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Get some sleep

 

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been feeling really stressed with some of the things I am going through. There are times when I have to fight the thought that I am not alone. And that God is on the scene working on my behalf. I don’t know about you, but that can be tough. It can be tough when you look at your circumstance and realize that time is running out and there is no change to your situation.

In those times…times when I am stressed, or anxious…, my peace gets disturbed and I become exhausted.

But this morning the Lord ministered to me with this scripture.

indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.

Psalm 121:4

I think for me, it is a reminder that I have done my part. And I need to trust God with the rest. God never asked us to stay awake at night worrying, or to be continually anxious about life. He would never do that because He is always awake, watching over us, our families, and continually working on our circumstances. He never sleeps nor slumbers. That word ‘slumber’ means that He doesn’t take our situations lightly. He is not carefree about it. And because He is working on our situations,..guarding our lives, He wants us to be assured that we can rest.

It is only when we enter into His Rest that we can sleep peacefully. We have to first trust Him to be the God who cares, who is looking out for us, and then we can truly enter into a place where we have a calm assurance that He is fixing things.

Whereever you are, whatever you are worried about, be encouraged that God is watching over your life continually. Even if it seems as though He is asleep in your situation, be reminded that He never sleeps nor slumbers.
With that in mind, you can trust that it’s only a matter of time before things will change for the good.

So rest. Again I say, Rest. Be at peace. And tonight instead of staying up worrying about how this bill will be paid, when your healing will come, when the right job will come along, if you’re ever going to find the right person to spend your life with…Just entrust these cares to your Guard. And get some sleep.

 

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Come back to your First Love

I had this overwhelming desire to go back to the cross this morning during my devotion.

As I began to meditate on Calvary (not what is depicted on TV, but what truly took place on the cross), I couldn’t help but wonder : how does a believer  become lukewarm in Christ. Lukewarm for me means ‘unexcited’, ‘not wanting to be or do anything for God’, not even having the desire to commune with God. It’s a love gone cold.

I have asked myself this question several times. Mainly in the times when I feel like I am slipping. But also in the times when I see others around me lose their faith, or become complacent in their relationship with God. I think that often times people feel that God has disappointed them in some way or the other. Or people have disappointed them and God pays for it. When such thoughts come to mind, as they do in any relationship, we slowly shut down. The passion wanes. And we begin to float in lukewarm waters. We have no desire to seek Him or chase after Him.

As I am meditating on this, I think of a hymn that says:

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

I think that core reason that we sometimes become disconnected from God, is because we lose sight of the Cross.

I’ve heard about the cross several times. But there are times like this morning in my devotion,  that I truly am moved by it. When I am done, I can’t help but fall in love with God and the work of the Cross all over again.

The cross- Therein we see God taking on human form, and allowing Himself to be beaten to a pulp, ridiculed, scorned and killed…for nothing.

I don’t know about you, but if I were God—God who is able to speak a single word and cause mountains to tremble… I would have said two words and let all my haters fall to the ground.

But He didn’t do that. Instead, he endured. Think about it. He didn’t have to endure any of the things they put Him through. But He did. He did it for me.  And for you. Why?

He did it so that we would know what real love looked like. He did it so we would know that He loved us so…

This is love. Real love perseveres. This is the love that God gives.

If we were to continually think about that, I think it would be hard to slip away. Hard to let Him go. Hard to fall out of love. Hard to become distracted.

This kind of love is binding. It is compelling. It is constraining. It’s the type of love that makes you want to do more and more for God rather than let Him go. But it starts with how you see the cross.

So today, if you are in a very low place of hurt, pain, disappointment; if you are in a very lukewarm place in your Christian walk; if you are in a place where you just don’t ‘feel’ God.. Go back to the Cross. Go back to your first love.

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins (1John 4:19).

What a Friend!

There used to be a song that we sung in church…A hymn really.

        What a friend we have in Jesus, 
	all our sins and griefs to bear! 
	What a privilege to carry 
	everything to God in prayer! 
	O what peace we often forfeit,
	O what needless pain we bear, 
	all because we do not carry 
	everything to God in prayer.

There is more to this hymn. But it has been echoing in my spirit over the last few days.

A couple days ago, I was brainstorming helpful tips with my team members about how to overcome when you are overwhelmed. We had well and created a decent list of solutions, but one had evaded us.- Prayer.

It is such a simple truth, but one that we can so easily forget… – That we have a friend in Jesus. That He is there to bear all of our sins and grief.

We have the awesome privilege, like the Prodigal son to come before the Throne of Grace, as often as we need to take everything to God in Prayer.
The rest of the hymn is even more ironic. Especially when I think of all the times that I think I have to go it alone, or that I think that there’s no one there to help. `What needless pain we bear’ when we try to go it alone.

I can imagine God right now, watching some of us carrying our heavy weights, carrying our problems, carrying our issues, addictions, pain… by ourselves, when He is right there beside us to help us….and is waiting for us to just come to Him for help.

What a Friend!

 

Faithful God

The faithful love of the LORD never ends!b
His mercies never cease
23Great is his faithfulness;
his mercies begin afresh each morning.
24I say to myself, “The LORD is my inheritance;
therefore, I will hope in him!” Lamentations 3:21-23

I read this passage by Andrew Murray this morning and thought I would share it along with this Scripture (note: not my words)

…The sun is never weary of shining.; of pouring out his beneficent rays upon both the good and the evil. You might close up the windows with blinds or bricks, the sun would shine upon them all the same; though we might sit in darkness, in utter darkness, the shining would be just the same. God’s sun shines on every leaf; on every flower….All receive His wealth of sunshine until they grow to perfection and bear fruit. Would He who made that sun be less willing to poor out His Love and life into me? And would He not delight more in creating a beauty and a fruitfulness in me? 

Let these two quotes serve as a reminder to us, of God’s never ending love and faithfulness to us. At every turn of our lives, He is faithful.

Always on time

He is an on time God. Yes He is.

This morning, I was rushing for work as I had some other things to do. So I did not get to do my daily devotion and prayer as I would have liked to. But despite the busyness, this song came to mind.

No matter what phase of life you are, and no matter how long some things seem to take to get to you…know that God is an on time God. That means, He will get to you whatever it is that He knows you are in need of, at the exact time you need it.

 

 

All in

For if we hope for that which we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. Rom 8:25

If you are going to have faith in God for something, you’ve got to go all in. All in.

We’ve heard that phrase before as it relates to placing your entire life’s worth into a hand that you will believe you will win. And while trusting in God is not a gamble, we really have to go “all in” when it comes to trusting in Him. We have to believe in what He has promised and place our entire trust into what He has promised. 

I was reading Hebrews Chapter 11 today along with Romans 8:25, and I realized that every person who believed God to do something, died believing.

That literally scared the stuffing out of me. Well what do you mean they died believing? Some of these people lived for over 100 years and did not see the manifestation of the promise. Abraham for example was promised that his seed would be numbered as sand. That dude packed up all of his belongings and headed South at one Word. He died before it manifested. But because he believed and obeyed, God’s promise did happen. The only thing was that he didn’t live to see it.

What’s the point believing, if you die before it happens?

To be honest, I don’t know. But I believe that God is always trying to get something to us more than what our natural man desires. In part, He does want to give us the ‘desires’ of our hearts. But there is a bigger picture. He wants us to hold on to Him. He wants us to grow as we keep believing Him for that thing.  And if at the end of the day, you don’t see what He has promised. He wants you to still believe. Isn’t that radical?

I believe that we make faith about the things and desires we are believing for, when in essence, it is about the relationship we have with God.

Many times, when we believe God for something, as soon as we’ve received it, our faith dwindles and so does our relationship with Him.

Are you prepared to believe God even if 5 years have passed and you still don’t see His promise being fulfilled in your life. If 10 years have passed and you don’t see it manifested? If 50 years have passed and you don’t see it happening?

How much patience should we have when believing God for His promise?

Are we ready to trust him entirely, despite the trials that may come? Despite how impossible it looks? Despite how long it takes for the breakthrough to happen? Not “Lord, I am going to give you 2 years and then if it doesn’t happen, then I suppose there’s no point”. But an “ALL IN” Trust.

Lions and Tigers and Bears

I was reading something about David this morning which encouraged me, so I thought I’d share….

As we’ve all read the story, we know a few things about Dave before he became king.
1. He was a ruddy looking fellow
2. He was the youngest of his brethren . A youth
3. He was the shepherd boy.

The three qualities we see in David says to us that he was the least to be expected to do something impossible.
In fact, his brothers even mocked him, because he was so small and so unlikely to be anything more than a shepherd boy.

But this is not a message about David becoming great. This is about a so called wimp taking on a giant in the first place.

Well back it up a bit.
This was David’s conversation when people didn’t think he was capable of it…

1 Samuel 17:33-36
And Saul said to David, Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him:for thou art but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth. And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father’s sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock: And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth:and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him. Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear:and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God.

Why would he want to take on Goliath? Because he had some training ground in defeating impossible things in front of him. Ferocious things in front of him. He had taken out a lion and a beast. Goliath was just the natural progression.

What I am amazed about Is not so much that he defeated these things….but the thought that crosses my mind is why on earth would God place him in the path of a lion and a bear?

It’s not like David picked a fight with the lion and the bear because he was bored with the sheep. just like he picked one with Goliath. He said “there came a lion and bear”. I believe that even before Paul wrote about steps being ‘ordered by God’, David was walking that out. And as we all know David was one of many who encountered ‘ beasts in the field’

So, why did God put a lion and a bear in David’s path?

Simple. God knew that he would soon face a larger beast that would lead him into his destiny. In fact the next beast was the gateway to his destiny.

Sometimes I wonder “God why does my life have to be so difficult? Why do I have to go through so much? ”
It seems like every time I cross one hurdle, another one shows up in front of me.
I’m sure some of you have felt that way.

But as I Read this passage this morning, I understood things a little more: the lions and tigers and bears that we face ( tigers are for dramatic effect of this blog), is all in preparation for the greater doors God has in store for us.

Somewhere in the future God has a great destiny for you, but you are likely to encounter some lions, tigers and bears… and then a goliath to get there. Don’t see your struggles right now as a negative thing. God is preparing you for something.

Now when the struggles come we have a choice… We can either “run from it” or “learn from it” as Good ol Rafiki would say. But whatever action you take will determine your victory when God presents your destiny before you and a Goliath before it.

My point, and my encouragement to you: surely there is a point to all the little struggles, hurdles, obstacles in your life. God has something great in store and every lion that you destroy, every bear that you kill, every Goliath that you stone…is leading you closer to the great destiny He has planned out.
Take them out.

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The Gentleman who opens doors

A good friend and mentor once said to me that a gentleman opens doors for a lady.

Call me old fashioned (or high maintenance) but I like the feeling of a gentleman opening a door for me.

It tells me that “I like you”

or

“I got you”

or “this is the direction that we’re going so that you don’t end up in the wrong place at the wrong time”.

If someone walks through a door and doesn’t even so much as hold a door for me, I get the feeling that I am not supposed to enter. Or more like…stay out (especially if the door shuts behind them)

Well whether or not someone holds a door opened for you, the Holy Spirit is a Gentleman, and He always opens doors for you.,, if you  let Him.

We need only pray and ask God to open up the right doors for us. And He will.

In my own life, I have done this a lot. I’ve prayed and asked God to open doors for relationships, jobs, opportunities for my charity. I have also prayed and asked God to close doors that I am not suppose to walk through. I’ve seen many doors swing wide open for me. And I have seen some doors that were right for me slam shut in my face. It’s usually at those times that I forget that I’ve prayed for God to also shut doors. 

But as I said, the Holy Spirit is a Gentleman.

God will open any door that He wants us to go through if we allow Him to.

What does this mean? If you have prayed and ask God to open doors for you in a certain area of your life, believe that He will do it. Believe that He can create the opportunity to meet your need. If a door gets slammed shut in your face. Don’t look at it as a negative. That’s just His way of saying “I’m not in this” or “this is not the opportunity that I have for you”.

We need not force doors open when God has clearly not held them open for us.

This is the “I am my own person/I can do me by myself” attitude. You can walk through doors and end up in places that you will later ask ” How did I get here?”. I am certain no one really wants to be there.

But there is such a blessing behind having Him hold a door open for you. Think about it- isn’t there a strain to open a door yourself? Isn’t it much easier to let Him swing it open for you?
So why not give God the chance to be the Gentleman who opens the right doors for you?

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths-Proverbs 3:5,6

Someone who knows what He’s doing.

Romans 8:28 says that “All things work together for the good to them that love God”. It seems that when we give up on life, we tend to use that Scripture a lot.

But over the last year, the Holy Spirit has given me a real conviction about what that means such that…It’s no longer head knowledge…but heart knowledge.

I remember once in Guyana, there was a truck of grains driving on the road. And all the grains were falling off of the truck and were being blown into the traffic behind the truck. It was such an obstruction that many cars had to be pulled over to the side. Many were angry with this truck driver. At one point so was I. He was ruining my moment. But then as I looked outside of the car that I was in, I saw these birds flying down hastily… and they were too happy to eat those grains. See… while our plans were being obstructed, they were being provided for… What is it that God said? “If I provide for the birds of the air….”

Here’s the truth: God is someone who knows what He’s doing. 

I’m learning that when things are not the way I want them to be, it’s not because God is not there… but because He is. Because He is literally Sovereign. Omnipresent , Omniscient. When I consider Him and how He operates, everything makes sense. I know that He is working it out for my good. Things really, really, really, don’t have to make sense. I just have to trust Him. So instead of getting frustrated and angry or sad or feeling like I am missing something I choose to just release life… my life into His Being. Place my entire world in His capable hands. And trust that He knows exactly what He is doing. Instead of fighting His will for my life… I embrace it… asking myself.. what is it that You are trying to do in me?  Saying… Lord even though I do not understand this… I know that You are established far above principalities and powers and so what is going on right now is not too powerful to be overthrown by you.

I love how Jeremiah 29:11 (message) puts it

 I know what I am doing. I have it all planned out. Plans to take care of you, not abandon you. Plans to give you the future you want.

And in all this I am realizing that God is my God. He knows what He is doing. So instead of getting all bent out of shape about things that I have very little control over, I place my absolute trust in Him knowing fully that He has my back.

I know I’ve probably said this before, in many different ways. But I just wanted to encourage you… again….God knows exactly what you are in need of, who you are in need of, where you are, and where you are going. Endeavour to stay in His will, and leave the rest to Him. He is working it out for your good.

So as often as you need to during the day, remind yourself of this: “It’s working for my good”.

Testimony #4: My Real Estate Agent

This testimony is about the leading of the Holy Spirit.

A few days ago, God ministered to me that everything happens in the right season and time. If it hasn’t happened, it’s not because He doesn’t want me to have it. It’s because He’s perfecting that which concerns me.

The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands. Psalm 138:8

So recently, this summer I realized that I had to move out of where I was. I hate change. I hate moving more. It’s so much work. But it had come time for me to find an apartment, and after a few years of living the ‘student life’, I really just wanted to have some place to hang my ‘own’ hat.

I hadn’t intended on moving out this month, because a. I couldn’t afford it. And b. I wanted to be done writing my thesis and graduating before I took off. Plus, I didn’t know where I would find a job. As I said yesterday, I was applying for jobs all over the world (i wasn’t joking about that!). So all in all, I was thinking I’d move in October.

But unforeseen circumstances pushed me to find a place. I began looking in my city. I really wanted to stay connected to my church for the time, so I was hoping that I’d find a place near the area. Mind you, i had no idea how I was going to pay for it. But I went looking for a place, and I wanted somewhere in the suburban part of the city.

It was the most frustrating venture I have had (apart from the other traumas that have been occurring). I just couldn’t find anything I liked. I can be pretty picky I’ve been told.

I got up on Wednesday morning and I decided to do my devotions by the river, because I have not spent much time outdoors this summer because of my research and then not feeling well and stuff. It was at the river that the Holy Spirit ministered to me.

“You’ve been doing this on your own. Tell me when you’re ready for my help”. 

Realizing that I had let the spirit of Pride in yet again, and became Ms Independent, I prayed. The Holy Spirit then asked me what it was that I really wanted in this house and what I wanted to pay. At the time I didn’t have the job, but I pulled up a number. And then I made a list. I wanted this apartment to be:

In a quiet, quaint area. I didn’t want white walls. I don’t want to live in this particular city anymore, but I want to be close enough to my church.  I wanted a large kitchen with two sinks! (I don’t get why some apartments only have one sink). I wanted my stove and fridge to match. And I needed a large countertop for when I am cooking. Oh. I wanted a sunroom. Because I like an area where I can do my devotions when it’s not cold. I wanted to be close to a river or lake….

I went on and on. At one point I felt bad for wanting so much. But i deserved it. And whether I had money or not, I know that my Father knew I deserved it and it was time.

Well whadduya know?!! The Holy Spirit became my Real Estate Agent. Once I was done yapping, I heard Him say,

“Okay I will let you know when I’ve found that. It’s probably not in this city though.”

As soon as I got back from the lake, I heard Him tell me to look at Kijiji in the next city. And it was like BAM. The first house that popped up on Kijiji had everything I had ask for at the price I had wanted! Even the Sunroom!!!

How awesome is our God? Just totally!!!

So my friend and I went to see the place and I immediately fell in love with it. It was just God’s perfect will. The owner actually told me that she had only put it up on Kijiji because she was only able to do all the cleaning that weekend.

I’m telling you, God answers prayers. And if we let Him take the lead and guide us, He will perfect that which concerns us. He’s just good like that. He literally became my real estate agent and He directed me to the right place at the right time. He gives the DESIRES OF YOUR HEART. But we have to believe Him and rely totally on Him and we have to tell Him what we want! He knows, but He wants us to tell Him.

So yea, I got my perfect place! And oh yea, all the financial details were taken care of miraculously.

I believe that He will do something miraculously for you too!