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Determination

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“And the Pharisees came forth, and began to question with him, seeking of him a sign from heaven, tempting him. And he sighed deeply in his spirit, and saith, Why doth this generation seek after a sign? verily I say unto you, There shall no sign be given unto this generation.” Mark 8:12.

Have you ever heard someone say, “If I could just see a miracle, then I would believe”?

When Jesus was here on earth, He performed many miracles, people believed on Him for awhile, but they were always looking for something more. This grieved the Lord. When it came down to the end of His ministry, many of them forgot about all the miracles He had performed and consented to His death.

We read about the Israelites after the Lord had delivered them from Egypt. Think of all the miracles they experienced: deliverance at the Red Sea, water from the Rock, manna from heaven, and many more. In Leviticus 9:24, the people saw fire come from the Lord and consume the sacrifice on the altar, causing them to fall upon their faces. And yet whenever they faced a problem or some discomfort, they murmured and complained and wanted to return to Egypt.

I believe in miracles and have seen the Lord do some wonderful things that were beyond the comprehension of man. I’ve known of people who have received a miracle from the Lord, and yet failed to live for Him. It takes more than a miracle. There must be faith in the Lord, believing Him just because of who He is and the provision He made for our salvation. It takes love, determination and commitment to live for God even if we never experience miracles.

Prayer: Jesus, the greatest miracle you ever performed was when you died on the cross for our sins and rose again so that we might have life. Help us to serve you because we love you and not because of the blessings you bestow upon us.

Devotion by Anne Johnston

There comes a point in the season, I promise, where suddenly you know. You know. It’s time. And you may still not see what’s happening, but you know that it is.

I realize I’m being extremely vague here, so let me back it up a little.

There was this girl named Rhoda, and she was a servant of Mary, mother of John (Acts 12). Peter was set free from prison miraculously and all of these disciples were gathered in Mary’s house, praying. In the middle of the night, Peter came knocking at the gate, and Rhoda, being the servant, came to the door. Recognizing Peter’s voice, she was so overcome with emotion that she left him there and went in to tell everyone he was at the gate. But no one believed her! Yet she refused to believe it wasn’t him, and when they came out and saw him, they were astonished as they opened the gate.

And my prayer is that…I will believe just as she did. No matter what it seems like. No matter what other people may believe. I know what I saw.

I don’t know what was going on in her mind at that moment, but it was clear that she was sure of what she knew to be true. She insisted on it. She wouldn’t let it go. And I think maybe part of it was that Peter’s life depended on it. She knew what she saw, and she couldn’t just let him stand out there when there may be prison guards and officials looking for him out in the night. She couldn’t let him stay out there. His life may have depended on her determination.

Something happens in the season when you realize that someone’s life, or many lives, are dependent on your determination. If it was just about you, it would be easier to give up, but there’s something, deep down, that just can’t let go because if you go, so does everyone else you’re tied to.

I’ve always been incredibly independent, so it’s a struggle for me to allow others in, to allow myself to grow. The truth is, we’re all connected, whether we want to believe it or not. And you can’t give up, don’t give up! There are people who need you.

I wonder how Peter felt standing out there. If he was frustrated or amused or cautious. Why was he standing there waiting when someone already knew he was there?

Sometimes we can’t see what’s going on beyond the closed gate, but there’s a transaction going on in the spiritual realm. We may not be able to see it, we may be wondering why nothing has happened when we know that we’ve been heard and seen. There’s a conversation and a struggle going on that we can’t even see. But I promise you, if you stay, and you don’t give up and leave, the door will be opened.

There’s something that happens in the supernatural when it’s been resolved. When the war is over. When it’s time to stop fighting and enter the new season. I think sometimes the war is over and we’re still struggling on the battleground, unwilling to make peace with it. Sometimes the reason we’re still facing the same problems is because we never excepted that God conquered them already.

We don’t need to be fighting a war that is already won.

The transition can be hard, and a little shaky. But it’s time. It’s time to let go of the old season and step into the new. It might feel a little gray for a while, like you’re a blend of old and new, trying to let go and trying to move forward. But I promise, it will be okay. You will get through it. If you only you just keep moving forward.

Have you ever noticed how hard it is to change someone who has a made up mind? Call it stubborn if you want; a mind that’s made up simply cannot be changed. From a nasty prison cell, the Apostle Paul wrote this bold, made up mind statement in the Book of Romans 8:38-39,

“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (King James Version of the Holy Bible).

The scenarios in this list have caused many people to give up and turn away from God. But, Paul went on record to let the church in Rome know that he had his mind made up. Nothing was able to separate him from God’s Love! Is your mind made up?

Prayer:  Lord, I’ve got my mind made up to live for You regardless. Though I walk through lonely valleys, You are with me. I’m not giving up. I’ll live for You come what may. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!