I woke up the other day, feeling led to write down the next topic for the the blog. I felt that there was a stronghold on marriages in a particular city. I pray that strongholds may be broken in that city, in Jesus' Name (I also encourage you to pray for marriages all around the world in Jesus Name). The other point was the general sense of those who were failing to say, 'I'm Sorry'.
I pondered these things, and asked the Lord what He wanted me to write, but at first only got the notion that He wanted to say that people need to start saying 'sorry' (as we know, it's often more of a pride element when we don't acknowledge what we've done and then apologize).
Later on in the day, I thought of the song, 'Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word' by Blue & Elton John.
The lyrics say:
"What do I do to make you want me?
What have I got to do to be heard?
What do I say when it's all over?
And sorry seems to be the hardest word"
Sometimes we don't need to do a whole lot of STUFF to impress someone (Emphasis on sometimes. Let's apply things to our own situations instead! Lol!). Or sometimes we can try to "figure it out" or fix it on our own. Instead, sorry, would be what is needed in that circumstance, at least as a genuine start. The actions and "figuring it out" can follow after. Let me tell you a little secret: collaborative effort is always best. Never try to do it on your own as if the person doesn't exist and will exist when you figure it all out. Just say sorry and then with God's help, move on to the next step. =)
Now, you might be saying, "Grr! So what if that person doesn't want to hear what I have to say!?"
The song identifies with that aspect, noting:
"It's sad, so sad
Why can't we talk it over?"
As said above, sometimes when we've hurt someone and want to say 'sorry', or have said 'sorry', they might not want to hear it or want to talk about it any more because of the hurt. Instead they may need time, and want to see actions.
"So what do I do in the mean time? Sing this sad song?" :) No. But thank God for Redemption. Thank God it starts with Him. =) Like David, who humbled himself and went to God: "Against you, you only, have I sinned…"-Psalm 51:4 …we go to that place, and talk with God.
Side Note: Once we are forgiven, it is FINISHED. In other words, God remembers it no more. That means, any time after that, if you're still reminded of that sin, then its either our flesh, or the devil. Solutions? Well, there are many, but we take steps to make sure it doesn't come to our mind over and over by using Scripture, and also taking practical steps (more on this in Part II, coming soon!).
Remember that we are promised once and for all that: "there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" -Romans 8:1
Thus, just like David did in his redemption process, GET UP AND WALK.
Continue and sin no more by the Power of the Holy Spirit.
God's with you all the way. Don't give up.
What powerful words!!! :)
I randomly went on Meagan Good's instagram today and saw this quote and I thought, 'This is powerful truth!!" Amen! :)
Maybe you've been feeling like you need to be like somebody else in order to be liked, or that you need to be something else to be liked, but you feel like it's not really you, it's somebody else. You may feel like people like somebody else more but don't like you.
Don't compare yourself. People are not meant to be liked based on who they want to be like, but based on who they already are.
1 Corinthians 12:12-30 touches on this perfectly. It talks about how we are one body, but many parts. I encourage you to do a Bible Study on it! :)
To some extent, comparisons stem from wanting to be like somebody else, but not ourselves, and comparing ourselves with others.
This text talks about how the body is actually a unit (verse 12).
A unit is defined as: "as individual thing or person regarded as single and complete but which can also form an individual component of a larger or more complex whole" (Oxford American Dictionary).
We were meant to be whole as an individual in Christ, and in that, to be a part of a joint and vital component of a more complex whole :)
We all have one and the same Spirit (verse 13). Praise God He doesn't give 100% of the Spirit to some and 20% to others when He "doesn't feel like it" haha! We're all whole and one in Christ.
Now, what does that look like in the physical world? Well, we are human, so comparing ourselves will occur, but it's making sure we don't make this our focus and pursuit (i.e. our worldly pursuit).
Verse 15 says, what if the foot said, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body", and verse 17 asks us what if the whole body became an eye where the sense of hearing be.
Friend, where would the sense of smell be if the body were a big 'ol ear?
Getting the picture now? :) :) ;-) Ok. So...
Know that we are made with significance, carefully crafted to be who we are, along with the role that we play. We are not insignificant.
Verses 22-26 may answers that notion:
"On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it."
Amen. Did you read that? If ONE PART. ONE. ONE. ONE. ONEEEE part SUFFERS, EVERY PART SUFFERS WITH IT.
You are significant and you may not know it yet if you're still comparing yourself with others :) ;-)
You are important.
I'll leave you with my favorite part of the passage:
"But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as He wanted them to be." (verse 18).
I find this beautiful and inspiring because it says, "as HE wanted them to be." not as XYZ wanted them to be, but HE. He arranged them all perfectly. You are created perfectly to be who you are, and God created you to be that part, not man, but God (and we know that God is sovereign, so He is in control so it wasn't just random). He loves you very much and has not 'forgotten' about you. You are a vital component to the community of God, and you are wanted, just as you are.
So what does the quote at the beginning have to do with this?
Well, if we start liking who we are, and know what our purpose is, we're less likely to compare ourselves to others because we know who we are and whose we are. We will start realizing how wonderfully different yet similar we really are, and with that aspect, will start to wish well on others and not just ourselves :) It's a road and journey we all take together, so let's celebrate each other! Amen! :) Jesus loves you <3
P.S. Next time you are questioning who you are, remember to go back to the original "Manual", the Maker knows who you are, He created you. Reinforce His truths about you over and over so you won't forget who you are in Christ! Or even better, have a heart-to-heart with Him, and ask Him who you are. ;-)
Any questions? Let me know by writing to me here!
Joshua 8: 1-2 "Then the Lord said to Joshua, "Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Take the whole army with you, and go up and attack Ai. For I have delivered into your hands the king of Ai, his people, his city and his land. You shall do to Ai and its king as you did to Jericho and its king, except that you may carry off their plunder and livestock for yourselves. Set an ambush behind the city." (Emphasis mine).
Have you ever wanted to do something and the Lord says to you, 'wait'. Or, 'not yet'?
A while ago, I wrote about how during the wait, God's doing something significant that we may not be seeing with our natural eye.
Sometimes we may think that because it's taking so long or because we don't see what we are thinking it should be like, that its reason to settle for something less, but we all know that that's not what God wants for our lives, He wants to give us His best. We know that there are many reasons He asks us to wait, but because we are His child, waiting is for our benefit, and it creates opportunity for a new thing in our lives, and all to the glory of God. Amen.
I had the opportunity to read this verse in the Book of Joshua.
This verse became important after reading Chapters 6 and 7, which I recommend you read as well to get the full context.
Briefly, in Chapters 6 and 7, the Lord had told Joshua that he had delivered Jericho into his hands (i.e. given him the city). He was then commanded to march around the city once with all the armed men, for 6 days. On the 7th day, they were to march around the city 7 times. In Joshua 6:18 the Lord says to Joshua to keep away from the devoted things as it would bring trouble. Later in Chapter 7 we see that a guy named Achan had hopped on along and taken that which was devoted, when it wasn't the time to.
We know it wasn't the time to take these ''good things'' from the land yet, as in Chapter 8, from what the Lord says to Joshua after He tells him to go into another city: "Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged.... You shall do to Ai and its kind as you did to Jericho (the place of the previous battle), except that you may carry off their plunder and livestock for yourselves..." (Joshua 8:1-2).
The New Living Translation says, "But this time you may keep the plunder and livestock for yourselves...."
But this time...
This time. The event of going into another city had occurred before, but it was this time, it was thee time. This particular time. Outside of that time was the wrong time.
Waiting. It can be a tough one eh?
We all make mistakes and may do something we're not supposed to at the appointed time. Even if you're a leader, you're going to make mistakes. It's just about being real with yourself and not allowing yourself or others put you on an untouchable pedestal. It's about how we handle it after the mistake that counts, i.e. did we learn something, did we grow from it? Are we getting closer to God now because of it? Are we now ready to do what God's asking us to do? etc.
I've already told you about how I started this whole website and went ahead of God, put all these sections to the website and I was all super jolly about it, only to have Him ask me to only start with one blog post. *Ouch* :) I smile about it now, but yes it was majorly humbling at the time. I can only boast in the Lord: but since then, I've never had to sit down and think: "what is the next blog post going to be?" but more of waiting on God until He told me what to say next; He's had the lead. It's a waiting process as well because I would sometimes see other sites doing 'more' stuff or had more sections, but had to wait on God's voice, and then proceed. Not only that, but we don't know other people's story or journey as they did their work, so it's unfair to judge by what the human eye can see. Amen. :)
God's timing is so perfect, when you see it happening, you'll be so content that you'll forget about past experiences or wonder why you went ahead before! He has it all under control.
Waiting on God teaches us to submit to Him, and to let Him take the lead.
This time, the Israelites had the joy (hallelujah!) of carrying the plunder and livestock, as the Lord said they could do. You too, will be able to enjoy what He's asking you to do. He had opened the door to enjoy this wonderful gift.
Let's remember that when God says 'not yet', it's 'not yet'. When He says 'go', 'go'. There's a time for everything :)
So here are the questions: Is the Lord telling you to go? Is He telling you that NOW is the right time? Enter the doors to which He is telling you to go. Why don't you have a nice heart to heart with the Lord tonight? He's with you all the way, as He's leading you to go where you wants you to go. Amen!
At my church we are studying the Book of Nehemiah, which is quite interesting to say the least!
Something struck out to me as I re-read Chapter 5.
Chapter 5 is about Nehemiah trying to help the poor. Long story short, Nehemiah calls a meeting to accuse the nobles and officials because they were exacting usury from their own countrymen. Fortunately the meeting is successful and an agreement to stop the usury is reached. Nehemiah later says that he was appointed to be governor in the Land of Judah but neither he nor his brothers ate the food allotted to the governor. He says, however, the earlier governors who preceded him had placed a heavy burden on the people and took pieces of silver from them as well as their daily food and wine. The former governors' assistants had also taken advantage of the people, but out of reverence of God, Nehemiah did not act like that.
What stood out to me were verses 15-16, which said, "But the earlier governors – those proceeding me – placed a heavy burden on the people and took forty shekels of silver from [the Jews ]and in addition to food and wine. Their assignments also lorded it over the people. But out of reverence of God I did not act like that. Instead, I devoted myself to the work of this wall. All my men were assembled there for the work; we did not acquire any land" (Emphasis mine).
Nehemiah chose not to do the things that were around him.
Fam, at times we will be faced with challenges were it seems like EVERYONE is doing "it" ("it" meaning, anything like usury, debauchery, malice, drinking, clubbing, etc.)
But we won't have to do it because we are different.
We're Christ's :)
It reminded me of Daniel 3, where King Nebuchadnezzar made a ninety-feet-tall image of gold, and summoned all the people to bow down to it when they heard a sound (Daniel 3:5). The people bowed, but Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah chose not to bow down with the others because they feared God.
At times, we will be faced with an opportunity were EVERYONE (or it seems like everyone, or it just might be everyone in your group or city) is going clubbing or doing whatever, but you won't be going clubbing, because you'll be choosing to be faithful to God.
Of course it's hard to see "a lot people doing these things", and as cliché as it may sound, it's not easy, but it will be worth it.
I remember when I first got Saved (when I first became a Christian), I was still clubbing until God asked me to surrender that part of my life to Him. I had made so many friends from all this going out, but my Abba said to me one night, "Tawana, you have one foot and hand in the world, and the other hand and foot on Me."
I was stuck and didn't know what to say. I even spoke to someone about this, asked them for prayer about what God was asking me to do (I'll explain later why it really wasn't about clubbing, and why I took it to wise counsel for prayer ;-)
God was faithful and reminded me a few times before I surrendered and wanted Him instead of this "stuff!"
You see, what was underneath was more of a fear of "is He going to catch me when I let go of these things?" I didn't know what to expect and that's where the fear came from.
God wanted me to know that I could FULLY trust Him, and that I had to unfold my tightly gripped fingers, and hold onto Him instead. And surely He was faithful, and most of all, He caught me.
As I surrendered to Him, the journey of going deeper in the Bible began.
As I started spending time with God, I'd go back to my room after class and read and study the Bible. The Lord was faithful to me through it all because He would speak to me as I read His Word. I started off using a Bible plan on YouVersion, which was great because it had a nice commentary to accompany the study, and as a new Christian I really really needed that! :)
Even though it seemed like "everyone" else was out "having a good time" with these things, He wanted to tell me that He loved me and that I didn't need all these types of things. With His faithfulness, spending time with Him was priceless compared to the things I had oh so "missed out on." Did temptations come? Of course! But we keep going regardless of every fiery dart that comes our way.
Even though people around me were still clubbing, I didn't do that because I wanted to honor God.
He wanted me to honor Him with my life so that He could honor me. He wanted me to be His.
Now, I won't sit here and say it was so easy and perfect and la la la...it wasn't, but it was worth it.
I did lose "friends", but really, as the quotation marks express, were they really friends if they weren't excited to see me read the Bible or stop the things that drew me away from God? True friends stayed as I grew deeper in the Lord, and new ones came along as well.
Whatever we give up on for the sake of Christ, Our Greatest Friend replaces with even greater.
"With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." -Matthew 19:26
My point is this: Serving God is going to come with costs.
Losing others will come as well, but that's because God created us to be holy and consecrated for His use, not Holy and "available for all extra things around us". For His use, because we are His.
It may sound like: "wow, I will be restricted from xyz" etc, but I pray for grace and revelation for us to always look at it this way:
1. We're human, so we will have random moments of "oh...If only I were doing xyz or going to xyz", or moments of "this is hard work!" So I pray for grace to take us by storm when these moments come.
2. To always remember that we are not doing this alone. Jesus promised that
He would ask the Father, and He would give us another Advocate, who will never leave us - John 14:16.
And that when the Father sends the Advocate as Jesus' representative--that is, the Holy Spirit--We will be taught everything, and will be reminded of everything Jesus has told us. - John 14:26.
So we're not alone in this.
3. Remember whose you are and who your Daddy is.
He is the King of Kings, Lord of Lord, the Great Redeemer, Provider, El-Shaddai....and if He is all these things, as a daughter or son, we become heirs, princesses, princes, a royal priesthood and so forth!
Side Note: This just reminds me of Proverbs 31 where King Lamuel's mother tells him that it is not for kings to drink wine and rulers to crave beer because they might drink and forget what the law says. She wanted to say that because he was of king value, and didn't need to be involved in things that could potentially bring his value down! When one is a king (small k), they don't have to do these things, because they are precious and would now have a different focus in life. That's why King Lemuel's mother is saying: "give beer to those who are perishing, wine to those who are in anguish; let them drink and forget their poverty and remember their misery no more" (Proverbs 31:6). Her advice to her son was, "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy" (verse 8-9): Now this was King Lamuel's royal duty, not the former.
We, as royal priesthoods, should also seek the best, and to "do the best" in terms of being empowered by Our Abba, Your Daddy, who is in Heaven, who Has said that "everything is yours."
Fam, remember this: It may not be easy for us in our own strength, but it's easy for God. He wants to see us holy, consecrated, and set aside, all for His glory! RememberHe loves you very much <3
Always In Jesus Name,
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I read John 15:11-24 this morning as part of my devotional. John 15:11-24 is about the Prodigal son. "ahhh.." you say.. You seem to know this one...you say...
At first I also thought, 'not this story again!' As I've read it plenty times over. Buttttt God does a new thing like always, and gives us new insight in a passage that we would've read over and over and over! Amen and glory to that!! :)
So here it goes!
The passage says:
11 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.
13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father.
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate." (From the New International Version).
I felt like the Lord said that it can be seen from the point of view of being about Jesus, that once upon a time, we went away from the Father (since the beginning in the garden), but we were found again via the blood of Jesus (redeemed, rather!)
Jesus built the bridge that enables us to crossover to go to the Father (God). It is now possible to have the choice to go to back to the Father. Oh how wonderful it that? So wonderful!! So wonderful.
Let's look at the text a bit more closely, and see what it's saying to us:
After squandering everything at this point,the son began to be in need (verse 14).
Have you ever gasped for air? Like in a swimming pool and you want to get back to the top? Or you ran a distance and were out of breath that you needed to stop to catch the next one? That's what I'm guessing the son felt like at this point: in need to breath properly again, without gasping.
Verse 17 says he came to his senses. It finally hit him. It was a heart moment.
It finally clicked.
He had a moment of enlightenment, a moment of humility, all intertwined to make one. It all starts in the head and heart, then slowly shifts towards our facial expression, which changes to that of sorrow, mimicking the inside process. It's a moment of realization, that through it all, we had hurt God, and the people around us.
We see that after this moment, the son decides that he will go back to his Father (verse 18).
He says Father. He acknowledges His Father.
He knows that he can apologize to Mr. & Ms such and such too, but at this point, it's all about God, the Father.
We're reminded of David, who said, "Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight" Psalm 51:4.
He realizes that it was the Father, all along, who was the beginning and end of life, streams of living water, peace, comfort, and breath. And in abundance.
Verse 18 says that he set out, meaning, he took action.
Then he got up and went to his Father (verse 20).
Yesterday I read a quote that said, "If there were a thousand steps between us and God, He will take all but one. He will leave the final one to us. The decision is ours." (Author Unknown) (it was in the context of running to God as our refuge :) He wants us to take that leap of faith towards Him, knowing that His arms are always wide open, when we choose to come to Him.
Verse 20 says it was to his Father that he went to. Not people. His Father :)
And what did his Father do?
He had compassion (verse 20) on his son, onto his most precious child :) Amen ♡
He even ran to His son (verse 20).
He even threw His arms around him (verse 20).
No, He didn't nonchalantly touch him, even though just a touch from God is greater than anything in this world, but instead He THREW His arms. He THREW them...do you get it? I can't get enough! :) He's like: "my son! You're back! You're back!! Welcome back!! You came back! To me! To me! Your Father! I love You, son...I love you. My son..."
And when you think that that was it,
It says, 'and kissed him' (verse 20).
How wonderful is that?
But then...the Father says 'Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him." (verse 22).
You see, that verse starts with the word, 'BUT'. I mean...come on, how amazing can He get?
The son goes humbly before the Father to ask for forgiveness, and I can only imagine he's in tears, and in ragged clothes. Since he was feeding the pigs, he probably smells really bad, is very muddy, but could care less to ask for a place to shower because he's running back, as he is, running from a journey of turmoil, leaving it all behind, all in the past, ready to set forth a new path, even if he has to start from the bottom because he knows that his Father's place is much better than anything that's out there.
Just like David said, "Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked." Psalm 84:10
That sentence begins with 'But'.
'But' means that the son was probably expecting an alternate response. It can only be that reason isn't it? That a moment were it was meant to be a point of shame and condemnation, the Father does everything but. He does that which is contrary to it, to that point that He doesn't waste a minute in saying, 'Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him." (verse 22).
Shout it on the rooftops! The son is back! He's back! Amen! Amen! Hallelujah! He's back Abba, He's back to You!
This is similar to The Parable of the Lost Coin in Luke 15:8-10, which says,
“Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? 9 And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ 10 In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” (NIV)
Like this picture, when Jesus sees you, He takes His robe off, and exchanges His for yours.
And the Father wasn't done yet, He says, "Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet" (Verse 20).
A ring on a hand was a mark of wealth and dignity. A ring was seen as a sign of favor, just like in Genesis 41:39-43 (where Pharaoh was speaking to Joseph. You can read the story of Joseph in Genesis 37).
Genesis 41:39-43 says,
"Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one so discerning and wise as you. You shall be in charge of my place., and all my people are to submit to your orders...."I hereby put you in charge of the whole land of Egypt. Then Pharaoh took his signet ring from his finger and put it on Joseph's finger. He dressed him in robes of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck."
We also see this in Esther 8:2, where "The king took off his signet ring, which he had reclaimed from Haman, and presented it to Mordecai."
To 'present' something is to give something to someone officially or formally.
He didn't fling it. No.
He gratefully presented it. Honorably, and respectfully.
A signet ring looks like this:
In Haggai 2:20, The Lord tells Zerubbabel (the governor of Judah) that He will make him like His signet ring, because He had chosen him.
We now see this great significance our Father puts on His children.
"But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light." 1 Peter 2:9
In Luke 15: 23, the Father gives orders to bring the fattened calf and to have it killed. He says, "Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found."
So they began to celebrate (Verse 23-24).
Son, daughter, God has chosen you too. You are His.
Begin to Celebrate.
In Genesis 16:13, Hagar says, "You are the God who sees me, I have now seen the One who sees me."
God sees you. Wherever you are, He sees you, and He hears you.
God is omnipresent :) He is everywhere.
It seems like when circumstances change or when we're not in a "good" season we can fail to remember that.
I read something the other day and it made me go: "OHHHH..." *pondering*....
It was the thought that although we blame Adam and Eve for the fall of man (which results to suffering), we too would've eaten from the Tree of Good and Evil. We are not any different, wiser, smarter than they were.....!
ahh....ouch.....you're thinking....haha...so true.
With that said, God loves us very much regardless of what's going on around us or what we did long ago and was passed onto us.
He says, "For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will - to praise His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves." (Ephesians 1:4-6).
This verse says, "in LOVE He predestined us..."
If God despised us, do you think He would've predestined us out of love? No way! He would've said, "they're going to fail me so there's no point!" Instead He said, "No way, I'm doing this out of LOVE and PLEASURE and I want this people to be mine."
The verse also says "with His pleasure". Pleasure is a feeling of happy satisfaction and enjoyment. He ENJOYS doing these things.
Think of what you enjoy doing, that's like Him, except a billion times more. He ENJOYS loving you, and BEING with you. He enjoys it (that is to take great delight in and have a pleasant time). So the next time you think you are "bothering" God or any other lie that comes in, say, "No way!! He created me out of love and pleasure and He ENJOYS being with me!!"
You are loved.
I feel like the Lord is teaching me lately about not working so hard.
I'm not saying that one shouldn't work...but I'm saying, in the story of Martha and Mary in Luke 10:38-42, I can officially introduce myself as...Martha.
So hi, I'm Martha. No, not from the Brady Bunch, just good 'ol Martha, from the Biblical.....Bunch...
I won't lie, this transition is not a smooth one, but by God's grace, I'm learning.
One area pertaining to working played out in front of me recently:
My mom got a tape measure to measure her waist. She was holding it in her hand and said to me that she was told that it was good to start measuring 2 cm from the belly button.
She decided to take a guess of where 2 cm was by using her hand. Eventually she said, okay, I'll just estimate.
I watched her and said, "how about using the tape measure in your hand to measure 2 cm?"
She didn't get it at first and then she started laughing and realized that she could've just done that from the beginning.
It reminded me of the story of the Widow's Oil in 2 Kings 4:10.
Elisha heard the cry of the lady: "Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that he revered the Lord. But now his creditor is coming to take my two boys as his slaves.”
Elisha responded: “How can I help you? Tell me, what do you have in your house?”
The lady said, “Your servant has nothing there at all, except a small jar of olive oil.”
Elisha tells the lady to go around asking the neighbors for empty jars. He tells her to pour the oil in the jars until they are filled.
When all the jars were filled, the oil stopped. She told Elisha, and he instructed her to sell the oil, to pay her debts, and that her and her sons could live on what was left.
So what's the connection between my mom and the Widow's oil?
Well, both of them had something in front of them that they could use in order to profit.
God has already placed something in front of you for profit, He has already given you a gift, an instrument, a book, a person, talent...etc. just something or even things, in order for you to use.
I was trying to go around me and I would think, "okay, so, next task I have to do is this and that!" and I would be so tired and warned out! Not a good idea!
Of course we have to be hard workers, but if God has given you the resources, (even if it's a "little bit" like the oil) we can be sure enough to rest that when we take hold of it, He will supply us with the direction, process, and we can start to see more coming out when we invest in the little that we have.
He never intends for us to be burned out, worried, and warned out about nothing, when really He can do it all for us!
For me, what's in front of me is the Word of God.
I feel like that's my starting point :-)
How about you?
What's your starting point?
Why don't you pray and ask God what's in front of you so you can start taking advantage of the great things He has given you!
Remember that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.
From the previous article on how you are set free in Christ, some might have wondered what happened with David. So what happens after David was forgiven for sleeping with Bethsheeba?
We often tell stories and end at the part that appeals to the audience. We definitely like stories where there is a negative dramatic end, but with God, we know that He can turn things around and He is able to do all things!
Like I said before, God forgives us, and praise God that we don't have to bear the weight of our sins. We do however, and at times, have to bear the consequences because it would've affected others or things in our lives.
In 2 Samuel 12: 14 Nathan tells David that his son (whom was to be born from the affair) would die.
David fasted and went to his house. He spent nights lying on the ground.
In our times of restoration, we'll have to spend time on the ground, praying.
Pray to God, and ask Him for forgiveness, to repent, and to restore you.
This is what it means to go humbly before Him, to surrender to Him, to give Him your all.
On the 7th day, the child died.
When in restoration, take it one day at a time.
For David, it took 7 days. For some it will take 1 day, or 7, or 1 month, or even a 6 months to years. Just know that God is with you when you go through the process and that it will come to an end.
Isaiah 43: 2 "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze."
David hears this and he gets up from the ground, washes, puts on lotions, and changes his clothes. He goes up to the house of the Lord and he worships.
David worshipped God.
In our times of restoration, we need to come to a place of worship.
Like the post I wrote about Jesus feeding the 5'000, don't fool yourself into thinking that you have all the strength to do it all, or that you need some perfect heart to come to God. Go as you are, and worship Him, give Him all that you have, He'll accept it.
Don't we praise God that He still accepts what we have to offer even though it's not "good enough"? Praise God!
Worship is a place of surrender to God. Don't be fooled with associating worship with outward appearances and this full-on dancing. We all have our days to jump up and down. Just go as you are, and worship, sincerely.
David's servants ask him, "why are you acting this way? While the child was alive, you fasted and wept, but now that the child is dead, you get up and eat!" (2 Samuel 12:21).
David answered, "While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, 'Who knows? The Lord may be gracious to me and let the child live.' But now that he is dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me."
David decided to walk, after it was all said and done with his child.
When in restoration, what's done is done, accept what's done, and move on, walk. In Jesus' words, "Get up! Pick up your mat and walk!"
"David comforted his wife Bathsheba, and he went with her and lay with her. She gave birth to a son, and named him Solomon. The Lord loved him; and because the Lord loved him, He sent word through Nathan the prophet to name him Jedidah (which means Loved by the Lord)." 2 Samuel 12: 24-25
When in restoration, you will be comforted.
You are not alone.
It may seem like you're the only one going through this, but God will comfort you, and He will bring someone/something to comfort you. God is faithful.
"For the LORD comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones." Isaiah 49:13b
"And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby), that He may remain with you forever—" John 14:16
When in restoration, God will replace what you lost.
Isaiah 43:18-19a "Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!"
The sun will finally come out, and something better will come your way. He is doing a new thing. He might not replace exactly what was lost, but we know that God will provide even greater for you! Amen!
And we all know that the son of David and Bathsheba was Solomon whom they called the wisest man who ever lived, and how among the many nations, there was no king like him.
God can birth something out of "nothing".
"Whom the Son sets free, is free indeed." John 8:36
When I was about 13 years old, my parents gave me money to go rent a video to watch (yup, back when we used VCR's!).
I stopped by the supermarket to maybe get something to eat, but all I remember is that the next thing I did was see some colored gel pens that I liked and decided to take them.
Yes, take them. Not buy them, but take.
I put them in my jacket pocket, and put the packet in the store by the shoe section.
A lady asks me about the empty packet and I tell her I didn't know where the pens were. Being a bad liar, I 'fessed up and gave her the pens.
She took me to the manager and they called my rents.
Of course you know what happened there...
This is like the story of David.
As I read an article I saw sent to my e-mail, I started thinking of my own sins and how far I'd gone in my own sins.
I took a pause, and thought, and then the Lord encouraged me. He told me to read the story of David and Bathsheba.
In 2 Samuel 11, David sees Bathsheba taking a shower and sends his messengers to get her. He sleeps with her. Some time later, Bethsheba tells David that she's pregnant.
Long story short, David slept with a married woman. Her husband had gone off to war to fight in David's army. Trying to hide it all, David tries to deceive Bethsheba's husband by getting him drunk so he could go and sleep with his wife (so he'd think it was his baby), but the plan doesn't work. He then sends a letter where he instructs his military commander to put Bethsheba's husband in the front line of the battle where the fighting would be fiercest (i.e. to have him killed in battle). This plan worked.
In 2 Samuel 12, the Lord sends a prophet named Nathan to tell David that what he did was wrong in the eyes of the Lord. Nathan, however, first tells him a story, so David could really get it:
"The Lord sent Nathan to David. When he came to him, he said, “There were two men in a certain town, one rich and the other poor. The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cattle, but the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb he had bought. He raised it, and it grew up with him and his children. It shared his food, drank from his cup and even slept in his arms. It was like a daughter to him.
“Now a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man refrained from taking one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare a meal for the traveler who had come to him. Instead, he took the ewe lamb that belonged to the poor man and prepared it for the one who had come to him.”
David burned with anger against the man and said to Nathan, “As surely as the Lord lives, the man who did this must die! He must pay for that lamb four times over, because he did such a thing and had no pity.” (v. 1-6)
Nathan tells David, "You are the man..."
Human judgement said, "the man who did this must die!"
Godly judgement reacts and says, "The Lord has taken away your sin. You are not going to die" 2 Samuel 12: 13b
Aren't we glad that even though we deserve to die for our sins, that we don't?
Human judgement comes in and says, "the man must pay for that lamb four times over." (verse 6)
Godly judgement shows that you don't have to pay. He paid for our penalties.
At 13, the manager at the store told me that he wouldn't tell the police, but that we'd just have to pay the fee for the pens and for stealing.
At that age you feel petrified and it makes you not want to do it again!
Boy was I glad!
Of course I still had to bear the consequence for doing what I did. David had to bear his too, but I was more glad that the fee had been paid for, and I'm sure he was too.
That's what God did for you and me. He paid for our sins.
When the enemy came in to tell us that we were guilty and deserving death, Jesus came in and said, "I'll pay the price. It's been cleared, you don't have to send them anywhere."
Boy am I glad that He died for you and me!
So the next time you feel guilty about what you did, remember that Jesus died for your sins and you have been set free.
Of course we need to repent and ask for forgiveness, but we shouldn't live in that regret and guilt any longer after we've been reprimanded because you've been set free.
After the fact, God is able to restore you completely.
"Whom the Son sets free, is free indeed." -John 8:36
Is a girl who fell deeply in love with Jesus,