Gird up Your Loins: It’s Time to Run Your Race

Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ 1 Peter 1:13

Due to the Corona Virus pandemic, many people are wondering what they should be doing during this time of quarantine, social distancing and self-isolation. For many people, it’s a time of heartache, turmoil, chaos, uneasiness and panic but for others it’s a time of rest, purpose, testing and prayer. Many are facing loss of loved ones as well as loss of homes, jobs and social life. The burdens are heavy to carry and fear is prevalent and real.

Not only due we face a global pandemic but lawlessness and violence in our nation, a cycle of natural disasters, economical instability and racial injustice.

The duality of this situation is that we are all dealing with the unknown reality and direction of our future all on levels; economically, socially, personally, and professionally.

During this time, we really need to be prepared for the unexpected, especially since we experienced a taste of the unexpected at the beginning of 2020. We must stay diligent and mindful of our circumstances and environment.

There is much confusion, deception, anger and fear. The enemy’s tactic is too keep your focus on distractions by messing with your emotions.

To gird up your loins means to fight or battle. To run.

This is a season for battle and a time to run with endurance. In this new season, we must use wisdom and discernment to navigate through the difficulties of life.

Heb 12:1

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us

Unfortunately, many people complained and resisted the lock down period during quarantine. Since they had no knowledge of the spirit, they did not understand that this was an opportunity to be still, rest and draw near to God as well as pray for direction and protection.

Due to their arrogance, pride and disobedience, they gathered at beaches, bars and restaurants despite the health warnings.

Prov 10:8

The wise in heart will receive commandments: but a prating fool shall fall.

In any spiritual fight or battle, you need clarity and divine instructions. You need to be focused and silence all distractions and noise around you. It may be difficult depending on your surroundings but when you develop a relationship with the Lord he provides an unspeakable peace that the world cannot understand.

Prov 10:17

He who keeps instruction is in the way of life, But he who refuses correction goes astray.

In order to win the battle, there are some things you should do to strengthen your spiritual, mental, emotional and physical being.

Abide in Confidence

It may seem odd to rest in a time of battle but you can’t fight a war if you are physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually exhausted, weary and tired. You are not able to think clearly. You are more agitated. The enemy will attack ferociously when you are drained.

The definition to wait means to live in confidence or eager suspense. The Hebrew word “Qavoh” means to wait, look for, hope or expect.

You need physical rest to repair your body but you also need to build your mind and spirit for preparation to battle all the darts of the enemy. It is priority to read and speak the Word of God daily to strengthen your spirit. Faith comes by hearing and by hearing of the Word of God. Rom 10:17  You must not only recite the words but believe them. It’s more than lip service. The Word of God is life and it must be embedded within your heart. Speaking words of doubt or trying to convince yourself that God’s words are true will not work. You must believe by faith and receiving knowledge that God’s words are true.

2 Corth 10:5

Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

The Word of God is a living word. It is life to your bones. The Lord spoke the world into existence and with the same power we can speak blessings or curses into our lives.

Heb 11:6

But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

If you are at a loss as to where to start, you should find scriptures that speak to your situation and attack the enemy with God’s word on a daily basis. To build up your faith, listen to sermons, have conversations with other believers of faith, listen to wise counsel and instruction, put on praise and worship music to elevate your mood.

When you simultaneously implement all of these activities into your daily routine, you will develop faith and strength to move through life despite the obstacles and challenges you face.

2 Theo 1: 11

Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power

Be Led by the Holy Spirit

When you move or visit a new country or even start a new job, you have to observe and study and your new environment. You have to get familiar with the dialect or language, adapt to the food and culture. On a job, you will need to be in compliance with a new set of instructions, rules, policies and procedures to function successfully.

It’s wise to observe the ways of the people and your new environment. It’s a time of training. Be slow to speak. Learn how they function. You simply can’t jump into a new environment and think you know everything even if you are a seasoned professional or have years of experience.

You must walk in humility and not in the flesh. Allow the Holy Spirit to direct your steps. Be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and watch how he will prompt you in how to maneuver in a new atmosphere or climate. The Holy Spirit will teach you what you need to do or how to speak in season.

In any conflict, you will have the wisdom to size up your opponent by keeping a watchful eye and a cool head, as well as by learning their ways on how to handle the situation with wisdom and discernment. Learn the ways of the enemy. The devil is a liar and the master of all confusion.

Pray Without Ceasing

Communication with God is priority to fighting the battle at hand. There is no formal way to pray. Just open your mouth and tell the Lord what you’re going through. Ask questions. Praise His name. Listen to Him speak. Prayer require listening so do not just beg God in times of trouble for your needs or wants to be met. It’s a relationship so seek him in the good times and the bad times. Allow the Holy Spirit to lead you in prayer. He intercedes when we do not know what to say or do. He is the comforter when we are pain and despair.

Walk in Your Power and Authority

When you understand the power of God and trust in Him completely, you will have confidence in his ability to guard, protect, guide, teach and direct you. You have power to command and transform negative situations and outcomes with the power of God that lies within you.

Zech 4:6

It’s not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord.

In the last days, the Body of Christ will experience the full power and anointing of the Spirit of God. However, it will only be for those who have a clean vessel and have purged themselves of all sin and disobedience from their lives. The spirit will not operate in an unholy, sinful person. 

Eph 5:1-14

Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For [a]this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them.

1 Theo 4:7-8

For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit.

Prepare for Battle

Everyone has a different assignment so you can’t follow what you’re neighbor, friend or family is doing. The Lord has called you for a specific task. You have unique, talents, skills, experience and gifts. This society has conditioned people to follow and copy the patterns, strategies and tactics of the world but we are kingdom citizens.

We walk in what the Lord has designed and instructed for us to do. We must be aligned and in tune with the Spirit of God. Be obedient. Listen to His instructions. We have a sphere of influence in specific areas and we must occupy the land that was given to us to glorify and praise his name.

Rom 8:28

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

Put on your war clothes. Suit up warriors! You have been trained in your wilderness season. Rise up, remnant and take your position. Boot camp season is over. Take your authority and Power in Christ and slay the opposition set before you.

Phil 4:13

I can do all things in Christ which strengthens me.

Take Action

Although we are spiritual beings, we live in a natural world. We must be salt and light on the earth. The Lord has a calling and purpose for each person he created. You were designed to give God glory.

Jesus came to save the lost. We are his hands and feet so we must navigate through life demonstrating his love in obedience. We must have courage and strength to dismantle the violent, destructive forces and attacks of the enemy. We must be watchful of the times and seasons, laws and policies being implemented that are not in alignment to God’s laws. We cannot sit back as fearful, lazy Christians and watch the enemy kill, steal and destroy. We must gird up our loins for battle.

Deut 31:6

Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

Walk in the Light

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. 14 Therefore He says: “Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light.” 15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, 16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. 18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; 19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; 20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; 21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

Execute with Precision

There is a plan or strategy to execute with precision. You must target the root to destroy it. You cannot allow distractions to get in the way.

Jer 1:10

See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.

Sometimes you will have to stand alone. You have to guard your heart, mind, mouth and ears from evil and deception. You can’t absorb the nature of evil. Be mindful of what you listen to or watch on TV, radio or the internet. The most subtle appearances of evil can corrupt your heart. It will suck your energy and strength. It will cloud you vision. You need razor-sharp focus to diffuse the enemy.

The adversary is the master of all lies. He is a deceiver. He is a thief. He is a manipulator. Don’t allow the devil to whisper words of discouragement or strip you of your authority and power in Christ. Don’t allow the voice of Satan to become louder than the voice of God. The devil is not creative. God is the creator and holds all creation in his hands. Take your position in Christ and decree God’s promises over your life and over your family and friends.

When a boxer enters the ring, he fights by targeting the weakest points of his opponent. He wears him down to the point of exhaustion to win the match. That is the enemy’s tactic and strategy for the saints. The enemy will constantly use the same opposition to come against you.

Walk in your identity in Christ Jesus. Break the lies of fear, doubt, intimidation, opposition, sickness and disease, and resistance. The Lord is our advocate, our mediator, our great high priest and our intercessor. Put on the whole armour of the Lord.

Prov 10:23-25

But a man of understanding has wisdom. 24 The fear of the wicked will come upon him, And the desire of the righteous will be granted. 25 When the whirlwind passes by, the wicked is no more, But the righteous has an everlasting foundation.

2 Corth 10:3-6

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.

You can’t defeat the enemy in your own strength. Who is this King of glory? The Lord is strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. Psalm 24:8

That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;  Eph 4:14

We must elevate our mindsets and not be swayed by the ways of the world with every wind of doctrine. We must run with endurance the race that is set before us.

I say run, run, run, child of God like you have never run before!

Phil 3:14

Phil 3:14

I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

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Related Scriptures:

2 Sam 22:40

For You have armed me with strength for the battle;
You have subdued under me those who rose against me.

Isaiah 59:1

Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, That it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear.

Gal 6:9

And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.

James 1:4

But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

Phil 4:6

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;

Isaiah 61:3

To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”

Eph 6:14

Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness

Suffering for Right and Wrong

I Pet 3:13-22

13 And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. “And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.” 15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; 16 having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed. 17 For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.

Hab 2:3

For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come, It will not tarry.

Jer 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.

Phil 3:14

 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

I King 18:46

46 Then the hand of the Lord came upon Elijah; and he girded[a] up his loins and ran ahead of Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.

Isaiah 40:31

But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.

Job 38:3

Now [a]prepare yourself like a man;
I will question you, and you shall answer Me.

Gal 5:16-26

Walking in the Spirit

16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, [f]murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 [g]gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

Ezk 36:8-12

But you, O mountains of Israel, you shall shoot forth your branches and yield your fruit to My people Israel, for they are about to come. For indeed I am for you, and I will turn to you, and you shall be tilled and sown. 10 I will multiply men upon you, all the house of Israel, all of it; and the cities shall be inhabited and the ruins rebuilt. 11 I will multiply upon you man and beast; and they shall increase and [a]bear young; I will make you inhabited as in former times, and do better for you than at your beginnings. Then you shall know that I am the Lord. 12 Yes, I will cause men to walk on you, My people Israel; they shall take possession of you, and you shall be their inheritance; no more shall you bereave them of children.

A Heart of Stone

Last night, I watched a man of God walk boldly into the streets of Portland, Oregon to evangelize and preach the gospel to a crowd at the Black Live Movement protest. He was sharing the word of God and preaching the message of love.

I watched with anxiety and great sadness on how the people rejected the gospel with such disrespect, anger, rage and disregard. They rejected, scoffed, and mocked him as he continued to preach the gospel.

The people blocked him from going any further into the crowd and told him to leave the area. I actually feared for his safety. As I reflected on what I witnessed through an online video, I’m reminded of how much Jesus had to endure as he walked through crowds of people who rejected his message as he traveled, preached and healed in the midst of persecution.

Unfortunately, not much has changed since then. Since we live in a fallen world, it’s too be expected, but it’s still very upsetting to see others reject a pure, genuine love. It’s an unconditional, agape love that the world is desperately searching so hard to find in people, places or things. I also realize how many people really don’t understand what love really is.

Love is a word thrown around very loosely in society, which has no substance, foundation or value. The world, in general, is void of love. 

Plain and simple, the devil is the master of confusion and the lawlessness experienced in this country is a reflection of the culture which honors and validates acts of disobedience, sin, pride and arrogance.

The world seems to be spinning out of control and erupts in chaos but God is still in control despite how we may think or feel at the present moment.

Sadly enough, society mirrors the disorder, injustice, pain, abuse and hatred that is not a stranger to the history of America.

If you look at a stone, it is unmovable and nothing can penetrate it. Depending on the size, it may be very heavy, but whether it’s a pebble, rock, stone or mountain, it’s made of the same substance. Nothing can pierce it.

After years of pain, anguish, frustration, anger and bitterness, a heart becomes hardened from life experiences, poor choices and decisions and bad situations or circumstances. Things may have happened unwillingly in your life which is not your fault but you’ve suffered the consequences, behaviors or decisions of someone else’s actions. Life is a painful journey and none of us escape life without heartache and pain. The only one who can heal the deep wounds, sickness or disease is Jesus Christ.

Ezk 36:26

A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh.

The Only Answer is Love

Every problem we are facing today relates to love. It’s the dominant force in life and without it humanity cannot survive.

The Lord values family and marriage. There’s a domino effect that starts in the home. The breakdown of the family has disrupted society, our communities and our nation. Whether your home is dysfunctional or operates under oppression, generational curses, domestic violence, teaches racism and bigotry in your household or have a lack of positive role models in your family, it allows children to run astray without discipline or guidance.

Prov 22:6

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

The severe neglect or abandonment of a child leads them down a road of mental, emotional or psychological anguish. As young adults, they fall prey into the world and tend to gravitate towards gang membership, crime, cults, corrupt organizations and abusive relationships. They search for anything to fill the void. Alcohol and drugs mask the pain but does not cure the original offense they faced as a child or along the path of adulthood.

The cycle continues as an adult but the devil is a liar. You can break the cycle of abuse, addiction, or rejection. You are not an outcast. You are not a failure. You are worthy. You are treasured. You are valued. You are loved.

The world is starving for love but doesn’t know or understand what love truly is, what it means or if it truly exists. The world has a perverted or distorted view or perspective on the meaning of love.

I Corth 6:19

What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

It’s so disheartening to personally experience the love of God and then to witness so many people disregard or reject the truth of the gospel. The only one who saves you from the pain, discouragement, depression, anger or bitterness that you are trying to escape is Jesus. While others thrive in evil thoughts, bondages, and deeds of wickedness. The Lord is gracious and merciful to all those who desire a change of heart and mind.

What Does Love Look Like?

When you have love for yourself and others, you will not mistreat yourself or dishonor others. You will have self-control and walk with the fruits of the spirit.  You will have a desire to please God at all times. You will have integrity, morals and values that represent a Christ-like character. Even when you’re in private, you will have a desire to please the Lord while understanding that your priority is to honor the Lord regardless of your environment or surroundings. You will not be intimidated or influenced by others views or opinions. You will be truly set free from mental chains, bondage’s and worldly mindsets. This can only be accomplished through a heart transformation by the Holy Spirit. No prophet, preacher or teacher has the power to change your heart.

Acts 4:12

12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

You must come to terms with your sins and have an honest desire in your heart to open your heart to receive Christ.

Your ego, arrogance, lust of the flesh, pride, and rebellion will continue to lock you out of a relationship with the Lord but Jesus does not discriminate.

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Matt 7:7-8

Rev 3:20

20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

A Nation Divided Will Not Stand

When our society can no longer appreciate and value diversity of races, ethnicity and cultures as well as the opinions, beliefs and values other than our own, we will continue to bandage the lacerations of a culture that magnifies and gratifies sin, arrogance, and injustice.

When we can no longer communicate, listen or understand each other, we will thrive on distasteful behaviors, mentalities and attitudes influenced by the world system that is embedded in our music, entertainment, work culture and social norms.

When everyone has their own agenda and fighting for their own dominance and voices to be heard, we will continue to struggle with greed, power, wealth and fame for our own selfish motives and purposes.

It’s all rooted in fear. The only voice that stands is the voice of Jesus which is the foundation of love, peace and compassion.

When you know better, you do better. Every voice is screaming right now but be watchful and consider your ways and actions. Is it a reflection of love, joy, peace and compassion? We must be able to respect each other’s opinions without judgement, anger, animosity or disrespect.

Get out of your comfort zone. Lend an ear to people who don’t sound like you do. Share your story. Release your fears and negative emotions. Embrace courage and strength and mostly, focus on spreading love and compassion in a hurting, dark world.

Bible References:

Scriptures on Love

I Corth 13

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.

10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

Scriptures on Salvation

John 14:6

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

John 10:10

Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy, but God came to give you a life more abundantly.

John 3:16

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.

Scriptures on Communication

Col 4:6

Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

Luke 19:40

40 And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.

Scriptures on Servanthood

Rom 6:18

18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

1 Corth 7:22

22 For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord’s freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ’s servant.

Matt 5:10

10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Rooted in Christ for His Glory

And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” Gen 3:22

Strong leadership starts in the church and filters into all spheres of society. Pastors and leaders must not only confront the issues of racism and hatred but the sins of lust and adultery, covetousness, jealousy and greed in their congregations. Saints must learn how to war against Jezebel and religious spirits as well as rebuke every appearance of evil.

We cannot continue to water down the gospel to what people want to hear and accept. We have to stand on God’s laws and his promises. We must crucify our flesh and develop a spirit of righteousness and holiness governed by the power of the Holy Spirit.

It starts with preaching the true love of Christ. Unfortunately, injustice and equality have been overlooked in the church but we can no longer ignore such issues as race or compromise the truth of the gospel by avoiding topics of sin, repentance and the gift of salvation.

Everybody is seeking their own status, power, influence and authority instead of preaching the true Gospel.

Let us not be swayed by the wiles of the devil’s devices, distractions and diversions. Time is short. We cannot continue to play church as usual. Souls are at stake in this last hour. It is midnight in America and around the globe. The decisions and changes we make now will shift the atmosphere to destroy some of the deception and chaos erupting in our cities.

18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Matt 16:18

Biblical prophecy will be fulfilled so we must reach as many souls as possible for the end time harvest.

The people have lost their way but the church has lost their way as well. We must rise up to shine the light of Christ in all that we say and do. We are made in God’s image and must walk in our true identity in Christ as a reflection of his love.

That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive. Eph 4:14

The responsibility lies on our shoulders as a body of believers. Let us resist the ways of the world and adapt the ways of Jesus to be salt and light in a world that does not desire the flavor of truth. Do not quench the Holy Spirit. Let us pray for one another and allow the Holy Spirit to lead us now and forever more.


Related Scriptures

Jer 23:1-2

Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the Lord.

Therefore thus saith the Lord God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the Lord.

Jer 23:11-12

For both prophet and priest are profane; yea, in my house have I found their wickedness, saith the Lord.

12 Wherefore their way shall be unto them as slippery ways in the darkness: they shall be driven on, and fall therein: for I will bring evil upon them, even the year of their visitation, saith the Lord.

Jer 23:32

Behold, I am against those who prophesy false dreams,” says the Lord, “and tell them, and cause My people to err by their lies and by their recklessness. Yet I did not send them or command them; therefore they shall not profit this people at all,” says the Lord.

Jer 48:10

Cursed be he that doeth the work of the Lord deceitfully.

Luke 19:46

46 Saying unto them, It is written, My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves.

1 Thessalonians 5:19-25

Quench not the Spirit.

20 Despise not prophesyings.

21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.

23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

24 Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.

25 Brethren, pray for us.

Hosea 4:1-3

Hear the word of the Lord, ye children of Israel: for the Lord hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land.

By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out, and blood toucheth blood.

Therefore shall the land mourn, and every one that dwelleth therein shall languish, with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven; yea, the fishes of the sea also shall be taken away.

Hosea 4:6-7

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.

As they were increased, so they sinned against me: therefore will I change their glory into shame.

Hosea 6:1

Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up.

Hosea 6:6

For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.

Matthew 13:24-30

The Parable of the Wheat and the Tares

24 Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; 25 but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. 26 But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. 27 So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ 28 He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ 29 But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.”

Matt 25:32-46

32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

Heb 6:4-6

For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,

And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,

If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

Beauty for Ashes: A Global Outcry for Justice and Equality

The grass withereth, the flower fadeth; but the word of our God shall stand for ever. Isaiah 40:8

Oh, Nation! Do you hear our voices? Do you hear the cries of the people? The people who are constantly shot and killed on the streets and in their homes of America? The people constantly under assault and persecution for the color of their skin? The people striped of their identity and vandalized of their basic human rights to live free on this earth?

Our cities are burning due to the blind eye for justice. For generations, we have been raped of our humanity and dignity. How long do we have to continue on the same cycle of racism, prejudice, bigotry, harassment, discrimination and ignorance?

Oh, stiff-necked nation, repent for the sins against humanity. Turn away from your idols. Change from your wicked ways, devices and weapons of destruction against the people of color. Have you not learned anything from past generations?

This racist spirit; this racist attitude is a condition of the heart. It is a learned behavior that is passed on like a contagious virus. It is a disease of the soul that has infected every political, educational, judicial, and economical system throughout the world.

Do you not understand there is a penalty? That there is a price to pay for injustice? That you are accountable and responsible for your actions or complacency?

Why did it take cities to burn across the nation to the arrest four white men for the death of an innocent man?

Your hands are bloody and unclean. Your hearts are like filthy rags. Your mind is like a cancer.

We are at a crossroad in America for justice. We can’t go back to insanity. The repetitious pattern of hatred has to be extinguished. The time is now!

This moment is a pivotal point in history. The embedded racial coding throughout American culture is exposed and guilty as charged. Do you realize that there are consequences of an unchanged heart filled with arrogance, greed, ignorance and disobedience?

Oh city of Babylon, judgement is upon you. Purge from your evil ways before it’s too late. Its midnight hour in America and in the world. Extreme measures of correction, action and resolution is the torch that will lead the way out of darkness. The wind of change is upon us.

Will we finally have beauty for ashes?

The message is simple. Love.

I Peter 4:8

And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.”

John 13:34

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

Jer 50:23-25

How is the hammer of the whole earth cut asunder and broken! how is Babylon become a desolation among the nations!

24 I have laid a snare for thee, and thou art also taken, O Babylon, and thou wast not aware: thou art found, and also caught, because thou hast striven against the Lord.

25 The Lord hath opened his armoury, and hath brought forth the weapons of his indignation: for this is the work of the Lord God of hosts in the land of the Chaldeans.

Jer 50:26-29

Come against her from the utmost border, open her storehouses: cast her up as heaps, and destroy her utterly: let nothing of her be left.

27 Slay all her bullocks; let them go down to the slaughter: woe unto them! for their day is come, the time of their visitation.

28 The voice of them that flee and escape out of the land of Babylon, to declare in Zion the vengeance of the Lord our God, the vengeance of his temple.

29 Call together the archers against Babylon: all ye that bend the bow, camp against it round about; let none thereof escape: recompense her according to her work; according to all that she hath done, do unto her: for she hath been proud against the Lord, against the Holy One of Israel.

Jer 50:38

A drought is upon her waters; and they shall be dried up: for it is the land of graven images, and they are mad upon their idols.

Jer 50:43

The king of Babylon hath heard the report of them, and his hands waxed feeble: anguish took hold of him, and pangs as of a woman in travail.

Jer 51:7-11

Babylon hath been a golden cup in the Lord’s hand, that made all the earth drunken: the nations have drunken of her wine; therefore the nations are mad.

Babylon is suddenly fallen and destroyed: howl for her; take balm for her pain, if so be she may be healed.

We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed: forsake her, and let us go every one into his own country: for her judgment reacheth unto heaven, and is lifted up even to the skies.

10 The Lord hath brought forth our righteousness: come, and let us declare in Zion the work of the Lord our God.

11 Make bright the arrows; gather the shields: the Lord hath raised up the spirit of the kings of the Medes: for his device is against Babylon, to destroy it; because it is the vengeance of the Lord, the vengeance of his temple.

Jer 51:17-18

Every man is brutish by his knowledge; every founder is confounded by the graven image: for his molten image is falsehood, and there is no breath in them.

18 They are vanity, the work of errors: in the time of their visitation they shall perish.

Jer 51:43

43 Her cities are a desolation, a dry land, and a wilderness, a land wherein no man dwelleth, neither doth any son of man pass thereby.

Isaiah 61

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;

To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;

To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.

And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations.

And strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the alien shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers.

But ye shall be named the Priests of the Lord: men shall call you the Ministers of our God: ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves.

For your shame ye shall have double; and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion: therefore in their land they shall possess the double: everlasting joy shall be unto them.

For I the Lord love judgment, I hate robbery for burnt offering; and I will direct their work in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.

And their seed shall be known among the Gentiles, and their offspring among the people: all that see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the seed which the Lord hath blessed.

10 I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.

11 For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.

Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places

“But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us. Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace we are saved.”Ephesians 2:4-5

Love is lacking or non-existent in our nation, communities and most importantly in our homes. Some may have felt it, yet abused it. Others long for it while others desperately search for it. Many may take it for granted while others never felt it or experienced it. But, unconditional love is something that can’t be forced.

How does a four letter word carry so much weight and complexity? It can drive someone over the edge or force another to change their personality, values or morals to please.

There are so many levels of love: Loving a parent, sibling or child as well as a husband or wife, partner and friend. We can also love our houses, cars, sports, electronic devices and other treasured possessions.

Love is a powerful emotion. It can wound us. Reject us. Control us. Destroy us. However, this is a human kind of love.

Pure, genuine love heals all wounds. It is forgiving. “Without love the most magnificent manifestations of gifts and the most heroic self-sacrifice means nothing. Love suffers long, having patience with imperfect people. Love is kind. Love does not envy since it is non-possessive and noncompetitive. Love actually wants and allows other people to get ahead. It wants the best for you. It does not parade itself. Love is self-sacrificing. Love is not puffed up or treats others arrogantly. It does not behave rudely, but displays courtesy. Love does not seek its own or demands precedence, rather it is unselfish.

Love is not provoked; it is not irritable or touchy, rough or hostile but is most graceful and merciful under life’s demands and pressures. Love thinks no evil and does not keep an account of wrong doings but instead it erases resentments. Love does not rejoice in iniquity finding satisfaction in the shortcomings of others and spreading gossip. Instead love rejoices in the truth, aggressively advertising the good in people. Love bears all things, defending and uplifting others in discouragement. It credits others with good intentions and is not suspicious Love hopes all things and never gives up on people, but continues in affirming their future and hope. Love endures all things, persevering and remaining loyal to the end.”  

We have the capacity to love because God lives within us. There is no other love on earth like God’s love. We can search for people or things to fill the void in our lives but we will continually come up short. We will never come to terms with being loved by God until we understand the capacity of God’s love for us.

Unfortunately, we often feel we are not good enough to be loved by people or by God. We live in condemnation, fear and judgment thinking that God could never love us. When things go wrong, we feel God is punishing us for our mistakes, behavior, thoughts and actions. We often blame God when things go wrong.

Some of Satan’s greatest weapons is the use of fear, doubt, shame, guilt, regret and confusion. He constantly taunts us of our faults, failures, weaknesses, circumstances and problems. The end result is a spiral of negative thoughts and emotions due to accepting defeat and failure. The devil is a liar.

The devil uses the same plots and schemes. He is not creative. Once you recognize his bag of tricks, you will understand how to defeat him through the Word of God.

God is forgiving. God loves us more than we will ever be able to comprehend. He loves us no less than He loves His Son. He actually waits for us to come to Him in prayer. God celebrates us!

Sometimes it is much easier to forgive others than ourselves. You will not have peace until you learn how to forgive. The guilt or shame can weigh you down and eventually destroy you. You must also learn to love yourself just as much as you love others.

Please don’t let shame or guilt rob you of believing that you’re in bondage. “Who the Son sets free, is free indeed.” John 8:36

“As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us” Psalm 103:12.

The Lord will redeem your mistakes. Every evil thing that the enemy meant for your harm will be turned around for your good. Genesis 50:20.

Building a relationship with the Lord is not built on repentance only. It is based on worship and praise for who He is; not on what He can do or provide.

God understands you and knows your heart’s desires. “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.” (Jeremiah 1:5).

The Lord’s characteristics is of peace and not of harm. “For I know the plans that I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm; plans for a hope and a future.” Jer 29:11

You are deserving of God’s love. It is the reason He shed His blood on the cross so we may have eternal life. “God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

His love does not have to bought, earned, manipulated or controlled. In 2014, let’s walk in love by first receiving and accepting God’s love as a prime example of His nature and honoring our bodies, minds, thoughts and actions by serving one another in love.

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress or persecution or famine or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” Romans 8:35.

“For I am fully persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor thing to come. Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39

God With Us

Christmas is a time for gathering with family and friends. It’s a time of great activities and celebration. During this time of year, we are busy putting the decorations on the tree, cooking extravagant meals, baking Christmas cookies and shopping for that special gift.

Sometimes we are so wrapped up in the holiday activities that we forget about our priorities and responsibilities until the upcoming year which brings on additional stress.

For others, it’s a time of sadness because of a lack or loss. We may have lost a loved one and may still be mourning the loss. Others may not have the means to buy gifts and food which are highlights of the Christmas season. Just having the basic necessities is a struggle.

This time of year can be very sad and depressing in the hearts of the elderly who are left alone or the sick waiting for their pain to go away.

Unfortunately, life brings on difficult situations that may be very difficult to handle. Whether you’re on the top of a mountain or in the valley, God is with us. He does not discriminate. Jesus is the greatest gift that was ever given to us. His Love surpasses all that we could ever achieve or want. Every moment we breathe is a gift from God.

We will continue to search for things and strive for more to fill the void in our lives. In the end, things get broken, lost, forgotten, worn out or you just get plain tired of it. Those things that made us so happy at one time; leaves us feeling empty.

The void in our lives can only be filled with the love of Jesus. There is healing in the name of Jesus: Deliverance in the name of Jesus; Protection in the name of Jesus; Provision in the name of Jesus; Power in the name of Jesus.

Christmas Candles

We must remember his presence as we go about celebrating the festivities and know that He remains forever with us as believers. We should take solitude time during the holiday to commune with him. You are His treasured joy and He welcomes relationship with you. “He will keep you in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee.”

If you don’t know Jesus as your Lord and Savior or you would like to rededicate your life to him, simply open your heart to him and pray the following prayer in faith to receive Jesus as your Lord.

“Heavenly Father, I come to you in the Name of Jesus, Your word says, “Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved” and “If thou shalt confess with your mouth that the Lord, Jesus died for our sins and shall believe in his heart that God raised Jesus from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” Acts 2:21; Romans 10:9 I pray that you will forgive me of my sins, renew my mind, cleanse me and make me whole by the power of the Holy Spirit. I make you my Lord and Savior of my life to guide me, protect me and teach me all things. In Jesus Name. Amen.

“And, she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins. And all this was done; that it might be fulfilled which was spoke of the Lord by the prophet, saying, “Behold, a virgin shall be with child; and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son; and he called his name Jesus.” S. Matthew1:21-25


Hidden Blessings

“Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” 

I Corth 2:9

In this day of economic turmoil, one would question how can I escape the effects of job loss, furloughs and other financial woes?  In the natural, it’s a time of lack, stress, heartache and fear. If you haven’t experienced the sense of loss during these five years, you have been spared. But mostly, I speak to those who have suffered loss in some form or another to provide encouragement, hope and inspiration.

Stay Focused

Through tribulation, your eyes must be fixed steadily on the Lord. You can’t look to the left or to the right, but your focus should be on the power of the Lord. God is much greater than our problems. The Kingdom does not lack resources. “The devil comes to kill, steal and destroy, but I (Jesus) have come to give you life more abundantly.” John 10:10

The devil comes to fill us with fear, doubt and lies which steal our faith in times of weakness, temptation and trouble, but you must hold fast to God’s promises over your life.  “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.” I Corth 14:33 Whatsoever things are true, honest, just, pure, lovely of good report, if there be any virtue and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Phil 4:8

Pick up Your Sword

When you’re in spiritual warfare, you must speak loudly to the storms of life to overcome the wind and the rocky waves. The word of God must be embedded in your spirit. Once the word is rooted in your heart, it will flow easily out of your mouth. “For the word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edge sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Heb 4:12 “We have the power and authority to walk over serpents and scorpions and not be harmed.” Luke 10:19

Growing in Faith is a Process

bunch of mushrooms

“But your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” I Corth 2:5

During the storm, God is developing your character and shaping you on who you will become so you will be able to handle the blessing before it arrives. The Lord must know that He can trust you to be faithful in the gifts that He provides. If the blessings come too soon. You may not be mature enough to handle the blessing. The Lord reigns on the just and the unjust so the Lord’s blessings are not limited to His children only. He is an unlimited God. He works through those who believe and acknowledge him, but He also chases the lost sheep.

Preparation is Essential

It’s a season that should not be rushed. It’s also a call to preparation. “Through patience and obedience, you will inherit the promises of God.” Heb 6:12 Just because you may not see evidence of God working in your life does not mean that He is asleep. “Do not cast away your confidence which has great recompense of reward.” Heb 10:35

It’s also a time to be still. “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him, do not fret because of him who prospers in his way because of the man who brings wicked devices to pass. “ Psalm 37:7 Developing and nurturing an intimate relationship with the Lord so you can hear his voice, is critical in spiritual warfare. You must be willing to accept His will and follow through in obedience.

Acknowledge God’s Grace of Protection

feather

Some storms in life comes in the form of protection. You may not understand why you may be going through a whirlwind, but the protection of God is holding you under His wing. “He that dwells in the secret place of the most high shall abide under the shadow of the almighty.” Psalm 91

There is Purpose in Pain

God also allows us to go through the valley so we can relate to others pain and experiences to help them in time of despair. “Who comforts us in all our tribulation that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted by God.” II Corth 1:4. He is shaping us to be more like Him. The Lord may have you in a place which is hard and uncomfortable, but you are placed in a dark place to shine His light. In the wilderness, God will provide manna and protect you from danger. There is a higher purpose for everything that happens to you whether good or bad. This too shall pass. Trouble doesn’t last always. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

Lay Your Burdens Down

In the natural realm, we normally would gravitate to the physical needs which are a prerequisite in our lives. It is real and evident. The problem stares us in the face and is a thorn in our side, however we must be steadfast and cast our cares on the Lord. “Be not afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude for the battle is not yours, but belongs to the Lord.” II Chron 20:15-16.

Faith Leads the Way

maze

The Lord’s direction is like walking through a labyrinth. There are many turns and twist and even dead ends but eventually you will reach your purpose and fulfill God’s will. He will shut certain doors and open doors of opportunities, divine connections and fresh experiences.

Pray for Wisdom, Understanding and Discernment

When I speak of blessings I’m not referring only to physical and material things. There is a greater prosperity in the Kingdom of God. “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” Col 3:2 He has hidden blessings that you cannot understand or comprehend. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9 It’s a time of alignment. It’s important to raise your thoughts and ways to agree with the Lord which will prepare you to receive His blessings. “Call until me and I will answer thee, I will show you great and might things that you do not know of.” Jeremiah 33:3

Praise is Your Weapon

Greater power is coming to His children which will supersede fame and fortune. There are hidden blessings that will be released at an appointed time in our lives. “In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who works all things after the counsel of his own will. Ephesians 1: 11. We must remain faithful and seek Him for instruction at all times. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart. And do not lean unto your own understanding but in all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your path. Prov 3:5-6

“Surely blessing I will bless thee and multiply thee. And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. Heb 14-15

Additional References: Ephesians 6:10-23