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Victory through Your Wilderness

28 Jul

Wilderness-a tract or region uncultivated and uninhabited by human beings. (Merriam-Webster)

Growing up in the south left me with a passion for nature that causes me to look for plant life, even in the midst of New York City. And as much as I love nature, I’m not fond of the raw wilderness. Based on the definition above, humans weren’t meant to inhabit the wilderness anyway.

If I dared to brave the wilderness, I can imagine hearing the sound of snakes rustling through dry leaves, coyotes howling in the night, thirst with no sign of water, and an overwhelming sense of insecurity. Yet, wilderness experiences are sometimes a part of the journey of life.

Take Moses for example. You’re probably familiar with his great wilderness experience through which he miraculously led the children of Israel for 40 years. (Ex.14-Lev.) But Moses had a more personal wilderness experience that prepared him for the big adventure.

For 40 years, Moses lived in the wilderness, caring for his father in laws flock. By the time God captured his attention with the burning bush leading to the big adventure, Moses had forgotten who He was. (Ex. 2: 1, 11)

He forgot that he was well educated and spoke well as a result of growing up in the palace. He forgot that he was destined to deliver the children of Israel out of slavery and lead them into the promise land. God revealed these things to Moses years before, when he lived in the palace. (Acts 7:21-22) But during his 40 years in the wilderness Moses forgot.

When God told him to go and lead the children of Israel out of Egypt, Moses was dumfounded and required an assistant. (Ex. 6:28-7:7) Moses forgot who he was and temporarily forgot who God was as well – the One who created him for this very purpose. (Ex. 3:11, 13-15)

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Jesus also had a wilderness experience. He was there for 40 days and came face to face with Satan, the tempter and father of lies. Jesus overcame His wilderness experience by remembering who He was, His purpose, and the One who led him into the wilderness. Each time Satan tempted him saying “if You are the Son of God”, Jesus quoted God’s word and remembered that it is all about God. Jesus stood knowing who He was, whose He was, and what God said. (Math 4:1-11)

Whether we like it or not, the wilderness awaits us on the path of life. Let’s follow the life of Jesus and stand firm on who we are and whose we are, GOD’S chosen sons and daughters. Let’s come through standing on what God said. Even in the wilderness, let’s remember – it’s still all about GOD!


You Are Not Forgotten

11 Jun

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So much is happening today. Corruption within the political system, terror attacks, nuclear threats, global warming, and the list goes on. Yet, in the midst of it all, God sees you and cares about your circumstance. Yes, in spite of all that you see happening around you, God sees you.

Long ago, a barren woman named Hannah felt forgotten by God, as you might be feeling right now. She went before God and poured out her heart. Eli – the priest, who was nearby, thought Hannah was drunk. Once Hannah explained, Eli agreed with Hannah’s prayer.

Hannah prayed. “Then she made a vow and said, “O LORD of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant,  but will give Your maidservant a male child, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and no razor shall come upon his head.”” ‭‭(l Samuel‬ ‭1:11‬ ‭NKJV‬‬).

Although Hannah felt as though she was forgotten by God, she allowed her faith to rise above her circumstance and prayed. Not only did Hannah pray, she completely trusted the Lord to answer her prayer. She left the temple relieved of her burden, no longer feeling forgotten. Later Hannah gave birth to a son, and gave this son to back to God. Eventually she had more children.

Just as God saw Hannah, He sees you. God sees your hurt, senses your despair and hears your cry. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. You are inscribed in the palm of Gods’s hand. God saw you and knew you before you were born. And He cares about every aspect of your life. (Malachi 3:6, Hebrews 13:8,Isaiah 49:16 Psalm 139, Jeremiah 1:5)

What are you trying to give birth to? Do you feel forgotten by God? Know that this is just a feeling and not a fact. God sees and knows everything. Focus on God and pray. Don’t focus on what you see or feel.

Remember Hannah. She prayed and believed that her prayers were answered even before she gave birth to her first child, and later gave him back to God. It’s your turn now. Allow your faith to rise. Pray to God. Believe that He’s working it out together for your good. Thank Him because you believe that He will answer you. Take the limits off God and allow Him to be Lord of your circumstance as Hannah did. Give the situation totally to Him.( Psalm 78:41)

God sees you, and He cares. Look to Him and trust Him now more than ever. Yes God sees you. You are not forgotten. (Hebrews 4:13, Philippians 4:6, lPeter 5:7,

Don’t Let Them In!

22 Jan

Discouragement knocks on everyone’s door from time to time. The problem is, he’s usually accompanied by his best friend, Doubt.

Once Doubt is on the scene, he’s very likely to invite Defeat over. Doing your best not to be rude, you find yourself entertaining Discouragement, Doubt and Defeat. The party is on. But it’s a pity party!

It all began with Discouragement. You forgot that he’ s usually accompanied by Doubt who often invites Defeat.

The next time Discouragement knocks on your door, be rude. Tell him point blank that Faith and Victory have moved in and there’s no sitting room for him and his friends, not even for a quick visit. Don’t let them in!

The Bible cautions us to be alert because Satan goes about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). But sometimes he comes in subtly, gently as an angel of light (II Corinthians 11:14). When he comes in the form of discouragement, he charms us into thinking that this feeling is normal. When we are discouraged, defeat and doubt can easily slither on in.

We would do well to remember who we are, and more importantly Whose we are (Galatians 3:26, Romans 8:31-39). We belong to the Creator who makes all things possible if we would by faith, believe (Mark 9:23). What does God say about our situation? Let’s connect our faith with the word of God in the Bible and experience certain victory.

Which Voice?

24 Apr

Today, everyone has something to say. Whether the words are through pictures on Instagram, music on YouTube, rants on Facebook, or phone texts, people are speaking like never before.

Social media has opened a door of personal reveals that even provides the introvert with an opportunity to let it all out. Amidst all the messages coming your way, which voice are you listening to? Which voice captures your attention most?

There is another voice whispering in the midst of it all. This voice tells us which way to go, brings strength when we’re weak, and peace during the storms. (Isaiah 30:21, Isaiah 32:8, Isaiah 40:31, Mark 4:39). But can we hear it in the mix of all the noise? The main way God speaks is through His word, the Bible, although He does speak through people as well. ( II Timothy 3:16,17 II Samuel 23:2).

In 1 Kings 19:9, Elijah heard the voice of God while he was in a cave. God asked “what are you doing here Elijah?” In verse 13, God asked the same question, “What are you doing here Elijah?” In Genesis 3:9, God asked Adam a similar question, “Where are you?”

Both Elijah and Adam had listened to the wrong voice. Elijah falsely believed that Jezebel was more powerful than God, and Adam believed that it was okay to follow Eve’s directions instead of God’s.

If God were to ask today “Where are you”, what would your response be? Hopefully it would be, Im right here listening to You as I trust and obey Your word.

May we be captivated by Your word God, not by the world of busyness that surrounds us. It’s Your word that brings direction, strength, and hope. Other voices tend to lead us away from You. Speak Lord. Your servants are listening.

Try Again

9 Mar

The Bible shares a story in which the disciples fished all night. Despite their expertise as fishermen, they didn’t catch a thing. Jesus appeared on the scene and told the disciples “cast your net on the right side of the ship, and you shall find” (John 21:6).

Although the fishermen might have been frustrated by their plight, at Jesus’ command they tried again. ” So they cast and were not able to draw it in because of the multitude of fish”.

Why were the disciples able to accomplish in minutes, what they were unable to do all night long? The source of the command made all the difference.

When Jesus told the disciples to try again, creation obeyed. The fish waited on the right side of the boat for the net to draw them in.

Is there anything in your life that you’re feeling compelled to try again? Like the disciples, it may be something that you’re good at, yet in the past you came up empty.

Don’t give up. Commit your plan to the Lord in prayer. As you pray, expect that you will receive answers. After praying, you may find that now is the time to try again!
(Psalm 37:5, Proverbs 16:3).

It’s Your Choice

22 Feb

As I sat reading the word of God and praying, I heard a whisper. You know, the kind of whisper that’s so deep within you until it seems as though it’s your own thought.

The words I heard were simple, yet profound. “You don’t have to worry”. Okay, I thought to myself, The Lord has everything in control and I don’t need to be afraid.

What appeared at first to be a few words of encouragement began to mean so much more as I rehearsed the words in my head. “You don’t HAVE to worry.” If I don’t have to worry, when I do worry, Im making a choice.

When we worry, we subconsciously choose to doubt God and lean on our own understanding. We choose to focus on the situation, instead of what God has said. God loves us and has said He will never leave, nor forsake us. His word tells us that we should always pray.( Proverbs 3:5-6, Isaiah 41:10, Deuteronomy 31:8, I Thessalonians 5:17).

We believe the scripture that states, “through prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, we can bring our requests to the Lord”. But our hearts check out before the end of the promise which states, ” and the PEACE of GOD which passes all understanding will guard and KEEP our HEARTS and MIND THROUGH CHRIST JESUS”.
(Philippians 4:6)

Worry is definitely a natural response to the unseen answers we hope for. However as believers in Jesus, there is a better way. It’s our faith that is “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” As believers, we have the right to replace our worry with faith. God even commands us to do so!
(Hebrews 11:1, Matthew 6: 31,34, Luke 12:22).

Let’s choose to rest in our faith, and resist our natural inclination to worry. It’s not necessarily an easy battle. But we have the God of all hope on our side, Jesus interceding for us, and the help of the Holy Spirit. We don’t HAVE to Worry!
(Romans 15:13, Romans 8:31, Hebrews 7:25, John 14:26)

Free Food & Drinks!

26 Jul

Day in and day out routines can leave us feeling dry. Caring for family, paying bills, commuting to work, and work itself, can all be draining factors.  Sometimes we become so exhausted until we’re running on empty.

When we don’t take the time needed to replenish ourselves, we are no longer able to give our best, or even be our best. Our entire attitude can become tense and irritable as we maneuver through life on dry air.

But there is a place that we can go to be refreshed. A place where money is not needed, yet huger and thirst are required to enter. In this place, we are filled to the overflow to thrive, not just survive! 

Just where can we find this secret place (Psalm 91:1).  Some call it their quiet time, while others call it meditation. The name, matters not as much as the action of getting away with The One who refreshes, Jesus Christ (John 14:4).

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭55:1-2‬ ‭NKJV‬‬ invites us – “Ho! Everyone who thirsts, Come to the waters; And you who have no money, Come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk Without money and without price. Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And let your soul delight itself in abundance.”

The only food and drink that truly satisfy are  found only in Jesus who is the Way, The truth and the Life (John 14:6).  Come and cast your cares upon Him, for He cares for you (1Peter 5:7).  Get away to that secret place! Read the Bible and allow it to speak to you. Pray, sing unto the Lord.  Or just come and be still and know that He is God (Psalm 46:10). Come and be satisfied. The food and drinks are on the house!