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May 9 21

Christ’s Hands On Ours

by J. M. Farro

   “Elisha said, ‘Get a bow and some arrows,’ and he did so.  ‘Take the bow in your hands,’ he said to the king of Israel.  When he had taken it, Elisha put his hands on the king’s hands.”  2 Kings 13:15-16 NIV

      In the biblical passage above, the great prophet, Elisha, is at the end of his life, and the King of Israel, Jehoash, comes to visit him.  At the time, the nation of Israel is being greatly oppressed by the Arameans, so the prophet asks the king to get his bow and some arrows.  Back then, it was customary to shoot an arrow in the direction of the country which an army intended to invade.  So Elisha directs the king to take the bow in his hands, and when he does, the old prophet does something startling.  He puts his own hands on top of the king’s hands.  “Open the east window,” [Elisha] said, and he opened it.  “Shoot!”  Elisha said, and he shot.  “The Lord’s arrow of victory, the arrow of victory over Aram!”  Elisha declared.  “You will completely destroy the Arameans at Aphek.” (2 Kings 13:17 NIV)

   Why did Elisha place his hands on top of the king’s hands before he shot the arrow?  One Bible commentator says that it signified that in all of the king’s expeditions against the Arameans, “he must look up to God for direction and strength; must reckon his own hands insufficient for him, and must go on in dependence on the divine aid.”  This principle has an application for you and me today, as followers of Christ.  Whatever it is that God calls us to do, whatever challenges we must face in this life, we must look to Christ for guidance and strength, and depend on His divine assistance and aid.

   Scripture tells us: “We are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12 NLT)  So for us, “the Lord’s arrow of victory” should be aimed at the devil and his dark forces.  As we “put on the whole armor of God” each day, and “pray without ceasing,” we will have all the resources of heaven on our side to gain the victory. (Ephesians 6:13; 1 Thessalonians 5:17)  Whatever enemies you are facing today – illness, lack, loneliness, bad habits, addictions, relationship or family troubles – ask Jesus to place His hands upon yours, and watch Him lead you through to victory!

   Lord, I agree with You that apart from You, I can do nothing. (John 15:5)  So help me to always look to You for guidance and strength.  Teach me how to live my life dependent upon Your divine assistance and aid.  Put Your hands on mine, and help me to shoot the victory arrow squarely against the enemy every time.  Thank You that I can and will do all things through Christ who strengthens me!  (Philippians 4:13)

   *Join the J. M. Farro Devotionals group on Facebook, and connect with J. M. Farro — with all-new weekday devotionals in addition to the standard weekly devotionals. You can access this group by clicking here!

   *For autographed books, check out the J. M. Farro ETSY Store at www.etsy.com/shop/JMFarro

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   *Comments or Prayer Requests?  Please email Joanne (J. M.) Farro at jmf@jmfarro.com

 

 

May 2 21

Enjoy Being With People

by J. M. Farro

   “I want to remind you to stir into flame the strength and boldness that is in you…  For the Holy Spirit, God’s gift, does not want you to be afraid of people, but to be wise and strong, and to love them and enjoy being with them.”  2 Timothy 1:6-7 TLB

   When I first saw these verses in the Living Bible, they made me cringe – especially the part that says that God doesn’t want me to be afraid of people, and that He wants me to enjoy being with them.  For someone like me who has struggled with social anxiety all their life, these verses sounded totally unreasonable.

   Years ago, I suffered from such severe anxiety that I had to undergo counseling.  What I didn’t realize back then was that anxiety, which is rooted in fear, has a demonic source.  I was totally unaware that Satan was the Author of Fear, and that he uses it to disable and paralyze God’s people.  I was also ignorant of the Scripture which says, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV)  Now that I know that fear is from the devil, I resist it in the power of the Holy Spirit.  As soon as it comes against me, I declare: “Fear, I resist you – in Jesus’ name, you must GO!”  God has given me authority in Christ to do this, and if you are a born-again child of God, then you can do the same thing.

   Another thing that really helps me is to ask God to give me favor, good understanding, and high esteem in the sight of Him and others, on the basis of His Word. (Proverbs 3:4 AMP)  Meditating on God’s Word and promises is a powerful way to overcome fear, anxiety, and depression.  Jesus says to us: “Peace I leave with you; My [perfect] peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.  Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid.  [Let My perfect peace calm you in every circumstance and give you courage and strength for every challenge.]” (John 14:27 AMP)  Glory to God!

   If you look up the definition of an “introvert,” you will see a description that, in many ways, describes me: An introvert is often thought of as a quiet, reserved, and thoughtful individual.  They don’t seek out special attention or social engagements, as these events can leave introverts feeling exhausted and drained.”  I have realized over the years that God gave me this personality because it enables me to be content spending endless hours alone at my computer, writing devotional messages and books.  But I no longer allow fear to rule my life, and I often enjoy being with other people.  Now that I know the truth, I am determined to live a fearless life.  How about you?

   Lord, I surrender my life to You anew today, and I ask that You fill me afresh with Your Holy Spirit.  Teach me how to resist fear and anxiety every time they come against me, and fill me with a holy determination to live a fearless life.  I thank You and praise You that peace is my inheritance in Christ!

   *Join the J. M. Farro Devotionals group on Facebook, and connect with J. M. Farro — with all-new weekday devotionals in addition to the standard weekly devotionals. You can access this group by clicking here!

   *For autographed books, check out the J. M. Farro ETSY Store at www.etsy.com/shop/JMFarro

   *Visit Amazon’s J. M. Farro page by clicking here!

   *Comments or Prayer Requests?  Please email Joanne (J. M.) Farro at jmf@jmfarro.com

 

Apr 25 21

God will Not Leave You Comfortless

by J. M. Farro

   “I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you.”  John 14:18 KJV  

   I was thinking about some loved ones of mine who had turned their backs on God, and had begun living apart from His purposes for them, when the Lord spoke to my heart.  He said, “Why don’t you stop dwelling on the mistakes your loved ones are making, and begin asking Me to comfort you and heal your broken heart?”  I realized then just how much I had been making myself miserable by focusing so much on my loved ones and their foolish choices.  I thought about Jesus’ words to His disciples when He told them, “I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you.” (John 14:18 KJV)  And I began asking Him to comfort me.  I also thought about another promise from Scripture that I had memorized long ago: “[The Lord] heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds [healing their pain and comforting their sorrow].” (Psalm 147:3 AMP)  And I earnestly prayed for the Lord to heal my broken heart.

   Since then, God has shown me why it’s so important for us to turn to Him for comfort and healing in the midst of our heartbreak.  When we are suffering because of the poor choices of our loved ones, we are likely to lash out at them, and to withhold forgiveness from them.  But by doing this, we are hindering our prayers, which our loved ones desperately need.  Not only that, but we are greatly damaging our witness, when they need to see Jesus in us.  We need to remember that our intimacy with God will help determine our influence in the lives of others.

    David the psalmist wrote: “Although my father and my mother have forsaken me, yet the Lord will take me up [adopt me as His child].” (Psalm 27:10 AMP)  Whether you feel forsaken by a parent, a child, a spouse, or someone else, if you are a follower of Christ, then you have been adopted by Father God Himself. (Romans 8:15)  That means that you are never alone – not ever.  God Himself promises you: “I will never [under any circumstances] desert you [nor give you up nor leave you without support, nor will I in any degree leave you helpless], nor will I forsake or let you down or relax My hold on you [assuredly not]!” (Hebrews 13:5 AMP)  The Lord is always waiting for you to turn to Him for comfort and healing.  Don’t suffer in silence any longer, but call out to Him today!

   Lord, remind me often that You promise to comfort and heal me when I call upon You in faith.  Help me not to dwell on the people or things that break my heart.  Instead, remind me to follow Your instructions by casting my cares, concerns, and burdens upon You – releasing the weight of them once and for all. (Psalm 55:22 AMP)  Thank You that as I rely on Your help to walk in love continually, I will prove to be a powerful witness for You!

  *Join the J. M. Farro Devotionals group on Facebook, and connect with J. M. Farro — with all-new weekday devotionals in addition to the standard weekly devotionals. You can access this group by clicking here!

   *For autographed books, check out the J. M. Farro ETSY Store at www.etsy.com/shop/JMFarro

   *Visit Amazon’s J. M. Farro page by clicking here!

   *Comments or Prayer Requests?  Please email Joanne (J. M.) Farro at jmf@jmfarro.com

Apr 18 21

God’s Prescription for Healing

by J. M. Farro

   “If you want to know what God wants you to do, ask Him, and He will gladly tell you, for He is always ready to give a bountiful supply of wisdom to all who ask Him; He will not resent it.” James 1:5 TLB

   When I woke up with my body racked with pain recently, I promptly sought the Lord for His wisdom and help.  As I prayed for healing and guidance, I suddenly thought about an old neck-shaped bean bag that I used to heat in the microwave oven for pain relief.  I had not seen this item in many years, and I didn’t even know for sure where it was.  But I decided to check one of my closets, and I located it immediately.  That’s when I began to think that using this bean bag was God’s idea.  When a dear friend and I were texting each other that same day, she asked how she could pray for me.  I told her about the pain in my body, and she recommended something that sounded almost identical to my neck-shaped bean bag.  I knew this was no coincidence, so I began using my heated bean bag regularly.  Each day, I felt better and better, and I thanked and praised God for His “prescription” for my ailment.

   This experience made me realize once again how the Lord often helps us in our time of need when we make seeking Him our highest priority.  In the case of healing, there are often multiple aspects of His “prescription” for us, and He will reveal them if we ask Him to.  As I sought His healing touch in this instance, I asked if I had committed some sin that had opened the door to Satan and his forces of evil.  That’s when I discovered that I had some unforgiveness in my heart, and that I needed to confess it, and to intentionally choose forgiveness, which I did right then and there.  The Holy Spirit reminded me of Ephesians 4:26-27 (TLB): “If you are angry, don’t sin by nursing your grudge.  Don’t let the sun go down with you still angry – get over it quickly; for when you are angry you give a mighty foothold to the devil.”

   Another aspect of God’s prescription for me was to ask a fellow follower of Christ for prayer – the dear friend I mentioned above.  Scripture says: “Pray for each other so that you may be healed.  The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results.” (James 5:16 NLT)  Sometimes, we need to put aside our pride, and be transparent enough to share our struggles with other believers, so that they can pray for us.  If you don’t have someone close to you who you can trust in this manner, then ask the Lord if you should share your prayer requests with a trustworthy ministry.

   Lastly, another aspect of my divine prescription was to take some practical steps toward healing.  Using my neck-shaped bean bag was definitely a part of the healing process.  It sounds almost too simple, but when you combine this step with the other two God-directed steps I’ve mentioned here – forgiveness and prayer – you’ve got a powerful prescription for healing.  Ask the Lord how this message might apply to you today – and receive His prescription for your healing!

   Lord, I believe that You delight in healing those who belong to You.  Today, I ask in Jesus’ name that You reveal to me Your personal prescription for my healing.  Show me the spiritual aspects of it, as well as the practical aspects, and help me to implement them with a holy ease and joy.  Reveal to me who I can request prayer from, and who will stand in agreement with me for my deliverance.  By faith, I receive my healing right here and right now, Lord, and I thank You for it in Jesus’ name!    

   *Join the J. M. Farro Devotionals group on Facebook, and connect with J. M. Farro — with all-new weekday devotionals in addition to the standard weekly devotionals. You can access this group by clicking here!

   *For autographed books, check out the J. M. Farro ETSY Store at www.etsy.com/shop/JMFarro

   *Visit Amazon’s J. M. Farro page by clicking here!

   *Comments or Prayer Requests?  Please email Joanne (J. M.) Farro at jmf@jmfarro.com

Apr 11 21

From the Lord Comes Deliverance

by J. M. Farro

   “Lord, how many are my foes!  How many rise up against me!  Many are saying of me, ‘God will not deliver him.’”  Psalm 3:1-2 NIV

   There are times in our lives, even as believers, when we feel as though we are surrounded by trouble and turmoil.  Psalm 3, written by King David, is a good example of one of those occasions.  David writes: “Lord, how many are my foes!  How many rise up against me!” (v. 1)  Even when it seems as though people are against us, we have to remember that it is Satan and his forces of darkness that are behind our troubles.  [“For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12 NLT]  Having this perspective will move us to use the powerful spiritual weapons at our disposal – including prayer, God’s Word and promises, the Name of Jesus, and the armor of God – which will be far more effective than any worldly weapons.

   In the very next verse, David declares: “Many are saying of me, ‘God will not deliver him.’” (v. 2)  In times of trouble, turmoil, or pain, we may hear words like, “God is not going to save you this time.  You are on your own.  This trouble is going to be the end of you.”  Whether the source is our own carnal minds or the forces of darkness, we can reject those words, and begin dwelling on – and declaring – the truth of God’s Word and His promises.  How did David respond to those who were saying that God would never “deliver him”?  He declared: “But You, Lord, protect me.  You bring me honor; You give me hope!” (v. 3 ERV)  Besides declaring God’s goodness and willingness to help him, David responds with prayer: “I will pray to the Lord, and He will answer me from His holy mountain.” (v. 4 ERV) 

   David’s confidence in God is so complete that he records: “I lay down and slept, yet I woke up in safety, for the Lord was watching over me.  I am not afraid of ten thousand enemies who surround me on every side.” (v. 5-6 NLT)  The fact is, David WAS surrounded by thousands of enemies, because he wrote this psalm during his son Absalom’s attempts to steal his father’s throne.  Even so, David didn’t lose any sleep.  He trusted the Lord to protect and deliver him, and God didn’t disappoint him.  When we demonstrate the same kind of faith that David did, we won’t lose any sleep during times of trouble, either. 

   David ends this psalm by saying: “From the Lord comes deliverance.  May Your blessing be on Your people.” (v. 8)  The Message Bible says it this way: “Real help comes from God.  Your blessing clothes Your people!”  Hallelujah!  The Lord miraculously delivered David, and He will do no less for you!

   Lord, in times of trouble, turmoil, or pain, help me to turn to You for help.  Teach me how to pray the prayers of Your heart, and to reject thoughts and words of doubt and defeat.  Protect me, bring me honor, and give me hope.  Fill me with Christlike confidence and peace, so that I can sleep soundly each night, and wake up refreshed each morning.  Thank You that as I look to You for my deliverance, I will receive the “real help” that only You can provide!

   *Join the J. M. Farro Devotionals group on Facebook, and connect with J. M. Farro — with all-new weekday devotionals in addition to the standard weekly devotionals. You can access this group by clicking here!

   *For autographed books, check out the J. M. Farro ETSY Store at www.etsy.com/shop/JMFarro

   *Visit Amazon’s J. M. Farro page by clicking here!

   *Comments or Prayer Requests?  Please email Joanne (J. M.) Farro at jmf@jmfarro.com

 

Apr 4 21

Give God the Right to Direct Your Life

by J. M. Farro

   “Give God the right to direct your life, and as you trust Him along the way, you’ll find He pulled it off perfectly!”  Psalms 37:5 TPT

   After I graduated high school many years ago, I enrolled at a state college nearby.  What I didn’t realize at the time was that this college had accepted almost a thousand more students than they could accommodate, and when I went to sign up for classes, I couldn’t get any of the ones I needed for my major.  I was devasted, and I felt that my only choice was to go back to the job I was working at during the summer, and to put my education on hold.  A year later, I enrolled at a local county college, and it was here that I met my future husband, Joe.  That was almost 48 years ago, and we are still together, with two grown sons and three grandchildren.

   As I look back, I can’t help but marvel at how the Lord brought Joe and I together.  We are the same age, but God saw to it that Joe’s college education was delayed for a whole year, too.  The Lord made sure that Joe and I were in the same Sociology class at the same time.  And He had our professor put us in the same skit together, so that we had no choice but to talk to each other and get to know each other.  Truly, the way that God directed our steps was nothing short of a miracle.

   The Bible says: “Give God the right to direct your life, and as you trust Him along the way, you’ll find He pulled it off perfectly!” (Psalms 37:5 TPT)  Because the Lord has given us the will to choose and to make our own decisions, we must give Him “the right to direct” our lives.  He won’t force His will on us, even though His will for us is always what is best for us.  Receiving Christ as our Lord and Savior won’t guarantee that God will direct our steps each day.  We have to intentionally commit our ways and our days – even every situation and need – to the Lord continually, in order for us to walk in His perfect will.  This takes trust, which is why this Scripture mentions this requirement.  So my challenge to you today is to give God the right to direct your life every day, in every way.  Then, in whatever test or trial you might face – “you’ll find He pulled it off perfectly!”

   Lord, today I give You the right to direct my life.  I surrender to You all of my hopes, dreams, and plans.  Please align my will with Yours in every area of my life, and help me to fulfill my God-given purpose and potential.  Use Your Word and Your Spirit to guide me along Your perfect paths of peace, wellness, and abundance.  Thank You that as I allow You to direct my steps, I will live a life of victory and success!

   *Join the J. M. Farro Devotionals group on Facebook, and connect with J. M. Farro — with all-new weekday devotionals in addition to the standard weekly devotionals. You can access this group by clicking here!

   *For autographed books, check out the J. M. Farro ETSY Store at www.etsy.com/shop/JMFarro

   *Visit Amazon’s J. M. Farro page by clicking here!

   *Comments or Prayer Requests?  Please email Joanne (J. M.) Farro at jmf@jmfarro.com

 

Mar 28 21

How To Help Change Your Nation

by J. M. Farro

   “Nevertheless, the righteous will hold to their ways, and those with clean hands will grow stronger.”  Job 17:9 NIV

   Some years ago, the Lord led me to the verse above, and He instructed me to pray that all of the righteous people in my nation would “hold to their ways,” so that those of us with “clean hands” would “grow stronger” all the time.  Then, we would see our land totally transformed for the glory of God.  The Amplified translation says it this way: “Yet shall the righteous (those upright and in right standing with God) hold to their ways, and he who has clean hands shall grow stronger and stronger.”

   We get it wrong when we focus on the wicked too much, and expect them to change.  We think that ungodly people are the key to healing our nations.  But the truth is that we believers are the ones who have the responsibility to change and be transformed.  You see this truth in the familiar Bible verse that says: “If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV)  Do you see where the onus is?  It’s on God’s people to repent and change their ways. 

   One reason why countries like the United States are moving further away from God is that there aren’t enough Christians holding to righteous ways.  Too many of us are compromising our biblical convictions, and aligning our thoughts, words, and actions with the world, instead of the Word.  Instead of standing out, we are blending in with our culture and society.  It’s hard to tell the Christians from the non-Christians a lot of the time.  Is it any wonder that things are getting darker?

   Scripture promises, “[The Lord] will even deliver the one [for whom you intercede] who is not innocent; yes, he will be delivered through the cleanness of your hands.” (Job 22:30 AMP)  When we are holding to righteous ways, we can intercede for the lost and wicked, and see many of them turn to God.  Then, they will be a part of the solution, instead of a part of the problem in our societies.  So let’s be quick to confess our sins, and to ask the Lord to forgive and cleanse us. (1 John 1:9)  And let’s make serving God with wholehearted devotion our number one priority!

   Lord, please use me and my fellow followers of Christ to touch and transform our nation in mighty ways.  Cause Your Holy Spirit to convict us of our sins, and make us quick to repent and leave our wrongdoing behind.  Fill us with a holy boldness to speak for You in ways that will influence our culture and society for good.  Thank You that as we hold to our righteous ways, You will make us mighty world-changers for Christ!

   *Join the J. M. Farro Devotionals group on Facebook, and connect with J. M. Farro — with all-new weekday devotionals in addition to the standard weekly devotionals. You can access this group by clicking here!

   *For autographed books, check out the J. M. Farro ETSY Store at www.etsy.com/shop/JMFarro

   *Visit Amazon’s J. M. Farro page by clicking here!

   *Comments or Prayer Requests?  Please email Joanne (J. M.) Farro at jmf@jmfarro.com

 

Mar 21 21

Ungodly Counsel

by J. M. Farro

   “Blessed (happy, fortunate, prosperous, and enviable) is the man who walks and lives not in the counsel of the ungodly [following their advice, their plans and purposes]…” Psalm 1:1 AMP

   When my mother died two years ago – 21 years after my dad’s death – my sister sent me a copy of one of my father’s college papers, which she discovered as she was cleaning out my parents’ home.  This assignment of my dad’s was a written biography about the life of my great-grandfather, Horatio.  As I read about this relative of mine that I never knew, I marveled at how this man came from a poor family of farmers in Italy to America to start a new life with his loved ones.  Horatio worked hard for many years, and eventually, he bought some rental properties that would provide an ample income in his retirement for him and his family.  Life was good, until my great-grandfather began taking bad advice from his own sons, who convinced him to invest in a business which eventually failed, and caused him to suffer a significant loss.  Fortunately, Horatio had money in the bank, which kept him from losing everything.  Several years later, though, his sons convinced him to invest in another business that went bankrupt, and this time, he and his family were left destitute.  It was then that my grandmother – a young widow with two small sons (one of them being my father) – had to go to work to support her parents, as well as her own children.

   As I thought about the devastating mistakes that my great-grandfather made, I recalled King David’s words in Psalm 1: “Blessed (happy, fortunate, prosperous, and enviable) is the man who walks and lives not in the counsel of the ungodly [following their advice, their plans and purposes]…” (Psalm 1:1 AMP)  Horatio received and acted upon ungodly counsel from his sons, not just once, but twice.  And it cost him dearly.  You and I have to be very careful about who we receive advice from.  God will send godly counselors into our lives as we walk closely with Him throughout each day, but He won’t force us to take their sound advice.  Most of all, the Lord Himself offers to be our Guide.  He says: “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life.  I will advise you and watch over you.  Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.” (Psalm 32:8-9 NLT)  If we want God’s best in every area of our life, then it’s absolutely essential that we cooperate with Him all the way.  Also, Jesus called the Holy Spirit who dwells in us the “Counselor,” whom He said would remain with us forever. (John 14:16 AMP)  Along with the Word of God, we have everything we need to make wise decisions throughout our lives. (Psalm 119:105)  Let’s not make the same mistakes that some of those who went before us made.

   Lord, teach me how to seek You for the wisdom and guidance that You promise me in Your Word. (James 1:5; Jeremiah 33:3)  Bring godly counselors into my life, and help me to make the most of them.  Guard me from ungodly advice that will lead me away from Your plans and purposes for me.  Make me sensitive and obedient to Your Spirit’s leading in all things.  Thank you that as I keep my eyes on You, “You will keep on guiding me with Your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny!” (Psalm 73:24 NLT)

   *Join the J. M. Farro Devotionals group on Facebook, and connect with J. M. Farro — with all-new weekday devotionals in addition to the standard weekly devotionals. You can access this group by clicking here!

   *For autographed books, check out the J. M. Farro ETSY Store at www.etsy.com/shop/JMFarro

   *Visit Amazon’s J. M. Farro page by clicking here!

   *Comments or Prayer Requests?  Please email Joanne (J. M.) Farro at jmf@jmfarro.com

Mar 14 21

Wisdom for Good Decisions

by J. M. Farro

   “For the reverence and fear of God are basic to all wisdom.  Knowing God results in every other kind of understanding.”  Proverbs 9:10 TLB

   The other day, my husband, Joe, and I had a serious dilemma.  We needed to make an important decision, and we needed to make it fast.  We talked about it for a while, hesitating and realizing that if we made a mistake, we could suffer far-reaching consequences.  Suddenly, it dawned on me that we should pray about it.  Joe and I joined hands and petitioned the Lord for His wisdom.  As soon as we finished praying, Joe knew exactly what we should do, and I wholeheartedly agreed with him. 

   The Lord showed me through this experience that sometimes, we make consulting Him more complicated than it has to be.  Scripture says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” (Proverbs 9:10 NIV)  The truth is that having wisdom starts with having a healthy fear of God.  That doesn’t mean that we have to be afraid of God, but that pleasing Him is always our number one priority.  My husband is not a super-spiritual person by any means.  But he can hear from God when he needs to because he has a deep reverence for Him and His laws.  If God says in His Word that something is wrong, then Joe agrees with Him.  The Living Bible translation of Proverbs 9:10 says, “For the reverence and fear of God are basic to all wisdom.  Knowing God results in every other kind of understanding.”  Joe doesn’t have a lot of head knowledge about God, but he knows Him personally, and that is what allows my husband to gain insight and understanding from above when he needs it.

   Joe and I know people who make poor decisions on a regular basis.  Why?  Because they have no fear of God, and no respect for His Word.  Some of these folks are well-educated.  They do all kinds of research and collect all kinds of information before they make a decision, but they still suffer for it.  This is because, as the Bible says, “Knowledge begins with fear and respect for the Lord, but stubborn fools hate wisdom and refuse to learn.” (Proverbs 1:7 ERV)  We all make mistakes, but those of us who love and revere the Lord are more likely to learn from our mistakes, and to see God make them work out for our good. (Romans 8:28)  If you have an intimate and eternal relationship with God through Christ, then you have the potential to make wise decisions and live a good life.  And that’s my heartfelt prayer for you today!

   Lord, today I choose to make You and Your laws my number one priority.  Fill me with a deep reverence for You, Your ways, and Your Word.  Help me to know You personally and intimately.  Fill me with divine wisdom, knowledge, and understanding.  Teach me how to make good decisions every time.  Thank You that as I live my life for You, I will experience life at its very best!

   *Join the J. M. Farro Devotionals group on Facebook, and connect with J. M. Farro — with all-new weekday devotionals in addition to the standard weekly devotionals. You can access this group by clicking here!

   *For autographed books, check out the J. M. Farro ETSY Store at www.etsy.com/shop/JMFarro

   *Visit Amazon’s J. M. Farro page by clicking here!

   *Comments or Prayer Requests?  Please email Joanne (J. M.) Farro at jmf@jmfarro.com

Mar 7 21

Our Connection to God

by J. M. Farro

   “If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” John 15:7 NIV

   I recently heard from an old acquaintance who had a dear friend who was gravely ill.  She asked me to pray for this man, because she said that I always seemed to have a special “connection” to the Lord, which enabled me to get amazing answers to my prayers.  What’s interesting is that I have heard this before – that I have a special “connection” to God, which makes my prayers more powerful than the average Christian.  And if you were to ask me how you could have this kind of divine connection, too, here is what I would say to you.

   First off, I would tell you that besides receiving Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, you have to truly surrender your heart and life to Him.  You must give Him access to every area of your life, not just the spiritual part.  Jesus wants you to submit to His lordship where your relationships, your career, and even your entertainment are concerned.  You can’t separate the secular and the sacred.  Every moment of your life must be lived to the glory of God.  That doesn’t mean that the Lord expects you to be perfect.  Only Jesus lived a perfect life on this earth.  But it means that you live every day of your life with this command in mind – “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31 NIV)

   Second, in order to have a deep connection with God, you must heed the Savior’s instructions in John 15:7 (AMPC): “If you live in Me [abide vitally united to Me] and My words remain in you and continue to live in your hearts, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you.”  Here is a powerful principle that leads to powerful prayer.  You must believe God’s Word, considering it “truth,” as Jesus called it in John 17:17.  And you must believe ALL of it.  If you say, “Well, I just have a problem with some parts of the Bible,” then your connection to God – and your prayers – will be greatly hindered.  Scripture says, “If anyone turns a deaf ear to my instruction, even their prayers are detestable.” (Proverbs 28:9 NIV)  The Message Bible says it this way, “God has no use for the prayers of the people who won’t listen to Him.”

   Years ago, when the Lord was teaching me how to pray effective prayers, He showed me Psalm 119:173 (NIV): “May Your hand be ready to help me, for I have chosen Your precepts.”  God revealed to me that if I would choose to believe and honor His Word, His laws, and His precepts – over and above the laws of our culture and society – I would get “ready” answers to my prayers.  The bottom line is that we are either going to be filled with the Word or the world.  There is “no neutral ground” with God. (Luke 11:23 MSG)  Which will YOU choose?

   Lord, today I surrender every aspect of my life to You, and I make You Lord over every area of my life.  Help me to honor and glorify You with all of my thoughts, words, and actions.  I choose to believe Your Word, and to consider it truth.  Teach me how to pray effective prayers.  Thank You that as I remain vitally united to You, and Your Words remain in me, I will receive ready answers to my prayers!

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