I don’t about you, but I KNOW that the Lord is my shield. I spent the first two weeks of this month in the hospital around the clock with someone who went in for cancer surgery which resulted in two ER visits after discharge and then a second week long admission. Twice in the ER for hours right next to people testing positive for corona and we are both healthy, safe, & symptom free. He is faithful folks. I may not know everything there is available to know, but I do know Him & that’s worthy of testifying about.
“The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”
Psalms 18:2 NKJV
Life happens. There are plenty of things that will happen to each and every single one of us.
Fully and completely trusting God is the only way to make peace with the things or situations that have robbed (or are attempting to rob) your peace.
He works ALL THINGS together for your good, even the the things that feel like they’re going to break you. We are broken to be made and stripped to be equipped.
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”
Romans 8:28 NKJV
Sure there’s folks who may only go to church on holidays… but none of us know the day it may take hold of their heart and change their life.
So instead of judging their attendance pattern, how about praying they have a life changing moment?
Believers often petition God for their “break through”. This is a blanket kind of statement because it’s often used to refer to a spiritual, health, physical, blessing, or financial promise they’re believing God for.
We often get frustrated when God isn’t moving as fast as we in our human reasoning think He should move. I’ve learned the hard way (many times) sometimes we are the ones holding up that “break through” because we are not positioned for it.
I want to share a personal testimony that happened to me recently. Last week I had surgery for the first time in my life. A surgery that I’ve put off for a long time that involved my reproductive capacity. Without this surgery, I would never be able to have a child because physically things were out of order so to speak. I had a word I was hanging on to but I wasn’t in position for it to come to pass.
So I finally allowed myself to be uncomfortable and go through the pain (literally) or putting myself into position. Too often times we want the outcome but not the process. We are responsible to do the possible and what we have control over and it is up to a very capable God to do what is considered impossible by normal human standards.
Everybody wants the joy of Resurrection Sunday but nobody wants to endure the pain of Good Friday. We can’t experience the full joy of life unless we’ve known the pain of death. There are somethings, situations, people, and places that are dead weight in our life but they’ve been there so long it’s become normal or comfortable. On the other side of allowing yourself to be uncomfortable, experience growing pains, feel lonely for just a little while is exactly where you need to be standing in position ready to receive the manifestation of your break through.
“And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
II Corinthians 12:9
My Momma used to quote this scripture to me all the time and I never fully had revelation of it until more recently. God telling us that His grace is sufficient for us, implies that is all we really need. That’s a hard thing to understand especially when we have circumstances, bills, situations, etc that weigh so heavily on us and what we’re actually thinking is that a quick million dollars would fix most of our immediate problems.
Grace is a gift that God has freely given us that is undeserved and unearned. He simply gives it to us because He loves us. Even this may be hard to understand fully until we understand what it looks like in our lives on a personal level.
We will never be perfect, we will always fall short but God loves us unconditionally anyway. There is nothing we can do that He will not forgive us for if we repent. Every situation or trail in our life He works together for our good, even the bad ones. He is so awesome that even when we find ourselves in a consequence of our own doing? He still works it together for our good. That is grace folks, unearned and most often times so undeserved. Doesn’t make sense to regular human reasoning that if we did something truly terrible, He’d still loves us and make a way out of no way. Good thing His ways aren’t our ways and His thoughts not our thoughts because not one of us could ever do a better job then Him.
Don’t confuse excellence with perfection. Excellence is an attitude. Excellence is a conscious effort to not cut corners, do things in proper order, and give things your best effort every time you put your hands to it. Excellence is going the extra mile.
“And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.” Matthew 5:41 NKJV
For the believer it is so important to adapt an attitude of excellence because we represent the Kingdom of God upon the earth and nothing chases folks away from God faster then a bad witness.
I once worked for an extremely large company and there were lots of people who identified as believers that worked there but more who did not. The better employees for the most part (not all, but most) were people who weren’t believers.
Believers were often late, took longer breaks, and spent way more time tending to personal things while on the clock (phone calls, text messages) then the other employees. When they would get corrected or disciplined they’d often blame the devil and the demonic spirit that was rising up against them without ever acknowledging their own behavior.
As a representation of God our actions and behavior serve as a witness every time we step out in public. We should be the BEST employees at our jobs, the people who do what they pay us for, the people that are on time, etc. This is a matter of integrity. When you agree to take a job, you are agreeing to follow the policy and do what’s in your job description. So many people neglect this and don’t realize to the non-believer they are being a bad witness. Why would anyone want to serve the God of the guy who’s always on his phone and late to work?
An attitude of excellence isn’t just for the workplace. Every time you step in to a public place your attitude, actions, and behavior absolutely matter and matter even more so at home. This isn’t a matter of perfection, this is a matter of us reflecting the image of an Almighty God to a world that is in desperate need of His love. Don’t be the kind of witness that pushes people away from God, be the person that goes the extra mile in excellence so people want to know about the God you serve. He is so faithful that if you put fourth the effort? He is quite capable of drawing people to Himself through you so don’t worry, He always has the hardest part under control.
Prayer is such a deep topic that has so many important components it could never be summarized in a single post.
For now I want to talk specifically about when a believer prays assuming that you are praying for things related to God’s will for your life.
I have found with a lot of people (including myself) that we think we’re dotting all the I’s and crossing all the T’s but still don’t see the manifestation of what it is we’re praying for.
God is in the details folks. Even the details that we take for granted. People pray for financial blessings but still haven’t mastered properly budgeting their household finances. People pray for an increase in business but their paperwork isn’t in proper order. People pray for a spouse but they’re still going back and fourth with an ex. People pray to own a business but don’t know how to be a good employee. People pray for an advanced position but still don’t know how to manage their emotions.
God is not going to give you anything that’s going to kill you or make Him look bad. Often times the delay in the manifestation falls on us not being properly prepared and positioned. So before you allow yourself to give up in frustration, start praying for God to prepare you and position you for exactly what it is you’re asking for. On your end, start preparing for what you’re praying for. We are responsible to do the possible and God is willing and able to do all that which is considered impossible by human reasoning and intellect.
Often times we make things way more complicated then they actually are.
Everyday is a new opportunity with God. He doesn’t hold grudges. His mercies are renewed every morning. Your yesterday doesn’t have to be today, and your past doesn’t have to dictate your future.
If you need a fresh start today, all you have to do is ask Him.
You can’t use “God not stopping me” as an excuse for something you knew you shouldn’t do but did anyway. There’s ALWAYS a way of escape. Using it is entirely up to you. Every single time I ignored that? I was sorry. I don’t know about you, but I can’t afford any avoidable setbacks at this point in my life. 🤷🏻♀️
“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”
I Corinthians 10:13
It’s not over for you. If you are still standing? Whatever attempted to take you out failed and it failed because you’re not finished. It doesn’t matter what it looks like, feels like, or what any doctor has reported. If God be for you? Who then can be against you? The testing & trails of God’s people is to help everyone else see the difference between the wheat and the weeds. Pay attention. How you act during a non ideal circumstance speaks volumes to onlookers.