Sunday, September 17, 2017

Peace, Be Still!

And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling…Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. ~ Mark 4:37, 39 NKJV

Peace, be still!
That’s what Jesus said to calm the storm that raged on the sea.
Peace, be still!
And it’s what He says to calm the storms that rage internally.
Peace, be still!

My Savannah really struggles with change and transition. Though it’s gotten better—MUCH better—it’s still hard and has me constantly running to the feet of my Jesus asking, “What should I do? How do I help her when she appears to be angry, anxious, and unsettled?”  He said to combat it with the opposite spirit. The opposite of anger and anxiety is peace. And I smiled.

Savannah means, “Peaceful meadows.” Isaiah 43:1 says, “I have called you by name.” Long before we knew the challenges we would face, God called her, “Peaceful.” Immediately that night, I went into her room, though she was asleep, and prayed peace over her mind and heart, calling her by name, declaring her, “Peaceful!” Since then, some days are good and others are very challenging. But each day and night I pray with and for her, declaring and reminding her that she is Peaceful.

What storm is raging in your life, in your heart? Command, as Jesus did, “Peace, be still!” Then watch how your words, through your God-given authority, affect your heart, mind, and situation. Like with Savannah, it might not produce immediate results, but the peace will come and the storm will calm.
Peace, be still!

©Heather Potts 2017

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

For Victory!

When you go out to fight your enemies and you face horses and chariots and an army greater than your own, do not be afraid. The Lord your God…is with you! … Do not be afraid as you go out to fight your enemies today! Do not lose heart or panic or tremble before them.  For the Lord your God is going with you! He will fight for you against your enemies, and he will give you victory! ~ Deuteronomy 20:1-4 NLT

There is certainly a battle raging against us and we are DEFINITELY in the thick of it. Praise God for His Spirit and His faithful servants He sends to remind us that He is faithful—He was faithful with us and others in the past and He will be faithful now and in the future.

32. Brad has had 32 interviews since God changed our “plans.” And 14 of them have been since we came, in obedience, to Wisconsin. Unfortunately, as of this devotional, all but 2 have been “no.” But our hope doesn’t lie in the numbers—not the number of days since we’ve arrived in Wisconsin, or the number of dollars we have left in our bank account, or even the number of applications filled out. Our hope lies in the Lord and in His promises.

The details and days have weighed upon us. And the enemy has tried to keep us under his thumb. But in my prayer time, when I felt “heavy,” God reminded me that I am the Victor and not the victim. And in His presence, I cried out, “I will remember!”

It’s not just our family. The enemy is hard at work to destroy all who are called forth in and for God’s great purpose. If, like us, you are in the thick of it, just remember, you are the Victor (not the victim). He calls us forth—not for vacation, but for battle, for war, for victory!
“…Train even your weaklings to be warriors…And now, O Lord, call out your warriors!” ~ Joel 3:10-11 NIV

©Heather Potts 2017

Friday, August 11, 2017

Transition

They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” ~ Luke 18:37 NIV

Our family has been in a state of transition longer than I can guess. Transition is movement or change. Change is causing something’s form, nature, or future course to be different from what it is or would be if left alone. Keeping our eyes completely fixed on Jesus, this idea that our paths will be completely different has amazing and endless possibilities! But having left her friends and everything she’s ever known, Savannah is really struggling with this transition. While she understands that God called us here, she doesn’t understand is why we can’t “go home.” Home. That settled, comfortable place where we can relax and breathe, knowing all the rules, boundaries, and expectations. Home. A place to call “mine.” And it’s not just Savannah who’s struggling with this; we all are on different days.

But is it as bad as we feel? Luke 18:35-43 tells the story of a blind beggar who also found himself in a state of transition. Upon hearing the crowd grow excited, the blind beggar asked who was coming. “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” “Passing by” is part of transition. Though Jesus was the One causing the movement, it was the blind beggar whose life was about to change forever! Verses 38-43 reveal that the man cried out to Jesus louder and louder until Jesus called him over and said his faith had healed him.

There are 3 ways to look at the blind man’s transition. 1) Long. Blind from birth, he wasn’t healed for many years. 2) Short. He heard Jesus was near, cried out to Him, and immediately received healing. 3) In Christ. God’s desire is that we’d change into the likeness of His image and keep moving toward His plan for our lives—both the blind beggar and our family.

While the transition for our family feels long, and sometimes emotional, I pray that Holy Spirit will help us to look at it as neither long or short, but in Christ. Because in Christ, the possibilities are amazing and endless!

©Heather Potts 2017

Friday, July 28, 2017

Butt Co

Taste and see that the LORD is good.
Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!
~ Psalm 34:8 NLT

The second day of our move to Wisconsin was crazy! Not too far into our drive, our rental truck was acting up, so we pulled off the highway and waited for the mechanic to help us. Somehow the truck reset itself and we were fine. But a few miles down the road, the same thing happened and we pulled off again. This time, it would take a mechanic 89 minutes to get to us. During our long wait, I tried to take the girls to a playground across a 6-lane highway, but I turned wrong. Unfortunately, by the time we got there and went to the bathroom, Brad was ready and we had to leave, because we wanted to get through the major cities on Sunday.

Twenty miles later, we were tensely driving through heavy Atlanta traffic. And then hours later, we began traveling through the Tennessee mountains. I could feel the tension in my whole body, as I worried about Brad driving the huge truck up the mountains. As I looked at the cliffs on either side, I said, “I need a scripture to bring me peace.” And Holy Spirit reminded me of Psalm 34:8, which is often interpreted as experiencing God’s goodness. Because of His Word, my perspective changed. Instead of being intimidated and fearful by my surroundings, I enjoyed the beauty and was awed and inspired by all that I saw. A little while later, as we sat in a traffic jam, I was reminded of the sign I had seen just before we’d had the truck issues. It was then that I realized we had just entered Butt County, Georgia when all the truck issues began. I laughed so hard—a much needed release.

Don’t you just love how the story of your day changes when you see it through the heart of the Lord?

Holy Spirit changed my day, attitude, and outlook, simply by reminding me to experience the goodness of the Lord. What’s going on in your life that needs a change of perspective? Ask the Lord to help you experience His goodness and joy, even in the middle of Butt County.
©Heather Potts 2017

Monday, July 3, 2017

HOME

When Jesus returned to Capernaum several days later, the news spread quickly that he was back home. ~ Mark 2:1 NLT

We’re currently on vacation staying with my brother and his family. And although I had good intentions, being away has gotten me out of routine, which can more easily steal my peace. But Holy Spirit reminded me that the place is not my problem.

At church on Sunday, the pastor taught on Mark 2:1-11. He said Jesus, having been out beginning His ministry, had just returned home. In this passage, a paralytic was lowered through the roof to be healed by Jesus. Jesus healed him first emotionally and then physically. At that time, the man’s family, not strangers, should have cared for him. But likely due to his illness, his family left him to fend for himself. When Jesus called the man, “My child,” (v 5), as a parent would call a son or daughter, Jesus gave the man a home, a place of belonging.

Home is a place of:
·   Healing. When you’re not feeling like yourself, you want to be in your space with its comforting feels and smells.
·   Oneness. While away, it’s easy to get distracted by others’ routines and mannerisms. Though there’s nothing wrong with them, you run the risk of losing the one-mindedness of your family unit. Home allows you to reconnect and realign your thinking.
·   Meditation. The reason people often “need a vacation from their vacation” is because they fail to slow down, take a deep breath, and keep their peace.
·   Escape. We can all feel that we need to “get away” to escape life’s demands. But home is meant to be a place of escape, a refuge from craziness and storms.
I realized on Sunday, that I’ve been struggling to feel “at home.” But Holy Spirit reminded me that it’s not about a street address. No matter where I am, my home is in Him.

Regardless of what’s going on in your life and where God has you. Remember that He always has you and that your home is found in Him.

©Heather Potts 2017

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Something Different

…You have seen with your own eyes all that the LORD your God has done…The LORD will do the same…where you are going. Do not be afraid…the LORD your God himself will fight for you. ~ Deuteronomy 3:21-22 NIV

Change: something different.
Growing up, things were constantly changing. I felt like nothing could be trusted. For a non-military family, we were moving all the time. When I grew up and moved out, all I wanted was stability, consistency.

We’re currently in a season of change. This season has had “immeasurably more” blessings (Ephesians 3:20-21), but also mountains of crushing stress. Unfortunately, my response has been to try to hold everything together. The other day, the stress was so overwhelming that I felt tightness in my chest. The following morning it was still there. But I climbed into my God-chair and put on worship music. And in natural response to my God, I lifted my arms to worship Him. It was with my arms lifted that I could take a deep breath and all the tightness was alleviated. That’s when I remembered what He had said to me during our fast at the beginning of the year, “When you’re choking, you lift your arms to open up your airways and receive oxygen, which is needed for life. When you’ve choked out life by trying to hold it so desperately in your own hands, open your hands and lift them up to the Lord in surrender. For only then can you open yourself up to receive His life.”

Life taught me to try to hold it all together. But Holy Spirit has taught me to surrender it to Him. If you’ve been holding on to something so tightly that everything within you is bound up, lift your hands in surrender. Draw in God’s sweet breath and exhale, allowing everything within you to release. Releasing everything to Him is safe, for He is trustworthy.

©Heather Potts 2017

Friday, June 23, 2017

FoCUS

For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts. ~ Isaiah 55:9 NKJV

Plans. My plans included the house we were going to buy before having kids and the one-hour labor and natural delivery I was going to have in birthing my kids. But things didn’t go as I planned. Proverbs 19:21 reminds me, “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand,” (ESV). If it’s the purpose of the Lord that stands, how do I uncover it? Holy Spirit said, “Through the Sabbath.”

Rest. When God brought His people out of Egypt, slavery—doing what someone else said, when and how they said—was all they’d ever known. Therefore, God commanded, “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy,” (Exodus 20:8 NIV). The root word of Sabbath means “to take a rest; to sit down, to sit still.” It takes discipline to rest. But the benefits far exceed that of continuous motion.

Busyness. Too often I’m distracted by multiple projects or needs at once, losing sight of the bigger picture. Though I’m constantly active, if it’s not moving me toward the most important things, it’s meaningless. Yesterday, Holy Spirit challenged me to fast busyness. Doing so gave me what God’s been trying to give me all year: FoCUS.
Family First (Keeping my priorities in sight).
others on the outside (Maintaining healthy boundaries).
Christ at the Center (Gluing our family together).
Us United (Making every effort to meet each other’s needs).
Self-Care (Necessary in caring for others).
Honoring the Sabbath gave me a chance to recharge, see my projects from a clearer perspective, and refocus on the important things.

Maybe, like me, you’ve let your plans dictate the flow of your life. A wise teacher once said, “The plan may change a million different times. The plan is not what’s important. Jesus is. Don’t focus on the plan. Focus on Jesus.” It’s time to lay our plans down and seek God’s purpose. When we seek Him with disciplined and undistracted hearts, He’ll reveal His plan and purpose to us, which far outweigh any that we could make on our own!
©Heather Potts 2017