He Knows What Lies Beneath

When people are impressed with us – or when they see the “value” in something we are doing – we tend to bring them readily into our circle of supporters. Jesus, however, knowing all things — took a different route — one that should be taken note of.

Instead of allowing the praise to go to our ego — we must take a step back and remember the nature of men. One minute, they love you — the next, they don’t. A man’s heart — yes, our hearts – are deceitfully wicked and not to be trusted. Because we cannot know what lies beneath the praise that man gives — we would be wise no to entrust ourselves to men – instead we must get and stay firmly in the grip of God’s unfailing grace.

Jesus had no issue discerning the hearts of men – because He knows every man and because of this, He did not put His confidence in their faith … only in The Father.

Please Father, do not allow us to be deceived by our own pride when people rush to praise us because of what they see us do. Remind us that it is You, who is at work within us – to accomplish ALL that we do. And that it is You to whom the glory is due. Remind us of our own hearts so that we might judge well the hearts of others. Help us to put ALL of our hope in You. Humbling ourselves as we wait for Your perfect exaltation!

Trouble … Don’t Last Always

Do you know/remember that song? Trouble Don’t Last Always??That is one of my FAVORITES!!

“Weeping may endure for a night. Keep the faith. It will be alright. Trouble don’t last always!”

There have been times in the midst of difficulty that this song reminded me quickly of God’s truth to His children … only He allows trouble … and only He will bring me out. Did you get that?? He WILL bring me out.

It is not an easy thing to go through trials.  In fact – some of the things that we have to face on this earth can cause even the most faithful person to lose heart.  As an heir with Christ, however, we are assured that though our troubles may be many and various – we ARE victorious.

The enemy would love for us to fall for the mind game he plays with us – that God has forgotten us; that God is not aware of our struggles; that God is manipulating us and enjoying watching us suffer.  But we know that this is not the way of our God and King!  It is His will that His children — those who love Him; those who He has called; those who He has justified; those who have received the gift of salvation — live abundant lives.  Not lives free of trouble — but lives in which the trouble brings about change, victory and His perfect will.

This thing that you are facing — the Lord might have put you in the middle of it!  He won’t give you more than you can bear even though it might seem like you can’t take anymore.  He has not forgotten you.  He knows you and loves you.  He will restore your life if you will only trust, believe, and obey.

Of course … I’ve got another favorite song. Victory by Brenda Waters.

“I don’t know how God’s gonna do it. I don’t know when He’s gonna fix it. I only know, God’s gonna make a way for me. I know He’s gonna do it. Victory!”

Well …. just in case you wanna hear them both

No Bible … No Breakfast

As I have been on this journey with my King, I am continually learning what it means to lay my will down for His. I have learned that laying down my will does not always mean that I am choosing not to sin (though that is a choice I make daily) — but that I am choosing to do things His way; for His glory.

Sometimes it’s an issue of whether or not I answer my phone when I know someone needs me to do something I don’t want to do. Sometimes it’s having to leave me house in disarray because I need to get out of the house for ministry. Sometimes it is holding back from rescuing a person – so that they can learn from their issue. Living according to His will all the time is not easy to do, but it IS simple.

Each day I will make the choice to depend upon Him to guide my words, thoughts and actions; when I commit to do this I have found that my will and my way are the LAST things I think about. For me, it looks like waking up each day and going to the Word of God first (my Ghana pastor** used to say “No Bible, No Breakfast”

This simple decision – reading the Word in the morning before I interact with any person or any situation; hearing what He has to say to me first will help me to be less frustrated during the day and help me stand firm against the temptations that I am sure to face throughout the day. 

Galatians 5:16

Simple– practice giving ourselves to Him each day; decide to rely totally on Him each day and we might just find that we are walking in His favor and we might just experience what it feels like for Him to take pleasure in our lives. Ask Him for direction in all things (thoughts, actions, words); I believe we will find that our lives are richer, fuller and less stressful. I’ve tried it – it really does work! **Thank you Pastor Steve Asante!

Victim — it’s not where God desires that I dwell

I AM NOT A VICTIM!

I’m fearfully and wonderfully made.  I’m a child of God.  I’m a branch of the One True Vine; a conduit of blessing to the world.  I’m free from the law of sin and death.  I’m accepted by Christ and am a joint heir with Him.  I am a dwelling place of the Holy Spirit.  I am God’s workmanship, created for good works.  I am complete.  I am holy and beloved.  I am loved and cherished.

The craziness swirling around us right now can trick us into believing that we are victims – losers – without hope.  But the Word of God tells me that this is not so.  When I am careful to set my mind on His kingdom each day my heart will want to give and not receive; to serve and not rule over; to forgive and not avenge.  I will see the world and all its happenings as my Father in Heaven sees them and not as a person separated from His Spirit.

My feet are surely on this earth – but my mind is the mind of Christ and it must be my aim to help make this earth more like heaven.  Both my outward life and practical pursuits and my inward life and spiritual focus will reflect the image of The One True God.

It is my given role to practice the presence of God every single day no matter what!

Many people in America are being victimized right now – abuse, injustice, false accusations, and violence – but as a believer in Christ we are assured that we will overcome and that these sufferings will be glorifying to our Lord dependent upon how we endure and how we choose to walk after being mistreated.  How do you adjust your attitude?  By setting your mind on things above – including your identity according to the Lord your God! Instead of dwelling in the ‘what you see’ – choose to have a mind that dwells on our true lives which are hidden with God in Christ Jesus.

God has never misled us telling us that we’d walk on a bed of roses in this world — in fact He was quite clear in John 16 that we would have many and various trials; but just as Christ overcame by renewing His mind with the truths of the Father — So Can We!  2 Timothy 2:3-4 tell us that we are to “Suffer hardship … as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.” and reminds us that “No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.”

It’s alright to feel hurt and even to demand that the offender see what they have done to you.  But at the end of the day none of us will ever get the justice we want from men – it will only come from God.  If you don’t believe me have a conversation with a family whose offender was executed on death row and they’ll tell you that they expected to feel vindicated, but it did not happen.

I encourage you to give God your hurt and lean into His truths about you and you will walk victoriously! and when God gives the victory it cannot – will not – be taken away from you! His plans for you include victory – His way.

Use them or lose them!!

Do we ever think about what it means when we, who believe in Christ, just believe and do nothing to show the life of Christ to the world?!?! Christ tells us that this kind living is useless!

Unless we are living out our righteousness in the world by sharing the truth – by showing others the way to Christ … we may as well just STOP!!

We may be a preservative for some — keeping the hand of the Lord from the wicked because we are here keeping good alive and active. We are meant to cast out darkness so that people will know in Whose name we have come. In the words of Fred Hammond, “not called to sit upon a shelf”!

Our salt and light are meant to preserve goodness and illuminate this world with the light of Christ … Not Just To Sit Upon A Shelf! We are not keys hidden to ourselves.

Father, Help me to see the importance of giving my life to the people of this world. Use me to show many the way to Christ. Have mercy on the people who worship other gods, who worship the enemy. May an encounter with Your children be an encounter with You. May our lives be lived in such a way that people have no doubt Who we serve!