Oh, rejoice O’daughter of Jerusalem, O’daughter of Zion! Rejoice! We shall eat together in beauty for the redeemer of the Lord has come to redeem us! We shall eat of the land without waste. We shall eat and be joyful. We shall dance for our sorrow has melted away. Flee, Oh sons and daughters of iniquity, sons and daughters of hatred and bitterness. Cast away your nets and be no more! The fruits shall be sweet from the bitter taste of mourning and sorrow. It will be sweet, indeed! Let us come together. Yes! Let us come to the table with thanksgiving for the glory of the Lord has risen upon us.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem.
15 The Lord hath taken away thy judgments, he hath cast out thine enemy: the king of Israel, even the Lord, is in the midst of thee: thou shalt not see evil any more.
16 In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, Fear thou not: and to Zion, Let not thine hands be slack.
17 The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.
18 I will gather them that are sorrowful for the solemn assembly, who are of thee, to whom the reproach of it was a burden.
19 Behold, at that time I will undo all that afflict thee: and I will save her that halteth, and gather her that was driven out; and I will get them praise and fame in every land where they have been put to shame.
20 At that time will I bring you again, even in the time that I gather you: for I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth, when I turn back your captivity before your eyes, saith the Lord.
And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,
22 Son of man, what is that proverb that ye have in the land of Israel, saying, The days are prolonged, and every vision faileth?
23 Tell them therefore, Thus saith the Lord God; I will make this proverb to cease, and they shall no more use it as a proverb in Israel; but say unto them, The days are at hand, and the effect of every vision.
24 For there shall be no more any vain vision nor flattering divination within the house of Israel.
25 For I am the Lord: I will speak, and the word that I shall speak shall come to pass; it shall be no more prolonged: for in your days, O rebellious house, will I say the word, and will perform it, saith the Lord God.
26 Again the word of the Lord came to me, saying.
27 Son of man, behold, they of the house of Israel say, The vision that he seeth is for many days to come, and he prophesieth of the times that are far off.
28 Therefore say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; There shall none of my words be prolonged any more, but the word which I have spoken shall be done, saith the Lord God.
But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.
For the Lord will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land: and the strangers shall be joined with them, and they shall cleave to the house of Jacob.
2 And the people shall take them, and bring them to their place: and the house of Israel shall possess them in the land of the Lord for servants and handmaids: and they shall take them captives, whose captives they were; and they shall rule over their oppressors.
3 And it shall come to pass in the day that the Lord shall give thee rest from thy sorrow, and from thy fear, and from the hard bondage wherein thou wast made to serve,
When I was a child, one game I loved to play was hide and seek. I believe every child enjoyed playing that game at one time or another.
There was such enthusiasm and excitement while your friends or classmates scattered to find a place to hide while you counted and waited in anticipation to search for each friend which brought so much joy and laughter when you found them.
The Lord is often hidden in our lives until we come to a place where we decide to seek him with our own heart. Although, the Lord is always working behind the scenes, we often do not know what He is doing or planning in our lives. The Lord makes it very clear to “Trust the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.” Proverbs 3:5-6
Many of us, wonder through life, randomly, without acknowledging or asking the Lord for direction. As believers, we may allow Him into some areas of our lives but not fully allow Him to control every aspect of our lives.
The Lord wants to be a part of every area of your life. The deeper relationship you nurture with Him; the more He reveals himself to you. You begin to see life in new ways. Your choices begin to change and how you deal with challenges and obstacles shift.
Life has its difficulties, but you will not allow life circumstances to grab a hold of you in fear, doubt and despair. Even when you feel discouraged, you can speak the word of God or listen to worship music and the weight of burdens and frustration will lift off of you.
But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Heb 11:6
You will become sensitive to the spirit as you continue your walk with Christ. He will nudge you in certain directions. He will cover you with a blanket of protection. He will open your eyes to his truth and reveal to you the mysteries of the Kingdom. You will begin to experience things that you know only the Lord could do. You will have a deep desire to please the Lord fully and not jeopardize your relationship by displeasing Him. You will be obedient to His laws and commandments and do His will without resistance. It’s not by the flesh but by His spirit.
“Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord.”
Having a zeal for Christ is within reach for every believer.
For the Bible forewarns us….
I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
You cannot have one foot in the world and one foot in the church. A double-minded man is unstable in all His ways. James 1:8
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Matt 6:24
We are moving into a shifting world where believers must have a solid foundation in Christ to be able to withstand the wiles of deception coming upon the earth. [Click link here]: 2 Chron 20:1-34
1 Peter 5:7-9
Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
He can only devour those who do not know the Lord and live a righteous, holy lifestyle. Once you’ve accepted the Lord as your Savior by faith, you are a daughter and son of the Most High. His hand of protection is upon your life to guide you into all truth, wisdom and knowledge.
The Lord is a consuming fire. Let us run under the shelter of the Almighty King. Let us seek Jesus with all passion and dedication. Seek the Lord while He can be found. The Lord is available and waiting. He does not wish anyone should perish. [Click the link here for reference]: 2 Chron 20:1-34
2 Peter 3:8-10
But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
The Lord is a just God and will meet you right where you are. So come with your wounds and brokenness. Come with your anxieties, doubts and fears. Come with your mistakes and confusion. Come with your pain and despair. Come with your anger and frustration. Just come!
I pray for those who are entering into your presence at this very moment. May you comfort their heart and mind. Please take away all their confusion, doubt, pain and toil in this life. Reveal to them your glory for the sacrifice you gave to each person as a gift of love. Help them to draw near to you and keep a hedge of protection over their families, loves ones, households, communities, finances, health and relationships. May a fresh wind of vitality, strength and peace be upon them as they seek you and rest in your presence for the revelation of Jesus Christ. Amen
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all.Amen. 2 Corth 13:14
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I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart. 33 Teach me, O Lord, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end.
Direct my steps by Your word, and let no iniquity have dominion over me.
O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
2 Theo 3:5
And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.
The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.
Seek the Lord, and his strength: seek his face evermore.
When You said, “Seek My face,” my heart said to You, “Your face, Lord, I will seek.
Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
Call unto me, and I will answer thee, I will show you great and mighty things that you do not know of.
And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. 2 My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. 3 He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. 4 Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. 5 The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand. 6 The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. 7 The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. 8 The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.
1 Chron 16:10
Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord.
Don’t underestimate the power of words. Words can change the heart, elevate the mind and transform lives. The Lord spoke the world into existence. You have the same power as the Holy Spirit that lives inside of you. Let your words be light, hope and encouragement that strengthens the soul.
There are two little words in the Bible that Jesus often reminded his disciples throughout their ministry. It was also embedded in Jesus’s ministry and teachings. “Fear Not,” a statement that is opposite of such a strong emotion that is often hard to control when it strikes and grips your mind and consumes you.
There is a lot of fear going around: You may fear of a natural disaster, economic collapse, and terrorist attacks. Fear can block your actions. It intimidates. It paralyzes. It stifles. It can stop you from moving forward or taking the next step. It may become a prison in meeting different people than they are accustom to. There is a fear of success or failure. You can have a fear of the future or fear of dying. You may even have a fear of public speaking or afraid of snakes or spiders.
Fear is disguised in many forms. Fear is a spirit from the enemy. It is ugly but has no power once you confront it. However, it will grow if you do not take control over it.
With so much going on today, it’s hard to ignore that the world is living in fear. The world is in chaos. It is out of control. It’s hard to speak to fear when there is a real presence of harm that threatens lives on so many levels.
On whatever form it may appear in your life, you have authority over fear. Many people are not aware of how to regain control over their feelings and experiences. I cannot promise you instant results, but you can subdue constant fear, anxiety, and worry and replace it with faith, peace, and love.
I’m no expert, but can only share my own experience with how I handle fear. First, you must acknowledge what you’re afraid of. Be specific. Write down every possible thing that could happen that you are fearing. “F-E-A-R” is False Evidence Appearing Real so once you acknowledge why you are afraid and picture the worst-case scenario, you have acknowledged the fear. Confronting fear is liberating and it is the best way to overcome it.
Reading the Bible scriptures is a powerful way to overcome any type of fear you struggle with. Meditate on scriptures related to fear and research stories where people in the Bible faced various obstacles and challenges and focus on how they overcame their plight.
Having a strong relationship with the Lord in prayer and communication is one of the best ways to overcome fear. Seeking His guidance and wisdom in circumstances that are beyond our control will ease our minds.
When you understand and know the character of God, you know that He loves you. You are aware of His promises. You can rest knowing that He is protecting and watching over you. Psalm 91.
There is an assurance that even though you can’t figure everything out at the time, you know that the Lord is working behind the scenes. While He is working, you need to be in preparation for whatever instruction He provides and follow through without hesitation. Many times we may second guess ourselves which is only having doubt and unbelief. This may steer us off our path or delay the progress due to our actions.
At times, our environment has influence over our specific circumstances or enhancing a fearful mindset as a whole. Unfortunately, we cannot control other people, weather conditions, or other devastating elements that affect our lives, but we have the ability to walk in peace or comfort others who are struggling with fear and anxiety due to loss, grief, and difficult circumstances. We must seek opportunities to comfort one another.
In every season, there is constant change. Being flexible to change is challenging. Obviously, fear plays a big part in unknown present realities, anticipated futures and dangerous environments that the Lord may place around us, but we should rest knowing that whatever state we find ourselves in, we should be content in every circumstance and decision we face and walk in faith knowing that God will protect and rescue us in due season. You can adapt to rapid changes with faith, not fear.
God is not a God of chaos and mass confusion. The world may feel like it’s spiraling out of control, but God is in control. He has a purpose and plan for each of us. Instead of looking to the world for solutions, we need to seek Him for direction.
Just put your trust in Him. He will lead you beside the still waters. As we enter 2016, seek Him with your whole heart and leave the fear behind.
Peace be unto you.
“We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.” Romans 8:22
God wants us to align our thinking with His thoughts. The natural mind does not understand spiritual things. It is a constant battle to think on a higher plane because our world is so negative and evil. It’s so much easier to think negatively which immediately drains our energy. That’s why we should always be aware of our thoughts, actions, and environments.
As soon as our thoughts begin to focus on fear, disbelief, doubt, or any other toxic emotion, we need to consciously change our thought patterns. It is very challenging to switch your thoughts when so many problems are staring you in the face. The advantage is knowing the Gospel and being able to draw from God’s promises and meditate on His word which is life and substance to your soul. Once we elevate our minds, we raise our energy level and begin to feel much better. It is a spiritual war that manifests in a physical realm. Often times, we use physical components to fight our spiritual or mental battles such as sleeping pills, medication, drugs, alcohol, or sex. We may even contemplate suicide as a means of escape.
2. Take Care of Your Body
We must take care of our bodies including eating healthier and exercising daily. Many people overlook the importance of a well-balanced diet. However, diet plays a vital role in how we deal with stress and challenges in our lives. When we eat healthily, we have a clear mind. Our bodies are able to fight off disease and illness and even stress better. You can also take vitamins to supplement your diet such as B- complex vitamins which alleviate stress. It’s best to consult your doctor for specific vitamin supplements based on your physical needs.
Another important factor is to get enough rest. When all else fails, go to sleep! Just make sure you have a balance. When we sleep, our stress levels go down. We are able to fight off illness, deal with problems, and make better decisions. We are less irritable and able to manage frustrations with ease. We are also able to control our emotions and we are much more productive in our daily lives.
“He who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. Let us labor, therefore, to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.” Hebrews 4:10–11
Unfortunately, Satan understands our weaknesses and attacks us when we are most vulnerable which often means we are lacking rest. When we are tired or weary, it disrupts our peace of mind. When we have inner peace, we are able to interact with others much better as well as have the ability for the Lord to direct us in our daily decisions. “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace.” I Corth 4:33
God is actively at work at all times even while we are resting. The Lord never slumbers. “He will not suffer thy foot to be moved. He that keeps thee will not slumber. Behold, he that keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.”Psalm 121
3. Seek Solitude in Prayer, Worship and Reading the Bible
Most of all, this is the most obvious but required. We should have a set schedule to spend time with God. We should continue to seek God in prayer. We must not give up hope. We should pray without ceasing knowing that God will answer our prayers in perfect timing.
We must also continue to worship Him regardless of our situation. It’s in the hardest struggles that our praise is strengthened. No matter what the situation looks like we must continue to be faithful in worship. There is always something to appreciate and be grateful for.
We should read the Bible on a regular schedule to keep our spirits strong and to encourage ourselves daily. Faith is by hearing and hearing is by the Word of God. We should surround ourselves with a body of believers who will encourage and support us. This will raise our spirits, as well as our thoughts and actions.
When we take care of our mind, body, and soul, it strengthens our spiritual well-being to hear from God. By developing and building trust in Him, it draws us closer to Him. When we begin to see how He delivers us out of our situations and circumstances, our trust and faith will be strengthened to overcome any obstacle that we face.
“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope; And hope maketh not ashamed: because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” Romans 5:3-5
“Brethen, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before.” Phil 3:13
When you look through a rear view mirror, you cannot see a specific area when you are backing up a vehicle. If you assume or estimate the distance without really knowing if anyone or anything is behind the blind spot, it can lead to imminent danger if you are not cautious.
Many times in life, you may face a blind spot. The blind spot is a very uncomfortable place. You feel stuck. You don’t know which direction to go. You don’t have clear vision. You may not even understand how and why you got yourself in such a predicament, situation or circumstance. It’s a lonely place. It’s a temporary place. It’s an unpredictable place.
In the blind spot, people’s approval or opinions does not matter. It’s a place of solitude. You do not care about seeking advice or listening to a circle of friends, but you are in desperate need to hear from God alone.
The blind spot was designed to remove you from your comfort zone. It was created to stretch your faith. It is a place and moment in time where God gets your attention by calling you to a new place either spiritually or physically. It’s a place that you’re yet to discover. It’s also a place where you can’t force things to happen on your own terms, in your own way and on your own timeline. You must trust God in knowing that He is working behind the scenes.
Although it’s beautiful to hold onto joyous memories, it can slow you down or hold you back if you continue to hold onto the past or feel that life will never be the same. Due to unfortunate circumstances such as a death of a loved one, an illness, a sudden disability, or even surviving a natural disaster, it’s possible that life will never be the same, but God has much more promises and dreams to fulfill in your life. He has much more people for you to meet. He has many more opportunities to receive. Many more mistakes to learn from and many places for you to visit and explore. He has much more love for you to share. “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans for a hope and a future.” Jer 29:11
You can’t continue to go in reverse and keep dwelling on past mistakes, bad experiences or memories. You must forge ahead with assurance and confidence knowing that you have much more to experience, learn and understand. You can’t move forward if you continue to look backwards. You have to give the Lord the driver’s wheel and trust that He will lead you in the right direction.
“Faith is the evidence of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.” Heb 11:1