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?
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 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?
Not sure how I am feeling: Anxious, Excited, Nervous…….
But this song always helps me.
This morning I am on my way to the train to be reunited with God again… But not again maybe for the first time really.
See I was baptized in 2007 but did my life change?…. No
I knew I wanted to make Jesus my Savior but I did not make Him my Lord. I knew going to a Baptist church this is what I had to do.
I attended new member classes Saturday morning and Saturday night I was at someone’s club smoking and getting drunk and involved in whatever other sinful acts I engaged in.
It wasn’t that I didn’t want to change or didn’t love Jesus. I simply was not ready and not equipped to take Jesus out of Church and put in front leading my life all day. I slowly faded away from “that life.”
In 2010 during college, I began to study again and going to church faithfully. I began volunteering for multiple ministries, going to bible study, tithing, sharing my faith, inviting others to church, and fellow shipping. My “checklist” was complete. I was also involved with Intervarsity which was our campus ministry.
Nevertheless, I was still missing an integral piece of the puzzle….. God!
I still did not know Him personally.
I would pray, but I did not have quiet time.
I would study, but only in groups not on my own.
I kept my “church” life separate from my “personal” life.
Eventually I strayed away again.
Fortunately, 6 years later God still had his hand on me. Today, I look out the window of this metro train to reflect on how far He has brought me.
I am thankful to be a part of an outstanding ministry at DC Regional Church in Washington DC, to be a part of Synergy our encouraging singles ministry, and most importantly to be a disciple of God’s Kingdom.
God called me and I answered. Today I am getting baptized , today:
1. All my sin will be forgiven
And now, why wait any longer? Get up and be baptized and have your sins washed away by praying to him.’ (Acts 22:16 GNT)
2. Enter the Body of Christ
In the same way, all of us, whether Jews or Gentiles, whether slaves or free, have been baptized into the one body by the same Spirit, and we have all been given the one Spirit to drink. (1 Corinthians 12:13 GNT)
3. Receive the gift of the Holy Spirit
….And this water was a symbol pointing to baptism, which now saves you. It is not the washing off of bodily dirt, but the promise made to God from a good conscience. It saves you through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, (1 Peter 3:21 GNT)
So I conclude today I will be getting baptized….again…only this time FULLY aware of my decision and commitment.
There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. (Ephesians 4:4-6 KJV)
Last week I asked for a call of action.
I asked myself and readers to be slow to speak and reflect on our thoughts before we release them into the universe.
I must say that God tested me three times this week and I passed one out of three. Going back to the scripture that prompted this:
Think before you speak, and don’t make any rash promises to God. He is in heaven and you are on earth, so don’t say any more than you have to. (Ecclesiastes 5:2 GNT)
After re reading it and meditating on the word. It led me to see our promises are to God. If I tell God I want to be mindful of my speech I should and can live up to it.
I was able to reflect immediately like oh wow I responded fairly quickly and did not think at all. I realized if we are slow to respond to outside factors such as people we are able to be more like Him. We are able to be his example. We are able to live his promise. So again I am staying in this scripture for another week.
To add to this, I began reading Joyce Meyer’s book “Me and My Big Mouth.” I found the study guide at a book store near work one day. I came back the next week and they had the book. I am using this as additional support to study the word.
God has made this heavy on my heart and I will surrender to Him and allow Him to move me.