No Excuses

There’s a myth out there that the bible is hard to understand. Our favorite excuses for not consistently reading our bible are so played out. If you’re like me, then I’m sure you have said “ I don’t read my bible because the thees and thous are too much and it makes heads hurt.  Or you have told God, I have to do x, y, or z, so I don’t have time to read my bible today.

Let me be blunt, those are weak excuses. How do we dare say God I don’t have time for you or I don’t understand your word.  There are so many translations of the bible (like Amplified, NLT, NIV, etc) which are written in common English and make the Word of God plain. If we’re honest with ourselves, we don’t read our bible because we take for granted that God is faithful and He’ll be there when we need him.  We continuously choose other things and people over God and then we give him some lame excuse for why we missed quiet time or why skipped out on our bible plan today.

I’m not condemning you because I am guilty of making excuses to God as well. But I am convicted about it and I hope you are too. Christin Caine made it plain when she said “ “Do not forsake quiet time with God. The truth you store up in silence comes back to you in a storm.” (Undaunted) When we spend time with God in the quiet place, he rewards our faithfulness publicly. He adds all things unto us when we seek the Kingdom of God first! (Matthew 6:33)

God said and we believe “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door, and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your father, who sees what is done in secret will reward you.”(Matthew 6:6)

For Such a Time

I had the great privilege of watching my University honor Autherine Lucy Foster, its first admitted black student, this week. As a student of color and a Civil Rights scholar, I can not adequately explain what the moment meant to me. I watched a courageous woman of God speak about her time pioneering change, so that I can be where I am today.  I heard a spirit of gratitude in her voice as she reflected. She never imagined God would use her to initiate a movement of integration. I also heard a strength built from her faith when describing how she withstood the resistance of all those against her.

Autherine Lucy Foster: the First African American to enroll at The University of Alabama

And I left the ceremony, different than I came. I walked away from the ceremony more in touch with my purpose in this season of life. The spirit of the Lord had asked me a question….

“Who knows if you were made for such a time as this?” – Esther 4:14

The same question was posed thousands of years  ago in the Word of God to a woman named Esther. Esther was favored by the Lord as a minority (Jew). She had been appointed Queen of a Nation and the King loved her. The challenge came when the King issued a decree declaring all Jews must die. The time had come for Esther to stand for her faith and for her people. She hesitated because questioning the King was risking death. But as with us, God did not give up on Esther after one no. He spoke again and asked her “were you not made for such a time as this”?

 I wonder today if God is asking you “ were you not made for such a time as this?” Raise your hand if you feel unqualified to do what He has asked you to do in this season.  I want you to know I have both of my hands raised in response and I hope yours are too. Faith is the kryptonite to feeling unqualified. If we were qualified for everything we are called to, then why do we need God.  The bible says  God will produce in you EVERY gift needed to fulfill his purpose. (Philippians 2:13).  Not just that, but God’s strength is made perfect in your weakness (2nd Corinthians 12:9).

As I encourage you, I am speaking to myself as well. I was convicted by a spiritual mentor earlier this week. She said “every time someone acknowledges your accomplishments and how God is working in your life, you bring the bar down and lower the standard. Don’t do that. You can be humble and still be bold in expressing what God is doing through you. “

Wooh!! Needed that check in my spirit. Yes, I do feel unqualified for the places where God has me, but there’s something beautiful about that. Because I trust Him and I know that its only Him that has me there. I also know that He’s right there with me. So cheers to knowing  that I am created for such a time as this and I will rise up to the bar so that His name can be exalted through me.

 

I Will Remain Confident in This.

We all have been or may currently be in a season of waiting. You’ve prayed for something and now you’re waiting for God to deliver. In the waiting season, the enemy loves to attack and come against the promise of God. He wants us to doubt and be of little faith.
I personally have been struggling with this exact sentiment. I know God promised me something BIG something GREAT. And It’s always on my mind, but every time I want to go for it – God says Not Yet.
Well naturally, my response is “if not now, when God?  Why would you promise something, have it close enough to touch and then instruct me not to touch? I don’t understand”
If you know the God I know, you know he’s one of conviction and correction. So in answering my questions, God said “Daughter, you don’t have to understand because my ways and thoughts are higher than yours ( Isaiah 55:8) and my timing is perfect (Ecclesiastes 3:1). God said I am still aligning some things and whether you admit it or not; you aren’t ready for the prize YET. But you will be ready if you WAIT on me. Be Patient and Trust me.
Then God led me to Psalm 27 and this passage has arrested my spirit all week. I can not escape God’s precious words as it seems they were written for me and my situation. I think they may have been written for you also.  This  one verse stood out more than the others.
I will remain confident in this, I will see the goodness of the Lord while in the land of the living.
(Psalm 27: 13)
The whole passage is good, but this verse is exactly what I needed. God said I know your dreams, your desires and your needs. I (God) will provide my Goodness in your earthly life and in heaven. Don’t lose hope, keep the faith. What I ( God) has promised, I am faithful to deliver.
Whether it’s an internship, relationship, job, scholarship, healing,forgiveness or whatever God specifically spoke to you, He will bring it to past in His timing.
I know that is much more than the words on the page, but that’s what I heard from God. He’s so amazing in speaking to my situation and to yours. If we seek his guidance, God will provide assurance. He gently reminds us that he knows our situation and that He is For us. I’m so grateful for these sweet reminders because its hard to keep the faith especially when the devil is planting seeds contrary to what God has said.
The enemy thrives on division. He wants there to be doubt and questioning of your faith. But God wants us to Trust and Wait on him.  God wants us to be like David. David waited patiently on God’s promise and he stood on the fact that Our God is Faithful and Our God is Trustworthy. If you’re like me, and need a gentle reminder: consider this such.. let’s make up in our mind today to be united in thought and faith on God’s word. Let’s Believe God’s promises above the seeds of doubt the devil has planted. God is for Us and His plans for us are Great.
God said and we believe I am Confident I will see the Goodness of the lord in the Land of the living. (Psalm 27:13)

 

Don’t Go Hungry!! –> A Well Fed Spirit

We need spiritual food for our spirits in the same way we need balanced meals in the form of physical foods to be strong and healthy. Spiritual food is how we connect and relate to a Holy God! Its how we learn His heart and become more like Him. Spiritual food takes us away from ourselves and places the focus on the bigger picture. Its where God shows us how He can use little old us to do BIG things for His kingdom that will have an eternal impact. God is continually extending the invitation for us to partake in spiritual food firsthand whether that is found in His Word, in Prayer, or in Worship. We can also receive our spiritual food through secondary sources like church services, books, or podcasts.

Spiritual food provides us with the opportunity to have revelation of who Jesus is. When we have revelation of who Jesus is, our spirits are nourished and we take our place at His table. When our spirits are well fed, we are in position to find who we really are.  Our spirits need to be fed not just for our own excitement, our spirits need to be fed for our assignment.  All of our assignments start at the same place, The Table of JESUS. From there, we are to go out and be lights in the world, to be fishers of men. (Matthew 4:19). God promised to equip us for the task ahead, but He can’t equip us if we aren’t at His table receiving our spiritual food.

Spiritual food opens the door for you to receive the promises of God. The Promises you hear at God’s table WILL Come to past. Every obstacle or rejection that is different from God’s promise for you is the devil’s attempts to distract and deter you. The devil will lie and tell you that the promises aren’t coming to fruition and that it’s not worth it to keep going back for more spiritual food. He will say why are you worshipping or praying when you haven’t gotten X,Y,Z that you asked for last week. Don’t believe it, the devil is a liar and he wants you to doubt. Remember, Our God who promised is FAITHFUL to perform!”(1st Thessalonians 5:24)

Choosing to partake in spiritual food no matter your circumstances is the gateway to the miraculous and the fulfillment of God’s promise. When we choose to worship even in bad times, it is an act of Surrender. It’s an expression of Faith, a statement to God that “I Believe in you, I Trust You and I desire to be in your presence because your spiritual food is where I find strength!!”  Dining at God’s table is the opening for him to plant seeds in your heart.  The harvest of those seeds may not be seen for days, weeks, months, or years BUT the Harvest WILL Come because God uses EVERYTHING (Romans 8:28). Every time you truly enter the presence of God, you are transformed. It may not be visible on the outside, but it happens! It’s impossible to experience spiritual food from such a mighty God and not be transformed.

God said and we believe that “physical training is of some value, BUT Godliness has value for ALL things, holding promises for both the present life and the life to come” (1st Timothy 4:8). So take a moment or two, GO GET FED!!! Our God LOVES You so much!! He’s inviting you and he’s preparing to fill you with an overflow of knowledge, wisdom, and something which nothing in this world can compare, that is The JOY of being in His Presence!

The Word of God is Alive and Active

This is My Sword: The word is a weapon! My personal bible is one of my most prized possessions, its highlighted, marked in, pages bookmarked and all that. When the devil comes for me, here is where I look for answers!
This is My Sword: The word is a weapon! My personal bible is one of my most prized possessions: its highlighted, marked in with pen, pages bookmarked and all that. When the devil comes for me, here is where I look for answers!

Hebrews 4:12 says that “the Word of God(the bible) is alive and active. It cuts sharper than any 2-edged sword dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

Notice the action verbs in the above scripture: God said the word is alive, active, cuts sharper, and it judges… This is by no means passive language; believing this scripture requires belief in the power of God’s Word. Let’s break down this scripture:

  1. If the Word of God is alive and active, this means its relevant to our life today. The bible was written many many years ago, but our God is so wise that his knowledge, wisdom, and commands are timeless. In a world where relevance is a constant battle in the job, in the school, on social media, in medicine, in fashion, in entertainment and so many other fields..  The bible says that “heaven and earth will pass away, but the word of God is eternal” (Matthew 24:35).We should take comfort in knowing that God’s word is alive and active; It does not lose relevance. 
  2. The scripture then says that God’s Word cuts sharper than any two-edged sword, dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow. Many people run from God, ignore the bible, or deface Christianity because the bible is truth and truth is hard to face. If you really read the Word and commit to living Holy, the Word will cut through your outer persona, and root out things that are unlike God. In modern terms, the Word will come for your life unapologetically and force an evaluation of who you are. Don’t be afraid of this pruning and purifying process! We, as followers of Christ, “experience tests and trials to prove the genuineness of our faith, which is worth more than gold” (1st Peter 1:6-7). 
  3.  The last part of the scripture is about judgement and exposure. This can scare many people, but it simply means we must channel the power of the Word of God. We need that power to make it through this life because although we are in the world, we are not of it (John 15:19). The bible says that our flesh must die, so that our spirit can live. For our flesh to die, we need to use the word and allow it to judge the thoughts and attitudes of our heart.
  4. Lets use the Word of God as a weapon and a resource. When things are chaotic, choose to run to the Word instead of running to people or other vices. His Word is timeless and it is active. It is a lifeline, a  fountain of knowledge, and a well of truth. It is eternal, not fickle or faulty– completely trustworthy in all its forms. God said and we believe that His Word is Eternal, His Word is alive and active, and His Word is for our benefit!

 

I Belong

1.Contrary to everything the World portrays, Our identity is found FIRST in Christ. We belong to him- Jesus knows our name

a.You do not belong to your self, for God bought you with a high a price, so you must Honor Him – 1st Corinthians 6:20

b.Give your bodies to God because of All he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice- This is truly the way to worship him – Romans 12:1

c.But now, this is what the Lord says- he who created you, he who formed you, Do not dear for he has redeemed you; I, the Lord, have called you by name, you are mine – Isaiah 43:1

2.When we accept that we belong to God, we step into authority and purpose of who he has called us to be. Our other identity markers are built around his calling for our life.

a.Today, I appoint you to stand up against nations and kingdoms, some you must uproot and tear down, destroy and overthrow, others you must build up and plant. – Jeremiah 1:10

b.You will command nations you do not know, and people unknown to you will come running to obey, because the Lord your God has made you Glorious- Isaiah 55:5

3.Declaring that you belong to God opens the door for you to receive all of his promises

a.You are God’s book and he writes 100 times better than anything we could possibly do on our own
i. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before I ever came to be – Psalms 139:16

b.God will change your life and blow your mind
i.Now to him who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above what you can ask or think, by his power that is at work within us -Ephesians 3:20

c.You’ll realize that no circumstance, good or bad, defines you or separates you from the one who defines and claims you as His own
i.I am convinced that nothing can ever separate me from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither my fears of today or my worries of tomorrow, not even the powers of hell. – Romans 8:38

God said and We believe that we are His children, called to fulfill a purpose and to be a light in a dying world. Our identity is in him and the world can’t take that identity no matter how hard they try. God loves you, YES YOU!!

ALWAYS remember that you are Loved and You Belong!!!

Shut the Door To Negativity

I could probably write an extended blog on this topic because this is at the top of satan’s strategies of attack. He loves to plant seeds of doubt, fear, inferiority, and just plain negativity in our mind. When we allow those seeds to take root, they make themselves at home in our mind and most importantly in our heart. When Satan has seeds in our heart, he can control your mindset and your actions.

Today is the day we recapture our power. We’re saying No to the negative thoughts. We will no longer be defined by the seeds Satan has planted. Lets use God word to shut the door to negativity!! We are going to ” demolish every argument and opinion that comes against the Word of God and we will take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ” (2nd Corinthians 10:5).

Satan’s lies do not belong in our mind or our heart, so choose today and every day to Shut the Door to Negativity!

Trusting God When You Don’t Understand

We all have days where it feels like nothing goes our way. We get discouraged and wonder is it worth it. Why should I walk in faith if this is gonna be the result? Why should I continue to be nice to person X when they don’t appreciate my efforts, why should I go to church when bad things are still happening, why should I keep praying when I haven’t received an answer and it’s been forever. why doesn’t God understand??

The question why clouds the mind of every Christian. We begin to doubt God because we don’t understand. A simple truth I learned is that sometimes God shows his will, but doesn’t reveal his timing. Sometimes he gives us instruction and waits for us to obey before revealing the next steps. It’s normal and expected for us to not understand God’s way because the bible says His ways and thoughts are higher than ours (Isaiah 55:9) Our job is remember that no matter the season or the circumstance, God is still God and he is still in control.

The next time you don’t understand: Reflect on these two scriptures. “All things Work together for the Good of those who love God” (Romans 8:28) and Colossians 1:17 which says “God is before all things and In Him, all things hold together”. How comforting is it to know that our God is making everything whether positive or negative on the surface work for our good and he is in complete control. Meditate on these promises and speak them over yourself when you’re asking why or you’re feeling doubtful. Trust God when you don’t understand because He loves you and He is For you!

You’re NEVER too Far for God to Reach You

One of the devil’s best tactics is to create doubt and resignation. He takes all our mistakes and magnifies them in our mind. The devil wants us to believe that we’re too messed up, too imperfect, or to sinful for God to use us. Today, I want to encourage you and disband all the lies Satan has fed you. In his word, God declared that we are never too far for him to reach us. The focus verse today is Romans 8:38-39 where God’s word says ” For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor principalities, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.…
Meditate on this scripture. Speak it over your life when the devil tries to make you believe his lies. Take the power back and DECLARE with Authority that God says and I believe that NOTHING Can Separate Me From His Love.