Remember Me, Lord

woman looking at sea while sitting on beach

Remember me, Lord, when you show favor to your people; come near and rescue me

-Psalm 106:4

The last couple of weeks has been a little rough. I’ve been constantly on the go but truth be told, I haven’t taken much time for me —to rest, recharge or even focus on the things I love. Sometimes the Lord has a way of putting a stop to our plans and reminding us of the importance of finding true rest in Him.

This verse reminds me of seasons where I have felt like God had forgotten about me,  when I felt as if He is paying attention to the details in everyone else’s life but mine, and even reminds me of the moments where He has intentionally made me wait. I hear David being similar to me saying “Lord, I’m over here, would you pay some attention to me.

Although this verse reminds me of those things, it also convicts me because there have been seasons of my life where I wonder if God is saying the same thing to me “Remember me, my child. Your Creator and only Source of true peace and strength, remember me, while you are focusing on doing and not spending time with me. Remember me too.”

God has not forgotten about you. He has already marked you as His beloved child and even in the wait, He is close to You; however the true question is, are you drawing closer to Him in this season?

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

How Much More?

 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! −Matthew 7:11 (ESV)

I love holidays because it is a time to slow down and spend time with the ones you love however Father’s Day is always a little different. It  seems like the middle child who often gets overlooked because Mother’s Day stole all of its shine. We don’t see as many social media posts honoring dads, restaurants aren’t as crowded and there’s just hardly any marketing around this holiday.

I recognize that Father’s Day is difficult for many people − those who may have lost their father or even those who may not have a relationship with their earthly father. The Lord gifted me with a good father and grandfathers to be able to gain great wisdom from and to also see a great example of fatherhood yet I know that’s not everyone’s story. My prayer is that you will choose to see the joy in today. That regardless of how your story has been written that you will be able to see a new perspective.

I find so much comfort in hearing this verse in Matthew 7 spoken by Jesus because I think it is an invitation to all of us regardless of your situation with an earthly example of fatherhood. Jesus says how much more will your Heavenly Father do for you if you would just ask.

Those three words: how much more has been impressed on my heart.

I am thankful today (and everyday) for my father and all that he has done to sacrifice, lead and support our family and as I reflect on that today; my heart is brought to joy of how much more my Heavenly Father will do for me too!

Sisters those three words are powerful and I pray that you allow it to sink in your heart. How much more, will He do for you regardless of the season you’re in or the circumstances, He can do so much more for you

My prayer for you today:Heavenly Father, thank you! Thanks for the good examples that you have given us on fatherhood. I pray that all of the fathers would feel loved, honored and valued today. I ask Lord that you would send an extra dose of your love to my sisters who are discouraged today because of their earthly examples; remind them of how much more You are able and willing to do for them. I am praying and believing that you are going to blow the minds of those who are willingly and faithfully believing you for more!

 

When You Have Big Shoes to Fill

person carrying black leather handbag

A covenant was made between God and the Israelites. God had called Moses to lead them to a life of obedience to the law and also to lead them out of Egypt. God showed Moses the promised land even though he wasn’t able to enter into it. But towards the end of the book of Deuteronomy, we see how Moses is preparing to pass the torch to Joshua, his assistant. And as Joshua is being prepared to lead, God is clear with him about the type of leader he will be. He would be strong and courageous because the Lord promised to go ahead of him as he takes on this new role. So when we land in the book of Joshua it’s when Moses has recently died, the people are mourning and God tells Joshua how now is his time to lead them into the promised land.

Scripture Reference: Joshua 1:8 (NIV) Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.

As I was thinking about this text, I was reminded of the times in my life, when I was asked to lead in areas at work or even at church. And there’s a moment, where I feel honored to be asked but for me, it is immediately followed by my own doubts. I look at my own inadequacies and wonder “why on earth would someone choose me to do this?” I’ve learned that fear has crippled me in many areas of my life and I’ve been committed to recognizing this as I don’t want to allow fear to keep me from fulfilling the will of God. What I love about this scripture, is God has already laid out the path for Joshua’s success and it’s simple —staying in His presence. I think often times we focus on what’s in our hand too much that it keeps us from taking a step toward that thing but as this story unfolds we see that Joshua’s own inadequacies made him the perfect candidate to be used for God’s glory. It was made known that this role that he would take hold of would not be successful in his own will but that He would have to lean on the Lord for victory.

So if I can offer some encouragement for those of you who may be stepping into a new season of leadership, I would give you three key points from this scripture.

1. Don’t under estimate your planting season

  • I love how God orchestrates every little detail on our behalf. I believe that as Joshua was sitting under Moses leadership, he was being prepared to lead whether he knew it or not.
  • He was able to get some of those leadership skills down in his heart so that even if he felt unequipped to carry the torch, he had a good example to resemble
  • I believe that during this time, God was allowing him to be influenced by Moses’ leadership style. He was given a front row seat to leading during difficult times but little did Joshua know what was ahead for him and that he would be the one chosen to the lead them to the promised land.

2. Promotion can come from a dead situation

  • In this story, it was a physical death as Joshua was asked to lead after Moses death but i think for us, it could be a reminder that God can promote us even when we have laid down a dead dream even if we have laid down those skills that seem to go unnoticed, God honors faithfulness and can bring promotion out of any situation
  • I imagine that Joshua was terrified to lead the Israelites. Not only because he had to follow Moses as a leader  but he likely didn’t see himself as a leader. He had big shoes to fill yet he didn’t know that he purposed to fill them
  • So more than likely Joshua’s enemy was his own fear so the Lord instructed him to be strong and courageous over and over again to get it to sink into his heart until Joshua believed it for himself.
  • I think that what God was trying to tell Joshua and us today is that if we would just stay in His presence,  He will make us strong, courageous and equipped to lead through whatever task is given to us.

3. Let the Word of God be the soundtrack of your life

  • Keep this book of the law on your lips so in the moments, where fear tries to creep in, when our own thoughts of what we lack are louder, we can speak out loud the affirmations that God has given to us. This was a reminder that Joshua would have to speak life into the deadness that he saw in himself —his own inadequacies and view of what he lacked
  • It is still important today that we keep the Word of God on our hearts and listen and obey to this Word above everything else. This scripture promises that then we will be prosperous and successful

The truth is, we all have big shoes to fill. We were all put here on this earth to help change it for the better. God has placed a big calling on each and everyone of our lives and for many of us we may feel unequipped to bring it to pass. But in those moments of feeling inadequate, I believe God wants us to remember that He is with us every step of the way. He desires for us to seek His presence, obey His word and watch Him lead the way

I recognize that at times when we hear a scripture about obeying God’s Word and then being successful, it is easy to think that it means that success will happen immediately or when we want it to happen. But the truth is often times, it takes time for things to come to pass — it takes consistent obedience. Even in the book of Joshua, he had the recipe for success from the very beginning but he had to go through some battles along the way.

It takes pushing past our fears and insecurities which can be uncomfortable. It means not giving up when things get hard but it also means means that even through the uncomfortable and hard times that God is with us along the way. We just have to do our parts to stay in His presence and live a life of obedience.  And unlike Joshua, each of us, as Believers, have the Holy Spirit living on the inside of us. And I believe that the Holy Spirit doesn’t move us to a place of comfort but that his Holy Spirit will comfort us as He moves us to step into a new season

*This devotional is an excerpt from a speech I did in a leadership class. I pray that it blesses you. 

The Woman from Shunem

close up of hands

Later Elisha asked Gehazi, “What can we do for her?”

Gehazi replied, “She doesn’t have a son, and her husband is an old man.”

 “Call her back again,” Elisha told him. When the woman returned, Elisha said to her as she stood in the doorway, “Next year at this time you will be holding a son in your arms!”

“No, my lord!” she cried. “O man of God, don’t deceive me and get my hopes up like that.”

But sure enough, the woman soon became pregnant. 

-2 King 4:14-17

I love this story of the woman of Shunem. The Bible never tells us her name but I love her heart to serve. In this story, the wealthy woman and her husband had invited Elisha to stay at their home whenever he would pass by. Because of their generosity, Elisha wanted to bless them; however the woman told Elisha’s servant that she was well taken care of and therefore she did not make a specific request. However the servant saw an opportunity for Elisha to bless her anyways.

Her response to this blessings makes me wonder if this son was something that she longed for. Something that maybe she stopped believing God for or it could very well have been a blessing she never knew she needed.

The servant saw an unspoken request. He saw an opportunity. He saw something that she could not get for herself, that money couldn’t buy it.

I love how sometimes the greatest blessings are those things that we don’t even ask for.

I think about how when a coworker has a big event happen in their lives whether it be a birth of a baby or death of a loved one; how we rally together and deliver food without ever being asked. We know there is a need and we want to help provide for it.

I think we are all believing God for something. Maybe you’ve given up on a dream and stopped believing God for it. Regardless of where you are, I believe that He is still in the blessing business and wants to meet your need, He wants to meet you where you are. For some blessings it make take longer to come to pass but God will always provide even for the things we don’t even know to pray for yet.

I encourage you to read the rest of the story in your quiet time and see the dedication of this mom to her son but I want to leave you with this thought: Never miss an opportunity to serve someone because you never know how your generosity will pour back into you. Elisha was so filled with gratitude because of her heart to serve that he didn’t want to leave without blessing her and even with the blessing looked dead (read 2 King 4:18-37), he still honored her.

Our acts of service will not only bless those we are serving but in return, we will receive blessings we may not even know we need.

Today’s prayer: Father, thank you for always providing for us. I want to specifically cover those who have stopped dreaming, those who have stopped believing you for great things. I ask that you set a fire down in their souls and remind them of the great plans you have for them. I believe this is a time to believe you for bold requests. Increase our faith in you and give us the endurance to circle our desires in prayer.

Help My Unbelief!

brown and green leafed plants

And Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” – Mark 9:21-24 (ESV)

As I read these verses, I had so much respect for the father who was able to acknowledge his spiritual weakness and ask for Jesus’ help to change his heart to one who believes in spite of the circumstances.

I imagine that this father lost hope. His son had dealt with an unclean spirit since he was a child and the disciples had just failed at an attempt to cast out the spirit. This was personal, it was something that was likely hard for him to see his son go through and not be able to do anything about it. Yet in this vulnerable moment, he asks for Jesus’ help not only for his son but for his personal spiritual journey.

I began to wonder how many of us have also lost hope. Maybe you came into 2018, believing Jesus for something miraculous ;yet it is now the middle of October and you’ve lost hope that it will indeed come to pass.

I believe Jesus knows our hearts desires and knows that we are human and get weary in our waiting but I want to encourage you to be vulnerable and ask Him to help you in your unbelief. To help you in the moments where you struggle to believe that He can do what He has promised.  I believe He will honor that moment and provide the hope needed to keep standing and believing on what He says is true.

Father, thank you that you can meet us where we are. Thank you for understanding how our doubts can get in the way but Father help us to be an overcomer from doubt and seek you to help us through those moments so that we will continue to stand on your promises; regardless of the circumstance. Amen

Love Your Neighbor

four toddler forms circle photo

Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments. -Matthew 22:37-40 (NLT)

As I was reading these verses, I noticed the words “equally important.” It made think of the importance that our Savior put on loving others. We see it shown throughout scripture how He would go out of His way to meet the needs of others and to be in community with them.

So often I focus more so on the first commandment of loving the Lord and immersing myself in his Word yet I don’t put as much energy into the second commandment. I know I have been guilty of not loving others well; of putting myself ahead of others and at times just not being as willing to step out of my shell to meet the needs of someone else.

These verses are such a beautiful picture of the Gospel. A picture of loving God and equally loving all of His people unconditionally. Not just those who are easy to love but intentionally choosing to love everyone He places in our path.

Father, thank you for sending your Son to be a perfect example of how to love others. Please convict us in moments where we put ourselves before loving others. Constantly remind us of how much Jesus gave of Himself for other people. Show us how to love all of your people unconditionally.

 

How much longer Lord?

adult alone backlit dark

Lord, how long will you forget me? Forever? How long will you look the other way. How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul, with sorrow in my heart every day? How long will my enemy have the upper hand? Turn and answer me, O Lord my God! Restore the sparkle to my eyes, or I will die. Don’t let my enemies gloat, saying, “We have defeated him!” Don’t let them rejoice at my downfall. But I trust in your unfailing love. I will rejoice because you have rescued me. I will sing to the Lord because he is good to me.-Psalm 13:1-6.

As a child, I would often play hide and seek with my sister and friends. It was a fun game where you chose to hide yourself from an individual and wait for them to go on a search to find you. The best hiders were the ones who were never found.

As an adult, most of us don’t choose to be hidden. We don’t choose to be in position where we don’t want anyone to notice us or find us yet there are some seasons we go through where we experience this. The feeling of being overlooked, trampled on and forgotten. There are moments where it seems like everyone else is reaping the benefits while you remain stagnant.

How long, Lord?

We never know how long a storm will last but I am comforted by David’s words because he shows vulnerability in his prayers. He speaks from his heart and then concludes with “but I trust in your unfailing love.” David knew that God was with him but he felt the need to acknowledge his hurt/circumstances. He was honest with God but always reaffirmed his trust in God.

The truth is God knows our heart and He knows our innermost feelings so there’s no need to hide them. I love that we are able to go to God respectfully with our feelings whether good or bad, but I also love that we can hold on to His truths in the midst of every storm  knowing that He is with us and is working it out for our good.

Father, I pray for my sisters who feel as if you have hidden yourself from them. I pray that they will draw closer to you and experience you in a new, different way. Whatever season they are in, I pray that your Holy Spirit will fall fresh on them as they wait on you. Help them to trust in your unfailing love regardless of the circumstance.

 

When We Call His Name

abstract art black background blur

Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening. Suddenly, there was a massive earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors immediately flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off! (Acts 16:25- 26 NLT)

I imagine Paul and Silas singing an old hymn like How Great Thou Are, Great Is Thy Faithfulness or maybe a little Amazing Grace. The text said that the prisoners heard them and immediately their circumstances changed.

While reading the text, it made me think about my worship. Am I worshipping from a place of reverence or a place of want? I believe when we worship in a position of reverence regardless of our circumstance, we began to see it differently. Our perspective changes when we can sing while in the valley.

I find comfort in this text because midnight signifies a dark hour so even in our darkest hour, we are reminded that He is with us.

It was their worship that invited God’s presence and immediately they were free.

I pray that while in the valley, you always remember that He is with you. He is here and sometimes it is your praise that can break the chains off your situation..suddenly and immediately.

 

The Pearl of Africa

adult africa backlit color

Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all.” -Proverbs 3:5-7 MSG

I’ve always wanted to go to Africa. It has been on my bucket list of places to go for a while now. As much as I had always desired to go, there was a fear that always prohibited me from doing so. The fear of the unknown but more so the fear of being out of my comfort zone.

When it came down to deciding on a mission trip with my church, I kept feeling the nudge towards Uganda. The ministry we would be supporting greatly aligned with the desires of my heart.

The week before I left, I listened to a pastor talk about his experience in Africa. While there, he met a man who said “In America, you all believe in God but in my country, we depend on God.”

Wow! Those words have yet to leave my heart.

As I spent days in Africa, I quickly saw how dependent they were on Him for everything. They trusted Him with so much confidence. It is through conversations with the women where you see how their faith was so bold as they believed that God would truly provide all their needs.

As I walked into a home and saw how they lacked some necessities and wondered how they were making it through; I would hear the mom unknowingly encouraging me in her faith of dependence. She didn’t seem worried because she knew that He would provide as He had done before.

As I laid my head on the bed one night, I wondered how many times have I truly depended on God? The reality of it pained me because I was able to count the number of times.

God wants us to lean on Him for everything. To stop trying to figure it out on our own but trust that He already has the details worked out on our behalf.

It is my prayer that this experience would build my faith. I came into 2018 believing this very thing; that God will grant me bold faith to believe in the God opportunities.

Will you join me, today? As we get ready to welcome August this week, it is my prayer that we will also welcome a refreshed sense of faith believing that if He said it, He will do it. There’s no need to worry about the how but to prepare for what He has already said.

Abba Father, help me in my unbelief. There are so many days where I cannot even pray for things because my faith has wavered, but Lord I ask that you help me to be more dependent on you. That I will lean on you to direct, guide and strengthen my life. I no longer want to be a woman who just believes in you but a woman who is solely dependent on you. Amen.

 

 

The Great Commission

person pointing at black and gray film camera near macbook pro

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age. – Matthew 28:19-20.

The Great Commission is our anthem. It should be the words that have lasting footprints on our hearts and in the forefront of our mind every day.

It’s what we as Believers are taught to do; yet we live a very relaxed culture which often says…”but first let me finish this…..”

When we read the Gospel, it is evident that Jesus loved people. He would often take the long way to make a stop in one city to meet the needs of one person and help him/her believe.

In our culture, Believers wants to make disciples but only in the context of what’s comfortable for us. We want to pray for God to send us, yet scared of where that might be.

I believe that when we step into the unknown, the uncomfortable and truly pray for God’s will; we will begin to open ourselves up to receive the very things that we were created to do and be.

Father, you know what’s best for me and you know where my voice can be best used in this world. Wherever you send me, I ask that you help me to trust you with the details and remember how you are with me through it all. Change my perspective of discipleship to be less about what’s convenient for me and more about what you need to do through me.