shut people out in an effort to guard my heart. It does say in the bible to guard our hearts, but it is also possible to get to a point where, we can retain what we believe, and still listen to what others have to say about a matter. 

Being hyper-vigilant can be extreme. We can calmly say; “I don’t agree.” however there is a problem when, the other person chooses not to respect what we believe. I have noticed, especially in politics, many who believe in freedom to believe as they wish (so they say) are very hypocritical, attacking and slamming others for THEIR beliefs, while at the same time maintaining that “others’ shall not shout them down or “ram’ their beliefs down their throats. WE are seeing those who say “I don’t want to hear that christian stuff” while they attempt to force others to believe (how they believe) and even try to make laws to enforce it. So, before I can remove a speck out of someone’s eye, first I have to get the log out of my own eye. Many believe it’s a compromise to listen to the views of others……….

But that is not so. I dare say, Jesus actually listened to some input from others. One was the day he said to a woman wanting healing “It’s not good to give the children’s bread to dogs” (Gentiles were compared to dogs you see) and SHE said “even the dogs get the crumbs from the master’s table! “How great is your faith” He said, and healed her!

You know I can’t think of a case, where someone in the bible marched up to Jesus and said “how dare you preach that” Or correcting him in front of others. Unless of course it was the Pharisees, who used scripture to tell him how “wrong he was” to heal on the Sabbath, or tried to trick him, bait him, or goad him into giving up. He finally told them off, in no uncertain terms……”BROOD OF VIPERS” He said. Why? I think it’s because he needed to drive off the crows, who were trying to steal the precious seeds of truth and wisdom he was planting. We have some truth seekers, truth lovers, and wise Spirit filled people in this world, but friends? What do we do about the crows? Especially crows who think they have the right to run up and snatch the seed before it’s even sown? 

HMMM ……..are you helping the cause of Christ? Or coming against it? Something to think about. And is it love to let the crows gobble up the seed? “Father help me to listen more, learn more, and be quiet before you. “teach me to listen” Open the eyes of my heart I pray. Heal me of all insecurities that make me act up. Help me grow! Father please help me be a lover of truth! I ask you sincerely, in any areas where I think I know the truth if I am wrong? Please uproot those lies, Grant me thy truth I pray! Grant me wisdom! In Jesus’ holy awesome and mighty name. Amen 

 

Laura Grace, Author, minister, and your friend Laura Grace