I am a living witness that often God calls us to follow in paths we would not have chosen for ourselves, especially when it takes us out of our comfort zone. It is not easy going from familiar to unfamiliar. Walking into unknown territory is scary. However, when it is God that is leading us, we can rest assured He has given us everything we need inside of us to make the journey. God does the planning; we do the preparing. Without change there is no growth. The truth is we cannot fulfill our calling in our comfort zone. Be ready for the next level that God takes you to. He will clear the pathfor you, removing obstacles and placing divine connections to help you along the way. If we keep our focus on Christ, we will be victorious. He is with us every step of the way!
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 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 29:11-13) NIV
“And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.” (Isaiah 42:16) KJV
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9) NIV
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6) NIV
You may ask why is it scary when God is with us? Why are there so many problems when we are being led by God? The answer is the enemy also knows we are being led by God. He knows that God’s plan is for us to prosper and grow spiritually in Christ. God’s plan is to give us hope and everlasting life. The enemy is intent on stopping all God has for us by any means necessary! Scripture tells us how satan tried to tempt Jesus so he could destroy God’s plan for us to be delivered from sin and death. Christ does not have a sin nature as we do. Christ’s temptation was an outward exposure to satan’s ploys. (Mathew 4:1-11) This is nothing new, he started with Adam and Eve. (Genesis 3:1-5). Scripture also tells us how Jesus himself suffered and died for us. We are called and given the privilege to suffer for His name sake. In 2 Timothy 3:13, Paul tells Timothy that everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will sufferpersecution. Jesus also said that those who follow Him will be persecuted for his name sake. (Matthew 10:2) He said in this world we will have trials and tribulations. The good news is no matter how hard he tries, the enemy cannot win. Weapons will form, but they will not prosper!
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10) ESV
“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 16:33) NIV
“No weapon formed against you shall prosper, And every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, And their righteousness is from Me,” Says the LORD.” (Isaiah 54:17) NKJV
Isaiah 54:17 should reassure us that we can leave our comfort zone knowing that God has our back. When we receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior, His sacrifice at the cross gives us the victory over any circumstance or situation the enemy may throw at us. Yes, it can be scary leaving our comfort zone but if we keep our focus on Christ we will be victorious. We must walk by faith and not by sight. God will do the rest. We can look forward to a future full 0f His promises, blessings, and protection. When God is with us we can be comfortable in every zone! Love and Blessings…
“Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever” (Psalm 23:6)
Sometimes when you believe in something and there is no evidence, people will call you crazy. You may even think you are crazy. However, as soon as that thing you were believing in manifests, you are no longer considered crazy. I like to call it crazy faith. Each time I experience crazy faith, my faith grows even deeper. In 2016 for seven months, I could barely walk, and I was told that I could lose the ability to walk at all. In spite of the diagnosis and what it looked like, I refused to believe it. I chose to believe the report of the Lord who says by His stripes I am healed. Today I am walking, and on a good day you might even see me jogging. And then I am reminded of the time I did not have a penny to my name and God gave me the exact amount I needed to get my car fixed. I kid you not, the exact amount! And how about the time I wanted to move my business to a home I did not have. I told my clients the name of the street I would be moving to as if it was so. Yes, God gave me a house on that street! Now that is crazy faith! I have many more testimonies where I did nothing but hand it over to God and believe He would handle it, and He did.
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1) KJV
“And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.” (Mathew 21:22)
There are many people in the Bible who had crazy faith. I am sure they thought Noah was crazy, the people didn’t see a need for an ark. He must have looked crazy every day he worked on it and there was no rain in sight, 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. But because he had faith, he chose to obey God. And even though it took some time, God, as He always does, kept His promises to Abraham.
“And God said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make yourself an ark of gopher wood. Make rooms in the ark and cover it inside and out with pitch.” (Genesis 6:13-14) ESV
“They were eating, drinking, and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.” (Luke 17:27)
“Now the LORD had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Genesis 12:1-3)
We are familiar with the story of the twelve spies who Moses sent to the land of Canaan. God told Moses He had given this land to the Israelites. He instructed Moses to send one leader from each of the twelve tribes of Israel to explore the land. After forty days, the spies returned with their reports. The thing is their were two different reports. Two spies are fully convinced that they are able to go into the promised land, overcome the people there and possess it. The other ten spies are scared to death. They are convinced that they are no match for the people living in the land of Canaan. Now they all saw the same things in the promised land. So why were there two totally different reports? I believe that two of those spies had crazy faith. They believed what God had promised them in spite of what it looked like. But because the people chose to believe the other ten spies, the children of Israel went around and round in the desert for forty years. It is easier for people to believe what they see, but the blessings and victory comes when we walk by faith and not by sight.
“The LORD said to Moses, “Send some men to explore the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites. Send one leader from each tribe. So, at the LORD’s command Moses sent them out from the Desert of Paran. All of them were leaders of the Israelites.” (Numbers 13:1-3)
“And they returned and came to Moses and to Aaron and to all the assembly of the children of Israel, to the Wilderness of Paran, to Kadesh, and brought back word to them and to the entire assembly and showed them the fruit of the land. They reported to him and said, “We came to the land where you sent us, and surely it flows with milk and honey, and this is the fruit of it. However, the people are strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are fortified and very great, and also we saw the children of Anak there. The Amalekites dwell in the land of the Negev, and the Hittites, and the Jebusites, and the Amorites dwell in the mountains, and the Canaanites dwell by the sea and by the edge of the Jordan.” Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “Let us go up at once and possess it, for we are able to overcome it.” But the men that went up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people because they are stronger than us. They gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, “The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature. And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come from the giants, and in our eyes we were like grasshoppers, and so we were in their eyes.” (Numbers 13:26-33)
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 it crazy. But listen, what the world calls crazy in one season, will be considered faith in another. Crazy to the world changes depending on what it looks like. But the Word doesn’t change, and the Word says, “your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:5) The Word of God is powerful! When we stand on His Word, walk by His Word, live by His Word and speak His Word, things change in both the physical and spiritual realms. I have learned when you pray about something, you must give it completely to God, trusting Him to handle it and believe that it will work out for your good. It doesn’t matter what it looks like, how long it’s taking, or who says you are crazy for believing something that they can’t see. You may not even see it, but that is what faith is, believing what you can’t see. Crazy faith will never fail you! Love and Blessings…
“for we walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7)
“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6)
A while back I read something online that touched me deeply. I typed it and I keep a copy on my desk because it is a reminder of how fragile life is and why we should make every day, no, every second count. Jesus suffered and gave His life so that we could live, and not just live but have eternal life. That itself is profound. I know we don’t like to think about it but life here on this earth is a temporary gift that should not be taken for granted. Sometimes we get so busy doing life, we don’t appreciate it or those we share it with, at least not until they are no longer with us. Which is why I am sharing this reminder to “Make the Chili.” I don’t remember where I read it or who the writer is, but I am thankful for the reminder. Love and Blessings…
“A good friend of mine unexpectedly lost his wife. “A couple months later we were golfing together, chatting about nothing.” He asked what my dinner plans were, and I told him wifey wanted my homemade chili and cornbread, but I didn’t feel like stopping at the store. We golfed for a few more minutes when he quietly said, “Make the chili.” It took me a few minutes to realize we were no longer talking about dinner. It was about going out of your way to do something for someone you love because at any moment, they could unexpectedly be taken from you. So today I’m sharing with you that wisdom handed to me by my dear friend, that I’ve thought of many times since that day. Next time someone you love wants you to go for a walk or watch a football game or play a board game or just put your phone down and give them your undivided attention, just do it. “Make the chili”
“Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” (James 4:13-15) NIV
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) NIV
“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” (Romans 12:10) NIV
Bitterness can be a physical sense of taste, it is the opposite of sweetness. Bitterness can also be a state of mind. It is usually connected with emotions such as disappointment, hurt, resentment, anger, misery, and discontentment. People who are bitter have a tendency to take offense quickly, and they are quick to anger. The Word tells us to “get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.” The world uses the saying “hurt people hurt people.” This is also true. Scripture tells us in 2 Timothy (3:1-6) that as the return of the Lord approaches, the evil will follow the desires of their hearts and will also attempt to lead others astray.
“Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:” (Ephesians 4:31) KJV
“For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall.” (Proverbs 4:16) KJV
“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.” (2 Timothy 3:1-6) NIV
We all at some point in our life have been hurt by the words or actions of another. The hurt or disappointment is even deeper when it comes from a loved one or friend. It may have been a traumatic experience, such as physical or emotional abuse. Whatever the reason, along with other emotions, it can lead to feelings of anger and bitterness. It is difficult for bitter people to let go of past hurts and disappointments. They tend to carry it into their relationships, on jobs, and within their family. The first human murder is described in Genesis 4; the story of Cain and Abel. It shows us what built up bitterness can do. Cain was consumed by bitterness and anger, because he felt he was wronged by his brother Abel and God. He turns against God and kills Abel. God being who He is, gave Cain a second chance for repentance. But Cain was so deep in bitterness and self-pity, instead of repenting, he complained his punishment was harsher than he deserved. It is crucial that we don’t let bitterness get so rooted within us that we can’t accept an apology or if no apology at least move forward in life. The point I am trying to make is that bitterness leads to anger which distances us from God and moves us closer to destruction.
“And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry,” (Ephesians 4:26)
“Cain told Abel his brother. And it came about when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him. Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” And he said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Genesis 4:8-9)
“For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin.” (Acts 8:23)
“See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many become defiled;” (Hebrews 12:15) NLT
I do not claim to be a psychiatrist, but I do know from my own experience that healing starts with forgiveness. Forgiveness can be a challenge, especially if the person who has hurt you doesn’t admit that they were wrong. But forgiveness is not about them as much as it is about you and your well-being. As someone said unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting it to kill the other person! Forgiveness is not easy! As humans we go into self-protection mode when we have been wronged or hurt. We don’t easily overflow with mercy, grace, and understanding. However, as Christians who are obedient to Christ and His command, we make an intentional choice to forgive. We forgive not according to how we feel, but by faith. Once we do that, the Lord will do the work in our hearts. Sometimes it takes time, but God always finishes what He starts. God’s choice to forgive all sins of all people reveals who He is. Our choice to forgive reveals the Christ in us.
When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins,” (Colossians 2:13) NIV
“Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.” (Romans 12:17-19)
“For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins” (Matthew 6:14,15).
No one can have peace and happiness while living with bitterness and resentment. It affects you physically, mentally, and spiritually. Your relationships will suffer. Unforgiving spirits breeds bitterness. The key to fighting bitterness is forgiveness. The key to forgiveness is Jesus! Love and Blessings…
“When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly” (1 Peter 2:23).
“For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” (Hebrews 10:30)
“If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.” (Romans 12:13)
Sometimes God calls us to action. Then sometimes He calls us to do nothing but be still and let God be God. Has anyone besides me ever felt overwhelmed and didn’t know what to do? It seemed as if the enemy was coming from all sides. And to make matters worse you felt helpless and inadequate because all you could do is just stand there. I’m here to tell you that sometimes just standing is the best position in order for God to move. Ask me how I know. When we are helpless and depend on God and only God, He will fight our battles. As my Pastor said this morning, “we are on a battlefield, not a playground.” We are consistently in warfare, and we cannot win the battle ourselves. We. need. the. Lord.
“Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” (Psalm 46:10)
“Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)
“But you will not even need to fight. Take your positions; then stand still and watch the LORD’s victory. He is with you, O people of Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid or discouraged. Go out against them tomorrow, for the LORD is with you!” (2 Chronicles 20:17)
When King Jehoshaphat and the small tribe of Judah were besieged on all fronts by three powerful and bloodthirsty armies rapidly advancing toward Jerusalem the king set himself to seek the Lord and pray with hope before all the assembly of Judah. It was then that the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel, who spoke the words of the Lord.
“Listen, all you of Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you, King Jehoshaphat! Thus says the Lord to you: ‘Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s. You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem!’ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the Lord is with you.” (2 Chronicles 20:15,17)
“You shall not fear them, for it is the LORD your God who fights for you.” (Deuteronomy 3:22)
When hearing these words of hope, all Judah humbled themselves before the Lord, bowing before Him and worshiping Him. Standing still is not inactivity or doing nothing. It’s a posture of hope, and it involves keeping your hope secured on the person of Jesus and having a sure and confident expectation of good. While you are standing, pray. While you are standing, fast. While you are standing study the Word and focus on His promises. When the Pharaohs army were charging toward the children of Israel, ready to destroy them, Moses simply stood and declared to the terrified Israelites;
“And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you today: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more forever.” (Exodus 14:13)
When you are caught in what seems like a hopeless situation, learn to position yourself and stand. Be still. Allow Jesus to work on your behalf. When we center ourselves, our thoughts, our beliefs, and our hopes on Him, He will lead us concerning what to do. The Lord wants us to trust Him, to be obedient, to let Him fight our battle for us.
“through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.” (Romans 5:2)
“Therefore, I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” (Mark 11:24)
We do not have to live in fear and discouragement when we know that the battle is not ours, but the Lords. We can stand still and see the salvation of the Lord! Love and Blessings…
“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Corinthians 15:57)
God has promised me some things. Some have come to pass, and some I am faithfully waiting on. I will be the first to say that waiting is not easy. But even at my worst impatient times, I have never doubted the promises of God. God does not do time or age. He also is a God that cannot lie. When God shows up it is well worth the wait. I have come to realize that God’s timing is perfect. He is a promise keeper! I’m sure there are some things God has promised you which are just for you. If He has shown you a vision or promised you something that is specifically for you, I want to encourage you to not let anyone or anything, tell you any different. Especially the devil who is the father of lies!
“The Lord always keeps his promises; he is gracious in all he does” (Psalm 145:13)
“But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” (2 Peter 3:8)
“Wait on the LORD: Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: Wait, I say, on the LORD” (Psalm 27:14)
“You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44)
God has always been faithful in fulfilling His promises. (Genesis 12:1-3) In the Old Testament God gives us a preview of the messiah. (Genesis 49:1, Isaiah 7:14)) In the New Testament, all the promises are fulfilled in Jesus of Nazareth. God highly exalted Jesus and gave him “the name which is above every name” (Philippians 2:9-11) Scriptures show us where God has proved Himself over and over again to be true to His Word.
“For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call. (Acts 2:39)
“Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will bring justice to the nations, He will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth.” (Isaiah 42:1,4)
“He knows, and He is a great High Priest who can empathize with us. He is also the King who can do something about it. But He exercises His power in a different way than the worldly system. He will “rule with an iron scepter and dash them to pieces like pottery,” but only after extending His patience for He is “not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).
The promises of Jesus are meant for everybody. He is the truth and the way. Jesus has made promises to all those who accept Him as their Lord and Savior. We are promised forgiveness of sins. (1 John 1:9) Those who show confidence in Christ are assured of answers to prayers when we pray in accordance with His will. (1 John 5:14) Jesus promised to never leave or forsake us. (Deuteronomy 31:6) He promised to take care of all our needs. (Philippians 4:19) He said He is our help in times of troubles. (Psalm 9:9-1) He also promised to work everything out for our good. (Romans 8:28) I could go on and on because there are numerous promises made from God to man in the Bible. Author Herbert Locklear, (All the Promises of the Bible) states there are 7,147 promises from God to man in the bible. I don’t claim to know how many promises there are in the Bible, I do know that all of God’s promises are Yes and Amen!
“Praise be to the Lord, not one word has failed of all the good promises he gave through his servant Moses” (1 Kings 8:56)
“And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.” (Luke 2:10)
“Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38)
“For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.” (2 Corinthians 1:20)
The greatest promise to believers in Christ is the promise of Salvation. If we allow God to work in our lives, trusting and depending on Him, we can stand on His promises.
“That whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:15)
“And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.” (Ephesians 1:13-14)
“Blessed be the LORD, that hath given rest unto his people Israel, according to all that he promised: there hath not failed one word of all his good promise, which he promised by the hand of Moses his servant.” (1 Kings 8:56)
Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection are part of God’s divine plan to rescue us and to give us the greatest promise of all, eternal life. The Good News is that everyone can share in the promises of God through Jesus Christ. Love and Blessings…
I laughed until I cried many times, literally. Those were good tears. We cry for a variety of reasons. Your emotions can cause you to cry when you’re sad, angry or happy. Men are often told as little boys that “boys don’t cry”. That stigma follows them into manhood which can lead to an unhealthy emotional life. But that’s another story for another day. Sadly, in today’s society women are also discouraged from crying. You are a “Boss” and Bosses are strong, confident, they walk that walk and talk that talk, never letting anyone see them sweat. (or cry) Ladies you can cry if you want to!
“Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.” (Luke 6:21)
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18)
God created us, emotions and all. The difficulties of life can trigger a wide range of emotions, but God has equipped us to handle them through Him. I believe crying is one of the tools He equipped us with. We need tears to help us not only physically and emotionally, but spiritually as well. The scripture shows us three times that Jesus wept. It is ok for us to weep, but we don’t stop there. We pray. We trust. We praise. We seek out God’s comfort. We find His promises and claim them, which allows us to walk by faith.
“Jesus wept” (John 11:35)
“As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it” (Luke 19:41)
“During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission” (Hebrews 5:7)
“You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book?” (Psalm 56:8)
God expects us to be led by the Spirit and not our emotions. However, because Jesus in human form experienced some of our same emotions, He now stands before God as our advocate. He is the reason that God understands and responds to our tears. When the trials and tribulations of this world bring us to tears, it is in those times we can find strength, solace, and comfort by crying out to God in prayer. He is there to ease our sorrows and help us to deal with pain and suffering.
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.” (Hebrews 4:15)
“For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” (Revelations 7:17)
“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelations 21:4)
“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5)
Sometimes, when our hearts are overwhelmed, all we need to do is cry out to God. He sees our tears and He will give us comfort and peace. When we think about the goodness of God and His love for us, we can’t help but cry tears of joy. Love and Blessings…
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 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)
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…