Thursday, April 20, 2017

in all your ways

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
(Proverbs 3:5-6, ESV)

Trust in the Lord...
Trust Him, with ALL your heart.
Trust Him, and do not lean on your own understanding.
Trust Him, and in all your ways acknowledge Him...

IN ALL YOUR WAYS ACKNOWLEDGE HIM...
Submit to Him.
Honor Him.
Be thankful for Him.
Believe in the reliability, the truth, the ability, and the strength of Him.

I've been thinking about these words a lot lately.
How difficult it is for me to surrender the idea of leaning upon my own understanding.
To prevent myself from defaulting into my own selfish way of thinking... MY way, if you will!

But, MY way is simply not the place I should rest assured or feel definitive.
MY way is not really secure or in control.
No... truth be told, MY way is not something to be trusted.
It gets me into trouble.
It leads me into stress.
It causes me confusion, sorrow, restlessness, anger.
In fact, MY way is the farthest place my heart should seek rest.
MY way is the most ridiculous place to put trust.

The world says, "Trust your gut.  Trust your instincts.  Trust your inner, authentic self.  Trust your dreams."  But later in the book of Proverbs, I read, "He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered."  (Proverbs 28:26, KJV)  

But how weird and contradictory does that seem?
I trust me more than anyone, right?
I know me.
I've learned from my own personal experience.
I perceive.  I study.  I make decisions with what I know to be a sound mind.
But is that actually wise or good for me?
Am I walking in real wisdom when I go at it alone?

God says, "No... Don't do it.  Don't trust yourself. Don't loose sight of my glory.  Don't stray away from my perfect truth.  Rather, acknowledge me in everything.  Obey my Word and know my promises.  Look for me everywhere.  Abide in my grace and give me the task of taking on your well-being.  Really, I've got this!  Believe in me and only ME!"

Yes, only in His Way is there wisdom.
Only with Him as my focus, can I have a beneficial direction... a proven path.. a meaningful purpose... a blessed hope.

Reading on further in Proverbs 3, I am instructed, "Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil.  This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.  (Proverbs 3:7-8, KJV)

Clearly, I need to remember that wisdom is not naturally mine.  It is something found only in the diligence of seeking after God's law.  Because of this, I am told to live my life pursuing righteousness while loving and uplifting others to do the same in Jesus' Name.  (See 2 Timothy 2.)

Why acknowledge God?
Why trust Him with all our heart?
Why give up our rationale and what we think may be right vs. submitting to what He commands to be holy?

Because He is able.
Because He has a plan in hand and is ready to see us through to completion.
Because He is good.
Because He is wise.
Because He loves us most.
Because HE IS GOD and well, we are not.

With this in mind, today I encourage everyone reading this little blog to stop and read all of Proverbs Chapter 3.  And as you invest in receiving God's Word, consider the importance of trusting and seeking after His healthy wisdom.  Stop and look around at all the ways there are to acknowledge His glory in your life while loving others in His Name.  Surrender your understanding and logic over to His care.  Abide in His grace.  Why?  Because God's Way is the only reliable path to cling to.  God's Way insures and promises peace, health, favor, refreshment.

Thank you, Lord.

Proverbs 3

My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart.  So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.

Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.

My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.

Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold. She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her; those who hold her fast are called blessed.

The Lord by wisdom founded the earth; by understanding he established the heavens; by his knowledge the deeps broke open, and the clouds drop down the dew.

My son, do not lose sight of these—keep sound wisdom and discretion, and they will be life for your soul and adornment for your neck. Then you will walk on your way securely, and your foot will not stumble. If you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.

Do not be afraid of sudden terror or of the ruin of the wicked, when it comes, for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught.

Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.

Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again, tomorrow I will give it”—when you have it with you.

Do not plan evil against your neighbor, who dwells trustingly beside you.

Do not contend with a man for no reason, when he has done you no harm.

Do not envy a man of violence and do not choose any of his ways, for the devious person is an abomination to the Lord, but the upright are in his confidence.

The Lord's curse is on the house of the wicked, but he blesses the dwelling of the righteous.
Toward the scorners he is scornful, but to the humble he gives favor.

The wise will inherit honor, but fools get disgrace.

Blessings!

:)

Victoria

© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

Monday, April 17, 2017

standing in agreement with my LifeGroup ladies

Lord Jesus...

We praise you.
We trust you.
We believe you are in control.
We lift up our lives and the lives of our households to you.
We give you all that we have because we know you are steadfast and worthy.
We cling to your good promises.
We long for your company.
We need you.
We love you.
In worship and praise, help us to keep our eyes focused on your Way, your Truth, your Life...
You are our today and our future. Blessed be the Name of the Lord.

Amen.

© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

Friday, April 14, 2017

He's Risen! He's Risen!

Majestic, Exalted, Supreme, and Divine;
My King, yes my King, all glory is Thine!
O Zion, arise! Make way for the One;
Our Savior is risen! Messiah has come!

The chains have been broken; oppression removed;
For Jesus, yes Jesus, His power is now proved!
At Calvary's Cross, came my greatest delight;
Forever, Eternal, my Day Spring, my Light!

The tomb has been emptied. The rock rolled aside;
The heaven's rejoice, cause in Him I abide!
So sound every trumpet, rejoice and give praise;
Both justice and mercy are found in His Ways!

See, death could not bind Him. Sin could not endure;
Believe Him, believe Him, and find yourself pure!
Forgiven as far as the East is to West;
Renewed as His bride and made whole as His blessed!

O Holy, yes Holy, for the Lamb that was slain;
O Glory, dear Glory, He's returned now to reign!
My words cannot showcase the depths of His care;
My heart stops astounded. My mind can't compare.

He lives! He fulfills! He frees! He restores!
Almighty is Jesus! All peace, love, and more!
The battle is over. The war has been won!
He's Risen! He's Risen! A New Life has come!

Happy Easter Weekend!

~Victoria

© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

Monday, April 10, 2017

i need you most

Heavenly Father, I have many things going on in my head this hour.
Many thoughts.
Many projects.
Many people, places, things, possibilities, and pursuits.
But Lord, I want you most.
I need you most.
Help me to intimately know you most.
Focus my lens to see only your Way... Your proven path. Your healing presence.
Keep my heart aligned in your Truth... Your wise commands.  Your instructed peace.
Give me the fullness of your Life... Your promised hope.  Your immediate and eternal holiness.
Continue to change my very flesh into a living representation of your grace.
Draw my soul near.
Keep my heart close.
Use me.
And as you cover my sinfulness in your loving kindness,
Help me to throw my selfishness on the fire of your altar.
Give me the strength to trust you in each moment.
For you alone are my glory.
You are my lifelong goal.
You are my all-in-all.
You are the answer to every distraction and dream.
Blessed is your Name, dearest Jesus, my Savior and Lord!
Blessed is your living council, Holy Holy Holy Spirit of the Most High!
Blessed is your Majesty and Kingdom, omnipotent and omniscient, my Abba Father GOD!

"Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom.” (Hebrews 1:8)

Amen.

© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson



Thursday, March 30, 2017

giving God my more

As many of you know, I recently took some time off from social media.
Two months to be exact.
I did this because I felt like the Lord was leading me away from it...
Asking me to consider it's place and importance in my day-to-day life.

Why?

Because my focus was clearly being distracted by it.
My time was more and more consumed from it.

The checking, the reading, the updating, the surfing, the posting… etc., etc., etc.

I was undisciplined in it's usage.
I was overly-hungry for the sudo-acceptance and insta-gratification it promised.
For who doesn't like being “liked” online?
Really, who doesn't want to be seen, accepted, informed, and in-the-know?
The mainstream, if you will.
The newsworthy and notable.
The "more" we login to find each and every day.

To this end, I have spent the last two months praying over what the return on my social media investment of time has brought me over the years.
And though I believe balance is ultimately the key, I still want to be certain that my first objective in life is to abide in the Lord and to love others in His Name.

I want to serve my King actively rather than fit Him in between surfing the many online feeds.
I want to be satisfied in Jesus' holiness rather than be fed with selfish superficiality and buzz.

So, today I'd like to formally return online via all forms of social media.
I'd like to say, yes... I'm back, and I'll definitely be chiming in from time-to-time.
I'll share a blog or two, a photo, a painting, a quote... or whatever... on any given platform, any given day.

BUT... please know that overall, I have committed myself to be less online.

Why?

So I can give God my more.
So I can be present in His presence.
So I can "like" Him live!

You see, when all is said and done... I want to seek Him the most.
He is my mainstream... my newsworthy... my notable... my truest family and eternal friend...
He is my devoted purpose worthy of all glory and praise.

Just thought I'd let y'all know, and encourage y'all to consider the same. 

LIKE LIKE LIKE!
LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!

:)

Victoria

© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson


Tuesday, January 31, 2017

yes, I'm social media fasting... but here's one more poem before February arrives

If I were not here,
Would the world still turn?
Would the tides still roll?
Would the sun still burn?

If I were not here,
Would the breeze still flow?
Tell me, how would life really go?
If I simply were not here.

But what about God?
What would life be then?
If He was not near,
If He was not our friend?

Without God's hope,
We'd have nothing good to do.
We'd have no worshipping view.
We'd miss Salvation's perfect New!

Without God's grace,
Whatever could we be?
There'd be no point, you see.
Because no Calvary.

Without God's love,
We'd have nothing at all.
No hope from sinful fall.
No purpose; no holy call.

Yes, if God wasn't here,
This world would not turn.
These tides could not roll?
Our sun would never burn?

If God were not here,
No breeze would ever flow?
So tell me, how would life really go?
If God were not here?

By Victoria Anderson
© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson


fyi...



To all my Online Peeps...

Beginning tomorrow, and lasting through the month of February, I will be fasting from all social media.

What exactly does this mean?
It means I will not be posting, checking, or chiming in on my Blog, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. for one month. My purpose, simply, is I have chosen to take a mini-sabbatical.

With this in mind, if you need to contact me, feel free to shoot me an email. (I will be checking incoming emails limitedly and will also keep my Etsy shop open for orders.)

Thanks for understanding, and have a blessed month!

LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!

Victoria Anderson

© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

Monday, January 30, 2017

lead me, Lord!

Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.” (Luke 9:23-24)

O Lord, to lose my life daily?
To deny myself for Your sake?
What would I lose?

For all things truly good and pleasing exist in Your Name.
All things pure, holy, and right are exactly under Your care and will transcend into everlasting.
So what must I lose?
What part of "ME" must I deny whilst still being the "me" You intend, dear Jesus?

Sorrow... Yes.
Fear... Yes, please take it.
Pain... Oh, yes! I willingly lay every discomfort before You, dear Master.
Guilt... I'm in favor of losing all these horrors, Father.
Selfishness...
Selfishness...
Selfishness...
Hmmm.

Now You've done it!
Now You've penetrated my core.
For giving up "self" is the leap of a lifetime, isn't it?
That involves complete surrender.
That involves true denial of will, want, way.

Can I do this?
Is it truly possible to stop feeding my own inflated ego?
Isn't my sense of entitlement valid?
No, for I am consumed with sin, aren't I?
I am not valid.
I am nothing.
Nothing.

So, how do I forsake myself and instead revere and glorify You more than "ME"?
O Lord, position my heart in the lowliest state of submission,
So that I might be blanketed in your divine wisdom...
So that this world's normalcy of sin is no longer an expectation or entitlement.
For such evil assumptions are false and dark and evil.
Satan's whispered suggestion for me to know more... to become more than You...
This is not of Your kingdom.
So, change my thoughts.
Change my desires.
Change my tastes.
Change "ME" to be more like YOU!
And use whatever means necessary to break down my defiance!
If I am to live... if I must come after you each day...
If I must grasp at your sacred cross,
A cross that promises freedom,
A cross that promotes a future of hope, and a way of love,
A cross that will save all that is good and pleasing,
Then yes, Jesus, I choose to follow Your path.
Under your grace, I give you every horror to be washed away.
Yes, I will choose to trust Your Way.
For it is better than my own.
Yes, with You, I will deny self!
I will embrace the good life You saved,
In order that I might flourish.
I will live with Your purpose and plan... not my own...
Never my own again, dear Lord.
Let this be, all in Your Name.
All in Your Holy Holy Holy Blessed Name!
This is the day to rejoice and be glad in You!
This is the day to deny myself and follow You, precious Shepherd!
Here I am...
Just as I am...
Lead me, Lord!

Blessings!

~Victoria

© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

Friday, January 27, 2017

make every effort

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9)

This God - his way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him. (Psalm 18:30)

Gals, I know y'all will feel me on this one.  Don't you hate it when you spend a lot of time, energy, and thought on a project only to have a family member, a co-worker, a spouse, a child, a friend disregard and maybe even hinder your efforts?  Coats aren't hung up.  Dishes aren't put away.  Shoes are left to trip over.  Homework is lost.  Bills are unpaid. Timelines are forgotten.  Work is incomplete.  Invitations are ignored.  Ugh!  The list goes on and on concerning how our plans for life can quickly run amuck!

I so hate it when my plans and hard-earned efforts are disregarded, don't you?  I hate killing myself over something that is ultimately going to be trampled upon, abused, and/or even dismissed.  Why bother, right?  Why bother!!!

With this in mind, let's stop and think about the meticulously designed order and the specifically unmatched perfection that our God, the Creator of all the universe, readily gives to us in each day we draw His breath. Think about all He has planned for our individual lives and for the future of His people.  What love He gives in order to save and restore each of us to His Throne.

Consider His great law, order, and care for us.  Have we disregarded and maybe even hindered His will in our lives?  What invitations have we ignored that might have further brought us closer to His blessed holiness?  What opportunities have we blown off?  What momentum has dwindled due to our laziness and lack of care?  What laws have not been obeyed?  I wonder.

And I wonder how God feels about our regard or disregard to His perfect plan.  Does He look at us and think, "Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much.  Enter into the joy of your master." (Matthew 25:23)  Or does He throw up His hands in frustration rebuking us in disgust, "Woe to them, for they have strayed from me! Destruction to them, for they have rebelled against me! I would redeem them, but they speak lies against me." (Hosea 7:13) 

Ladies, if we do not make God's plan our own, if we disregard His law and fail to promote His Way most and love Him first, our efforts will be nothing more than blatant sabotage toward His kingdom.  Are you a saboteur?  Think about it:

Who are you dating, single gal?  Is he a believer or are you on a path of unequally yoking yourself?
What are you watching, dear housewife?  Is it holy and uplifting to your King's law or full of idolatry, lustfulness, revenge, and deceit?
How are you budgeting, lovely home keeper?  Do your spending habits represent what and whom you treasure the most?
Who are you loyal to, dear friend?
What are you selling and promoting, faithful servant?
Where are you playing, dear child?
What company will you keep, precious family member?

Yes, consider if your present efforts positively match the perfect plan of Christ?
Are you walking deliberately and faithfully inside His grace?
Or are you trampling, abusing, and dismissing His Way?
Are you part of the problem or part of the solution?
Are you damaging or devoted?

For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead. (James 2:26)

You shall therefore keep all my statutes and all my rules and do them, that the land where I am bringing you to live may not vomit you out. (Leviticus 20:22)

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved. (1 Corinthians 10:31-33)

No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. (Matthew 6:24)

Make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1:5-11)




Blessings!

Victoria

© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

Thursday, January 26, 2017

surge


SURGE: a strong, wavelike, forward movement, rush, or sweep; a swelling, billowing volume or body of something that cannot be stopped; a strong advancement in momentum that causes a widespread change.

Join me on the outskirts of Bethlehem where Jesse has just asked his youngest son David (a simple shepherd boy) to deliver food to his three brothers at their military unit, presently away at war. The brothers were part of the Israelite army and they had assembled at Ephes Dammim, between Socoh and Azekah (about 15 miles away from David's home in Bethlehem). They were stationed there, because the Philistine army had once again invaded Judah with the intent to overpower the Israelites and their king, Saul.

Historians have speculated that the Philistines may have been a confederacy of seafaring raiders who sailed into the eastern shores of the Mediterranean and settled into occupying the five cities of Gaza, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Ekron, and Gath, along the coastal strip of southwestern Canaan. But regardless of their origin, they were a people that made frequent incursions against the Israelites, causing almost perpetual war between the two peoples.

When David arrived at the scene, the army was just beginning to head out to their battle posts all the while shouting their standard war cry. But they must have been lacking in enthusiasm and spirit. In fact, I'm certain their tone must have reverberated an undertone of defeat. For in the last forty days, the Israelite army lived in complete dismay. They were in trouble... they were in real danger... and they were terrified. Why? Because the Philistines had brought a fierce and intimidating warrior to the battle. His name was Goliath.

Goliath was from Gath and stood intimidatingly over nine feet tall. He wore heavy, impenetrable bronze scale armor all over his body. You see, in that day, the Philistines held a monopoly on iron smithing. So, Goliath came suited with the best made protection. He also came with a title... refered to as the "Champion from Gath". So, he was equally fit and skilled in the art of war and well-prepared to fight against the best of Israel's army. Needless to say, Goliath posed a big problem for Israel.  A. BIG. PROBLEM!!!

Each day, this monster of a human being would come out and shout defiantly at the ranking commands demanding proof of their strength. He would ask, "Why do you even bother to come out and line up for battle?" It didn't help matters that whenever the Israelites saw Goliath, they all ran from him. This only made Goliath bully them more... for what had this pathetic "army of the living God" done in forty days except tremble and huddle together uselessly on the sidelines? He could clearly see they were too afraid to follow-through and do anything heroic. Sure, they claimed to be God's chosen people, but the evidence before him proved contrary. So, he'd continue to verbally bate and abuse them - insisting, "Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose a man and have him come down to me. If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us."

There stood the stagnant Israelites... forty days of living in complete, paralyzing fear. Their courage removed. Their hope dwindled. Their trust lost.

Then entered David who hears the scoffing Philistine first hand. In disbelief, David begins to question the troops, "Why doesn't anyone stand up and kill this jerk who outwardly stands against the army of the one true living God?" He couldn't believe that this had been allowed... that no one had done anything. He continued inquiring for answers and questioning the need for leadership in God's army. This went on until he was brought before king Saul. And by then, David knew something had to be done... something no-one else was doing. Unacceptable. His God was not a God to be mocked. His God could never be defeated. So, he did what he knew to be right. He assured Saul and the others, "Stop worrying... don't lose heart on account of this cocky Philistine. I will go and fight him."

David had lived with God. Throughout many a solitary day he had kept his father's flock among the lone hills of Judah, and had worshipped the Unseen but Ever-present Lord. He had grown into an adoring familiarity with the Most High, so that to him the name of the one only living and true God was a deep and solemn joy. As you may have spied far up among the ramparts of the mountains a solitary lake, whose one office it is to mirror the face of heaven, so had David's hallowed life become the reflection of the light and glory of the Lord of hosts. It had not occurred to him in his meditations that base men would dare to challenge the infinite majesty of God, or that proud adversaries would come forward and defy the chosen people of the Most High; and now that he hears the defiance and beholds the challenge, all his blood is up. He starts! A holy rage is upon him! Yes, it is true; he hears Jehovah blasphemed! How can it be? The youth's holy soul is undergoing a new experience, he is bringing his whole life to bear upon it; he reaches the conclusion that as bears and lions die when they meddle with sheep, so must Goliath fall now that he dares to attack the Lord and his people.

When David finds himself in the camp, and when he hears Goliath of Gath pouring forth his blasphemies against Jehovah, and defying Jehovah's people, he has no thought of having been mistaken in his former lofty adoration, he entertains no notion of adopting a lower style; but he inwardly burns with indignation against the infamous reviler. An insult against God cannot be allowed. This abominable blasphemer must be silenced. Somebody must put him down, and so dispose of him that none shall ever dare again to do the like. David enquires whether somebody or other is not going to batter the brazen champion. If any man in the camp will meet this huge man-mountain, David will not stand in his way; he is not so covetous of glory as to deprive a more deserving person of these huge materials for renown. But it is imperative that some hand should silence that hillock of proud flesh. It is driven in upon David's devout heart that this blasphemous mouth must be shut, and God's name and God's people must be clear of such a brutal enemy.

About the stilling of this enemy and avenger David has no enquiry to make. It is going to be done, done soon, and done without any particular display. When he kept his sheep and the lion came, David did not raise the question whether he could kill the lion: he killed him, and then the question was settled. When the bear came, and was about to rob him of one of his lambs, he did not say to himself, "Have I a call to kill that bear?" Not he; but he killed him, and then he knew he was called to do it. He feels within him at this moment, "If nobody else will deal with this Philistine difficulty, I must do so; for I cannot live and see God opposed. Jehovah is all in all, and beside him there is none else: he can put an end to an opponent with a word; it must not be that he shall be insulted continually after this fashion. I feel an impulse upon me. This Philistine has defied the armies of the living God, and down he shall come." And so, yielding to the diviner impulses by which the truly great are led, David puts himself forward to stand in single combat with an enormous giant. ~Spurgeon


Saul, was in disbelief that David would step up and deliver such a bold promise.
No one was up for such a challenge... not even Saul.
His troops were all stuck in fear -  looking at this "Goliath" situation with human eyes.
What a relief to see someone have courage to fight in the name of God.
As foreign as such a concept had become, Saul would welcomed David's willing heart.

So, Saul began to clothe David in his armor. He reasoned that it would keep David safe. But David was not used to wearing armor and ended up denying Saul's offer... For David was not worried about his safety... He knew His God. He knew that Jehovah had promised to protect His people. No, he would rather not weigh himself down with the securities of this world. Instead, David would let God use him as he was accustom and stand comfortably equipped with the abilities and truths God had given him to fight. So he picked up five smooth stones and bravely headed out to face the giant in the name of his Creator.

We all know how this story ends. We've heard it a thousand times in church and bible study... The minute Goliath saw David, he cursed and mocked him. But David stood strong and proclaimed without fear or reservation in 1 Samuel 17:45-47, "You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will hand you over to me, and I'll strike you down and cut off your head. Today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord's, and he will give all of you into our hands."

Goliath began to move in closer to attack David. Without hesitation, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the giant. He reached into his bag and took out a single stone, He positioned the rock in his sling and extended his arm - swinging slowly to seat the projectile firmly into it's cradle. His swinging began to gain momentum. David positioned every part of his body, legs, waist, shoulders, arms, elbows and wrist in the direction of his intended target while gaining as much speed as possible to initiate a launch. Then, in complete confidence of God's sovereign rule, David took aim and released.

In horror, the Philistines watched as the stone hit Goliath in the forehead and sank into his skull. He was dead. The giant had fallen. In one faithful act, the threat against Jehovah and His people was removed. In relief, the Israelites realized WHO their God was and what He was still capable of achieving. Somewhere along the way they had forgotten this. Somehow they had become comfortable living in fear and desperation. They had turned into lukewarm, lackadaisical Christians rather than bold believers who were willing to face and fight ANY enemy that opposed their Redeemer.

And here is the best part of the story... the minute David killed Goliath... the second he took hold of the Philistine's sword and cut off his head in victory... the Bible says that the Philistine army ran away in fear, and the Israelite army surged forward and won the battle. God was clearly GOD! For a young shepherd boy just defeated a skilled military champion with a small, smooth stone... and the LORD ALMIGHTY, MAKER OF HEAVEN AND EARTH was with him!!!!

Ladies, how many of us are surrounded by fellow Christians that are stuck... living in fear... comfortable in their stagnant, defeated ways? How many of our churches are suiting up week after week shouting their standard war cry... talking a good talk, but failing to follow through and live with the zeal God has intended for his people? What can we do to help one another stand up and fight the good fight? What abilities and gifts has God given us to use to encourage and motivate one another to surge ahead and claim the victory that exists in Jesus Name?

One small teenage boy who reacted against his enemies with unquestioning, unhesitating faith was used by the Almighty God to change the course of a war and the direction of a nation.

One person.

What has God called YOU to do with unquestioning, unhesitating faith? Where in your life do you see a need for someone to step up and deliver? Will you allow God to use your faith and abilities to launch a stone of revival in your community? Will you boldly question why sin is allowed to continue and stand against an enemy that seems too big to fight in the eyes of human reasoning? Will you bravely showcase the victory already won by our Savior? GOD IS GOD! Let's start living like it!

SURGE: a strong, wavelike, forward movement, rush, or sweep; a swelling, billowing volume or body of something that cannot be stopped; a strong advancement in momentum that causes a widespread change.

Blessings!

~Victoria

© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

love GOD


Love God.
Obey God.
Believe God.
Esteem God.

...with all your heart, soul, mind, strength!

Refuge
Strength
Redeemer
Deliverer
Shepherd
Messiah
Master
King

To Him and For Him
All Power
All Glory
All Focus
All Praise

This is the day to rejoice and be glad in Him!

Forever and ever and ever!!!

Happy Wednesday, January 25th, y'all!!!

:)

Victoria

© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

Saturday, January 21, 2017

and be thankful

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:15-17)

"And be thankful"... did you catch that command in vs. 15?
Boy, that sure hit home for me today.

Yesterday, I had a very hard day. Everything was a mess. Everything was going wrong. I was physically and emotionally bogged down, broken, beaten-up and bombarded with matters that seemed unforgiving and unending. The enemy really had a hold on my spirit, and I, unfortunately, allowed his hold to keep me from seeking God more intimately. Because of this, I wasn't living in the fullness I knew God had desired for me to enjoy yesterday. Rather, I was drowning in defeat and physical pain. Yesterday was a very, very difficult day.

It was a day that not only affected me. Due to my short temper and weariness, it clearly had a domino effect on the spirits of my family. They all could feel my stress. They all were struck with my lack of motivation. They all felt the pain I have physically endured as the weather continues to change. But thankfully, my dear husband had the wisdom and drive to stay focused and positive. Thankfully, my wonderful mother (Momba) had the grace to encourage and help out where needed. Thankfully my family knew better than I.

We all have days where Satan wins small battles and sets us back. We all have moments when we allow the enemy access to bruise our spirits in an effort to halt our progress and stop us from moving forward in God's grace. But thankfully... thankfully... every day is a new day - a new gift from God. Every minute is a new moment. Every second provides us a new opportunity to turn from our pity party and seek Jesus and His joy. Thankfully, one small battle does not win the entire war. For my God has already won the war! In Him, I am free. I am soooo thankful that He reminded me of this today.

In all things I will give thanks. I will gladly welcome back the peace of Christ to rule in my heart again. Today, my focus is back on HIM... where it should be. I will remember to follow his command and be thankful.

I am so thankful that God continues to teach and bless me. Yesterday, I lost sight and forgot to seek Him and give thanks in every circumstance - even the hard ones. Today, however, is a new day! Yesterday is over. Today, by the grace of my King... I am able to start again... NEW and IMPROVED IN JESUS!

Thank you, Lord, for EVERYTHING! Thank you, Jesus, for LIFE! Thank you for showing me the way back to your abundance. Praise your name FOREVER!!! Get behind me, Satan. You are not welcome any longer as I have much celebrating to do TODAY!!!

Blessings!

Victoria

© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

a prayer for my beloved country

Heavenly Father,

Your Spirit is pushing me to pray for the condition of my beloved country.  To lift up all citizens to the promise of your throne and ask for salvation, grace, and holiness on earth as it is in Heaven.  Intercede for us, dear King, and change us to become more like you.  Lead us to your revival.  Teach us to let go of our own selfish lusts, agendas, idols.  Show us your profound, lasting mercy.  Use us to serve your Name.  Unite us.  Protect us.  Resolve in us to believe and once again trust the truth of your eternal Word.

Faithful Shepherd, there are so many lost, angry, fragile, frightened. Let your unfailing love and secure guidance consume every heart and mind.  Let your purpose and path become our only focus.  Give this nation your perfect wisdom to acknowledge our emotionally stubborn and shaken temperaments as mere indicators... reminders to live deliberately in love rather than succumb to hate and/or discord against one another.

You, precious Savior, are the answer to all that upsets and destroys.  Yours is the only solution to all uncertainty, evil, fear, brokenness.  Open our eyes to your new Life, your Way.  Remove the scales and let us know your Truth.

Lord, I pray for our leadership, our government, our churches, our families.  Teach us to obey your law first.  Bring us into your integrity and peace.  May every man, woman, and child seek you in every matter.  To know you intimately, honestly.

Convict us.  Bless us.  Be our one God, dearest Jesus.

We need you.
We need you.
We need you.

Come, Lord Jesus... please come.

Amen.

© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson


Monday, January 16, 2017

let us live UP!

Let us fall into the hands of the LORD, for His mercy is great.
Let us go to His dwelling place.
Let us worship at His footstool.
Let us return to the LORD.
Let us approach the throne of grace with confidence so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing.
Let us make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.
Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
Let us stop passing judgment on one another.
Let us encourage one another.
Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.
Let us love one another, for love comes from God.
Let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.
Let us do good to all people.
Let us fight bravely for our people and the cities of our God.

Let us examine our ways and test them.
Let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.
Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy.
Let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.
Let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.
Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.
Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.

Let us keep in step with the Spirit.
Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith.
Let us kneel before the LORD our Maker.
Let us bow down in worship.
Let us exalt His name together.
Let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.

Let us sing for joy to the LORD.
Let us come before Him with thanksgiving and extol Him with music and song.
Let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation.
Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory!
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.
Let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.
Let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise.

Let us, Believers...

Let us be thankful!
Let us be transformed!
Let us be NEW!
Let us live up to what we have already attained in the Lord Jesus Christ!

Today, let us live UP because He has let us LIVE!!!
(And all God's people say, "Amen!")

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. Only let us live up to what we have already attained. Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you. For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. (Philippians 3:12-21)

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Blessings!

~Victoria

© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

Sunday, January 15, 2017

His love is better than life!

O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. (Psalms 63:1-4)

Better than life...
His love is better than life!
Do you believe this?

The love of God is the only thing we should earnestly seek.
He is the only One our soul should thirst for.
He is the only One we should long to be near...
For only He refreshes, restores, renews, replenishes!

Pause today and enter into His sanctuary.
Pause this moment and meditate on in His Word... His Way!!!
Feast your eyes on His glory, His power, his LOVE!
Why?
Because His love is better than life!
He is better than anything else!
He is better!!!

So, lift up your hands, dear Believer!
Praise Him!
Glorify Him!
Glorify His love!
Glorify His kingdom!
Glorify His holy Name!!!
Forever.

Yes, He is better than life!
So, be refreshed, restored, renewed, replenished this very hour!
Love Him.
Love others in His Name.
Love and enjoy the everlasting love of your King!
Hallelujah to the King!

Blessings!

~Victoria

© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

Saturday, January 14, 2017

holiness... one empty toilet paper roll at a time

OK, who didn't change the empty toilet paper roll?  Come on, fess up!  It really isn't that hard to do.  You just pop out that thing-a-ma-bobbie, slip off the old cardboard round thingy, and then slip on a fresh, new roll of toilet paper... of course, with the paper fed over, not under.  Under is just crazy talk!  Under is so difficult to manage.  Ugh, under.  But I digress.

In my home, we all know how to change the toilet paper roll.  I mean, come on... you don't need a PhD in astrophysics to accomplish such a task. And yet, we all hate doing it.  So, conveniently, anyone of us might choose to leave one or two small squares on the old roll instead of changing it for the next user.  To this I'd like to say in amazement, "REALLY???," but sadly I too have participated in said behavior and left the chore for the next person to deal with.  (Don't judge me... I'm already embarrassed.)

My point is, life is full of such moments.  Small situations where each of us are faced with either the ease of choosing selfishness or deciding to embrace every opportunity to make that "extra effort" to intentionally love within our simple, everyday actions.  For love is found in those extra small efforts... which by the way, aren't so small or simple.  This is where and when we invite Jesus into our actions - when we choose to do what is thoughtful, what is right, what is... holy.  Yes, holy.  Empty toilet paper rolls are such an opportunity to display God's holiness.  Feeding your children a healthy, well-rounded meal rather than scurrying to pick-up fast food is an opportunity to display God's holiness.  Pausing to verbally build up your husband while physically attending to his needs rather than nag and pick at his inadequacies is an opportunity to display God's holiness.  Giving is holiness.  Service is holiness.  Love is holiness.  And holiness is the life God intends for each of us to live...  one empty toilet paper roll at a time.

For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. (1 Thessalonians 4:7)

Peeps, it is so easy to look out for oneself and do what is comfortable, inconsiderate, and natural.  But the beauty of our Savior is revealed when we obediently decide to lay down our own nature and take on His... especially in the small crevices of our day-to-day.  Sure, God can be glorified in the grand pomp of public worship, the drama and intrigue of foreign missions, and what not.  But His holiness is found in the evidence of how we choose to live in our common everyday.  Just like Jesus.  Like He gives.  Like He serves.  Like He loves!

Giving is holiness.
Service is holiness.
Love is holiness.

For it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:16)

Be holy... and have a blessed day!

XOXOX!

~Victoria

© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

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