One of my favorite meals is breakfast. I look forward to melted butter and drizzled maple syrup over cinnamon and nutmeg pancakes or a loaded omelet with cheddar cheese, tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, and spinach. Of course, hazelnut coffee is my prerequisite and my daily motivator.
As much as I enjoy breakfast, I definitely need to eat lunch and dinner which provides me with extra energy, strength and substance to fuel me for the rest of the day.
Each day, we must also focus our attention on feeding our spirit with the Gospel. It provides the daily nutrients we need like faith, trust, integrity, grace, forgiveness, and a host of other ingredients needed in life.
The living word satisfies all of our needs and desires. It calms our fears and worries and provides us with solutions on how to tackle our obstacles and challenges.
When you’re filled with the Spirit of God, your cup overflows with His goodness, mercy and grace. Healing and deliverance is yours. The power of the word ignites your heart and mind.
The word of God provides the strength you need to overcome every obstacle, confront and destroy every enemy, break the yoke of bondage and stand in the midst of chaos and confusion with an unexplainable peace.
The word of God is a shield of protection. It covers us through sickness and disease, and attacks from anxiety, fear, stress, and depression.
To go through this year without the proper tools and strategies to move every mountain of hindrance, cease every storm of tribulation and overthrow the Pharaoh of captivity and bondage in your life would be detrimental and even catastrophic.
Let us position ourselves in daily prayer, repentance, and worship. Draw near to Jesus and He will draw near to you. It all starts with reading and meditating on the Word.
It’s time to stop running towards people, places and things to fill a void in your life. Choose a life that satisfies. It’s food for your soul.
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
19 Let us, therefore, follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.
20 For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for that man who eateth with offense.
12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged 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 intents of the heart.
The world does not need to make new resolutions. We need real solutions. Now, I’m not saying to scratch your goals. Of course, we should all have aspirations in our daily lives, but how do we reach our objectives without a concrete plan? Instead of goal setting, we should possibly be focused on intricate planning, drafting, and charting our course of direction.
Within any plan, there is a process of preparation. Preparation is best achieved through small, attainable steps that are realistic to ensure finishing or completing a task or project.
We become so overwhelmed with our schedules and plans that by the end of the year, we are exhausted, frustrated, or disappointed because we didn’t accomplish what we set out to do. Sometimes it doesn’t even take until the end of the year, our goals begin to fizzle in the first quarter of the year.
In order to prepare, you should consider:
- De-cluttering your landscape: Clearing out your spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional space. It includes eliminating toxic substances, relationships, negative thinking, and speaking which are strongholds that keep you in bondage.
- Getting things in order: Taking time to organize, restructure, rearrange, or rework whatever plan you have in mind. Remember, don’t look at the overall picture, but keeping your eyes on Jesus while we continue to take small, mindful steps forward.
- Researching, studying, and learning new concepts: Whatever you desire to achieve, learn as much as you can so you are well prepared to handle unexpected challenges that come your way. You should also allow extra time for unforeseen obstacles and difficulties. We all make mistakes, so don’t beat yourself up, but make sure you learn from each experience which is a building block to success. You’re allowed to start over. Each day is a new beginning. You must have consistency and continue to strive for excellence. Nothing can be accomplished without focus, endurance, and resilience. “Study yourself to be approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Tim 2:15
- Praying for direction and guidance: You should incorporate a lifestyle of prayer, meditation, and fasting. Make sure you include the Lord in every area of your plans. Let this be top priority. “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all these things will be added unto you.” Matt 6:33 The Lord directs and orders your steps. “The word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105
- Seeking wisdom from wise counsel and building a support system: Choose a friend, partner or family member who is positive and shares the same interests or goals that you desire to attain.
- Shifting perspectives: Analyze the full picture, keep an open mind and generate new ideas.
It’s much harder to achieve goals on your own merit. Scripture states, “When a man falls, the other man picks him up.” and “If one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12
Having a community of like-minded people, helps you focus and work towards a plan, goal or solution. When you face opposition, just remember that God is the Creator and ultimate master builder. He holds the blueprints and the master plan of your life.
When things don’t go exactly as planned, seek Him for clarity, peace, wisdom and strength. “He will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory.” Philippians 4:19
The Lord promises that you will finish well and finish strong. In the end, you will be able to proclaim, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7
11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. “Jer 29:11
And in the days of these kings, shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever. Dan 2:44
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16 I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them. Isaiah 42:16
Do you feel that you’re on a road to nowhere? That life has pushed you down a twisted path that is based on poor choices and decisions and uncontrolled circumstances determined by external sources?
The more effort you put into your life, the more energy is sucked out of you. No matter what you try to do seems to work. Even though you may feel like you will never get to your destination, your life is constantly being diverted and misdirected. From dead ends, left turns and wrong turns that lead to right turns, it’s like a labyrinth of frustration, confusion, aggravation, not to mention stress. You may feel like a rat on a wheel, running to nowhere.
Just because you can’t see a way out, doesn’t mean there isn’t one. The forced direction that you experience, may possibly be how the Lord orders and directs your steps. With each twist and turn, the Lord is guiding your steps to the purpose and plan he has for your life. Who said life was easy? It’s not a direct shot even for the best of us. Some people may have fewer turns than others, yet we will hopefully end up exactly where we need to be.
Before you make a decision, you should always check your spirit. Do you have peace with your decision? Does something feel off? Do you feel nervous, tense, or afraid?
The Holy Spirit guides you with a sense of peace. He offers wisdom and guidance. Do not ignore your intuition. That is the prompting of the Holy Spirit. Fear can be very tricky because it can be a warning sign prior to danger, but it can also be a false alarm from satan himself. Either way, fear is not of God and you must learn to test the spirit prior to making any decision.
No matter where you are on your journey, keep on moving. God is not the master of confusion and He did not create you for failure. If you get tired and weary along the way, take a break or just pause for a minute (praise break), recharge your battery (meditate on scriptures), and walk-in faith (prayer).
The Lord has the ultimate blueprint and knows what He’s doing even if you don’t. He has the ultimate global positioning system (GPS). Let Him lead the way because He will never lead you wrong. “He will lead you by the still waters.” Psalm 23:2
But the path of the just is like the shining sun, That shines ever brighter unto the perfect day. Proverbs 4:18
“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
During this season, we are busy preparing for the biggest day of the year: Baking cookies, stringing lights on the tree, attending Christmas parties, going shopping, and wrapping presents.
Christmas can also be a very depressing and lonely time of the year for many. While family and friends gather together, many are left alone. Others are left without gifts, food, or shelter. Others may have lost a loved one and Christmas is just not the same anymore. It can crush someone’s spirit when they don’t feel joy and cannot celebrate as others do.
Jesus cares. It’s through Him that we share His same spirit to help and assist one another in life. A kind word, a hug, a listening ear, a warm touch, or simply a smile can heal unspoken wounds or silent tears.
Jesus is with you in the most desperate of times. His name, “Emmanuel” means God with us. Yes, we may ignore his presence when everything is going great in our lives, but He never leaves us regardless if we acknowledge him or not. He patiently waits for us to come to Him. He is patient and kind and loves us more than we will ever know.
Through all the exciting festivities, I challenge you to take time out during the holiday season to focus on the reason for the season which is the birth of Christ. The Lord sent His Son for our salvation which is the greatest gift in the world. His presence is forever with us. We are part of His heavenly family once we acknowledge Him and accept Him into our hearts as our Lord and Savior.
I-pads, tablets, iPhones, the latest video games, or flat-screen TVs will never compare. Jesus is the greatest Christmas presence ever known.
“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Emmanuel.” Isaiah 7:14
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men.” Luke 2:14