It Takes Courage for the Journey

SHOUT the Cry of Victory 30 Days of Prayer Day 13

One of the hardest things that you will ever do is maintain the courage to keep your covenant vow with God. You will be tested by Satan, who will use your closest friends, family, and your desires to test your convictions to serve God. Our desires indicate whether or not we are serving God with unwavering faith, trust, and obedience. Often we fall into the temptations of sin, still, you must pray and stand against the deceptions of spiritual wickedness. Human Effort + Divine Intervention = A Victorious Outcome! 

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” Matthew 7:24

Yesterday, I reached the crossroads of Obedience and Disobedience. God has spoken to me through my Pastor and several other individuals to stop all communication with an individual who no longer served God and did not have my best interest in mind. You know what? I prayed and asked God to give me the courage and strength to completely sever this relationship. God answered my prayer immediately. It happened yesterday. The relationship is over!

What made the difference? Divine intervention! God knows that I love Him with all of my heart, soul, and mind. Before the 30 days of Prayer, I identified deficits in my character that required change. I prayed for spiritual growth and a closer relationship with Jesus Christ. Yes, God reached down from heaven and manifested His power to eliminate a huge problem that I struggled with for a long time.

“I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.” John 16:33

We can agree that life is tough! Even so, obedience to God places us in the position to receive the blessings of peace and inner joy. When we do our part: Having courage [standing our ground] against all deceptions [people, places, and things] that Satan uses to lead us down the “Road of Disobedience,” then our Warrior God steps in, “The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:14.

Choose to always obey God! Our reward of eternal life depends on the humility to be an obedient servant of the Most-High God.

Scripture: But Moses told the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the LORD’s salvation, which He will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians you see today, you will never see again.” Exodus 14:13

Prayer: God, we ask for forgiveness of the sin of disobedience. We desire to serve you wholeheartedly. Please help us have the courage to give up the people and the desires that separate us from you. Thank you for your divine intervention. We ask this prayer in the Worthy Name of Jesus. Amen.

© 2021 Sonya Johnson

Free Will of Choice Ends Here

SHOUT the Cry of Victory 30 Days of Prayer, Day 12

The dilemma of humanity: This is what the LORD says: “Stop at the crossroads and look around. Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it. Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls. But you reply, ‘No, that’s not the road we want!'” Jeremiah 6:16

  1. To serve God is a choice. Even so, once we make the covenant vow to serve God our choices end.

Do you not know that when you offer yourselves as obedient slaves, you are slaves to the one you obey, whether you are slaves to sin leading to death, or to obedience leading to righteousness? Romans 6:16

2. Jesus tells us that obedience is required to serve God:

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 7:21

3. God clears up our confusion about our former lifestyle: 

As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance… 1 Peter 1:14

4. Disobedience ends in God’s rejection:

but he did not accept Cain and his gift. This made Cain very angry, and he looked dejected. Genesis 4:5

5. God knows that we struggle to obey Him:

For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. Matthew 7:14

Our Reward for Obedience to God:

He who overcomes [the world through believing that Jesus is the Son of God], I will grant to him [the privilege] to sit beside Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down beside My Father on His throne. Revelation 3:21 AMP

Bible Study: Genesis 4

Prayer: God, we ask you to forgive us for our willful disobedience. We desire to obey you and to receive our reward of eternal life. Please give us the strength to overcome as we continue to serve you. We ask this prayer in the Worthy Name of Jesus. Amen.

How God Strengthens Our Heart

SHOUT the Cry of Victory 30 Days of Prayer Day 8

Yesterday, I read a beautiful story from a member of a FB crochet group. She posted a picture of her first arugami crochet animal, a teddy bear, and asked the group how to make the eyes symmetrical because they were crooked and one of the legs was a little larger than the other. But the following picture was of her granddaughter hugging the bear with a big smile as she said, “Thank you, Gran, he is beautiful, I will always love him.”

If only we viewed ourselves as children of God, our Heavenly Father, as the sinners that Jesus redeemed, and students of our teacher, the Holy Spirit, we would have faith and trust in God under all circumstances.

“I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours.” John 17:9

With all of our imperfections, selfish desires, and failure to rely on God, Jesus still serves as our Heavenly Intercessor. What does that mean? Jesus is in heaven praying to God, our Father, pleading for the body of believers. God gave His only Son, Jesus for sinful humanity. Our prayers of confession, repentance, thankfulness, and intercession for others are heard by our Spiritual team, God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. Yet, it is Jesus who presents us as faultless to God. 

“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Jesus told us that our journey with Him would be challenging. But if we rely on Him through steadfast faith, Jesus also promised to bring us through every trial, sorrow, and heartache. Are you enjoying the peace that Jesus promises us when we stay connected to Him? If not, put all of your faith [belief] and trust in God who gave His Son to suffer, bleed, and die for the Redemption of our sins.

Human Effort + Divine Intervention = A Victorious Outcome

We owed a debt that we could never repay, and our debt is forgiven. Now is the time for us to make a covenant [relationship] with God and do our part to be faithful until Jesus comes again. Only those who are faithful and obedient will receive the reward of immortality and live in a perfect New Heaven and New Earth. We have been liberated from the chains of sin. Praise God!

Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled; do not be afraid. John 14:27

Bible study: John 14

Prayer: God, I pray an intercessory prayer for the believers who are at the point of giving up because of their hardships. Help us see through children’s eyes that you are our Father. May we understand the purpose of our stormy difficulties and the seasons of darkness necessary to change our characters. Please give us your blessings of peace and the courage to remain faithful as we continue in our journey. I ask this prayer in the Worthy Name of Jesus. Amen. 

Protection at No Cost

Safety: The condition of being protected from or unlikely to cause danger, risk, or injury. 

We have an innate safety mechanism: The Nervous System protects us from physical danger based on our response to a life-threatening situation. The fight or flight response is an automatic physiological reaction to an event that is perceived as stressful or frightening. https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/fight-or-flight-response/

I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. Psalm 139:14

Even with the fight or flight response, our critical thinking and judgment must perceive the situation as dangerous or life-threatening for activation. If only we had an automatic response to the danger of sin. But God did not create us with that ability because we would not need His divine intervention. 

No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. 1 Corinthians 10:13

Our warrior God has promised us protection against all spiritual warfare–the traps of worldly pleasures and thoughts of doubt and defeat set up for us by Satan. I like to call it “God’s Spiritual Flight Response. “The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:14. Each morning our defense is to pray and ask God to protect us from all hurt, harm, and danger, which includes the personalized plans of Satan to make us stumble and fall.

Our relationship with God is dependent on our knowledge, faith, and trust in Him. Many believers cannot enjoy the all-inclusive protection from our Spiritual team because of a lack of knowledge. Studying the Bible reinforces our belief in the Most-High God. How can we trust someone who is a stranger? King David expressed the benefits of serving God: He is Elohim shomri–God is my protector!  

Do you have the peace of mind and joy bubbling over because you have a personal relationship with our loving and compassionate God? Start today by praying and searching the scriptures. No-cost, ongoing protection from all danger seen or unseen, and guardian angels sent to protect us 24/7. Yes, we should dance the spiritual happy dance.

Every day, smile and sing “Oh Happy Day!” We know who created us, and we know who we serve. Give our Heavenly Father the praise He deserves!

The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them. I will reward them with a long life and give them my salvation.” Psalm 91:14-16

Bible Reading: Psalm 91

Prayer: God, we praise your holy name. Thank you for the protection from our guardian angels that we take for granted. God, we love you. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2021, No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted for commercial purposes without the author’s written permission.

The Cry of Victory! Happy Sabbath!

Prayer: God, we pray that you open our spiritual eyes. Amen.

Jesus is here, walking in front of us. We are entering another storm, even so, keep your eyes focused on the Savior. Follow your Guide! The path is narrow. Don’t look to the right or to the left! And if the cloudy darkness of hardships and sorrows blind you, just call out, “Jesus, I can’t see you, Jesus, please help me.”

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

It is a conscious decision to awaken to a new day and invite Jesus into our life. “Behold, I stand at the door [our heart, which is our mind] and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” Revelation 3:20.

Struggles are necessary to develop the faith that keeps us totally dependent: “…Without Me, you can do nothing.” John 15:5. Yes, we are required to surrender our will, along with the way we think and the things we desire. And why not? 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

Read Joshua chapter 6.

But the Lord said to Joshua, “I have given you Jericho, its king, and all its strong warriors. You and your fighting men should march around the town once a day for six days.” Joshua 6:2‭-‬3.

Faith: Have we placed ourselves in the position to receive God’s plans? “Be still, and know that I am God;” Psalm 46:10. Prayer keeps us connected to God. Why is studying the Bible a necessity? Not only do the scriptures reveal the character of God, but they also teach and remind us that faith, trust, and obedience are required to stay in alignment with God. Jesus, the Lamb of God, the Alpha and Omega is the only way to receive salvation.

Obedience: “Do not shout; do not even talk,” Joshua commanded. “Not a single word from any of you until I tell you to shout. Then shout!” Joshua 6:10

Victory: When the people heard the sound of the rams’ horns, they shouted as loud as they could. Suddenly, the walls of Jericho collapsed, and the Israelites charged straight into the town and captured it. Joshua 6:20

Like the walls of Jericho that fell, if we put God first, He will lead and guide us through every heartache, tribulation, and challenge. Put your faith and trust in Him. It is only then, we can cry the shout of victory!

Prayer: God, thank you for loving us. Please forgive us for our sins. We desire to faithfully serve, obey, and wait for you to reveal your plans for our lives. We thank you for the gift of the Sabbath–a time dedicated to redirecting our focus on you. We ask this prayer in the Worthy Name of Jesus. Amen.

Is there anything to hard for me?

In Jeremiah 32:27, God reminds us that He is the Creator of humanity, and His power supersedes every hardship or challenge that we face. It is up to us to demonstrate faith by connecting to God through prayer. So, go ahead, pray, believe, and wait. Victory is guaranteed.

Prayer: God, we ask you for restoration. Our fear is great and our faith is small. We renew our commitment to love and trust you with all of our heart, soul, and mind. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

© 2021 Sonya Johnson Ruiz

Don’t Look Back

“For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,” says the LORD, “plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah  29:11

When we commit to serve God, He allows us time to get rid of the things that interfere with serving Him. God says that His name is “Jealous.” He requires loving Him with all of our heart, soul, and mind. If we fail to remove the obstacles, He intervenes to remove the people, places, and things that prevent us from putting Him first. God removes the toxic relationships, the job that consumes our thoughts and time, and the worldly friends or habits that bring temptation into our life. Everything we love or give our time and attention to will either honor God or conflict with His plans for us.

“But forget all that— it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.”
Isaiah 43:18-19

God’s ultimate plan is to reward us with eternal life. We can accept or reject His plans, but we cannot waver between our desires and His plans. Serving God requires total surrender, humility, obedience, and above all, faith.

Our daily prayer of “Not my will, but your will be done” keeps us in sync with God. Do not be surprised. The outcome of this prayer is the removal of people, places, and things from our lives. Remember to thank Him, and don’t look back.

Bible study: Isaiah 43

God, we thank you for removing the obstacles that interfere with having a relationship with you. Please give us the strength to move forward. We ask this prayer in the Worthy Name of Jesus. Amen.

© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2021, No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted for commercial purposes without the author’s written permission.