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.  

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

Our Fathers

father and son

“Our Father who art in heaven, hollowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day, our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory for ever. Amen.” Matt 6:9-13

Becoming a parent is one of the most important roles that can be accomplished in a lifetime. There is no instructional manual or training involved. The title of a father is defined as: (1) a man who has a child (2) a man fulfilling the role of a father; as by adoption (3) any male ancestor; forefather (4) an originator or founder of something (5) a priest or (6) stepfather.

Even though Father’s Day has passed, it is important to recognize the significance of the role the father plays in the family. Unfortunately, in today’s society not much emphasis is focused on Father’s Day compared to Mother’s Day. It possibly could be because some fathers are non-existent in the family unit. With so many males lacking responsibility and strong character as well as other males who go unacknowledged for being a strong role model for their sons and daughters, it’s imperative to the survival of the family to identify how important the position is to the household.

“And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” Gen 1:28

A father is not just a man who plants seeds in a woman’s womb and lives by his own terms. A father leads his children in their journey in life. He protects and provides for his children. He disciplines a child when they are in trouble or supports them when they are facing challenges. He listens to their needs and blesses them with every good thing. He shares his time and values building strong relationships. He is the head of household, not only financially but also mentally, emotionally and physically. He makes wise decisions and choices not with manipulation, dominance or control, but with Godly authority. He loves at all times and worries at all times while still trusting and knowing that God has everything in control. A father is not perfect. He makes mistakes and learns along the way. He also forgives himself for past mistakes as well as forgives his children for the mistakes they made. A father is a reflection of God’s love. He is an extension of God’s grace and mercy and the workmanship of strength, courage and honor.

We must constantly pray for the men in this country who battles with continuous struggles and carries heavy responsibilities in their personal and professional lives. It takes two responsible adults to join in union to have a child and care for a child. The child did not ask to be born, but often suffers due to the selfishness or lack of responsibility of adults.

Unfortunately, with so many broken homes, a child is torn between parents in a nasty custody battle or bounced from step parents on weekend stays which may provide an unstable environment. Society is at a critical point and needs to change its ways. The broken home is like a cancer which eats away at the nucleus of the family which eventual escalates and creates a fragmented social structure.

We must look to God (Our Father) to teach us all things. It takes the true character of God to work through us, heal us, change us and deliver us.

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.

Purpose Through Pain

I need to vent. Hopefully, my writing will not come across negative, but I don’t care. I need to release my emotions. I need to be free….unexhibited without judgement or opinion. I realize my pen has a powerful voice and over the years my self-expression has been full of anger, frustration and anger, but through life experiences my pen fetish has developed into hope and inspiration.

I realize God is working in and through me for His purpose. I am human. I have struggles and face many challenges just like the best of us. I’m real and raw without fear or intimidation. There is power in exposure. There is also value in identifying and being true to yourself and your experiences.

Life has a way of forcing you in a direction that you never planned. Some call it fate while others may call it destiny but in between the past and future lies the present chaos of life. It’s the choices and decisions that sums up your journey in a nutshell. Each day is like a puzzle that sometimes fits perfectly or may not come together the way you thought it would. But, if you continue walking down the path, you will begin to see a glimpse of the full picture unfold.

At this point in my life, I never would of imagined my life to flip upside down so quickly. It has forced me in a totally different direction than I originally planned. I’m forced to re-invent and re-design a whole new life for myself. I have to admit it’s more than I could of ever imagined. Somehow, I feel I am still going in the right direction even though it may feel uncomfortable. I never realized how much strength, patience, endurance and faith I possessed.

I truly believe that’s why we are here. There is purpose through pain. When we deal with our struggles, we can heal and be a light to help others through the darkness.

We also become more sensitive to other’s circumstances and conditions. I believe that’s why God allows us to go through problems. We gain compassion, understanding, wisdom, strength, endurance and faith. We become more like God’s character. His essence is based on love. He requires us to love one another, but first you must understand how to love yourself.

Through it all, the foundation is based on love. I would of never made it through my storms without knowing the love of God. Regardless of how things may seem, the things we seek in this lifetime is vanity and chasing of the wind. It will all vanish. We ourselves are vapors passing through the sands of time.

Have you ever thought of yourself as a miracle? You are. There is something special about you. Everyone fails, stumbles and makes mistakes. Life happens regardless of race, class or gender. If you feel defeated, overwhelmed, discouraged….just flat out exhausted from life, you need to take time out to reflect and see your core — your value.

Be still and take a deep look inside. If you really don’t like what you see, you can make a change for the better. Nothing is impossible with God, but it helps to know and understand His character. You are a designer’s original. He created, molded and shaped you. Stop looking to be a clone. Just be who you are. Just be.

It’s not about gaining money and status. You have richness within. Develop your character based on integrity, respect, value and purpose. When you understand who you really are in Christ, you will find peace. The world will not shake you and you will not be defined by the world. You will realize that you can’t control things. The promises of God will stand when the world fades.