The Battle belongs to God!

As Christians,  we know the vital connection to God is through prayer, yet we can let it slip away from us. We must deliberate in choosing  to cling to it and trust God even in the darkness and silence maintaining that vital connection to Him in prayer is a choice. Step by step, through the fog on our pathway, we must choose to trust that God has our best interest at heart and lean on His strength to get us through our day or we can choose to shrug Him off with little expectation and lean wearily on our own understanding.

When we live our  lives with prayer on the fringe, we are really telling God that we don’t trust Him. Often with our lips we declare trust but with our lives we show that we really don’t believe He will see us through. Ask yourself the hard questions…Do I really trust that God has my best interest at heart? Do I really believe He will strengthen me today to walk where I need to walk, even in the darkness and silence?

To help you increase your trust in God through the hard times you are facing, you should thank God for the things He  has done in your past, present, and what He is going to do in the future. Go back as far as you need to. Begin a chart to track a record in your life. Ask Him to remind you of times past when He was there for you and brought you out of all situations you were facing.

Then find something in your life today to be grateful for. Living thankfully is God’s will for your life. “Giving thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians  5:18). When trials come and life seems hard, plead with God to deliver you in the problem. Praise does not depend on understanding of the circumstances or trial.

Praise depends on who God really is and wants to be in our lives and on our willingness to put our faith in Him. As humans, we will never fully understand God-this side of heaven. God is holy and without blemish. God is all powerful and omniscience. He is the Creator of the Universe and yet live in you and me at our invitation. He is the only true living God. We may understand His ways and grasp the reasoning behind some of His plans. We may even come to the place of knowing Him on what I call an intimate level, but the understanding of God is reserved in heaven. Until then , we will walk by faith an not by sight.

Celebrate, knowing that battle belongs to God, and because of that single truth, success is certain!!!

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Are You Hungry For God?

“You must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment”-1 Peter 2:2

It is possible to maintain a spiritual hunger for God for the rest of your life. I’ve learned that there are ways to keep a spiritual appetite. Let me share with you:

  1. Remind yourself how much God loves you. The more you understand how much God loves you, the more you’re going to love Him. The Bible says in Ephesians 3:18-19 , “May you have the power to understand how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then, you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God”

  2.  Stop filling up on junk food.     You are a spiritual being with a God-shaped hole in your heart that only God can fill. When you try to fill it with salary, status, success, passion, possessions, power, prestige, or anything other than God, it’s not going to be fulfilling. Proverbs 15:14 says, “A wise person is  hungry for knowledge, while the fool feeds on trash”.

  3. Make knowing God your number ONE goal. Happiness is a byproduct of knowing God. Jesus says in Matthew 6:33, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you“. When you see God, then everything else will fall in place. He already knows what we need.

  4. Get into God’s Word every day. The Bible is food for your soul. Eating a meal once a week won’t keep you healthy. In the same way, you need to feed on God’s Word every day. “You must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment” (1 Peter 2:2).

  5. Appetite is influenced by association. If you hang out with people who only care about politics, that’s all you’re going to care about. If you hang out with people who only care about sports; that’s what you are going to care about. BUT, if you hang out with people who cares and loves Jesus, then you are going to care and love Jesus! I love Jesus because He first loved me.

    I want to encourage you to associate yourself with others who have  hunger for God! You are able to talk about God in every way and share your faith with others and is not ashamed to spread the “GOOD NEWS” of Jesus Christ. We are here to serve others and show others the love of Christ! Proverbs 2:20 says; “Join the company of good men and women, and stay on the paths of righteous”.

 

Let’s Talk It Over

What does it mean to be hungry for God?

How can you remind yourself throughout the day of God’s love?

What are the things that you talk about most with your friends? With your spouse?

How is your conversation feeding your spiritual appetite?

#ConsultGodFirst #TheFAITHWALK #ThePowerofGod #TheSpiritualBattle #DELIVERANCEisMyTestimony

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How To Make It Right With God

“If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved . For it is believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved” (Romans 10:9-10).

The Bible says in Romans 1:17, “The Good News shows how God makes people right with himself”.

How does God make us right with himself? This is called the Gospel, and there are three points I want to share with you:

First, we can’t make ourselves righteous.

Heaven is a perfect place. There’s no sin, sadness, evil, or injustice. But here’s the problem: We are imperfect, and God can’t let sinful people into Heaven because then it would be full of sin, too. Romans 3:20 says, “No one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are”.

The only people who think they can keep God’s laws are those that don’t know them, because God’s laws are perfection, and none of us are perfect. We cannot be made right on our own. So God had to come up with a plan.

Second, God sent Jesus to pay for our sins so we could be declared righteous.

When you break man’s laws, you pay man’s penalty. When you break God’s laws, you pay God’s penalty, which is eternity in hell. Somebody has to pay for all the things you’ve done in life that hurt other people, yourself, and God. God said, “I’ll send my Son, Jesus, to pay the penalty. He will take your place so you don’t have to go to hell. You can be with me forever”.

Do you understand why the Gospel is called Good News? It means everything we have done or will ever do wrong in life has already been paid for by Jesus Christ on the cross. You have been made right wit God.

“God saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy“-Titus 3:5

Third, we have to accept by faith what God did for us.

To be made right with God, just believe and accept by faith that what Jesus did on the cross paid for our sins. Then, we are apart of God’s family. You can live the way He wants you to live now and then go to Heaven in eternity. That is righteousness. But, we all have a choice to choose our destiny. God will not force us to serve Him.

Hallelujah! We can all be saved no matter who wed are, what we’ve done, or how long we’ve done it.

Today is the day to settle this. If you are not sure if you are going to Heaven when you die, please make your calling and election sure. But pray this prayer with me:

Heavenly Father, thank you that you made me, that you have a plan and purpose for my life, and that you made me to know you. Thank you for the choice that you’ve given me to accept or reject your offer of salvation. Today, I humbly ask you to save me-not based on what I’ve done based on what Jesus Christ did for me. I don’t understand it all, but as much as I know how I want to put my trust in your Son. God, I want to get to know you. I want to learn to love you. I want to hunger and thirst for righteousness the rest of my life. I put my trust in your grace and in your forgiveness. I want you to be the Lord of my life, in Jesus name, Amen.

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“God Is Always Present, Regardless of How You Feel”

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised”-Job 1:21

When you are a baby Christian , God gives you a lot of confirming emotions and often answers the most immature, self-centered prayers so you’ll know He exists. But as you grow in faith, He will wean you of those dependencies.

God’s omnipresence and the manifestation of His presence are two different things. One is a FACT; the other is often a feeling. God is always present, even when we are unaware of Him, and His presence is too profound to be measured by mere emotion. Yes, He wants us to sense His presence, but He’s more concerned that we trust Him than that we feel Him. Faith, not feelings, pleases God. “Without faith, it is impossible to please God”-Hebrews 11:6

The situations that will stretch your faith most will be those times when life falls apart and God is nowhere to be found. This happened to Job. On a single day he lost everything-his family, his business, his health, and everything he owned. And then, for 37 chapters, God said NOTHING!

How do you praise God when you don’t understand what’s happening in your life and God is silent? How do you stay connected in a crisis without communication? How do you keep your eyes on Jesus when they’re full of tears? You do what Job did: “Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised”-Job 1:21

Tell God exactly how you feel. Pour out your heart to Him. Unload every emotion that you’re feeling. Job did this when he said, “I can’t be quiet! I am angry and bitter. I have to speak” (Job 7:11)

He cried out when God seemed distant: “Oh for the days when I was in my prime, when God’s intimate friendship blessed my house”-Job 29:4

God can handle your doubt, anger, fear, grief, confusion, and questions.

Let’s Talk It Over

  • Who is the person you go to when life gets tough? What do you say to them that you also need to say to God?

  • How is your faith in God on display when you go through a crisis?

  • Why do you think God is more concerned about  your faith than your feelings?

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“Keeping Your Faith While Unemployed”

Having had a job since the end of August and starting a job a couple of weeks ago and all of a sudden, everything changed at the job where now it feels completely surreal that I do not have consistent income to help my family. Immediately, I spruced up my resume and began job hunting again. I have my Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration/ Accounting, versatile skill sets,  connections, and charisma. It seems only logical that hiring managers would flood my inbox in no time.

A couple of weeks of not hearing from anyone and receiving emails that they have decided to go with other candidates for the position. Am I not qualified? I thought. Or am I over qualified? My resume is very professionally written and jobs that I have applied for, my experience and education qualifies me for the positions applied. Follow up emails, calling HR professionals, and executing every networking strategy has lead me to dead ends and sheer frustration.

My prayers for deliverance became cries for strength to face bill collectors and student loan payments. I wanted God to take me out of the pain because I did not see the purpose, yet it was not until now that I realize how necessary this stage is in order to redirect my life.

Looking back, here are the things I discover from being unemployed that I would have never discovered if I had never been told that I would receive a call once they come up with a schedule for me for the position I started 2 weeks ago:

1.    True Worth
We live in a society where our worth is determined by the external. Our profession and the ability to bring home the bacon are tied to who we are.

During my unemployment stage, I learned to find value outside of my bank statement. I looked internally for the things that make me wake up in the morning. I found other ways to fulfill myself, which allowed me to discover new interests and relationships.
My worth do not equate to how many hours I could put in a week, but how satisfied I became with my character and daily actions.

2. Purpose vs. Paycheck
To be honest, I never liked the job I had to begin with.  When God removed the position I was able to see clearly what I wanted to do versus what I thought I had to do. I still have dreams and goals that had been nagging at me for years. So, I tried new things. I have started and finished projects I normally didn’t have time for.

I sketched out what eventually became the layout for my mentoring program that I have been working with and I began to reevaluate my entire perspective of actually being happy in the moment.
My search for a career has become less about finding a paycheck and more about finding my purpose, which never before had crossed my mind when I was punching a clock.

3. Trusting the Struggle
Things never just happen. What may seem like a surprise to us is never a surprise to God. Instead of asking God “Why?” I should have been asking Him “What?”
What is it that you want me to do? What do you want me to learn?
What do you want me to see that I could not have seen before?
God never makes mistakes (no matter how much we try to second guess our circumstances).

If you find yourself unemployed, please know that God will take care of you. You are being prepared for the next stage in your life so allow God to shift your focus. Maybe it is time to start that business, go back to school, or anything else you have put off due to the excuse of full-time employment.

Being unemployed is undoubtedly a fearful experience, but it is not the end of the road.
Although you may question your talents and gifts during periods of uncertainty,
although you may feel inadequate or less than remember the words of Luke 12:25-26 “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?”

This situation you are in is temporary, have faith as you transition to the next level, and use this time to grow and reflect. Trust your brilliance, trust your struggle, and, most importantly, trust God. God is good!!

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“Let Jesus Carry That Load”

We all face difficult times and burdens in our life that we may feel we just can’t bear. It may be situations that seem hopeless, where we feel powerless. The stress of a situation may leave us feeling physically and mentally exhausted, where we feel drained of all our energy and power. Life isn’t easy. In one way or another, life is an ongoing struggle. Jesus knew that everyone felt this way at one time or another. In Matthew 11:28, Jesus said…

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest”.

Let God take on your burdens and battles

We need to put our faith in God and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken”

‘Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved-Psalm 55:22

Exodus 14:14 “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still”.

God will revive your strength

The Bible tells us that God will renew our strength, removing the weakness we felt due to our burdens.

“Isaiah 40:29-He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak”.

Isaiah 40:31 “But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint”.

Attach Yourself to Christ

Following Christ doesn’t add to your burdens, it removes them.

Matthew 11:29-30 “Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and My burden is light”

Share One Another’s Burdens

The Bible tells us that as Christians, we need to support one another, and help each other bear our burdens.

Galatians 6:2

“Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ”

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“How God Provides For Us”

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19)

What do you put your security in?

If you put your security in your bank account, your job, or your investments, that means you are an insecure person, because you can lose all of those things. I know that sounds harsh, huh? Well, I thought that at first, but then I began to realize that you have to put your security in something that cannot be taken from you-God! If you want God’s blessing in your life, you have to depend on God’s wealth and not your own.

The Bible speaks about God supplying “all of our needs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus”-(Philippians 4:19) Your job shouldn’t be your security. Your job is a channel, but God is your source. If you understand this, you’ll have so much less stress in your life. Let me say it again: Your job is a channel, but God is the source of your supply.

If you were to turn on the faucet in your kitchen and no water came out, what would you do? Would you say, “Oh my! The world has run out of water! There’s no water coming out of the faucet, so there must not be any left in the whole world”? Of course not. You’d know the problem is not with source. There’s plenty of water in the world. The problem is the channel; it’s gotten blocked one way or another.

If one channel gets blocked in your life and the faucet stops working, God can turn on another faucet just as easily. If God closes a door in your life, He can open another door. And if another door closes, He can open a window, and you can crawl through it. God is not limited to your ability and capacity.

Your job is a channel. If you think that your job is what keeps you financially secure, you’re going to be insecure your entire life. You’ve got to understand that God is the source of your supply, and you can depend on Him to know exactly what you need and give it to you.

Jobs may come and go. Bank accounts rise and fall. Economies go up and down. Stock markets can go bull or bear. It doesn’t matter! You can trust in God’s wealth for your security.

TALK IT OVER

When you put your trust in God’s wealth, how does it affect the way you handle your finances?

Has a faucet been turned off in your life recently? How will you show God that you trust Him for your financial security?

What do your investments and finances reveal about your priorities in life?

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Criticized? Trust God to Defend You

“I depend on God alone; I put my hope in Him. He alone protects and saves me; He is my defender, and I shall never be defeated. My salvation and honor depend on God; He is my strong protector; He is my shelter”.-(Psalm 62:5-7)

There are always going to be people in your life who misunderstand you and people who don’t like you. There will always be people who criticize you, judge you, attack you, and spread rumors about you.

When you are misunderstood, you’re going to have a tendency to get in there and defend yourself. When you’re attacked, your tendency is to attack back-just like the rest of us. When people insult you, you want to insult them back. Don’t do it! Let God be your defender. Every time you are under attack, criticized, put down, or misunderstood, you have two choices. You can defend yourself, or you can let God defend you. Which will it be? Who do you think can do a better job defending you? God can.

Pay attention to this: You’re most like Christ when you say nothing in the face of attack, lies, and unfair criticism. You’re most like Jesus when you remain silent and leave it in God’s hands. When Jesus was insulted, “he did not answer back with an insult; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but placed his hopes in God, the righteous judge”-(1 Peter 2:23).

Even Jesus did not fight back in the face of His unjust conviction and persecution. He trusted God to defend him when it mattered most and to have the ultimate justice. In the Bible, King David was criticized and attacked his entire life. In fact, most of his life people wanted to kill him because they was jealous of him.

Davis said this in Psalm 62:5-7: My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.

A lot of people are going to be jealous of your success, too, and they’re going to want to attack you fro many different reasons. But, like David, you need to let God be your protector, your SAVIOR, your DEFENDER, your VICTOR, and your SHELTER.

Let God handle it! Let Him be your defense!

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While You’re Waiting, God Is Working

“I trust the Lord to save me, and I will wait for an answer to my prayer”-Micah 7:7

The Bible is clear that there are seasons in life, and one of the seasons that God talks about again and again is the season of waiting. While you’re waiting, God is working. Don’t think that the season of waiting means that God has stopped working. He’s just taking you through that season because he’s using the time to work in your circumstances for your good.

You’re going to spend a lot of life waiting. If you don’t figure out how to trust God while you’re waiting, you’re going to spend a lot of your life not trusting God. God is never in a hurry. He’s eternal! He is watching; He is working. He is seeing how and when you will trust Him as you’re waiting. You’re saying, “When, Lord? When is it going to happen?” And God’s saying, “You can trust me with this”.

The problem with waiting is that our human nature and our culture say, “Don’t wait! Get things as quickly as you can”. That’s the way our culture is wired, but it goes against God’s blessing in our lives because God’s blessing comes through these times of waiting. Ecclesiastes 3:11 says, “God has set the right time for everything”.

You might be in a time of waiting. Maybe it’s for school to end. Maybe it’s for a man or a woman to come into your life. Maybe it’s for a marriage to happen or a baby to come. And you may be frustrated with how slowly things are happening. We’ve all been there.

There’s a promise in the Bible that tells you not only that God is working but also how God is working, and you need to claim it while you’re in your time of waiting: “I am the Lord, and when it is time, I will make these things happen quickly” (Isaiah 60:22)

That’s how God worked when he sent Jesus into this world. The world waited thousands of years for Jesus to come the first time. And He came at just the right time. We’ve been waiting 2,000 years now for Jesus to come again. When is Hess going to come again? At just the right time-God’s time. That’s when He’s going to come.

You need to apply this to your time of waiting and remember that a delay is not a denial. When you think God is saying “No” he may just be saying, “Not yet. Will you keep trusting me through this?”.

Let us continue to trust in the Lord and profess our faith in Him. That is the kind of faith that God blesses.

Talk It Over

What have you been waiting on God to so in your life? What has been your response to the season of waiting?

How have you seen God work in your life when you have had to trust in His timing and not your own?

What can you do to slow tings down in your life so that you learn patience and trust?

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Ways to Find Peace When Waiting on God

Waiting on God for an answered prayer can be mentally agonizing. Why hasn’t anything come yet, you wonder, from you waiting? Is God holding off a little? Do you think He’s disappointed in you? Sometimes the waiting becomes the focus of our lives, almost to the point where God comes in second. In fact, God desires for us to seek Him during this season.

Fortunately, there are things you can do that may help you find peace when the waiting feels overwhelming.

“So the Lord must wait for you to come to him so he can show you his love and compassion. For the Lord is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for his help”-Isaiah 30:18

I’ve learned to pray for God’s wisdom…When God says for us to ask and it will be given to us. I’ve never heard God trying to quiet us down from praying too much. He’s a giving God, but He’s the wisest giver of all time- even when He gave Abraham and Sarah a son at such an old age. He will give you what you need in the time He knows is perfect for you. I don’t believe God sees aging the way our natural, humanly bodies do. We see wrinkles setting in; God sees exaltation.

I’ve learned to Be still… In our time of waiting, it’s good to be still sometimes. Often, God calls us to solitude and quietness before Him in order to listen and hear His voice. We simply can’t do this while shopping for groceries, watching TV or picking the kids up from school. He desires for us to come before Him alone with time set aside purely for Him; that’s when He’ll unveil great and hidden truths to you (Jeremiah 33:3). It’s good to be still and know that He is God. We can find peace in that truth alone.

Pursuing Godly things doesn’t have to mean filling your schedule to the brim with volunteer opportunities to the point of exhaustion. Not that those aren’t wonderful, but sometimes, it’s simply reading His Word on a rainy Saturday or having a coffee date with a friend in need. God calls us in different ways to serve Him, so it’s important to look for ways to answer that call in our daily lives.

Waiting can also feel like trekking up a mountain. It’s a mighty hike, and little by little, you can begin to feel like a snow storm has buried you in complete hopelessness. Yet, God tells us to not give into despair and to wait patiently before Him. Though the wait may seem long and short amounts of time-just the appointed time. We just have to hold fast to His promises and His timing and not grow weary during the wait.

Ours is a faithful God, which is why we can trust in Him to care for us as we wait for our soulmate to arrive. Whenever you are feeling weary or downtrodden, keep your mind on the most important thing: God’s love.

“The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him”-Lamentations 3:25

#ConsultGodFirst  #TheFaithWalk #ThePowerofGod #TheSpiritualBattle #DELIVERANCEisMyTestimony

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