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Walk, Stand, Sit

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on His law he meditates day and night. (Psalm 1:1-2)

Is it just me or have you felt a shift in energy recently? Almost an urgency that you cannot quite put your finger on, but know something is moving, breaking, exposing and revealing. Well, in my quiet time this weekend, I read through this Psalm in its entirety again and again masticating over the words repeatedly, bit by bit, like how a cow or similar ruminant does when it chews its cud. The first two verses became more clear, easier to digest, providing me with the spiritual nutrition needed to fill me up during this famine like season; this valley of dry bones and shadows of death.

I moved to my prayer space, asking God to provide additional insight to His Word and guidance on the days to come as the battleground becomes more intense. When reading through these verses again, it provides evidence that there are two paths here. One that leads to darkness, and the one that we strive for that leads to light, His light; not anyone else’s. We must be very careful not to be deceived in this season of solitude, as this is the tactic of the enemy which is written time and time again in the Bible. And we must be careful of the company that we are keeping that might lead us to dark areas that might open doorways or access panels that should remain closed.

If we are walking, standing or sitting, we must be mindful of the company we are keeping physically or virtually. Not everyone who is with us, is really with us on this path to righteousness. Some want to steer us in a different direction from His truth and others may be blinded intentionally or unintentionally; so this is the season to test everything against God’s Word. This is the time to seek Him for direction and distance yourself from the enemies weapon of mass deception. Meditate on His word day and night and ask God to remove any veils that may be depleting your sight.

Stay Encouraged and Seek Him even more!

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Transformation in Transition

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2 ESV)

“Wow!”, I thought to myself as I read this verse, amazed at how thirty-five words can be so enlightening, especially in this season we are all enduring. This title has been on my mind for over two weeks now and I wrote down the concept in my journal knowing that eventually God would inform me what direction to go. After recently listening to a streaming message, I heard these two “T” words and then knew that it was time to write as God poured into me again with this Bible verse on my mind and deep within my spirit. I hope that you can join me on this journey for a bit about how we can apply what the apostle Paul is directing us all to do in this season of transition.

I think I told you in a previous blog post that I love to look up definitions of words. So, of course once again, I found myself looking deeper into the words transition and transformation. Transition according to my friend Google is defined as the “process or a period of changing from state or condition to another”, which to me, speaks volumes to where we are as a world. We have all had to make many transitions; from physical to virtual communication, from at school to at home learning, from socializing to solitude and from jet-setting to sheltering in place. It has been a lot and it can be overwhelming, but there is so much we can get out of our transitory period.

This time that we are facing together but separate, is a testing season. I think we all know this by now. We are being tested on all fronts; spiritually, financially, emotionally, and relationally. And I pray that we are all becoming more discerning about what God is speaking to us specifically as this world is upside down and inside out. But we must not be conformed to this world. We are in the world, but not of it and as you see there are more ideas, actions and attitudes that have become acceptable by the world’s standard but not by God’s and the only way for us to combat the flesh is by allowing God to transform us from the inside out.

In studying the word transformation, the idea of “metamorphosis” came to mind which is noted as a “process of change and development“. And in order to be transformed into who God needs us to be in this season and in the next, we must adjust our mindset to prioritize His will for our life and not the world’s. So as you journey through this season of transition, use the extra time that you may be given to seek God and ask Him to assist you on your transformation. We are all transforming during this time whether we like it or not. We will never be the same again, but the question is, who do you want to contribute to your radical change, the ways of the world or God and His Word?

Stay Encouraged as You Transform

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Listen in Limbo

You shall walk after the Lord your God and fear him and keep His commandments and obey His voice, and you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him. (Deuteronomy 13:4)

Photo by jonas mohamadi on Pexels.com

The world right now is in an interesting place; everything is uncertain, any sense of normalcy discontinued and our state of affairs are out of order. In this time of being in limbo, where we all feel confused and on pause, we must be certain of where we stand with God and which side of the fork in the road we are walking because this determines where we go in the next leg of our journey, on earth and in heaven. In looking at this powerfully packed bible verse, we are reminded of the importance of listening in limbo.

In dissecting the text there were six important verbs or directives that are listed; walk, fear, keep, obey, serve, and hold. Walking requires active movement. When we walk anywhere, it’s generally toward something and this is the catalyst statement to the rest of this verse. If we are walking after the Lord, this means we are following Him and if we are following Him, we have deep respect or fear of Him. In order to respect God, we must retain or have possession of (the definition for keep) His instructions which are provided in His word. Keeping something means we have it with us and like the Word, which are His instructions, we must have that stored up within us in order for us to complete the next directive; obedience. Obeying God requires active listening and heeding. We cannot listen to Him if we do not humble ourselves to His leading and serve Him. 

Serving God in this season requires us to be selfless in our time of limbo. It requires us to die to self each day and to starve the flesh. There are probably opportunities presented to you everyday where you can be of service and now is the best time to take advantage of using what God has given you to be a blessing to someone else. Lastly, holding fast is another way of saying that we need to adhere to His principles which cannot be accomplished without obeying His voice or listening to His instruction. So, during this limbo period, use your time to actively listen, ask Him for His instruction, follow the way He is leading and obey the commands He has written.

Stay Encouraged!

He Covers, Prepares & Makes

He covers the heavens with clouds; He prepares rain for the earth; He makes grass grow on the hills. Psalm 147:5 (ESV)

During drought like seasons and during the journey inside of the wilderness, what a wonderful reminder of what He does, can do and has done. With worldly outside circumstances, we may become sidetracked by the things of “this world.” We may not be able to control certain elements, but we can control what and who we trust in.

So my question for you is, who do you trust in? Who do you believe in? If God can create the earth and command things into existence, then who are we to doubt what He is doing?-even in these turbulent times. And yes I know it is easier said than done but always remember that no matter what, the battle is already won.

Keep the faith. Maintain your belief. He is actively covering His children and in due time, He will provide us with relief. Do not stop trusting Him. Take heart in this time. Position yourself to be aligned.

Have no Fear, God is very near.

Stay Encouraged.

Study & Apply

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. (Psalm 119:11)

I wrote this title about one month ago during my devotional time with God as I asked myself and God the question, “How can I become more diligent in applying the Word to my life more actively?” I then felt the conviction to work on areas of un-forgiveness and pride that may have set up residence in me that I have not dealt with effectively. It then pointed me to a place of repentance to God and to recite the Lord’s prayer while on my knees one early morning.

I recently started a book on the topic of offense; not realizing that I would really need to read for myself the ways in which the enemy tries to encroach within our spirit and waken up areas that we may be offended by, which causes a hardened heart, leading to many emotions that are not ordained by God. It made me even more aware since as a nation we are in the thick of very dark times; when offenses are at an all time high and when the enemy is trying his very best to win over, destroy and deceive many.

And as horrible as things may be, the urgency to study the Word and apply it to everyday life is screaming out to me and I hope to you too in this moment of great apostasy and syncretism. God prepares us what for what will happen. He instructs us the way in which we should go and He provides discipline and correction, if we choose to abide and submit. But its a choice right? We have this thing called “free will”. We decide what we will immerse ourselves in and what we allow ourselves to be controlled by. We choose what to read, what to believe and if we are not careful, what to be deceived by.

So today, take in the God inspired Word; study it, test it and apply it. It is not only a source or direction, but its for our protection and in these very perilous times, the closer we stick with Him, the better. I cannot think of a more appropriate season than right now to seek Him out with fervency to ensure that my heart, mind and spirit are aligned with Him and not this immensely dark world. Can you?

Stay in the Word and Stay Encouraged!

A Necessary Repentance

From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4:17)

The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now He commands all people everywhere to repent (Acts 17:30)

A Necessary Repentance

I recently had a “Lauryn Hill kind of day”, where I needed to hear words that I feel but sometimes hard to comprehend. Have you ever been there? Well, I listened to one of her songs from an album that is decades old; a song that I have repeated over and over again before and the following words ignited something within me that I knew eventually I would share : “Repent and let your mind be re-taught.” When I heard this, I wondered how many times repentance is mentioned in the Bible. Little did I know that it was over 100 times, which to me highlights its importance.

And I am sure like me, you have been noticing what is occurring in our world which requires all of us to repent; to make a change of direction towards God; to surrender to His will and acknowledge His Sovereignty and to stay on His course. I then reached for my little prayer box and pulled out a prayer card that I wrote in June with just two words: “Global Repentance.” I read this everyday and am seeking God even more but I need help from everyone to also pray for this as well.

As we approach the last trimester of this year, let us all become more committed to prayer and repentance. Let us all evaluate our own hearts, our actions and our words. Let us be kinder to ourselves and each other, not for profit but out of respect and love for God and humanity.

If we would acknowledge the audience of One’s commands then maybe just maybe God will heal our land.

Stay Prayerful and Stay Encouraged!

Alternate Reality

The Lord says, “My thoughts are not like yours. Your ways are not like Mine. Just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so My ways are higher than your ways, and My thoughts are higher than your thoughtsIsaiah 55:8-9 (ERV)

Jesus said, “Don’t be troubled. Trust in God, and trust in Me. There are many rooms in my Father’s house. I would not tell you this if it were not true. I am going there to prepare a place for you.  After I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back. Then I will take you with Me, so that you can be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” John 14:1-4 (ERV)

Alternate Reality

As you look around at what is going on in the world today, it almost does not feel real, but it is. This is really happening and as much as we all want to forget this year and be done and jump through 2020 with rapid speed, we cannot. So, we must embrace and endure this time we are all in right now. In my devotional time this week, the title for this post began to form and I started to see beneath the words and related that to our walk in this world as we anticipate and prepare for the next.

Although we are in perilous times; times which are prophetically written in our weapon of mass instruction (the BIBLE), we must not lose heart or discredit the Master of Greater. I know this season is difficult for everyone. I know it is easy to become disheartened and I know that we want life to go back to “normal”. However, any definition of normal is impossible now. But what is possible and necessary though is seeking Him even more deeply during this crisis. He is essential for the journey ahead, in this life and in the next.

We cannot begin to think on the level of God. His thoughts transcend time and space which is encouraging because He knows all; the beginning and the end. He sees what is happening. He hears our prayers. He acknowledges the evil and will make it for our good. But do we trust Him and the process we are in? Do we really or do we say we do? I had to ask myself this question and now I am asking you.

We cannot rush any process of fulfillment and He is preparing us for what is next. He is waiting for us all to order our steps, to repent for our wrongdoing, to accept Him as our Savior, to walk in obedience and to love others as self. As we embrace our new reality, we allow Him to move in our lives more freely and one day my friend, one day He is coming back for us to bring us to the alternate reality, which is with Him in eternity. Praise Him in advance and get your full self ready for what is next.

Stay Encouraged and Stay in His Word!

Let Go & Pack Light

Simply put, if you’re not willing to take what is dearest to you, whether plans or people, and kiss it good-bye, you can’t be my disciple. (Luke 14:33, MSG)

So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not [carefully consider the cost and then for My sake] give up all his own possessions. (Luke 14:33, AMP)

In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be My disciples.(Luke 14:33, NIV)

So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple. (Luke 14:33 , NKJV)

In my daily devotional time, I have been studying and journeying through the life of Christ as He walked His life’s mission out in front of many as a true example. Every-time I study this, I become more introspective and begin to examine my commitment level as a believer. In studying Luke, and in particular Luke 14, I am reminded of the intense sacrifice of discipleship which is not for the faint of heart.

When I read this verse in multiple translations, I had to stop short and assess my current walk during this plague-like season; a time when I sometimes feel like the Israelites in the wilderness, Daniel in the lions den, the woman who just wants to touch the hem of His garment, Esther during fasting and praying, Paul encouraging others while in prison and Peter, His temper flaring disciple. This season of seclusion is forcing me to evaluate everything in my life; everything. And in reading about the sacrifice of discipleship, I know I must turn it all over to Him, let it go and pack light. And this is not easy to do for someone who would like things to be in more of my control. Can you relate to this today? Are you feeling more out of control as you let God take control? But in the midst of relinquishing control, gaining more peace and insight on who you are in Him?

These are the questions that I have been asking myself in this season as I find myself taking stock of what is truly important. These are the thoughts I have when I read verses like Matthew 6:33 (“But first and most importantly seek His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you also”). And although the stakes are high and the cost of sacrifice can be painful, purging is healing and so freeing. We can never know where God is trying to bring us if we can not allow Him to truly operate. He is always taking us to higher ground even if we have to go the scenic route and take detours. He has more in store for us than we can ever think of.

If there is anything that this social distancing season is teaching me is that we are not in control and that idea was just a man-made illusion with a wrongful conclusion. So in your time of prayer and fellowship, consider the cost. What do you need to let go of? What baggage are you carrying that needs to be culled? What are you running back to that you need to turn from and lastly what do you need to sacrifice in order to truly follow Him?

Stay encouraged!

Peace In Peril

In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety. (Psalm 4:8)

We have officially begun the start of the first weekend of the seventh month, known to be the Sabbath month; a month seen by many religious leaders as a time to “rest” and recuperate spiritually. I thought about that today as our world seems so rest-less, convoluted and more and more confusing, which can create anything but rest. Have you sensed it? Can you feel it? Or is it just me?

We are in some perilous times indeed but just knowing that God is our safety helps me to endure when the danger around me attempts to shift the PEACE to PANIC within me. Can you relate? Have you been there? Or are you there now? Well if you have or are, read through this Psalm for peace and comfort today. It is so easy to see with our physical eyes all the craziness and lose our peace, but He provides us peace in order to lay down; to relax and to sleep; to rest.

Our rest in Him is needed to endure this wilderness experience. We cannot make it without it. I encourage you to see this month as one to restore the rest in Him that you need in order to continue on the journey. The next time you lay down, close your eyes, reach out to Him, rejuvenate your relationship with Him and take in His peace as He provides the protection.

Stay Encouraged and at Peace!

Humble Yourself

He is able to humble those who walk in pride (Daniel 4:36)

For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted. (Luke 14:11)

During my devotion time this morning, God reminded me to continue my journey through the book of Daniel which I started earlier this month, but I got a little sidetracked until I picked it back up again this morning. All I can say is if you have not read the book of Daniel recently, I encourage you to do so during this dry valley of a season we are all enduring. I am being reminded daily as I watch what is happening around the world, that we are out of control and the only One that is in control is the Most High, our Heavenly Father.

This is truly a humbling experience for those who know, believe, study and read the Word. This is a time of deep reflection, a sobering reality and a time for great sifting and shifting, if we really acknowledge what is going on. This is a time to order our steps, to focus on our relationship with God, to solidify our belief in our Savior, and to become more spiritually aligned to Him if we choose to open our eyes. And this is a time to ensure we starve pride and eat that humble pie.

As I read through the reign of King Nebuchadnezzar, I thought about my own journey and times when I was humbled under His Mighty Hand and how it deepened my walk with Him. I remember times when I allowed pride to take residence in my spirit and how God disciplined me like a loving Father in order for me to submit my life to His will. I remember how painful that process was, but also how freeing as it relinquished the imaginary “control” that I thought I had.

When my hands and eyes moved from Daniel to the book of Luke, I read Jesus’ teaching on humility from the parable of the large banquet and it brought to mind so much, too much to discuss in writing but it reminded me once more how imperative it is for us to stay humble, especially now. I then thought to myself, “If humility was not a necessary requirement for our walk in this world, it would not have been mentioned over 70 times in the Bible.”

We do not know it all, God does. We are not in control, God is. We do not have it all together, God does. We cannot fix everything, God can and We are not the highest order, He is!

Stay Encouraged and Stay Humble under His Mighty Hand!

Forfeit the Flesh

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

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?” (Matthew 16:24-26)

Photo by Erik Mclean on Pexels.com

Over the past few months, I have become more aware of the intense spiritual tug of war that is not only occurring all over the world, but within my own being. I have been challenged and pressured to continue to operate in the spirit when the flesh wants to do the opposite and this is reminding me of the importance to continue to die to self each day, to forfeit what the world says or thinks and continue to follow Him. But this is not easy, especially when there are so many out there whose intent is to hurt others and if I am not careful to resist the tactics of the enemy, I would speak out of a place that is not aligned with God, which will cause me to operate out of His will, which for me, especially in this season, is not a place that I want to be.

Can you relate? Are you under pressure and pruning, which is testing you and overwhelming you? If you are and you begin to succumb, think about your walk with Him, where that is headed versus where the flesh is trying to lure you into. Resist it. Resist the urge to walk in the flesh. No matter what someone says or thinks, it’s not about them, it’s about God and most importantly, your relationship with your Maker and what you believe. We have our own cross that we must bear. We have our own trial and tribulations that we must wear, but in the midst of this season of stress, stress what’s important: where will you go from here?

The deeper in God you go, the harder the enemy will try you. As you walk with God in mind, dead weight is left behind. As the wickedness becomes heavier and heavier and as you may be called to become more resolute in your beliefs, take up your cross, forfeit the flesh and walk with God, standing strong to resist what the devil is trying to place in your face in order to keep you from operating out of grace. Over the next week, focus on your spiritual walk. Strengthen your relationship with Him. Follow Him intently; WE HAVE A FIGHT TO WIN!

Stay Encouraged and Stay in Christ!

“I PRAY”

Pray Continually. (1 Thessalonians 5:17)

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. (James 5:16)

My mom sent my husband and I two t-shirts last summer that read: “I PRAY“. I was not aware of its significance then, but wow have things changed since last summer. This t-shirt with just two simple words are so meaningful now and I am not sure if she knew what God was going to do through me but the words on this t-shirt have literally changed the trajectory of my existence.

At the top of the year, I committed to God to become more spiritually available, which to me required a heightened and intensified prayer life in order to grow deeper, to starve the flesh and to commit to being all in for Him; not knowing what was around the corner, but sensing a spiritual shift in the atmosphere.

I asked God for guidance in this area and about one week later as I scrolled online, I stumbled upon a message about the importance of not only tithing resources but also time. Now if you know me, I am person who appreciates time management so I began to become more intentional on doing just that. I started to tithe my time in the areas of being in His presence intentionally which began to manifest in the form of active prayer, not just for me but for others and with others all over the country and also now internationally.

My private time with Him has also changed. I used to sit in my office to read, study and pray but then early February, I felt the urge to get on my knees to pray and I have not left since. I even set my alarm clock to wake up 15 minutes earlier than normal to get into His presence and some days I lay prostrate before Him, praying for others, weeping over this world and praising His name. I cannot even begin to describe how this has changed my life and the life of those who pray with me and for me. I want to thank those who pray for me because I know how powerful and effective your prayers are, especially in this season.

So today, I encourage you to pray. If you have noticed, our world is shifting drastically and God hears our prayers. If you have not yet, find someone to pray with. This is impactful and life changing. And for yourself, pray continually. Not just in the morning or before bed, but throughout the day, before you get to work, as you are driving to the store, as you are getting ready for a meeting or wanting to respond to an email, text or social media post or before making decisions; pray.

Your prayer life is your lifeline to Him and if there were ever a time where praying for yourself and others is needed, it’s NOW. So do me a favor, if you are reading this, pray for me and send me a message and I will pray for you.

Stay Encouraged and Prayed Up!