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

How to Trust God in Difficult Times

“Blessed is the man that trusts in the Lord and whose hope is in the Lord.”  Jeremiah 17:7

 As we entered 2014, we also entered into one of the coldest weather conditions in U.S. history. Meteorologist explained this strange weather patterns as, “The Polar Vortex.”

It’s a very thought-provoking term, “Vortex” which is defined as a “Whirlwind” which includes a second definition meaning, “A condition that you can’t get out of.”

depressed man

Have you ever been in a situation or circumstance that you just don’t know how to escape? It’s like you’re wrapped in a spider’s web of confusion, fear, despair, isolation, discouragement,  hopelessness, depression, frustration, pain, or worry. You don’t have the answers and the future looks bleak. You have tried to consult friends, family possibly even professionals with no resolve.

It’s very hard to trust the Lord when you’re life has flipped upside down and turned inside out. It’s even harder if you don’t know God,  his promises, or His character. “That I may know Him, and the  power of his resurrection” Philippians 3:10

Your life may have exploded and you’re left to pick up the pieces. When facing challenges, it’s hard to focus on the positive or have an optimistic attitude. I’m not going to lie but it’s a struggle we all face. The only difference is those who have experienced the Lord and those who have not. People tend to believe in coincidences, luck, or happenstance without acknowledging the spiritual forces at work in their lives. We are living in very dangerous times in which it will require the power of God to overcome problems, situations, and circumstances.

praying hands

You may not feel like God is listening to your prayers but God is working behind the scenes. You may not understand why it is taking so long for your prayers to be answered but God is not under our time table or calendar. He is working things out according to His will and plan for your life. You were designed for a special purpose. The Lord wants a relationship with you not just sudden requests when things go wrong in your life. “And we know that all things work together for good to them  that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

The Lord allows certain things to happen in our lives to prepare us and shape us for His purpose. Of course, not all of the things we experience is God’s will, but He will turn things around for our good.  We must develop faith and patience in prayer and our daily lives. “That you be not slothful, but f    followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises. And so, after he had  patiently endured, he obtained the promise.” Heb 6:12, 15

Back to the “Polar Vortex,” The snowstorms have caused major disasters, increased depression, stress, isolation, and unfortunately roadside deaths.

All activity was frozen for a period of time. People were either stuck in their homes or on the roads. Somehow, I feel God was slowing us down so we would do absolutely nothing so He could get our attention! We were stuck, isolated, and frustrated! But, we still did not pay attention. It was time to yield and cease all activity. However, we continued to go about our business and let the weather stress us out.

Once we release the stress of dealing with cold, miserable weather and other things that we can’t control, we will free ourselves of things that we simply can’t change. By coming to this acceptance, we enter into peace. In the process, seasons change, and flowers bloom. It’s through this process, we gradually come through whatever storm we may be dealing with in life. Unfortunately, the whole process may be postponed, delayed, or slowed down. Although it may be an inconvenience or an uncomfortable situation, we will get through it and obtain victory in the end.

Lost and Found

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 Many years ago, I went shopping with a close friend with her two-year old child. As we      casually picked out outfits, we watched her daughter dash between the racks of clothing  playing peep- a- boo. When we decided what to purchase, we got in line.

However, we could  not locate her daughter. She was suddenly missing when we called her name. We frantically  rushed through the store asking people if they had seen a small child describing her in  extreme detail. With alarm, no one had seen her. They sent out an announcement over the  intercom as we raced through the aisles searching for the child.

In a panic, my friend headed towards the courtyard inside the mall where she passed the security desk where she found her child sitting on top of the desk with a security officer gently holding her. It was the most rewarding and gratifying moment ending in a sigh of relief.

It definitely does not feel good to get lost. I can remember several times being lost when I was driving to a new location. As I desperately searched to find the right direction, I usually became extremely panicked to make it to my destination. Then, finally I would find my way which provided me with comfort. Of course, this experience was long before cell phones and GPS systems!

When you’re lost spiritually, you may not even be aware. There is no warning or immediate danger involved. You may travel through life freely taking no precautions or direction in life.

You don’t have any fear about salvation or eternal life. Possibly, you may simply be at a crossroad in the midst of confusion about what you believe. No matter what road you travel, the Lord’s grace and mercy will find exactly where you are if your heart is open to receive His love. God’s love is profound.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son (Jesus) that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world: but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:16-1

This is the foundation and the basic substance of truth found in the Word of God. Once you start to follow your spiritual GPS (God’s Power Saves) which is directed by the Holy Spirit, you will find comfort and security.

You will find out the empty, lonely place where you are constantly searching to fill a void in your life does not sustain peace or satisfaction.

When you begin to fill the space with such things as alcohol, drugs, sex, money, power, material things and other feel-good possessions and remedies, you begin to realize that it only last for a moment before you begin to search and search and search for something else that satisfies and fills the void. Eventually, you find out that you spent a lifetime seeking something that does not exist or that you cannot find.

When you put your faith in Jesus, you begin to receive a wholeness that does not compare to worldly expectations. Seeking a relationship with Jesus consists of daily prayer (simply communicating or having a conversation with Him), worship and praise, reading the Gospel and surrounding yourself with other believers and finding a Bible-based church. You will begin to transform yourself and your life. However, it’s a gradual process and it’s not done in your own power. “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord.” Zech 4:6

The growth process is never-ending with no destination in sight. It is an exciting journey with lots of surprises along the way. Living a Christian life, is by no means easy. You will still face obstacles, challenges and problems, but you will not have to carry the burdens and pressures of life on your shoulders.

When you walk by faith, you are “Trusting the evidence of things hoped for but the evidence of things unseen.” Heb 11:1 and Romans 8:24

This is the same faith you will use when you acknowledge Jesus as your Lord and Savior who has died and resurrected for your sins. You must come to Him by faith.

What makes the relationship so special? Each person will never have the same exact experience. You are a designed original and the Lord desires to have an intimate relationship with you because He created you for His pleasure. It’s just like the lost child who wandered through the mall.

Our Father welcomes you into His loving arms when He finds one of His lost children and desires to build a relationship that will be everlasting. How can you miss out on that opportunity?

Reference:

“And I will pray to the Father, and He will give you another comforter: that He may abide with you forever. Even the Spirit of truth whom the world cannot receive because it sees Him not, neither knows Him: but ye know Him: for He dwells with you, and shall be with you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” John 14:16-18

What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? Luke 15:4

“But if our Gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost.” 2 Corth 4:3

Living on Purpose

I’m compelled to address the current job market situation with over 24.5 million unemployed workers in the job market as stated on the Yahoo website on May 17th. I’m surprised that I haven’t written about this issue sooner.

My blog was created in the midst of the economic downturn through my own experiences with job loss. However, I really felt the economic condition was too overwhelming for me to address. I remember my pastor at my home church in Atlanta taught me if you see a need, you should fill it.

There are a lot of hurting people in the world who are devastated by their loss on all levels: Financial, material, emotional, psychological, and emotional. They have loss their jobs, cars, material possessions, even their homes and not to exclude the people who suffered loss through natural disasters who have even loss their family members.

How do you find hope and hold onto your faith in troublous times? In Matthew 6:24 it states, “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.

Most people have an attachment to their “things” which is an idol if you treasure it too the point that you put it before the Lord. Technology, celebrities, sports, etc is also another type of idolization. These “things” also include job titles, status, class or position which is defined by society and yourself; by what you own, where you live and who you are including in your associations.

Most people carry an emotional and psychological attachment to their Things.” It’s a form of bondage and weight when you have to live up to a certain image or status. Even though we live in a physical world, we must not get too attached to material things. There is a danger when your happiness, joy and peace are tied to what the world defines as success.

In Luke 9: 25 it states, “What profit a man if he gained the whole world and lose his soul.” It’s very unhealthy to think people or things will fulfill or satisfy your needs. You can spend a lifetime searching in frustration.

People seek “things” to fulfill and satisfy their needs. I’m not exempt from the desire to want and buy “things.” Through my experience, you must consciously guard your mind and heart not to allow temptation to overtake you. You must learn to emotionally and psychologically detach from material possessions, a job, location or whatever is keeping you in a prison. Simplicity is freedom.

Most people are not really doing what they love or want to do in life. This lack of fulfillment leads to frustration, anger and bitterness. In a position, salary or job responsibilities is the main reason why people decide to leave a position. Unfortunately, with the recession, this is no longer the case. You may be underemployed or unemployed. In either case, you are left feeling worthless, discouraged, taken advantage or under-appreciated.

The majority of people may not be utilizing their skills, talents and abilities that God has designed for them to use as a service for others. When you are working “On” purpose, you receive enthusiasm, energy and creativity. Notice I said, “On” purpose which means it’s a set of skills, talents or abilities that can be used in any industry “for” the same purpose. When you are working “On” purpose, you will feel a sense of accomplishment no matter how small the tasks. You will feel complete and satisfied because you are fulfilling “your” purpose.

You must access your past work experiences and know your weaknesses and strengths, likes and dislikes to begin the journey. Directing your journey should be a strong prayer life and Bible study, as well as building a network of spiritual-led and positive minded individuals who can encourage, support and uplift you during your challenges and obstacles towards your purpose. You simply cannot expect to jump in your car and go on a road trip without a GPS system, map, or driving instructions. I hope you get the point.

So here is that stinging question again? How do you find hope and hold onto your faith in troublous times? The key word is “Endurance.” Due not grow weary in well doing, but in due season you will reap if you faint not.”

In other words, “Don’t Give Up!!!” Moving in faith will not be easy, but it’s attainable despite whatever circumstances you’re facing right now.

In Psalm 30, it states, “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” In translation, through every dark cloud, there is a silver lining or a rainbow. It’s imperative that you just keep pushing through the storms of life.

Most of all, in Matthew 6:25-32 it states, “The Lord orders your steps.” You must be patient. In Hebrews 6:12 it states, “It’s through faith and patience that you will inherit the promises.” It’s on God’s timing and sometime God’s seasons are extremely looooong!!!

To endure the trial, your faith must be tested to see what’s really in your heart. If you really want to know a person, everything is revealed within their heart. Will you still love God despite your desert experience? In Luke 9:23 it states, “To pick up your cross and follow me” which means it’s not about you. He wants to to put Him first in all areas of your life.

You are made and designed for God’s purposes and to complete His will. Be still and know that He is God. Psalm 46:10 In the process of being still, you still need to work towards the goals. Faith without works is dead. He will reveal your purpose and what you need to do.

In the meantime, He completely molds, shapes and transforms your character to who He designed you to be—not by the world’s definition or standards.

Growing Among the Weeds

While going for a walk, I noticed patches of grass and weeds growing between the cement on the sidewalk. I started to think about how little soil it took to provide growth.

I related this image of a weed with handling difficult life experiences. You may be placed in hard place, but still have the opportunity for growth. I never paid attention to how grass can grow in such a hard foundation within a tight area and still flourish and have life.

When you are found in a difficult situation, you will tend to experience a series of life lessons that command your attention for growth. The life process never ends. From birth to old age, you will continue acquiring knowledge, wisdom and opportunities for growth. Sometimes the worst experiences provides the best opportunities to learn about yourself and others. In the hard places is where you find out who you really are.

The Apostle Paul stated, “To be content in no matter what circumstances you may be in.” Sometimes it’s difficult to accept your circumstances because you are constantly focused on your surroundings. You may be dealing with an uncomfortable environment or dramatic changes in your life, but when you take the time to search within for healing, forgiveness or whatever is disrupting your peace of mind, you will find that life has much more things to offer despite the challenging opposition.

If the grass and weeds can grow in such a dry place without the essential nutrients of a rich, fertile soil, how much more can you flourish in the midst of a a challenging situation?

Reflection of God’s Love

I just have to provide a follow up on my most recent post. On Sunday morning, I was reading, “Our Daily Bread” and since I didn’t read Saturday’s devotional I combined both readings into one. It was about God’s Love! When I went to church, my pastor specifically preached on another scripture I read the same morning on “Mark 7” and also preached on God’s love confirming my recent posting. I also reached for Joyce Meyer’s book, “The Secret Power of Speaking God’s Word” while lying in bed. I opened the book and it turned automatically to “Receiving God’s Love.” So I posted the scriptures that I found below. It was very strong in my Spirit to post this experience.

I just have to tell you that God will work through you if you allow Him. I have millions of stories similar to this one. Some may call it coincidences, but I have to acknowledge the truth. I cannot discredit or disregard the simple to the biggest things that God has done for me.

Patience

 

They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.  They shall mount up like eagles. They shall walk and not be weary and shall run and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:30)

The Lord has called us out of this world for His own purpose and His own will. He selected us from the womb. “Our very hairs on our heads are numbered.” Luke 12:7 He chose us even though we had no understanding. We walked in the world as blind men. We acted and indulged in our own pleasures. We chased after material things, fought over titles and positions, looked to men for approval and acceptance while denying our individuality and self worth and respect, even compromised our integrity. We ran in every direction possible without considering God.  

The Lord called on us and He waited. We lived in selfishness and greed. He waited. We told lies and gossiped about others. He waited. We made our own decision without seeking Him first. He waited. We lived in lust and pleasures. He waited. We drank, smoked and cursed. He waited. Then, we wonder why God requires us to have patience?

 Living in a fast food society and mentality, we can’t deal with traffic. We can’t wait for our spouse to get ready before going out to dinner. Children are ignored and sometimes mistreated because of lack of patience. We can’t even wait for the internet to finish downloading or move to the next page fast enough. We want to see results immediately without question; while He sits on the throne and waits patiently for us to come to Him.

The Lord nudges to get our attention through circumstances and situations. He whispers faintly, but we don’t hear. We are wrapped up in our own world of confusion—trying to figure out our own goals, ambitions and purpose in life. He whispers faintly; but we do not hear. We force a life that we chose due to our desires. He whispers faintly, but we do not hear. We try to fit a square peg in a round hole. He whispers faintly, but we do not hear.

 We finally get to a point where we realize we can’t do it by ourselves or depend on others. We are not fulfilled with all we tried to accomplish or who we tried to impress. We get physically, mental and emotionally exhausted before surrendering to His will.

 That’s when we are pliable for the Lord to work in our lives. He can finally mold and shape us in who He desired us to be. We are given a choice. Our hearts must be open to Him as He patiently sits waiting for us to acknowledge and worship Him.

 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15