What Happens When the Door Closes and you are in the Storm?

This is the post excerpt.

The brainchild of two Registered Nurses, ages 50 plus, who asked the question, “What happens when the door closes and you are in the storm?” After a lengthy discussion, we identified that maturing through the lifespan can be a difficult process for many women. Historically, we have overcome many obstacles; however, for reasons which are not easily identified, we are feeling quite overwhelmed with the present-unexpected life event.

When we perceive that we are overwhelmed; fear, worry, and anxiety escalate at disproportionate levels. As a result, we become spiritually disoriented, and gradually we become fixated on the closed-door. When we begin to communicate with God through prayer, we will realize that God has allowed the door or chapter in our lives to close. He is protecting us as only a Heavenly Father can do. As we draw closer to God, He will allow us to see his wonderful plan for our lives-many open doors.

The Responsibility to Resolve

Elijah was afraid and fled for his life. Then he went on alone into the wilderness, traveling all day. He sat down under a solitary broom tree and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life, for I am no better than my ancestors who have already died.” 1 Kings 19:3-5 NIV

Our minds and physical bodies often fail when we are faced with challenging circumstances. It is easier to succumb than it is for us to possess the necessary strength to tackle the issue. Although we have faced many battles, most of us feel like throwing in the towel because we are overwhelmed by yet another tribulation. Even so, there are many believers who immediately tap into the source of power and gain the strength to withstand by faithfully trusting in God.

Elijah feared the wicked Queen Jezebel because she made the declaration to take his life; it was an automatic human response to the threatening situation. Elijah the prophet realized his powerlessness and fled to an area that he considered as a safe place.

We also run away from God mentally and spiritually when we begin to utilize self-seeking tactics to resolve our battles. The result is to feel burned out and stressed over circumstances that we are powerless to resolve, and what we fail to realize is that God never expected for us to provide the solutions for victory.

The key to acquiring the necessary strength to withstand is only available by exercising our faith and trust in God.

Pray without ceasing. 1 Thessalonians 5:17

When we are depleted, our only source is God, and having that talk with God must be our first action everytime in every situation.

Make the commitment to stop taking on the Responsibility to Resolve; God is always available, He is Omnipotent and so full of love that He promises us:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

Let go of fear, anxiety, and worries! God has always been our resource and He is fully equipped to fulfill His duty in taking on the Responsibility to Resolve our small problems and turn them into giant victories.

Bible Reading for today: 1 Kings 19

Prayer for today: Dear God, We are feeling weary from all of the issues that we are facing. We realize that self-reliance is not the option that you intended for us to choose. We ask you to forgive us for excluding you when we are facing life’s battles. We ask for your divine intervention and the strength, faith, and perserverance while you bring resolution to our difficulties. Thank you for hearing and answering our prayer. We ask in the worthy name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.

© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2019

An Action Plan

Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry, but those who trust in the Lord will lack no good thing. The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles. Psalm 34:10,17 NLT

When the Israelites were delivered from enslavement by Pharoah, they were like newborn babes who are totally dependent on their mothers. The conditions of wandering in the desert without means to obtain food for nourishment placed them exactly where God desired for them to be, totally dependent on Him.

God provided manna six days a week, with a double portion on Friday, so they could prepare their meal ahead of time for the Sabbath. He also instructed them to gather only what they needed to eat for each day. Those who disobeyed God’s command by taking an overage awakened the next day to find the excess manna spoiled.

How many of us have come to rely on our own stockpile of resources; bank accounts, CDs, stocks, or retirement plans? God desires that we depend upon Him for our daily provisions. We cannot create our own comfort zone by trusting in ourselves, in our money or in our possessions. We must become as babes and change our mindset to totally depend on God by living for today and placing our complete trust in God our Father.

Develop an action plan to build your trust in God by living a faith-based life. Christ left us an example of how and what we should pray for in Matthew 6.

Give us this day our daily bread. Matthew 6:11 KJV

Give us today the food we need. Matthew 6:11 NLT

Our resources are a gift from God, our provider, Jehovah jireh. God did not intend for us to trust in the gifts; He desires for us to only trust in the Giver of the gifts.

Bible Reading for today: Matthew 6:19-34

Prayer for today: Dear God, We ask you to forgive us for trusting in ourselves. We desire to live a faith- based life which is not possible unless we are totally dependent on you. Thank you for the reassurance through your Holy Word that you will give us our daily provisions when we ask through prayer. We ask you to provide for our needs according to your will. In the worthy name of Jesus, we ask and we pray. Amen.

© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2019

Achieving Peace: Maintaining Cleanliness

Because we have these promises, dear friends, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that can befall our body or spirit. And let us work toward complete Holiness because we fear God. 2 Corinthians 7:1 NLT

Does anyone want to live a life that is long and prosperous? Then keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies! Psalm 34:12-13 NLT

Maintaining Physical Cleanliness

The number one defense against disease transmission is proper handwashing. Now that is the key; proper handwashing as defined by the Centers for Disease Control involves five steps along with water, soap, friction, and time. It is not merely a coincidence that improper handwashing has led to the increase of transmission-based diseases in the United States.

An ever increasing knowledge base enables us to maintain the homeostasis of the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual components of our bodies.

Are you completely aware of your thoughts throughout the day? It is a smooth and easy transition for bad thoughts to present themselves through our spoken words and behaviors. In fact, misaligned thought processes act as a catalyst for destruction; evil thoughts cause havoc in relationships with others; hurtful and inappropriate words flow easily in our homes, on our jobs, in social settings, and even when we attend church.

Achieving Spiritual Cleanliness

We can change the ill-formed habit of evil, negative thinking through an immediate cease and desist strategy.

1. Acknowledge that your thoughts are unholy and that you are committing a sin against God and others.

2. Ask yourself, “Why am I thinking this way?”

3. Admit that you are 100% accountable for your thoughts–refuse to engage in the blame game.

4. Confess to God through prayer that you possess an unholy habit–even if you must pray silently–God is already aware of all of our thoughts even before we act out through words or actions.

Remember Satan is not a god, he is a fallen being with limited power. God has not given Satan the ability to read your mind. It is when your thoughts come into fruition by the change in your temperament that you willingly fall into his well-devised plan.

We are creatures of habit; if we have the ability to learn the behaviors of others, then Satan can easily devise a custom-made and dirty scheme for each of us to fall into, based on our bad habits.

Do you believe that God desires for us to have peace and a joyful life?

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'” Jeremiah 29:11 NLT

Memorize this bible verse and repeat it everytime that misaligned-dirty thoughts begin to permeate your mind.

We are responsible for initiating the spiritual cleansing of unholy thoughts through repentance (having godly sorrow); God has given us the Holy Spirit who will assist us in the spiritual cleansing process of changing into Overcomers.

I can and I will change through the power of Jesus Christ.

Prayer for today: Dear God, Thank you for the ability to be an active participant in the process of spiritual cleansing. As each of our needs differ, so do our spiritual journeys differ. We acknowledge and confess that we possess wayward thoughts. As we become more aware of our sinful thoughts, we pray for a cease and desist mindset. Thank you for giving us the Holy Spirit to help us with abolishing the habit of evil and negative thinking. We love you, we worship you, and we praise your holy name. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

Achieving Peace: Part 2 of 2

© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2019

Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada

Be Encouraged

I will praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Marvelous are your works and I know this very well. Psalm 139:14 BSB

The existence of God is the most important core belief that an individual can possess; however, the actions required to substantiate that belief is from the power of choice.

We were made in the image of God!

The God who created us from love; the God who created us with a uniqueness that is unlike any other human; and the God who desires us to have an intimate–up close and personal relationship with him requires faithful dedication.

God requires us to be active participants in the Plan of Salvation! He does not demand that we serve him; however, His promises are dependent upon our willingness to obey. God states, “If you…then I will…”

Yes, the vicissitudes of life are hard; even so, we have a God–the one and only true God who promises us that He has good plans for us with a hopeful future.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned, and the flame will not scorch you. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour…Isaiah 43:2-3

When we have a deep knowledge of who God really is and believe in His promises, we will pray prayers of thanksgiving, sing songs of praise, and honor God through unwavering faith, trust, and obedience.

Why should we feel discouraged?

Develop a personal relationship with God, and reflect on His goodness; in spite of your circumstances, always proclaim:

“Hallelujah, He is El Shaddai, my All and All!”

Prayer for today: Dear God, We worship you, we praise your holy name, and we thank you for all that you have done in our lives and all that you will continue to do. God, we desire a closer relationship with you. We ask forgiveness of our sins and shortcomings. Please help us to remain encouraged, because you have promised, if we do our part, then you are always faithful and you will do exceedingly and abundantly above more than we can ever imagine. Thank you for hearing and answering our prayer. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2019

God as our Guide

Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord Psalm 27:14 NLT

Technology has introduced many conveniences, including one of my favorites: GPS Navigation–a satellite guidance system while traveling. Even so, the GPS does not have the ability to make decisions based on astute judgment, possess critical thinking skills nor is it programmed with common sense.

One of the most horrific events connected to guidance by a GPS occurred in 2011 in the State of Nevada where a Canadian couple lost their lives in a mountainous snow-laden terrain due to GPS misguidance.

We have been created in the image of God and blessed with the ability to develop our level of intelligence to the nth degree; yet, we are warned in Proverbs 3 to, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path.”

When we travel on a road trip we use our GPS or maps to navigate the best possible route; in the journey of life, we must acquiesce and let God be our GPS. He has promised that if we trust in Him then He will give us Eternal life in the New Heaven and New Earth which is our final destination.

Remember that we can never be misled or lost when we let God guide our steps.

Order my steps in your Word, dear Lord, lead me and guide me along life’s way.

In memory of my beautiful Sister, Susan Bernard-Bevins: “My life is in His hands.”

Prayer for today: Dear God, We ask you to lead us as we begin a new phase of our lives with you as our Navigator. We have come to realize that we frequently lose our way in this journey called life from self-direction. For this, we ask forgiveness and the desire to serve you with all of our heart, soul, and mind. Thank you for hearing and answering our prayer. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

© Sonya Johnson Ruiz and Angel Ruiz Roque 2019

Achieving Peace

Sabbath Devotional

But the Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering (patience) gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness (being humble), temperance (self-control); against such, there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23

Because of sin, we are natural-born warriors; in fact, it takes little effort to engage in conflict with the mindset of winning by any means necessary.

We stay armed and ready for battle by keeping our swords sharpened from the active participation against those in our own household. Sarcastic words, focusing on faults, keeping permanent records of past misgivings, and feelings of resentment due to the failure to receive what we rightfully deserve easily take root and flourish in marriages, families, the workplace, and even in our churches.

In order to achieve peace, we must lay down the Swords of Unforgiveness, Bitterness, and Retaliation; they are ungodly character traits which create an environment of strife and promote a discontented spirit from within.

How do we transition from possessing unhealthy traits to a gentle and loving character that promotes stability, generosity, and faithfulness?

First, we ask God to forgive our sins and plead for His help to enable us to change, in how we react and respond. This is the hardest part, you must be ready to endure the tests; just remember, always pray for help–even if it is a silent prayer.

Pray before Speaking and Reacting!

“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” Phillipians 4:13

All unproductive habits can and must be broken!

Our responsibility is to reflect the love of Christ in all situations. We are part of God’s army and as His soldiers, we achieve victory from faithfully trusting and obeying God.

Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. Psalm 46:10

God gives us the command to “Be still!” which translates into “Be quiet.” The ocean has two phases: Calm and inviting with small waves and raging with larger, tumultuous waves. It is energy that is transmitted by the wind-driven waves; the ocean does not empty itself of water from its wave activity. When we choose to participate in conflict, we expend our vital resource, the Holy Spirit who must retreat because God is a God of peace and not of confusion. As a result, we empty ourselves because we are no longer driven by the Holy Spirit.

Have you ever felt peaceful, full of positive energy or closer to God after engaging in conflict? Each of us would answer with a negative response; remember to utilize your only option, God, and God alone.

God wants everything to be done peacefully and in order…1 Corinthians 14:33 first part, ESV

We were not created to fulfill the role of warriors; let God bring victory into your life by letting Him take control of every strife driven situation that you face.

We have the power of choice to invite the Holy Spirit into our lives and give us God’s wonderful peace by laying down our swords!

Prayer for today: Dear God, We have become self-appointed warriors by carrying swords and engaging in conflict with the intent to deliver fatal wounds. And for our actions, we ask you to forgive us. Oh God, we desire your peace and a transformation of our character to align with the Fruit of the Spirit. Please teach us how to react and respond according to your will. Thank you for hearing and answering our prayer. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

Part 1 of 2 in Achieving Peace

© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2019