Archives

What Now, God?

It’s been well over a year since I published a post on this blog.  Many things have occurred in my life since I wrote ” Moving Forward”.  I have moved to another state, gone through a divorce, become an empty nester and most recently, I celebrated my 55th birthday!  Over these months, I have thought about writing, I have wanted to write and I have been blessed with many topics to write about. However, for some reason, I have not been able to write. Even when I have tried to write, I could get no further than a few sentences.  In fact, I am in awe right now that I have finished a complete paragraph.  Praise God!

I have been asking God when do I get to write again?  I have been asking, what now, God, for so many areas of my life which also include continuing with writing this blog. Over and over again, I kept hearing, “be still” or “not yet”.  I have been spending quite a bit of time alone talking to God and trying to declutter my own thoughts so I could clearly hear Him. From my own spiritual perspective, I felt like I was stuck! I’ve been reading the Word of God, listening to message after message, reading devotional after devotional, playing worship music and trying to utter prayers in hopes of moving things along. As much of this as I have done, I kept feeling like I was stuck, like I was not really moving forward.

So today, the question, “What Now, God”, arose in my spirit again. After I left church service and thought about the Word that was ministered to us today, I kept asking “what now?”  This was not the theme of today’s message at church, but as I thought about some of the things the pastor said, I kept thinking what now, God?  And now, this evening as I powered on my laptop, and I started to draft this post, I started to read 2 Chronicles, Chapter 20 verse 12 when Jehoshaphat said “we do not know what to do, but our eyes are on You”!  Jehoshaphat was surrounded by his enemies. He was stuck, but yet He knew something had to be done.  He felt powerless, but yet he knew he could go to God and ask, what now?  (Of course, that’s not quite how he phrased it.)

And the Lord answered him with don’t be afraid or dismayed at how great the multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s!

Are you feeling powerless? Stuck? Is your back up against a wall? Heavy burdened? If so, it’s ok for you to ask, what now, God? Then, listen for His voice to say, my child, you don’t have to feel stuck, you don’t have to feel like I have left you alone, you don’t have to think that I brought you this far to leave you!  The Lord is saying to you, stop thinking that you won’t be healed, or you won’t overcome the depression or you won’t be delivered from the addiction or you won’t be set free from the shame or guilt.  Stop looking at how  the enemy has come at you with health issues, bad thoughts, family troubles and financial burdens.  Don’t let the enemy make you feel like you can’t finish school, or that you won’t get the job or the promotion. Let God work all of that out for you, let Him fight the battle for you!

In verses 16 and 17, God gave Jehoshaphat clear instructions about the next day. God said, tomorrow go down against them, you will see them coming up against you. God said, but you don’t have to fight, just position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord!

Did you get all of that?  When you feel surrounded by the attacks on your life, when you feel overwhelmed by your circumstances, when your flesh is getting weak, ask God “what now” and get in position for your breakthrough! Your enemy is not prepared for your “what now” prayer!

God says, He is going to ambush those attacks coming against you. He is going to move you from that place of being stuck to victory!  He is going to defeat your enemy and scatter your naysayers.  You need to start praising HIM this evening for what HE is going to do tomorrow!  In verse 21,  Jehoshaphat appointed some to sing  for the Lord and some to praise the splendor of His holiness.  Their praise was “give thanks to the Lord for His faithful love endures forever.”

This is your notice, you have been appointed to praise Him!  Tomorrow is your day of victory!

When we ask, what now, God?   He answers with  “This is not your battle, this is the Lord’s battle and God will fight for you!”

          *************************

Dear Lord,  I thank You for my “what now” moment and that I can look to You for guidance, protection and a strategy for my circumstances. I thank You for letting me know this is not my battle, but Yours.  I thank You for getting me out of this place of being stuck and surrounded, and for ambushing my enemy!  Lord, I am going to praise You right now for the victory!  Lord, because You are fighting my battle for me, I have a great expectancy for tomorrow!  In the mighty name of  Jesus, Amen!

 

 

 

 

 

2015: Taking My Praise With Me!

As we approach 2015, I have read quite a few posts about what people will leave behind. Naturally, they want to leave the hurt, the pain and sorrow, disappointment, betrayals and all negativity behind.    I also started to ponder over what I would leave behind, but then I started to consider what I would take with me.   As I enter into 2015, I am taking my praise with me!

I am entering 2015 with praise and I am excited about all God has in store for me.   2014 has been a great year for me even in spite of some challenges and circumstances that came my way. Through it all, I made the decision to trust God and give Him praise even during the times when I was struggling, hurt and brokenhearted.  In the midst of tears flowing and wondering why I was going through what I was going through, I would tell God that I trusted Him and that I was going to praise Him no matter how I was feeling!  As down as I would feel at times, I would continue to praise Him because I knew that my joy was on the way. I knew that He had never left me or forsaken me. I knew He was restoring what was  broken and He was still blessing me.  I continued to praise Him even when I didn’t feel up to it and I continued to praise Him even when I thought He was silent in my circumstances!

I am definitely taking my praise into 2015. My praise gives me hope and peace. My praise tells God that I trust Him in all areas of my life.  My praise allows me to rejoice in Jesus who died just for me.

Psalm 100

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
    Worship the Lord with gladness;
    come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
    It is he who made us, and we are his[a];
    we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving
    and his courts with praise;
    give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
    his faithfulness continues through all generations.

             ********

I pray, in the wonderful name of Jesus, that you enter 2015 with praise, and that you have a Happy and Blessed New Year!  I pray you shout for joy, because His love endures forever!

He Won’t Let You Give Up!

Psalm 116

1-6 I love God because he listened to me, listened as I begged for mercy. He listened so intently as I laid out my case before him. Death stared me in the face, hell was hard on my heels. Up against it, I didn’t know which way to turn; then I called out to God for help: “Please, God!” I cried out. “Save my life!” God is gracious—it is he who makes things right, our most compassionate God. God takes the side of the helpless; when I was at the end of my rope, he saved me. 7-8 I said to myself, “Relax and rest. God has showered you with blessings. Soul, you’ve been rescued from death; Eye, you’ve been rescued from tears;  And you, Foot, were kept from stumbling.” (The Message Bible)

Are you feeling like you are ready to give up on yourself? Are you ready to give up on your hopes and your dreams?  Have you experienced so many disappointments that you just don’t care anymore? Do you feel like you are a disappointment?  When you reach these points in your life, what do you do? Sometimes your closest friends and family don’t understand how you feel or what you are going through.

Has someone betrayed you? Don’t give up!  Jesus was betrayed too but He did not let this stop Him from what He had to do.  Have the doctors given you a bad medical report? Don’t give up! God is a healer! Ask Him to heal your body.  Are you out of work and can’t seem to make ends meet?  Don’t give up! Trust God to supply your every need. Have you made poor choices and bad decisions that have pushed you into a dark corner? Don’t give up!  God’s love for you is unconditional.  His love is full of grace and mercy. Ask Him to forgive you and then seek Him for direction.

God wants you to know He is with you.  Take all of your troubles to Him. Let Him hear your cries and let Him wipe away all of your tears. He truly cares about you and your outcome.  Don’t give up!  Allow Him to bless your soul and your spirit. Let Him save you!  Tell God you trust Him.  He won’t let you give up!

Jesus said “Peace I Leave With You”

7 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27 NIV

lakes-hills-trees-

This is what Jesus said to the disciples before He was to be crucified. He said. ” Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you”!  Jesus left  peace with the disciples knowing peace would comfort them and encourage them along the way.

This is what the Lord wants you to have as you embrace this New Year. He wants you to know that He has blessed you with peace.  He tells us His peace is not the peace that comes from others in the world.  His peace is more than a parting  greeting of good-bye; it is more than an ” I will see you later. ”

What the Lord wants you to know is that He has left you with peace during the good times, peace during the bad times, peace during your struggles, peace when you face disappointments and yes, even peace when you have to confront your enemy and your own negativity.

In 2012, most of us faced some hardships and a few challenges.  However, in order to move forward and to prosper in the New Year, we need to have the peace the Lord has left just for us. There are some negative people and even negative mindsets that we should have left behind and not allowed to enter into the New Year with us!   We can’t erase bad things that have happened and it may even take time for us to forgive others and to move on. But God wants us to be blessed! He wants us to be encouraged and He wants us to be victorious.  He wants us to have peace in all that we do and in all that we may go through in this New Year.

Philippians 4: 7 says ” And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  In all the trying and hurtful times we have gone through in 2012 and in all we have held onto from past years, we should not allow the enemy to rob us of our peace. We must embrace this gift of peace and take it with us wherever we go in this New Year and in this life.  We must take it with us on our jobs; we must take it with us to our schools; we must take it with us to the malls and theaters. Wherever we go, we need to take the peace of God with us. The peace of God should be deep within our hearts and minds.  And as Jesus said, “Do not let your heart be troubled and do not be afraid.”  He said this because He was leaving us with peace to handle whatever comes our way.

In the Book of Numbers Chapter 6 verses 24-26 the Lord gave Moses a blessing to give to Aaron and his sons.  I will leave you with my edited version of the words from this blessing.

“May the The Lord bless you and keep you in 2013. May the Lord make His face to shine on you and be gracious to you in 2013. May the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace in 2013”.

As you face each day and as trials come your way, do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.  He has already given you peace in every situation.

What Will We Do Now?

As we continue to mourn the loss of the innocent lives lost on Friday, what will we do now?  How will this unfortunate event really change our lives? Will we live differently? Will we love our friends and families more passionately? Will we show love to people we don’t know? Will we reach out and help others more? Will we respect our educators and law enforcement more? Will we embrace each precious moment we are given?  Will we complain less? What will we do now?

What Will We Do Now 001

As I watch the news and read stories on the lives that are no longer with us because of this tragic event, I know I want to see a better world for all of us to live in.  I want to know that we can work through these tragic moments and see brighter days ahead.  I want to know that we, as believers, will continually come together in prayer across state lines, across nations and be connected in prayer by the Holy Spirit as we pray for healing and restoration in God’s land. I want to know that those innocent lives lost were not lost in vain.  What will we do now?

When the events of 9/11 unfolded, we came together and helped our neighbors and we made pledges to live better lives. What will we do differently this time? When events like this occur we are reminded that none of us are promised tomorrow. We know strange things are happening all over the world.  We would be fooling ourselves, if we believed that evil only occurs in what we have associated as evil places.  We know the enemy is running rampant all over the world.  We know that evil things happen to good people and even to our precious little children. We know that we can’t always prevent evil things from happening. But the question remains, what will we do now?

Has any of the world’s most recent events drawn you closer to God? Have you had a conversation with Him since Friday’s events? Have you called upon the name of Jesus in the last few days? Have you asked God to forgive you for any wrongs you have done?  Perhaps you have decided to pray more or to study the Bible more. Perhaps you have decided you want to go to church or go back to church to fellowship with other believers.  If so, will you make a committment to yourself and to God to do better and to live better?  Will you worship Him more?  What will you do now?

What we can do now is pray more, love more and strive to be more like Christ in our day-to-day walk.  We can teach others about the love of Christ.  We can reach out and help each other more. We can find joy in the little things in life instead of worrying and complaining about the big things that tend to weigh us down.  We can thank God every day for the blessings He has given us and not take anything for granted in this life.   We can forgive more often and hate less. We can smile more and not frown so much. We can speak positive words into our own lives and into the lives of others. We can rebuke any negative thoughts that enter into our minds and hearts.  We can help someone in need and not dismiss that they may have a problem.  We can trust God more. We can put on the full armor of God:

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your *waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. (Ephesians 6:10-18 NIV)

********************************

The picture above was posted on Facebook and the owner of the picture, George Asencio, asked that it be shared so that we would focus on remembering the names of the innocent lives taken so early. Let’s continue to keep those affected by this tragedy in our prayers. God’s love and mercy endures forever.

Knowing God. . .

The Christmas season is here.  Most of us happily look forward to this time of year.  We know the reason for the season is Jesus.  This is a time we spend with our families and remember past Christmases and reflect on memories of those who are no longer here to celebrate with us.  And yet, when we look around, we see there is so much turmoil going on in the world today.  Disastrous weather, violence in our communities, wars in other lands, the list could go on.  Yesterday’s tragic news of the mass shooting at an elementary school has stopped most of us in our tracks as we think of and pray for those affected by this tragedy.  And if you did what I did, you thought what if this had happened at my child’s school?

I saw so many posts on Facebook yesterday of parents joy in picking up their little ones from school or daycare.  That kiss or hug we got from our children yesterday was even more precious as we thought of those parents that received their last hug, kiss, or smile yesterday morning. I can only imagine the extra affection that was bestowed upon children yesterday.  My heart grieves for those who lost a loved one and I especially grieve for them because this is supposed to be a season of joy and love.  How do the mothers and fathers of the young lives lost get through this? How do they explain to their other children that their brother or sister is not coming home? Let’s not forget grandparents, aunts and uncles, and the other classmates. How do the spouses and children of the adults who lost their lives find comfort at this time? How do the teachers and administrators at the school continue their calling to educate our children?  How does the community come together and rebuild from what they are now experiencing in front of the whole world?  How do those of us looking from the outside help our neighbors?

The answer to all of these questions rests in our faith in God. We can only pray that as every day goes by, they will find comfort in knowing that God’s love endures forever. And yet, for some it may be hard to comprehend God’s love during times like these. Knowing God goes beyond what you hear from your Pastor every Sunday. Knowing God goes beyond prayers that others may speak for you. Knowing God goes beyond you being able to read and quote a few scriptures. Knowing God has to get to the point that it is personal between you and Him.  You have to know the Lord for yourself. You have to know Him during the good times as well the bad. You have to be able to take all of your broken self to Him and ask for peace and comfort during a time of devastation and hurt.

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. (John 3)

6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9)

15 He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. 16 With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.” (Psalm 91)Dear Lord, there are times we don’t understand why things happen. We ask that You comfort us and give us peace. We pray that You will wrap your loving arms around us right now. We know weeping may endure for a night but joy will come in the morning. As the tears flow and we wait for the morning to come, please keep us close to You. We know You gave your only begotten son so that we may live. We know as our Father, You feel our hurt and sorrow when devastating things happen in our lives. Please wipe our tears away.  We know there is restoration and healing in knowing You. And although we may not understand, we trust You. In the wonderful name of Jesus, Amen!

Release A Praise!

                

I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. 2 My soul shall make its boast in the Lord; The humble shall hear of it and be glad. 3 Oh, magnify the Lord with me, And let us exalt His name together. (Psalm 34)

The Lord deserves your praise. Psalm 34:1 says that  “I will bless the Lord at all times.”   As you read this scripture, place emphasis on the words “at all times”. The Lord deserves to hear you praise Him and He deserves to see you praise Him. In fact, there should be times when you allow others to hear and see you praise Him.  You should not get in the habit of limiting your time of praise to when He blesses you.  You should praise Him when you are hurt and broken in spirit. Praising Him during your times of struggle and disappointment shows you have faith that He is going to work things out. You should give Him advance praise because you trust that He will restore you from your brokenness.   His praise should continually be in your mouth!  No matter what season you are in right now, you should release a praise!

Dear Lord, I praise Your holy name. I thank You for all You have done for me and I thank You for what You are going to do for me. Lord, You are strong and You are mighty!  I thank You for being so gracious and merciful to me.  I delight, Dear Lord, in being Your child and I thank You for keeping me and caring for me.  I sing and shout praises unto You, Heavenly Father, just for who You are. You are great and You are wonderful. Lord, I release this prayer of praise to You for You truly have been good to me!  In the name of Jesus, I pray and say Amen!

Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord. (Psalm 150:6)