Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments (Gen 35:2) ~~ Our garments are our intermingling with the world. Over time and experience, we start to look like what we have been in, around and through and who we were hanging with during it all. Some things good, some things WE think are good and some things not good at all. Those things that take our time, devotion, money, etc… away from God become our gods. They rule over us, they guide our decisions in our lives, they set the course of direction for us and the future generations that we impact; they literally define our destiny. We need to make a change and do a “reset”. We must break way from things that hinder our relationship with God – We need to literally and sometimes physically remove ourselves from those things. WE know our habits and vices that are holding us down. We also fight it because to separate ourselves from them in some cases will be challenging, painful, stressful and even devastating. This might bring on a pain that we might feel is like we would experience death…and in reality, in order for us to “reset”, something in us, about us, of us… has to die that we may live in the abundance of Christ’s promise (John 10:10). There can be no purification without separation; and there can be no separation without agitation, discomfort or change. We all want the abundant, prosperous and blessed life that Jesus promises, but we have to realize that change only happens when change really happens! God called Abraham to change where he was…get out of that comfortable land…so that he could see the promise God had in store for him. God called Noah to build the ark for the coming storm rather than sit and wait for it to happen, He called Moses to deal with the fears of his own abilities and trust what God would do so that he could lead the Israelites out of Egypt to reach the promised land. Friend, YOU will have to make a change in your life to see a change in your life. It won’t be comfortable, it will probably hurt in some areas because you’re going to have to leave things (and people) behind, you will have to take some actions, YOU have to make changes to be able to see changes, and you will have to face your fears and you’ll HAVE to have a relationship and trust God to help you do what you have to do. It’s time to hit the reset button…Walk away from those things that you KNOW are not good for you, keeping you from your relationship with God, trust Him, make the changes you know you need to make… you will endure the hurt, but you will also survive it…and walk in God’s blessing!
My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring? O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent (Ps 22:1-2)~ In times of “grief and tears” we all feel forgotten – even by God. The “fear” of being forgotten by Him brings with it frustrations: “I can’t figure out why this is happening to me – and why is it taking God so long to bring me out of it?”. We’re in a crazy place where nothing seems to be going right; everything’s falling apart, no one else understands or even cares. (Ps 22:12-18) – all of your strength is dried up and you’re ONE step away from losing your mind. And GOD is silent (?!?!??!???). When God seems silent; don’t let your faith get low because the enemy wants you to operate in fear. Fear is the darkroom where the devil will take you to develop your negatives! Look again at the frustrations that have started and where it takes you from there. You become cynical about how things go in your life, about how people are and how your life itself is. You become a negative person and you look for the negative in everything – and to your own detriment, you realize the truth in the phrase “Seek and ye shall find” because now everything around and about you is NEGATIVE. In the eyes of the enemy, you are “picture perfect”. But friend: BE YE TRANSFORMED BY THE RENEWING OF YOUR MIND. No matter how you feel; no matter how things look – you have to remember, God is right there. Resist the devil and he will flee from you! You have to fight those negatives with positives. Rather than complain, you have to praise the Lord for strengthening you through your trials. Say to the Lord “I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee” (Ps 22:22). Wherever you find yourself, “life” will know God is there by your praise. You have to be at a point that your love for God is so strong it causes you to refuse to be afraid of the attacks of fear on your mind that the enemy throws in your life. All of this can be done JUST by your love for God! Because there is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear; because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love (1 John 4:18). Don’t succumb to the fears and torment of the enemy….don’t allow yourself the suffering of negativity in your life! When God is silent, don’t assume He’s gone from you or that He’s betrayed you. Don’t let your heart fill with worry and your mind start conjuring thoughts of doubt and disbelief in the promises of His Word. Stand on what you know of Him, not what you think He might be doing. The devil is a lie! God is always there, even in His silence. Be at peace in Him!
And the Lord shall make you the head, and not the tail; and you shall be above only, and you shall not be beneath, if you heed the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you this day and are watchful to DO them (Deut 28:13)~~ Yes, we are saved by grace, not by our works, but that doesn’t mean we can just go do or be whatever. God intends that we WALK in a certain destiny, here on earth as well as in our lives in eternity. It all starts with DOING His will …as we pray every day (Thy will be DONE on Earth as it is in Heaven). When we DO what He wants us to do, we walk in the destiny He promises. But doing what we are supposed to do requires us to DO…not stand by expecting a handout nor sit there wallowing in our mess or hoarding what blessings we do have. The reason so many believers are yet to walk in promises and provisions from God is because like an ostrich they have their head in the sand . . . afraid to take action or a stand or a risk; Content to hide themselves from life and everybody passing them by. The problem with having your head in the sand means you’re living by the seat of your pants… you’ve exposed another part of your body for life to kick you in it. God wants you to be the head. . .so you’ll use it… so you’ll lead with it, so you’ll walk in a renewed mind; Not the tail because He doesn’t want you just sitting on it and Certainly not kicked in It! This is where people get confused about God’s blessing…Thinking they should be blessed so they can sit there and HAVE it and look at it. God doesn’t bless us so that we can stand there and hold it. You should be about His business…Every day. . .not just on Sunday or Wednesday night. . .or when you get in trouble or when you feel like it . . . but every day. . .Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. (Hab 2:2)…God’s Word is the written vision and will tell you what to DO. He will instruct you plain and clear on how to accomplish the vision. . .the dreams. . .the goals. . .He has birthed within you. Every day. . .we should look with faith and expectation for His blessing and His direction. . .but then the key to unlocking the blessing is to WALK in the faith. READ YOUR BIBLE and see what the promise is…and run with it! DO what it says and be blessed….and be a blessing!!
…Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind! (Rom 12:2)~ What if your life could be changed by just changing the way you think? Things we look at, read, listen to and go through have a lot to do with what impacts our way of thinking. What we think, we usually become… as confirmed by Proverbs 23:7. But it’s not a single thought, it’s what we allow repeatedly dominate our senses. What are you seeing? What are you listening to? What are you reading? While some things are out of our control because they are part of our situation in life, certain stimulus in these areas shape how we respond to our situations in life. When we surround ourselves with things that elicit negativity, we develop negative disposition. If you’re always hanging around negative people, watching non productive things, listening to mindless media, and reading things that provide no positive growth potential to your mind, your mindset will then always be negative. We have the ability to control a lot of what comes into our minds that could bring on a positive attitude. Here is why this is important: A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events, and outcomes in our lives. It is a catalyst and it sparks extraordinary results. It can truly transform you! If only we realized how powerful our thoughts truly are, we would do whatever it took to not allow ourselves to think negative thoughts again! Imagine that – a positive and drama free life! Yes, all the negative stuff still exists (for now) but you don’t have to partake in it and you sure don’t have to let it overtake you! So, see the positive possibilities, affirm the positive, visualize the positive, surround yourself with positive people, listen to the positive things, allow only positive and uplifting content in your space; expect the positive, and your life will change accordingly. I’m positive about it!
He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; He led him about, He instructed him, He kept him as the apple of His eye. As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings: So the Lord alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him. He made him ride on the high places of the earth, that he might eat the increase of the fields; and he made him to suck honey out of the rock, and oil out of the flinty rock; Butter of kine, and milk of sheep, with fat of lambs, and rams of the breed of Bashan, and goats, with the fat of kidneys of wheat; and thou didst drink the pure blood of the grape (Deut 32:10-14)~~ The Lord will lead us to places where we are seemingly hemmed in, where all our ingenious solutions have failed, and where we finally understand that our best option is to trust Him in a way that we ordinarily wouldn’t. In such places, He keeps us and provides for us by HIS hand…and we are highly motivated to trust Him as He brings us through conquest over our spiritual enemies, sin, Satan, and the world; in and through Christ. We have safety and triumph in Him; we are given happy frames of soul, and through Him we are above the world, and the things of it. The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked came against me To eat up my flesh, My enemies and foes, They stumbled and fell. Though an army may encamp against me, My heart shall not fear; Though war may rise against me, In this I will be confident (Ps 27:1-3). God is my revelation: He has shown me things I’ve never seen and thing I’ve already seen in ways I’ve never seen them; God is my salvation: He has brought me out of many situations – from death to life – from trial to triumph – from frustration to favor; God is my vindication: He makes the tactics of the enemy stumble and fall – without the need of action or retaliation from me – He declares His vengeance and guides me to simply abide in Him – trust in Him – worship Him; God is my preservation: He constantly keeps me when I should have fallen – He grants victory in the face of defeat – When one thing seems like it should be, God IS; The Lord God is my stabilization: I will stand on the solid, steadfast, unmoveable foundation He provides. There is no instance that God cannot control, no pain He cannot soothe, no sorrow He cannot heal. The Lord IS my shepherd, I shall not want! #Jireh
Ever feel like quitting? “Are you kidding?” you ask, “A better question would be, ‘How many times TODAY have I felt like quitting?’ ” Sure. We’ve all felt like “throwing in the towel” at one time or another. If you haven’t, I suggest that you check your pulse quickly. And here’s a real shocker for you: the notion that “winners never quit” is a joke! Everyone – even (insert successful person here) – has not only felt like it, but has even quit at one time or another. Get over the notion that it’s supposed to be easy and things are just supposed to work! Unless you’re born of some other being than your mother, life is going to challenge you (Job 14:1 – Man born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble). The “road of life” that we each travel isn’t one endless stretch of flat, paved expressway, but rather, is filled with curves, crests, valleys, detours, potholes and bumps. Yet it is this very unpredictability that makes it so interesting and alluring. We just have to see what’s around the next curve. Many of us want to quit though when things don’t happen quickly or easily! We want to bow out when things get challenging. We count it as God didn’t intend it for us; and we even will say it was some ‘fate’ that we weren’t supposed to have if it didn’t work out without some level of pain. Those images we see and stories we hear of people who seem to live blessed lives; they simply edited out the challenges for the story. Even the best of the best will attest to you that where they are was the result of blessings AND hard work – life doesn’t deliver you roses without a seed being planted and the ground being tended and hopefully the things you CAN’T control like the weather and the unseen obstacles; are at a level that you can make adjustments along the way to ensure your blooms! Just remember: The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happens to them all (Ecc 9:11) The point is, whatever comes, you can’t give up if obstacles get in the way. Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ (2 Tim 2:3). Stay in there and fight the good fight of faith, with diligence and determination! Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of HIS might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil (Eph 6:10-11). But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved (Matt 24:13). #Persevere
And straightway He constrained the disciples to enter into the boat, and to go before Him unto the other side, till He should send the multitudes away. And after He had sent the multitudes away, He went up into the mountain apart to pray: and when even was come, He was there alone. But the boat was now in the midst of the sea, distressed by the waves; for the wind was contrary (Matt 14:22-24)~~ Have you ever felt blown about or battered in the middle of doing exactly what you believe God told you to do? Sometimes following Jesus can take you directly into the heart of a storm. The disciples were simply doing what they had been told to do and wound up in one of the worst nights of their lives. Many of us have discovered, that you can be both in the center of God’s will, and still stuck in what appears to be a no-win situation… like a rock and a hard place. You can’t move forward. You can’t move backwards. You see no legitimate means of escape from the place that God led you straight into. As much as we wish the waters of this life could always be calm, the Bible says otherwise. The Bible is full of stories about people who faced hard times while doing exactly what God wanted them to do. Following Jesus doesn’t mean you will never have to face any storms. Contrary to popular beliefs that are the source of false and misguided hopes, God actually allows trials into our lives in order to reveal Himself to us in a way that we would not have known Him otherwise. But whether or not we benefit from these trials or whether they defeat us depends largely on how we view them and how we respond to God in the middle of them. Being in a trial is never fun. But you don’t have to go through it alone. Wherever your storm may be, you are not alone. Jesus is right there in the worst of it with you and He will see you through it. And in the fourth watch of the night He came unto them, walking upon the sea. (Matt 14:25)
Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old (Isa 43:18)~~ Good or bad, one of the biggest adversaries of our mind is our memories of the past. In Good, we cling to things we loved and we try to retain that part of that era of our lives. It gets tough though when circumstances that made those good memories possible change and we have to fight for what once was. We get so nostalgic about things and now they’re not what they used to be…what a disappointment! In bad, we hold onto grudges of things or people that hurt us before and we keep giving the devil free advertising to come forward with us, making our present and future experiences suffer the wrath of our past hurt. We are so dysfunctionally connected to our past that we can’t have a good life today for being mad at a pain that is no longer affecting us but the memory is strong enough to even keep us from loving! The strongest force in the universe is love and the enemy knows when he stops us from loving, he has a blank slate to not only us, but everyone and everything about us. Friends we have to learn to remember our past and learn from it but also believe in the power of God’s love in us and faith in Him that today and tomorrow will be okay, regardless of yesterday. We can’t be so focused on what was that we can’t see what is and what can be! God says: Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? (Isa 43:19). Stop bringing up what was and giving life to that which is dead and move on….you can’t keep what was and you can’t change it! You have the ability to re-create it or to heal from it. Enjoy today and be blessed with right now and the future. There is so much that you are missing and letting get away by holding onto your past! God says the new thing shall spring forth. Our past is not something we should be carrying but that we should use it to move forward while we get better as a result of it. Good or bad, it should make us better, not bitter. We must have faith that things will be okay rather than fear that forgiving and releasing the bad will expose us to more bad or that the changes from the good cannot be good still. When we keep holding on to whatever past we have, refusing to grow and heal, we take away the significance of the blessings that are in our hand for today and tomorrow. Yes, we literally block our own blessings! God put the keys in your hand, gave you all the approval you need to drive and even placed you in the driver’s seat with a clear road, the ride is running but you won’t get in gear. You’re still saying you just can’t do it! You have to engage to move on. Things don’t just GET better with time, GOD sets things in order but YOU have to make the move! The past is what it is but it CAN’T HURT YOU unless you decide you’re gonna try to live in it today. It doesn’t work like that! Look, I’ve had some good days and I’ve had some hills to climb, but I am faithful that good or bad, what was in my past is my catalyst to SPRING FORTH! For the bad things, I’ve learned to forgive AND move on, because harbored hatred hinders healing…read that again: forgive AND move on…you must do both! For the good things, I am inspired that God, who began that good work in me, will continue it, not end it…because His gifts are irrevocable…As I move forward to the day of the return of Jesus Christ!
And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise (Heb 6:15)~~ We are in this world as a ship at sea, tossed up and down, and in danger of being cast away. We need an anchor to keep us sure and steady. Faith and Trust in God is our anchor in the storms of this world. It is sure and steadfast, or it could not keep us so. The free grace of God, the merits and mediation of Christ, and the powerful influences of his Spirit, are the grounds of this hope, and so it is a steadfast hope. The promises of God may safely be depended upon; for there two things which cannot change, the counsel and the oath of God, in which it is not possible for God to lie; it would be contrary to His nature as well as to His will; and we, as His children, have a title to the promises by inheritance. These consolations of God are strong enough to support us under our heaviest trials. God knows you’re tired, frustrated, worn out and feeling unappreciated, But you can’t bow out because life is tough. You can’t run and hide because things might not be going in the direction that you want. We were never promised a trouble-free life – in fact we are reminded of quite the opposite in Job 14:1 (Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble). We are going to have many trials in life but we can’t let them stop us.. With the experiences I’ve had, If I were going to quit, I would have done it by now! As one of the fruits of the Spirit is longsuffering, remember, the promise of His ‘due season’ is your reward. We must learn and trust in the power and importance of waiting on God; while we wait it out God is working it out! He endured and received His promise of Glory! He fulfilled the promise to us and made the way that we may endure and do the same. we are all going through seasons but we must remain steadfast in our faith in Him. God’s promise awaits us if we can endure the journey. Meanwhile, to keep us mindful of that promise, He blesses us greatly along the way in life. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art WITH me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me (Ps 23:4)
The tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell (James 3:6). Words we speak are one of the most powerful but also the most dangerous weapons we have. Words can hit harder than a fist. Unfortunately, people hold on to hurtful words and it’s sometimes hard to move forward once your spirit has been broken. We must consider the outcome of our words. Not everything we think needs to be spoken aloud. Others have feelings, and we must consider that even when we don’t see eye to eye, their emotions are valid. We should also look for every opportunity to encourage rather than tear down. Using words that build the human spirit should come naturally. Words we speak are so strong that the Bible warns that life and death lie in the power of your tongue. With words God created the universe but by His Word He also declares eternal salvation to His children and eternal death to His enemy. Speaking the right words two people can unify in marriage; one of God’s greatest covenants. But when certain words are spoken, entire races of people can be demoralized! The tongue is so strong it can change a mind but also so powerful it can break a heart! Words can solidify the strongest partnerships and they can destroy a nation. A positive shift happens for us when we choose to empower each with words of love, strength and positive affirmation. Will you build or destroy with your words?