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.
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.
Today I thank God for His mercy, grace and provision. Although the lenses from which I few seemed to be clouded, scratched up, etc., I know that He is faithful. As I listen to Him, I am being obedient to take the day to write, rest and leave things in His hands. I am so grateful. Didn’t have to be here today, literally. And, since my dog experience, this is more real than ever before. Not sure why, but things don’t always hit home until something happens so close to home that it cannot be avoided.
That said, I want to talk about moving forward from the things of this world to the matters of heaven. People are dying senselessly, the crazy presidential race has become a farce regardless of who you want to vote for and making a decent living seems to be a challenge in a class all by itself. (What happened to the middle class?) The Word of God says that things will continually wax worse and worse until Christ returns. Are you prepared? I had to ask myself this serious question. Am I? Are my thoughts consumed with what is going on in the world today or making sure that I am following Christ? This is not about not caring for people in this world. This is about being ready. I know many of you know about the Left Behind novels and what that means Scripturally. While this point may seem irrelevant or invalid to some, the question to ask is if it is true, will you be left behind? If it is not true, no loss.
Yes, I did read this series. I was able to follow along in Scripture with this selection and it was very intriguing. Another favorite on my Christian fiction list. And very indicative of those sitting on that proverbial fence. Personally, I would rather take a chance on it being true and being prepared than not. First Thessalonians speaks this way about the subject.
1 Thessalonians 4:15-18
15)For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will be no means precede those who are asleep. 16) For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17) Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall aways be with the Lord. 18)Therefore comfort one another with these words.
I am compelled to speak this truth today. We are to comfort each other with the matters of heaven and not be consumed by the things going on in the world. While it is necessary and even expedient to pray for those in the world, it is the hope that we have in Christ that needs the focus. Of course, being led by the Holy Spirit, He will speak to you what He hears from the Lord. He will also pray as needed (Romans 8:26-27) so that what needs to be accomplished in the heavenly realm is done. But, brothers and sisters, we truly need to be praying others into heaven by diligent obedience to the Holy Spirit.
26)Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27)Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
God has us covered on all sides. We need to trust and obey.
It has been about two weeks again since posting. There is so much going on around me that I am taking things in stride. Of course, keeping my commitment to write to encourage others and share my journey as well as my testimony about the goodness and mercy of God wasn’t well received by the enemy. From the dog attack to other areas of spiritual attacks, I am here to say that God is still good and that He is the same loving God today as He was yesterday. His word still holds true and we just have to hold on. Had a meltdown yesterday and the Lord was still there, carrying me through. Continue reading →
What phase are you going through? I love this one-word prompt because life is about the phases that make us who we are. As I go through my phase of rebuilding and receiving the revelation from God about His plans, I am excited. I look forward to my mojo phase. You know, where everything goes right and flows in the moment. We have all had those phases. They come so we can be prepared for the curve balls, darts or any other object that comes flying at our heads. Laughing out loud because I can see the agreement from many of you out there.
A phase lasts a period of time. Now, we all know that sometimes we want the challenging phases to be brief. God knows better and knows specifically what we need. When the phase becomes increasingly uncomfortable, we begin to wonder. What are we doing wrong? Did karma come back on me? Should I have made a different choice a month ago? Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. The bottom line is that no matter what phase you are going through, trust God. He knows how long we will and can last. Only He knows us so intimately that He numbers the hairs on our head. Have you ever thought about that? I lose hair daily (my current phase) so I can’t image counting to number the hairs. I would have to start over every day. Laughing out loud again. Today I feel excited about this phase. New dreams and new directions.
Mojo phase. When you are feel like you are on top of the rainbow and nothing can go wrong. I recently posted about the challenges me and my adult children were facing and the question was “How long will this phase last?” Well, when the mojo phase comes, we don’t ask that question. We just go with the flow. We’re excited, can’t seem to make a wrong choice at all. Wow! I am so excited about the mojo phase. However, I won’t forget the distance traveled to get to this phase. I believe that is why God allows the challenges, so we won’t forget what He brought us through. In all honesty, the reason why I am writing these posts. Because I believe that God wants to encourage those who are going through. It is a phase. It won’t last forever. Just make sure we get the lesson we need to from the experience.
As I enter this new phase of an empty nest, writing, photography and driving, I believe that God has some awesome things ahead for me to pass along. I would like to encourage those reading this to get excited about the mojo phase. Check out where you are and your understanding of what you need to get from the phase. Even if it is your mojo phase, what does God want you to get from it? Patti Labelle’s song phrases “when you’ve been blessed, pass it on.” The mojo phase is to pass on the blessings. I am excited! Amen and Amen! There is a joy bubbling up inside and I want to share. As believers, we should be excited. Rejoicing and celebrating in what the Lord is doing.
I have to highlight (https://thedaddyblitz.wordpress.com/2016/05/24/pew-shakers/) this article by The Daddy Blitz writer because as I was writing this and looking for something I came across this article. It is right in line with how I’m feeling. We should be excited. That is truly one of the things that calls others to question what we call “Christianity.” We should be an excited people! Excited about what He has done, doing, and is going to do and that He is the same yesterday, today and forever. Rejoice and dance before the Lord like David. He loves us. So lastly, I’m excited and rejoicing! How about you?
It has been over a week since my last post. I am still refining and defining my time management. I now have three driving jobs and need to make sure to keep everything in perspective. I miss my blogging community. I have tried to read and respond as much as possible. Although I will probably keep the three driving jobs as my occupation – need to make the money to pay the bills -I still have my focus on writing and photography intact. My relationship with Christ is a given.
As I was working, I saw some pretty amazing images and have included them here for you to enjoy as well. I noticed that as I release my dreams and goals to the Lord, He makes a way and gives me revelation about myself of which I wasn’t aware. For instance, I actually love driving. Probably the only way you can actually work three driving jobs. Another aspect of driving is that I get to see some pretty amazing images. I can’t capture them all but He has been blessing tremendously in this area. One of the goals is to purchase a Canon DSLR for my images. Later, I will be adding the telephoto lenses as soon as I can. There were some distance shots that I would have loved to capture.
I would like to say that in delivery driving, I actually get a good amount of exercise and I needed to add that to my time management. Since exercise is now included without the gym, I am grateful. The focus right now is saving the finances for the apartment to stay consistent in my other goals. Paul inspires me to be content in whatever state I find myself. Finding the right apartment and the right church are at the top of the list now. I appreciate all the support from those of you following Glorious Impact. Though things have been extremely busy, the Lord is working everything out.
I will be posting the book review for “God’s Gonna Make You Laugh” by Noel Jones in June. I hope you all enjoyed the review on “The Confident Woman.” It surely helped me during the challenges that I recently faced. I have a great deal of hope right now. God is building my strength and my hope in Him is not just for the here and now. I recently had an experience that showed me that we will not be complete until Christ returns and we are transformed. He also reminds me that even though we are working on things here, our focus must always ultimately be on eternity. Paul said that if all we have is the here and now, our faith is futile. It is in vain.
I am so glad the Lord is transforming me daily. I am glad that salvation is a free gift and the rest is in His hands. The work that we actually do is because of our faith. That work is believing and obedience. I will work on posting at least three times a week. In the meantime, I lift all my sisters and brother out there in the blogosphere in Christ. Stay focused on what is important, your relationship with Christ and the rest will follow.
Today I would like to say that God is glorified in so much that we see all around us in nature. I do not worship nature, I worship God. I do enjoy nature very much, though. Moments when you have to stop and catch your breath. I appreciate His glory when I see images like the photo added here. I was working and after delivering food to the customer saw this image and had to take it. I look forward to the new camera because I will be able to take different aspects of the same image. A different image in depth of field or a telephoto shot will make different statements, I’m sure.
In sharing today, it is the simplicity of the glory of God. No matter what, nature shows off God’s brilliance in moments captured like these. His creativity is more than we can embrace in our finite minds. Moments like these remind me that there is the one true God, the great I Am, the Creator.
I like the fact that tree seems to be reaching to the sky, like we should be. I like the contrast of the sun setting and the image of the tree amidst the golden hues of the sun. The tree is parallel to another line in the sky seemingly reaching further into the heavens. There is a light in the distance. God is always our light, near and far. Jesus is nearer than a brother and the light is in us by His Holy Spirit. In capturing this image, I capture a part of my heart when it comes to my God, my Lord and Savior Christ Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
The flesh and the enemy, both are contrary to the peace of God. Over the last twenty-four hours, after I posted “Rest in Him”, it has been a constant vigil to stay in His peace. From conversations ending badly to feeling judged. I have to say that I do recognize this and have refused to allow the enemy to keep me there or hold me there. The constant reminders of God’s promises, His mercy, His grace, His favor are able to minister to my soul. I believe that part of being able to do this rests in accepting where you are, identifying with the emotion or feeling and then moving past it. Begin with reminding yourself of God’s promises and repeating the Word over and over again. Forgive yourself and others for whatever transpired and move to the place of peace again. Know that He has you. When you know that God is leading you, it is necessary to keep that stand. We are empowered through our union with Christ because, according to Ephesians 6:13-18, we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against spiritual wickedness in high places in the unseen or heavenly realm.
10A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. 11Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, agains might powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. 13Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. 14Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. 15For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. 16In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stope the fiery arrows of the devil 17Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. 18Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.
That said, I am standing strong, thanking God and praising Him. As I see it, encouraging others becomes a game changer for the enemy. He does not want to see us doing what we are called to do. Encouraging others, spreading the Word of God, standing on the promises, and having the peace that passes understanding are contrary to his nature. I know that regardless of the arrows, God is for me. As I praise Him today, no matter what I see, I know that He gets the glory. Christ has accomplished all that He needed to and this is where we come in, “to stand.” When we have done all else, we stand. The call to be alert is very important. Sometimes we may be looking at one way and not alert to the side ways the enemy comes our way. Resting in Him gives us the spiritual eyes to see! Praise Him!
God is truly faithful, ya’ll. Yes, I went a little southern, country or whatever you want to call it. The strength and power of the Holy Spirit in me is bigger than any outside force. I encourage you all to stand no matter what it looks like. Are you standing today?
What is precious to you? Precious means valuable, of great worth, beloved, much prized. There are so many things people consider precious today. What is the intrinsic value of what you consider precious? This word prompt comes at a moment in time when dealing with family issues, transitioning, changing perspective, accepting new challenges and changing directions for the future.
What stands out as precious to me is my relationship with Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. This is my most prized possession. It is my only constant, although ever changing me. I look at my transition and take it in stride. While driving the other day, I checked my heart on the things that I have in storage. What would happen if I lose them? Would I be okay? Of course, I would be because I am okay right now without them. Do I want to lose them? No, I don’t. But I would rather lose them than my relationship with Jesus.
Devotion today from Numbers 20. Chapter 20 begins with the cause of Moses missing out on entering the Promised Land because of His response to the Israelites in yet another session of complaining. These challenges caused Moses to go against God and react in the flesh. The Israelites had moved forward to the wilderness of Zin and they had no water. God said He would draw water from a rock for them to drink and all Moses had to do was speak to the rock. Now, in support of Moses, it can be very difficult to continue dealing with people who, no matter what you give them, are never satisfied. It is a reminder that we are all human and because of Jesus, we are considered righteous before God in spite of our human nature.
- Moses and Aaron turned away from the people and went to the entrance of the Tabernacle, where they fell face down on the ground. Then the glorious presence of the Lord appeared to them,
- and the Lord said to Moses,
- ”You and Aaron must take the staff and assemble the entire community. As the people watch, speak to the rock over there, and will pour out its water. You will provide enough water from the rock to satisfy the whole community and their livestock.
- So Moses did as he was told. He took the staff from the place where it was kept before the Lord.
- Then he and Aaron summoned the people to come and gather at the rock. “Listen, you rebels!” he shouted. “Must we bring you water from this rock?”
- Then Moses raised his hand and struck the rock twice with the staff, and water gushed out. So the entire community and their livestock drank their fill.
- But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust me enough to demonstrate my holiness to the people of Israel, you will not lead them into the land I am giving them!”
- This place was known as the waters of Meribah (which means “arguing”) because there the people of Israel argued with the Lord, and there He demonstrated His holiness among them.
Moses was told to speak to the rock and yet, he struck the rock twice in his anger against the Israelites. He did not do as God commanded but Moses was a great servant for God. He trusted God even when his flesh got in the way. He was committed to God and God trusted Moses. God said this Himself.
Because God knows man [He created him] it was still necessary for the ultimate sacrifice, Jesus Christ, to come, die on the Cross and resurrect in order for Holy Spirit to be in us and help us in this nature thing. God is so in the very intricate details of our lives. This is a great reminder that He sees all. How great it is that in His omnipotence, He knew we would need the ever-present intercession of the Lord Jesus Christ when we miss the mark. We cannot remain holy even a little bit without Christ. Jesus’ resurrection is such an integral part of our lives and this story proves how much we so need it. When we consider the significance of the Resurrection in respect to the Old Testament, it should certainly motivate us to fall to our knees in praise and worship for what He has done for us and how much God truly does love us.
Today’s post is a revealing story of the heart. With the upcoming Sunday being Easter and all about the resurrection of Christ, it is perfect timing to check our hearts. Numbers 16 is about Korah and his 250 followers who rebelled against God. There was jealousy and conspiracy from Korah and his 250 followers (incense burners) against Moses and Aaron because they were discontent with what God had given them. They had a special ministry to minster to the people of Israel given by God as their service to Him. Yet, they were jealous of Aaron and the priesthood. Moses had to remind them that they were rebelling against God, not him and Aaron.
Numbers 16:8-11 – “8Then Moses spoke again to Korah: “Now listen, you Levites! 9Does it seem insignificant to you that the God of Israel has chosen you from among all the community of Israel to be near Him so you can serve in the Lord’s Tabernacle and stand before the people to minister to them?10Korah, He has already given this special ministry to you and your fellow Levites. Are you now demanding the priesthood as well? 11The Lord is the one you and your followers are really revolting against. For who is Aaron that you are complaining about him?”
We do have to choose carefully who and what we follow. We will be held accountable for our choices. When Moses asked Dothan and Abiram to come to him during the confrontation, they refused. They were still stuck on being removed from Egypt, the land flowing with milk and honey. They were not content with God’s timing for entering the Promised Land and as seen, their hearts were revealed in the rebellion of Korah. They looked back and desired what they used to have (check Lot’s wife, the pillar of salt). They showed contempt for what God had for them and their future.
Numbers 16:12-14 – “12Then Moses summoned Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, but they replied. “We refuse to come before you! 13Isn’t it enough that you brought us out of Egypt, a land flowing with milk and honey, to kill us here in this wilderness, and that you now treat us like your subjects? 14What’s more, you haven’t brought us into another land flowing with milk and honey. You haven’t given us a new homeland with fields and vineyards. Are you trying to fool these men? We will not come.”
Take note, we may be willing to follow something or someone but your heart will be revealed in the matter. Check your motivation for the things you do. Are you following truth? Or, are you following someone or something to justify your own ulterior motives. Remember, God knows the heart and He has not stopped revealing the truth so we can truly know ourselves.
In that, Moses was a human being, though called and anointed by God for his service to Him. Moses was angry with the Kohathites but unlike times before, he did not intercede for them before God this time. Korah and his followers were then told to present themselves before God the following morning with the appropriate preparation. In coming before the Lord, God’s anger toward the people was major and He was prepared to kill them all. This time, Moses and Aaron interceded again for the people. This confrontation was the Lord confirming Korah’s (and his followers) contempt for Him by doing something new; the ground opening up and swallowing the entire clans of Korah, Dothan and Abiram because He had mercy on the other Israelites who were not a part of this rebellion. The initial 250 followers, the incense burners, were burned up in the fire that followed the ground opening up because they had sinned with Korah in rebellion against the Lord. Because they were holy to the Lord as incense burners, their remains were used as a reminder to the other Israelites.
Check this. Can you believe after such a day, the Israelites were still complaining the following morning? Yet again, Moses and Aaron interceded before God’s anger was released in full force but not before another 14,700 Israelites were killed by a plague. Listen, this was the Old Testament and since then, God has shown His love for us by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, reconciling us to Himself. That doesn’t mean that God doesn’t still want your love and devotion to Him. We are still accountable to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He will reveal your hearts to you. What does your heart to say to God? Do you make Him jealous?