Wings of Freedom

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 “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.” Psalm 100:1-2

As we step into 2015, we hold great expectations and goals for the New Year. We anticipate change whether good or bad, but either way we go forward with hope or anxiety entering into the unknown.

As we confess our resolutions, plans, and goals, we may feel overwhelmed, yet hopeful of what is to come. However, we often put a time limit on success. When we don’t meet those expectations, we experience disappointment and we feel like a failure.

We live in a time-based society. We are consumed by hectic schedules and unrealistic demands. The Lord is not limited to time. He orchestrates our lives according to His intricate plan for our lives. He plants the right connections, family, friends, enemies, challenges, obstacles, struggles, and experiences in our lives for a purpose.

Some people are just for a season while others are rooted in our lives for longevity. “Each experience is not a result of luck or coincidence. It is the result of His divine plan. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jer 29:11.

The ups, as well as the downs, are part of our development and growth process. It doesn’t take much to praise God in the easy times. However, when we are locked into bondage, it is hard to trust, praise, read the Bible and rest in the Lord.

We all have different prisons: A failed marriage, a friend or family member who has committed suicide or has died in a tragic accident, depression, drugs or alcohol addictions, poverty, job loss, natural disaster aftermath, or terminal illness.

We struggle with our identities:  Low confidence, self-esteem issues, jealousy, competitiveness, egos, and status. We may even be in a good place in life, but still, feel like we can’t breathe; stuck in a routine, and trapped in mediocrity.

All of our life issues send us on an emotional rollercoaster ride that is rooted in fear, anxieties, abuse, torment, confusion, isolation, procrastination, temptation, sadness, and discouragement.

When we have negative feelings and experiences, it sucks our energy dry. We are stagnate and idle. We are unable to focus or can’t seem to move forward.

The best thing to do when you have moments of despair is to praise the Lord no matter how hard it may be. I know this sounds crazy, but it’s true.

However, if you are dealing with serious issues such as a chemical substance or physical, verbal, emotional, or sexual abuse, you will need to seek rehab and/or counseling immediately.

All throughout the Bible, music is emphasized. The whole chapter of Psalms exhorts the Lord. The Lord inhabits the praises of His people. It is the best way to get God’s attention. This is a form of worship and communication with God that builds relationships not only in the good times but in the worst of times.

Satan’s desire is to shut our mouth in prayer and worship. His whole goal is to steal our joy, hope, faith, and truth. He wars with us to establish lies into our minds and hearts. However, where God is present the devil can’t reside. Where there is light, darkness is obliterated.

Do you ever notice when you listen to music you start to feel better when you’re down? Music speaks to our soul. It is a powerful force. It stirs up emotions. When we listen to worship music it lifts our spirit. It encourages and inspires us. It gives us hope to go on. When you sing to the Lord, you open your heart to Him. You rejoice in his love, grace, and mercy even through pain, you begin the healing process.

It’s not about how we feel inside when we are singing or listening to music, but it’s because of who God is that makes worship so special and powerful. When you magnify Him, your problems become smaller and you enlarge His territory to work in your life. Your focus is now on the solution and not the problem.

Whatever trouble or prison you may be in, open your mouth and shout unto the Lord for He is worthy to be praised. “Let us come before Him with thanksgiving and extol Him with music and song.” Psalm 95:2

We are transformed by His power. He has kept us under the safety of His wings. We are released from whatever is holding us back once we renew our minds and align our thoughts with God’s thoughts. This is a season of action and redemption. Accept no limitations as we move forward in faith with high expectations in this New Year.

In 2015, receive God’s promises and blessings for you and your family.

Singing praises to the King, we are set free, in Jesus’ Name.

“And at midnight, Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake so that the foundation of the prison were shaken and immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s bands were loosed.” Acts 16:25-26.

“Thou has turned my mourning into dancing thou has put off my sackcloth and girded me with gladness.” Psalm 30:11

Standing in the Gap

“I am the way, the truth and the life, nobody can get to heaven but through me.” John 14:6

 The divinity of the Lord is holy, pure, and righteous. He is omnipotent and all-knowing. We will never be able to grasp the full knowledge and understanding of his love and power. However, we can receive His love and power by His Spirit through faith.

Jesus was sent into the world to save the world not to condemn it, but that the world through Him might be saved. John 3:17-21

You cannot work yourself into heaven. If that was the case, Jesus would not have been nailed to the cross. His death would have meant nothing if we just had to be good and do well (with the possibility to still go to heaven). Eternity is not a gamble. It should not be left to chance or luck.

Jesus carrying the cross

Jesus carried the weight of sin and He is the intersection between God and man. It is the T-junction between holiness and sin. Jesus came to stand in the gap to pay the debts of sin. He joined us together to reconcile us with the Lord.

Through His sacrifice, commitment and divine purpose to bear the burden for our sins, we receive the gift of salvation and eternal life. The infinite life that we receive by faith is an exact replica of the power of the resurrection: Dead to sin through the transformation of the Holy Spirit.

You must first accept Him as your Lord and Savior and repent for your sins. You will no longer want to please your flesh, but instead, please God. You will gain wisdom, discernment, spiritual consciousness, and awareness which is sensitive to the Holy Spirit.

The power of the Holy Spirit brings deliverance and real transformation in your life. If you’ve never experienced this before, you will need to develop trust, obedience, patience, and endurance. You will be molded and shaped through experiences. It’s not an overnight process. It happens gradually. It happens through the gentle touch of the Spirit of God.

Do not let shame, guilt, embarrassment or condemnation stand in the way of your choice. Do not let people influence your decision. You are ultimately responsible for your salvation. Your friends, family, and associates will not be there when you leave this world. You came into the world by yourself (with the help of your mother) and you will leave by yourself, so their opinions do not matter. When you experience a tug in your heart you should follow through in obedience.

girl looking in the mirror

Do not quench the Holy Spirit.” I Thess 5:19

Jesus was the only man who was perfect. He suffered pain, humiliation, isolation, temptation persecution, and murder. He was innocent and blameless, yet He was accused and convicted. We will never be perfect, but we have dominion and authority and can walk just as Jesus did.

When you look to the cross, it demonstrates strength, endurance, courage, and victory. When you are aware of the power of Christ, nothing will be impossible to overcome. Luke 1:37, Mark 10:27

“I can do all things in Christ which strengthens me.” Phil 4:13

Those same characteristics are within you. “And God said, “Let us make man in our image; after our likeness and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and overall the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” Genesis 1:26-27

Cross

You must pick up your own cross in this life. Matt 16:24 No one can escape this process; no matter who you are.

Whatever is dead in your life, ask for the power of the Lord to breathe upon your life to resurrect all that is lifeless.

The word of God is life to your bones.  The word of God is spiritual food to keep you nourished and spiritually strong. It’s the meat and substance to uplift and empower you.

Jesus in tomb

“For God has not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ. Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.” I Thess 5:9-10

Taste and see that the Lord is good.” Psalm 34.8

Finishing the Race

woman-girl-silhouette joggerIn dedication to all those who were affected by the Boston Marathon Bombings

“I press on toward the goal for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Phil 3:14

When you start a race, the ultimate goal is to be the first one to cross the finish line. Winning feels great. It is an indication that you’ve accomplished what you set out to do. It demonstrates strength, pride, determination and commitment. Integrity also illustrates the true character of a winner as long as honesty and playing fairly is part of the performance.

In high school, I was a sprinter on the track team. I also remember that I would exhaust all of my energy from the beginning to the end of the race because I was running the 50 to 100 mile dash. However, runners who compete in a long distance race must conserve their energy and concentrate on keeping a steady pace throughout the race. By the end, runners get a burst of adrenaline, momentum and speed.

The navigation through life is very similar to the challenges and obstacles we face in a marathon. Everyone has a dream or goal that they want to accomplish. They set out to fulfill their ambitions. Their main objective is to gain status, fame, money, material objects, a wife or husband, children, dog, house and car.  Well, you get the idea, anything related to the world’s idea of success and prosperity. Often, moving through life anxiously without enjoying the moment in time.

To achieve our goals, some lose their morals and values. They will lie or cheat. They will even ignore certain situations. Once they gain the success they’ve worked so hard for, they often grasp a tight hold on it as well as developing greed or envy. In fear of losing what they’ve gained, they forget the most simple and precious moments or to acknowledge others along the way.

We often see children rushing to grow up too fast or a couple rushing to get married. We do not take the time to enjoy each stage of life. Before we even graduate from school, we wish we were in college. By the time, we’re in college we wish we were married. By the time, we’re married, we wish we had children. Even in the most general or daily activities, it causes us to rush through life. We rush to our jobs every morning. We rush to the grocery store to complete errands. We rush to get the latest fashion or model car. Everything is a constant rush and we nearly want to hurt somebody if they get in our way.

Often times when we finally get to our destination, we have many regrets, failures, heartaches and sorrow because all to many times we’ve rushed through the natural process of life and missed out on valuable time. Often times, we could of avoided mistakes or bad decisions if we just took the time to focus on priorities and appreciate the time in that moment. “Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof; and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.” Eccles 7:8

Satan can often trick us into thinking that we are running out of time. However, procrastination and fear is definitely part of the enemy’s tactic to keep us from moving forward. Sometimes, even paralyzing us.

However, through God’s grace, mercy and timing, He will work all things out for our good in His own perfect timing. “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Phil 1:6

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted: A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep and a time to cast away; A time to rent; and a time to sow; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

Eccles 3:1-8

Unlike the sprinter, the long distance runner realizes that each step is closer than the one before. While keeping abreast of their pace, they understand and appreciate the moment they’re given while keeping their eye of the prize. They can even accept if their competitor passes them by and know that not all is lost. They keep moving ahead with determination. Even though they are tired and out of breath, they pick up momentum. As they approach the finish line, they strive forward to victory. “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run; and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31

For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.” I John 5:4