Waiting on The Lord

February 27, 2015

One of the hardest things to do is to wait on the Lord. The bible gives us examples of people who were praying fervently and took matters into their own hands instead of waiting for God’s timing. On the contrary, there are examples of bible characters who not only waited on the Lord but were able to rejoice and be blessed by doing so. The word of God says ” But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” (2 Peter 3:8)

God’s timing is timeless, as a matter of fact, God invented time. We know and understand time based on the rising and setting of the sun to signify a new day which has 24 hours in it. Our understanding of time is a testament to God’s faithfulness because the same sun that rises and sets every day is the same sun that has been shining since God said “Let there be light”. (Genesis 1:3) God’s timing is simply different than our understanding of time. God is eternal and wise and knows all things.

Even in the most perilous and desperate times, God will stay faithful to his word, so your suffering give him the glory. 1 Peter 4:16 says: “Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.”

There are two examples of people in the bible who were waiting on The Lord, that I will use to illustrate this point. The first example is of what happens when we are waiting on God to deliver on his promise, but feel he is taking too long. Classic story right? Abraham and Sara had been wanting a child and the Lord had already established it in his will for them to have a child, but they didn’t believe enough to wait. Though Sara got pregnant in her 90s, it wasn’t before she allowed her husband to impregnate her maid Hagar. This was not only an act of desperation, but it was a decision that led to much dissension and contempt between the two children, and between Sara and her maid Hagar. One child, being born to Abraham and Sara, was entitled to the inheritance of Abraham and the other being born to her maid ultimately sent away. Naturally one inherited blessings, but the other birthed a lineage of cursed people.

The next example is when God came to the rescue at the very last minute, and even though it seemed absolutely impossible to be delivered from evil, God showed up and was magnified. Three Hebrew Boys were thrown in a furnace when they refused to bow down and worship King Nebuchadnezzar, but God sent an angel in the furnace to protect God’s faithful servants from being consumed by the fire. This was not only a testament to their faith in God, but it also turned nonbelievers into believers at the sight of God’s miracle.

The only way to receive the full measure of Gods power is by aligning ourselves with Him. When we align ourselves with his will and are obedient and patient and have enough faith to trust in him to deliver on his promise and when everything is divinely appointed, we experience a new level of depth in our relationship with God. We will surely see him deliver on his promises and confirmations he has placed in our hearts, even if they don’t all come immediately.

We must have have unshakable faith in knowing that God will not withhold from us a good thing. “All things are working together for good for those who love God and are called according to his purposes”, (Romans 8:28) even when it doesn’t seem like it. He cannot lie and he cannot fail. 

Work Your Faith

November 4, 2013

One of my favorite traits about God is his faithfulness. Once he has spoken a word ,it goes forth and never comes back void. Isaiah 55:11 says “So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” The same sun that rises and sets each morning is the same one since “Let There Be Light” and the same one that set when Christ hung on the cross to die for our sins. Even those who don’t believe in God know that the sun will rise each and every morning without fail. Quite frankly there is nothing that anyone can do about the rising and setting of the sun and it is something that we never have to stress or worry about not happening. It is beyond our control but it is in The Lord’s hands. God is faithful.

Sometimes God will speak a word to you and give you confirmation of that which he has spoken. However, if he has spoken a word that inspires your faith in believing something that has not yet come into fruition, hold on to his promises. It can be difficult when people around you haven’t gotten the confirmation of God’s word and don’t believe for you. It can be discouraging when you are trying to be obedient to the word God has spoken into your life, yet people question your certainty. This is common, it happened to Noah when he was building the arc, but he was obedient and it saved his life when the earth was flooded for 40 days. God is faithful and has a perfect reputation that he refuses to let falter. God cannot lie and his promises stand no matter what.

Numbers 23:19 says “God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?”. Taking a leap of faith requires for us to listen to God and it requires us to stand upon his promises. It is only when we act upon our faith based on the word that God has spoken into our lives that he will reveal his perfect will. As if slowly unfolds we must be constantly aligning ourselves in his perfect will. God is our creator, our provider, our solid rock, the lover of our souls, our gentle redeemer, our refuge, our strength, our friend and so much more. He is more than we could ever describe, as a matter of fact he says “I am that I am”.

Having faith is purely about believing what we can’t see. If you have to see it first then it isn’t faith. That is why God’s word says faith comes by hearing. Romans 10:17 says “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

Exercise your faith by praying for God’s perfect will to be done in your life. Submit to the perfect will he has especially for you and your life’s purpose, and trust that he will withhold from you no good thing. Psalms 84:11 says “For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.” iHope that the dream that he has deposited in your heart is one that you will continue to have faith in. Work your faith.

Chasing Purpose

July 29, 2013

In all that you do you should constantly be living a life with a hopeful vision that is derived from the desires of your heart and aligned with God’s will. As you shape your vision you should always be chasing after purpose. If what you are pursuing does not have serve a purpose for your life then you should stop and seek God’s will on what he wants you to do. Your purpose will always be tied to God showing his glory. Through His glory, people will be able to see the example of how God can work in our lives and it will be a strong testament that people will use to come to the Lord. Your purpose, which is derived from the Lord will also renew strengthen your faith. 

What is the vision you have for your life? A vision should be aspirational and positive. It should be heartfelt and should align with God’s perfect will for your life, because his perfect will always comes into completion.

When you describe the vision for your life it should be plain and clear. Are all of your decisions in alignment with your vision? What is God’s vision for you life? Are they the same? “To humans belong the plans of the heart,but from the Lord comes the proper answer of the tongue.” -Proverbs 16:1

God certainly has a plan for hope in our lives: For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11. Is the vision for your life sad and dismal? How could it be when God’s plan is to prosper you and give you hope?

When establishing your vision be sure to commit it to God. “Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” -Proverbs 16:3.

Exhortation is a spiritual gift and God has given me the ability to edify encourage and uplift others. Rom. 12:8: – “To come along side of someone with words of encouragement, comfort, consolation, and counsel to help them be all God wants them to be” The Greek Word: paraklesis means calling to one’s side. Everyone needs encouragement, some of us need it moreso than others.

What do you do when you need to be uplifted in a time of doubt, fatigue, fear, shame, depression, hopelessness, uncertainty, desperation, anguish, timidity…or any other feeling you may feel that requires encouragement, yet there is nobody around to help you get through your darkest hour? You may not even be at the lowest point in life, you may need a simple word of encouragement to keep you going through a time that may not even be so tough.

What do we do when nobody is around to encourage us? What is the source that we can derive hope from that will sustain us and encourage us in times of need? 

It starts with keeping our cups full. Our cups are a symbolic mental image we can use to parallel our souls to. Our cup represents our souls which God pours his love and hope into endlessly until it pours over. The key to encouraging ourselves and others is to always be full of hope so that we can draw from it when we need to the most. Here are some scriptures where we be reminded of the Hope that awaits us:

1 Corinthians 2:9 – Eyes have not seen, ears have not heard nor has it entered into the heart of man what God has prepared for those who love him.

Jeremiah 29:11 – For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

Psalms 86:4 – Bring joy to your servant, Lord, for I put my trust in you.

Hebrews 11:1 – Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Romans 5:4-5 –  And patience produces character, and character produces hope. 5 And this hope will never disappoint us, because God has poured out his love to fill our hearts. He gave us his love through the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to us.

We have to be able to speak faith, hope and love into our own lives and draw from the strength of the Lord to in order be strong. Nehemiah 8:10 says “Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” 

We have to learn to be our cheerleaders, not our own worst critics. We have to encourage ourselves and allow the Lord to fill us with hope. Seek hope in the word of God and through prayer he will overflow your life with hope. Others will be able to draw from this hope as it spills over from your life and the evidence of God’s presence overflowing. John 15:7 says 7If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” Let there be evidence of hope in your life.

Most people can describe themselves pretty accurately. But lots of individuals have a very skewed perception of themselves. Romans 12: 3 says: “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.”  Some people thing to highly of themselves and some people underestimate or diminish their unique and precious qualities because they can’t see their own worth.  Self aggrandizement is very prideful dishonest and off-putting, and I’m sure we have all encountered people who give themselves more points than they deserve. It is very unhealthy to have a distorted self image. In order to really have a healthy self image we must be honest with ourselves. Sometimes its easier to get a real perspective on who we are by asking the people who know us well to describe us in their own words…

Exercise: Ask people who know you how they perceive you.

Lifetime. Life. Time.

April 4, 2013

Life is made up of time. . . think of the word “lifetime”. We spend our day watching the clock to ensure that we are where we should be when we should be there. We calculate how much time it will take to perform tasks, travel from point A to point b, get ready for the day, prepare a meal….we are conscious of time in all that we do and often it seems as though we never have enough of it.

With the time that we do have we must be very aware of what we are doing with it and why. If we waste our time, we are wasting our lives. God, however, is timeless. He is eternal and he created time. With the time that we have we must use it to draw closer to God and seek his purpose for our lives. If we are able to live out our purpose in this life time that is the best use of our time. Part of our purpose is to have a relationship with the Lord. The quality of our relationship with God largely dictates the relationships that we have with other people. We must question ourselves: “What is my relationship like with God?” “What is my relationship like with the people in my life?”.

If you are not fulfilling your purpose there is a guarantee that you are wasting your time. Live your life in a manner that honors time, honors God and honors your family and friends. Use your time wisely.

The caviat to time is patience. We must learn patience, if we don’t we will often be frustrated and agitated. We will not be able to endure life’s lessons and draw from  the wisdom that is inherit in those lessons. One of the best revelations God has given me is that patience is time well spent. . .

Exercise: We are taught to tithe 10 percent of our money, but how about we do what with our time as well?

The fervent prayers of the righteous availeth much. (James 5:16)  But what do we do when we are being faithful to God and praying fervently and hear no response from him. What do we do when our prayers seemingly don’t get answered?

God has not forgotten about you. When you hope and pray for him to answer your prayers and you get a “No” when you need a “Yes”, or a situation get’s worse before it gets better-that doesn’t mean God is left you, has stopped caring, or got to busy blessing everyone else that he can’t meet your needs right now.

Sometimes as we are praying, God is working, and his timeline for our blessing isn’t always the same as ours. He may be preparing us for his blessing before we get it, so that we will be able to glorify him with the blessing instead of glorify ourselves. Sometimes as we are praying, he is waiting to see how patient and obedient we will be as we wait on him. Will you wait on the Lord, or will you create a quick fix to your problem according to your own knowledge and strength? Abraham and Sara did it. Sara had been trying to get pregnant for many many years. She was an elderly woman and figured her time had passed so she allowed her husband to impregnate their servant…that got messy…..But then shortly after the Lord blessed Sara with a child, even in her old age because he is faithful on his promise, even though his timeline was different.

We can not bless ourselves better than God can. When God does not immediately respond in the way we expect him to, it can mean he is orchestrating a series of events and allowing for things to happen that will work in our favor in a way that we could have never done on our own! God out thinks us, and out blesses us. He knows all, hears all, and sees all. When we fully submit to his will and his way of doing things, we fully submit to some powerful blessings.

God can always see the big picture, even when we are discouraged, doubtful, exhausted and most importantly short sighted. When we have prayed to a point where we have run out of words, God even hears our groanings. Romans 8:26 says “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.” The holy spirit will intercede, step in and pray for you!

Be strong in your faith. God is powerful and he has not forgotten about you! I encourage you to pray and ask God to reveal his will to you on a daily basis, so that when you pray for your wants and needs, His will and your will are the same…and His will always prevails. When you are walking in God’s will and living and praying and believing in his will, you can declare the promises of God, through your faith they WILL happen because God is faithful about making good on all of his promises.

Romans 4:16-17 says “Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.”c He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were.” By speaking things as though they are, you are not merely “putting it in the universe”. By aligning your will with his, and declaring your faith out loud you are merely confirming God’s promises for your life and he will honor them, because he hasn’t forgotten about you.

Victim vs. Victor

October 25, 2012

Victim – what are the synonyms that you associate with someone who is a victim?

-sad

-violated

-isolated

-misunderstood

-mistreated

-hurt

-abused

Victor – what the synonyms that you associate with someone who is a winner and is victorious?

-supreme

-champion

-unstoppable

-the best

-elated

Which one are you? It all starts in the mind. . .YOUR mind.

“…As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” -taken from the scripture Proverbs 23:7

I recently had a revelation that is probably the final step in forgiving anyone who has ever wronged me, who I just couldn’t fully forgive and let go of 100%….

“Regardless of what your intentions were with me when you did what you did, I am right where God wants me to be, and I’m ok with that.”

The bigger picture that we have to zoom out and see when someone wrongs us is that, everything happens for a reason. Sometimes we do not know what that reason is and sometimes God reveals it to us afterwards and allows us to see things more clearly in hindsight. Regardless of anything it is important to truly stay focused on our individual purposes at all times. In doing so, it may help eliminate opportunities for the enemy to distract us with the wrong things or people that may cause us to stray from our calling in life or our purpose in that particular season in life…Instead of planning revenge on someone who we feel we need to teach a lesson to, or dedicating time to manipulating situations to get an outcome that would presumably work in our favor, we need to remember that Romans 12:19 says, “Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.” Also Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Stay focused on the things of God and his specific plans for your life. Listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit and obey. Be keenly aware of the subtle and overt things, people situations etc., that cause you to shift focus. As you are doing your part, be encouraged in knowing that God is always doing His part and has you right where He wants you. . . everything will fall into place. “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” -Matthew 6:33

God is very big on small details. Think of our human bodies, being made up of microscopic cells that form organs, which form systems that we rely on to survive and function. We don’t really think about kind of stuff very much until we actually get sick though.  Sometimes we need a wake up call so that God can get our attention and focus off of “bigger distractions” just to remind us of his glory, even on a very small and intricately detailed scale.

There are so many things to be thankful for, big and small, and though we all could use a few huge miracles in our life, the fact of the matter is that our lives are miracles. Taking the time to reflect on what God has done in our lives down to the small details is something we should take time to do and maybe from there we will be blessed with a much needed breakthrough or revelation from God. God is always paying attention to us and has  very specific words of confirmation, hope, direction, and healing and so much more….designed uniquely for each of his children.

One of the most profound bible stories is of the woman who touched the hem of Jesus’s garment. In a large crowd of people all trying to get to Jesus, a woman who was in need of healing from a blood condition she endured for 12 years and had exhausted all her medical options, only to find that her condition had grown worse.  Even still, she had faith enough to know that if she just touched Jesus’s clothes she would be healed. Mark 5:30 says, “At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”Jesus’s garment. His disciples were perplexed to see that even in the midst of a crowd of people, Jesus had been sensitive and keenly aware that someone with faith had touched him to be healed. Mark 5:31 says, “You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?'” Jesus look around to see who had touched him and the woman revealed herself with fear and trembling, and he said to her ” “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”

The little things count. The truth is, we don’t even have to put on a grandiose or overt production to get God’s power to come upon us. I thank God for paying attention to the small details.

Exercise: Make a list of the small details of your life that you typically take for granted and give thanks to God for them. :)

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