Break Free From Bondage

Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Gal 5:1

It was never God’s intention for His people to live in bondage. However, we live in a fallen and sinful world. Without the cross through the sacrifice of Jesus, we would not have the opportunity to receive eternal life through salvation.

Through that one selfless act that Jesus did, we are set free.

Whatever has you wrapped up in bondage, there is a way out through deliverance.

The Lord wants you free from addiction, free from poverty, healed from sickness, released from your mental, emotional or psychological prisons and released from guilt, shame, and condemnation.

You don’t live there anymore. There is a place called grace and mercy. It’s full of compassion and love. You can’t get lost on the way there because Jesus will meet you exactly where you are.

You may have traveled a long, hard road with many detours along the way but God is faithful and just. He waits patiently at the door waiting to embrace you, teach you and bless you with His abundant promises for your life.

The Lord’s ways are sure. His path is straight. Nothing is too hard for Him to handle.

There will be tests of your faith, lessons to be learned and transitions in life that are unexpected. The ultimate plan is in God’s hands. Are you willing to surrender? Are you ready to pick up your cross and follow him?

Just take one step of faith. He is waiting at the door for your arrival.  

Laboring in Love

Then he said unto his disciples. The harvest truly is plenteous but the laborers are few; Pray ye, therefore, the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth laborers into His harvest. Mark 9:37

The Lord is calling his people to step up. Often, we do not feel like we can accomplish the purpose and will of God. We may not even understand or know what His plan is for our lives. His plan is always much bigger than ours.

Allow the Lord to lead you down the right path. He knows what’s best for you. You will be placed exactly where you need to be. He has a strategic plan that is magnificent.  The spiritual eyes are so much more powerful than what man can see with his natural eyes. Seeing is not believing. “For we walk by faith and not by sight.” 2 Corth 5:7

Work diligently unto the Lord and not for man. Toil in sweat, blood, and tears and continue to shine His light in a dark place whether it be in a rough neighborhood, workplace, home, or school.

Do the work of the Lord in love. Be an example of His love, forgiveness, grace, and mercy. No matter what your circumstance or schedule, put God first in all that you do and He promises all these things will be added unto you. Matt 6:33

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10

Remember you are blessed and highly favored.

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Copyright Yolanda Berry – 2015 -All rights reserved.

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

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

Seeing Past Your Blindspot

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“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

The Magnitude of God

While driving home in rush hour traffic, I was thinking about my life and how God is involved in every aspect. He knows my needs, desires, obstacles, challenges, weaknesses, and strengths. He knows everything about me, even the things that I have not discovered or I don’t’ yet understand about myself. He is aware of the intricate details of my being.

As I looked at everyone waiting at the red light, it hit me. Not only is He involved with every detail of my life, but every single person in this world. My mind started to randomly think of people all over the globe: Life events, natural disasters, political wars, economic crisis and terrorism that wound and distress the spirit.

Through all these difficulties in life there is hope for a new beginning; a new tomorrow by the power of God. I always seem to hear people blame God for the bad things that happen to us. But, I have never heard anyone blame the devil.

Although God has unlimited power, Satan is real and has the power to influence people’s thoughts, words, deeds, and actions. Overcoming spiritual battles is learning to use God’s word to destroy the enemy, praying and worshipping. God’s word is full of promises and truth. I have many testimonies to share how God has changed my life. He is not a God that should lie. Once we effectively learn to fight spiritual warfare with the armor of the Lord, we walk in victory.


People may argue if God is in control why does He allow bad things to happen to us? He is the creator of all things. He even created evil. I understand this is a very strong statement. I was even surprised myself when I found it in scripture. But, His character is of good not evil. He forms our character to be more like Him once we acknowledge Him as our Lord.

 God is working out His divine plans in our lives. He allows us the freedom of choice. We can be full of rebellion and strife or full of obedience, faith, and peace. He fills us with His grace and mercy which is a gift. His nature and presence are Holy and pure. He sent His son, Jesus, to save us from sin and death. Once we confess the Lord as our Savior there is no such thing as guilt or condemnation. It is allowing Jesus to pay our debt and we are set free from the burden of sin. Confess the Lord as your Savior and open your heart to Him.

 Scripture References

Isaiah 45:12:13
 12I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded.
   13I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will direct all his ways: he shall build my city, and he shall let go my captives, not for price nor reward, saith the LORD of hosts

Isaiah 45:16:25

 16They shall be ashamed, and also confounded, all of them: they shall go to confusion together that are makers of idols.
   17But Israel shall be saved in the LORD with an everlasting salvation: ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end.
   18For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else.
   19I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth: I said not unto the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain: I the LORD speak righteousness, I declare things that are right.
  20Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye that are escaped of the nations: they have no knowledge that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray unto a god that cannot save.
   21Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? Who hath told it from that time? Have not I the LORD? And there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Savior; there is none beside me.
 22Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.
   23I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return void, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.
   24Surely, shall one say, in the LORD have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed.
   25In the LORD shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory.

The following passages are from Isaiah 45:5-7 

I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me:
   That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else.
  form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

John 3:16
So God, so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.

 Jeremiah 29:11
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.

Prisoners of Hope

This poem was inspired by Zech 9:12 “Turn ye to the stronghold, ye prisoners of hope even today do I declare that I will render double unto thee.”

A Strange Wind Blowing

My instinct, my spirit all-knowing

I saw trouble ahead of me

Like a tsunami, a raging sea

Crashing my reality

Breathe…release….

I want to be free

 

I prayed for strength

To overcome another day

Too many obstacles and challenges

Blocking my way

 

Just give me a chance

To unlock the chains

living like a prisoner

desperate to escape the pain

 

Give me the key

Stop the roaring sea

As I reflect on how

Things use to be

 

Moments of Bliss

Scratching things off

My wish list

Now, it’s all a mist

 

Hazy, lazy days

Trying to figure out

What bills to pay

Not to mention

No paydays

 

Praying for wisdom to understand

As I stood in silence

trying to figure out my life’s plan

 

Suddenly, something arose inside of me

The words of hope

Changed my mentality

 

The power of words

Can create life or death

I regained my authority and strength

Reclaimed the energy that was left

 

Hope in times of trouble

takes patience, endurance and tenacity

The key to create a new life

transforms our reality

 

If everyone made a change

One step at a time

what looks like a mountain

Would be easy to climb

 

© Copyright 2008 Yolanda Berry