God Doesn’t Want You to Miss a Thing

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One day, the angel appeared to Manoah’s wife. Before he announced what God was going to do for her, he told her about herself. You are barren (Judges 13:3). God wanted her to know that He knew her condition and that He had forgotten about her. The scriptures doesn’t mention whether it was her desire to have children or if she and her husband had prayed for a child. All I know is that God saw a need. He (Samson) shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines (vs 5).

To conceive a child seemed impossible. Manoah and his wife had tried for years, but what had been impossible with man was about to become possible with God. He was going to make it happen. There was a problem and God was going to create the solution for that problem.

The angel gave Samson’s mother two promises. First, he promised her that she would conceive. Then, he promised her that she would bear a son. Not everyone that becomes pregnant gives birth, but she was going to do both.

There is a need and the people in your home, on your job and in your community need someone who will pray on their behalf. They need someone who will choose to live holy. And God needs someone who will be consistent, faithful and who will do what He tells them to do.

The angel told Manoah’s wife what not to touch, eat or drink because of what she was carrying inside of her. I don’t think we carefully consider what we are carrying inside of us (the Spirit of God, the word of God, etc). If we did, we would make better choices.

But for the next nine months, she gave up some things. She put away some things. She stopped doing certain things so that the needs of the people would be met. You see, God wasn’t just giving her a son, but He was giving a deliverer to a people that He loved and called His Son (Exodus 4:22).

My prayer for every person who is reading this is that you will not MIS-carry, be MIS-led or MISS what God has for you or what He wants to do through you for His people.

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Uncomfort Zone

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I was raised by my grandmother and I spent a lot of time with her – at home. I’ve always been a homebody and unfortunately, I’ve been that way for so many years. Before my dad died, I always thought about all the things I would like to do, but couldn’t do because of his illness.

Well, dad passed away this past August and you know what I realized? Some habits are hard to break. I am that person who will make plans, get excited about them and then cancel them the day before.

I already know. Hush.

Well, this is my birthday month and a couple months ago I made a list of things that I wanted to do every weekend. This weekend, I went to hear a very well known author and poet. Next weekend, I will be going to a concert with my daughter. I haven’t made any plans for the following weekend yet (but I see a body massage and facial in my future) and the last weekend of the month, I will be attending a women’s conference.

It is a fight to push myself to do something different. I didn’t know what it was called years ago, but I have dealt with anxiety for a long time. I’m glad to say that the attacks aren’t as bad as when I was a child. I also don’t like going somewhere alone. It would be so nice to have someone to do things with from time to time, but you know what? I have already missed so much in life waiting for the right time, waiting for the husband, etc.

I know some of you can’t relate, but I am so comfortable at home. I love being at home. Everything is at home – my laptop, TV, cell phone, bible, my notebook.

Well, not everything. While being in my comfort zone means having a regular and familiar routine and less anxiety, it also means no growth or change and a false sense of security. It means missing out on some great opportunities and meeting some great people.

For years, I have been afraid of change, but what I should be afraid of is staying the same.

Cut It Off

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Nehemiah made a decision to rebuild the wall. The moment he decided to do something for the Lord and His people, opposition came.

The enemy came in the form of men. The enemy called Nehemiah and the people weak. The enemy mocked them. The enemy told them what they couldn’t do. The enemy sent threats. The enemy tried to set a meeting with Nehemiah to harm him. The enemy even lied on him. But despite all of this, Nehemiah and the people finished rebuilding the wall.

Some of the people that came into your life were not sent by God. They were sent by the enemy to distract you, cause you to lose focus, get you sidetracked, slow you down, stop you, get you discouraged, bring fear and to stop you from finishing what you started. They were also sent to pull you away from God and good works rather than push you toward Him.

We all have lost focus at one time or another. I know I have, but if you’ve lost it, you can get it back.

If your right hand makes you stumble and leads you to sin, cut it off (Matthew 5:30, AMP).

We have to learn to cut off anything that keeps us from finishing. I know what it’s like to hold on to relationships because I didn’t want to be alone or because I wanted to feel accepted or loved. I was so afraid of losing something that I began to lose the joy and peace that God gave me as well as respect for myself. And unfortunately, I began to spend less and less time with God. 

The distraction doesn’t always come in the form of a person, but whatever the distraction is – if ‘it’ causes you to sin, if it causes you to disobey God, if it takes you away from spending time with God – cut it off!

Forget About It

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You remember it, but God has forgotten it.

God has forgiven you. Now forgive yourself. 

But I wipe away your sins because of who I am. And so, I will forget the wrongs you have done (Isaiah 43:25, CEV).

Give Honor

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You can’t talk about the relationship between Ruth and Naomi without talking about honor. To honor someone is to grant a person a position of respect and authority and to value someone highly.

I believe one of the reasons why some of us haven’t seen God do what He promised is because we refuse to honor and respect the people who He has placed in our lives to guide us, to train us and to help us. Seven months ago, God toId me something regarding my pastors that I will never forget: They are not perfect, but they can help get you to where you need to be.

When Ruth honored Naomi, she honored God. We sometimes don’t see it this way, but when Naomi gave Ruth instructions, it was God giving Ruth instructions. It’s interesting how some of us go to church Sunday after Sunday and yet still struggle to believe what the man or woman of God said, but Ruth believed what Naomi said. The moment she obeyed, God blessed her.

You will only obey what you honor.

One of the reasons why we are so quick to leave a thing or a person is because we were never really committed to begin with. When things got tough, Ruth stuck it out with Naomi. Where you go, I go. Your people will be my people, and your God my God (Ruth 1:14, 16). She had the option to leave, but she chose to stay. When we get our feelings hurt, when someone offends us or when things aren’t going the way we planned, some of us leave (Orpah).  We leave the church. We leave good friendships.  We walk away from the very thing that God is trying to give to us.

We don’t know all the details, but Ruth went through some things. She lost a husband. She faced a famine. She had to go out and work – something she didn’t have to do prior to her husband’s death. But despite the difficulties she faced, she remained faithful.

Naomi and Ruth were two different women from different backgrounds. They had different beliefs. They didn’t serve the same God. One was much older than the other, but despite the differences, Ruth took very good care of who God had placed in her life. And Naomi wasn’t even her biological mother. She was her mother-in-law, but because Ruth took care of Naomi, God had to take care of her.

Ruth’s life would have never become as great as it did had she not honored who God had placed in her life. And I’m not just talking about the fact that she got another husband or a child out of this situation, but look at how God used Ruth to get Jesus here to us. And Boaz begat Obed of Ruth…and Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born, who is called Christ (Matthew 1:5, 16).

Let us learn to honor others. You don’t know what it is that God is trying to birth out of you. God knows what you need (as well as the generation after you) and He knows how to get it to you, but sometimes it will come through people that you didn’t expect it to come through or through people who don’t always say what you want to hear.

But before you get upset or offended, remember it is God’s message. They are just the messenger.

Give respect to those you should respect and honor those you should honor (Romans 13:7, CEB).

It’s Not the Time to Give Up

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Lord, I know You won’t give up on me, but please help ME not to give up on ME.

You Can

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You can, but you must think you can.

For as he thinks in his heart, so is he (Proverbs 23:7).