From the BlogSubscribe Now

The Veil of the Present

“And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’” Matthew 28:18-20

present

The Great Commission

I could not write a devotional without the Great Commission. It is a life verse for Zach and me. We have taken the verse literally. Jesus said, “Go!” so that is what we did. When we were dating, a serious talk defined our relationship. Studying to be teachers, we wanted an assignment overseas. We initially talked about helping at an orphanage or International school. We committed our lives to God and trusted him for guidance. We stayed focused, worked in a few public schools and paid off college loans. We had heard too many stories about individuals wanting to work overseas but never fulfilling that desire. We believed God had something great for us if we would stay on course.

A sense of purpose

Teaching in Chicago could have easily distracted us; great jobs, great schools, great communities, and great friends. When we told everyone about our transition overseas, we gained a lot of support. I cannot recall one person talking about opportunities being given up. No one from work cautioned me about resigning. God blessed us with wonderful people who lovingly supported us through every decision. Our sense of purpose was encouraged by others.

We were conflicted during the final walk through of our home, empty of furniture and ready for someone else. We had hoped to start a family in that house. As we were selling and leaving, I got pregnant. It was a little unnerving but we kept our focus. We sold everything and moved overseas. The present did not take our minds off the future.

Our blessed hope

The future is wrapped up in the promise of Jesus one day returning. I not only want to be caught up with Him, but share the journey with as many people as possible. The future is heaven, the resting place of God. The present is where you work, requiring focus.

Your future awaits

Losing focus occurs when veiled with the present and consumed with earthly comforts. Be unveiled! Seek the heart of God and passionately fulfill the work He wants done. Your future in the presence of Christ awaits you when the assignment is finished.

Matthew 24:13-14,

But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”

The unveiling

The point cannot be emphasized enough. God rips away veils that consume and deceive. Allow Him to transform your life into His image and share His story with everyone. Give careful attention to your ambitions and remain unveiled. The future is great,

How has the veil of the present affected you? Share your comments below.

The Veil of the Past

“But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14

past

Living in the past

Take a second to think of your favorite memory!  Memories are wonderful and bring thoughts of times gone by. How frequently do you attempt to relive past memories?  Some people hide behind the veil of the past.

The glory days

If your “good ole’ days” are behind you, do you relive them with memories or try to recreate them? God wants to use you where you are, in the time you are in. Your best days are right now, full of faith and purpose.

An old time religion

Times quickly change and for some the change is not good. Old-time religion has faded away. Those who cherish long church services and lengthy altar times struggle with what church gatherings have become. The past seems much better than anything presently occurring.

God’s message and power has not changed. He is the same yesterday, today and forever.”

Seek God in the now and ask for His power to continue being manifested. Spend time praying and seeking God for the current needs of the world. Move out of the veil of the past and into the current move of God.

Better days

Losing a relationship or a loved one may place you in the veil of the past. Everyone has relationships they miss, including me. During special occasions you miss family who have died and wish they were there to enjoy the moment. Wishing for someone from the past can hinder an ability to embrace new relationships. No special person can be replaced but God places all kinds of people in your life to help you, and you may be able to help them. God may have a great friend just around the corner. God has wonderful things for you, now. He never stops caring and He will always meet your need for healthy relationships.

The unveiling

Prayerfully consider the veil of the past. Are you looking to the past and wishing things were the way they used to be? This may be a good thing to journal. Write about the things you miss and allow God to show you new purposes for today. Were you more confident in the good ole days? Were you more faithful in old-time religion? Were you more pleasant when a special person was still a part of your life? The world needs those same characteristics today. God’s mercies are new every morning and He will give you strength to live for today.

How has the veil of the past affected you? Share your comments below.

The Unknown Veil

“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8

Our adversary

You may have read and prayed through all the veils and still not be sure what to call your veil. This may be more serious than you think. The unknown veil could be the enemy of your soul.

unknown

Caesarea Philippi – The Gates of Hell

An evil influence

People have a hard time processing Satan and hell but both are real. Hell is a sad and horrible destination. The devil is hateful and a deceiver, hating God and His creation. John 10:10 states he steals, kills and destroys. He always works against you and you must actively stand against his evil influence.

God is greater

How many times has joy been stolen? How many dreams have been killed? How many relationships have been destroyed? Satan often plants an idea and people do the rest. Stand firm and know who you are dealing with. Take courage because God is greater. The Lord wins in the end and can help you win in your situation.  Ask for His power to overcome the enemy.

Pursuing victory

Satan sometimes will plant a seed of doubt in your thoughts. Be prepared! Identify what is happening and crush the seed. Do not allow the seed to take root, instead, replace it with Scripture.

Allow the Holy Spirit to flood your mind with God’s promises of courage, hope and His never ending presence.”

The enemy wants you to be veiled. As long as you are veiled you are less likely to work for the Lord. The more veils consume you, the further you are from total victory.

Praying through veils

If you are not sure what is veiling you, go to the Lord in prayer. Tell God how you feel and what is on your mind. The Lord is the Healer. He wants you to have a sound mind and to be burden free. Cast your cares upon Him. He will unveil you and give you courage to stand against the enemy. When God speaks to you, respond without hesitation.

The unveiling

Pray through Scripture. Romans 8:37-39 are great verses when the enemy strikes: “in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” You can have freedom in Christ in place of the veils of fear, doubt and false ideals.

How has the unknown veil affected you? Share your comments below.

The Veil of Destruction

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” Psalm 19:14

destruction

Desiring truth

Truth is valued differently within various cultures. Saving face may be more important than telling the truth. Better to lie and keep someone happy than tell the truth and make them sad. While in Sudan a dear friend told a series of lies to spare me worry. However, I prefer being told the truth!

Zach and I rarely ask strangers for directions overseas since many people would rather lie and give poor directions than say, “I don’t know.” Honesty is the best policy.

Partial truths

Do you struggle with honesty? Are your yes, yes, and your no, no? Are you in a habit of telling part truths, which equates to being partly honest? (Partly honest is simply, not honest).

The veil of destruction is a gradual veil, beginning with mild distortions. Words and thoughts eventually become more twisted. Over the next few days give careful attention to what you say. Monitor your speech and be strong enough to tell the truth, even if it means exposing some past inconsistencies.

Distorting the truth

What is worse, lying to spare others or believing a lie to spare yourself? Both fail the measurement of truth.

Deception and distortion ultimately brings destruction.

Enough with the little white lies! If you want off a committee, be honest. Children are not an excuse when you no longer want to attend an event. If you want to buy an item that is more wanted than needed, do not justify the purchase by lying.

The unveiling

Take time to consider the veil of destruction. Prayerfully consider the results of dishonesty. Speak truth instead of deceiving and being deceived. Ask God to help you with truthfulness. Live according to His standard of truth and be unveiled from lies that bring ruin.

How has the veil of destruction affected you? Share your comments below.

The Veil of Freedom

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” 2 Corinthians 3:17

freedom

Freedom in Christ

Freedom can be deceiving. You find yourself veiled by perceived freedoms, when in reality you are bound by obligation and fear. You may think you are free but genuine freedom is in Christ and in fulfilling the purposes He has determined for you.

Bound by false freedom

You are free to visit many places. You are free to buy whatever your money or credit will allow. You are free to love and marry whomever you choose. You are free to do whatever job you desire.

Yet, how many people are veiled by perceived freedoms and are still bound by situations, circumstances, debt, obligations and responsibility?

Zach and I were committed to moving overseas but until the last bill was paid we were not free to go. We were trapped. When we cleared all our debts, we were free.

Finding freedom

Feeling free and being free are very different. Ask God to unveil you from any perceived freedoms and to show you where you may be bound. May He remove the veil of perceived freedom and lead you into full freedom.

The unveiling

You can be free. Freedom is found in Christ. In Christ you are free from sin and gain freedom from bondage. By reading Scripture you discover inward freedom. He gives freedom as you live according to His plan. Free up your schedule, debts and everything else restraining you from fully following Him. Seek God and be unveiled of any perceived freedom.

How has the veil of freedom affected you? Share your comments below.

The Chosen Veil

“the people of Israel would see the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses’ face was shining. And Moses would put the veil over his face again, until he went in to speak with him.” Exodus 34:35

chosen

A diminishing radiance

Exodus 34 introduces Moses’ encounter with the holy God. As he met with God on Mount Sinai his face began to glow. Moses covered his face with a veil to screen the radiance of God’s glory. Scripture does not state God instructing Moses to conceal his face. Was it to hide the radiance as it faded over time? What would the people think when the glow was gone?

Choosing to veil

You can cover yourself in a veil through life experiences. To veil yourself in any way should cause you to consider your honesty. What are you trying to veil, conceal or hide? In every situation, God is trying to do something. What may seem to be private or painful is a learning moment from God.

Working through tough times gives you the ability to help someone else in similar situations.

Openness and vulnerability are challenging. Pride veils the ability to admit your humanness. Be willing to admit your frailty and share your experiences with openness. Remove the veil that makes you appear better than you really are.

Being transparent

In a moment of contemplation, ask yourself about the veils you wear. How many veils are you hiding behind in an effort to manage perceptions? Ask God to remove the chosen veil and allow Him to bring you to a place of transparency for kingdom purposes.

The unveiling

This is an issue of surrender. Following Jesus exposes faulty thinking. He illumines the areas you have veiled that should be surrendered to God. Seek to be unveiled, live for His purposes and remember that God is gracious. The enemy wants you to believe God wants to embarrass and expose you to your harm, which is a lie.

God lovingly brings about good things as you let go of the chosen veil.

Do not allow the enemy to hinder total surrender. God works all things for good as you trust Him and obey His leading.

How has the chosen veil affected you? Share your comments below.

The Veil of Ownership

“The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein.” Psalm 24:1

An obsession to own

Why am I compelled to own things? The importance of ownership can serve as a veil. The goal to own things often requires extra work to buy them. Once purchased, they must be cared for, maintained and later end up being sold or discarded. Nothing is wrong in buying and owning things but they can be all consuming. Some people are veiled by the obsession to own. Do you have the right value system with regards to things? Jesus said,

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Luke 12:34)

ownership

God owns it all

A greater issue of ownership is failing to submit to God. His treatment towards His children is not like a cruel Ruler, nor like a Master owning everything and giving nothing, just the opposite. He knows every detail of your life. He will guide you and by following His leading, He provides everything you need.

Seeking God’s council

Even when striving to seek the heart of God, you can still struggle with the veil of ownership. A real challenge to your relationship with God is seeking to accumulate unnecessary things. Involve God in the process of buying.

The unveiling

Consider the veil of ownership. What ownership goals do you have? What does God think of your goals? Have you asked Him? Do you own things, or do things own you? Truthfully evaluate the priorities things have in your life. Allow God to have Lordship over your life and your treasures, great and small.

How has the veil of ownership affected you? Share your comments below.

The Veil of the Crowd

“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:8-9 (NLT)

crowd

A fickle crowd

Two thousand years ago, Jesus entered Jerusalem. He was welcomed by crowds of people waving massive palm branches and shouting, “Hosanna,” meaning “save now.” The people were ready for a ruler to set up an earthly kingdom, removing Roman authority and making life better. A week later the crowds were shouting, “Crucify him; crucify him.”  What happen to the palm branches that had no time to wither? What happened to hope? Anger set in and the people wanted Jesus to die in a painful and degrading way.

Going with the crowd

Have you ever heard someone say, “If someone jumped off a bridge would you do it too”? Well, would you? It seems more people are being swayed by crowds these days. Recent political debates have stirred many opinions. What people thought and felt was on the tip of their tongue. Crowds shouted. Tempers and feelings were raw.

God unveils

People of integrity are slow to speak and always loving.

Be slow to anger and speak truth according to God’s word.

Non-believers are veiled and God does the unveiling, not us. You can speak truth until you are blue in the face but until God unveils them, they will not believe it.

The conviction of Scripture

God’s word has that impact. If people do not believe God exists why would they accept Scripture or understand those devoted to Him? A person needs a relationship with God to experience the humbling realization that Jesus died for them. He died so you could live in forgiveness and one day live eternally in His presence. Non-believers do not understand holiness, a God thing for God’s people. This is the treasure believers know and share. Take a moment to pray for those opposing you. Live a godly life and be a quiet example. Saint Francis of Assisi said,

Preach the gospel at all times – if necessary, use words.”

The unveiling

Consider the veil of the crowd. Allow God to speak to you, then speak to the crowd His message. God has insight about the crowd and His thoughts are what matters.  The crowd may not agree, especially when opinions of God are declining.

How has the veil of the crowd affected you? Share your comments below.

The Veil of the Door

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7

Doors

While attending a conference I noticed several creative and uniquely designed doors.  A conference speaker gave an illustration about the doors in his hometown, as well. A large photograph of local doors hung on the hotel room wall and sparked an interest. I began thinking of the many doors I have walked through.

I have entered and closed many doors. Zach and I have moved ten times. That is ten different doors to our homes. Of those doors, one stands far above the others in my mind.

door

A life of doors

Everyone walks through doors, some fade with time and others remain clear. Some take on some form of meaning. Within friendships, careers and relationships you have opened and closed doors. Some great friendships are established in a short time and develop, regardless of time and distance. Everyone has doors in their lives, both literally and figuratively.

Choosing the right door

What door is God behind? Do you remember the game show, “Is it door number one, number two or number three?”  Finding the door God is behind is not a game.  The doors of life you choose do matter and you have to live with the results. Carefully consider the right door.

Doors in the Bible

Two Bible verses address the subject of doors.  Revelation 3:20,

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.”

Matthew 7:7, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”

A godly door

Contrary to what some think, God is not talking about opening the door to a dream car. A heart truly seeking God seeks the door God has prepared. The Lord will guide you through the right door and into His will. Center your heart on God and be prepared for what he has to say. When He speaks, you will be ready to receive direction and have the ability to walk through the door He opens. Remember that the enemy seeks to derail you in your earnest pursuit of the door God has prepared. The enemy may try to distract you with another door that easily opens. He may dangle before you a beautiful and shiny door. Don’t be fooled!

You may have to push with all your might or stand at the door for a long time, but when God is in it, it is in your best interest to wait.

The unveiling

Go to the Lord in prayer for your life, your direction and your decisions. Are you seeking new doors of opportunity, new relationships or new endeavors? Is your heart truly seeking His will and leading? Are you seeking unrealistic or selfish doors? Allow God to unveil the wrong doors and ask him to open the doors He has prepared.

How has the veil of the door affected you? Share your comments below.

The Veil of Gloom & Doom

“There they are, in great terror, where there is no terror!” Psalm 53:5

gloom

Living with burdens

Do the words of this verse sound familiar? This is true for many people. Danger lies within those who feel the burden of terror, gloom and doom. If the burden was a real threat that would be different. I am talking, however, of believing you are genuinely under a permanent gray cloud.  Negativity is detrimental! Recognize the ensuing damage to your life and relationships.

Be an overcomer!

The veil of gloom and doom can temporarily wash over you, but see it and address it before becoming veiled in deeper more damaging ways, such as oppression and depression.

Negative thinking can be overcome, especially with the power of God acting on your behalf.”

The unveiling

In a moment of contemplation, present this veil to the Lord. Ask God to remove the veil of negativity and despair. Move into the fullness of life and hope in Christ Jesus. Spend time giving praise to God. Let rivers of praise come from your lips, with thanksgiving. Commit yourself to thinking, living and responding to life with a positive outlook and a heart full of praise.

How has the veil of gloom and doom affected you? Share your comments below.