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When you are battered and beaten by the world it’s hard to burn brightly. We can be smothered by so many things from our past it’s hard to see the good we can do.

We can be smothered by that sin that seems unstoppable. We can be smothered by that act in the past that still has it’s consequences in our lives, that still haunts us. You know the one. The one you hope no one ever finds out about. We can be smothered by the unrealistic expectations of other people, or by the constant reminders others give you that you don’t measure up. I call them bullies and the worst bullies are the ones who bully you in Jesus name. The Bible is referred to as a sword but it was never intended to be used in friendly fire!

Not only does Jesus come to bind up the bruised reed, he comes to fan into flame the smoldering wick, the almost dead potential that was almost smothered by our past or by others. To fan a smoldering wick one needs gentleness and care lest you kill the dying ember.

In Jesus day, the wick was part of an oil lamp. Oil was the fuel that fed the flame. You know what the Holy Spirit is referred to in some parts of scripture? Oil. You know what else oil was used for? Healing.

Jesus fans the smoldering potential of our lives through the healing oil of the Holy Spirit. Allow him to fan your potential into a warm, room brightening flame.


At first it may sound like the whole prosperity gospel thing; Name it and Claim it! You know, the idea some hold to that all you have to do is claim it and God will give it to you. God wants you to have what you want, what your heart desires. The reason you don’t have is you don’t have enough faith; you haven’t claimed it!

Sounds great if only it were true. God does want you to succeed. God does want to give you the desires of your heart. But only when those desires match his desires Desire is fickle. Desire is deceitful. Desire can trick you into seeing all the ‘good reasons’ to have something. But desire forgets to include God plans become frustrated.

Take Jonah for example. He was called to go to his worst enemy and preach the gospel. There was no good reason for him to do so. His life and his principles would be compromised. Heading the other way made perfect sense in his heart. Desire triumphs!

God had other ideas and when Jonah aligned his heart to God’s an entire city was spared. When you draw near to God and allow his Spirit to control your desires, your success is guaranteed. Not because you got what you wanted, but because you got what he wanted. He never promises us an easy time on earth, but the things he has planned for us for eternity will make the struggles of today seem minuscule.

God’s idea of success is opening your heart to complete submission to his will.


A lazy person is the professional victim of circumstance. Whether those circumstances were forced upon them or self-inflicted makes no difference. Rather than rising up from whatever lot life has drawn for them, they wallow is self-pity in the land of ‘if onlys’. Each setback becomes an insurmountable obstacle, not for lack of ability but because of lack of desire. Those who live in integrity see obstacles as stepping stones to success. Life is full of opportunities not obstacles because they know they live according to God’s power working through them. They become victors.


We often don’t see God do great things in our lives because we try to do things in our power, not his. He works best when he has complete control. Our Father is more concerned about our availability than our ability!

We may not see God do great things in our lives because we doubt our ability to accomplish anything significant. It’s about our openness, not our gifted ness. 

We may not see God do great things in our lives because the things we strive to accomplish are intended for our glory not his Kingdom. We are called to build his Kingdom not our name. 

He can use you best when you are open to his working power in your life.


Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the Lord. Romans 12:19 (NLT)

How do you respond to someone who attacks you? Or maybe the question should be “Do you respond or react?”

Reaction is immediate, swift and impulsive. Response involves thought and time and deciding if the best action is non-action. Sometimes, of course, the situation itself dictates the answer to that question. For example, when physical harm is imminent there is no time to waste. Action must be swift.

There are other times when our best action may not be reaction but taking time to step back and consider our response. The human reaction when we are attacked is either fight or flight. The decision is often determined by our ability, or perceived ability to win. That’s what it’s really all about isn’t it? Isn’t that why the guy cut you off yesterday? You were in HIS lane? Isn’t that why you felt so good (for awhile anyway) when you didn’t give a tip to that incompetent, rude server at the restaurant during lunch? Isn’t that why you got into the face of your teenager when they were disrespectful to you ‘for the last time’? It was all about control, all about who will come out on top.

From the very beginning of time, every conflict has been about who will control what or whom. That was the motivation behind Satan as he entered the garden, it’s the basis of every national and family conflict ever since. We want to win and sometimes we want to win at all costs.

Psalm 37:11 teaches us, “But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy peace and prosperity.”

That’s just the opposite of how we normally think. It’s not the meek that get anything except to be treated as doormats. But meekness isn’t weakness; meekness is having power that is under control. As believers in Jesus Christ we are not called to be doormats, we are children of the king. We are, however called to be meek. We have all the power of the Triune God on our side, but we are to consider how we can be meek when it comes to our own way.

Meekness is hard because meekness means that even though we have all power and even though we may be right, we release the situation in which we feel attacked or mistreated to God so that he can handle it.

Meekness means we wait for God’s timing, not our own. God has promised to protect us. He’s promised to be with us, to walk with us during the dark valleys of life. Sometimes his promises seem slow, but they are not slow. He’s just much more patient than we are.

Meekness means we trust God’s methods. When we are mistreated or attacked we have a pretty good idea of how it should be handled. Usually, if we are honest, it will be handled in a way that gives us glory. However, God’s intention is never to give us glory; God’s intention is to bring glory to Himself; it’s never about revenge but always about restoration.

Meekness goes against every human part of us. It can only come as we learn to give control of our lives to Jesus through the power of His Holy Spirit.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus. I confess that many of the conflicts I’m involved in are a result of my demands for my own way and not for your glory or the restoration of others. Empower me with your Spirit to give you the control in the conflicts in my relationships. Amen.

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