TODAY’S INSPIRATION: FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS!

I remember when I would pray and then I would wait for God to answer my prayer. I would wait and wait and wait. And then I would pray again, thinking maybe God did not hear me the first time or I did not pray long or hard enough. God heard me the first time. In fact, before I opened my mouth, He knew what I was going to ask. The problem was I did not hear God. What I have realized is that when we make our request known to God or He just wants to bless us, we must listen for instructions. There. are. always. instructions.  

“But truly God has listened; he has attended to the voice of my prayer.” (Psalm 66:19)

“I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go; I will guide thee with mine eye.” (Psalm 32:8)

“Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers and blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord.” Proverbs 16:20

“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” (James 1)

In the beginning God gave Adam and Eve simple instructions. They were told that they could eat from any tree in the garden except the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Did they follow instructions? No. And now we suffer the consequences for their disobedience. Whenever we are disobedient to God’s instructions, there are consequences. Disobedience is caused by rebellion and distrust of God. When we obey God we are His light and others see us shine. This is the way we glorify our Father God.  

“And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” (Genesis 2:16-17)

“If you love me, keep my commands.” (John 14:15)

“Why do you keep on saying that I am your Lord, when you refuse to do what I say?” (Luke 6:46) CEV

The night of the Passover, specific instructions were given to the Israelites so they would be protected. The Bible does not say so, but it is possible there were some who did not follow instructions and perished along with the Egyptians. I say this because scripture shows us they were stubborn and rebellious. (Exodus 32:9) Which is why eleven days of travel turned into forty years. (Deuteronomy 1) Joshua and Caleb were the only adult Israelites in that first generation who went into the promised land. We can really mess things up not only for ourselves but for our family and generations to come when we do not follow God’s instructions. God delivered the Israelites out of Egypt and then they were hardheaded and disobedient. Jesus saved us from spiritual death and set us free. We are out of Egypt, but will we be obedient and follow the Lord in humble dependence for transformation, fruitfulness, and a life of spiritual victory? We walk in victory when we submit to God.

“Do not eat it raw or boiled in water, but roast it over the fire with its head, its legs, and its entrails. 12:10 You must leave nothing until morning, but you must burn with fire whatever remains of it until morning. 12:11 This is how you are to eat it – dressed to travel, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. You are to eat it in haste. It is the Lord’s Passover.” (Exodus 12:1-11)

“But now you are free from the power of sin and have become slaves of God. Now you do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life.” (Romans 6:22)

“so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience,” (Colossians 1:10-11)

“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you.” (James 4:7-8)

When we pray and ask God for something, we must listen for instructions. Then we must follow them. We may not understand them, but that is where faith comes in. All through the Bible, Old and New Testament, God has always given instructions. 2 Kings 4:1-7 tells us how God used Elisha, one of His prophets to help a poor widow. The woman’s husband died leaving her poor and with a debt she could not pay, and the creditors was threatening to take her two sons as slaves. God could have miraculously changed the heart of the creditors or given her an instant financial blessing. But instead, Elisha instructed her to use the only thing she had, which was a little olive oil. He told her to borrow empty jars from her friends and neighbors. Then go into the house and shut the door. He told her to pour the olive oil into her jars and set the jars aside. She did exactly as she was told until every jar she had borrowed was filled. And then and only then did the little olive oil stop flowing. Then Elisha instructed her to sell the olive oil to pay her debts and there was enough money left over to support her and her sons. No more lack because she followed instructions! And in 2 King 5 we hear about Naaman, who was a mighty warrior although he suffered from leprosy. Elisha, this same man of God tried to give Naaman instructions to follow so that he would be healed. Naaman became angry and left. He did not want to follow instructions; he wanted an instant miracle. After being convinced by his officers, he followed Elisha’s instructions and his flesh became as healthy as a young child. He could have been healed sooner if he had followed instructions! But I am not judging. A lot of us could have been healed sooner or received that breakthrough sooner if we had followed instructions. God uses people today to give us godly advice, knowledge, and wisdom, but even the best advice is worthless if we do not take it to heart. Jesus’s parting words to his disciples was to instruct the disciples on what they should do in His absence. “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” (Mark 28:19-20). These words are also intended for us. After Jesus had risen, He had a conversation with Peter. Jesus tells Peter to “Feed my sheep.” (John 21:17) These instructions are also intended for the ministers and ministries in today’s world.

Thank God for the Holy Spirit who provides us with wisdom, understanding, counsel, strength, courage, knowledge, comfort, and instruction. No matter what it may look like through our natural eyes, if God says do it, do it, If God says do not do it, do not do it. Do it exactly how and when He tells you, not how and when you feel it should happen! If we move ahead of God, it will not last, God will not bless us with things that we are not ready to experience. (that is how the devil works, and it does not last). If we move behind God, we may miss the opportunity or blessing. If we do not move at all, because of fear or lack of faith, we are stuck, then the enemy does a happy dance.  

“Walk in obedience to all that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess.” (Deuteronomy 5)

“These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” (John 14:25-26)

“And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him” (Hebrews 11:6)

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:” (John 10:27)

God expects us to be obedient and those around us will be inspired by our obedience. Obedience demonstrates our faith and trust in God. As we give our heart over to His leading, we will hear His voice more and more clearly. We must learn to listen for the prompting of God and respond with faith. And let us not forget about the instruction book on life called the Bible. As we study it and meditate on every word, we come to know God better and our desire to please Him grows. We will began to walk in the Spirit which leads to a lifestyle of obedience. Love and Blessings…

“Teach me, Lord, the way of your decrees, that I may follow it to the end. Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law and obey it with all my heart.” (Psalms 119)

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” (2 Timothy 3:16)  

“Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” (Galatians 5)

TODAY’S INSPIRATION: SPIRITUAL PARASITES…

Today I was reading an article about a missionary’s wife who had a massive parasite growing inside of her. (Emily Neuharth, 2022) The doctors said that this was the largest worm they had ever seen in real life and in textbooks. They informed the woman that due to its extremely large size, they could determine two things: it had been growing in her for at least a year and that it was not the only one. They gave her medication which was supposed to kill any that were likely multiplying in her intestines. OMG! Sounds awful doesn’t it?  

It got me thinking about the other parasites, the ones that can destroy our souls as well. This life is full of parasites that if you allow them too, they will suck the life out of you, literally. I am speaking of spiritual parasites. The ones that the enemy uses in spiritual warfare. These parasites can live on or in our families, coworkers, neighbors and yes even within us.

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”(Ephesians 6:12)

These types of parasites have names; jealousy, deceitfulness, liars, pride, lust, greed, immorality, and corruption. There are many others. The worst in my humble opinion is fear. Fear nurses itself in your thought life, feeding off your inner struggles and hang-ups. And then there is the past, which for some is hard to get rid of. It can be deadly because just like fear, it keeps you stuck, unable to move forward. These parasites are tools of the devil. The Bible tells the church not to be ignorant of the devil’s devices.

“Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil as a roaring lion walketh about seeking whom he may devour.” (I Peter 5:8)

“Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, you shall not eat of any tree in the garden?” (Genesis 3:1)

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7)

Everyone has had to deal with these parasites at one time or another. They have either attached themselves to you or someone you know. If you have not yet, thank God! But most likely you will. I say this because one of the devil’s parasites is people, you might even live with them. The devil will use people to cause doubt in our minds about who God is, whose we are, and what the Lord can do. He will use anybody that will make themselves available to be used by him. These people parasites will focus on who we were or what we did before we came to faith in Christ. They will try to make us doubt the promises of God! Sometimes it’s hard to rid ourselves of them because we love them. But If we let them, they will attach themselves in our life, and destroy us, they will destroy our family, our God given visions, and can also delay our blessings.  

“Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!” Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” (Matthew 16:22-23)

“Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve. And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus.” (Luke 22:3-4)

“As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” (Psalm 103:12)

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Jesus tells us in scripture that we will have troubles in this world. He himself was tempted by the devil. As Believers, our life is a fight, and it is not one against people but against the forces of darkness. The devil is vicious but also sneaky, he does not always attack us in ways that are obvious. He is discreet. His tactics are clever and cunning. The good news is we serve a God that is greater than the enemy and his parasites. This same God will give us the strength to reject, overpower, and defeat the enemy’s parasites. Yes, they may come for us, in our mind, in our homes, at the workplace, even in our relationships, but we can refuse to feed these parasites, and they will eventually die. Because the Light overpowers darkness, every negative parasite is choked to death and sent back to the pits of hell!

“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

“Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14)

“Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” (Luke 10:19)

“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7)

If you feel powerless and do not know where to begin to rid yourself of these parasites, begin by thanking God that He is all powerful and asking for His help. Everything good comes from the Lord. If it is not good, if it hurts you or others, it needs to go! Parasites can live in your thoughts, actions, and your words. They will disturb your peace and joy. They will redirect your focus. They will disrupt God’s plan for your life. I don’t know about you, but it gives me comfort to know that we have the power through the Holy Spirit, to stand up, release the grip of parasites and boldly walk into our God given destiny. God’s Word provides us with all the weapons we need to resist the devil’s parasites! Love and Blessings…

“You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)

“Do not rejoice over me, my enemy; when I fall, I will arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord will be a light to me.” (Micah 7:8)

“And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.” (Romans 16:20)

“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31)

TODAY’S INSPIRATION: GOD TRUMPS GOOGLE!

I love hot sauce. I have food with my hot sauce instead of hot sauce with my food. Don’t judge me. Once I Googled “is hot sauce good for you,” and I received a variety of results, some good, some bad. You can Google anything and you rarely get the same answers. And it’s not just Google, we can ask our friends and family for advice and get a different answer from each of them. Each person has their own point of view and their own perceptions about things. Even the “experts” sometimes disagree or change their viewpoints based on their opinions. As a matter of fact, what is good for you depends on who you ask. So many conflicting answers can be confusing. Google is informative but God knows everything.  

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,” (2 Timothy 3:16)

The truth of God being omniscient is revealed throughout its pages from Genesis to Revelation. And God’s Word is one-hundred percent good for us all the time. His Word does not change. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. He is a God who cannot lie. God knows exactly what and who is good for us. Sometimes we can get impatient waiting for an answer from God. But if we wait, He will give us exactly what we need, when we need it. He knows what we need before we ask, and He has seen fit to make provisions for us before we could even think to ask.

“God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?” (Numbers 23:19)

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)

“However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.” (John 16:13)

If you are seeking answers, look to Him who knows everything. The Word of God will protect you. It will give you wisdom and discernment. The Word will give you peace and comfort you in times of trouble. We need it to grow spiritually. God is so good to us. He left us with the Holy Spirit, who guides us and helps us to develop a relationship with our Savior. The Word clearly answers our questions on how to live righteous in a world full of choices. Unlike Google, we don’t have to be confused when we read it, we can pray and ask our Father to help us interpret it correctly and apply it sincerely in our lives. Love and Blessings…

TODAY’S INSPIRATION:HOLD ON…

TODAY’S INSPIRATION:HOLD ON

Sometimes it’s hard to hold on to God’s promises and not believe the lies of the enemy when he tells you that God has forsaken you. Your body is constantly telling you that you are in pain, your bank account shows you are low on funds, your friends and family seem to have deserted you. The world gets darker day by day. Yes, it can be hard if we focus on the enemies lies and what we see and feel. However, focusing on God’s truth is how we hold on.

“For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)

The truth is that Jesus suffered the cross, completely, and absolutely alone because He loves us. He endured this for our spiritual healing which leads to our physical healing as well. Sickness, disease, pain, and death are realities in this world because of sin. While Jesus is still a miracle worker and heals today, it is not always God’s will to heal us physically in the right now. The ultimate healing awaits those of us who know Christ when we join Him. Which is why we all need to be less preoccupied with our physical healing in this world and a lot more concerned with our spiritual condition. Revelation 21:4 describes the true healing we should all be longing for; “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” What we must remember when we approach God for healing is 1 John 5:14-15, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: 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 what we asked of Him. When we focus our hearts on Christ and the place He has prepared for us, we can hold on.

“But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities. Upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:5-6)

“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” (John 14:3)  

The enemy will have us worry about what we don’t have, no money, no friends, no spouse, no job, etc. God says be thankful for what we do have. He will satisfy our every need. He will never leave or forsake us. He is our Source, everything else is resources that He allows us to borrow here on this earth. He is the owner of all things, we are just the managers. The scriptures remind us of who God is, what He will do for us, and why we can trust Him. When we remember the promises of the God who cannot lie, we can hold on.

“Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Mathew 6:31-33)

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

“so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us.” (Hebrews 6:18)

No matter what our situation or circumstances, God promised He would never leave or forsake us. He is with us through the storms, the pain, the loneliness, every step of our journey. He said He would protect us and be our refuge in troubled times. He is our provider. He is our strength when we feel we can’t go on. He said His grace is sufficient to see us through. He promised to give us peace even in the worst of circumstances. No matter how out of control the world or our lives feel, God is always in control. He is the same God when we are in the valley that was with us on the mountaintop. The best promise of God is that we have the victory. Our God has already won the victory, the devil is defeated! When we remember this, we can hold on.  

“And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19) NLV

“Be strong and courageous, for you shall go with this people into the land that the LORD has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall put them in possession of it. It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” (Deuteronomy 31:6-8)

“Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7)

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:13)

Holding on to God’s promises can be hard when we allow our situations to take our eyes from God and place them on what is threatening to overwhelm us. This is when it is important that we hold on to God and remember His promises to see us through. When the Israelites reached the border of the promised land, God instructed Moses to, “Send out for yourself men to spy out the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites.” (Numbers 13) When the reports came back, it wasn’t what they wanted to hear, so the doubts crept in. We don’t want to be like the Israelites, who forgot the promises God had made. They forgot how God had saved them and kept them time and time again. They had faced battles and witnessed God’s promises manifest, they had seen the glory of God! But still when the Lord told them to go take possession of what He had given them, they looked at what they could see and how hard it would be instead of trusting the one who has sustained them every step of the way. Their focus changed and they begin to rely on their own understanding to guide them and forgot God’s promises. They forgot all the times they survived because God provided for them over and over again. Which is why a whole generation never got to see the promised land. Only two faithful, promise believing men, Caleb and Joshua got to enter into the promised land.

“Because they have not followed me wholeheartedly, not one of those who were twenty years old or more when they came up out of Egypt will see the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, not one except Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite and Joshua son of Nun, for they followed the LORD wholeheartedly.” (Numbers 32:11-12)

At times we can be like the Israelites, when things get rough, God’s promises go out the window. The “what ifs” and “I can’t” creep in and takes our focus from what is promised and crumbles our faith. We must look back at all the times that God came through for us and then recenter our focus on Him and His promises. It doesn’t matter what people think. Don’t worry about what the doctor’s report says. Don’t focus on how hard the journey is because God already promised to go before us. We cannot trust our own eyes to guide us. We must chose to put our trust in God and in God’s promises in spite of what it feels or looks like. That is how we hold on. Love and Blessings…

“Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth. I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. he one who is victorious I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will they leave it. I will write on them the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on them my new name.” (Revelation 3:10-12)

TODAY’S INSPIRATION: WARRIOR WOMAN

Sometimes I don’t even recognize myself. I have changed so much and as God continues to do a work within me, I can’t help but be amazed. Each day I continue to grow into the person He destined me to be. It is nothing I am doing, it is what I am allowing God to do. I have this peaceful calmness even when the enemy tries to attack me or my loved ones. I am learning to not rely on what I feel or what this world believes to be true, but to believe God’s Word which is the only truth. My loyalty now belongs to God, not to man. I am learning to keep moving in spite of the devil’s lies and destruction. I am learning to claim my victory that our Lord God has given me. I am stronger than I have ever been in spite of life’s trials and tribulations. I know this new-found strength comes from my Savior, Jesus. I know He is alive and that His Blood covers me. I know who I am because I know whose I am. And because of Him I can say I am a warrior!

“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)

“being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6)

We are not born warriors, we are made. We are not self-made, we are shaped and molded by the Master Himself. We become warriors through trial and error, pain and suffering, and through tears and heartache. Sometimes we are shattered into a thousand pieces. But God! He will put those pieces back together to make us new, even stronger than before. When we can bend but not break, we become warriors. When we can still stand up after being knocked down again and again, we become warriors. We may not be rich or famous, we may not look like beauty queens or models, but a warrior is so much more than that. We are women of God! We have substance. We are survivors. Each day we grow spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. We are purpose driven. Women warriors possess a determined spirit, and a can-do attitude that drives their actions towards their goals. When faced with limitations, disappointment or opposition, warriors are more determined to make it happen knowing that when God gives us a vision, He will provide the provision. A warrior’s prayer can move mountains! We know that when the force of our faith is aligned with the will of God, we can say to the mountain, “move” and it will move! We move forward with our head high and with a strength that the Lord provides.

“For the LORD, your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.” (Deuteronomy 20:4)

“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” (Ephesians 2:10)

“Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:20-21)

A warrior knows God is her strength and the armor of God is her weapon. She is unstoppable, not because she doesn’t have failures, fears and doubts, but because she keeps moving in spite of them. She stands up for herself and she stands up for others. She refuses to be disrespected, mistreated or taken for granted. She is bold in the authority God has given her. A warrior knows what she brings to the table, so she is not afraid to eat alone! (come correct or not at all). Although strong, a warrior feels deeply and loves fiercely. She cries as quickly as she laughs. She is both soft and powerful, she is practical and spiritual. She is all these things because she listens to the voice of the Holy Spirit. She is the daughter of the Most High. She knows she is a winner because God does not birth failures! She is confident in her power because she is confident in God’s faithfulness.

“You did not choose Me, but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.” (John 15:16)

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7)

A warrior understands her purpose and what God has called her to do. She is committed to God and to being obedient to His Word. I am a warrior! There is a warrior inside the heart of every woman; and with the help of God, she can be set free! Love and Blessings…

TODAY’S INSPIRATION: IT’S CRAZY UNTIL IT’S NOT!

I have done some things in life that not only did other people think I was crazy, but I also thought I was crazy too. For the most part, the results proved that I may have been a little crazy at the time. Lol. Now that I have a relationship with Christ and I allow the Holy Spirit to lead me, I still sometimes do what other people think is crazy. And because I don’t always understand, I may think I’m crazy as well. But I do it anyway. The difference between now and then is God doesn’t call it crazy, He calls it obedience.  

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)

“And Samuel said, “Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.” (1 Samuel 15:22)

“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7)

If God tells you to do something and it seem crazy to you and everyone else, do it anyway! I’m sure they thought Noah was crazy, the people didn’t see a need for an ark. It had never rained.(Genesis 2:5), (Genesis 6:13-14) He must have looked crazy every day he worked on it and there was no rain, until there was rain. And Abraham, who was no spring chicken, must have looked right foolish leaving his family and home to travel to a land he knew little or nothing about. (Genesis 12) Some of the most successful people in today’s society were laughed at and called crazy when they stepped out on faith and left their comfort zones to follow their God given visions and dreams. The world calls you crazy until they see evidence that you are not. God calls it obedience. It is walking by faith and not by sight!

Listen, what the world calls crazy in one season, will be deemed faith in another. The world, who is driven by what they can see, is also fickle. They will quickly go from you being crazy to that took guts and a lot of faith. Quit your job and follow God’s plan for you to open a business with no money, you are crazy they say. Then your business is successful, you are smart and blessed they say. Crazy to the world changes depending on what it look like that season. But the Word doesn’t change. The Word says, “That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:5) Crazy faith? Most definitely! Love and Blessings…

“And the LORD will make you the head and not the tail, and you shall only go up and not down, if you obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you today, being careful to do them,” (Deuteronomy 28:13)

TODAY’S INSPIRATION: THE WAITING ROOM…

THE WAITING ROOM

I would like to share with you an article written by my sister friend who is a licensed therapist and most importantly a woman of God. It is called “The Waiting Room” The fact is we are all waiting on something or someone.  

      The Therapist’s Thoughts

Sharing Mind Mints to Refresh the Heart

                                                                   Joni Hursey-Wingate, L.P.C.

  The Waiting Room

When was a time you were consistently waiting? Perhaps you are in a state of waiting now. How’s your tolerance when something or someone you desire/need isn’t available? Do you resort to dismay, disobedience or disbelief? Some aspects of waiting can be compared to wanting to make a purchase. The store won’t sell the display and there’s no date for the next shipment. Of course, what we long for may not be tangible. Waiting can be daunting; yet God’s timing isn’t ours. We are to trust in the Lord as we wait. If you can relate to the agony of not experiencing immediate gratification, then welcome to the waiting room. 

The Lord refines our faith when we aren’t resistant to waiting. (Romans 8:25). The waiting room consists of those who doubt, believe, or may be virtually numb due to their perceptions of success and failure. One may encounter many emotions when attempting to embrace the promises of God, while struggling to eradicate the devil’s ploys. Satan’s strategy is to disrupt the discipline achieved when persistently waiting. Let’s consider behaviors that may surface in the waiting room. The ball and chain characteristics of dismay are typical. A “pity party” demeanor is usually evident. Feeling helpless and hopeless are precursors to depression. Becoming so consumed in the drudgery of yearning for what we don’t have; we carelessly disregard what we’ve already obtained. While waiting, reflect on the blessings received to signify what’s forthcoming. This intervention can abate feeling overwhelmed. All the promises of God in Him are yea, and in Him Amen, (2 Corinthians 1:20). Individuals with a sense of entitlement, thinking there should be no delay, display agitation and impatience in the waiting room. Are you familiar with the hasty horn blowers, the pushers in crowds, and those destined to reduce the waiting process at any cost? This conduct may lead to sin and disobedience. The sense of panic and impulsivity can be detrimental, especially if it surrounds money, power or relationships. Our sense of urgency doesn’t modify God’s timetable. The enemy tricks this type into construing how they deserve it now. Tantrums, manipulation, or bargaining won’t lessen the wait. Realize God is sovereign, and therefore in total control. Engage in calming strategies and constructive interests to develop endurance during the waiting room period. The waiting room is also comprised of those who feel they have waited for so long and haven’t received; they become anesthetized. Many deny they still want it. It’s a defense mechanism to compensate for possible embarrassment and disappointment. They tell themselves and others, they are no longer interested and lose focus. An antidote for this approach is to acknowledge and identify what’s being experienced, while enthusiastically preparing for the awaited prize. Successful survivors of the waiting room are able to dismiss the microwave concept and savor the premise of a slow cooker. When GOD gives His children a promise; they can be assured He will deliver; it’s just a matter of when. Welcome again to the waiting room.

The waiting room is also comprised of those who feel they have waited for so long and haven’t received; they become anesthetized. Many deny they still want it. It’s a defense mechanism to compensate for possible embarrassment and disappointment. They tell themselves and others, they are no longer interested and lose focus. An antidote for this approach is to acknowledge and identify what’s being experienced, while enthusiastically preparing for the awaited prize. Successful survivors of the waiting room are able to dismiss the microwave concept and savor the premise of a slow cooker. When GOD gives His children a promise; they can be assured He will deliver; it’s just a matter of when. Welcome again to the waiting room. Whether you are sitting, standing or pacing, waiting seems inevitable. Pray and fast while in the waiting room to alleviate stress, (Philippians 4:6). Understand there’s an underlying purpose when we don’t immediately attain what we want; or feel we need. Recall when Jesus was asked to heal Lazarus? He tarried 2 days before pursuing, (St. John; 11:15). The delay enhanced the magnification of the miracle. Hebrews, 11, verses 39 and 40 depicts the devotion to wait on God when the promise wasn’t received, as the reward that is granted is even greater. Our relationship with the Lord is to be so intense; it exceeds the quest for earthly requests and treasures. Our legacy is established by depending on God and the love we shared and lived.

Whether you are sitting, standing or pacing, waiting seems inevitable. Pray and fast while in the waiting room to alleviate stress, (Philippians 4:6). Understand there’s an underlying purpose when we don’t immediately attain what we want; or feel we need. Recall when Jesus was asked to heal Lazarus? He tarried 2 days before pursuing, (St. John; 11:15). The delay enhanced the magnification of the miracle. Hebrews, 11, verses 39 and 40 depicts the devotion to wait on God when the promise wasn’t received, as the reward that is granted is even greater. Our relationship with the Lord is to be so intense; it exceeds the quest for earthly requests and treasures. Our legacy is established by depending on God and the love we shared and lived.

Beloved, always endeavor to be confident, not complacent, diligent, not despondent, anticipant not anxious. Hallelujah! Oh my, Praise GOD!!! Can you believe it? You finally made it and are now being divinely directed to exit the waiting room!

Brothers and Sisters, I pray that this blessed your soul as it did mine. I pray that in the mist of waiting, you are strong and do not faint, because as my sister said, we will exit the waiting room! Love and Blessings…

“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” (Psalm 27:14)

TODAY’S INSPIRATION: NEW BEGINNINGS…

The month of July was fast and furious for me. However even though God did not stop the storms raging around me, He kept calming the storms raging inside of me. And this is how I made it through. It is how I will continue to persevere. I know I am not the only one who kept their focus on God regardless of what was going around them. As Paster Thomas said on Sunday, “Sometimes God calms the storms on the inside of us before He calms the storms on the outside.” I believe this to be true. Don’t focus on the adversaries, focus on God’s possibilities. And watch Him work! Rely on God, not your own strength.

“And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7)

If you are reading this, you made it through all that has been going on in your life and the pressures of this fallen world. To God be the glory! We never would have made it without His protection and mercy, which is new every morning. He is faithful!

“Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways.” (Proverbs 4:25-26)

“Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.” (Lamentations 3:23)

The past couple years God has been calling us to let go of “former things” so we can cling to our new identity in Christ. We must stop trying to do what the world calls “normal” and allow God to lead us into something much greater. August is the eighth month of the year. The number eight is significant such that it is used seventy-three times in the Bible. It is the symbol of Resurrection and Regeneration. I’m believing this eighth month God is going to do some great things in the life’s of those who love Him. August and the next four months of this year is going to be the best months of this year! I’m expecting God to show up and show out for His people! Get ready for God to do a new thing this month with new beginnings and an overflow of blessings! Love and blessings.  

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wastelines.” (Isaiah 43:18-19)

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

TODAY’S INSPIRATION: THE UMBRELLA…

Umbrellas are made to protect us from getting wet when it is raining. Rain can come down as a drizzle or it can come fast and hard. And just when you think it can’t get any worse, here comes the wind, thunder, and lightning! Sometimes we get a warning but there are times that we are caught off guard. Yep, we are in trouble if we are caught out there without an umbrella. When it is a really bad storm any kind of umbrella just will not do. We need a large, strong umbrella, one that the wind cannot destroy or blow away. One that can withstand the pressures of the weather. I am talking rain, but this also pertains to life.

When life trials and tribulations threaten to take us down, God is our umbrella, our protection. When we move from under God’s umbrella, we are in trouble. I have been caught in a rainstorm while driving. It was difficult to see in front of me because of the rain. There was nowhere to pull over, and I could not just sit in the middle of the road. So, I slowly kept moving and crying. Do not judge me. I was scared! Sounds a lot like life, doesn’t it? Life can be scary. I have also been caught in the storms of life and did not know what to do. But God! He knows what to do and He is our protection. The troubles of life can come unexpected, fast, and hard just like a rainstorm. My mom used to say, “when it rains it pours.” She was talking about life. When we are facing the challenges of life, we need the protection of God, who is never caught off guard and who is greater than anything we may be going through. When we are under God’s umbrella, the troubles may still come, we may feel frustrated and overwhelmed, but God will not allow a weapon formed against us to prosper. There is no one or anything that can penetrate the protection of God when we are surrounded by His love, grace, and mercy. Umbrellas may get old over time; they may wear out under the pressure. But God’s umbrella never wears out, we are protected and safe, no matter how hard life may get.

“But this command I gave them: ‘Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be my people. And walk in all the way that I command you, that it may be well with you.” (Jeremiah 7:23)

“No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.” (Isaiah 54:17)

Why would anyone move from underneath the safety of God’s umbrella? Most times it is because we are not willing to surrender to God’s will. We choose not to be obedient, patient, or to wait on God. We want to feel in control. We want what we want and we want it now! Why do we have to wait? We have rights! We believe being obedient to God’s Word is not an option, especially when we have the enemy in our ear, telling us that we can do what we want when we want. Remember Eve? Big mistake to listen to the father of lies! We must surrender our life to God with faith and He will protect us.  

“You will not surely die,” the serpent told her.” (Genesis 3:4)

“For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (Johns 8:44)

“And Samuel said, “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.” (1 Samuel 15:22)

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

God wants us to be obedient. His desire is for us to obey Him even when we do not understand. Even if we may not feel like it. Obeying God is an essential step in receiving God’s greatest blessings and being under His umbrella of protection. When God tells us to do something, then we need to obey. Faith and obedience go hand in hand. If we are obedient to God, when we get caught in the storms of life, we will be protected. The prayer of protection in Psalm 91 reminds us that if we dwell in the secret place of the Most High, abide under the shadow of the Almighty, and take the Lord as our refuge and fortress, we are covered under His wings and protected by an angelic army. We will have a sense of peace and joy even during the storms. That is what happens when we are under God’s umbrella, we experience His goodness and His protection! Love and Blessings…

“Praise the Lord! Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in his commandments!” (Psalms 112:1)

TODAYS INSPIRATION: LET ME PRAY ON IT…

Whenever I ask my son about something or to do something, he will say let me pray on it. He was doing that long before I was, and I am happy to say now I too take everything to God in prayer. Prayer is my oxygen. It is how I get through each day. Someone said to me that they did not know how to pray. I responded by saying prayer is simply a conversation with our heavenly Father. Because that is how it is for me. In Matthew 6:5-8, Jesus tells us exactly how we should pray. Jesus was a man of prayer. The goal of the Christian life is to become more like Christ, who always took time to pray. Prayer should be our first reaction to any situation life throws our way. We should strive to make prayer a necessary part of our lives, like breathing. God, our loving Heavenly Father, wants us to communicate with Him through prayer. He always listens to us when we pray. Daily prayer can bless you, your family, and those you pray for. It can also invite more peace into your life, help you learn more about God’s plan for you, and much more. Prayer is our instant connection with the Almighty, Powerful God!

“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)

“Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:12

Now I know most of us learned early to say our prayers at night and before meals. Some even say a thank you God for waking me up in the mornings. However, if we only pray at these set times of the day, we are missing the part of scripture which says pray continually and without ceasing. What about the in-between? While driving to school, to work, before a meeting. What about before you make a decision big or small, or before you let that person snatch you out of character. And even if you allow them to, repent and pray afterwards. My point is God is always listening and ready to commune with us. No subject is off limits. No request is too big or small. God is always available and willing to not only listen but to help us in times of trouble. It is our choice to make the time to go to Him in prayer, and not just when we are in a place of despair or trouble, but at all times.

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (Thessalonians 5:16-18)

“Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.” (Colossians 4:2)

“And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.” (Matthew 21:21)

It is important to take time during our busy schedules to pray. When we talk with God, it gives us peace, joy, and hope. It may be just a short thank you Jesus, or just a moan. It is so awesome that God hears our prayers before we utter them. And even when we don’t know what to say, Jesus is there speaking for us. Prayer should be a part of our daily life. We can pray any time, any place, any day. We should pray in times of trouble and in times of peace. We should pray in the seasons of distress and during the days of joy. In every daily circumstance, even before making a purchase or meeting a friend, in all the mundane and in all the massive issues of life, let us always take a moment to pray. Love and Blessing…

“Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.” (John 16:24)

“Likewise, the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” (Romans 8:26-27)

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)