Archives for the month of: September, 2013

One of my all-time favorite pastors is Dr. Bill Winston from Living Word Christian Center in Chicago, Illinois.  His television ministry has reshaped my faith.  About a week ago, I was watching one of his archive sermons on YouTube.  The words he spoke has forever changed my thinking.  Those powerful words were:

God has turned over the authority of the Earth to man, and without man, God CANNOT act.  God needs us to step in so that He can move.

Those words stopped me in my tracks.  I had to meditate on them.  I had to research them.  What I found was that God’s transfer of authority to man occurred in the very beginning.

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them (Genesis 1:26-27, NIV).

When I heard Pastor Winston’s message, I started to think of all the Biblical miracles that I could remember.  What I started to notice was that they were all precipitated by the faith and the actions of man.  God allowed the Red Sea to part as a result of Moses’ obedience.  He allowed the sun to stand still because of Joshua’s prayers.  The wall of Jericho came crashing down because many believed that God would move in their situation.  The woman with the issue of blood was cured because of her faith.

This revelation should change your life.  Just think about it.  God, the Creator of ALL things, has given authority of Earth over to man.  So what does that mean?

God is not a man that He should lie, nor is He a human that He should change His mind (Numbers 23:19).  The fact that God CANNOT lie means that He cannot go back on His word.  Therefore, if God has given authority of the Earth to man.  He CANNOT (NOT will not) independently act in our situation because if He does, He would be going against His own authority and proving Himself a liar.   His movement has to be activated by our actions and our faith.

Jesus is the ultimate example of this truth.  In the New Testament, God gave Jesus, who was born of flesh, the authority to perform many miracles.  He healed.  He cured. He saved.  Most of all, He died.  And when He die, He said that whoever believed in Him would do greater miracles than He had ever done (John 14:12).

If you believe what I am saying to be true, then this revelation should change your life.  God has given us the power to speak life and death into our situations.  In part, the miracle/breakthrough that we so desire is in our hands.  We just have to activate God’s movement with our faith.  The Bible says that if we have faith the size of a mustard seed, we could command mountains to move (Matthew 21:21-22).  You see, many of us have been disappointed because we keep waiting for God to independently manifest in our situations.  But He CAN’T.

I can hear the naysayers now: “So what about those who don’t believe in God?  Does He show up in their situations?”  The answer is: He does!  Again, the answer is still found in people.  That atheist’s miracle might be the result of a praying grandmother, mother, or friend.  In fact, his co-worker who sits at her desk reading her Bible during her lunch break might be praying a blessing over him and the entire company, including their family.

I believe that every single person on this planet has been touched by someone’s prayer(s).  So when that unbeliever walks away with his miracle, do believe that he is the product of prayer, maybe even his own.

Today, I proclaim that you WILL activate your miracle.  COMMAND those mountains to move and jump into the sea.  In Jesus’ name. Amen!

If we were to ask most people to name the one thing they would like to be remembered for when they die, I would guess that most people would say that they would like to be known as someone who made a difference in their community/world.  The problem is, many of us have a distorted idea of what that looks like.  We tend to think that in order to make an impact, we have to reach the masses.  While there are those that are called to be global leaders, not everyone is called to be Mother Teresa or Oprah.  What if Jesus was to tell you that He was more concerned with the plight of one than the dilemma of the masses?  Would that change how you think?

I asked myself that very question this morning.  What if only one person were to every read my blog?  In the eyes of man, that might be considered an epic fail.  But what if that one person stumbled upon my page while searching for something else on the Internet?  And, what if, as a result of that serendipitous moment, that person developed or solidified his or her relationship with Christ?  Would that one fact redefine success?  It should.  For God, it does.  God is more concerned about saving the one rather than creating fanfare.  In Luke 15:7, Jesus said, “I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent,” (NIV).

Living a purposeful life is not necessarily about reaching millions, it’s about impacting at least one.  In fact, the person that we inspire could be the one who goes on to influence millions.  One of the most influential people who ever lived was a poor, unknown, small-town Jewish girl.  She didn’t sell out stadiums.  She didn’t shut down traffic.  She was a wife, a mother and a homemaker.  However, her influence on one person has forever changed the world.  Her name is Mary, mother of Jesus.  Image how many times Mary must have spoken words of encouragement over her son Jesus.  Imagine how many times she must have cradled Him in her arms and told Him that she loved Him.  Before He was our inspiration, she was His.  Although Jesus was robed by His father’s perfect, divine love, she showered Him with her Earthly adoration.

Today, I encourage you to remember that walking in your purpose could very well mean that you simply change one life.  The heavens WILL rejoice if your act of kindness, obedience and service saves only one soul.  In whatever you do, be strong and courageous and know that your God goes before you (Joshua 1:9).  If you do so, you will live out the purpose for which He has called you.

royal-crown

The recent addition to the Royal family has created a hailstorm of media frenzy.  The birth of Prince George of Cambridge has sparked many online discussions of lineage, descent and succession.

The English throne is regulated by both descent and Parliament.  Prince George is third in line for the throne.  In the absence of Parliament that means Prince George could someday reign as king following the eventual deaths of his great-grandmother (the Queen), his grandfather (The Prince of Wales) and his father (the Duke of Cambridge).  The life of Prince George made me think of my own life.  It made me realize that I too am royalty.  However, my reign is now.  You see, in the natural, Prince George may never be king.  It is quite possible that those who precede him could outlive him.  If that be the case, he would never experience the power of kingship.

In the Kingdom of God, God gave reign of the Earth to Jesus Christ, and as such, the children of God became co-heirs with Christ when he died.  Romans 8:17 says, “Now if we are children, then we are heirs–heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory,” (NIV).  As children of God, we do not have to wait for death to reign because Christ, the King, has already died, and our reign as royalty is now.  The problem is, many of us have not embraced our position as royalty.  We are still living a peasants.

Even though Prince George might never be king, we could safely assume that he will enjoy the benefits of being an heir to the British throne.  As a prince, he will be exposed to and experience a premium lifestyle.  Neither will he want nor lack for anything material.  Furthermore, as prince, he will probably possess a sense of entitlement, and rightfully so.  As Christian, co-heirs with Christ, we should possess the same confidence.  We should walk in the knowledge that our Father is the King of kings and the Lords of lords.  “On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: king of kings and lord of lords,” (Revelation 19: 16, NIV).  As Christians, we should find solace knowing that our Father owns the cattle on a thousand hills (Psalm 50:10).  Not only does our God own the palaces on Earth, He owns the palaces in heaven as well.  In John 14: 1-4, Jesus said,

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 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. You know the way to the place where I am going.”

Today, I declare that we know who we are and whose we are.  We should walk in the knowledge that as co-heirs with Christ, we are royalty.  As royalty, we are the heads and not the tails.  We are above and not beneath.  We are lenders and not borrowers (Deuteronomy 28:13-14).  Today, I declare that we remember that we are king and queens along with our ruler Jesus Christ.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen!

Us:  Knock, Knock

Jesus: Who’s there?

Us: Me!

Jesus: What do you want me to do for you?

Us:  Ummm!!! I don’t know.  I was so busy knocking that I forgot.

Matthew 7:7 says, “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you,” (NLT).  Whenever we meditate and put this Scripture into practice, we should consider the following:

  1. We SHOULD NOT become so preoccupied in the act of knocking that we forget why we were knocking in the first place.
  2. We SHOULD NOT become so busy knocking that we miss the door opening.
  3. We SHOULD knock continuously and proclaim the Word over our lives.

The first consideration is easy to fall prey to.  If we are not careful, we could become so busy praying for deliverance that when we are finally delivered, we forget what we needed to be delivered from.  In other words, we could become so addicted to our circumstances that we lose focus of our goals and our desires.  For example, there are probably people reading this blog right now who are praying that God blesses them with a new job.  They have probably prayed repeatedly that God would remove them from their current position.  But what if Jesus were to show up on their doorsteps ready to bless them with a new opportunity? How many of those people would be able to recognize that new opportunity?

When we focus solely on knocking, we could become so distracted by our circumstances that our prayers are geared towards escaping and not towards deliverance.  Our prayers should be more specific than simply wanting to be “freed” or to be “bless.”  We should have some idea of how we would want that freedom and that blessing to look.  After we have an idea of what we want God to do in our lives, we should also remember that God’s thought are not ours and our ways are not His (Isaiah 55:8).  Even though we might envision how our answered prayers should look, God always has something greater in store.  The whole point of purposeful prayer is not to dictate God’s responses.  It is to become attuned to His answers. We know that God is greater than, not less than.  Our expectations just gives us a reference point. In the example above, God might not want to simply bless that individual with a new job.  He could very possibly want to bless him with his own business.

Again, when we pray, we should pray purposefully and intentionally.  We should not just pray for the sake of praying.   Matthew 6:7 says, “When you pray, don’t babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again,” (NLT).  We should also note that sometimes purposeful prayer also includes praying for clarity.  There are times where we don’t know what to pray for or even how to pray.  In those moments, we have to pray for revelation and direction.  God is so good, He could even direct our prayers.

The second point we should consider when we proclaim the verse in Matthew 7:7 over our lives is that prayer is active.  Active prayers require that we pray then pause to listen for God’s response.  If we are too busy chattering away, we might miss His answer that often comes in a small, still voice.

The third consideration of Matthew 7:7 is that we should knock continuously as we proclaim the Word over our lives.  I believe this consideration is the hardest.  It is so easy to get frustrated when it appears as if God is not responding to our cries.  Some of us have been wailing so long that we have begun to entertain the idea that God has forgotten about us.  Whenever we start to embrace those thoughts, we should remember a few truths:

God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill,” (Numbers 23:19)?

“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, NIV)

My prayer for you today is that you pray purposefully, actively and continuously.  My purposeful, active and continuous prayer for all of us today is rooted in Psalm 28:1-2 and Deuteronomy 28: 1-14.

Psalm 28:1-2 (NLT)

I pray to you, O Lord, my rock.

Do not turn a deaf ear to me.

For if you are silent,

I might as well give up and die.

Listen to my prayer for mercy

as I cry out to you for help,

as I lift my hands toward your holy sanctuary.

Deuteronomy 28:1-14 (NIV)

If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God:

You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country.

The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks.

Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed.

You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out.

The Lord will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven.

The Lord will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to. The Lord your God will bless you in the land he is giving you.

The Lord will establish you as his holy people, as he promised you on oath, if you keep the commands of the Lord your God and walk in obedience to him. 10 Then all the peoples on earth will see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they will fear you. 11 The Lord will grant you abundant prosperity—in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your ground—in the land he swore to your ancestors to give you.

12 The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. 13 The Lord will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the Lord your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom. 14 Do not turn aside from any of the commands I give you today, to the right or to the left, following other gods and serving them.

Last night it weighed on my Spirit to take another journey.  I hope you will join me again.  A few weeks ago, we went on a 30-day marriage prayer journey together, where we focused on our relationships with each other and with God.  This week I would like to go on a 7-day spiritual declaration/proclamation.  I feel in my heart that we have to purposefully and persistently proclaim God’s promises over our lives.  Many of us are waiting on a movement by God.  In those moments, we have to pray fervently and wait expectantly.   So, that was my thought last night.  This morning I got confirmation when I opened my Bible.  It opened up to Luke 11.  The passage was a message where Jesus was teaching His disciples how to pray.

“Suppose you went to a friend’s house at midnight, wanting to borrow three loaves of bread. You say to him, ‘A friend of mine has just arrived for a visit, and I have nothing for him to eat.’ And suppose he calls out from his bedroom, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is locked for the night, and my family and I are all in bed. I can’t help you.’ But I tell you this—though he won’t do it for friendship’s sake, if you keep knocking long enough, he will get up and give you whatever you need because of your shameless persistence.

“And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

11 “You fathers—if your children ask for a fish, do you give them a snake instead? 12 Or if they ask for an egg, do you give them a scorpion? Of course not! 13 So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him,” (Luke 11:6-11, NLT).

Many of us have not because we ask not.  We have to begin speaking God’s promises over our lives and ask, not just once, but consistently.  There is an old adage that says, “The squeaky wheel gets the most oil.”

There are a host of reasons why many of us do not ask God for what we want.  There are some of us who believe that we are bothering God by petitioning Him with the desires of our hearts.  Some believe that our problems are too minute for the Creator of the Universe.  Some might even believe that God simply does not care about our trials.  Regardless of what you believe, I challenge you over this next 7 days to call out to Him.  Show your shameless persistence in prayer as you declare His promises over your life.  Like this persistent neighbor in the parable, keep knocking on His door until He answers.

DAY 1 DECLARATIONS:

Psalm 30:1

I will exalt you Lord, for you rescued me. You refused to let my enemies triumph over me (NLT).

Joshua 1:9

This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go,” (NLT).

Psalm 37:4

Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires(NLT).

I pray that this week God will begin to do a transformation in your life as you speak His will into existence.

I am who I am

And I don’t give a damn

Whether you understand

The plan of I AM

Because he says I can

Be the woman

Born from a man

To Fulfill the Plan

Of the one named I AM

And whose plan

Is Greater than

Any man

For He is the I AM

Who made me

Who I am.

“Who am I,” is a very difficult question for most people to answer.  However, the answer it so critical to where we are and where we want to be.  If we do not have a solid understanding of who we are, we could end up being who and what others want us to be.  The problem with that is, if we have no true foundation of who we are, we end up moving in circles instead of moving forward.  When we try to please everyone, we end up pleasing no one, including ourselves.  It is impossible to simultaneously satisfy everyone’s taste.  Some of the very same people who are trying to fix us are also trying to find themselves.

The Bible says let your yes be yes and your no be no (Matthew 5:37).  Malcolm X said, “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”  There comes a point in our lives where we cannot straddle the fence.  We have to choose a side.  While there is always the risk of alienating some, we have to be true to ourselves.  We have to have a point of view.  Having a point of view does not mean that we are immune to correction or improvement, it simply means we have a solid foundation.  When our foundation is solid, we are less apt to sway with the wind and less inclined to be blown away.  We are less likely to be disappointed by other people’s actions, or lack thereof, because our worth is not based on someone else’s expectations.

So, how do we begin to discover who we are?  Simple!  We have to know whose we are and how we were made.

Knowledge of a product’s manufacture details is not a prerequisite for use.  Most of us probably do not know how the majority of our daily products are made.  In the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t seem matter.  But, au contraire, mon frère!  Knowledge is power.  Knowing how a product is made does give some insight into the intricacies of the product.  Knowledge allows for better usage.  How differently would we act if we knew the following?

  • We are God’s masterpieces, created in the image of Jesus Christ (Ephesian 2:10).
  • As co-heirs with Christ, we are royalty—princes and princesses (Romans 8:17).
  • The story of our life was written before we were born (Psalm 139:16).
  • We don’t have to be afraid of anything or anyone because the same God who created heaven and earth goes before us (Joshua 1:9).

Would our knowledge of the above statements change how we perceive ourselves?  It should because when we don’t know who we are, we set the stage for others to define us.  When we allow others to define us, we cannot reach our potential because our potential was never established by anyone other than God.  We cannot expect people to guide us on a path that they did not create or have never seen.  If we rely on others to define who we are, we will always be limited by that person’s imperfection.  When we rely on God to define us, we are freed by perfection, which has no limits.  Therefore when we rely on God our possibilities are limitless.  Given my choices, I would rather be freed by an infinite God than limited by a finite mind.  Wouldn’t you?

The explosion of light echoed across the sky and triggered a myriad of sirens along its course.  Pellets of frozen rain crashed against the window pane with staccato rhythm.  Moments later, the car alarms faded and the hiss of falling rain crescendoed in the symphony of the storm.

The idea of enjoying a storm might seem paradoxical, but there is something serene, even romantic, about being home during the mist of a storm.  The home provides a fortress against the storm’s fury.   Though we might occasionally shudder at the sound of thunder, we find comfort in the security of shelter.  We are dry.  We are warm. We are safe from the elements.

Being unsheltered during a storm, on the other hand, is a different story.  There is nothing peacefully there.  Heavy rainfall can impair visibility while walking or driving.  Lightning strikes can cause fire and charge bodies of water, making commuting difficult.  For these reasons, most advisories usually recommend that individual remain indoors until the storm has subsided.

If being caught in a storm wasn’t bad enough there are actually people who have made careers of chasing storms.  That’s right.  These people actually study weather patterns and reports so that they could be in the midst of the storm.  Crazy huh?

Maybe not!

As I was reflecting on my season of spiritual storms, I started to realize how my spiritual storms paralleled that of actual storms.  Just like in case of an actual storm, the best place to be during a spiritual storm is in the security of shelter.  Under the coverage of shelter, there is protection from the elements.  In the natural realm, our home is protection from the storm.  In the spiritual realm, God is our shield.  Psalm 91:1-4 says,

1. Those who live in the shelter of the Most High

will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

2. This I declare about the Lord:

He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;

he is my God, and I trust him.

3. For he will rescue you from every trap

and protect you from deadly disease.

4. He will cover you with his feathers.

He will shelter you with his wings.

His faithful promises are your armor and protection (NLT).

 

The passage says that anyone who lives in God’s “house” will find rest in Him.  In other words, if we are walking with God and seeking His presence, He will protect us.  He will shelter us from the storm.  Even though the rain might be pouring down and the hail might be beating against the doors of our lives, God will keep us dry, warm and safe.  We just have to rest in His presence.  The problem is, many of us have decided to leave the safety of coverage and venture out into the storm.  There are an even smaller few who haven’t just stumbled into the rain.  They are storm chasers.  They are the ones who go out looking for storms—looking for problems.  Whether we just stagger into the rain or go chasing after storms, the results are the same.  When we get caught in the rain, we become subject to fatigue because we are fighting elements that we might not be equipped to fight.  We become lost because sometimes the darkness of a storm can be so thick that visibility is reduced.  We become sick because we succumb to our environment.  In order to recover, we have to seek shelter.  We have to return to a place of safety where restoration can begin.  Sometimes, the answer to ending our storm is simply stepping out of the rain.

 

Lord,

Today, I pray that we would have the courage to step out of storm and into your house for shelter.  Lord protect us from the elements.  In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen!

We don’t give God enough credit for answering our prayers.  In fact, oftentimes we falsely accuse Him of refusing to answer prayers that He has ALREADY answered.

There are times when the answers to our prayers do not manifest in the manner we envisioned.  However, we must remain open-minded.  Many of us are experiencing answered prayers right now, and we just don’t know it.

As a child, I dreamed of becoming a soap opera actress, a doctor, a writer and the founder of the HIV cure.  It was until a discussion with my mother that I realized that God had already answered one of those desires in an unconventional way.

As a graduate student, God created an opportunity for me to work with one of the individuals who discovered HIV when it first emerged in the 1980s.  Wow! What an amazing experience.  Under my mentor, I was first introduced to the facts about HIV.  I was also able to educate members of  at-risk communities about the disease.  This summer my non-profit organization, The Truth Outreach Project (TOP) Org. will work with four, local community centers and upwards of 150 adolescents to host its first ever HIV fashion/talent show for the community.  In my own unique way, I have contributed to the cure.  According to Benjamin Franklin, “An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.”  In that sense, God provided me with and opportunity to deliver HIV prevention/educational messages to individuals that could impact their decision-making process and change their lives.

Isaiah 55:8 says, “’My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,’ says the LORD. ‘And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine,’” (NIV).  While I was thinking cure, God was thinking prevention.  Sure a cure would be great.  According to the World Health Organization, approximately 70 million people worldwide have been infected with HIV and 35 million have died of AIDS.  But as great as a cure would be, and it would be great, prevention would be even better.

I guess the moral of the story is, “Don’t underestimate just how much God is working to answer your prayers.”  Sometimes the answers we are looking for is right under our nose.  It’s just wrapped in a different package.

 

Expired2

Have you ever felt like there has to be more to life than your current circumstance?

Does your Spirit scream, “This version of my life is not the same as the vision on my Spirit?”

If you answered yes, then keep reading.

Many of us are currently suffering from what I would l like to call misguided complacency.  We automatically attribute our wilderness experience to God’s will.  Somehow we have managed to convince ourselves that we are in the position we are in because God wants us to learn some colossal lesson.  The truth is, maybe we should have learned that lesson a long time ago and have moved on by now.  For example, scholars have said that it was only supposed to take the Israelites 11 days to travel through the wilderness, yet it took them 40 years.  It took them an additional 29 years to learn what should have taken them a little over one week.  How many of us are sitting in situations long past our expiration dates?  Many of us are holding the keys to cures; the keys to deliverance; the keys to inventions; and the keys to a lot more.  However, we are still trying to crawl to first-base, while God is trying to tell us to go for the homerun.  With that said, I must say that there are times when God calls us to be still, but I don’t think those moments are as frequent as we proclaim.

As children of God, we are called to be world changers.  In John 17:15, Jesus said, “My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one, (NIV).  Our purpose is to affect change in the world around us.  However, we cannot impact the type of change necessary if we are not in the positions that we need to be in.  Don’t get me wrong.  God could use us where we are.  He could also transfer our assignment to someone else.  Do not be fooled.  God does not need us.  He desires us.  There is a vast difference.  The point that I am trying to make is that we don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to live up to our potential.  When we do not live up to our potential, we will always have a sense of nonfulfillment.  Our Spirits will always cry out and reach out towards that which it was created to do.

The question now becomes, how do we live up to our potential?  The only way to answer this question is to pray!  We need to ask God to reveal to us where we are and where we need to be.  We need to determine whether we are in a wilderness season and whether we are there beyond our expiration date.   If we have exceeded our expiration date, we need to ask God to reveal to us which lessons He would like us to learn in order to move on.  The Bible says, “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much,” (Luke 16:10, NIV).  If we can’t handle being a secretary, God won’t promote us to CEO.  If we can’t be honest being an employee, God will not make us a boss.  We need to evaluate our current situations and see how we respond to factors such as stress, conflict/resolution, finances, etc.  Promotion comes only after mastery of our current level.  In school, one isn’t promoted from middle school to high school until he has demonstrated that he has mastered the skills learned in middle school.  The same is true of our spiritual lives.  We have to be prepared for promotion.

The most important nugget to take away from this is that above all things else, God wants us to trust Him and only Him.  So, regardless of where we might find ourselves, God wants us to trust thatHe will guide us and take us to where we need to be.

Today’s Prayer:

Lord, please reveal areas in our lives for growth.  Help us to embrace our current situations, but not talk ourselves into complacency.  If we have exceeded our expiration date in any area of our lives, please reveal our deficits to us and allow us the wisdom, courage and strength to grow.  Open doors of opportunities and close doors that should have never been opened or no longer needs to be opened.  Thwart any plans of the enemy.  We love you.  We praise you.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen!!!

 

IMAG0484

Today’s blog post might have the potential to be offensive, but that’s okay.  Our propensity towards political correctness has stagnated us in mediocrity for far too long.  In order to be truly introspective, we have to risk being uncomfortable and venture into our dark places.

My question today is:  Do you believe in God?  My question is not do you believe that God exists, but do you believe in God?  Those are two entirely different questions.  To believe that God exists is to merely believe that there is a higher being.  To believe in God is to embrace His sovereignty.  So, again, I ask, do you believe in God?  I would venture to say that for most of us, the answer is, “no.”

Many contemporary, worship songs have lyrics that asserts God’s greatness.  Most of us know a few and could probably recite the lyrics of several of them.  For the pious few, we have even memorized passages of Scripture.  But does all of that fanfare equate to belief?  When all is said and done, do we believe in God?  Do we truly believe that He has the power and the desire to do what He said that He would do?  The best way to truly answer this question is to utilize the Socratic Method.  Our answers to the next series of questions will give us some insight to where we stand in our beliefs.  Our truthful answers to these questions might also allow us to reconsider our approach to our relationship with God.

  • Do you think God personally cares for you?
  • Do you think that God’s will (His design) is greater than man’s free will?
  • Do you think that God has control over the human heart (the hardening and softening of hearts)?
  • Do you think that God can shift the world’s economic status?
  • Do you think God is greater than man?
  • Do you think God is greater than government?
  • Do you think God is greater than sickness?
  • Do you think God is greater than evil?  In other words, do you believe God reigns over evil?
  • Do you believe that God’s will is independent of chance/luck?
  • Do you think that God’s will supersedes the desires/schemes of your enemies?

Most of us probably answered yes to most, if not all, of those questions.  However, if we are not walking in the knowledge of our belief, then we do not truly believe.  To believe in God means that we believe that God is greater than our circumstances.  Belief in God means that we do not become prisoners to fear.  That does not mean that we should not make preparation in the face of difficulties or adversities.  It simply means that we are not held captive by our circumstances.

The past is the greatest predictor of the future.  One way to overcome our fears and increase our faith is to call God into our circumstances and watch Him move.  If we are able to see how God moved in our past, we will become more confident that He will move in the future.

If you are facing a potential layoff/firing/termination, call God into your situation.  God is greater than unemployment.  He is greater than your bosses/supervisors/colleagues.  No weapons formed against you shall prosper.  If you are facing legal entanglement, call God into your situation.  He is the great judge, prosecutor and jury.  He is greater than your accusers and your sin.  If you confess your wrongs.  He will forgive you and have mercy on you.  If you are facing sickness, call God into your situation.  He is the great healer.  He is your nurse, your doctor and your provider.  He created all things including your cure.  If you are in pursuit of the dream that God placed on your heart and you are facing resistance, call Him into your situation.  He is the Alpha and the Omega.  He is the Great I Am.  He is greater than people, forces and principalities.  He is for you.  He has the first and the last say.

This is the part of my post that might be a little discouraging and somewhat frustrating for some.  God does not always answer prayers the way we would like Him to.  However, I have learned to praise Him through disappointment.  Some of my greatest rewards have come from God saying no to something else.

Things that we see as failures, God uses for His glory.  If you or someone you love is facing sickness, and God does not provide healing, do not fear death.  God overcame death.  Death, for those who have accepted Christ, is actually the beginning of something far better.  If that business venture you have been pursuing fails, trust that God has a better deal.  If that job fires you, know that God is strengthening your character for the next promotion.  You see, once you believe, nothing that happens is by chance.  Surrender EVERYTHING and EVERYONE to God.  The Bible says that God will make your enemies your footstool (Luke 20:43, Psalm 110:1; Matthew 22:44, Acts 2:35).  When our ways are pleasing to God, He will make our enemies live at peace with us (Proverbs 16:7).  Take heart knowing that even in this world God is:

  • Our Father
  • Our Friend
  • Our Husband
  • Our Provider
  • Our Comforter
  • Our Lawyer
  • Our Judge
  • Our Jury
  • Our Mortgage Consultant
  • Our Loan Consultant
  • Our Debt Consultant
  • Our Bank
  • Our Teacher
  • Our University
  • Our Tutor
  • Our Supervisor
  • Our Whatever we need Him to be!

Jesus, I just pray a special blessing over your people today.  May you step into their situations and remind them of exactly who you are.  I pray that your people will not fear the world and its minions.  May your people surrender ALL of their circumstances to you alone.  LORD, I pray that you send forth an army of angels to all who read this prayer.  Allow the sun to stand still in each life as you did for Joshua.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen!