Featured

Get Up & Go

I asked, ‘What am I to do, Lord?’ The Lord said to me, ‘Get up and go to Damascus; there you will be told everything that has been assigned to you to do.’ Acts 22:10 (NRSV)

Photo by Alex Azabache on Pexels.com

I was recently reading the book of Acts during my Bible study time and became enriched in my spirit after receiving a reminder of Paul (formerly known as Saul’s) journey. I am so thankful for the truth that is layered throughout God’s word; especially in this time we are living in, when the world’s view of truth is the exact opposite. As I read this chapter, this dialogue jumped out at me and I became encouraged about the journey of uncertainty.

The journey of uncertainty can often feel like a blessing and a curse. And if I can be honest, many times we allow what we feel to control how we handle the unknown. More common than not, God will give us the information that we need in our season at the time we need it, not before, but in the present time. Of course we would like to know what to expect, but I am learning by leaps and bounds in this current time of my life what “faith without works is dead” (James 2:14) really means.

I am sure Paul had many moments in his life when even though he did not know what was up ahead, he received clear instructions from God to just go. Here we see in Acts, Paul recalling his own process of dealing with the unknown terrain: obedience and surrender. I am not sure where you are on your path, but what I do know is that it is very uncertain, because life is just that; uncertain.

But in the uncertainty, do not become overwhelmed by the “what if’s”. Use your faith to say yes to where He is calling you to, or drawing out of you. God is way smarter than us. We may think we know what is best for our life, but we are often led carnally and He is more concerned about where we will spend eternity. When He calls, just obey, because at the end of the day…. He is the only Way.

Seek Him. Obey the Call. Complete Your Assignment

Stay Encouraged.

Featured

The Weight of Opportunity

…..”Great gifts mean great responsibilities; greater gifts, greater responsibilities!” Luke 12:48 (MSG)

…..”From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and from him who has been entrusted with much, even more will be demanded”. Luke 12:48 (BSB)

…..”Much will be required of everyone who has been given much. And even more will be expected of the one who has been entrusted with more”. Luke 12:48 (HCSB)

Photo by Leon Ardho on Pexels.com

I recently read a post that stated “opportunity is calling, will you answer?” In reading this post I started to think about the dichotomy of opportunity. On one hand it’s exciting and on the other hand it’s burdensome. It can feel heavy and light at the same time. As we receive more opportunity, then more responsibility ensues. This thought drew me back to Luke. I have been reading this chapter over the course of the month as I work my way through the Bible again this year. I read this verse a few weeks back, underlined it and asked God why it kept resonating day after day, not realizing that I would experience this weighted blessing in the near future.

As I began to read this verse in different biblical iterations, I shifted my focus on what God is asking of me and in turn what is required from me. Surrendering our life and will to His is not a natural feeling by any means. It requires separation of self and intense periods of pruning and preparation. God blesses us all with many gifts and inherent abilities that are designed to be sown into the world, but we have the free will to decide how we will use what He has given.

Sometimes the opportunity that is on our doorstep is wrapped up in other’s expectations, our worries, doubt in ourselves and the opinions of man. But, if God presents something to us, which is His will for us and we move in faith, then our response will become what seems to many and even to ourselves as unnatural or even unpopular. This movement is not something that just happens overnight. We literally have to partner with Him which takes a certain level of spiritual diligence to hear when He is drawing us to another level.

As we continue to walk this walk of endurance facing the weight and all of the pressure, let us fully understand that we are not in this alone and if He has provided an opportunity for us, then He will assist in carrying the load with us. Trust His process, not the world’s pressure.

Seek Him. Obey the Call. Complete Your Assignment.

Featured

Worthy Fruits

Bear fruits worthy of repentance (Luke 3:8) NRSV

Photo by Jane Doan on Pexels.com

I am pretty fortunate to live in a location where fresh fruits are everywhere. I often visit the local markets to pick up the fresh produce that local farmers have sown and reaped. As I thought about the fruit stands, I was reminded of this verse in Luke. In this passage, John the Baptist is speaking to a crowd full of people including the Pharisees and the Sadducees petitioning not only that audience, but us as well to- examine our ways.

I studied this verse and have been thinking about this verse since early this week, asking God what it means and how it pertains to the life of believers in this time right now. To bear something is to endure and what we produce in our life including our actions is the fruit that should be in alignment with Gods will for us; not what the world desires to see. Living a life in deep repentance requires a level of humility, that, to be honest is very rare to see these days.

Many, even in church systems, perform instead of produce and those actions are not rooted in revelation but more so demonstration. And to be transparent, there was a time in my own life when I thought performing was producing, until I realized that my spiritual walk was stunted and I felt far from God although I thought I was doing “holy” things to please man instead of prioritizing God.

I am thankful for this reminder of what true repentance represents. Turning away from that act of religion and devoting time to true relationship with God, the Body of Christ and to all has caused death to pride and has given me more access to His grace. What we are sowing daily can either produce the fruit that as John the Baptist states is “worthy of repentance” or be just for show without any long term sustenance.

I pray that we all continue to examine what we are doing, saying and becoming each day. As God continues to highlight areas that require repentance and submission, let us all so diligently seek His guidance and His gentle embrace.

Stay Encouraged.

Seek Him. Obey the Call. Complete Your Assignment

Featured

Grace in the Wilderness

This is what the Lord says: “The people who survived the sword found favor in the wilderness when Israel went to find rest”. Jeremiah 31:2 (BSB)

Photo by Sagui Andrea on Pexels.com

I know when reading this title you may be thinking the same thing as I did when I wrote this down a few months ago-“What a paradox”. I thought that too but even more recently, I have come to appreciate the grace of God in the midst of the wilderness. The wilderness can represent many facets in our life. It can be a place where we are being pressed, a season of trauma healing, a period of wrestling, a moment of loneliness, a time of pruning or a walk in uncertainty-all of which we usually do not want to experience but are essential for our growth.

And if we think about the wilderness season as a time of deep introspection and dwelling in God’s presence, even in isolation, we can see the hand of God in our life. And although in the moment, we may feel like we are the only ones who had to journey through the desert place, we are not. If we look back on the life of Moses and Abraham, the people of Israel, John the Baptist and even Jesus Himself, they all had to endure that time in their life to propel them into their next phase. The same goes for both me and you.

I believe we are all in this place in some way shape or form, and we all need to seek the Holy face of God as we make our way through our process. Our life is a continuous journey that ebbs and flows, that is high and low, that is up and down and that is vibrant and dull. If you are in what you anticipate as the low in your life or a walk in the wilderness, thank God for His grace in the wilderness. God will give us what we need- even what we think we do not want in order to uproot us out of the limitations in our mind. Be patient in your wilderness, have faith in God in your journey, listen intently when He speaks and do not be afraid to go the distance in your desert like experience. This too shall pass and God is molding you to be built to last.

Stay Encouraged.

Seek Him. Obey the Call. Complete Your Assignment

Featured

Move in Mercy

Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had on you? Matthew 18:33 (BSB)

Photo by Brett Jordan on Pexels.com

Mercy. I know you have heard of that word before and maybe have used it many times. When I read this verse this morning, I asked myself a question that I will rhetorically ask you: “Are you moving in mercy?” You might be asking yourself, what does that really mean, as I did as well. If I am being transparent, I know that there are times when the need to move in mercy should occur more frequently if I allowed the Holy Spirit to operate effectively.

But what is mercy really? I am glad you asked. A befitting definition that I recently read in the book Life in Tension by Dr. Stephen W. Hiemstra, describes that mercy has the “same root as compassion and is closely related to forgive”. And being merciful means “being concerned about people in their need”. Jesus is an example of demonstrating mercy at the highest level by dying for our sins. If we are to be the hands and feet of Jesus on the earth today, what does that tell us about how we should model after Him?

Jesus came for us, sinners. He came for those who hated Him, who did not and do not believe in Him and those who would and will deny Him. In reading over this verse, which is based on a parable of the unforgiving servant (Matthew 18: 21-35), I felt the stir to examine my own heart and actions regarding mercy. I pray that we not only have the word mercy as part of our repertoire, but that our ability to move in mercy becomes a core component of who we are.

Stay Encouraged.

Seek Him. Obey the Call. Complete Your Assignment

Featured

Growth Mindset

Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundations from dead works, and of faith in God. Hebrews 6:1 (BSB)

Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation. 1 Peter 2:2 (BSB)

Photo by Singkham on Pexels.com

A few weeks ago, I wrote down these words as I started brainstorming a talk that I will be delivering in a few weeks. When I scribbled down these two words in a prayer journal, and remembered the term originally coined by psychologist Carol Dweck, I felt a stirring to explore further. When describing the growth mindset, it is often contrasted with a fixed mindset. To sum up the differences, individuals harnessing a growth mindset believe that talent and intelligence can grow with practice and experience. On the contrary, fixed mindset believers, believe that those same qualities are fixed and cannot be changed.

As I thought about that in the context of worldly living, it was as if God was providing me additional emphasis of the importance of possessing a growth mindset spiritually. I even thought about the differences between Apostle Paul and the Pharisees. Paul shifted dramatically and continued to grow in God for the sake of the kingdom. The Pharisees were stuck in religious traditions and missed the mark of transformation and salvation.

Growing in understanding, experiencing God daily, meditating on His Word continually and applying it to life consistently are avenues that not only provide access to spiritual development, but as we mature, we will constantly be developing more and more into the person that God sees, not what the world wants. We can try and live “holy” or be “righteous”, but without faith in God and belief that Jesus saved us, then those are just works that come from human effort instead of authentic commitment.

The Pharisees modeled dead works often and represented the fixed mindset category. Although Jesus was standing right in front of them, based on previous knowledge about carpenter Jesus, they could not see Christ Jesus. As we are all walking out our own salvation each day, ask God for the desire to grow in maturity and shift our mindset to living in liberty.

Stay Encouraged.

Seek Him. Obey the Call. Complete Your Assignment

Featured

Consider the Lilies

And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Matthew 6:28-30 (ESV)

Gods Beauty

About one week ago, I went for a walk and decided to take pictures of the arrangement of flowers that were seen throughout my journey. One after one, I marveled at the colors and the uniqueness of each flower, petal and position. As I made my way to a stopping point, I flipped through my camera in awe of the beauty that God creates. I sat on a cut down tree watching the waves from a distance as the nearby seagulls dove head first into the tide to retrieve their breakfast.

I started to think about these verses and quickly found it on my Bible app and read the words as I revisited the pictures on my phone. I gazed up in the blue landscape with paint brush appearing clouds and took a deep breath. I thanked God and was immensely grateful and humbled in that moment realizing how small I was compared to His vastness, but that He is just so mindful of me. It was in that moment, when a charge of renewed faith stirred within me, crowding out any anxiousness and entering the warmth of the sun and His comfort.

In this season, as we are all undergoing many transitions, uncertainty, restlessness and immense shifting, let us remember who God is and think about why we succumb to worry. Our faith will be challenged today and moving forward but just look at the lilies, the birds and even the creepy crawling things around you. God takes care of them and so He most certainly will look after all of us too.

Stay Encouraged.

Seek Him. Obey the Call. Complete Your Assignment.

Featured

Stationed in the Kings Court

To these four young men God gave knowledge and skill in every aspect of literature and wisdom; Daniel also had insight into all visions and dreams. (Daniel 1:17)

and the king spoke with them. And among them all, no one was found to compare with Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; therefore they were stationed in the kings court. (Daniel 1:19)

Photo by Jan Krnc on Pexels.com

Yesterday afternoon, I was washing dishes and thought about the story of Daniel. Little did I know that this would be the story that would be part of my Bible reading in my devotional time this morning. It’s pretty amazing when the Holy Spirit gives you a download of what is coming before you even realize that that is what that is.

I was meditating on Daniel and his BFF’s because I am becoming more aware of the times we are in and what may be required of us sooner than later. It was like God was reminding me to stand firm and to not back down. I felt God reminding us all that who He calls qualified is so; not what “man” thinks.

If God can give these four men extended capacity wrapped in all the knowledge and wisdom that they would need to be given in their role to work directly at the kings station, imagine what He can do for you right now. We are in some pretty dynamic times; filled with intense darkness but also extreme light.

That light is in you and me. Do not be surprised if God places you in big rooms that you were not expecting to be standing in. Do not question whether you belong there or not? You do because He sent you there. Just allow Him to operate fully through you without the fleshy you discounting who you are in this season. As you begin to flow with what He has provided for you to withdraw from, you will become acutely aware, of the why and the reason.

Stay Encouraged.

Seek Him. Obey the Call. Complete Your Assignment.

Featured

Many Dwelling Places

Your heart must not be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if not, I would have told you. I am going away to prepare a place for you. If I go away and prepare a place for you, I will come back and receive you to Myself so that where I am you may be also. John 14: 1-3 (HCSB)

Photo by Rahul Pandit on Pexels.com

I do not know about you, but if this message as many describe as the “Farewell Discourse” from Jesus is not needed today, right now, I do not know what is. Jesus knew precisely what His disciples needed to hear in that moment, knowing that His death was imminent and that His followers were deeply troubled. He gave them and (us) a clear directive, to ensure that our heart is not disturbed, even when so many disturbing events are occurring all around.

When reading these verses this morning, I imagined the dwelling places in our mind and how that impacts our heart. If our heart is troubled, then most likely our mind is as well. If we focus on all the things around us vying for our peace, we lose the peace that Jesus gives us freely, not the counterfeit version from this maladjusted world.

If we forget that this space that we walk in each day is temporal and fickle, we will not hold on to the promises of God. And God is not one to break a promise right? It may be hard for us to comprehend this because we are human and people break promises everyday, but God is outside of time and space and everything He is doing or what we are seeing, He foreknew .

Today, focus on the dwelling places that Jesus speaks of awaiting us all. We can either be caught up by world or caught into His presence. So you have a choice to make. Which one brings you more joy? Which one brings you more peace? Which one covers you with love? Which one honors the covenant between you and Him? And which one is more concrete?

Seek Him. Obey the Call. Complete Your Assignment.

Stay Encouraged.

Featured

Keep Watch over Your Words

Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch at the door of my lips. (Psalm 141:3) BSB

Life and death are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit. (Proverbs 18:21) BSB

Speaking rashly is like a piercing sword , but the tongue of the wise brings healing. (Proverbs 12:18) BSB

Use Words to Uplift

Our Words. This topic has been on my mind and within my spirit for weeks now and I have noticed how the Holy Spirit is beginning to reveal to me more and more the power that they carry. Over the last couple of weeks, I have found myself listening more intently to what others are saying (and “not saying”), what thoughts come to my own mind in discussion and my response in return. I have realized that in some of our frivolous conversations, that we can be negatively impacting our own environment by what we place in the atmosphere.

I am not sure if it’s just me, but I have noticed how much more derogatory others words are becoming and the impact that that may have in my own thoughts. If not careful, I can say something in a response that I wish I could take back immediately, which is why I believe that these verses and so many others pertaining to this topic (Isaiah 55:11) have been stirring within my spirit as a reminder and gentle rebuke, to keep watch over my words.

Our words have the power to build up or tear down, to plant or uproot, to encourage or destroy and to give life or death. The consequence of our action of speech depends on our free will and what we decide to do with those words. In a world built on sensationalism, immediate reactions, hate talk and constant opinions fueled in judgements and covered in ego and envy, I pray that we do not lose our way and get led astray by the deception in dialog occurring in these last days.

I encourage you as I am myself to watch over the words that occupy our space each day. Pray over the atmosphere that you are in. Remember who you are representing. We are to be a light in ever growing darkness. What we say to each other and to our selves about others and even about ourselves, will not return to us void. Consider the light that is within. Do not dim it based on conversation, but use your words inspired by the Good Word to intensify the needed positive illumination.

Stay Encouraged.

Seek Him. Obey the Call. Complete Your Assignment.

Featured

The Power of Your Thorn

So to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it way from me. But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness”. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12: 7-9

Photo by DAMIANUM CASTRUM on Pexels.com

Question for you today: Have you ever prayed to God to remove something from you that has not been answered yet or fulfilled? If you have and answered yes, then you are not the only one. I have been thinking about that recently after reading more about judgments and forgiveness. It was something that I have been musing on more deeply as we watch the world becoming more radically judgmental and less forgiving.

My mind went back to this verse and I heard someone talking about this verse last week, I think in part as a reminder for me, but maybe also for you. I remember a time in my life when I would ask God over and over to remove some behavior or thinking that I thought was blocking my ability to deepen my relationship with Him, but to be honest, it actually strengthened my dependence in Him, which ironically drew me closer to Him.

Why? How? You may be asking. Well, it made me even more reliant on His guidance and support to let what needed to be stamped out of my life to be done in His timing, not in my fleshly conquest. And as you can see, we are not alone in this journey. Even Paul ( formerly known as Saul) battled with something that led to his boasting in Christ. This same Paul who wrote 2/3rds of the New Testament, was weak in an area that only power of God could strengthen.

Although we do not know what Paul’s thorn was, we know what ours is right? We all have one. It makes us human. It makes us relatable to others. It makes us look at our plank more than the speck in someone else. It makes us more reliant on the power of the Holy Spirit and it shows us that when we are weak, then He is strong. Instead of feeling shame, regret, or perturbed by your thorn, thank God for being made in His image and for the opportunity to be revived in His presence and to receive His power and belief in Him to be reborn.

Stay Encouraged.

Seek Him. Obey the Call. Complete Your Assignment.

Featured

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

Featured

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)

Photo by EKATERINA BOLOVTSOVA on Pexels.com

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.

Featured

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.

Featured

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

Photo by Mstudio on Pexels.com

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.

Featured

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)

Photo by Ksenia Chernaya on Pexels.com

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

Featured

The Light in His Word

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

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko on Pexels.com

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

Featured

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

Photo by Jeffrey Czum on Pexels.com

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

Featured

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

Featured

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!

Featured

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

Featured

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!