Many times we ask God is He there. We want to know if He is listening, does He hear our requests? Will He answer our requests? I say YES! YES! YES! I remember as a kid well shoot sometimes as an adult I have made crazy requests, ” God if you there let me win a million dollars” Most of the time though my requests are simple, like, “God if you get me out of this or that I promise I won’t do such and such again. Sometimes He comes through and other times He does not. All in all, I know that God hears….answers me… and wants me to listen.
Lately, I have been studying the story of Gideon. (James 6-8) For those that don’t know the short story is: Gideon was a young boy and God spoke to Him and told him that he would use him to deliver the Israelites from the Midianites. Gideon questioned God’s choice and told God he didn’t feel qualified. He asked God 3 TIMES to prove He would use him to save the Israelites. Each time God answered Gideon. God used Gideon just as He said he would and provided Gideon with the confidence he did not have.
God understands as humans He knows it is hard for us to trust or even fathom the thought that we are His children. But God says for us to come to Him in prayer and petition. (Philippians 4:6- Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.) Just to think Gideon just knew He wasn’t who God said he was. (Judges 6:15-15 “But Lord, Gideon asked, “how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.) God was patient, reassuring, and confident in Gideon. God has the same love and compassion for us.
Each week at work I can think back and say to myself I don’t know how I made it through that week. I get an assignment an d have meetings and at the time at hand I’m so stressed out and confused I just know I will be fired before the week is up. But week after week I have made it through. It is only by the grace of God. I am learning my position from scratch so just like Gideon I did not feel qualified but God reassures me task after task, meeting after meeting. I don’t know where my current job is taking me but I’m learning while I can.
Additionally, i know God has called me to write. To write what I’m not sure. I know this blog is part of it but beyond that I am clueless. I keep telling myself that I am not the good or no one is reading it or it’s not changing lives. I have 50 million excuses. What I am realizing now is that I do it for me. It gives me that time to study, focus on God, and bring Him glory. As you can see my writing has been slacking. I used to post weekly but it slowly dwindled down. I know God has been telling me to sit down and do this and I finally have. The push has been other possible writing opportunities may arise so I know this is training for what is to come so i am being obedient.
He is calling all of us to do more….be more….help more….serve more…. and be more like Him. If we don’t feel confident enough in the task He is calling you to do remember (Isaiah 55:8-9- “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth,so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts) God adds, “…….So is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” God’s word is bond and does not come back void.
So walk boldly and confidently into what God has been telling you to do that you have been running from. For me it is has been this blog post and see I produced it!
I know the lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me. No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice. My body rests in safety. For you will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your holy one to rot in the grave. You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures
of living with you forever. (Psalms 16:8-11 NLT)
After reading this doesn’t a sense of peace just wash over you? To know despite your mess and where you are now God is not leaving you to “rot in the grave.” God’s promises always set me at ease. His ultimate example of love, of having Jesus martyred for our sins, and then have Him rise from the dead makes me feel forever indebted. I can never do everything right but I can attempt to live righteously.
So even when I know I may mess up, I know He knew it would happen and has already provided a way out. Jesus says, “The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know.” (Acts of the Apostles 1:7 NLT) He knew when Judas would betray Him, and He knew would I fall as well. However as the bible is my instruction for life I try to live like a David as a woman after God’s own heart. As a child of God, I know He will pick me up when I fall. I know as a follower of Jesus temptation will come but I have an inner strength to tap into to see me through……. Have you tapped into your inner strength? Do you know you don’t have to be shaken because The Lord is with you? Do you trust God to show you the way?
“Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.
There are many times in our lives we find ourselves chugging along when something from our past smacks us in the face. This could be old habits, relationships, or just simply stinking thinking. Whatever it may be, it deters us from the ultimate plan or what God has in store for us. After reading this passage again this week, it had a whole new meaning for me and I hope by sharing with you it does for you as well.
As I was struggling this week with smoking cigarettes I needed this scripture to help me abort the destructive mission I was about to partake in. I remember describing the action to a friend as “sifting through the trash God has already cleaned up.” You see God delivered me from smoking back in August and for unknown reason I had a craving and a urge. I regretfully gave in for 3 weeks. I prayed by myself, I prayed with friends, and I tried to quit again. Somehow this stronghold was back and I could not shake it.That was until one day I was so sick. I did not know why but I felt completely horrible. I prayed again but this time earnestly because I wanted God to know I could not go through this again.
He spoke to me and reminded me of this scripture. I immediately felt calmer and slept the rest of the day. I have not smoked since. I know God is trying to do something new in my life and I must get out of His way to allow it to happen. I ask if there are things or people in your life that you know are stopping you from going to the next level or God already removed them from your life…..don’t go back….Can’t you see He is doing something new for you?
Have you ever asked God “Why Me?”
Have you ever thought, “I don’t have a clue how to get out of this situation.”
Or just summed it up, “God you have to perform a miracle to make _______ happen.”
Well I have been there, done that. I’m at the place now of waiting and needing endurance while sitting in this waiting room.
The word says, For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13 NLT) This lets us know that everything is possible and not to draw on ourselves to get through. I like to visualize God as that extra battery pack. He has the full charge to get us through. God wants to be the battery pack so that we remember to worship and share his glory. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. (Psalms 23:3 NLT)
There are traits you want to have to tap into this source: trust, humbleness, and a seeking heart. God wants us to depend on Him and he will provide for us. We just have to be willing to come.
Seek–Search for the Lord and for his strength; continually seek him. (1 Chronicles 16:11 NLT)
Humble–He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. (Isaiah 40:29 NLT)
Trust–But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31 NLT)
Once we have accomplished these traits and hand out situations over to God we gain a sense of peace and calmness—-just by trusting and loving The Lord.
I love you, Lord; you are my strength. (Psalms 18:1 NLT)38.939834 -77.027497
So now that you know God (or should I say, now that God knows you), why do you want to go back again and become slaves once more to the weak and useless spiritual principles of this world? Galatians 4:9
As a continuation of the call of action our congregation had last month to study a chapter of proverbs a day. I began studying Galatians as a follow up. As I state on my About me page Galatians 1:10 was one of my first scriptures I memorized, so that’s why I chose it. The word states: “Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.” This scripture is so powerful! After getting more into the book of Galatians I realized it is kind of like a mirror. You know I’m saying that a lot these days after reading my book. (That’s what I call the Bible).
Paul writes to us (the Christians) in this book letting us know that we are delivered by our faith. He shares what the earlier law stated about sacrifices and doing works for salvation and then he switches gears and tells about how we don’t have to be bound be that old stuff! He shares again, as the Bible continually does, that because Jesus died for us we are free! We live in remembrance of Him through believing. He compares how life was before the covenant and what it is like after.
Galatians is another declaration for us to keep moving forward into the light. We can remember where we were prior to God and our thoughts of who He is now. I don’t know about you but that is reflection. He is definitely bigger and has more depth in my eyes and life. I had…..well have hang ups that are still being worked on but studying this book helps me to remember the price that was paid. I think about all of the things the old law said and I am relieved that God loved me soooo much He wanted a one on one relationship through Jesus with Me! Galatians helps put everything into perspective.
It’s still like a double edge sword because I see where my focus should be and my actions are swayed to go another way. I was a people pleaser that hated confrontation. I tried to avoid it at all costs. I know as Brothers and Sisters in Christ and with people of the world “iron sharpens iron” but shoot I like to think I’m iron but realistically I’m more like silly putty. I even had to go back and change the tense of the earlier sentence because I know my Father is working on this. I know this is where God wants me to turn away from my old self and be more like Him.
I can sense God is telling me “Keep straight stop turning around. Do you see where turning around and the old way has gotten you? Try my way.”
What is God asking you to turn away and focus on? What are you doing that may not be pleasing Him but is pleasing for someone else? What is your “old” that needs to be replaced with a new?
Happy New Year!!!!
—–I pray for a prosperous year for all of you, that goals are completed, dreams are fulfilled, and new positive relationships are formed.
Thank you for reading and subscribing to my blog. This is one of the many accomplishments of 2013 and in 2014 there are so many planned and unplanned events. I will share a few of the typical “resolutions” and ask that you share one just so I know I am not talking to myself.
2014 New Year’s Resolutions
1. To self publish my collection of poetry by the summer
2.To lose 25 pounds
3.To become more financially literate by saving and investing
4. To become more organized and productive
5.To learn my gifts from God so that I may share them with others
What is just one of yours?
I heard of this thing called Grace
and everyone is talking about it.
They even have a song about it,
have you heard it Amazing Grace?
I long to get some of it but I’m being selfish
you have given me a taste.
But Father O God is it wrong to ask for a buffett?
You speak about greed and that’s a trait we shouldn’t have
but if you look in my heart
You are a mate I couldn’t have.
It wasn’t your choice but mines
because I wanted to act a fool
and push you behind.
I always knew there would come a time
when you would turn my head
It’s like that forbidden love that one’s heart
could never shed
But there is a difference!
You are giving it freely well,
What is the problem?
What can’t I see?
I say I surrender, all praises go to you, you have spared me,
shown mercy, delivered me, and
yet you still aren’t through
Lord what do you want me to do? Tell me and I will
Remove me from situations not to be tempted
so I can hear only from you
I am begging for relationship like I have done so many times in this fleshly world
You said you were different and I can experience true love through you and your word
Well God you made me so you know what it takes to make nothing not shake me
I want you to wrap me in your arms and never let go
and I vow that in return I will share your goodness bringing more to the Kingdom letting all your righteousness show
Use me God as an example let me be the pawn, elevate me to the Queen with elegance and brawn.
You are magnificent my God thank you for showing your face.
Showing mercy on me.
now God where’s that Grace?
This weekend as I moved into my own place, I reflected on how I arrived here. I prayed for this place to become available and naively didn’t believe it would. I had the faith my situation would change but not what I asked for exactly!
I lacked unwavering and sound faith and was blindly walking into unchartered waters: The calm current of God’s love and Him providing for me.
Coming from asking a now fellow disciple to stay one night after only meeting her three times, sleeping in my car outside of Starbucks, staying with another new friend for a week who I had known only for maybe a month, going to a shelter for three weeks, and asking my same “new” friend if I could come back. I wound up staying with her for almost 3 months.
The tunnel was looking dim and bleak, however there was light at the end of the tunnel.
This has definitely been a journey. One of patience, hope, humbleness, faith, prayer, and trust.
To think back now on that prayer that was sent up and the blessing God has poured down, I am at a place of serenity knowing He heard me.
The word says, “You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.” Matthew 17:20 NLT
I can honestly say that is what I had, the faith of a mustard seed. I was a new disciple and did not know the power I possessed. ( I still don’t know the full capacity) I told my mountain to move and said what I wanted. God provided the rest! He actually provided more. Wow!
Luke 17:6 NLT adds, “The Lord answered, “If you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘May you be uprooted and thrown into the sea,’ and it would obey you!”
To actually see God’s word alive and living is astonishing.
To know that God fulfills his promises are empowering.
Thank you God. I marvel at your magnificence.
I’m speechless and at awe because of your love, grace, and most importantly mercy.
I can hear you God
the wisps between each leaf
as you blow through the trees
I can hear you God
the pitter patter of the crunchy leaf
flipping across the courtyard
I can hear you God
floating across the fountain
as the leaf gurgles in the water
I can hear you God
folding over in the flower pot
because the air is so crisp & brisk
I can hear you God
changing yet again, another year
green,red, orange, yellow, brown
until nothing is left but another year
I remember watching this in St. Louis about a month or two before I moved to DC. I would say maybe two weeks after that the church I was attending, New Life Community Church in East St. Louis, did a similar performance. I think back on it now and know it was nothing but God. What were the odds of seeing a youtube video and attending service to see the same thing! I was fired up after that! He let me know i was not too far removed. He was still fighting for me. I had to fight to be with Him also.
I am glad that I am putting forth the fight. I want my faith, i believe in my faith, and i am my faith.
While I was attending New Life we were studying a series on “Spiritual Warfare.” The text we were reading from was Ephesians-6:10-18
” A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.” (NLT)
We must understand we are fighting forces not of this world but in the spiritual realm. It is real and we do have a say so in our actions and outcomes. We can change. We are not strong enough in our physical being but with God we can WIN. Jesus died so that we can have intimacy with God, so our sins are forgiven, and provide eternal life.
I urge you to watch the video again and think about your own life. Your sins are not too much. God still loves you. It will be hard, but He has the strength you do not have. He has already forgiven you. Forgive yourself. He wants a relationship with you. Do you believe in Jesus? Are you living for Him? Whose side are you on?