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Sometimes it's the little things we overlook that keep us from experiencing God's best. We all have a purpose and destiny in discovering our best selves. As we begin to seek the path for our lives, the lessons we learn from God's Word are considered "stepping-stones." They are not there to make us stumble, but to move us into the next level of our lives. It Is What It Isdiscusses the lessons author Debra A. Scales has learned through God's Word, explaining what it really means to live according to the Word of God...
Sometimes it's the little things we overlook that keep us from experiencing God's best. We all have a purpose and destiny in discovering our best selves. As we begin to seek the path for our lives, the lessons we learn from God's Word are considered "stepping-stones." They are not there to make us stumble, but to move us into the next level of our lives. It Is What It Isdiscusses the lessons author Debra A. Scales has learned through God's Word, explaining what it really means to live according to the Word of God and why it is important to obey His Word.
Each lesson of God's Word moves us closer to our destiny and is valuable to our growth. As we grow in the Word of God, some lessons may be painful; we can think of these as "growing pains," designed to bring out the best in us. Scales shares the lessons she has learned and the tests and trials she has endured without giving up. Each day brings new challenges and new opportunities to experience the glory of God's Word.
In It Is What It Is, author Debra A. Scales reveals the beauty of God's world and the magnificence of His Word.
Can I Get a Witness?
And why call me Lord, Lord, and do not the things I say?
Service is over. The Word was spoken. The message behind the Word was heard. The anointing fell, and we promised God we would change our lives. However, as soon as we step outside the church doors, we literally step back into the world. The love and compassion we show each other inside the church changes. Are we merely "inside" Christians who put Christ on only between the four walls of the church building? Once we get outside those walls, is the world able to identify the "real" Christians?
We are God's ambassadors and representation. If we continue to do and act like the rest of the world, Christ cannot be seen. Our prayers are hindered and our blessings are blocked when we do not put the Word of the Lord into practice in our lives.
Each time we assemble, it is another opportunity for God to reveal the areas in which we need to improve. Once that Word is spoken, it is our obligation to receive and live it. Only by doing what He says can we experience change. Once change has taken root, what we have on the inside will come outside. The world will then know that we are real Christians.
In the present day, people really need to see God in us so they can know He is real. My prayer is that we all will become real Christians before He returns and be effective witnesses in our communities to lead people to Christ.
My prayer: Father, let not me live my life in vain. Help me to do all You say so that I might win others to Christ. Amen.
The Virtuous Woman
Who can find a virtuous woman?
To be chaste, faithful, righteous, right-minded, trustworthy, and effective are a few of the characteristics Christian women are to exhibit. These qualities should be applied daily. We can call them God's spiritual makeup. Only as we begin to follow the example of the virtuous woman in Proverbs will our true beauty be seen.
The virtuous woman is a gift from God. The writer in Proverbs 31:10 asks who can find such a woman. This is an indication that becoming virtuous means such women are in demand. This is a high calling from God and should not be taken lightly. We are called to set the example of being virtuous wives, mothers, and women of God as He has intended.
Let's examine each role of the virtuous wife, mother, and woman of God. Proverbs 31:11–12 says, "The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life." This is where trustworthiness comes in. She can be trusted. In current times, men find it hard to trust women. As regards virtuous mothers, Proverbs 31:29 says, "Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all." The virtuous woman lifts up all her children and shows no favor. Her love is unconditional. Finally, in regard to a virtuous woman of God, Proverb 31:30 declares, "Favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised." This means the virtuous woman respects and honors God by applying her spiritual makeup every day. Proverbs 30:28 says, "Her children call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her." The blessing of the Lord rests upon her, and her family acknowledges it. "Her price is far above rubies" (Proverbs 31:10). This woman is a valuable jewel. Priceless!
So, ladies, let's take a stand and be the women God has called us to be, without compromise. When our spiritual makeup shows, our natural beauty will shine!
My prayer: Father, as I transform into the woman You have called me to be, let Your reflection and love be a light that all can see. Amen.
If you love me, keep my commandments.
The law of love is the force that releases all of God's blessings into our lives. Everything hangs on love, and God associates love with following His commandments.
In Matthew 22, Jesus speaks about two commandments. The first and great commandment is found in Matthew 22:37: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind." This means our hearts, souls, and minds should be constantly consumed with God. The second commandment is "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself" (Matthew 22:39).
Who are our neighbors? According to Webster's Dictionary, a neighbor is a person who lives close by. So that would mean anyone who surrounds us. It means not only your saved brothers and sisters, but also your unsaved brothers and sisters. Love should have no boundaries. Love is kind, and love does not hurt people. Godly love does not hold strife, anger, or unforgiveness toward others. These are all the spiritual cancers that stop the flow of God's blessing and keep us from entering the kingdom of God.
John 4:8 says, "God is love." God's kingdom is based on love. Obeying His Word is showing the highest form of love for Him, and when we love Him, we know love.
My prayer: Father, wash my heart with Your love daily that I may know You for myself. Amen.
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
There comes a time in our lives when we have to stand on faith (the Word) and trust God. In the midst of what's going on around us, God's Word has the final authority in our lives. When things don't look like they are working in our favor, we have to "Walk by Faith and not by sight" (2 Corinthians 5:7). That's what faith is—trusting when we don't see anything happening.
When we can't see what God is doing, we think faith is not working. That's where trust comes in. We have to trust Him regardless of what we see, no matter what we hear, and no matter what we feel. We have to walk in faith regardless of the situation or circumstances and trust Him as our guide. Proverbs 3:6 commands, "In all our ways, acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths." As we have faith and trust in His Word, He leads us in the way we should go. This way, we won't end up going down the paths that will lead us to the wrong destiny.
There will come a point where you will have to make a decision to just step out on faith. It will usually be when nothing is working and the things of the world are failing. You can no longer depend on the arm of flesh. When you are sick and tired of being sick and tired and are ready to take God at His Word and make Him your source, you are ready to leap. At that point, you can cry out, "God, I'm jumping. Catch me!" He will. He was waiting for you to make a decision. Whose side are you on? Pick the Lord's side!
My prayer: May I always trust You to see me through being confident Your Word is true. Amen.
Rest and Wait
Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him.
How do we rest in God? Let's examine the word rest. There are a lot of words that describe rest: relax, be at ease, stand still, and rely, to name a few. So what does it mean to rest in the Lord? Psalm 34:7 could be interpreted as, "Relax, be at ease, stand still, and rely on His Word: rest."
For most Christians, the challenges come when we are commanded to do what's on the other side of that verse "and wait patiently for Him." We have a problem waiting, not only as Christians but also as humans. We want God to do things right now! However, we are not yet ready to receive some of the things for which we are asking. Waiting patiently means not asking why you don't have something yet, why something is taking so long, and why something hasn't yet happened. Resting and waiting patiently means to get comfortable in His Word and not worry about when things are going to happen. Trust that they will—we have God's Word on it. Waiting becomes easier when we are resting in His Word. He sees our patience, and at that point, He is ready to move on our behalf.
Lamentations 3:25 states, "The Lord is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh Him." There is a reward for resting and waiting. The Lord is good when we wait for Him and are not so quick to move before His timing. When we rest and wait on Him, He makes sure things are done properly and in order. And with God, it is always worth the wait!
My prayer: Father, as I rest and wait on You all the day, I trust Your Spirit will lead my way. Amen.
Saying, touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.
—1 Chronicles 16:22
Our pastors are considered God's prophets. These men and women are sent by God to speak on His behalf to give us correction, reproof, and warnings and to prepare us for the events that are about to take place. There is a divine anointing on these men and women that God has handpicked to speak to us. They are God's earthly angels and have been equipped with wisdom and understanding to lead His sheep.
Many are not able to fulfill this calling. We need to constantly keep them in prayer and hold the highest respect for them. We are to always speak encouraging words to them and about them to others. God commands in 1 Chronicles 16:22, "Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm." How many of us realize that when we speak harsh words against our pastors that we are touching them? When we bear false witness against them, that's touching. When we disobey them when they have given us instruction, that's touching. God placed vision and purpose in our pastors' lives we are not able to see. Our responsibility is to trust God and follow their lead.
We are to protect our men and women of God at all costs, not letting others harm them with their mouths. Stand up for them, and let people know we love them and will not tolerate anyone dishonoring them. Let's keep our pastors and their families in prayer, be available when they need assistance, and be submitted to the vision that God has given them. "Believe His prophets, so shall ye prosper" (2 Chronicles 20:20). Obedience and honor is the gateway to prosperity!
My prayer: Father, give me a heart of submission and a tongue to bless and not to curse. Amen.
Be thankful unto Him, and bless His name.
Thank you are two words God loves to hear and can be used as a weapon against Satan. Thanksgiving is so powerful. It is worship in God's ear, and it makes the devil tremble. We are commanded in Ephesians 5:20 to give thanks always for all things. We have to give thanks when we are on the mountains, as well as in the valleys. It's easy to thank Him when things are going well and all our needs are met. It takes trust to thank Him when we can't see our way or feel His presence. This is when Satan is whispering in our ears, "God doesn't care; you're not going to make it; you are defeated, and the Word is not working." Remember the words in John 10:10: "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill and to destroy." Satan wants to steal our thanks, kill our praise, and destroy our confidence. He knows how powerful and effective these things are.
In the midst of challenging times, we have to praise and thank Him. Our praise shows Him we trust Him regardless of the situation and that we are thanking Him in advance for the answer. God wants to know whether you will thank Him even when you don't see a change. Yes! We would and should. Thanksgiving is sweet to His ears. When He hears you say thank you, He knows you trust Him. In our dry places, let's give thanks because it is there we receive our answers.
My prayer: Father, may I remember to thank You in all things, not looking at what it is, but how it will be. Amen.
Put Prayer Back
Yea, thou castest off fear, and restrainest prayer before God.
One of the biggest mistakes our country has made was to take prayer out of our schools. Prayer is another one of God's weapons that Satan knows is very effective. The devil knows that he can attack our future if he can attack our children. Since prayer has been restrained in our schools, perversion, gangs, homosexuality, murder, and the drop-out rate are at all-time highs. Students killing each other and teen suicides are becoming commonplace. Our children don't fear God or anyone else. It has been said that it takes a village to raise a child, so prayer should be at every angle: at home, church, and school.
Teachers and school administrators need to pray to know how to deal with children who don't pray at home and don't go to church. Prayers need to be offered that God will give educators the wisdom to reach them. Stopping prayer is stopping God. We are commanded in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 to "pray without ceasing." That means don't stop. We pray in our homes and churches for our children. Why shouldn't we pray in our schools? We need to get God involved with our children and let Satan know he can't have them anymore. They are God's property.
Put prayer back in our schools! Untie God's hands and allow Him to take our children and abort the plans Satan has for them. Prayer is powerful, and our children need to see how powerful our God is when we pray. Put prayer back!
My prayer: Father, help our children see their way, open their hearts, and teach them to pray. Amen.
Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled.
Marriage is a blessing when it is done God's way. We have to be very careful with whom we connect, as 2 Corinthians 6:14 commands, "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers." So partners must also be saved and love the Lord. When we meet someone we think might be the one, we have to go to God in prayer and ask for confirmation if this person is His will. He will let you know if He is pleased. Usually, there will be peace when that person is around you. This will be a feeling you have never felt before or experienced with anyone else. That's God's way of saying, "This is it!"
We all want God's blessing in our marriage, so we have to do it His way and by His rules. Sex before marriage is not His way. It robs the blessing and defiles the relationship, which opens the door for extramarital affairs. When we do things God's way, the blessing blocks this type of behavior from contaminating our marriages.
Saving ourselves for marriage is just that. It keeps the excitement and anticipation high. We can hardly wait to be together. However, we get to know each other during the waiting period and get closer to God so we can be the husband and wife He has called us to be and direct us into ministry. Because we were brought together for a purpose, we have to discover that purpose.
Marriage is a ministry in and of itself. That's why it's so important to hear from God, or you'll get stuck with the wrong mate. God gives us choices, life or death, blessing or curses, and Isaac or Ishmael. Choose Isaac! God will send an Isaac, and when we don't recognize it, we settle for the Ishmael. But God loves us so much and wants the best for us; He will move that Ishmael out of the way and show you the Isaac He wants you to have, the one who will love you and be a blessing to you. He loves us that much; He doesn't want us to miss the mark. That's why we must choose carefully.
Marriage is serious, and when we do things our way, it will only complicate it. As we honor God by choosing the right mate, He honors our choice and in turn honors our marriage!
My prayer: Father, open our eyes that we may see Your will and the wisdom to choose Your way. Amen.
It Came to Pass
And it came to pass in the meanwhile.
—1 Kings 18:45
It was in a Wednesday Bible study that this revelation came. The pastor was teaching on the Holy Spirit, love, the anointing, and the supernatural. As we were going through scriptures, 1 Kings 18:45, "and it came to pass in the meanwhile," was one we could not get beyond. It was a sermon all its own. The revelation was everything we have been praying and believing God for, "and it came to pass." It was an eye-opening experience that night. The financial breakthrough, "and it came to pass," that unsaved love one, "and it came to pass," that healing, "and it came to pass." Wow!
As we walk in the Spirit and in God's love, the anointing of "it came to pass" has to show up in our lives. "Calleth those things which be not as though they were" (Romans 4:17) is how God wants us to live. Another part of 1 Kings 18:45 says, "in the meanwhile," and indicates that while all of the negative and contradicting circumstances are happening, we are still able to say, "And it came to pass." When we don't know where the next meal is coming from, when we don't know how the bills are going to be paid, and when we are unable to see the way, we can say with confidence "and it came to pass."
We are not moved by what we see, hear, or feel, but by what God's Word says. "Not staggering at the promises of God, being fully persuaded that He will do what He says He will do" (Romans 4:20–21). As we continue to confess, "and it came to pass in the meanwhile," that is a war cry for breakthroughs.
My prayer: Father, as I voice Your Word into my life, may I never be hindered or swayed by sight. Amen.
Excerpted from It Is What It Is by Debra A. Scales. Copyright © 2013 Debra A. Scales. Excerpted by permission of iUniverse LLC.
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Can I Get a Witness?.................... 1
The Virtuous Woman.................... 3
Trusting God.................... 6
Rest and Wait.................... 8
God's Prophets.................... 10
Thank You.................... 12
Put Prayer Back.................... 13
It Came to Pass.................... 17
Say Yes.................... 19
Sometimes You Have to Laugh.................... 20
Lessons Learned.................... 22
The Anointing.................... 24
God's Temple.................... 25
In the Potter's Hand.................... 30
A Second Chance.................... 32
I Can't Give Up.................... 35
It Is Finished.................... 42
About the Author.................... 47