Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Wellspring Of Your Heart

(Proverbs 4:23) Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.
The Lord urges us to protect our hearts from what goes in or better yet, from what we allow to enter into it. We've all heard the saying that what goes in must come out. This is truer than we realize. As worshipers who are called to worship God in spirit and in truth, the one common thing that separates us from our heart's desire is in fact what we have stored in our hearts. The very feelings and thoughts that dwell within us are a product of what's inside because we have opened the door. Look at this way, If we have a well from which we constantly pull up water from and that well was tampered with then we would have polluted water. What if our whole community freely drank water from our well also? They would be poisoned by our water supply as would we. Spiritually King Solomon showed us that our hearts are the wellspring of life. A wellspring is an original and bountiful source of something; the source of a stream or spring. People tend to wonder why they cannot stop cussing, well...Tell me what kind of music your listening to, who you hang out with, and what you're watching on T.V? There lies the answer. Other people wonder why people become depressed, well...tell my what your favorite radio station is, who you go out with (if you do), and what movies or shows you watch? Again, the answer lies within the question itself. This is so important that words cannot even begin to express the crucial role of the effect of our wellspring being contaminated on our lives. When I was 16 years old the Lord spoke into my heart and revealed to me that if my desire was to follow Him and truly worship Him, the there were things that I had to turn away from and two biggies were what I watched and the music I listened to. Some might read this and thing ouch, delete my playlist? Never! But let me tell you this, with all confidence in the Lord's word I say just as He said to me, you will never worship God to your fullest potential if you do not stop settling for what this world offers you. The music, the scary music, the friends who have a more colorful vocab than the rainbow in the sky. It's time to turn away from the things that hurt God's heart and to decide to go after the things that we were called to do. (1 Corinthians 6:15) Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;  you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. I'm truly sorry if I am offending anyone but all this comes from my personal walk with the Lord, not to harm, but to edify. We cannot be so complacent in letting our hearts be filled with dirty muck water. It's just not possible to serve two masters. The word of God says: (Matthew 6:24) "No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other." Who are we going to love and be devoted to? We cannot listen to Spiritual music but then also listen to pagan music, which I will later explain the difference of. We cannot be lukewarm in our lifestyle because we are called to awaken out of our daily slumber so that we may offer a pure and fragrant sacrifice to our God. He is so worthy...He's been so good. My greatest advice is to go before the Lord and ask Him for the strength to do His will, but for me all it took was meditating on His unfailing perfect love that covered my multitude of sins. There's this portion of words in Hillsong's Hosanna lyrics that I love which say, "Heal my heart and make it clean, open up my eyes to the things unseen, show me how to love like you have loved me. Break my heart from what breaks yours, everything I am for your kingdoms cause..." With this said, we must all guard our hearts so that it may be said of us that our worship wellspring is of joy, peace, love, and truth. As true worshipers, may we all come to say this with all our hearts:

(Psalm 40:6-10) You take no delight in sacrifices or offerings. Now that you have made me listen, I finally understand— you don’t require burnt offerings or sin offerings. Then I said, “Look, I have come. As is written about me in the Scriptures: I take joy in doing your will, my God, for your instructions are written on my heart.” I have told all your people about your justice. I have not been afraid to speak out, as you, O Lord, well know. I have not kept the good news of your justice hidden in my heart; I have talked about your faithfulness and saving power. I have told everyone in the great assembly of your unfailing love and faithfulness. 

May the Lord's instructions be written 
on our heart for now and always.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Preparing The Banquet

(Matthew 22:2-3) “The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come." Picture this, you live in a small village where everybody knows everybody. The king of the village is preparing an elegant wedding banquet where the saying "bigger is better" falls short. In his kingdom the whole community goes all out whenever it's time to celebrate. As he finalizes all the preparations, he sends out his advisers to invite all the towns people to come celebrate with his family the joyful occasion. To his surprise, many neglect to show up and the reception continues but lacks familiar faces. The prince becomes discouraged but knows that no matter the number of those who come to support him he is going on to celebrate with his family and true friends. The wedding goes on and the couple is married. Those who did not attend missed out on the lovely ceremony. Why did they not come? Some would say that maybe they thought they had nothing to wear to such a glorious celebration or that maybe they did not want to be looked down upon because they were commoners. The reasons we do not know, but the one thing for certain is that they refused to attend.

When we lead worship, it is our mission to invite the congregation or people to come worship with us, just as the King's servants did. It is our heart's job to lure people into the Lord's presence so they can (Psalm 34:8) "Taste and see that the LORD is good" Just like those who refused to attend the King's banquet, we will come across people who flat out do not want to raise their hands or embrace a new song, but we have to present them with the invite and then let them make the decision. We cannot be discouraged by those who do not attend our spiritual celebration. Do we give up? Of course not. We just simply have to keep going and pray that they will join us, even if they come late. Better late than never. God has prepared a spiritual banquet for us to come and taste and it is our privilege to help those around us find their way to the table. If we sing, it doesn't matter how beautiful the voice is or how in tune the instruments are, this will all fall short if we do not invite the people to come and taste the meal with us. It's almost like the congregation knows who's real and who isn't. It's funny because we know when we're wanted and when we're not. When someone invites you to a party all it takes is one look at the person's face and his/her tone to know if the invite is legit or out of pity. The same goes in worship. If the people don't feel realness in your words, voice, and tone, they just won't take the invitation. We are all in search of a genuine corporate worship. The plaguing question is, will people find it when you sing, play, dance, or paint? Will God see a humbled heart? We must really think about this before we extend our invites to people because they just want to feel welcomed. Take what's in your heart and just wear it on your sleeve. You will run the risk of getting hurt but Jesus did the same. The Father sends the invitation for us to come to celebrate the wedding of the church to Christ but sadly many do not come. Our goal is to dwell in God's presence and reach out and bring those who are thirsty who need to be satisfied. As worshipers what else could we most desire than to spend time with the Lord in His presence? To feel the joy and the sheer pleasure in convincing others to do the same. Through our lives others will see how good the Lord is, so it is important to reflect Christ in all that we say and do. (1 Peter 4:8) "Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins." Let us prepare the banquet for the world to feast on. Once we get them to come to the table then we must let them eat and celebrate. During our worship we must lead them but then let them taste and see for themselves that the Lord is good and that there is joy in those who take refuge in Him. There, they will no longer hunger or thirst. As worshipers (we have all been called to worship), we have to be willing to share with others what the Lord has shared with us so that we may all say this: (Psalm 27:4) "One thing I ask from the Lordthis only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple." Continue to send out your invitations because (1 Corinthians 2:9) "That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him."

Thursday, May 24, 2012

God's Promises Are As Sure As The Stars

(Jeremiah 20:11) "But the Lord stands beside me like a great warrior. Before him my persecutors will stumble. They cannot defeat me. They will fail and be thoroughly humiliated. Their dishonor will never be forgotten.

When I was 15 years old I found myself reading something that I did not fully comprehend. Now, 3 years later, I see what the Lord was saying to me. He was preparing me, reassuring me, and uplifting me. It was past midnight and I got up from bed and went into my parent's bathroom where I saw a miniature open bible by the bath tub. My eyes hovered above one particular scripture and something tugged at my heart, making me feel like I had uncovered a hidden treasure. God spoke to me through His word and let me know that He would always be making a way for me. Up until today I see this word coming true...God's promises are sealed once spoken and will continue until the day that I find myself face to face with my Father, my Protector, my Warrior, my Love, and my Everything. When God promises something He fulfills it. What He has promised you will come to be, and I say again and declare it in the name of Jesus, What God has promised you will come to be. Hold on tight to His words and remain firmly planted on the rock that is Jesus. Trust me, the desire you have in your heart will come true because God put them there in the first place. God's promises for you are as sure as the stars in the sky.

Stars in the Sky- Kari Jobe

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Summer Surprises!


As of lately so many new things have been going on in my life. Something that I'm truly excited about this summer is a worship camp that Daniel and Me are going to start. God put in my heart the need for youth to have something in their lives, something that will take their minds off of them and their problems and put them on God and His promises. Words cannot express how I feel. Oh yes they can!...Grateful! With a grateful heart I announce that our camp will be called "Lifesong Worship Camp." I will be teaching basic vocals and Daniel will be teaching guitar basics, well as basic as basics can get anyway. I really feel like this is going to be a summer that I will never forget. Thursdays we'll be having music classes at home and Bible study will be on Fridays. We've already got some students in line and I just can't wait to see their faces the moment that they make a connection with God. I still remember when I did. And from those moments and beyond I am grateful for everything and everyone that I have met along my journey because God has used them to keep me climbing up to higher spiritual dimension. I just can't wait!

Another biggie is the fact that I love the Bible: I insist on reading and journaling. I mean, if I must be a slave to something, I might as well be a slave to God's word. So far I'm about to finish the book of Numbers on my one year Bible reading challenge and then will go on to the Book of Deuteronomy! Sadly, though, the one year thing doesn't really fit in to the picture so much anymore, what can I say? I love meditating on the word so much and journaling the revelations that God gives me that time just doesn't seem to matter. Those midnight sessions are my favorite times because the house is quiet and it's just so easy to press into the overflow of God's Spirit. It feels so peaceful to just lie down and crack open my two books and get to highlighting. The fasting get's me feeling stronger and the praying relaxes every bone in my body. Who needs a spa, right? Love the gym as well! Kudos to my gym for making me feel so pumped every time I go!

Lastly my friends, As you all now, I also started a new blog that was born from deep within my heart. You see worshiping God to me is like drinking water and breathing air. It's a necessity that I'm wired with, that I just wanted to share with others. I felt it necessary in a dying world of worshipers to awaken something in my reader's hearts that would draw them into what true worship is. Forgetting about the me, me, me and recognizing Him, Him, Him. Opening our eyes to what we are allowing to enter our bodies and go straight to our hearts: this involves what we hear, see, and where we go. I'm excited to begin this new project that the Lord put in my heart because if I am taught something new, my first instinct is to share it with others. Enjoy my lovely bloggers and don't forget to post a comment or two! God bless!

The Heart Of Worship

"Keep your first love close to your heart to remind you of why it is that you worship."
There are always reasons behind any and all actions. Motives that drive our every move.  Emotions that provoke our most inner core and being. I'm not talking about a hidden agenda, it's more like a secret letter imprinted on our hearts and souls. The wise Kari Jobe explained how we must always remember our first love. She's right. When we begin to awake in our hearts the past moments when we were saved by grace, loved when we felt unlovable, and embraced when all else rejected us, then we begin to fall in love all over again with the amazing God that offered all of this to us. As Worshipers, Psalmists, or Worship Leaders, we have to constantly remind ourselves of why we do what we do. Why do we Worship? When I ask myself this question, the words that come to mind are: "How can I not worship? Jesus reached into the deep dark pool of water where I was sinking and pulled me out. He loved me first so that's the most intimate and loving way I can express my gratitude and love. I worship because of love, true love that is like a burning flame that cannot be turned off. No wind can blow so hard as to put the fire out. The fire is within me and it burns with a passion. I passionately worship because Jesus passionately walked where I walked and felt what I felt and went through all that I have gone through. These words are too few to express why I worship, but they are raw and they are oh so real. In regards to the congregation or people, I enjoy seeing the freedom produced from bursting out into song. My mind explodes with faith when I witness the shackles being torn off of people through a worship offered to God in Spirit and in Truth. It brings literal joy to my face and makes me want to continue to sing all night if I have to." The Lord says: (Revelation 2:2-4) I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. As worshipers, we can not forget our first love. We have to hold on to those moments of redemption and keep them near to our hearts always. And that will be the pure motive that will cause us to sing or play or dance wholeheartedly to and for God. That needs to be the true heart of our worship—the moment when we first fell in love. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Worship Smells So Sweet

Worship is the act of responding to God's love with love by offering one's very life as a living and breathing sacrifice.Worship humbles our flesh to honor God in spirit and in truth. What we want, need, or yearn for decreases, while what God wants and desires for us increases. As we pick flowers in the garden we tend to pick the most beautiful to the eye, the most fragrant, or the most vibrant. The beauty in worship is that the Lord takes the ugly, the stinky, and the dullest offering to our naked eye, if it is all we have within us to give, and turns it into the most fragrant pleasing sacrifice. (Psalm 51:16-17) "You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one.You do not want a burnt offering. The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit.You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God." In ancient times the Lord received animal organs, oil, grain, and so on, and once it was placed in the fire this sacrifice produced a sweet smell.  The reason why all of these things formed an enticing fragrance was because those who gave it, offered it as a form of surrender. Whether they had done something bad or whether they were just doing as God had told them, the Lord loved the smell of what they brought because it was the best of them. It was all they had. If all they had was one calf and they gave it then to God that counted more than giving 5,000 out of 5,001. The world's perception of the worst in us is differently perceived by God because His love covers over a multitude of sins and His redeeming power takes "the worst" and transforms it for His glory. In a garden, we will honestly pick the most beautiful and sweet-smelling flowers because it is in our nature to want the best. God wants "the best". And God's best is not defined like our definition of best. He wants the best in our hearts. He wants all of us. That to Him is the best because it is all. While we might pick a rose or a daisy, God picks Myrrh. This plant is a "shrubby desert tree" whose name in Arabic means "bitter." The myrrh resin has a "bitter, pungent taste and a sweet, pleasing aroma." Why would this plant be so sought after in the bible and why did God love it so much? Because God does not see things the way we do: we see what is in the moment but God sees ahead. Before the tasting comes the smell and before smell comes sight. If it smells good then it most likely tastes good. If we were to have Myrrh and roses growing in our gardens, but we didn't know either plant, I have a feeling that we'd pick the roses. Just looking at the color would win us over. God isn't like that. He sees our hearts not the skin we choose to wear on the outside. When we worship God we've got to give Him all we are because He does not see what we see. He takes a dry bush and turns it into a fragrant perfume. He takes our insecurities and turns them into confidence, our sadness to joy, and our stress into relief. (Psalm 16:11) "You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand."

There are many ways to express our worship toward God, but in my case I take my offering to Him through song. I come before Him as I am, surrendered, knowing that I am about to experience His holy purificating fire. Like the song goes, "You provide the fire, I provide the sacrifice, You provide the spirit, and I will open up inside...Fill me up God, fill me up God, fill me up." What I mean by all of these little snippets of information is that the beauty of worship is not in how intense the song is or how on cue the guitar is but in the brokenness of our souls willing to come before the Lord. Before we can focus on perfecting the way we introduce and express our worship, first we must focus on how our lives serve and reflect God. God cares way more about if we come to praise Him with joy verses coming and thinking about the broken string and the soft piano. It's about giving Him the best that we have right now at the moment, every moment. David himself said: (Psalm 103: 1) "Let all that I am praise the LORD; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name." All that we are and all that we have is His. That's at least one reason to worship Him, isn't it? There are so many more reasons. Too many to count.

The fact that we are eager to please Him and bring Him what he asks of us makes it a pleasing sacrifice. If he says rearrange the song list, burst into a new song, or walk through the isles of the congregation declaring my promises then we will worship Him in spirit and in truth by obeying and being willing to let God take control of our every move. Let us pick not only the most beautiful flowers nor the simplest in our heart's garden...let us pick the ones that He most desires, all of them if we must. Give your all back to The Lord in the same way that He gives His all to you. If He asks for sacrifice then sacrifice it is. If he asks for sadness to turn into joy then let it be so. Whatever it may be, let us bring it before Him and worship wholeheartedly, with the knowledge that His all consuming fire will come down and take up what we have offered Him. (2 Corinthians 3:18) "So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image." The next time you worship the Lord think about what he's done for you...what he's doing for you...the things in your life that need to change, and then...hand them over to the Lord. It might not smell very nice at first but Worship transforms the driest things into the most lively, sweet-smelling. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

First Fruits or Sloppy Seconds

A Relationship"the way in which two or more concepts, objects, or people are connected; the state of being connected by blood or marriage." 

Recently I've been listening to a Kari Jobe Worship Preaching that a recorded about a week ago and I have honestly heard it more than 10 times. Every time I listen to it—on my way to school, church, while I'm running errands, and sleeping—I learn something new and feel great having heard a new take on something I really care about. The one topic she covered that really caught my attention was giving God our first fruits. What does this mean? We read His word, spend time talking with Him and seeking Him through prayer; We work hard to build a relationship with the Lord, our Father. After all, how can we talk about someone we do not know? Giving Him our sloppy seconds would be like accepting one or two days of the week as the only time we spend learning about Him. For a hungry and thirsty soul, that's just not enough. He deserves the best and like Kari said, "You give Go the first of you, and God will give you the first of Him." Some might ask, why can't I be die hard crazy in love with God like her or like him? At the same time though, this would be like going out on a blind date with someone who your friends set you up with. Your friends might know the guy, but you have never seen him, heard his voice, or been up close to him. There is no relationship...no connection. We might do this with God. Someone else talks to us about Him or we see others who just have a beautiful relationship with Him and we become discouraged or feel like we can never touch even the tip of Jesus' garment. And some of know how wonderful it feels to just love our God and wake up filled with His presence yet, the time and the work that we have put into our ministries or our everyday lives have separated us from Him. We've forgotten what it's like to be in love with God. To have a blossoming relationship. (Revelation 2:2-4) "I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love."

Mmm...Could it be that we've forgotten who loved us first? Who first wrapped us in His arms and told us that we were special. The one who said that as long as He was around we would never feel alone again. Have we left our first love? This is God sending out a call, crying out for us to return to Him and find peace and joy in His holy presence. How powerful is it that the dictionary defines a relationship as being connected through blood or marriage, when the Bible also tells us this, (2 Corinthians 11:2-4) "For I am jealous for you with the jealousy of God himself. I promised you as a pure bride to one husband—Christ. But I fear that somehow your pure and undivided devotion to Christ will be corrupted, just as Eve was deceived by the cunning ways of the serpent. You happily put up with whatever anyone tells you, even if they preach a different Jesus than the one we preach, or a different kind of Spirit than the one you received, or a different kind of gospel than the one you believed." We get tossed around by our circumstances and let our situations define who we are. In losing our first love, we also lose who we are. We just can't seem to find a place where we fit in, a place where we belong. No church will fill the void ad neither will our loved ones. Only Jesus can demonstrate to us the love that we need and He said He did this by dying for us on the cross, while we were still sinners.

(1 John 5:6-9)"And Jesus Christ was revealed as God’s Son by his baptism in water and by shedding his blood on the cross—not by water only, but by water and blood. And the Spirit, who is truth, confirms it with his testimony. So we have these three witnesses—the Spirit, the water, and the blood—and all three agree. Since we believe human testimony, surely we can believe the greater testimony that comes from God. And God has testified about his Son." This is our connection with Jesus, the fact that He washed our sins away with His precious blood out of love. In this we base our relationship with Him. Out of this, the relationship is born. But as we all know a relationship takes commitment and work through spending time together. We have to get back to this. This is the first part of a three part series that I'm doing called "First Fruits or Sloppy Seconds," which I hope will give you tips on how to remain faithful to God as a bride should to her groom. I make no exception of myself and include myself in what I am saying because giving God the best at all times and putting Him first in a busy and complicated world is not easy.

Challenge: I dare us all to be boldly and radically different. Like Jesus did, lets wake up every morning and kneel and give God our day and lay it in His hands. Every night, I invite you with me to pray and have a chat because God wants to know how we feel and what we need, our goals and dreams. Here's a toughy for some of us, let's pray before every meal and thank God for the fact that while others go hungry we do not. Let's pray for those who do not. God is so good to us and I'm really excited to share with you this long journey I find myself on. Though I too struggle and crave intimate time with the Lord and sometimes misuse the time I do have, I recognize that He is changing me one day at a time. Change hurts...but we all need to let go and let God. He is jealous for us...Let's be jealous for Him. With love in Christ, God bless.

Friday, May 11, 2012

If Time Is In His Hands Then We Better Recognize His Times

"Age to Age He stands, and time is in His hands, beginning and the end, beginning and the end."

We have all heard this song...but have we really understood this portion of the lyrics? It's too powerful. So powerful that when someone sings this song at church, it's almost as if we sleep in the verses and then wake up and react to the chorus. Why is that? Because it's too powerful and mind-boggling. Think about it: if a congregation or person were to really see that God controls time and that He establishes fast zones and slower zones, then they would realize that the Lord's timing differs from when they need or want something. If we were to realize this, then the enemy would not have an advantage over us anymore. Because he knows that if we complain, wine, or turn ourselves from God because we don't get what we want, when we want it, then we will not receive the blessings that God has for us. His word says in (2 Peter 3:9) "The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." Think about it.

When I was younger, probably 10 years old, my 5 cousins and I would get together on the holidays and play dodge ball. Whenever it was my turn to role the ball to the kicker there were times when my younger cousins could only manage to kick as far as about 6 feet in front of them. Imagine a drive way with enough space to fill four cars and that's how much space we had to play so 6 feet was not that much distance, bless their hearts. It was easy for me to catch the ball in the air if they kicked it, but there were times when I would get distracted. And all it would take was that one moment of distraction to miss catching the ball. In the same way, if we do not recognize the Lord's times and permit ourselves to get distracted then we will miss the blessing, the answered prayer, or our heart's desire because of our complaining and our, "why me? What did I do to deserve this?" Been there, done that. All I can tell you is to not see with your natural eyes, see with the eyes of the faith.

Here's a little bible story to back this up. I share this with you from my personal time spent with the Lord. Turning back the hands of time, here we go...

(Numbers 26-30) Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “How long must I put up with this wicked community and its complaints about me? Yes, I have heard the complaints the Israelites are making against me. Now tell them this: ‘As surely as I live, declares the Lord, I will do to you the very things I heard you say. You will all drop dead in this wilderness! Because you complained against me, every one of you who is twenty years old or older and was included in the registration will die. You will not enter and occupy the land I swore to give you. The only exceptions will be Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun.

At this point, God grew angry and I'm sure very hurt hearing His own people complain about him. Can you imagine the things they must have said? I'm sure it was much worse than "I wanna die!" I'm sure they said horrible things about God, wining, "Why me? I want real food! I shouldn't have listened to Moses! What a crock!..." and so on. How must God feel when we complain, wine, and don't trust Him? What are the consequences? As you read before, the Israelites were prohibited from entering the land of milk and honey. Because of mere words, God did not hand them the blessing destined for Him. Our words have power. What we say affects what happens to us. Like the Israelites, if we say we're gonna die so and so way then we are. If we declare prosperity then God will prosper us. But above all, the decision is ours. I include myself when I say this, will we chose to react positively to a negative circumstance, or will we keep spoiling the times of the Lord's blessings for our lives? We have to be like Caleb so that the Lord may also say this about us, "[he] has a different attitude than the others have. He has remained loyal to me, so I will bring him into the land he explored. His descendants will possess their full share of that land."

(Numbers 14:34) “‘Because your men explored the land for forty days, you must wander in the wilderness for forty years—a year for each day, suffering the consequences of your sins. Then you will discover what it is like to have me for an enemy.’  Oh my goodness! Forty days became forty years! When we disobey and turn against the Lord what should have been a short waiting period for our blessing now becomes an agonizing eternity. One day now feels like one year. How many of us ask God why it's taking so long for our ministry to take flight? For our calling to be molded and put into practice? Because we've complained forty days now become forty years. Crazy, crazy powerful. We've got to learn to catch the ball the first time and walk in the times of the Lord.

(Numbers 14:39-45)  When Moses reported the Lord’s words to all the Israelites, the people were filled with grief. Then they got up early the next morning and went to the top of the range of hills. “Let’s go,” they said. “We realize that we have sinned, but now we are ready to enter the land the Lord has promised us.” But Moses said, “Why are you now disobeying the Lord’s orders to return to the wilderness? It won’t work. Do not go up into the land now. You will only be crushed by your enemies because the Lord is not with you. When you face the Amalekites and Canaanites in battle, you will be slaughtered. The Lord will abandon you because you have abandoned the Lord.” But the people defiantly pushed ahead toward the hill country, even though neither Moses nor the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant left the camp. Then the Amalekites and the Canaanites who lived in those hills came down and attacked them and chased them back as far as Hormah. Tis, tis, tis. The Israelites got over their punishment so fast. How many of us react this way? God says no you missed the time zone that I provided for you and we simply try to push forward anyway. We can be stubborn sometimes. We think that just because we recognize what we've done wrong, this means that we're off the hook. We have to recognize the Lord's times and take advantage of them so that we don't miss out on what the Father has in store. If we do anything without the Lord's consent then we go alone, vulnerable to the attacks of the enemy. We've got to listen the first time, recognize His times, and act on them.

(Jeremiah 31:19) I turned away from God, but then I was sorry. I kicked myself for my stupidity! I was thoroughly ashamed of all I did in my younger days.

(Jeremiah 31: 20-22) “Is not Israel still my son, my darling child?” says the Lord“I often have to punish him, but I still love him. That’s why I long for him and surely will have mercy on him. Set up road signs; put up guideposts. Mark well the path by which you came. Come back again, my virgin Israel;return to your towns here. How long will you wander, my wayward daughter? For the Lord will cause something new to happen—Israel will embrace her God.”

Do we not serve an amazing God? I'll never get tired of saying this: We've got to recognize His times. Well my lovely readers I hope this post has touched you in some way and if it has comment and tell me in what way. I encourage you to spend time with the Lord so that he may give you the patience to wait for either "forty days or forty years" and for the courage and faith to react when the time comes. Share with me what He is doing in your life and from my heart to yours, God bless.

I leave you with this beautiful song. I listen to it on my way to school every day and it leaves me knowing that God has everything under control in His hands. May you be blessed!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Crossing The Bridge: What's Your Egypt?

Our past hopes, dreams, memories  expectations--These are all things that cause us to remain where we are, or that also restrain us from going forward. Think about this: What's the one thing that mostly keeps you from moving forward?...............Ok. Now that you've got it, What about that makes you want to hold on to it? Why do you not want to let it go?.................Alright...so now, I only have one more question for you, my lovely reader. Do you know that God has armed you with all that you need to leave behind all that holds you down? Do you know that you can do All things through Christ who strengthens you? There are so many things that can keep us from obtaining the purpose that the Lord has in store for us and one biggie would definately have to be our past. Our loved ones. Our friends or people who have hurt us. Our guilt or condemnation. What we've built and have helped to restore. So many things just drag us down reminding us of what was, but so many obstacles can discourage us along the way as well. We can not, I repeat can not go back! (2 Timothy 1:7) "For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline." God, through His son Jesus Christ, has given us the power to overcome all obstacles, the love needed to combat the most wicked person or situation, and the self-discipline needed to persist and move forward toward the desires that He has placed in our hearts. Once we recognize the keys He has given us, then we can confidently walk toward that bridge and begin to cross it to reach that new dimension of Glory that the Father has in store. (Hebrews 12:1-3) "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us  throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesusthe pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross,scorning its shameand sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."

When God delivered the Israelites from egypt, they followed the cloud od God's glory by day and His pillar of fire by night, under the command of Moses. Walking through the desert, The Israelites began to complain.  (Numbers 14:1-5) "Then the whole community began weeping aloud, and they cried all night. Their voices rose in a great chorus of protest against Moses and Aaron. “If only we had died in Egypt, or even here in the wilderness!” they complained. “Why is the Lord taking us to this country only to have us die in battle? Our wives and our little ones will be carried off as plunder! Wouldn’t it be better for us to return to Egypt?” Then they plotted among themselves, “Let’s choose a new leader and go back to Egypt!” Then Moses and Aaron fell face down on the ground before the whole community of Israel." Sometimes we complain about everything "bad" that happens to us that we miss the big picture. God has the whole pic in his hands but He permits us to see little snipits because if we were to see the whole thing then Who knows how many would actually follow Christ in body, mind, and soul? I've been hurt but that doesn't mean I'm going to give up. What is your egypt? What do we constantly want to return to? The Israelites would have rather gone back to being slaves than die, in their natural body, persisting toward the goal, the land of milk and honey. All they saw was their memmories and beautiful moments and the food they ate, instead of seeing that God was trying to liberate them from captivity. The truth is we want the change but we don't want to go through the fire. The reality is that Jesus is in the midst of the fire with us. He promised to never leave or forsake us but we have got to stop looking back. The more we look back the more we'll dwell and then remain stuck there like stone. God does not act on our complaints...He acts on our faith. You see, the Israelites lacked faith because they wanted to return to Egypt because the land that God promised them was fortified and filled with giants. They saw the natural possibilities and obstacles, but failed to see the supernatural. It's amazing! (Numbers 14:6-9) "Two of the men who had explored the land, Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, tore their clothing. They said to all the people of Israel, “The land we traveled through and explored is a
wonderful land! And if the Lord is pleased with us, he will bring us safely into that land and give it to us. It is a rich land flowing with milk and honey.  Do not rebel against the Lord, and don’t be afraid of the people of the land. They are only helpless prey to us! They have no protection, but the Lord is with us! Don’t be afraid of them!” Even though they had a mighty God they only saw the mighty obstacle. They looked back! Because of their complaints God did not permit them to see the land he had promised them. We have to decide if we are going to complain and wine and cry when problems come, or decide if we are going to bless whoever and whatever and keep fighting the good fight. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and a great blessing at the other end of the bridge if we decide to cross it. I encourage you, out of personal experience  to not let anything or anyone stop you from doing what God wants you to do. may God bless you on your walk and surround you with people who are going to always lift you up.


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