How to Find the Road Home

Traveling with my mom as a child, we often found ourselves lost or at least on the wrong road. She’d start the trip off fine, but frequently distracted, would miss an exit or a turn. She wouldn’t stop and turn around, even if she noticed the error right away. Her mindset was that as long as we were going in the general direction we’d be fine. Instead of a few minutes to correct our course,  her approach was known to take an entire day or two of extra travel. It drove me crazy. Once I reached adulthood, she was my passenger on road trips.

Blog image- change direction

Are you someplace in life you don’t want to be, feeling lost and frustrated? Perhaps you’ve been thrown off course by circumstances outside of your control, or maybe it’s because of poor decisions you’ve made. Either way, it doesn’t much matter how you got there, what’s done is done. You can’t ever go back and change the past. What matters is what you do about it today. You have the power to change direction. The future is up to you.

You can stay where you are, wandering in the wilderness of life—unhappy, angry, and, frustrated—far from your desired destination, or you can choose to make a change. The power is yours. You can determine to move forward each and every day.

Whenever you find yourself somewhere other than where your purest self should be, simply turn.

Turn away from the dark and towards the light. Turn away from the mire of self-loathing, turn back from the pit of acting out, and turn and run from the chains of temptation.

You won’t reach your destination immediately, but if you continue to take steps of faith in the right direction, you will end up on the sweet road to home.

—Ann Wilds

“Thus says the Lord: ‘Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.’”
‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭6:16‬a ESV‬‬

Called to More

You know, following Christ isn’t an easy life. It is a blessed life, it is a grace-filled life, but it’s certainly not easy.

Though we are His, our human nature didn’t just disappear. We still have our old habits and desires. Like every other human that walks the earth, we have tendencies to be self-focused and involved, more concerned with ourselves and our own comfort than anyone else’s.

But God calls us to so much more.

For though our human nature remains, our spiritual nature is changed the moment we accepted Christ as Savior. The Holy Spirit now lives inside of us. And with that spiritual change comes the power for us to be different, to live our lives as a reflection of Christ.

But for us to answer the call to be different than the world, we actually have to be different. We have to think differently, respond differently, and love differently. And that’s where things get hard.

God calls us to things that are antithesis to our human nature. He calls us to:

• Forgive readily (Colossians 3:23)
• Control our thoughts (2 Corinthians 10:5)
• Love our enemies (Matthew 5:44)
• Wait patiently (Psalm 37:7)
• Not worry (Matthew 6:34)
• Trust God (Proverbs 3:5)
• Put on love (Colossians 3:14)
• Bless our haters (Romans 12:14)
• Live humbly (Proverbs 11:2)
• Live at peace with others (Romans 12:18)
• Manage our mouth (James 1:26)
• Deny our flesh (Galatians 5:19-21)
• Be still (Exodus 14:14)

Those are hard things to do. Yet, God is good. He would never tell us to do something that we didn’t have the capacity for. Like babies learning to walk, it may not be natural, it may not be comfortable, and it certainly may not be easy, but what He calls us to do is possible. And even when it seems beyond our power, it’s never beyond His.

So, in whatever situation you face today where your human nature wants to respond differently than the Spirit living inside you, remember this.

God doesn’t call us to do the easy, He calls us to do the hard.

And though we may falter and fail, as I do daily, we never stop striving. So that through the power of prayer and the power of the Holy Spirit which helps us, we become transformed little by little into a life that looks less like us and a whole lot more like Jesus.

—Ann Wilds

Whoever claims to abide in Him must walk as Jesus walked. —1 John 2:6

 

Called to the hard

 

Praying for Your Prodigal Through Scripture

Is your heart breaking for someone who is far away from God? If so, you aren’t alone. You’d be hard pressed to find a believer who doesn’t have at least one prodigal in their life. It may be a child, a family member, a spouse, or a friend.

A063B38A-10CC-469A-A3F4-1D4482BD62AE

Whichever camp your prodigal falls into, it’s a hard road to walk and a difficult burden to bear. As much as you love them and want to fix things, you must face the truth. The prodigal’s salvation is not yours to control. You can’t change their heart; only God can.

But what you can—and should—do is fight. At every occasion, fight fiercely for them but not with them. Fighting with them about their faith, through anger, guilt, or shame, is never effective. But fighting for them, on your knees, is. I was once a prodigal, and through the diligent prayers of many, returned home to the Father.

God’s desire is that not one soul be lost. He tells us so in His word, so it’s not something you have to wonder about. That means that He is actively seeking them, working to bring them home, even when you can’t see it. Just be still and trust. Press in to Him. There is no better time than now to grow deeper in your own relationship with Christ. Your work is to love them, wherever they are, and fight for them in prayer.

And as you do, claim God’s word over them. It is the sword we use to fight in the spiritual realm. Listed below are a number of verses that speak to my heart when praying for my prodigals. I’ve included a free download here for you. Simply print them out and place them where you will see them as you go about your day. When you do, say another prayer for them.

Wield your sword, keeping it sharp and ever ready by your side, and together we’ll fight until they all come home.
-Ann Wilds
Ephesians 1:18 ERV

I pray that God will open your minds to see his truth. Then you will know the hope that he has chosen us to have. You will know that the blessing God has promised his holy people are rich and glorious.

 

 

Jeremiah 31:16-17 GNT

“Stop your crying and wipe away your tears. All that you have done for your children will not go unrewarded; they will return from the enemy’s land. There is hope for your future; your children will come back home.” I, the Lord, have spoken.

 

Luke 19:10 NLT

For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.

 

Luke 15:24 NIV

For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and now is found.

 

Ezekiel 34:16a NLT

I will search for my lost ones who strayed away, and I will bring them safely home again.

 

Isaiah 49:25 NLT

“But the Lord says, ‘The captives of warriors will be released, and the plunder of tyrants will be retrieved. For I will fight those who fight you, and I will save your children.’”

 

Ezekiel 34:12 NLT

I will be like a shepherd looking for his scattered flock. I will find my sheep and rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on that dark and cloudy day.

 

Isaiah 44:3-4 NLT

For I will pour out water to quench your thirst and irrigate your parched fields. And I will pour out my Spirit on your descendants, and my blessings on your children. They will thrive like watered grass, like willows on a riverbank.

 

Isaiah 59:21 NLT

And this is my covenant with them, says the Lord. My Spirit will not leave them, and neither will these words I have given you. They will be on your lips and on the lips of your children and your children’s children forever. I, the Lord, have spoken!

 

2 Peter 3:9 KJV

“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”

 

1 Timothy 2:3-4 NIV

“This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”

 

1 John 5:14-15 NKJV

“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that he hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.”

 

Nehemiah 4:14b NLT

Don’t be afraid of the enemy. Remember the Lord, who is great and glorious, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives and your homes.

 

Nehemiah 8:10b NIV

Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.

 

John 9:3b NIV

But this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.

 

Philippians 1:6 ESV

And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Christ Jesus.

 

Proverbs 22:6 KJV

“Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

 

John 15: 7 NLT

But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted!

 

Acts 16:31 NLT

They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, along with everyone in your household.”

 

1 King 8:56 NLT

Praise the Lord who has given rest to his people Israel, just as he promised. Not one word has failed of all the wonderful promises He made through His servant Moses.

 

Habakkuk 3:17,18 NLT

Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation.

 

Isaiah 26:3 NLT

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You, all whose thoughts are fixed on you.

 

James 5:16b NLT

The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.

 

Psalm 94:19 NIV

When anxiety was great within me your consolation brought me joy.

Color the World

One of the things I like least about winter time is that it steals most of the color from our backyard woods. Even the trees and bushes that maintain some green seem to turn a duller, dusty shade.

Yet it’s this very dullness that makes any touch of color that much more beautiful. I came across this red leaf yesterday and its color stood out even more brightly surrounded as it was by a sea of drab brown.

12E4A22C-D733-4906-A47D-F8093964BD48

Though outward circumstances may drain the color from those around you, stealing their joy, remember that you’re different. The joy of someone with the power of Christ living inside them is no longer rooted to the outside world. So when the wind blows cold, hold fast to your color, your inner joy. You’ll stand out as a beacon of hope to a dying world.

Ann Wilds

“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
(John 15:11)