Running on the High Places

February 27, 2024 Devotional by Rose-Marie Slosek

The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk to walk upon mine high places. (Habakkuk 3:19a KJV)

There will be times when we must experience the end of our natural strength to go any further or climb any higher. When this happens, it is startling because we may think that we are failing at something we should be succeeding at. Our human strength will fall short. It is a lesson that we must learn over and over. The Scriptures always say that God is our strength, and that our help comes from Him and not ourselves. 

Perhaps the prophet saw the hinds (female deer) scampering sure-footedly in places he could not get to so easily. God has designed the hind to travel safely over difficult ground. A hind can place her back feet in the same spot that her front feet were just in and thus can scale treacherous territory and get to high ground to escape predators and pursuers. 

Ibex, Israel’s national deer overlooking the Dead Sea from the Judean mountains

God will cause us to take high ground but not in our own strength. It is He that makes us surefooted because we learn to listen to Him and to go only in the path that He leads us. He enables us to outrun and even outwit those pursuing us with evil intent because He supernaturally enables us. 

The Lord causes His people to take higher ground in their lives. He wants us to ascend to places we could not have gotten to in our own strength. He wants us to take back high ground—ground we may have surrendered. In order to do so, we will need to be surefooted and supernaturally empowered to escape the snares the enemy of our souls puts down to entrap us. We will then run on the high hills and experience true freedom and delight in our Maker. We will be victorious over that which tried to conquer us. Think of how delightful it would be to run without fear of tripping or falling. Allow God to give you “hinds’ feet” so that you might run well and climb high. 

Maranatha.

Rose-Marie Slosek came to know the Lord in the early nineteen seventies and has a passion for organic church and the maturing of the Body of Christ. She loves to connect people and build healthy community in small groups. She travels widely and assists several mission teams. Rose-Marie also serves Women of the Word on their Board of Directors. She can be reached at email 
rmslosek@comcast.net

Take Courage 

February 24, 2024 Devotional by Rose-Marie Slosek

These things I have spoken to you so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NASB) 

Let us love our Lord for His great and realistic understanding of the world. No sugarcoating. No religious rose-colored glasses.  No saying if you just put a good spin on things, it will be easy. Thank God! Jesus understands that the world has some great, even overwhelming, tribulation in it. We won’t get out of this age without going through the most intense of all tribulations, the one the Bible calls “the Great Tribulation.”

Jesus does not promise us escape from tribulation but strength, staying power, and His Presence in the middle of it. Our consolation is that He is with us even to the “end of the age.” He is the One that will keep us and carry us through all trials and tribulation. He tells us to “take courage”— take it, carry it like a life jacket, put it on like a coat. We believers need to be a courageous bunch. We can be courageous because we can lose our lives in this life and not have really lost anything at all. 

Although we are persecuted and storm-shaken, we are eternally safe. We are held in His Hand, and nothing can snatch us out of it. Therefore, we can take chances that those who do not belong to God dare not. We can lay down our lives for others.

When the world starts to sink like the Titanic, we can give our life vests to those who are drowning without hope! We do not have to cling to our lives but can freely give them in service to our King. 

Courage, dear friend in Jesus, take the courage that Jesus holds out to you. Do not go fearfully into the night but bravely into the world. Rescue the lost. Comfort the mourning. Carry the weak. Feed the hungry. Proclaim liberty to the captives, and give recovery of sight to the blind. Proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord and the soon coming of our God (Is. 61:1-2). We have no time to waste and no need to fear. We are held by God, and we are His ambassadors for the Kingdom. 

Jesus is sometimes a Person of few words because He sees that sometimes only a few words are needed: “take courage, I have overcome the world.” And because He has, you can! Lean some weight into that.

Maranatha.

Rose-Marie Slosek came to know the Lord in the early nineteen seventies and has a passion for organic church and the maturing of the Body of Christ. She loves to connect people and build healthy community in small groups. She travels widely and assists several mission teams. Rose-Marie also serves Women of the Word on their Board of Directors. She can be reached at email 
rmslosek@comcast.net

The Lord Directs Our Steps

February 20, 2024 Devotional by Rose-Marie Slosek

O Lord, I know the way of man is not in himself; It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps. (Jeremiah 10:23)

One of the most important things we will learn in life is that we should not try to direct our own steps. We simply do not know where we are going. If we choose our own way, we will never know the pleasure of going where God would have directed us if we had but let Him. Sometimes it feels hard to wait for God’s direction.  We get an idea in our head, and we want to go and do. We do not wait on God or inquire of Him, and so we reap the loss that comes from deciding our own way. 

On the other hand, just because we go God’s way does not mean that things will be easy for us or that we will escape trials. We may have problems all the more because now we are God’s ambassadors, and people might not want to hear what we say on His behalf. Make peace with this.

We simply do not have the wisdom, foresight, or even the right to determine where we will go and what we will do with our lives. That may sound hard. “God has given us free will,” you may say, and He has. We are free to choose God’s way or own way, but really who knows best what we are designed for?

It is a joy to see a person doing what God has meant them to do and being who God has meant them to be. There is a lightness to them, a joy, because they are relieved of having to find their own path in their own strength. They joyfully go forward with God before and behind them and within them to keep them on the right path. Theirs is a joyful journey that goes from strength to strength. God does not stand over us with an iron fist. He teaches and guides us into His good plans for us. Walking closely with Him, we learn not only which way to go, but who He is and who we are. 

God made the blueprint for your life long before you were a twinkle in your Mama’s eyes. He made you for a specific purpose, and He made you to fit perfectly in a specific place. You are a “living stone” (1 Peter 2:5) that is being built by God with other “living stones” into a spiritual temple. Our lives do not belong to ourselves, and God’s plans for our lives are ours to follow and not ours to try to guess what our “best life” will be.  Let the Lord direct all that pertains to you. 

Maranatha.

Rose-Marie Slosek came to know the Lord in the early nineteen seventies and has a passion for organic church and the maturing of the Body of Christ. She loves to connect people and build healthy community in small groups. She travels widely and assists several mission teams. Rose-Marie also serves Women of the Word on their Board of Directors. She can be reached at email 
rmslosek@comcast.net

Worshippers of God

February 17, 2024 Devotional by Rose-Marie Slosek

“God is Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:24)

Worship is truly at the heart of who we are as the people of God. Our connection to the Holy One is one of worship and adoration. It is not a job or a gift, but a happily intimate way of loving God and proclaiming His “worth-ship.” It is adoring His Holy Face!

Ultimately our life, into ages incalculable, is about a deep spiritual heart union with God. When we worship, something happens in our spirit that causes us to dwell inour eternal home in the bosom of God. Here is our life and where we long to dwell forever. Worship can be loud or silent as it is not a matter of words, but of a heart-union with God. Jesus said that the Father seeks those who “will worship [Him] in Spirit and in truth” (John 4:23).

Two cannot walk together unless they be agreed. Yet, worship is more than just agreement with God, it is deep connection and allegiance to who He is. It is a transaction with the life within God Himself.  It is a flowing forth of that life from His Spirit to ours and back again. There is no real life apart from this, and it is the reason for which we were created. 

God is a God of overflow, and He wants to share that which He has been sharing within Himself with a people of His very own! How can this be? Think of what a privilege this is! If an eternity of worship sounds foreign or boring to you, then please begin to experience worship as it is meant to be. Sit down and allow your spirit to ascend to the throne of God as you begin to tell your Heavenly Father of your love for Him and His worth to you. Here in this holy place of encounter is where you will eat of Him who is the Bread of Life  that satisfies forever. Here is where you will drink of Him who is the Living Water and never thirst again. Of all the things you do in life, you MUST do this. Jesus says that those who love the Father MUST worship. As if we could resist!

Come into His Presence with quiet adoration. Be in His Presence before you begin to speak words. Look to be with Him. Let all utilitarian need be put aside until you are just with Him. Let Him lead. Let Him pray within you. Let Him answer. Let Him be all in all. Worship in spirit and in truth. 

Maranatha.

Rose-Marie Slosek came to know the Lord in the early nineteen seventies and has a passion for organic church and the maturing of the Body of Christ. She loves to connect people and build healthy community in small groups. She travels widely and assists several mission teams. Rose-Marie also serves Women of the Word on their Board of Directors. She can be reached at email 
rmslosek@comcast.net

Volunteers in the Day of His Power

February 15, 2024 Devotional by Rose-Marie Slosek

Your people shall be volunteers in the day of Your power. (Psalm 110:3)

We must increasingly volunteer— not just at the soup kitchen, but to the purposes of God in our day. There is no time to be about our own business. It is time to be like Jesus, who even as a very young Man, assumed that those who knew Him best would know that He would be about His Father’s business. 

We really do not have a claim on our own time especially as that Day quickly approaches.  There is much to be done, and the fields are white for harvest (John 4:35). Our hearts should be even more willing to start early and to end late so that nothing and no one is lost. We should not be as those in the parable who are arguing over who gets paid what, or who has worked harder and thus deserves more. Let us be willing volunteers in the army of the Lord. 

How can we best do this?  God has need of many kinds of volunteers. We can ask God where He needs us most and not complain where He chooses to place us. We can start where we are, by keeping our eyes and hearts open to those in need who we encounter throughout the day. We can be generous with our time, resources, and our presence in other people’s lives. We can be a triage and prayer unit on the Jericho Road of our day—finding and aiding those whom others have attacked and left for dead.

We can stand in His Presence day and night interceding for the needs that God reveals to us. A lot of time in our life is “down” time or “in between” time when we are waiting in traffic, checkout lines, or for appointments.  We can redeem that time by remembering to volunteer during those moments. It is very hard for us modern, distracted folks to be present in our own time in our own lives.  We are always thinking forward or backward, and we miss the call and blessing of the present moment. Many of these moments could and should be offered to God. 

The day of His ultimate power is quickly approaching, yet each day is a day when His power wants to manifest in our lives and in the lives of the needy and lost. Therefore, let us surely be about our Father’s business always at the ready to bless, comfort, console, and even warn. Night approaches when we will not be able to work.  Maranatha.

Rose-Marie Slosek came to know the Lord in the early nineteen seventies and has a passion for organic church and the maturing of the Body of Christ. She loves to connect people and build healthy community in small groups. She travels widely and assists several mission teams. Rose-Marie also serves Women of the Word on their Board of Directors. She can be reached at email 
rmslosek@comcast.net

The Call to Hospitality 

February 13, 2024 Devotional by Rose-Marie Slosek

The sojourner has not lodged in the street; I have opened my doors to the traveler. (Job 31:32)

Truth is, we are all sojourners and travelers.  The call to hospitality is a central part of our call as believers. Our God is hospitable. He welcomes weary travelers, He calls us into His family, and He creates an eternal home for us. He knows what it feels like to not be welcomed even among His own people: ״He came to his own, but His own did not receive him” (John 1:11).

There isn’t anyone who does not want to feel genuinely welcomed. The welcome we offer is in the Name of our Lord.  With the same welcome we have been received, we should welcome. When we arrived at God’s door, we were not in good shape, not presentable, sinful, extremely weary, and without a present for the Host. Just as we were, without one plea but that His blood was shed for us, we came. 

We had no bargaining power, nothing to offer but ourselves in need. So we must not offer a kind of snobbish hospitality—full of condescension and judgment— but genuine care and openness. We have something to offer the weary traveler because we have been made rich—not necessarily in this world’s goods, but in love, in forgiveness, in belonging, in spiritual family. In our midst, the Risen Christ promises to be present (Matt. 18:20). In our midst is the raw material of love, peace, and joy that is needed to bring healing, and hope, and wholeness.

Welcome of the stranger (Lev. 19:34) was a Hebraic concept that undergirds the biblical understanding of hospitality.  Hospitality is not tribal, it is not clubbish, it is not a clique of similars. Hospitality welcomes those in need, period. That is hard because those in need may not look, sound, or believe like us, and that can make us simultaneously nervous and exasperated.

It is not our job to change people; it is our job to preach the gospel Jesus did and to live it out on the highways and byways of a lost and lonely world. It is our job to welcome people, not even in our own name, but in the name of the Lord. We are just doorkeepers in the house of God!

As we model the kingdom of God, it establishes the order and wholeness that God desires for us all. God’s kingdom is a welcoming kingdom of light and hope.  So now, you who are reading this, go welcome someone. 

Maranatha!

Rose-Marie Slosek came to know the Lord in the early nineteen seventies and has a passion for organic church and the maturing of the Body of Christ. She loves to connect people and build healthy community in small groups. She travels widely and assists several mission teams. Rose-Marie also serves Women of the Word on their Board of Directors. She can be reached at email 
rmslosek@comcast.net

Take the Lowest Place

February 10, 2023 Devotional by Rose-Marie Slosek

“But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place.” (Luke 14:10)

Jesus wisely tells us to take the low road, to not look to be recognized, to not seekfame or notoriety or position. Why would the King of Kings say such a thing? Because He Himself comes as a lowly Servant.  When we think that we belong ina higher position, with a better seat at the table, then we are not seeing others correctly.

All good leadership leads by serving. Good leaders bring up the rear even ifthey are up front. Good leaders circle back to make sure that no one is lost or left behind. Better yet, they lead from behind the scenes, or behind the pack, watchingover all to protect and guard.

If our hearts are focused on what is due us, or comparing ourselves with others, we lose sight of what is important. We cannot see ourselves clearly. It is up to the Master to determine what seat we deserve and where we should be placed. 

Do you feel things are beneath your dignity? Take some time to counsel yourself into a more lowly frame of mind. Have you been overlooked? Perhaps it is for your benefit. One of our fine colleagues counsels us to meet criticism with the response, “I am far worse than you know.”  Defending ourselves is not our call; serving others is. The more we look around to evaluate our position, the more time we waste. Roll up your sleeves wherever you are and do the task at hand. There may never be the kind of opportune moment you are looking for, so make use of this very moment. 

The best thing about taking the low place is that you won’t hurt yourself if you fall. Since you are already low to the ground, you can pick yourself up quickly and continue to serve.  Often, or always, our need to be recognized comes out of some inflated sense of ourselves. We imagine that we are something that we are not and have an unrealistic view of our talents and our spiritual progress.

Don’t embarrass yourself before principalities. They will make sport ofshooting arrows into your buffoonery. Stay hidden in God. Allow Him to exalt you or cause you to be abased. Have it all be the same to you. Fix your eyes on your Lord, and seek to serve Him and all that He would ask you to serve in His Name. Remember: it is His Name that you are called to represent.

Maranatha.

Rose-Marie Slosek came to know the Lord in the early nineteen seventies and has a passion for organic church and the maturing of the Body of Christ. She loves to connect people and build healthy community in small groups. She travels widely and assists several mission teams. Rose-Marie also serves Women of the Word on their Board of Directors. She can be reached at email 
rmslosek@comcast.net

Retiring to the Father

February 8, 2024 Devotional by Rose-Marie Slosek

But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness to pray. (Luke 5:16)

We should be very thankful that Scripture records some of the private moments of Jesus’ inner life with the Father. We should feel encouraged that He felt the need to withdraw from the noise of the world to commune with the Father. While Jesus also tells us that “the Father always hears Him” (John 5:19) no matter what environment He is in, Jesus “often” chose to specifically go out alone to be with His Father. 

We should follow His example. We do not have to find some desolate wilderness to go to, although that may be an extra bonus, but we need to have an “alone” place with God wherever we can create it. It is important to quiet the outside world and focus on our Father with undivided attention. Distractions diminish our ability to give our total attention to God.

Rose-Marie at the Sea of Galilee

 We want to be able to relax with God and not feel rushed or just line up a list of requests to offer Him. Spending authentic time with God takes a certain kind of effort. We have to prioritize our relationship with God above all others. Most of all we have to want to be with Him! You can be sure that Jesus never saw these times of seeking God’s face as a duty, but as an absolute pleasure and necessity to His life. His connection with the Father was His life, and as “He did nothing but what He saw the Father doing,” His inward gaze was constantly toward the Father. He asks us to abide in Him because He abode (and evermore abides) with the Father. This is the spiritual life. 

The world is noisy and not conducive to hearing the “still, small voice of God.” It isvital that we turn aside to seek God often. Cultivate a longing heart to be alone with God. As good and enjoyable and worthy the fellowship between believers is, it is strengthened by our alone time with God. We want to come to our fellowship meetings strong and full of God! Of course there will be times when we are drained and weak, and that is when the strength that other believers have gotten from their own time with God can encourage and undergird us. Remember that you are not primarily meant to ride on the breezes of another’s walk with God but to catch the headwinds of God and soar with Him yourself.

Be sure to retire to a lonely place and pray soon. It is life changing and life sustaining. 

Maranatha.

Rose-Marie Slosek came to know the Lord in the early nineteen seventies and has a passion for organic church and the maturing of the Body of Christ. She loves to connect people and build healthy community in small groups. She travels widely and assists several mission teams. Rose-Marie also serves Women of the Word on their Board of Directors. She can be reached at email 
rmslosek@comcast.net

Prisoners of Hope

February 6, 2024 Devotional by Rose-Marie Slosek

Return to the stronghold, you prisoners of hope. (Zechariah 9:12)

We are a people of hope, yet we still live in a world awaiting the full manifestations of the sons and daughters of God.  Before things get absolutely better, they will get, in some very real way, significantly worse. So while we are people of hope, we must also be people of the stronghold.

Our stronghold is Christ Jesus: He is our Rock, our Hiding Place, our Defense in the day of trouble. So let us learn to run to Him, to abide in Him, to know what it means to surrender to Him, for He is the One that we put our eternal hope in.

In the book of Titus, our “blessed hope” is described as the glorious return of Jesus to the earth. Our hearts long for Him and for that Day. We must know that our hope will sustain us through any difficulty we will face.  Again and again, we must learn to return to our stronghold. We must be as those in Israel who always know where the bomb shelter is and exactly how long it takes to get to it. We must be able to enter the hiding place of the Lord  even when we are scared, distracted, wounded, or disoriented.

May we—as those who have learned to keep their lamps trimmed and full of oil—seek God for the resilience we will need for the days ahead. Enduring through difficult times can be draining. Hope can and will sustain us. On days that are bleak and dark, we can train our spiritual eyes to fix themselves on the light of our heavenly home in the distance. Weeping may last for a season, but joy shall surely overflow when our blessed Lord comes. 

In the meantime, He is not holding Himself afar off. He is in our midst and will never abandon us. Learn to sink down into His Presence in all seasons, under all circumstances. There are times when you will feel nothing, but that does not mean that you are not being held by Him. There are times you will feel the deep joy of His Presence, but do not hold too tightly to the feelings. Simply enjoy them when they are present.

Our faith is an all-season faith. God is with us always; He is our sure and certain stronghold until the end. Tough times shall give way to the focus of our hope: Jesus, the Risen One. 

Maranatha.

Rose-Marie Slosek came to know the Lord in the early nineteen seventies and has a passion for organic church and the maturing of the Body of Christ. She loves to connect people and build healthy community in small groups. She travels widely and assists several mission teams. Rose-Marie also serves Women of the Word on their Board of Directors. She can be reached at email 
rmslosek@comcast.net

Passion for the House of God 

February 1, 2024 Devotional by Rose-Marie Slosek

Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, while this house lies in ruins?” (Haggai 1:4 ESV)

It is easy, especially amongst the comforts of the western world, to become focused on our own interests, even our own spiritual interests, and forget that we should be focused on our Father’s business. As Jesus was found in the temple when He was expected to be on his way back to his natural family’s home in Nazareth, He was surprised that His parents didn’t know where to find Him. Our interests: where our time is spent, our focus, and our passions, predict where we will be found. 

The prophet Haggai speaks forth the heart of God to the people and the leaders of Israel.  He tells them that they are putting their own lives, their own needs, their own interests before the restoration of the house of God. Cyrus had permitted them to return to their land, but rebuilding the temple was a tall order and would require much attention and work.  It was easier to focus on what they needed for their own lives rather than giving all their attention to rebuilding His House so they could all honor God and worship Him together.

Has anything changed?  We must admit that we sometimes neglect the corporate nature of our lives together. As Christians, we are living stones that are being built together! We cannot isolate from each other. We can find ourselves distracted from doing our Father’s business together by self-interest and self-seeking.

Perhaps we should be to ourselves as Haggai, a prophet, calling ourselves back to rebuilding the house of God. We need to examine what has fallen in the Body of Christ and what does not honor, represent, or glorify Him. We need to call each other back to a burning passion to see the glory of God come fully to the house of God, of which all believers are members. Zeal for His house should consume us. Holiness should refine us. Passion for His purposes should inflame us. Wholeheartedness should drive out any lesser preoccupation. 

Part of the Maranatha cry is a cry for the house of God to be whole, for Jesus to rule over us and to have our entire hearts.  Let us lavish our full attention upon Him as we prepare for the fullness of the coming age! He shall surely have our attention and Israel’s on the Day that He returns. We who know Him and love Him should be both hastening that Day not only with the Maranatha cry, but also living together in a corporate foretaste of the fullness of His coming glory.  Maranatha. 

Rose-Marie Slosek came to know the Lord in the early nineteen seventies and has a passion for organic church and the maturing of the Body of Christ. She loves to connect people and build healthy community in small groups. She travels widely and assists several mission teams. Rose-Marie also serves Women of the Word on their Board of Directors. She can be reached at email
rmslosek@comcast.net