The Spirit is Willing but The Flesh is Weak

A Sunset

A sunset at the end of a day’s journey.

As I continue to sit before the Lord, the title of this post is what keeps coming to my mind and heart. It is important to understand what this really means. While the heart can sincerely be driven to seek the Lord, the flesh is always there to distract, get in the way, make seeking the Lord challenging.

Power over the flesh is definitely possible because all things are possible to him who believes. This does not mean that it is easy. Even Paul was aware of how difficult this could be. The things he hated, he did and the things he wanted to do, he didn’t practice. (Romans 7:15). Knowledge of Paul’s dedication and commitment to the Lord is well known. Even he struggled with the challenge in his position. What is the point, you ask?
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Desire

Desire: Longing, Craving 

Complete_In HimDesire is a longing or craving, as for something that brings satisfaction or enjoyment. What are your desires? This is such a strong word. It seems to delve deep into the soul for me. My desire is for the fullness of the Lord. This is the time of Lent. During this time, I will be seeking to get to know God more than ever. I have spent the last year praying for my needs to be met. I have come to realize that I already have what I need the most, Christ Jesus as my Lord and Savior. My desires have changed quite a bit. Believing the Word of God, my physical needs have been met. He is Jehovah Jireh, my provider. That said, the focus of my needs is on Jesus. His Word says to delight in Him and He will give you the desires of your heart. The things you desire change as the relationship with the Lord deepens. I believe this is a critical factor because God desires that we worship Him and not anything else.

What do you desire? From where does the root of your desires stem? Is it the flesh, the world or Jesus Christ?

The Body of Christ

Sometimes it’s just you and Him.

​It has been an interesting journey. I have been missing in action from posting because I have been spending time with God. The challenges I have faced have been through the God I serve. The realization that through these circumstances I have come closer to Him in a way that I otherwise would not have is encouraging, uplifting and enlightening. 

I will re-enter the blogosphere consistently again real soon here. I have to say that I am endeared to those who have let me know that they felt my absence. God knows as well that there were some things that had to be dealt with on my behalf. It fills my heart to know that He blesses me with those who have prayed for me during my absence. Your prayers have been felt.

The whole of the matter is that the gifts He gives us so generously are for building up the body of Christ. I am ever so grateful for the building blocks for which Jesus is the cornerstone. Praise Him! We are to speak the Good News to draw others into the Kingdom. However, we are not to forget the body that is an integral part of the Kingdom. Know that as you give, it shall be given back to you in good measure, pressed down and running over that you will not have room enough to receive it. We serve an amazing God. We cannot out give God. 

We are to help the poor, the needy, the hurting, etc. Remember though, some of these people in need are in the body of Christ. If you were required to help a family member, you would do what you could to help, for the most part. As a believer, your family is extended beyond the physical building that you inhabit. There are times when money is not the only requirement. Prayer is also needed. Communication is needed. The love we so desperately seek requires us to give it. Sometimes it is all you have to give. 

Laura, I thank you for letting me know that while I may have been absent on the blogosphere, I was not absent in your heart. My heart is so much more tender than ever. Of course, a thank you goes out to everyone who has considered me in their prayers. As I continue to trust God for meeting my needs, I will have my computer back soon and will realign myself with writing consistently again. 

My Thoughts on Today_Wednesday_01-04-17

The new year has arrived. I am stronger than I have ever been. I didn’t make any real New Year’s resolutions other than to love God and love myself. I asked God for revelation and He was faithful. I know that being committed to these two specific values, I will be able to show the love of Christ to others.
This renewed mind started before the new year and I am grateful for that because I wasn’t caught up in the whole new resolution mindframe. No problem with that. I just didn’t want to be.I believe that when things are going well and everything flows, there is the tendency to distance the Lord with busyness. Involvement in regular daily living overshadows our time spent with the Lord. At one point I was moving so much, I lost focus and my need became my priority. Everything had shifted. Until I couldn’t handle it anymore.

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I have to say my energy was being used on the wrong things and focused in the wrong direction. But praise God, He pursues us consistently because He loves us so much. God’s love pursues us until we have surrendered all to Him.

As I continue on this journey, I find that in the depth of my relationship with Him, faith, strength, hope and peace grow. This is now once again my priority. It is easy to slip into the busyness of our lives. His Word says to delight in Him and He will give you the desires of your heart. The things you desire change as the relationship with the Lord deepens. I believe this is a key factor because God desires that we worship Him and not anything else.

I have shared some of the hard things I went through in 2016. I want you to know that where I am now, I wouldn’t change a thing. The higher spiritual ground is worth it. I am excited about the new year and certainly believe God is doing a new thing in my life.

(Isaiah 43:19).”Listen carefully, I am about to do a new thing, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even put a road in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert.”AMP

Last, but certainly not least, I am resolved to keep my writing commitment. I had to seek the the Lord regarding the challenges I faced and do the reading He required. I look forward to sharing more and reading more from my WordPress friends. I wish you all a very happy and prosperous New Year.

3 John 1:2  “Beloved, I pray that in every way you may succeed and prosper and be in good health [physically], just as [I know] your soul prospers [spiritually].” AMP

Breakthrough Beyond the Trees

Short and sweet but truth for you. Although the trees mostly cover the sky and you only see a glimpse of it, it is still there. So is God. Right now you may only have a glimpse of Him,  but He is there. He will never leave you nor forsake you. Even if you only have a glimpse right now, hold on. Your breakthrough is beyond the trees (trials, challenges, etc.).

The Process of Surrender

While the following questions were answered by me from a devotional I did today, I wanted to share them with you. I am not looking for answers on the post,  of course. But thought as we continue on this journey, when we probe deep within ourselves about our relationship with Christ, we can move forward in growth. The key is to be honest with ourselves because God already sees and knows.
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Do you feel like you have to earn Jesus’s love? Why or why not?

I used to. Today I know that Jesus loves me in spite of myself. I used to beat myself up regularly if I failed in trying to get something right or change behaviors that I thought were ungodly or not aligned with His will for me. I kept making some of the same mistakes over and over again. His love for me is always a comfort and a reminder that I didn’t do anything to earn His love in the first place and I can do nothing to keep it.

How has God’s love changed you?

God’s love has given me a peace that surpasses understanding as stated in His Word. The last two years of trials and challenges has shown me true strength. His love has erased the fear I used to have of living. His love has shown me that no matter what happens, I have hope, in Him. Even if I should leave this earth, I have a place with Him in heaven. How truly awesome is that!

What is Jesus calling you to put aside so you can follow Him completely?

Financial worry is at the top of the list. Yes, I had to answer this question honestly for myself. While I do go into prayer, I reflect on my reactions. Sometimes tears would result or me trying to figure out the next step based on what I can see and my limited resources. Based on the trials I have experienced over the last two years in particular, and over the years as a single parent, I would say this has been a thorn for me. I read an article today about Jonah and Deep Sea Surrender. I have included a link should you desire to read it. It is a poignant article. 

Jonah did not surrender his rebellion to God’s will until he was swallowed up by the fish. And, as a thought by the writer indicated, it still took three days for him to get out. I believe the point here is that God’s love pursues us until we have surrendered all to Him. No matter what it is. After surrender, you still may not receive all the answers you think you need. The ultimate point is that you are now ready to be used for His purpose. Beyond that, you get a deeper understanding about Him and you.

Different Just Because…

you-are-different-_1You are an Individual by God’s Design…

Today, I thank God for all that He is and I can’t even comprehend all that He is with my finite abilities. I am so thankful for all that encompasses who we are because of who He is. I was reading Psalm 139 this week and the concept of “I am fearfully and wonderfully made” just resonated within me. This culture is obsessed with individuality and doing things differently so that you stand out. Have you ever considered that we will always be different because we are individuals? Five people can do the same thing and there will always be a difference because five different people did it. Whether that difference is large or small, it is different.

I have spent a great portion of my life passing on opportunities because I couldn’t figure out how to be different. Well, duh. Just because I am doing it makes it different. Being in a culture so consumed with doing things differently, looking for the next big thing on the market, are we passing up the joy and pleasures of just enjoying creativity, whether similar or different?

you-are-different_3I am not sure who I am speaking to today. I just know the words are flowing and someone needs to know that you are “fearfully and wonderfully made” just because God made you. He knew you before you were formed in your mother’s womb. He counted your days before you had any. In the flow of learning how to love yourself, you must begin with appreciating the fact that you are an individual, you are special and that God in His greatness believed you were meant to be here as you because He gave you life. Not as someone else, not an imitation of someone else but Y.O.U. It is said that imitation is the greatest form of flattery. Flattery is fine in the shallowness that it is but who you are as an individual is greater than any form of flattery you can give someone else.

Psalm 139:14 – “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.” (NKJV)

you-are-different_2With a tendency to listen to the outside voices of the world – the ads, the suggestions, the constant barrage of doing it better than the next person – we forget that we are individually wrapped for God’s purpose for our lives. He knows you better than anyone including yourself. He created you. Whether you are making a difference in a small circle or a large one, you are making a difference. Measuring ourselves by standards that are unrealistic and unfeasible to boot, we miss the joy and the pleasure of truly living. Enjoy who you are today because “you are fearfully and wonderfully made.” Praise should go forth just because of this one Scripture.

The New Year is Coming

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God’s Hand

It seems like just yesterday I committed to my writing. Going strong for a while and a windstorm hit. I was knocked down but not out. Tossed about but still standing. Trusting God no matter what and even when I was missing in action for a few weeks, I knew that I would be back. The commitment was real. This year has passed swiftly with all its challenges.

Romans 8:35-39 – 35What will separate us from the love of Christ? Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword? 36As it is written: “For your sake we are being slain all the day; we are looked upon as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37No, in all these things we conquer overwhelmingly through him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, 39nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

As I sit and reflect on decisions now made, I am still looking forward to each day and the new year. Not going to make a bunch of resolutions to try and stick to. I am going to continue living in the now, even when the going gets rough. I have to say that writing has been a help and a comfort. I am truly grateful for all the friends that I have met along the way. Reading the posts from other bloggers has been strengthening and encouraging. You never know what an impact you make on someone else’s life just by sharing yours. Not talking about dirty laundry or anything like that. I am talking about the realness of this journey. The truth about how hard it can be sometimes. But also about the resilience that exists in us to get up and keep going. One might just call it faith.

Precious_HeartI have faith in God and know that others do as well. I also know that we are to help each other. I say a big heartfelt thank you to all those that have helped me. We may abide in different places (cities, states, and countries), but the written word has blessed me from near and afar. I would like to say to my blogger friends, keep writing. Even when it takes a follower a while to get to your post, know that when the writing comes from the heart, you never know whose life is impacted. Sometimes the like isn’t there, doesn’t mean it wasn’t read. There was an online discussion about clicking like and it doesn’t appear time was taken to even read the post. I personally love responding because I love reading. I have resolved in my spirit not to get caught up in the likes. I appreciate them, of course. But as I move forward on this writing journey and prepare to add photography, I am excited. I share because it is who I am.

Reading...I have always loved to read and write. I am still partial to the hard copies of books and writing in my journals. The computer is fine and I type pretty fast but each method has an endearing quality that makes me appreciate both. There are times when reading on the computer or the phone is appropriate. The phone is needed especially when you are waiting in some type of line (DMV, grocery, etc.). The hard copy is appreciated in downtime and curled up in a blanket with thoughts on appreciating the different things life has given us.

Gratitude_4

As we welcome the new year, let us end this one with a bang. Gratitude for still being here. Gratitude for God being who He is in our lives and giving thanks to Him for His mercy and grace because of His Son Jesus Christ. We cannot out give God anyway. Thanksgiving Day can’t be the only day we give thanks. Of course, it is a different atmosphere with great food, family, and friends. There is a different level of appreciation in me now to put first things first and truly live.

Praise God!

cropped-20160801_201250.jpegI would like to give God praise today. He shows up when we need Him. He is always with us but there are times when you know that you know God made an appearance for you and for the others around you. Today was such a day for me. I didn’t realize how much I truly needed Him today but He did. He was there. The Word of God says that He inhabits the praises of His saints. He does. Nothing is impossible when you trust and believe in Him.

I just want to bless you, Lord.

I just want to bless you, Lord.

I just want to bless you, Lord, Praise your holy name.

I just want to thank you, Lord.

I just want to thank you, Lord.

I just want to thank you, Lord, Praise your holy name.

I just want to praise you, Lord.

I just want to praise you, Lord.

I just want to praise you, Lord, Praise your holy name.

This is my song I sing to the Lord (if I could really sing) and would make a record for worship. Hopefully, my sister will one day make this for me and all those who want a simple song of worship for Him. I do recognize that even if you can’t carry a tune in a bucket, God does recognize our worship and it is music to His ears. He desires our hearts and today God moved my heart towards Him even more.

I love you, Lord. And I lift my voice just to worship thee. Oh, my soul rejoice. Take joy, my King, in what you hear and let it be a sweet, sweet sound in your ear.

Unexpected Clouds Can’t Remove the Son Shine

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Images of Life

All she ever wanted was to belong. She sat on the monkey bars, her heart beating thunderously, waiting for what would come next. The atmosphere had changed but she couldn’t put her finger on it. Something was amiss. The other girls were treating her differently. The whispers and snickering made her uncomfortable. She didn’t know how to broach the subject. It didn’t matter. Nona knew that something bad was going to happen soon.

Nona was very nervous at school the next day. She still had the unnerving feeling that drama was coming. Focus in class was challenging at best. Cynthia kept eyeing her in class and she didn’t know why. What did I do? Did I say something wrong to her? Her last encounter with Cynthia was when she and the girls were on the playground the day before she started having the nervous feeling. She finally settled that what was going to happen was going to happen.

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