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The Cloud & The Light

In the daytime He led them with a cloud, and all night long with a fiery light. Psalm 78:14

I was thinking about God’s leading recently after having a conversation with a friend. She was questioning hearing or seeing God in this murky season that we are all encountering. I recounted a few times where I specifically sensed God steering me in a direction unbeknownst to others around me and gave her a list of ways that I began to become even more intentional about hearing and moving in the way that He advised; even when it meant a season of loneliness or wilderness.

This brought me back to this verse. God was leading the Israelites during their wilderness experience. They had a physical manifestation to cling to day and night and they were led accordingly. What I came to realize during this time of reflection is that to be led requires humility, not pride. Many times we miss what God is trying to convey because of our own inability to submit and obey.

In reading this verse and seeing how God led them all day and all night, it made me even more aware of the importance of being led by the Holy Spirit during this season. Just as the Israelites had the pillar of cloud and the fire of night to guide them, God has given us the power of the Holy Spirit to direct us, to speak to us, to show us what to do through His Word, to give us wisdom, provide discernment and insight along our very personal journey in life.

Let us all be led and fed by the Holy Spirit.

If God gave Him as a guide for us to use, then He knows what’s ahead and understands the critical importance of what path to correctly choose.

Seek Him. Obey the Call. Complete Your Assignment.

Stay Encouraged

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The Speck vs The Plank

Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?  How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? Matthew 7:3-4 (NIV)

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I took a bit of a pause in writing over the past couple of weeks, but yesterday as I wrote notes in my journal at church, I stumbled upon this title that I must have written about one month ago. I thought during my devotional time that I would be reading a book that I found on our bookshelf, but the Holy Spirit led me to sit down and write. So here we are- you reading this and me writing this.

I think over the past few months in listening to what others are saying whether between the lines or outright, passing judgements is becoming more and more overt. If not careful, one may find themselves either judging in secret or in public, but the question that I pose is, would Jesus approve? When I asked the questions to myself, I could feel the conviction in my own past diction and thought pattern leading me to repent for my own wrong doing.

In our daily experience, we will encounter those who we may not particularly care for and who we believe are wrong, but we must be careful to observe whether we are falling into the trap of judgements either in our mind or dialect and ask God to remove the bitter fruit of that entrapment.

If we honestly look at ourselves in our own mirror, we can see our own plank that needs correction. I know I require help from the Holy Spirit in this area as my flesh desires to react, but my spirit overrules to respond in love. When we posture ourselves in this manner and consider all that God has forgiven us for, how can we judge others? Makes you sit back and think right?

I pray that today and each day moving forward we can both remove our own plank with His help and guidance, see past the speck of others, lead with love and overdose with grace.

Stay Encouraged. Seek Him, Obey the Call, Complete Your Assignment.

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Tension in Transition

Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old. I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:18-19 (NRSV)

Tension. A word that I am sure we can all relate to especially after reading the definition. According to dictionary.com, tension is defined as the “the state of being stretched tight”. If you have or are experiencing it, tension can be seen right before, during or after a major change or a major shift. Although we may not like the feeling, it is a necessary component for transition (the process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another) to occur.

However you consider your time of tension in transition, know that God is still in midst. He is always here, but sometimes we become dull in Spirit and cannot effectively sense or see the infinite possibilities that can occur if we keep moving forward with Him as our guide. Other times we become nostalgic, not ready to give up what needs to be retired so that we can pick up what God wants to spring forth.

In your devotional time today, meditate on this verse. If you are experiencing tension in transition, perhaps that is exactly what you need to embrace and allow God to reveal to you in His time, what is next. Transition is a period of changing and that is exactly what we are doing every day; changing.

Our current condition does not dictate the final outcome, but our internal position and divine recognition plays a major role in our ability to ebb and flow with the tides of life. Give yourself to His internal workings. Allow yourself to be immersed in His presence. Believe on His promises and accept the tension in your life as fuel for transition and the springboard for future elevation.

Stay. Encouraged. Seek Him. Obey the Call. Complete Your Assignment.

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He Raises Deliverers

But when the Israelites cried out to the Lord, the Lord raised up a deliverer for the Israelites who delivered them, Othniel some of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother. The spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he judged Israel; he went out to war, and the Lord gave King Cushan-rishathaim of Aram into his hand; and his hand prevailed over Cushan-rishathaim. So the land had rest forty years. Judges 3:9-10

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When reading this yesterday during my devotional time, I sat in awe and marveled on the graciousness and faithfulness of our God as I read what was occurring in the lives of the Israelites and even reminiscing on events that have transpired in my own life, which provided me with a new fresh wind of peace that flooded within. I again began to just thank Him for His protection and provision. In times of uncertainty, in times of unrest, in times of feeling unsettled and even in times of doubt. But with just one reminder and one verse, it is amazing how God’s care for us creates a sense of hope and assurance of a future that if we were to see through the lens of the world is void of that word:hope.

I am even more aware in these times of great darkness that if we are not in this place of active discovery of how the Lord continues to look after His people, we are missing the very true nature of our loving Father. He hears us. He is listening to us. He is in every detail; even in the thick darkness. He is ever present and understands our prayers even when we do not. I am reminded of Paul and Silas (Acts 17) , being persecuted and landing up in prison but praying and praising God until they too were delivered from the very bondage that man placed in their path.

And just like those Israelites crying out to the Lord and the Lord hearing them and raising up someone who delivered them out of their circumstances, God can do the same thing in an instance. But we must seek Him and have faith in His ability. We have no idea what God may up to, but He is always doing something that we cannot even fathom. Our job is to trust and serve Him; to love others and to pray for everyone (even our enemies; yes even them) .

The body of Christ is in this earth for such a time as this so let us rise out of any feeling of defeat and despair and get off our feet and kneel in His presence in deep reflection, thankfulness and prayer.

Stay Encouraged.

Seek Him. Obey the Call. Complete Your Assignment.

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According to His Pattern

The Lord spoke to Moses saying: “Speak to Aaron and say to him: When you set up the lamps, the seven lamps shall give you light in front of the lampstand”.  Aaron did so; he set up its lamps to give light in front of the lampstand, as the Lord commanded Moses. Now this was how the lampstand was made, out of hammered work of gold. From its base to its flowers, it was hammered work; according to the pattern that the Lord had shown Moses, so he made the lampstand.  Numbers 8: 1-4 (NRSV)

Then I turned to see whose voice it was that spoke to me, and on turning, I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the lampstands I saw one like the Son of Man, clothed with a long robe with a golden sash across His chest.  Revelation 1: 12-13 (NRSV)

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I cannot begin to tell you how amazed I am after reading the Word of God, when He just reveals something to you that at one time you would have glossed over. I know this is not just happening to me as I have had many conversations with others who have been experiencing this exact same process in their personal devotional time. This was how I felt when re-reading these verses over and over again, which if I had not journeyed through the book of Revelation in detail months before, I would not have recognized the relationship between these two books. But who am I kidding, the entire Word of God is connected to each other. It is His inspired Word so why would it not be?

In studying the book of Revelation recently where the messages to the seven churches, representing the entire Body of Christ were given, I have been examining my ways more and more and have been asking God to sift through my heart and hammer out anything that is not pure in His sight; not in the sight of man. And I recognize that this year is a year of deep purging and purifying as God takes us all through the process of sanctification- to be set apart for His purpose, which requires a certain process; according to His pattern. Just like God gave Moses instructions to give to Aaron regarding the way that these lampstands should be made- hammered out of pure gold; every single piece of it, so is God hammering things out of us, in order to purify us, according to His” modus operandi”- a distinct pattern- a method of procedure. 

And everything that is occurring in and around us right now is according to His pattern. We may not understand it, and maybe we are not meant to?  Maybe we are to trust Him in everything and have faith that He will bring us through.  What we may be walking through is a distinct opportunity for us to be refined, to become purified, to remove the vestiges that do not suit us any longer so that we can represent His true nature on the earth, but sometimes it requires a hammering, a forceful repeated molding that might not “feel” good at the time, but is necessary for our growth and for our true selves to be revealed.  Let us all embrace what God is doing in our lives and accept the pattern according to the Lord. The more we submit to the change, the better off we will be and the more light buried deep will become more and more exposed for others to gravitate towards and see.

Seek Him. Obey the Call. Complete Your Assignment.

Stay Encouraged

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The Light in His Word

The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple.  Psalm 119:130

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I know it is not just me as I have heard this from many believers I know, but the Word of God is literally beginning to jump off the pages and taking new shape and authority over my life. I believe part of that is more of the understanding of who God is to me in this season but also because I sense His presence more and more these days and there is nothing more comforting than His righteous Word. During my devotional time, I began reading the selection for today and this particular verse describes what I think many of us feel as we read passages that we have read before but depending on the season we are in, it penetrates more deeper and new understanding begins to surface.

This is the beautiful consequence of studying God’s Word. We begin to see how applicable it is to our experiences and they really do start to provide light to all areas of our lives; especially the areas that need adjustment, correction and direction. Am I right?  And just over the last two weeks as I searched for God more in His Word, He began to open up to me again things that I did not see before because maybe I did not want to see it or I was not ready to receive it. But now, as God continues to enlighten me daily, ignorance can no longer be part of my existence. This understanding that He gives us, can literally unlock so many areas in our life that were or are bound; if we want this. It is our decision to make, right? Whether we apply what is in this great Book or gloss over verses that require us to use in our daily operations.

When light comes into our space, it generates energy that cannot be erased. And, this is exactly what the word of God does. Once it exposes us to certain things, we cannot unsee it. It’s a catalyst that requires change in order to be made whole. As God continues to unwrap and unveil certain details to us in our own time with Him and in reading His Word, let us continue to see the light that He is giving and not take for granted the many chances to become made new is in His image in order to properly navigate in this world in which we are living in.

Be Encouraged. Seek Him. Obey the Call. Complete Your Assignment

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This is The Way

 And though the Lord will give you bread of adversity and water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide Himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher and your ears shall hear a word behind you saying, “this is the way, walk in it”, when you turn to the right and turn to the left. Isaiah 30:20-21

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I am sure when you read the first sentence of the verse there were two words that jumped out to you as did me: adversity and affliction. I had these verses written out for weeks and happened to read it this morning, not knowing that the pull to write would center around this text. I then wanted to know more of course to understand the context of what was happening during this time in biblical history. This was a time when the people of God were resisting His direction and instruction.  Even though they would go through hardships as a consequence, God still shows great mercy and compassion and would reveal Himself to them and guide them into proper sight. However, they still needed to do their part by repenting and removing certain practices which were taking first place in their life.

And this is truly how God responds to all of us; with compassion, mercy and love. I cannot think of a better demonstration of love but from Him. The purest source of light that we can ever experience and the ability to hear from Him or for Him to reveal Himself to us requires a relationship with Him that we must continuously seek after for more and more instruction, daily.  Knowing that He our Father, is watching over us, walking with us through much adversity and affliction, but being right there to see us out of it and allow us to continue the journey with Him speaks so much to me about His faithfulness that we do not lose our way or come out of divine fellowship with Him.

Seeing and hearing is great, but listening and seeking is needed on our part. So in your day to day activities, which I am sure are many, because I know how it is these days; take the necessary time to seek Him so that you can hear Him and so that you can see Him. He wants us to walk with Him, but our attention to His presence and guidance requires stillness. The next time God speaks, will you hear Him? The next time He reveals Himself, will you see Him? Only you can answer that question, but go deeper into what He wants from you and as He instructs you on your way, do the next right thing and obey.

Stay Encouraged,

Seek Him , Obey the Call, Complete Your Assignment

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Stillness Speaks

Rest in God alone, my soul, for my hope comes from Him. (Psalm 62:5)

St. Kitts & Nevis

Is it just me or do you find yourself craving for the quiet more as the world around you becomes even more busier…if that is even possible?

I was just thinking to myself “why are we so busy all of the time?” Do we have time to just sit and be and rest in God? Do we allow Him to hear us and even more importantly: do we give Him opportunity to speak to us? Or are we on to the next thing? After taking a bit of a hiatus in writing in order to make several life transitions including deepening my walk, if I am not careful, I can find myself drifting back into a “busy” state by the many demands that may be placed in my path: both self -motivated and created by others.

But when I shift my focus on what and most importantly WHO matters, I become more centered and that rest in “God alone” provides nourishment for my soul. I then realize that it is ok to be quiet, to meditate on His Word, to allow Him to create the inner peace in the midst of the chaos and for me to absorb it in its fullness.

If that commitment to prioritizing alone time with Him is not made, then other things will fill its space creating distractions and unwanted angst. It can damper our ability to be used effectively and will decrease our productivity even if we appear to be doing “all the stuff” that may be externally pleasing but internally depleting us of the very resource we need for sustenance.

God wants our full attention. And we need Him for proper sight and direction.

Rest in Him

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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)

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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!

Know who He is

The Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name, “The Lord”. The Lord passed before him, and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness,” Exodus 34:5-6

In my devotional time this morning, I could sense God nudging me to re-read this Bible verse as He knows me so well and knows exactly what I need to hear and see for myself for it to penetrate deep within. I am not sure about you, but I am always reflective on Resurrection Sunday and what it truly means; not what the secular world portrays. I often think about the anguish experienced by Jesus a couple of days before He had to endure the most painful and selfless sacrifice for those who would reject Him and not appreciate what He had to walk through for us.

When I thought about this, all I could hear in my mind is something that Jesus said in John 5: 19(NRV) “… the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does”. Knowing that Jesus walked this earth in physical form to display God’s love for us in everyday, tangible and supernatural ways made me even more grateful to know the God the Father that Jesus spoke of and “the Lord, the Lord” that came to meet and assist Moses.

To attempt to describe all that God is and what He truly represents is not possible, because there are not words, but there is a deep internal worship that consistently oozes from me when I cannot muster up even how to fully describe Him. As He renewed His covenant with the Israelites in the days of Moses, so He did with us by providing us with a divine intercessor- Jesus who died to save us all.

Let us not forget what this day represents. Thank you Jesus for dying for our sins so that we can be set free externally, but most importantly from within.

Stay Encouraged!

Seek Him. Obey the Call. Complete Your Assignment.

The Call to Return-Do You Hear It?

Therefore say to them,  Thus declares the Lord of hosts:  “Return to me, says the Lord of hosts, and I will return to you, says the Lord of hosts” Zechariah 1:3 

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I remember the day that I heard God speak to me to start writing. I was sitting on the floor in my bedroom watching a revival in progress on the television and there was this overwhelming sensation to start seeking God on a new level that required me to put away many meaningless distractions in order to draw closer to Him. I began with just one devotional and then day after day and hour after hour, He began to just download topics to write about followed up with His Word for daily application, which so strategically caused me to study the Word more, not knowing how much I would need it right now. I chuckle now because God used the thing that I love to do; learn and study and drew me right into His presence day after day.

When I read this verse, I thought about that time. I would even spend hours in my office just reading and writing and allowing the Holy Spirit to just guide the process. Little by little, He was removing the “stuff” that I thought was once important and that created a deeper desire to continue to seek Him out, but I had to be in a place to hear Him. What about you? Do you hear Him? Do you feel the call to return? I sense Him nearer and nearer these days; so much so that I find myself just sitting with instrumental worship music yearning for Him to speak as I make myself available spiritually to hear. It has taken me a while to get to this point and when He feels far, I ask myself if I have placed anything in my life that is disrupting the flow of me being able to hear Him.

And as the voice of the Lord was speaking to His people through Zechariah in a time when the people of Israel had returned from Babylonian exile to Judah and Jerusalem, the message still holds true today: the call to repentance and to return to Him wholeheartedly. Repentance is a word that we use often but it must be more than just a word, but a lifestyle. I believe that God is calling us. He is calling us all to return;  to repent, to seek Him for more understanding and wisdom, to experience the genuine love of a Father, to feel His correction as protection, to embrace His guidance with complete obedience and to let go of what may be corrupting our ability to recognize His divine presence. 

Stay Encouraged

Seek Him. Obey the Call. Complete Your Assignment

The Journey vs. The Ride

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,  whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4

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This morning as I slowly ascended out of my slumber to come and talk to God before the busyness of the day begins to pull on the energy that I have for the remaining week, I started thinking about going through the journey versus just being along for the ride and how this is tied to our walk into maturity as God’s children. I think the reason this has been on my mind is because of something someone I heard mention and it resonated with me. She said: we can be saved, but not journeying with God.  When she said this, I wrote it down and thought about my own journey into spiritual maturation and all that it has entailed.

And there is truly a difference between going through the journey, allowing God to mature you as you face many seasons, valleys, wildernesses and storms and just being along for the ride, not really learning the importance of the direction or redirection or becoming stagnant in your position in Christ. I had to ask myself which category do I fit in, the journey or the ride? And I am wondering where you are on your own path to full maturity. The way we see the journey is a reflection of how we see God. If we do not sense His presence and the leading of the Holy Spirit in every part of our walk, then are we truly growing in Him? Are we truly fixing our gaze on His vastness and surrendering to His pruning?

I am not sure what leg of the journey you are on today and what you are facing, have faced or will face that will test your commitment to Him, but wherever you are my friend, let God in. Let Him finish what He started. Let Him mature you in your testing. Let Him teach you in the midst of the pressure and embrace the changes that He is demanding of you. Sometimes we forget He made us and in all things, He just wants what is best for us, but are we too consumed by what the world wants from us or all that He desires for us to be rewarded with, IF, we diligently seek Him and intentionally journey with Him; not just sitting in the passenger seat waiting for the next turn, or watching from the sidelines, or following what everyone else is doing, but expecting to learn from the road we are on to keep us aligned to the path that He has set before us.

Stay Encouraged

Seek Him, Obey the Call, Complete Your Assignment