“Don’t call me Naomi. Call me Mara,” she answered, for the Almighty Lord had made me very bitter. I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why do you call me Naomi, since the lord has pronounced judgement on me, and the Almighty has afflicted me?

Ruth 1:20-21

In preparation for Hurricane Irma, I worked (as a component of my job- disaster response) and I feel like I am unsure of what day it is. I came home from a long day Sunday and questioned why a Sunday night TV show was on! Then it clicked that it was Sunday night. That is where I am at this week mentally LOL!

I wanted to send out a devotion since I didn’t send anything out last week. The devotion tonight is regarding the story of Ruth and Naomi. I want to be a Ruth who stays wherever God calls and who knows deep down that God honors sacrifice. I am learning more and more that when I look for God in things I dread, when I trust him in the less than favorable, I find him in a way that is unexplainable. Ruth stayed! I recently had a time where I confessed to God that if he allowed it, there was ministry in it and I began to pray in such way. I began to pray over the people God was going to have for me to minister to. I began to pray asking for God’s wisdom and that he would give me a heart for where he called. He answered! God ended up using others to minister to me and to confirm where he calls, he ministers. In the past, my prayers would have never made it beyond “God, please don’t make me and I don’t want to.” But this time was different, this time I chose surrender! I have been learning a lot about Ruth and I am seeing God’s faithfulness in her surrender. Let’s be honest, Naomi changing her name to Mara (which means the Lord has dealt bitterly with me) tells us that she was probably not the most enjoyable person. Yes, I know she had suffered much loss but she had Ruth who stayed by her side. That counts for something and God took notice! I know God does the same with you and I. God takes notice when we surrender. God moves in when we surrender!

Is there an area that is less than favorable that God is calling you to? If so, have you surrendered it to God?

Traci

Give Me a Heart for Mountaintop Ministry – Psalm 51:10

Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

Psalm 51:10

About two weeks ago, I was on the elliptical and I felt in my spirit that God has a breakthrough coming on prayers I have prayed for 10-12 years! I just feel it and God continues to speak that big things are coming and I know in that, God is letting me know he has not forgot his promises to me and he has heard every single prayer! I begin to pray that God would give me a heart for mountaintop ministry. At this point, you might say what in the world are you talking about LOL! For me, it is easy to pray and seek God in the valley. That is where God seems to bloom ministry in my heart, give me compassion for the hurting, and where God seems to draw me close. But those mountain tops, well they reveal my wandering heart and the fleshly laziness that can take root. No, I don’t forget about God when things are going great and life is good but I can say, there is something so special about a yearning heart for God that takes place in the valley. I begin to think on things my spirit feels coming and out of a pure heart, I begin to ask God to give me a heart for mountaintop ministry. God has taken me through years of trials for years of testimony. Now, I believe God is about to bring me into years of harvest for years of sacrifice. Yes, I will still have trials and valleys and no, God has not put in my heart life is about to be easy. Rather, he has put in my spirit that he has seen my heart, heard my cries, and honored my sacrifice.

I want God to know that my heart on the mountain is just as devoted as when I am in the valley. I want God to know that I pledge my loyalty to him despite circumstance. For this, I believe God will prepare my heart for mountaintop ministry! Pray bold prayers and watch God answer with bold answers!

Traci