Saturday, August 30, 2014

GOD Still Gets the Victory

Matthew 26:56
56But all this was done that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook Him and fled.
All week long I have been listening to Wess Morgan's version of "You Paid It All" and even watching the YouTube video.  I was watching it with the remembrance that Jesus knows what it means to be betrayed. Jesus knows what it means to be left utterly alone. I know I have referenced the life altering dream I had in November 1991 just one month after I became a baptized believer in Jesus Christ. I was sixteen and had not been raised in "the church." I believed in God long before I gave my life to Christ but I was not raised as a devout follower of Christ to forsake the ways of the world. The ticking clock on the wall that kept being inserted throughout the dream, standing on the far side at the top of a city watching the midnight black sky and young people destroying themselves and dead bodies of youth lining the city skyline and a voice saying with great arrogance, "you cannot save them all" and the ride I was on where I was utterly alone, no family and no friends on the way to my death is something hard to forget. I remember awaking with such fright that put a Bible underneath my pillow the way my late grandmother used to do. Not understanding at the time that just having the Bible present wasn't enough but I had to speak the Word over myself and the fear I felt. At the time, the enemy of my soul knew something about a call on my life and purpose I had no knowledge of yet.
I know what betrayal feels like because I have experienced it more times then I care to count. And I am not just talking about from the perspective of abuse. As you walk into your purpose in life, you begin to understand that people you thought understood where you are going and what you are doing actually cannot see all that God has shown you and even if they can, their belief in you to carry out what God has shown you becomes the defining moment as to whether they stay by your side or leave. Up until recently, I had not listened to Bishop T.D. Jakes entire sermon on "the gift of goodbye." It's actually very powerful with the premise that some people in your life are not meant to stay and it's not they have done anything wrong, it is just their time in your life is complete. Yet, the sermon still does not negate the episodes of betrayal that lead to goodbye. When I FINALLY realized that God wanted me to turn the daily devotionals into a book, it was August 2009. The person that was to be a conduit to assist me was short lived. We would both take separate paths to complete what God gave us. Rejection led them going to the path of self-publishing. God said, He had a different path for me. I was heckled for following the path God directed to me because of the fear of rejection. God told me I would know by the end of 2009 who my publisher would be. God is not a man that He should lie as the Word says. He showed me things that person could not tell me and it angered them to the point that it was posted on my wall on Facebook in a tone that God showed me was not sincere. Comments were constantly made to me and they attempted to discredit what God told me. Trust me, after having a near death experience in 2008, I had to learn very quickly that listening to God is ALWAYS in my best interest because He says what I cannot see. As the book was released in 2011, their comments faded and slowly and then we drifted to the pointed that we would no longer speak. They had no idea that I was supporting their book and sending their information to others because the topic was of importance. Eventually God separated us completely. I wished them well. And then God sent to me five people for me to help. I did not search for them. But they were hungry and they knew they had a passion deep within them to complete something bigger than them. I appreciate now all that God has done in ways I cannot explain. As the word says, He uses everything for our good. So I BLESS GOD even for the episodes of betrayal. Because God still gets the victory.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Speak Up

Acts 4:20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.
The apostles Peter and John had been arrested for speaking the name of Jesus in the Jewish temple as well as laying hands on a man and healing him in the name of Jesus. Peter and John confessed they could only speak of what they have seen and heard. A few questions for you. When you see a good movie what do you do? You tell someone right? When you eat at a great restaurant what do you do? You tell someone right? When you read a great book what do you do? You tell someone right? You become a spokesman or walking promotion for that product or service. Jesus utilized the power of word of mouth during His earthly ministry and in the "Great Commission" He said we are to do the same.  So then why do so many people become "closet Christians?" Many only talk about Jesus on Sunday morning or when they are in trouble. Peter and John were so excited about Jesus they couldn't wait to share with everyone they knew. The woman at the well did the same thing when she met Jesus. I came into an environment and met a young man who was Muslim. But he was so inspired by a young woman who was a follower of Christ that he kept a scripture she gave him and was moved by her going to do full time missionary work. That's impact. Or for me, coming across another Muslim man who said he loves to help people and knows I do volunteer work. He said to let him know because he wants to be involved. Guess what? I have made it no secret that I am a follower of Christ. Inspiring people with your testimony of what Christ had done for you is what draws others to want to know Him. When you help others in the name of Jesus, it too draws others to Him. Being a closet Christian does nothing for anyone, including you. When you are a closet Christian, you actually keep the praises to the Lord hidden when they ought to be heard. Your life is to be a living testimony, word of mouth promotion as to who Christ is. If it isn't, then do you not believe that Christ has done anything for you?  Do you not believe that Christ sacrificed for you? Do you not believe that He is worthy of the praise? I am not saying to force anything. But when you are led by the Holy Spirit to speak up, speak up. Don't let your faith be in vain. The opportunity to know Jesus and for salvation is available to everyone not just you.

Monday, August 25, 2014

In Your Spirit

Proverbs 25:28
28Whoever has no rule over his own spirit is like a city broken down, without walls.
What does a broken down city look like? What does a city with no walls look like? A broken down city has many buildings that have crumbled. It's infrastructure is no good. And there are no walls to protect outsiders from taking it over. That's exactly what it's like when you are not careful as to who or what has control over your spirit. You know that eyes and ears are gates into your mind and heart. Your eyes and ears are your walls. What do you take in? What do you listen to and what do you watch? If you are not careful about how you entertain yourself, you may find yourself saying and doing things that are not advantageous to you and harmful to others. Are you taking counsel from the wrong type of people? Those you associate with will influence your thought patterns. You may find yourself saying the same things or doing the same things. Do you listen to music that degrades women and glorifies mistreating them? What do you think you will eventually start thinking, speaking and doing? Do you listen to music or watch shows that talks about using men to get what you want or that men are no good? What do you think you will start thinking, speaking and doing? You will begin thinking that way about men and attempting to misuse them. All the while, you are creating a nasty cycle of your thought pattern causing your reality. Not only has your spirit been taken over but you have been the perpetrator of your own unhappy life. Are you watching a bunch of pornographic shows or spending your time in strip clubs (both men and women)? And you wonder why you have become a sex addict that cannot stay committed. You not only put your body at risk for diseases but also in the spirit because you take on the characteristics of the people you sleep with. A confused person who sleeps with a confused person creates another confused person. That's why God reserved sex for a married couple, a couple that He has joined together.  What you listen to, what you watch, what you think and what you do affects your spirit. Remember Jesus said that what comes out of a man's mouth is what is in his heart. And to know a person by their fruit. If your fruit demonstrates that you are out of control then the source can be traced back to what you've been swallowing in your spirit.