God's Roadmap

Now may the Lord Jesus Christ and our Father God, who loved us and in his wonderful grace gave us eternal comfort and a beautiful hope that cannot fail, encourage your hearts and inspire you with strength to always do and speak what is good and beautiful in his eyes (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 TPT).

Friday, April 28, 2023

4 Ways to Conquer the Serpent of Doubt in the Garden of our Minds



by Barbara Latta @barbaralatta

I love spring and summer because I don’t like to be cold. But warmer weather entices the creeps, which means snakes in the woods, to venture out. They slither through yards and gardens and no matter how beneficial some of them may be, I simply do not like these critters. Because the present season now allows me to plant flowers and vegetables, I constantly peer through every blade of grass on the lookout for something crawling toward me.

The serpent that appeared to Eve in the Garden of Eden wasn’t scary because fear didn’t exist yet and this snake apparently was a beautiful creature at that time. Eve conversed with this reptile as if talking to a snake was no big deal. Rather than acting surprised that she heard a voice, she conversed with a serpent.  

Adam and Eve fellowshipped with God and He gave them everything they needed for physical enjoyment and nourishment. They lacked nothing.

Then the subtle creature appeared with lies and deception.

Whispered words through the leaves of a tree that held beautiful, tasty food.

The words that went into Eve’s mind caused her to doubt the words her Creator had said.

She saw the fruit, she touched the fruit, and she believed the lie. She took a bite and mankind fell. All because of doubt.

Because the first people God created sinned, Jesus had to come to earth and fix what they messed up. Satan also appeared to the Son of God and tempted Him in a wilderness. Jesus had no resources except the Word of God. Scripture overcame doubt for Him.

Adam and Eve lived in a perfect environment with every need met. God had given His Word but they didn’t believe Him. They submitted to emotions and their beautiful garden fell into chaos and also affected the rest of mankind. All they needed to do was the same thing Jesus did. Repeat what God said and the snake would have disintegrated.

We face the same battles our predecessors in Eden did and the same ones our Savior endured. Thorns of doubt sneak in and wrap around the mind like a python and squeeze our thoughts in confusion with every suggestion from the enemy.

We will never experience the same spiritual agony our Savior did in Gethsemane, but doubt produces the pain of unbelief. Unbelief cuts away the intimacy with our Father and we are vulnerable to temptation.

What can we do when the same slithery creep appears in our thoughts? 

These 4 steps can help us conquer the serpent in the garden of our minds.

1. Think Good Thoughts – We can’t entertain doubtful thoughts and expect to walk in faith.

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. (Philippians 4:8 NKJV)

When a thought of doubt enters our minds, we need to immediately replace the thought with what God said. Writing down Scripture gives easy and quick access to answers.

2. Thank God for His promises – God doesn’t lie, and He keeps His promises. He has kept his promises since the beginning. Any failures have been on the refusal of humans to follow Him.

Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us. (Hebrews 6:17-18)

3. Take Time to Study the Word – Doubt creeps in when we are weak and hungry. When we are physically hungry, we are physically weak. The same is true in the soulish realm. When we have neglected our Bible study time, we are weak and vulnerable to temptation.

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:1-2)

4.  Trust God’s Truth  – Revive our hearts with the truth about God and we can be set free. Media and opinions that flow around us can sway our hearts if we don’t adhere to what God said as absolute truth.

And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:32)

No matter what season we are in, spiritual snakes will continue to harass us. Our ability to resist the forked tongue of unbelief depends upon our appetite for the correct food. Not the food of disobedience like Adam and Eve ate from the forbidden tree, but the food from the tree of life given only by Christ.

What are some of your favorite Scriptures to feed on when temptation to question God’s Word threatens your mind? 

 4 ways to conquer the serpent of doubt in the garden of our minds (click to tweet)

Friday, April 14, 2023

Embracing Changed Expectations - Guest blog by Annie Yorty


by Annie Yorty @annieyorty

This week we welcome guest blogger, Annie Yorty. Annie experienced some unexpected news when her daughter was born, but she shares how God has redeemed all her expectations in her new book. The link for the book is below along with her social media links. Please welcome Annie and check out this new book that can encourage you through any kind of difficulty. 

Here's Annie:

Thirty-three years ago, the arrival of a tiny infant demolished my carefully constructed expectations.

“It looks like your baby has Down syndrome.”

In one split second, that pronouncement from the doctor shook my world, yet the implications have taken years to sink in. In fact, I’m still realizing them today.

In the nine months before Alyssa was born, I studied the baby book named, appropriately, What to Expect When You’re Expecting. Guess what? My pregnancy more or less fell in line with what the author said to expect. I also garnered wisdom from more experienced moms. They recounted all the gory details of their birth experiences, including water breaking, hours of labor, episiotomies, epidurals, pushing, C-sections, husbands fainting, Apgar scores, and more.

All the dramas ended the same—a healthy, happy baby. No one I knew had ever received a diagnosis more serious than a couple days of jaundice.

I figured my birthing details may vary, but I expected the same result.

Though prospective parents don’t think much about it, they expect a great deal more than a happy and healthy baby. One day their child will walk and talk. They already envision the first day of school, sports, dance, or perhaps playing a musical instrument. Out in the future, of course, their child will graduate from high school, maybe study at college, and then begin a satisfying career. Naturally, marriage will follow. While the thought of grandchildren doesn’t float to the surface until much later, that seed of expectation also lies buried in the hearts of new parents.

In fact, most of these expectations are never considered, much less voiced, when the only evidence of your baby is a swelling stomach, morning sickness, and the occasional tiny toes prodding the kidneys. Nevertheless, they lie below the surface much like the bulk of an iceberg lies unseen beneath frigid ocean waters.

1Lessons from the Titanic

I hesitate to compare my child’s birth to the Titanic hitting an iceberg, but I find four valuable parallels. The comparison is actually more about my expectations crashing into reality than about Alyssa herself.

(Please note that Alyssa would be tickled with my comparisons as she was once obsessed with everything Titanic.)

2. The collision came without warning.

While it didn’t turn out so well for the occupants of the ocean liner, I happen to think little to no warning of changed expectations is a good thing. Why should we spend our emotional energy worrying about something that might not happen? Worry will surely steal the joy from the present moment.

We should, however, always acknowledge the Lord’s sovereign control of every aspect of our lives and hold our expectations loosely.

What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.” (James 4:15 NLT)

3. The crash dramatically changed the course of lives.

The Titanic catastrophe left no one unscathed. Some died. Some lost loved ones. All lived life colored by the trauma. We’ve all experienced a relatively mild intrusion of reality on our expectations, but sometimes the collision takes on epic proportions. Nothing in life remains the same. We suspect the very foundation on which to rebuild has been obliterated.

We cannot let our feelings about changed expectations control us. Our foundation should be eternal God, and we can always build on the bedrock of His unchanging character. (click to tweet)

I am the Lord, and I do not change. That is why you descendants of Jacob are not already destroyed. (Malachi 3:6 NLT)

(If you have not yet placed your faith in God through Jesus, please click Steps to Peace with God to learn more.)

There were casualties.

More than 1,500 people died on that fateful April day in 1912. Changed expectations also produce casualties. Sometimes a dream completely dies. Other times, a plan must be reconfigured.

Consider Job’s situation. In one fell swoop, he lost all his livestock, sheep, camels, farm hands, shepherds, and servants. Every one of his children also died on the same day. When he woke up that morning, he had been rich in property and blessed with many children. By sundown, all he had was a wife, and she didn’t seem to bring much consolation. We can learn from his response to significant loss.

He said, “I came naked from my mother’s womb, and I will be naked when I leave. The Lord gave me what I had, and the Lord has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord!” (Job 1:21 NLT)

4. There were survivors.

Miraculously, rescuers fished a third of the passengers and crew from the Titanic out of the ocean after the run-in with the iceberg. We, too, may unearth dreams that survived the pummeling of reality. Better yet, God always sprouts new and improved opportunities from the wreckage. If we raise our eyes and look around, we will perceive God inviting us to receive more and more of Him in every situation.

For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland. (Isaiah 43:19 NLT)

Redemption from the Rubble

The details of your story probably differ from mine, but God uses every surprise in our lives to conform us to His character and prepare us for life in eternity. Inevitably, our expectations get beat up in the process. Though I’ve been buffeted by radically changed expectations, I can attest to the goodness of God in the process. You can read more about how God used Alyssa for His glory in my newly released book, From Ignorance to Bliss: God’s Heart Revealed Through Down Syndrome.

God knows best which of your expectations need to be adjusted and which need to be replaced. In the process, I hope we never get tired of hearing and believing God’s promise to bring good out of difficulties.

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. (Romans 8:28 NLT)

How has God used a collision of your expectations and reality to increase your trust in Him?



Copyright ©2023 Annie Yorty


Annie Yorty writes and speaks to encourage others to perceive God’s person, presence, provision, and purpose in the unexpected twists and turns of life. In March, 2023, Elk Lake Publishing released her book, From Ignorance to Bliss, God’s Heart Revealed through Down Syndrome. Married to her high school sweetheart and living in Pennsylvania, she mothers a teen, two adult children (one with intellectual disabilities), and a furry beast labradoodle. Annie invites you to connect with her at http://annieyorty.com/, Facebook, and Instagram.



Friday, April 7, 2023

How does Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread Connect to Our Atonement as New Testament Believers?


by Barbara Latta @barbaralatta

The great God Jehovah performed miracles like no one had ever seen before to free His people from bondage in Egypt. Before the tenth plague swept through the land, God gave Moses the instructions for the Passover meal which was to be eaten the day before they were delivered from Egypt (Exodus 12). The Lord later gave Moses directions for feasts and festivals that would all point to the future Redeemer of mankind.

We may ignore these Old Testament rituals and think they have no purpose for us as Christians today. But we can see connections and similarities in God’s commandments to the Hebrews.

How does Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread connect to our atonement as New Testament believers?