The After Thought

We have heard many times that scripture speaks to us differently depending on our need. It’s hard to believe that the Bible (a book) is the living Word of God and that it can actually help. I know I questioned that in my past. But I have come into agreement with many others when they say the Bible is “alive.”

This past year (2017) my family and I had to make many decisions. Some harder than others. When making decisions, questions always linger. Did I make the right decision? Should I have done it differently? What if that wouldn’t have happened? Should I have chosen a different option?  How can I make it better? Will it change? Is there an opportunity?

As we made decision after decision these questions would pop in my head. Many times frustrating me because I knew that what we (my husband and I) had agreed on was truly the best decision.

I sat many times and had conversations with God, always venting. He’s a great listener! After pouring out my heart I would sit in the quietness of my home and open my bible. I would just say, “Father, speak to me please. I need your help.” I would not question if he would answer me or not because I know he will. I would just read. Sometimes the topic would seem off but as I thought more about what God was saying I realized that he was trying to mend a different part of me before moving on to my current situation or need.

In the book of Mark, the very first chapter, Jesus makes a life changing decision. He chooses to be baptized by John. Immediately as he (Jesus) comes up out of the water a voice from Heaven says: You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased and delighted!” –This is how I instantly feel when I know I have made a God pleasing decision. I know with certainty that God is pleased.

But look at what happens next:

Mark 1:12 (AMP) Immediately the [Holy] Spirit forced Him out into the wilderness.

Jesus, after making a Godly decision was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness. (Wilderness can be viewed as a pathless area full of confusion and temptations) That happens to us so often, doesn’t it? We make a decision for the good, the better, the right and we feel instantly the weight of trail and temptation that comes about. Those questions bring about confusion and insecurity.

What I love most about this passage is the concluding part of the scripture verse.

and the angels ministered continually to Him.

The angels guided Him and helped Him as he was tempted by the devil. The devil would bring about lingering questions, “Did God really say?” “If you are?” and so forth. These questions were there to challenge Jesus in his mind but He responded to the devil with the scripture (truth).

Our decisions may not always have an immediate picture perfect result. And what is attached with your decision may be trialsome. There will be consequences whether good or bad but if you know that God is pleased with your decision and you are secure than just stand firm.

Jesus stood firm in what he believed and because of every “wrongful” decision that he made (according to the Pharisees) we today are able to have a personal relationship with him and we have the opportunity to dwell with him for all eternity. His decision contradicted everything that the law had perviously taught so it was hard for others to accept this new law. But Jesus did not waiver from any decision though at times it was hard. He knew exactly what he was created for. He was made to be our Savior.

While times may get tough and the decisions may require sacrafice just be joyful in hope, patient in afflection and faithful in prayer (Romans 12:12). God will work all things out for the good (Romans 8:28). Sometimes all it takes is time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Recovery

This weekend in Chicago it’s been “cold wet,” really cold and wet outside. For people who walk to work in the city it’s very unpleasant.  Unfortunately, during this season I am part of that mass number. On days like these I have to look forward to soaked shoes, stinky socks, smeared make up, and frizzy hair.

With each step I find me giving myself a pep talk convincing myself not to shed tears. I walk with my head down so no one can see my overwhelming emotions. My thoughts run wild as I think of every reason why the day is going horribly wrong, but at the same time that it could be worse.

Talk about mind battles…

Anyway thats besides the point but, it is a huge reason on why I am writing this today.

Weather inspires me.

On my wet walk to work I thought of this scripture:

Matthew 4:23 Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.

I don’t think I have ever loved this scripture more than I do now. The way I understood it now brought so much clarity.

Jesus heals every sickness and every disease.

But how? And doesn’t Jesus say in John 14:12 that we will do the same works and greater? Ok, wait a minute this is 2017! Now, I am not saying that I don’t believe that this is possible today. In fact, I know it is but Jesus taught me something new. 

I felt the Holy Spirit say, “I was able to heal every sickness and every disease because I was fully whole.” 

Okay? Jesus, we know but how does this apply to my new aged self?

Holy Spirit: “In order for you to heal others you must be made whole in the area in which you want to heal someone in.” “If you are broken… you will release brokeness.” “If you are sick, you will cause sickness.” “If you feel rejected you will release rejection onto others.” “If you are insecure you will make others insecure around you.” “If you are angry, you will cause others to be angry.” “If you are uncomfortable others will too become uncomfortable.”

Ahhhh, I got you Jesus!

Holy Spirit: “Now be made whole.” “If you are free, you will bring freedom!” If you are healed, you will heal others.” “If you have been rescued by me you will lead people to me.” “If you trust, others will trust.” “Now again I say unto you, ‘Be made whole.”

I understand now.

Jesus conquered sickness and disease. They were under his feet. During the forty days after his baptism he was tempted in every way possible but still did not fall into temptation. Again, Jesus was fully whole in every weakness that the flesh attracts.

The bible says that Jesus was made just as man; he hurt, cried, felt, and bled just like each and every one of us do. Which means, He didn’t use His crazy super powers. What Jesus did have, was ‘The Father.’

John 14:10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works.

We have the very same access as Jesus had when he was alive as a man. The problem lies in our brokenness. We cannot help others in the areas that we are weak in. Its not possible. Its like a drug addict trying to convince someone to stop using drugs. Where is the victory in that? The drug addict is still entangled leaving absolutely no evidence that the drug is conquerable.

Just like a person would go to the doctor/hospital when he or she is ill. You too must go to a safe place for healing if you are broken. Your healing is needed for others to receive their healing.

Sometimes you need to ‘rehabilitate’ in a remote area somewhere far from your norm. Do it, I truly believe that those gateways are best for recovery.

So in conclusion: Go get your healing…

 

 

 

 

 

Modern day Abram

I don’t know why I feel so strongly to share with you this particular story about one of my greatest friends. But I do know that the word of God says that we increase in faith by hearing (Romans 10:17).

I think of her as a modern day Abram. Her story just like ours was written before the beginning of time. Slowly being laid out and becoming a beautiful tapestry right before our very eyes. I don’t know the fullness of her story and even if I did, I would rather her share. But what I do know about her is that she is called.

I met her at church, she was 14 years old at the time. Quiet and secluded would be the best words to describe her. Her innocence radiated through our church walls and when she led worship the Spirit of God pierced the hearts of those who heard her sing. Every church service she would sit in her assigned seat and put her earphones on. The music brust through the speakers and tuned out everything that would distract her. Later I learned that the earphones were a tactic used to avoid people and conversations. As time passed and our friendship began to blossom, I understood why seclusion had become her very best friend and why the fear of relationships held her captive. I knew then I couldn’t give up on her. 

One day after we had coffee and a short bible study we stumbled across a conversation that shifted everything. She told me about how she felt led by God to travel across the country to attend ministry school. 

Genesis 12:1 The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your native [born in or belonging to since childhood] country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you.”

I really believe the hardest things to do in life are those that require chance. It’s in those moments that we are asked to take a leap of faith when we don’t know who will be there to catch us. Its when what we’ve planned out doesn’t happen and what’s in front of us doesn’t make sense. 

That’s when we are truly tested. 

Just like Abram she left. And now, as she is currently walking in God’s will she has encountered many hardships and difficulties. She knows what it is to live with little just as she knows what it was to have much. She has been tried in her emotions and fought wars in her mind. She has shed countless tears and gathered herself mending broken pieces. She left all that was familiar to follow the will of God.

 At this very moment her trust is fully reliant on what God wants to do through her. 

In the midst of trials we find hope. In midst of trials we cling to trust.

Romans 8:28 God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose. 

She is currently attending Bethel School of Ministry in Redding, California. Walking in a hope that God will do what He said He would do for her. And just like that she continues to believe.

In closing, the bible states in Numbers 23:19 that God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. And if he has ever spoken to you He will not fail to act. At times the circumstances in our lives may be displeasing, uncomfortable, and trailing. Times may not always make sense or align to what we believe is supposed to take place in our present. In seasons God may require us to have courage or strength. Maybe He is asking us to have a disciplined heart, stewardship, obedience, or steadfastness. Who knows? Only you.  God will tell you what He desires in your life and He will give you the promised end. 

 As you see now, we are the result of Abrams [Abrahams] obedience. But when you read in Genesis you find that Abram encountered many difficulties when he submitted to the call of God over his life. Just remember your current act of obedience will transform not only your life but the lives of those to come.

When we walk in obedience we automatically begin to change history. Though we don’t see it in the moment, it begins the moment we actively move in the will of God. Some things are evident and others leave evidence…

Set it Free

Lately I have been battling for relationships. My trust has been held captive as I try to set it free. The prison doors are firm and hard to pry open. But there I stand with an elite army behind me. I prepare to fight the internal war brought by the weakness of my flesh. The Commander then gives the sign and I feel a jolt in my Spirit. My strength comes from the Father and He empowers me to press forward. I tighten the band of truth around my waist that allows me to take courage. I place the breastplate of righteousness on my chest creating a upright posture of my heart. I then bend down and strap the sandals of peace upon my feet, that I may walk firm footed even while tribulation comes my way. In my left hand I hold my shield, the shield of faith that will protect me from the flaming arrows. My helmet placed securely that keeps me covered in His graceful salvation and finally my right hand steady as His Word becomes my sword…

The floors begin to tremble and the prison doors fly open and “trust” is now set free.

Trusting someone and believing that they are reliable, good, honest, and genuine can appear sketchy, but it is done with an unreasonable hope. It’s an anticipation that when you impart a piece of your heart, that small little fragment will be cherished.

I believe that God displays this affection so beautifully toward us each and every day. That small fragment of His heart that He gave us is Jesus… And with great unreasonable hope the Lord trusts us with that fragment, that piece of His heart, He trust us with His very own Son.

Relationships are a mirror image of Jesus. And as we continue to walk in this life God will gives us chances to build lifelong relationships. I truly believe that he delights in unity. Applying the Armor of God on a daily basis will help position our hearts to receive the very best of someone. And Even in the midst of a broken relationships we can position our hearts to see the greatness in a person hence building an unbreakable bond with that particular individual.

Let me break it down:

As I wake up I have the knowledge that I will be at war with my mind (flesh).
So I pray and hear the voice of my Commander (Jesus).
He strengthens my spirit and empowers me to take on the day.
I am charged and ready!
I posture my heart upright seeing the very best in everyone.
I have peace even in the midst of trouble because I am confident that God is with me wherever I go.
My faith keeps me protected from the mind monsters that attack me daily.
And the word of God becomes my sword that slices and breaks down everything that does not come from heaven.

Don’t allow yourself to keep “trust” captive set it free today and see the blessing in relationships that will knock at your door. God is fully faithful he will keep you protected.  No longer will you let fear overtake you in your relationship. Instead freedom will allow you to create a garden of trust that in season will harvest a life long crop [relationship].

Allow this message to build you, encourage you, and transform you!

 

The [Law] of Jesus

We are constantly judged on things like our qualities, abilities, strengths, weakness, and appearance.
The list will forever go on and so will things to be judged upon.

In order to make a living and obtain a successful job or career we must be interviewed. Ending with questions like these, “Do I qualify or not?” “Do I meet their requirements?” “Am I what they are looking for?” “Did they like my appearance?”…”Do they even like me?”

In our education system we are bombarded with test that rate our abilities. If I pass I’m considered smart or average and if I fail…well, I pretty much suck. Which then in turn spirals into a downward effect leading to low self-esteem and potentially even depression.

And now, one of the largest forms that judgment can be displayed is in our appearance, amount of followers, or even how many likes we have on social media. For example, if we share a photo on Facebook or Instagram and there are under 30 likes…it become a invaluable photo and moment captured. In our mind what was originally worth so much to us instantly deleted if others don’t approve of it.

On thing I’ve come to realize about Jesus is that he simply doesn’t care. He doesn’t care about how my “interview” went and if I qualify to and meet certain requirements to serve him. I don’t need to take a rigorous amount of “test” to become his disciple. I don’t need to be super “hip and now” and wear the latest and most expensive trends to be accepted by him.

He simply says, “You are good.”

Genesis 1:31 And God saw everything he had made, and, behold, it was very good.

I am so encouraged this afternoon by the fact that I don’t need to win Jesus over. I don’t need to fight for his attention, I don’t need to beg him for a miracle. I don’t need to be in the “it” group to be his friend.

Jesus loves…
He loves ALL of Us!

1 John 4:18
Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we were afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.

Here is my version of that verse. (What’s in brackets are my additional revelation of this particular scripture.)

Such love has no fear [no fear of judgment], because perfect love expels all fear. If we were afraid [afraid of being rejected], it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.

Embrace our Father’s love today knowing that the greatest of all above the law is love.

It’s Who You Are

Have you ever had someone walk in the room and the atmosphere instantly changes? It could have been a room full of laughter and joy but because of their presence, it turns into a room engulfed in anger or grumpiness. Or the opposite, it could be that there is a certain person that carries joy within them. As soon as you see them, hear them, or talk to them there is a surge of instant peace and happiness that triggers on the inside of you!

I received a beautiful revelation of the Spirit of God and of what he can instantly do for us and through us.

1 Samuel 16:14
Now the Spirit of the Lord had left Saul, and the Lord sent a tormenting spirit that filled him with depression and fear.

Saul was always tormented by this troubling spirit and he acted many times in anger. He carried his anger with him wherever he went and those around him were always effected by his character. Saul’s servants were afraid of him and encouraged him to find a good musician to sooth him.

That’s when David showed up!

David even in his young age had the Spirit of the Lord within him. And every time he played his harp for Saul, it would bring peace into his heart. Saul grew to love David very much and requested that he stay with him and serve him.

1 Samuel 16:23
And whenever the tormenting spirit from God troubled Saul, David would play the harp. Then Saul would feel better, and the spirit would go away.

What I want to express to you is exactly that! You have the same power and anointing as David. David played the harp and the evil spirits would flee. But what can you do? You have something even greater on the inside of you! Something that can break chains, bring deliverance and fullness of healing! The “harp” was revealed to me as a symbol or representation of the Holy Spirit.

Because we carry the Holy Spirit within us, we have the ability to shift atmospheres!

Worth Fighting For

It can truly be so simple to walk away. To give up. To let go.

I know that so many times we let go of things that are so important to us: a job, a home, a passion, a friendship… a marriage. Why? I believe because we fail to see the value and the opportunity of being or having this particular thing in our life. We are lazy. We want everything handed to us. We no longer are dedicated, committed, or loyal.

This season in my life has been extremely tough. I have battled and have war wounds from the fights I have been in. I have felt the dryness in the desert as my heart craved the Fathers love. My thirst constant as I drank from the well that left me wanting more…

In the bible, we have a perfect example of someone who didn’t give up on us, “because it was to hard.”  Jesus set aside everything for us. He submitted himself to God under obedience and was beaten and crucified for us. Why? So that we may have a relationship with him.  In Hebrews 12:2 it states that there was a joy set before him and through that joy that was given, he endured the cross.

My wars have been spiritual and emotional as I have fought to get closer to the Father. More prayer, more devotion, more worship and yet everything feels the same. I am not afraid of being transparent when it comes to my walk with the Lord. I know I am not the only one struggling with this. I know that maybe its you. Our battles to touch heaven are set to promote us. Our scars are proof of the love that we have towards him. Our commitment drives us and our pursuit defines us.

My hope is in the joy that has been set before me. Its in those moments that I have felt the Fathers love that keeps me in pursuit of him. Never wavering and always constant. And although I don’t always feel his presence I know He is with me.

Jesus is worth fighting for. 

Don’t give up so easily. Jesus didn’t give up on you.

And if there are things that were important to you that you let go of, I pray that this blog would encourage you to reevaluate the decision you made. Its not late to start over. Its not to late to try again.

Lamentations 3:22-23  The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

Hebrews 12:2-3 And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.