Don’t Lose Your Mercy

March 3, 2024  (Post #72)

(From Journal #55:  March 5, 2022)

Yesterday and today were very stressful and yet You gave me a profound revelation in the midst of it all…

John was in a difficult mood yesterday. He wanted to go outside, which we did, but he wanted to try and do more than he was physically able. I know he’s mad and frustrated but I couldn’t risk him falling again. Losing his independence is so hard for him.

Then this morning, he wanted to take a shower. I asked if we could just wait until later. I was already dressed and needed to get him settled in his chair so I could run a quick errand. I can only leave him alone for short periods of time. But he insisted and didn’t seem to care how that impacted me. I was annoyed because I literally have to get in the shower with him to keep him from falling, which means I get wet no matter what. I got him showered, dressed, and in his chair. As I got back in the shower and began to squeegee, I thought about how I’ve not left his side in over 3 years. The physical and emotional stress of caretaking was taking its toll on me. I began to pray in tears of frustration and honestly self-pity.

As I was praying, I started to think of all the times the Bible says that You desire “mercy over sacrifice.” It was then that my spirit heard the Holy Spirit speak:

“I see your sacrifices. I know them. But don’t lose your mercy for why he may react the way he does. If you lose your mercy, then your sacrifices aren’t pleasing to Me.”

That really hit home. Thank You for this correction, Lord. He is suffering and feeling weak. He doesn’t mean to snap at me and feels bad when he does. Any sacrifice I’m making as a caretaker pales in comparison to what he’s enduring. Sacrifice should not include self-pity. I never want to forget this, Lord. Any time I start to feel impatient and unmerciful, let me hear Your still, small voice remind me, “Don’t lose your mercy!”

Matthew 5:7 – Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

Matthew 9:13 – “But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”

Matthew 12:7 – “But if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless.”

Hosea 6:6 – “For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.”

Pray “For” NOT “About”

February 18, 2024  (Post #71)

(From Journal #11:  October 26, 2007)

Lord, You gave me another amazing revelation recently as I was “praying” about some lingering issues John and I have been going through.  As I was giving You MY list of changes I wanted to see in him, I heard the Holy Spirit speak to my spirit:  “If you would pray FOR him instead of ABOUT him, I can work with that.  You aren’t praying for changes in him for his sake, but for your sake.”  Ouch!

This truth hit me in the face.  I wasn’t praying for him, but grumbling and complaining about him and arrogantly telling You what should be done.  Selfishness and a controlling spirit were at the root of my so-called prayers.  The changes I wanted to see were really for my benefit and not his.  Lord, forgive me.

As I began to sincerely pray for him, for his walk with You, for the healing of emotional wounds and unforgiveness he carried, for his spiritual and physical healing, for Your grace, mercy and will in his life, my heart began to change.  I let go of some bitterness and unforgiveness of my own. As my prayers changed for him, the things I had wanted to see began to happen, for the right reasons.

This is such a powerful lesson, Lord.  Whether we’re praying for loved ones or even our enemies, the motives behind the prayers must truly be for their benefit and not our selfish desires and needs.  You did everything for…

Philippians 2:3-4   “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”

James 4:3  “And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.”

Luke 23:24  “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. “

What’s Love Got to do With It?

June 30, 2020 (Post #43)

(From Journal #3:  February 15, 2006)

I woke up early AGAIN with so many thoughts running through my head, I knew I had to get up and pray and spend time with You.

First Lord, You keep reminding me of 1 Corinthians 13:8 which says “Love never fails…”  NEVER.  But I confess that I find “walking in love” is much easier with strangers than the people closest to us sometimes?  Why can conflicts with loved ones be so hard to resolve?  

You showed me something about myself:  I don’t have a problem admitting when I’m wrong; I have a problem not getting credit when I’m right and others won’t apologize.  OUCH!  Every time I CHOOSE to speak love and demonstrate love, I am never a victim and the enemy gets a kick in the teeth!  Love never fails, no matter what the issue is.  Looks like I still need some work here.  Jesus, thank You for correction and conviction.

Proverbs 3:12:  For the Lord corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights.

Proverbs 10:17:  He who keeps instruction is in the way of life, but he who refuses correction goes astray.

Proverbs 12:1:  Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid.

Corinthians 13:1-3:  If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

1 Corinthians 13:13:  So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

God’s Tool Box is Full

June 20, 2020  (Post #42)

(From Journal #3:  February 12, 2006)

This morning I saw a pastor on TV who had been diagnosed with Hepatitis C.   Treatment options had been presented to him, and none without side effects and risks.  He believes in divine healing and found himself thinking his choices were:  “I either have to go through treatment OR trust God to heal me.” In his mind he felt that treatment would make him a “faith-failure.”  His very wise mother told him that medicines are for healing and the enemy is about death.  He realized that he had put You in a box by thinking he could only be divinely healed in a certain way, and saw that You give us many tools to use for healing, like medicines, supplements, diet, etc.  It wasn’t a question of medicine OR trusting God; it was treatment AND trusting God.  

Oh, can I relate!  I just went through this myself.  Last week I finished my 4th and last treatment of my 2nd round of immunotherapy.  I thought about how in Deuteronomy 30:19, You told Moses and the Israelites “… I have set before you life and death; choose life…” I chose to see this treatment path as a part of Your healing and took it in faith.  I also thought about Naaman and how his pride and stubbornness almost cost him his healing.  

2 Kings 5:1, 10-15:  Now Naaman was commander of the army of the king of Aram. He was a great man in the sight of his master and highly regarded, because through him the Lord had given victory to Aram. He was a valiant soldier, but he had leprosy.  Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, “Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.” But Naaman went away angry and said, “I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy. Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Couldn’t I wash in them and be cleansed?” So he turned and went off in a rage.  Naaman’s servants went to him and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, ‘Wash and be cleansed’!” So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy.  Then Naaman and all his attendants went back to the man of God. He stood before him and said, “Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel…” 

Do it Like Daniel

March 28, 2020  (Post #33)

(From Journal #3:  September 17, 2005)

I read a scripture in Daniel this morning that I’ve read many times, but today I noticed something new.  It’s when Daniel had prayed and it took the angel of the Lord 21 days to arrive because he’d been fighting a demonic spirit.  I’ve always seen that the Lord heard Daniel right away and answered his prayer immediately, but sometimes there’s a lapse of time between God’s hearing and ordering the answer and when we receive it.  But today, I saw more.

Daniel 10:10-13:  A hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees. He said, “Daniel, you who are highly esteemed, consider carefully the words I am about to speak to you, and stand up, for I have now been sent to you.” And when he said this to me, I stood up trembling. Then he continued, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia.

This shows me that praying to God about problems is different from setting my mind to gain understanding and humbling myself before God.  You showed me that too often my “prayers” are mostly grumbling and complaining ABOUT people or situations rather than truly praying FOR them.  That’s my pride basically telling You what You “need” to do about situations instead of seeing the things in me that need to change.  Forgive me, Lord, for all the times I have not come before You with a mind that wants Your wisdom to understand, or with a heart of humility that truly seeks Your will and ways.

1 Peter 5:5-7  …“God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”  Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.

Psalm 25:9:  He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them His way.

Psalm 66:18:  If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear.

James 4:3:  When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.