February 3, 2005
Encouragement for Today
Author - Ramona Davis, Member of Proverbs 31 Speaker Team
"Fear not for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10 (NKJV)
On a recent mini-vacation to the Outer Banks of North Carolina, the fog was so thick you could cut it with a knife. I imagined we were driving off into the clouds as we crossed the bridge connecting Emerald Isle to the mainland.
The usual breath-taking view from the bridge was invisible. Normally, sailboats leisurely glided through the emerald green waters and beautiful grassland marshes that seem to stretch into the horizon. Today, however, they were hidden by the thick fog.
I thought how easily one could become disoriented in this kind of weather. The familiar surroundings and sights are obscured for a time. I know they are there. I just can't see them.
There are times that my spiritual walk has mirrored this thick fog image. My prayers seem to hit the ceiling and stop. Praise feels forced and seems to lack heart felt emotion. My wonderful relationship with Jesus becomes obscured and I quickly become disoriented and confused.
Determining if my experience "in the fog" is of the enemy or a time of testing from God has often been my dilemma. Dr. David Jeremiah, a gifted bible teacher, says we can be sure that times of testing from God never involve tormenting His children.
When our spiritual walk is suddenly engulfed by thick fog from the enemy, there are three important things to remember. First, recall His promises. For example, in Isaiah 41:10 "Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed". The enemy's purpose is to cause doubt and fear. God's promise reminds me that I have no need to fear because He is with me. "Do not be dismayed for I am your God". To be dismayed is to be confused and bewildered because of sudden fear or anxiety. He reminds me that He had power over all principalities of darkness and He is with me. He promises to strengthen me - even hold my hand. When I recall and hold in my heart promises like this, what do I have to fear when the Great I Am is holding my hand?
Second, stand firmly and still on these promises. I must take up my shield of faith to stand firmly on every word of His promises. When I am confused, it is best to stand still until I get further direction. If my child were lost in a thick forest, I would want him to stand still and listen for my voice. If he ran frantically around the forest, he would be in danger of becoming even more lost and confused.
Thirdly, I have found that it is extremely difficult for me to ask for prayer when I am surrounded by "fog". Not being able to fully explain my prayer need, I dismiss asking. It is during these difficult times that we need prayer the most. We need others to hold their shield of faith over us until we are stronger.
While on my most recent "detour in the fog", I received the following email from a friend...
"I just wanted to ask if all is well in your spirit? I have had heaviness on my heart about you (actually a couple of weeks now), and I am praying that God surrounds you with His peace. It's just like a "fog" or haze or something? I pray that God shows you "all those who are with you" and that they are "more than those who are against you". The battle is the Lord's.
Even though I failed to ask others for prayer, He prompted my friend to pray for me anyway. My heart was so encouraged because He knew exactly how I felt even though I had not verbalized it - "foggy"! He sent encouragement through my friend in the form of earnest and specific prayer for me. I was reminded that we need each other.
Remember, if you suddenly find yourself in a thick fog created by the enemy, recall perfect promises of God. Ask for prayer. Know that the battle is the Lord's. Stand still and feel Him take your hand in His.
My Prayer for Today:
Oh Lord, I thank You that You understand exactly what is going on even when I don't. I thank You that You will protect and deliver me from the hand of the enemy. Lord, help me stand still on Your faithful promises and know that You are holding my hand. Amen
Write one of God's promises on a small piece of paper. Place it in your pocket. Read and meditate on it all throughout the day. Purpose to hide this truth in your heart.
When your spiritual walk enters a time of "fog", what is usually your first response? Are you fearful? Doubtful? Confused? Search the scriptures to find promises that speak directly to your response. Study these promises and hide them in your heart.
Read 1 Samuel 17: 41-47 and reflect on the truth that the battle is the Lord's.
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths." Proverbs 3:5,6 (NKJV)
"Do not fret - it only causes harm." Psalm 37:8b (NKJV)
"Wait patiently for the Lord. Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say on the Lord!" Psalm 27:14 (NKJV)
"For since the world began, no ear has heard, and no eye has seen a God like you, who works for those who wait for him!" Isaiah 64:4 (NLT)
New! Message of the Month Club by Proverbs 31 Speaker Team
Becoming a Woman Who Listens to God by Sharon Jaynes
Originally published Thursday, 03 February 2005.