Tag Archives: victory

Seasons of Change

Sandra Hersey Key To Victorious FaithJust like we have seasonal changes in the natural we also have seasons of change in our walk with God. Ecclesiastes 3:1 says “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.” Though seasons in our life change – God’s truth remains; His Word will not pass away. When God speaks it is sealed in Heaven; we can be sure of it, we can depend on Him!

One of the greatest obstacles Christians face is when they do not recognize the season they are in.

If a Christian is in a spiritual winter season and becomes nervous because there does not seem to be any fruit appearing in their life, they may commit to new ministries in order to force themselves to produce fruit. No matter how hard they try, they won’t produce fruit until God produces it in them. But what is worse is sometimes they blame God for the lack of fruit! I can not tell you how many times I’ve heard “I did everything right but God did not come through.”
God does not fail; we fail to recognize our seasons and we fail to work with God in what He is doing in our life.

Just like the natural seasons we go through; we go through spiritual seasons as well.

During our Spiritual Springtime we are to look for the leading of God in new activities and ventures into new opportunities. In our Spiritual Summer we need to take the time for spiritual development and fruit bearing. During our Spiritual Fall we may be feeling a need to return to the basics of our relationship with God, or a new commitment to the spiritual disciplines of fasting, praying, solitude, individual worship, and devotion; things which in themselves seem to produce little fruit but are essential for our Christian walk. Lastly, there is winter – Spiritual Winter is the most uncomfortable time for many Christians. In our society we tend to value people based on how much they produce. This “work equals value” culture is not godly and it is wrong to applaud people who are over committed as much as it is wrong to applaud people who are under committed.

God values people – not works and we should too. Spiritual winter is like the Sabbath rest. God instructed people to keep the rest holy to God and reflect on the things which God had done for them. God says in Leviticus 23:27 we must “deny” (NIV) or “afflict” (KJV) ourselves when observing the Sabbath. What should we deny? Whatever keeps our minds from reflecting on God’s good deeds and keeping a holy attitude before Him.

As you work unto the Lord and most importantly once you work or rest according to the season you are currently in, you will maximize your spiritual growth and your production of spiritual fruit. Some may feel they do not know how to hear God concerning the season they are in, however, John 2:20 plainly declares ALL believers have an anointing from God which provides them with insight of God’s will for their lives. Our responsibility is to spend time in prayer and even fasting to seek Him for His will in the season we are in.

What Spiritual Season are you in right now? Seek Him and act accordingly.

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!}

How to Endure the Hardship You Are Facing

How to Endure the Hardship You Are Facing. Keys to victorious faith. Inspirational blog

I speak to people every day in person and through the internet who are facing situations they do not feel they can endure. The problem is most of the time Christians seem shocked at the trials they face. Their most asked question is why?  You must understand when you face a trial (and you will) that you must keep focused on the end of your challenge, not on the challenge itself. Your joy will be complete, the book of James instructs you, as you overcome your situation. You must hold on to your faith and not doubt the promises God has already give you! You will have victory IF you do not give up!

James instructs us that genuine faith transforms lives. We are to put our faith into action when we are faced with a trial. It’s easy to say we have faith until the “rubber meets the road” so to speak. Then the truth comes out. James gave us great tools to help us  face our trials and tribulations head on. The book of James is our how-to book, or let’s say our 4 step program to obtaining victory!

Step 1: You must remain faithful to the end no matter how hard your trial is.

Our true character is revealed when pressure is applied. We must see each trial as an opportunity to grow into the person God wants us to be. How many times have you stood at an altar in prayer and said, “God use me, I want to be a vessel for you, change me God.” Then the minute a trial comes we are rebuking every devil within a mile, when all the time it is God doing exactly what you have asked for – He IS using you, He is using this trial to work in you things He needs. And He is working out of you things He does not need; so “you” don’t get in the way! Now before you are ready to stop reading hold on there is a  great reward when you choose not to give up during your difficult times – you will lack NOTHING in the end! (James 1:4).

Step 2: As you stand strong and endure you WILL become stronger instead of weaker.

James says you must remain positive (righteous) during difficult times; he says you must “Consider it wholly joyful” (James 1:2). As you begin to remain positive and focus on the end and not the wind from the storm around you, you will begin to gain strength (James 1:3).  Let’s face it trials are not fun and they are hard. But as we endure the trial we will become a stronger person. Athletes who only want to compete against the weaker opponents may win trophies, but they are not getting any better as an athlete. A strong opponent is what makes them stronger and do better. So as we remain faithful to the end we will be stronger and better when it is all over!

Step 3. You must seek God and godly wisdom.

By seeking God you will be given the ability to make right choices during these trials (James 1:5). Difficulties will come but when you are faced with them you must without a doubt expect God to guide you through all your situations (James 1:6-8). He has already given you in His Word every answer you need. You must take the time to seek out what He has given you and stand on it. You must use the Word of God to determine how you will react. Notice verse 6 “it must be in faith that he asks with no wavering (no hesitating, no doubting).” This verse is talking about YOU! You must not waver, hesitate or doubt! You ask in faith and believe God WILL come through for you! Then you will be rewarded for maintaining your faith through your trial (James 1:12).

Step 4. Above all you ARE a conqueror through Christ Jesus! You are His prized possession and you will be given the strength to endure.

You are a gift from God through Jesus Christ. He keeps His promises and He wants you to enjoy life as you endure your difficulties (James 1:16-18). There are going to be trials and tribulations, temptations, and fear. But as we successfully overcome these adversities we become mature and of strong character. We must pray for wisdom as we endure. When we can finally embrace our human weakness and rely on God’s strength to overcome our trials and tribulations, God’s strength becomes our strength.

{Know someone who is facing hard times? The Drying Pot; And The Refining Fires Necessary To Become A Vessel Used By God}

How To Slay Your Giants

How To Slay Your Giants. Christian Women Blog

Almost everyone can say they have heard the story of the young shepherd boy David who against all odds fought the Philistine giant Goliath and wins {1 Samuel 17}. As children it is one of the first stories you learn about in Sunday School. I would dare say it is probably one of the most recognized stories in the Bible. Why is this particular story so retold compared to lets say the story of the 40 Jews who had plotted to kill Paul in an ambush {Acts 23}? Like so many stories written in the Word these are stories of strength, trusting God, and determination.

The story of David and Goliath, like so many others, is a story of overcoming doubt and trusting God against all odds. Forty days and nights Goliath, the Philistine giant, came before the Israelite army and caused them to run away in fright. Goliath shouted challenges and threats to the people of Israel over and over, sending fear thought the army – all the way up the ranks; reaching even King Saul. The constant badgering from this mighty giant caused them to doubt their abilities, run away full of fear, and hey refused to stand up and fight. Then onto the scene walks a young boy who’s job is to tend sheep and bring food to his brothers who are there in battle! Most of those present that day saw Goliath as a giant ready to take them out, with no way they could defeat him. David however, saw a mere mortal man who was defying his God; whom he loved so much. In the natural realm the odds were stacked against him, however David knew God and how faithful He was. His faith in God and God’s abilities gave David the courage to fight. David trusted God because God had shown himself faithful to David in the past.

David could have had several thoughts: 1) “God has been there and helped me against all odds before when I came against a lion and a bear and took them out.” Or even 2) “Goliath was too big of a target to miss, so why not!” I believe when others saw a giant too big to fight; David saw a target too big to miss!

We all at some point in our life come against “giant” odds. Those battles that seem too big for us. However, we are given this wonderful account of David’s life so we can choose how to react.

All the accounts written in the Word of God are true. Not fables, but true accounts of normal ordinary people like you and I. They faced giants, trials, setbacks, and discouraging situations just like we do. However, our giant does not come with a shield and a sword, it can be sickness, debt, sorrow, fear, etc. We may feel as if we are overwhelmed by our doubts. But like David we must remember:

1) God has done it before and He can and will do it again. He is able to help you and bring you out no matter what the odds are!

2) God is bigger no matter the size of our “giant target!” He is bigger than any problem, sickness, disease, or debt you face!

We have a choice, we can choose to run in fear. We can pace and worry about how, when, and why. Or we can do as David did and trust our God; knowing He will never leave us and never forsake us.

“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you. So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” {Hebrews 13:5-6}

Through our constant faith in Him – like David had, we too, will be able to overcome and slay our “giant!”

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