Category Archives: Trials

Shaken or Shaped – Your Choice!

Shaped or shaken over a situation. The choice is yours. God is a faithful God; He has promised you, in His Word, He would never leave you and never forsake you {Deuteronomy 31:6}. His Word is truth. As you look around, the times you are facing are tough. If you watch the news, you will hear story after story revealing the tough times you are in. You girlfriend, have walked through tough times in your life, I know. However, God is a good God. He is a faithful God!

It is written in Deuteronomy 33:25, “…and as your day, so shall your strength, your rest and security, be.” Notice, it says your days will be strengthened. You will have rest and security. The words, “And as your day” refers to the times you are in – your day in history now. Your days will be tough at times; the Word has told you that. However, when you set your mind, your heart, your lips, and your feet, on Him and His Word, you shall be strengthened! God is always there supporting you and sustaining you – no matter what!

Vance Havner said “Sometimes your medicine bottle has on it, “Shake well before using.” That is what God has to do with some of His people. He has to shake them well before they are ever usable.” Look at your past. Look at where God has already brought you through! You may be in the midst of a storm right now, but you can get through it. In the past, if this storm had been in your life, you could not have stood up against it, but, because of what you have already gone through, you can walk through this storm stronger! God strengthened you in the last storm to prepare you for this storm. He is strengthening you in this storm to prepare you for the future! His future for you is good! You can – because you already have! You already have been through and came out the other side victoriously! Do you face storms? Then you will have strength! Do you have burdens? Then you will have strength! You will have strength, rest, and security in the hand of the Almighty God. He HAS strengthened you for this time, and He IS strengthening you for the future!

The storms, which come into your life, can either shake you or shape you. The choice is yours.

{Excerpt taken from Sandra’s 40 Day Devotional “I’m a Sword Wielding Devil Slayer!” Now Available}

I'm A Sword Wielding Devil Slayer

The Wait Is Over!

I'm A Sword Wielding Devil SlayerFinally the wait is over! Women have asked me sooooooooo many times when my newest book would arrive and it has – just in time for Christmas! I thought as a sneak peek I would give you the Introduction of this 40 day devotional after the tease – so here goes the tease:

“Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet.” Ephesians 6:13-18 (Message Translation)

The Sword of the Spirit is the Word of God. Jesus used this spiritual weapon when tempted by Satan in the desert. Each time Satan attempted to deliver a blow, Jesus blocked the attack with the Word of God by quoting scripture.

Using a sword is something that takes time and practice. A soldier must practice using his sword to defeat his enemy. In order to use your Sword, you must also practice and use it. That means being in the Word every day and knowing what is says.

This 40 day devotional will teach you how to pierce through the lies and deceptions of the enemy. Jesus knew the Word of God and was able to defend and attack the devil by using the scriptures to attack and drive His enemy away. You, girlfriend, will learn to do that too!

It’s time to take back all the enemy has stolen from you by putting on your stilettos and crushing the enemy’s head! You must keep him where God has already destined him to be – under your feet!

So unsheathe the Sword of God, girlfriend, and wield it over your life and stop the enemy and his invasions!

Introduction:

You, wonderful lady, were born for such a time as this! Do you realize that? You are valuable and necessary to God! As you take the time with your Heavenly Father, He is going to give you answers to questions you have been asking. You are about to learn how to take the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. You are going to wield it over your life and see the enemy run! Do not doubt the value of what you have in your hands; your Sword; God’s Word! Ephesians 6:17 says, “And take the helmet of salvation and the sword that the Spirit wields, which is the Word of God.” The word “wield” according to the Merriam’s Dictionary means, “To handle {a tool} effectively, to exert one’s authority.” According to Charles B. Williams, The New Testament: A Translation in the Language of the People, verse 17 here in Ephesians is explaining the Spirit is the subject or agent of the verbal action. And, Hebrews 4:12 says the Sword of the Spirit is a two-edged sword – The Greek translation says a two mouthed sword. {Now stay with me here, I said a huge mouth full to show you something exciting!} A two mouthed sword means, you speaking out the Word of God on one side, and the Spirit of God speaking out on the other! Do you get it? As you speak out the Word of God over your life, the Spirit Himself speaks out the Word of God over your life as well! You are speaking or wielding, and He is wielding as well, as Ephesians 6:17 says! Girlfriend, if you missed that back up and read it again to get a revelation on this now before you go any further! This understanding is what will help change your life! {I’ll wait for you- go ahead, read it again!}
Notice also, a sword is an unmistakable weapon and can be used as a tool for offense and defense. While you are on the offense you speak out the Word of God {wield it} which will cause you to win. When you are on the defense you declare the Word of God out {wield it} to keep the enemy from scoring! Remember, this is no ordinary Sword! This Sword is made of the Spirit {Holy Spirit} and the Word {Bible}. In spiritual warfare the battles are fought with words. Words packed and backed up with the Spirit of God, as you declare them over your life! That is how you wield your Sword!
Over the next forty days you are going to learn just how to take the Promises God has given you and take back all the Devil has stolen from you! Why forty days you ask? The number forty is very important to God, obviously. There are at least ten instances in the Old Testament and New Testament where the number forty occurs. This may have been in years or days.
It rained forty days and forty nights on Noah and his family. The flood waters covered the earth for forty days and forty nights. After forty days the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. When Joseph’s father Jacob died he mourned him for forty days.  Moses was on top of Mt. Sinai for forty days and forty nights with God. For forty years the children of Israel wandered in the desert. Forty days and forty nights the giant Goliath defied the armies of the Lord. Jesus fasted for forty days and forty nights after the Holy Spirit came on Him; before starting His earthly ministry. And Jesus was seen on the earth for forty days after His crucifixion. The number forty represents to us, whether it is days, months, or years, a period of tests, trials, and chastisement {not judgment}, and, hallelujah, it ends with a period of restoration, revival, or renewal! {Are you excited about restoration, revival, and renewal? I am!} It is a time for you, mighty woman, to draw closer to God and to stand on His Word! You will begin to cultivate a deeper relationship as you spend intimate time with Him. You will grow and He will give you fresh anointing. God will develop your patience and He will show you His protection and give you supernatural direction from Him.
You will learn how to take the Word of God – The Sword of the Spirit, and to wield it over your family, finances, health, mind, and relationships – your entire life!
At the end of each day there is a section named, “Wield your Sword” where you will declare out the Word of God. Feel free to add to any of the declarations you want to add, but remember, you wield by speaking out loud God’s Word. So girlfriend, for the next forty days you will learn to wield God’s promises and take back what the Devil has stolen from you!
Look at this verse in Ephesians 6 in the Message translation, “Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet!”
Girlfriend, you will be on your feet as a stiletto wearing, Sword wielding devil slayer! And if you do not wear stilettos that is OK, just be a flip-flop wearing, sword wielding devil slayer! Either way, girlfriend, shoes or no shoes, YOU will be standing on your feet victorious and YOU will stop the enemy! ~ Exert from I’m A Sword Wielding Devil Slayer book

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Am I Praying Properly?

Sandra Hersey. live life out loud. Keys to victorious faithPrayer is vital to our lives, as most of us know. However, most give their “grocery list” prayers I like to call them, which sound something like this: “God, help me pay my mortgage this month. Help my mom to feel better. Send me someone to give me some HELP. Make my spouse understand me more. Please God make my children mind! Thank you Jesus. Amen.”

Though prayer is important, it is of the most importance that we know how to pray properly. And as with anything we must look to the Bible for the correct answer, and who better to look at as an example than Jesus!

When we face times of trials, and storms rise up in our lives, we can seem to be like a tossed ship in raging waters. But God intends for us to chart those “storms of life” with the promises He has already laid out for us in His Word. Jesus knew this when Satan tempted Him in the wilderness. Now you may say “I’m not being tempted to sin, I just need an answer to my prayer.” Think of this my friend, when we are worried we ARE being tempted to sin by not trusting God. God does not want us to worry or His Word would not declare “Be anxious for nothing!” ( Read here for more on why we should not worry). The point I want to show is not about temptation, it is how to follow Jesus when we have Satan bringing on a storm in our life.

Let’s look at Matthew 4: 1-11- 1THEN JESUS was led (guided) by the [Holy] Spirit into the wilderness (desert) to be tempted (tested and tried) by the devil. 2And He went without food for forty days and forty nights, and later He was hungry. 3And the tempter came and said to Him, If You are God’s Son, command these stones to be made [loaves of] bread. 4But He replied, It has been written, Man shall not live and be upheld and sustained by bread alone, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.  5Then the devil took Him into the holy city and placed Him on a turret (pinnacle, gable) of the temple sanctuary. 6And he said to Him, If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written, He will give His angels charge over you, and they will bear you up on their hands, lest you strike your foot against a stone. 7Jesus said to him, On the other hand, it is written also, You shall not tempt, test thoroughly, or try exceedingly the Lord your God. 8Again, the devil took Him up on a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory (the splendor, magnificence, preeminence, and excellence) of them.  9And he said to Him, These things, all taken together, I will give You, if You will prostrate Yourself before me and do homage and worship me.  10Then Jesus said to him, Begone, Satan! For it has been written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him alone shall you serve. 11Then the devil departed from Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.”

Notice Jesus had the same reply to everything the devil threw at Him; He said over and over “it has been written!” Jesus took the Word of God and declared “It is written” then He spoke out what the Word said about His particular situation!  For example when Satan tried to tell Jesus he would give him all things Jesus said in verse 10 “Begone, Satan! For it has been written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him alone shall you serve.” Jesus spoke out it is written and backed it up with Deuteronomy 6:13. Jesus also said, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you” (John 15:7). We must have God’s word abiding in us so we can declare it out when we need answer to our prayers!

It is vital we follow Jesus’ examples and instructions. He knew how to talk with His Father  and get His prayers answered, as well as how to send the devil packing when he showed up!

First, find the scripture which has already been promised to you in God’s Word. If you need healing find a healing scripture like 1 Peter 2:24. If you need help in your finances stand and declare Philippians 4:19. If you have an unsaved loved one; bind up the devil over their life according to Matthew 12:29, and pray the Lord of the harvest according to Matthew 9:38 will send labors into their lives to lead them to Jesus! There is a promise from God to you in His Word for EVERY situation in your life! You must find that promise!

Second, you pray out “Father, in Jesus Name, it is written in your Word….” then add the Scripture you are standing on!

Third, give thanks to the Father IN ADVANCE for doing what He promised He would do. THIS is walking in faith! When we know BEFORE it comes that God WILL do it, THEN we are walking in faith. Faith is NOT hoping God will. Faith is not wringing our hands and pleading with God; it is declaring out of our mouths the Word of God. Declaring “it is written, and in Jesus Name” to the Father. Then we keep thanking Him that it is done, NO MATTER what we see in the natural!

We must come to the point where we know we must declare first “It is written” before we can claim “it is finished!”

Know someone who is facing a storm they can’t seem to get out of? Sandra’s book The Drying Pot; And The Refining Fires Necessary to Become a Vessel Used By God is a book of trials and triumphs! She takes you through her real life trials and how she overcame! See how you can move God to change your situation!

Keep on Keeping On

Sandra Hersey. Live life out loud. Keys to Victorious Faith

We don’t have the right or the privilege to stop. We must keep on keeping on. We keep on going after what we are seeking – enduring the storms of life which blow over us all the while.  Matthew 7: 7-8 declares Keep on asking and it will be given you; keep on seeking and you will find; keep on knocking [reverently] and [the door] will be opened to you. For everyone who keeps on asking receives; and he who keeps on seeking finds; and to him who keeps on knocking, [the door] will be opened.”

We all face the storms of life where we feel we just can’t run any longer. Times when keeping on no longer seems an option. Our spiritual legs are aching and we are out of breath. Our lungs hurt and the finish line is nowhere in sight. Storms are a fact of life. We need to know how to weather the storms and keep on keeping on until the end. I think about a beautiful bent tree covered road. Those trees did not just become bent. They were bent over by the storms of life – yet they are beautiful and strong after the storm has passed! You and I are to be like the strong tree, maybe bent, but now we can be used in a beautiful way by God! But how do we weather the storms life sends us?

Jesus taught us how to weather the storms of life through prayer and faith. Matthew 8:23-27 says Now when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. And behold! A severe storm arose in the sea, so that the boat was covered by the waves; but he himself was sleeping. Then they went and woke him by saying, “Lord! Save us! We are perishing!” So he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” After he got up, he rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became absolutely calm. Then the men were astonished, saying, “What kind of a man is this One, that even the winds and the sea obey him?”” 

Look again at verses 23, 24 “Now when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. And behold! A severe storm arose in the sea, so that the boat was covered by the waves; but he himself was sleeping.”

A lot of Jesus’ disciples were already fisherman on the Sea of Galilee. They knew from experience this body of water was notorious for sudden storms. The storm on this occasion however was especially furious. The high winds churned into vicious waves. The waves swept over the disciples’ boat, spilling huge amounts of water into it, threatening to capsize it and to throw them into the sea. The disciples were very frightened.

While all this was happening Jesus was sleeping calmly in the back of the boat. We might wonder how He could sleep so calmly through such a storm while His disciples were so frightened. Here we see the genuine humanness and faith of the man Jesus. He got tired physically and needed sleep and He slept so calmly because He knew His heavenly Father was with Him and watching over Him. (Most of us can’t even sleep through the night for worry and fear has come upon us.) He simply put Himself into His Father’s hands, unafraid of whatever storm of life might overtake Him. If only we remained so calm and trusted in our heavenly Father’s providential care through our storms of life, right?

From the disciples we can learn to turn to Jesus in our storms of life (v. 25). What troubles or hardships or dangers have swept down upon us? How are we weathering them? Storms are neither pleasant nor easy to cope with! When the storms of life are crashing down around our ears, they are frightful and sometimes painful. What do we do then to batten down the hatches and bail out our sinking boat? We need to do what the disciples did–turn to Jesus. Pray: “Lord, I trust you to save me from drowning. I may feel like I am about to perish but I know you won’t let me!”

As Jesus was present with His disciples in their storm of life, so He is with us in our storms. He does not forsake us, leaving us to struggle alone and to drown. He is with us to hear our pleas for help. Even if our plea must be “help me Jesus to keep on keeping on through this storm!” (Notice I did not say deliver me from the storm, sometimes we must keep on keeping on through it in order to be changed!) Jesus however is there to answer us in the midst of our troubles. He tells us in Psalm 50:15: “Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me.” So in our storms of life we must rely on Jesus to carry us through them and to deliver us from them.

This requires faith in Him and His promises. This is what the disciples lacked in their storm of life. They allowed themselves to become frightened. They saw themselves perishing in the sea. Think of this – they were fishermen, they knew how to weather a storm, yet this time, even though they were already equipped, they allowed fear to overcome instead of relying on what they had been previously trained to do. Jesus rebuked their littleness of faith in the face of danger. They had nothing to fear. Jesus was with them. He would not allow them to perish. He then acted to still their storm and to calm their fears. Thanks to Jesus the disciples’ storm of life was over. His almighty, powerful word was sufficient for the task. His word was authoritative. His word accomplished what He said and commanded. And His Word, the Bible, still speaks for Him today on our behalf. We however must speak His Word aloud over our storm!

How is our faith during our storms of life? In the face of hardships, troubles, and dangers is our faith strong and as firm as a rock? Are we determined to keep on asking, seeking, and knocking in the midst of our storm- trusting in God’s Word? Or, is our faith no better than the faith of the disciples on that day? Would Jesus rebuke us also for the littleness of our faith?” Would He say to us, “O you of little faith, why are you so afraid?”

How confident are we when we must undergo hardship? How strong are we when we have lost our job and bills are raining down on us? How firm are we when our children or spouse has gone astray? What will build up our faith so we are confident, strong, and firm is the power of  God’s Word. His Word! His Word is authoritative. His Word accomplishes what He commands and promises. He can speak God’s Word and still our storm of life. He can deliver us from danger with the power of His Word BUT you and I must speak out His Word over our storm!

Because of Jesus and the powerful, life saving and giving words He has spoken, we have no reason to be spiritually timid and of little faith. For Jesus with the perfect life He lived for us and the innocent death He died in our place has already delivered us from the power of death. Hell cannot claim us. Death and the grave cannot hold us! We who put our trust in Jesus and the Words of His promises will be able to keep on through any storm! Jesus has atoned for our sins with His Holy, precious blood. He has purchased with His blood the full forgiveness of our sins. (If you have not asked Him to do this for you, do it now!) He has delivered us from the storm of death and hell. We have no reason to be afraid.

Since Jesus has delivered us from the most vicious storm to threaten us — death and hell, we can be sure He will deliver us from the lesser storms of life that sweep over us. Whatever the storm of life may be, we must weather that storm through prayer and faith and keep on keeping on-keep asking, seeking, and knocking in faith believing Jesus and His Word!

Some of this content is from my book I’m A Sword Wielding Devil Slayer; Declaring the Word of God and Taking Back What The Devil Stole from Me!

How do we endure and fight when we are feeling knocked down?

How to endure when you feel knocked down too many times. Author Sandra HerseyWe all have seasons in our lives; times when we are riding high on the blessings of God and then there are the times we are feeling as if Satan has won the first 11 rounds in the prize fight of the year! We must remember the more Satan views us as a threat the more he is going to come at us with all he’s got! And our Heavenly Father does not always step right in and take over for us, in order that we build up our faith muscles to win the so called “championship” fight in the future.

So how do we endure and fight to the end when we are feeling knocked down one to many times? James 1:2-12 jumps right in by saying, “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God who gives to all men generously and without reproach and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind, for let not that man expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. But let a brother of humble circumstances glory in his high position and let the rich man glory in his humiliation, because like flowering grass he will pass away, for the sun rises with a scorching wind and withers the grass and its flower falls off and the beauty of its appearance is destroyed. So, too, the rich man in the midst of his pursuits will fade away. Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.”

The last verse is the summation of the point here. “Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial.” Trials produce blessings-now we can shout here! I my friend am entitled to a HUGH amount of blessings with all the trials I have been through! I am sure this is true for you as well. One of the prize fights of the year for me was the fight for my youngest son’s salvation. Let me share with you a little bit of the story from my book about trials and how we overcame in victory:

“Surrender according to Webster’s Dictionary means to give up, abandon, or relinquish. Surrender is something we all like to think we can do but I can tell you from experience it is very hard to actually surrender something you love more than anything to God and allow Him to do whatever He sees fit to do with it. I had to surrender my youngest son to God. He had been walking on the wrong side, far away from God as possible since middle school. Then high school presented more and more problems taking him farther and farther from God. My son had gotten involved in many different ways of the world on a fast train to hell so to speak! No matter what I did in the natural it did not seem to change him. I would pray over this child every day, I would anoint his pillow while he was at school, and I would lay my hands on his clothes hanging in the closet and declare him into the Kingdom of God. Then one day a very strong woman of God, who had been where I was walking, told me I had to surrender my son to God. I was angry with her. I wanted to surrender him and I had told God “here he is; I surrender him to you,” however I would go back whenever something went wrong and start the ritual of what I had done in the past, trying to bring him to God. I knew I was afraid to give him totally to God because I had just watched my best friend surrender her son to God and her son went to prison! I did not want my son to have to go to prison! I was not really willing to surrender him totally and allow whatever God wanted to use to get to him; even if it meant prison. However, I did give my son totally and completely to God. I told God I trusted Him to take care of my son; no matter what happened in the natural. I would like to tell you once I gave over my son to God’s more than capable hands that all went well and He turned his life to Jesus. But that did not happen- at least not at first. First everything seemed to spin out of control in the natural. Literally it felt as if all hell broke loose and I did not know what was happening in the natural, but I trusted God and confessed I trusted Him every second of every day. Just to give you hope my son did come to God; he did get his life together. Now I watch this former drug dealing, pill popping, rebelling teenager go to his room to study the Word of God. I hear praise music and I hear him crying out to the Lord. He is now in Bible College and an anointed man of God. God has His hand upon him now as much as He had His hand upon him when I surrendered him to my Heavenly Father to mold him and to change him. (He has now graduated Bible College and is an associate pastor, married to an amazing woman of God and the father of my amazing grandson. Now I watch as he touches and changes lives! Blessed IS the woman who persevered under trial!!)” {Exert from The Drying Pot; A The Refining Fires Necessary To Become A Vessel Used By God}

How do you turn trouble into blessing? That’s really the issue here. James was concerned with such matters. In verse 3 he says, with the testing of faith – with you and I being put through a test – it will reveal the strength or weakness of our faith. We all have tests or trials. The Word of God is filled with others who endured tests, they are in there for a reason- to show us how to endure, to show us others had to endure and we are not alone! And to show us victory is always on the other side for those who are in Christ Jesus! (2 Corinthians 2:14)

The purpose for trials or these fights is so that we may know the strength or weakness of our faith and that in enduring through the trial we may be blessed. God has a perfect plan for us through our trials – to grant to us gracious and eternal blessings.

So how I hear you asking? Well strap on your boxing gloves because here we go:

First, the fight is to develop a joyous attitude! We have all heard the saying our attitude determines our altitude. We go up by changing our attitude. You and I were never promised no trials on this journey of life. We were however promised blessings as we persevere!

Second, we need an understanding mind. We have determined the key word in verse 2 is joy, so the key word in verse 3 is knowing. In Greek the word is “ginosko” which means to know, understand, perceive, have knowledge of. Personal knowledge gives us the information we need to evaluate the trial we are in, in order for us to look forward to the joy. When we come to know “this is only temporary” and “this is not the end, this is only the process to the victory!” James said the testing of our faith produces endurance. If you are like me there are many times I do not feel I can endure. However, what I have realized is that I can BECAUSE of my past trials I HAVE developed the faith to endure a little further – and most of the time a little further is all I need to go to knock out the Devil!

The final way  to turn trouble into a blessing is by using fighting words- The Word of God! Would a contender for the heavyweight title fight without training and developing skills? Of course not, but yet as Christians we run right into the ring with the enemy when we really don’t know how to fight. The Word of God is to be applied to our reality of life -it’s not just there to read – it’s to be acted on! The Bible tells us “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)

When the enemy has stepped into the ring, that is the time we pick up the Word of God and fight with it! It is a weapon given to us according to Ephesians 6!  Notice Jesus shows us exactly how to fight; when the Devil came to tempt Jesus in the wilderness Jesus said, “It is written.… It is written.…It is written.” Jesus shows us- when the enemy has shown up as the contender for the title – we must get out our boxing gloves – the Word of God – and hit the Devil right between the eyes with it! There is no other way for the Christian to fight! The Word wins EVERY time! Yet it is our responsibility to use it as our knock-out punch!

{Want more devotions? I’m A Sword Wielding Devil Slayer; Declaring the Word of God and Taking Back What the Devil Stole from Me!}