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.

 

Advertisements

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.

 

When Worry Steals Your Joy

person hands woman pen

Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up – Proverbs 12:25

This week has been filled with a lot of worry. As I prepared to be off work for a while, I found myself feeling as if I was being pulled in numerous directions with not enough time in my day. New responsibilities fell in my lap, last minute requests came to my inbox and I barely had time to sit at my desk.

I rushed my devotional time to make it to work early and found myself too exhausted to even try again before bed.

Time or the lack their of got the best of me. The fear of not checking every item off of my to-do list brought on worry. It weighed me down and left me feeling like I had done a whole lot yet nothing productive. Towards the end of the week, I surrounded myself with people who built me up again and brought it all back into perspective.

The truth is worry can steal your joy. The enemy knows exactly how to distract me. He uses my desire for perfection to keep me focused on everything that’s not done instead of truly focusing on my priorities – spending time at the feet of Jesus and being in community with others.

My coworker said these words last week, “sometimes we have to make time to make time.” This resonated with me because as someone who needs a to-do list, I can’t forget the most important thing which is spending time in the Word because that’s where I am refueled and get my joy.

Maybe you experienced something similar last week where you were in a box of worry. Can we commit this next week to not focusing on getting everything done right but focus on the things that are truly important?

Father, I thank you that your mercies are made new every morning. Help us to not allow our duties to overwhelm us to the point of worry but help us to cling to you every day for the encouragement that we need to keep things into perspective. You have not called us towards a life of perfection but a life that honors you. Lord, I need thee and help me to never forget that.

 

Reckless Love: Interrupted yet everlasting

stack of love wooden blocks

A couple of months ago, a co-worker sent me a link to a song titled Reckless Love. If I’m honest, when I first saw the title come through, I wasn’t initially interested because there’s a negative mindset that comes with the term reckless.But I finally caved in and gave it a try.

As I listened, the words began to pierce at my heart and as much as I didn’t want to keep listening; it made me reflect. I remembered what it felt like when God gracefully broke me – when He took everything that was once familiar to mold me into someone new. He changed me, but what it took to get there wasn’t pretty. It was uncomfortable; it interrupted the life I knew; yet in the midst of it, I felt Him near.

Being a Christian never implies that life will be easy; there’s nothing that says we will never endure hard times. Our manual says the opposite.

When my back is up against the wall; I have the choice to release control and allow God to do what only He can do; yet whenever I depart from the very Word that I’m called to stand on there is nothing that my Heavenly Father won’t do to get the attention of His daughter. He will stop at nothing to turn our hearts back to Him.

In Luke 15:3-7, Jesus tells the parable of the lost sheep and shares this very concept of going after the one until its’ found. I find comfort in knowing that He will stop at nothing to keep us near Him.

Click here to listen to Reckless Love

Being Faithful in Your Singleness

Single woman alone swinging on the beach

For some odd reason, being single has some people feeling as if they have a disease. Everything around you says that you should be in a relationship; yet everything gives a false representation of how that relationship should be.

As much as there’s a desire for companionship, I believe there should be a deeper hunger for relationship; not with a man but the Man.

Paul reminds us how being single allows you to be solely devoted to the Lord (1 Corinthians 7:34). It is also a season filled with purpose yet I like to call it a season of preparation.

As much as social media will show relationships on your news feed, it can also give you a false representation of love. People share what they want you to see. You begin to draft these fantasies about love and miss the love that’s available for you everyday.

The Lord has given you the gift of singleness in this season and it is your choice in how to accept that gift. This is a precious time to tune in to Him for what you are to learn in this season.  I believe that singleness is a time to get to know our Savior so much more. In getting to know Him, you will learn so much about yourself.God can grant you a desire for something more.He will change and mold you into the woman He created you to be.

He desires for you to know Him and understand His resurrecting power that can equip you for various seasons of life.

Will you commit to being faithful to the Him in this season? Not distracted but totally focused on the One who is Love.

The Beauty of the Veil

cross-sunset-humility-devotion-161089.jpeg

Last year, I wrote a post about the Cross being an invitation. This year as we approach Easter weekend, I am seeing the Cross so differently yet beautifully.

When I see that old rugged cross, I realize how privileged yet unworthy I am to sit at His feet. I was recently studying God’s Covenant where we looked at the Tabernacle in the old testament versus what we receive today.

In the old testament, on the Day of Atonement, the priest was the only one allowed to walk through the veil (curtain) and go into the Holy of Holies to put the blood of sacrifice on the mercy seat. During this time, all of the other people could go into the tabernacle but it was the veil that shut them out. It was the veil that separated them from having access to the mercy seat. And it was the mercy seat which allowed them to meet with God.

In the new testament, we see the veil mentioned again in Matthew 27:50-51 which says “And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split.” 

Friends, the veil was torn to give us access to kneel at the mercy seat and talk to Jesus for ourselves. It is the veil that grants us that nearness that our hearts long for. We no longer need a priest to go on our behalf, we have been given an invitation to a V.I.P. seat to meet with Jesus.

“And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. By his death,Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him.” – Hebrews 10:19-22.

We can’t take this for granted. Jesus died for our sins and gave us the privilege to meet with Him in a way that makes us one with Him. It is my hope that you grasp hold of this truth today.

As I prepare my heart to remember all that Jesus did for me on the cross, I am so appreciative that the veil doesn’t keep me from His presence. I am so in awe of all that He endured for me. And I truly want to reverence Him for who He is.

I want to leave you with Jesus’ prayer for His followers. It my prayer that you dwell in these verses this week. That you truly allow it to prepare your heart for this weekend to remember all that He did for you and the oneness you’ve been given when you accepted Him in your heart.

“I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one.I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me. Father, I want these whom you have given me to be with me where I am. Then they can see all the glory you gave me because you loved me even before the world began!” – John 17: 20-24

Amen.

Faith in Work: Finding Joy in the Day to Day

Stressed business woman

I just finished Tim Keller’s book Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God’s Work. I appreciated this book because it showed the importance of seeing value in our careers regardless if you are in corporate or ministry.

Tim gave an example of a doorman at an apartment in New York, who was known by the residents for his positive attitude and how he took pride in helping people. He took the initiative to learn the residents’ name and when asked why he took so much pride in his work, he mentioned how it’s the people in the building that he cares about.

When I read this story, it reminded me of the security guard at my employer who knows every employee by name. He is the first person you will see in the morning and he makes sure the elevator is waiting on you. He takes pride in the people at the office. He brings joy early in the morning. When he is not there, you miss his presence. He simply radiants with Christ’s love.

Colossians 3:23 says “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.”

It is so easy to get bogged down in the day to day tasks that you find yourself losing joy in what brought you to work. When you’re constantly listening to people complain, surrounded by deadlines and work politics, it’s hard to find the energy to press on but what if we truly approached work as it is unto the Lord? Not to make our boss look good or to make the company more money, but if we can commit to walking in the light every day so that those who may not know God will sense something different through our presence.

There may be someone on the job who may only know Christ through you. There may be people who need to see an example of a servant leader. Or maybe that company needs your help to bring a new sense of purpose.

There are so many reasons as to why God has you where you are, but friends, know that it is on purpose. Let’s be committed to working smart and  intentionally being the salt and light in the workplace.

All in the Details

pexels-photo-268941.jpegI’ve recently been studying the different covenants God made with man. This has been very intriguing to look at the story of Noah, Abram, Issac and Jacob in a new light. As interesting as each of the covenants have been; there is one thing that specifically stood out to me and it’s the details.

If you take a moment to read Genesis 15:9: The Lord told Abram, “Bring me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.”

God was very specific in what He wanted sacrificed. He was specific in what He spoke.

As I pondered on this more, I began to wonder why we limit God in thinking that He can’t give specifics today. God was meticulous in how He formed the world, how He knit us together in our mother’s womb, and how He created us as masterpieces; yet when we approach Him in prayer, we put limitations on what He can do.

Maybe you are believing God for something in this season and you are looking for specifics, I pray that you are reminded of how He can and will provide the details needed to make the right decisions.

Let us remember that He is a God who specializes in the details but it is up to us to seek, pray and believe.