Pharaoh didn’t release the children of Israel because he wanted to. He did it because he was tired of the plagues and the effects it had on his country. He lost a lot, including his firstborn and he didn’t want to lose anything else. There was no drinking water. Egypt was covered with pestilence, disease and death. Animals that were used for food and to till the field, died. The hail and locusts destroyed crops. The economy was failing.
The children of Israel built cities for Pharaoh, but they were never paid for their services. Instead, Pharaoh made their lives hard and bitter, but God was going to bless His people. He was about to use the one who stole from them to repay them. After Pharaoh’s firstborn died, he changed his mind. He called for Moses and Aaron. Not only did he tell them to leave, but he told them to take the children of Israel with them. They left with flocks, herds, cattle, silver, gold, clothes and anything else they required.
After they left, God hardened Pharaoh’s heart again. He and his servants had changed their minds. Why have we done this? We have let Israel go from serving us. The Egyptians then pursued them. When the Israelites saw the Egyptians marching towards them, they became afraid and cried out to the Lord. Have you taken us away to die in the wilderness? Moses said, Fear not, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord.
The Israelites had no other choice, but to stand still. Had they moved forward without God, they would have drowned. Had they turned back, they would have either died or be placed in bondage again. God told the Israelites what He would do, but they had to do something also. They had to obey. If you stand still, I will save you and I will deliver you. If you hold your peace, I will fight for you.
To stand still is to rest in God and to believe His promises. When God told them to move forward, they obeyed and He performed a miracle before their eyes. They walked through what the Egyptians drowned in.
I know it’s hard to stand still when that bill is due tomorrow, but you don’t have the money in your bank account. It’s hard to stand still when you’re worried and growing impatient. When God doesn’t move as quickly as we would like, we think He is slow, but the only time He is slow is when He is slow to anger. The temptation is to fix your problems by borrowing money with high interest rates and creating credit card debt. Instead of standing on His word, you move to another city in hopes that things will get better, but where you live is not the problem. Was not the land of Goshen in Egypt? Did not God take of His people during the plagues? If He took care of them, surely He will take care you.
I had a dream a few weeks ago of a dark cloud.
The dark cloud later transformed to an image of a man – an evil man.
This man then blew a dark smoke from its mouth.
When the smoke hit the land, I heard what sounded like a bomb.
I woke up frightened.
What did this man just release on the earth?
Pray and keep praying.
Pray for families.
Pray for the children.
Pray for those in leadership position.
Pray for the church.
Pray for the minds of the people.
Pray for protection.
Pray Psalms 91.
Surely He shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence (vs 3).
A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee (vs 7).
There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling (vs 10).
For He shall give His angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways (vs 11).
Reuben. Joseph’s brother. Jacob’s firstborn. Same father. Different mothers.
This is the same brother that convinced the other brothers not to kill Joseph, but to put him in a pit instead.
This is the same brother that planned to rescue Joseph out of the pit, but he was too late. Joseph had already been sold into slavery.
At one time or another, we have all wanted a ‘Reuben.’ We wanted Reuben to get us out of trouble. We wanted Reuben to fix our problems. Had Reuben rescued Joseph, Joseph would have never grown up.
Joseph got so excited about the dream he had that he told everyone about it, but he didn’t know what he had to go through for that dream to become true in his life. He had no idea that he would have to be made for what God showed him in the dream. Everything he went through – good, bad, and unfair – was making him.
Imagine the GPS tells you to turn right in one mile while driving, but because you don’t know exactly how far a mile is, you turn before your time. Luckily, the GPS reroutes you and puts you back in the right direction. Some of us feel like we’ve been rerouting our whole lives. Some of the rerouting could be from poor choices, but some of it is God’s will.
Joseph must have felt the same way. His life was filled with both promotion and setbacks. He becomes an overseer in Potiphar’s house. Then, he is accused of attempted rape and sent to prison. He then becomes the keeper of the prison and the person who he helped forgets to help him. I know the scriptures tells us that the butler forgot about him, but I think God planned it that way because it wasn’t his time to be released yet.
I always thought that Joseph’s first test began while serving in Potiphar’s house, but his first test was the day his father gave him a coat and not his brothers. It was at that moment that God watched his heart and heard his thoughts. God hadn’t changed his mind about Joseph’s future. He would still become ruler over Egypt, but he had to be made into a ruler. There had to be a stripping – and the coat wasn’t the only thing he was stripped of.
Sometimes you wonder why you haven’t seen what God showed you in a dream or told you He would do in your life. It is because He is making you. You are like the vessel made of clay (Jeremiah 18:1-6). When the vessel didn’t turn out the way the potter wanted it to be, the potter would start all over again and again until he was pleased with what he made. (Sounds like rerouting to me). You are in God’s hand and you’re not getting off the wheel until you are shaped into what He wants you to be. If that vessel could talk, I’m sure it would have complained about how it was being treated. Maybe that’s the reason why some of us are still on the wheel, going around and around.
Don’t complain about what you must go through. Don’t you be the reason why the promised has been delayed.
Let Him make you.
And when Moses lifted up his hands, Israel overcame: but if he let them down a little, Amalek overcame (Exodus 17:11).
Moses told Joshua to choose men to fight the Amalekites. While the Israelites and Amalekites fought, Moses stood on the top of the hill with the rod of God in his hand alongside Aaron and Hur. When Moses lifted his hands, the Israelites won. When he let his hands down, the Israelites lost.
It’s the same with prayer. Every time you pray, angels are fighting on your behalf and they are winning. When you stop praying, the angels stop fighting. I know that prayer requires fighting, time, commitment, endurance and patience, but how bad do you want what you are praying for?
There was a moment when Moses’ hands got heavy, but Aaron and Hur gave him a stone to sit on and they both kept his hands lifted. When Moses saw the Israelites losing, he didn’t get discouraged and walk away from his position. He didn’t leave the top of the hill. In the face of defeat, he didn’t move. He stayed there and God helped him and strengthened him through two men of God.
About a month ago, the devil told me, God has been saying that for years and nothing has happened yet. Initially, I got discouraged. It sounded like the truth, but it was a lie. Just because I haven’t seen it happened yet, doesn’t mean nothing is happening. The moment God said what He was going to do, it was done. Hath He said, and shall He not do it?
Some of you are discouraged because you’re praying, but you’re not seeing what you prayed for. Don’t stop praying because you don’t see immediate results. The temptation is to say what you see rather than say what you want to see. Don’t focus on the things which are seen, but focus on the things which are not seen.
Learn from the example of Moses. No matter what you see and no matter how you feel, keep praying. Keep worshipping God. Keep praising Him.
And keep your hands lifted.
[Exodus 17:9-12; Numbers 23:19; 2 Corinthians 4:18]
Jesus told a parable about three friends. This story was about a friend who went to a friend on behalf of another friend who had a need. His friend had just arrived at his home after a long journey, but he wasn’t prepared for his arrival. There was no food in his home, so he went to his friend’s home to ask for three loaves.
He was standing before a shut door.
When he asked for three loaves, the friend never said he didn’t have it. He just said it was late, his children were in the bed with him and he wasn’t getting out of the bed. In other words, he told him ‘no’.
Although he didn’t see the loaves on the other side of that door, he knew what he was asking for existed. This man was his friend. He was acquainted with him. Not only did he know him as a friend, but he knew him to be a husband, a father and a provider. To go to someone’s home that time of night was bold, but he knew he could go to him at any time. He wasn’t afraid to go to his home at midnight because of their relationship.
There was a delay between the time he asked and the friend getting out of the bed, but despite the delay, the friend never got discouraged and returned home empty handed. He remained in the same position until he received what he was asking for. I don’t know how many friends he had, but he knew he could depend on this friend. He went to his home expecting to get what he asked for.
The friend with the loaves of bread didn’t know the friend who had a need, but he knew the friend that was asking on his behalf. He knew his voice. The reason why he finally got out of bed wasn’t because of their friendship, but because of this man’s persistence. Had he stopped asking and had he stopped knocking, the need would have never been met, but he stood there and waited.
The enemy wants you to give up and stop praying. Many of us started asking, seeking and knocking, but we fainted along the way because of what we couldn’t see. We initially confessed with our mouth and believed with our heart when we went to God in prayer, but during the delay, the mind began to fight against what the mouth said and what the heart believed.
Jesus said, You are my friends if you do whatsoever I command you. I call you not servants, but I have called you friends. When we begin to doubt God, it’s because we don’t know Him as our Friend. Not only did this man know his friend, but he knew what his friend had. Do you know what belongs to God? The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. If you are Christ’s, do you know what belongs to you? Do you know what has been given to you?
Just because you haven’t seen the manifestation of what you’ve been praying for – yet, doesn’t mean it don’t exist. It still exists. Don’t become discouraged and give up. If you stop asking, you will never receive. If you stop seeking, you will never find. If you stop knocking, the door will never open.
Be persistent. Remember, a man’s need was met because of his friend’s faith. Please continue to pray for one another.
[Scripture reference: Luke 11:5-10]
Some people fall, but they get right back up. It may not be immediate. It could take them one month or three months or six months. Then, you have others who never seem to recover as quickly. I know they call it a process, but why does the healing process seem so long? And then I received my answer: You can be healed the moment you decide to be healed.
The woman with the issue of blood heard about Jesus and based upon what she heard, she realized that she didn’t have to remain in that condition for another twelve years. She didn’t want to be sick anymore. She didn’t want to be broke anymore. Remember, she gave all of her money to the doctors hoping they would heal her, but her condition only grew worse. She heard a word and then made a decision. She went to get what had already been given through Jesus Christ. She didn’t wait on anyone to touch her, but instead she touched him and received her healing.
There was a man who was at the pool because he had an infirmity for 38 years and he wanted to be healed. If he couldn’t put himself in the pool, then that means he didn’t take himself to the pool. Somebody must have dropped him off and just left him there. The bible says that the angel would come at a certain season and trouble the water, but it seemed like he just kept missing his season.
This man was among other people who were sick, but he still felt alone, rejected and forgotten. Out of all the people that were there, Jesus went to him and asked, Do you want to be healed? The man told him about how no man would put him in the pool when the water was troubled, but Jesus didn’t ask him that. He didn’t ask him about the person who dropped him off and left him. He didn’t ask him what this person did or what that person didn’t do. This question was about him, not other people. Do you want to be healed or do you want to spend another year being angry, frustrated, and blaming people? Do you want to be in this condition for another 38 years? He was waiting for a certain season, but now his season was here and Jesus was asking him to make a decision.
In 2021, I was still dealing with things that happened years ago. When the thoughts would come, I would find myself getting angry all over again as if it had just happened. It felt like the wounds were still fresh, but the event happened years ago. Three days ago, I decided I didn’t want to be that way anymore. God buried Moses and no one has been able to find his tomb to this day. What God did with the body of Moses is what I asked Him to do with my past. Bury it so that I wouldn’t even be able to find it.
2022 doesn’t have to be like 2021. It can be different for you, but you have to decide that it’s going to be different. God has given us a new year and He wants us to enjoy everything He has given us in this new year. You have read throughout the scriptures what He’s given you and what is yours, but do you want it? One of Job’s friends said, You will also decide and decree a thing, and it will be established for you. This scripture tells us that you must decide. No one else can decide for you.
I’m not telling you that old thoughts won’t come and I’m not telling you that you will never be hurt or disappointed again, but decide every day to be healed and to be whole. If He healed their sicknesses, He can heal your heart and restore your soul.
Let us move forward. Happy New Year, everyone!
[Scripture references: Mark 5:27; John 5:6 (CEV); Job 22:28 (AMP)]
I remember one time someone asked me after purchasing a new car if I wanted my old car back. I immediately said no. I drove my last car until the paint was coming off and the suspension was gone. The condition of the car was so bad that one of the men who inspected it told the car salesman to not let me drive back to South Carolina in that car. Please sell her a car. God protected me and kept my car running every day, but it was time to let that car go.
And you know what? I’m not looking back wondering how my old car is doing. I don’t want to trade my new car for the old car. I don’t miss it, I’m not looking for it and I’m not trying to get it back, but I’m enjoying what I traded it in for.
Before you trade in a car or a cell phone, the dealer/retailer always wants to know the value or the worth of what you currently have. Most of us trade what is of lesser value or old for something new and this is what God wants us to do in every area of life. Just as quickly as you would trade in a car or a phone, you should trade in your worries, doubts and fears for HIS peace. According to Isaiah 61:3, God wants us to trade in mourning for joy, but when you refuse to let go of the old, you trade your joy for mourning.
Ask the Lord to help you to let go of the past, the mistakes, what they did to you, what you did and what you didn’t do. Let go of these things because they will add no value to your life. They will only kill, steal or destroy and it is not worth your peace, your joy or your health.
The Lord loves you and He wants us to let go of the old so that He can give us something new, something different and something better.
May today and every day be a day of thanks and a day of giving.
In the morning sow your seed, and in the evening withhold not your hand: for you know not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good ~ Ecclesiastes 11:6
The above scripture urges us to keep sowing your seed. The farmer sows despite the weather conditions. He sows when it looks like it’s about to rain. He sows when it is windy. He doesn’t withhold his seed because he knows that if he doesn’t sow, he won’t reap.
When I feel like giving up, this scripture reminds me not to give up or to walk away.
Elisha’s messenger told Naaman to dip in the Jordan seven times, but he thought he could get the same results if he dipped in the rivers of Damascus. He was about to return home in the same condition (leprous) that he came, but after his servants rebuked him, he obeyed the instruction.
Can you imagine what he felt or thought after the third, fourth or fifth dip?
This water is nasty.
Ain’t nothing happened yet.
I don’t look different.
I don’t feel different.
If he had quit, it would have been his fault, but he would have blamed the church. He would have been mad with the messenger. He would have called Elisha a false prophet. Remember, he was already mad that Elisha sent his messenger instead of speaking directly to him and laying hands on him.
But Naaman didn’t give up and he didn’t complain. He dipped seven times and his flesh was restored.
There have been times where I’ve thought, ‘I did this before and nothing happened. I said that before and nothing happened.’ Nothing happened because I stopped doing and I stopped saying. I dipped three times and thought that was enough.
But to receive what God has promised, you must do what He says – even when you don’t feel like it and even when it seems like nothing is happening because you don’t which seed or which instruction that you obey will produce.
Some months ago, I heard a message at church and I told the Lord, Trust me with that. Give me that. Try me.
Months later, I felt a tug to do something, but I didn’t do it because I was afraid. If I give this, what would be left for me?
I was approached like the woman who was told (not asked) by the prophet, Make me a little cake first (1 Kings 17:13).
All God asked for was a little, but because I really didn’t want to give it, I felt like He was asking for much.
I had no idea that when I asked Him to do something for me that He would ask something of me.
This woman was afraid, too. Fear not, go and do as you’ve said. It wasn’t until she made the man of God a cake first that she was able to make a cake for her and her son. Because of her obedience, they ate for a full year. If she hadn’t done this thing first, then that meal would have been her last. I am gathering two sticks that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it and die.
All she had was a handful of meal, a little oil and two sticks, but she trusted this strange man. Once she gave what she had, she never had a little of anything again.
This woman obeyed a man that she didn’t know yet we struggle to obey the Son of man that we say we do know.
Unlike this woman, I talked myself out of doing what was asked of me.
Then, I heard these words so clearly: How do you expect me to trust you when you refuse to trust Me?
Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.
Luke 16:10, NIV