Two powerful tools you should use 

Yesterday I spent most of the day running errands around San Diego with my best friend’s mother. When we were at lunch I asked her to send me a screenshot of something she had on her iPhone but she wasn’t sure what I meant. She is pretty good with iPhones but she didn’t know what a screenshot was. There is a number of functions she had never used on her phone because no one had shown her. It made me think about how there are “spiritual functions” at our disposal that we don’t know about. God has given us a number of tools we can use on a regular basis but we are not always aware of them. Our relationship with the Lord comes with an arsenal that allows us to deal with everyday life. Here are two powerful tools that are available to us but that we don’t always take advantage of.  

1. Meditation. Meditation is something frowned upon by many Christians because they think it’s just an eastern practice that opens the door to bad things. God mentions meditation a few times in the Bible. We are encouraged to meditate on His Word. To meditate is to think deeply or to focus one’s mind for a period of time for religious or spiritual purposes. Thinking deeply about scriptures or about God is a powerful way to go about getting closer to the Lord. It helps your spirit relax and shut down the world so you can be open to the Word. Do you think deeply about certain things during the day? We all do. Meditating on the Lord is a great way to refocus on the right priorities. Let’s not underestimate the value of meditation. 

2. Praying for anyone. As a young Christian I believed that we could only pray for other Christians and the only prayers we could say for non believers were for them to get saved. The Bible invites us to pray all the time. It also tells us to walk in love with everyone. Praying for someone is a great demonstration of love. Pray for anyone. Sprinkle love all around by doing so. It is a very powerful tool that will squash the enemy when he tries to attack. It is like declaring that you walk in love and you promote Jesus and not hatred. Praying for anyone also implies that we are open to anyone. Discrimination is not from God. Segregation is not from God. We should be friends with anyone. It doesn’t mean that we have to develop strong connections with just anyone. Jesus spent time with people who didn’t believe in God. He let Himself be a positive influence on them by just spending time with them. Just because someone doesn’t believe in God doesn’t mean we can’t pray for them to be blessed and to be protected. Praying for anyone is an essential tool in our spiritual kit. 

Let’s pray that we find out more about what we can do in Christ. Let’s be sure we know all the functions of our spiritual iPhones so to speak so that we get enlightened just like my best friend’s mother was yesterday. 

Suggested reading: Psalm 1:1-3; Psalm 104:34; 2 Timothy 2:7

Understanding the Word of God 

One of my biggest quests in life is to get a deeper understanding of the Bible. I have a strong desire to get revelations on the profound meaning of the Word of God. I want to be able to help others decipher the mysteries of the Holy Word. As a child and as a very young Christian I used to take the Word literally to the point where I would get confused and frustrated. Then I came to understand that parables and stories presented in the Bible have secrets behind them. At least I saw them as secrets. I felt a need to understand God’s secrets. I thought it just couldn’t be that obvious otherwise everyone would be living the truth and experiencing Bible size blessings. I would also look at church leaders and other influential Christian groups that had different interpretations of God’s Word. Then I became aware of the different versions or translations of the Bible. I read the King James Version and the Good News translation. The Bible was a bit different in French and in English. However, I didn’t lose hope and I assumed that God could give me insights and that the Holy Spirit was the best guide to follow. Understanding the Word of God is a life long process that will never end but it is worth pursuing. 

One thing I found was that when you enter the Word of God, you have to leave many things at the door. You can’t enter with the shoes of your own understanding and the boots of man’s ideologies and thoughts. You need to go in as a blank slate that is ready to be written on and that is willing to be engraved with the truth even if it jars with past knowledge. You see, the depth of the knowledge contained in the Bible can change your life and it can revolutionize everything you have learned. It is profound and it is revolutionary. You could have gone to church your whole life and you could have been used to certain scriptures but it’s not until you receive revelation from the Holy Spirit that you truly understand what those passages are really about. Open-mindedness is key here. You have to be teachable and flexible. If you have believed your whole life that one plus one equals two, you have to be open to learning that one plus one equals something totally different. On the surface it equals two but when you dig deeper it equals numbers that you didn’t know existed. This might sound far fetched but God’s ways are higher than our ways. Understanding His Word starts with understanding that concept and embracing that He operates on a higher level. 

In order to understand the Word of God we also need to consider the author. God is Love before being anything else. His Son was made the living Word and His Son is Love. Therefore the best way to go when trying to understand His Word is to look at it through the love lens. Every scripture should be scrutinized with the eyes of love. “What is Love saying about this?” is a question we should keep in mind. People have used the Bible to satisfy their own interests. The Bible was used to justify slavery for instance. Where was love in that picture? Love prioritizes other people and it is devoid of selfishness and malice. Read the Word of God with that in mind and you will get closer to God’s truth. Love is the bridge between the Word of God and us. It bridges all types of misunderstanding gaps. It puts everything in God’s light. The problem is we try to read the Bible with a scholarly and intellectual approach when we should be diving in with our spirit and with our heart. That is where God lies. His Spirit communicates with our spirit. Let’s have love as a filter. Let’s try our best to understand the Word of God with love as our number one filter and without any human filters in the way. 

Suggested reading: Psalm 119:27; Psalm 119: 73; Luke 24:45

Flying with God

I am on vacation in San Diego. I visit my best friend and his family at least once a year. We usually stay at his house but this time he is house sitting for a friend who is a pilot. I used to want to be a pilot. I was always amazed that two people could fly a plane with hundreds of people in it. The cockpit is where the magic happens. That small room is the most important part of the plane. The pilot and the co-pilot lead the way and take a whole crowd of people safely to their destination. We as humans have a cockpit as well. Our mind and our will are located in that cockpit. There is a pilot and a co-pilot. Sometimes there is only one pilot. Are we letting God be part of the cockpit? What role does He have? Is He the pilot or the co-pilot?

I am not in favor of overthinking but I do see the value in thinking about our thinking and finding ways to get rid of any thought patterns that are a detriment to our mental health. Looking into our cockpit so to speak, is a good way to see where we stand when it comes to our thoughts. What do we think about the most? How does our mind react to what happens to us on a regular basis? These are two questions we need to ask ourselves. If the cockpit is where decision making happens, it is important to have a strong cockpit that is well-equipped. The key is to let the Lord play a big role in the cockpit. We can’t fly the plane of our life on our own. We can’t get up to high altitudes without God’s assistance. He should be taken into consideration when we have to make decisions. He should be our reference and not our last resort. The Holy Spirit loves to be invited into everything we do and everything we think about. Have you ever asked the question “Holy Spirit, what do you think about this?” If you haven’t, I suggest that you start. He can purify your thoughts and He can give you the best advice ever. 

As hard as it is to conceive at times, God should be the pilot in our cockpit. This means giving up control and it implies total surrender. Total surrender is not popular these days because many of us feel safer when we can control what goes on in the cockpit. God is in the cockpit but His role is secondary when He should be the priority. If you are cruising high up now with God as your co-pilot I think it’s a great achievement. It’s a major step in the right direction. Having Him as a co-pilot signifies that you consult with Him from time to time. You don’t give Him all control but you acknowledge Him in what you do and that is a beautiful thing. I would say that as long as God is inside your cockpit you are good to go. Why? The more you let Him in there, the more you will realize that you have to give Him more say in every matter and you will eventually give in and let Him fly your plane. God knows what He is doing and there are no planes He can’t fly. Let Him take you where you need to go!

Suggested reading: Isaiah 41:10; Psalm 46:1; Luke 12:22-26

God’s red lights

Yesterday I was driving to the airport and I hit a lot of red lights so it took me a while to get out of my town. It’s pretty unusual to have that many red lights. It made me think of how God likes to give us a red light so we can slow down and mostly so we can stop. A red light is not a bad sign. It helps avoid accidents and it gives us time to pause and reflect. Today I want to talk to you about God’s red lights. I want to encourage you to look at those red lights as signs from Heaven that are meant to help and not to deter us. I know a lot of people that would just keep on going if there were no red lights. They would just drive non stop and not focus on what’s on the road. Why are there red lights? They help regulate traffic, adjust its flow and give pedestrians a chance to cross. A world with no red lights would be a world where motorists would dominate the roads and walkers would have no way to get anywhere. We have to wait our turn to either cross or to drive. God loves regulation and order. In our chaotic lives we have to recognize when it is our turn to keep driving and when we have to let others have their way so to speak. 

The rules of traffic are a good metaphor for our lives. When we get a green light we are free to go ahead. A yellow light indicates that we have to proceed with caution or slow down and a red light brings us to a halt. I find it easier to recognize it when God gives me a green light. The red lights are what I struggle with the most because they seem to stall my progress. A red light could look like a setback when in reality it’s the Lord preventing us from going too fast or from getting into trouble or from having an accident. I was recently making a lot of progress in my walk with the Lord or at least so it seemed. Then I hit a wall. I was stagnant and I stayed where I was for a while. I prayed about it and I finally understood that the stop that I had run into was meant to help me meditate on what I had learned from the Lord. We need the time to digest what the Lord teaches us. We need time to stop and analyze things with the help of the Holy Spirit. Once the Lord deems us ready, He will give us the green light again. A red light is a great opportunity to reflect and grow. Don’t despise the red lights in your life!

I love the idea that a red light allows us to let other people walk and cross. It enables them to make progress in a way. Red lights are a way to give priority to others, to give them the right of way. Think about how powerful that is. God’s red lights are meant to help others. They are not just meant to stop you. Love works the same way. Love gives priority to others and it knows when it is time to stop and give someone a hand. A red light also gives us a chance to rest for a quick moment. God never intended for us to go, go, go all the time. We need time to rest and enjoy the scenery. Next time you are at a red light, think about what it’s doing for you and what it’s doing for others. God’s red lights are a helpful sign!

Suggested reading: Ecclesiastes 3:1; Matthew 11:28; 1 Peter 5:7

God is by your side 

God is on your side. Remember this today. God is with you and for you. He is by your side all day long whether you acknowledge it or not. God never leaves your side. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit so He would stay with us and guide us. You are hanging out with the Holy of holies every day and you might not even be aware of it. He doesn’t leave once you get on the train. He doesn’t leave once you get to work. He doesn’t leave when you are at school. God is a permanent fixture on the wall of your life. Your mind, your attitude and your behavior might displace Him and put Him in a different corner but the truth is He is unmovable no matter what your head says. Start today with the triumphant thought that God is going to accompany you all day long and there is no exception to that. What does this actually mean for you? What does God being by your side look like?

Do you ever spend a whole day with someone? Do you ever spend every minute of one day with someone? When you do, you usually end up talking to that person a lot. You shouldn’t ignore him or her. The same thing happens with God. He actually spends the day talking to you. He doesn’t ignore you. However, it is up to you how receptive you are going to be to what He has to tell you. Find ways to show Him throughout He day that you are not ignoring Him. You can talk to someone about Him or you can just talk to Him periodically. If you can’t express yourself verbally, write to Him. Yes, write to God. Text Him, so to speak. We spend so much time on our phones we could spend some time writing to Him. You obviously can’t text Him but you can use your phone to write to Him in your Notes section or email what you write to yourself. God is with you all day long. Communicate with Him!

“God is on your side” signifies that you have a refuge and a shelter wherever you go. God being on your side means that when you end up in the courts of life under trial and under pressure, God is your advocate. He is the faithful lawyer that stands by your side and He is there to win the case. He has a whole crowd of witnesses on the stand ready to root for you. God will always vouch for you when you are going through tribulations. The key is to stay aware of His presence. The key is to recognize that you can’t do it on your own. You need the Holy Spirit. You can’t make it without His assistance. He will deliver you every time. He will bless you when you need Him the most. He will comfort you and reassure you. He will pour His love on you and smother you with His unconditional affection. God is on your side, friend so stay encouraged. God is on your side so it doesn’t matter who comes against you. He’s got you. God is always with you!

Suggested reading: Deuteronomy 31:8; Joshua 1:9; Hebrews 13:5

New beginnings 

As this new week begins, let’s think about the mercies of God that are renewed every day. Every day is a chance for the Lord to bless us even more than the day before. His mercies are unlimited. Mercy implies compassion and forgiveness. God’s compassion for us is new every day. With compassion comes a whole set of blessings. His love is attached to His compassion. His saving grace is attached to His compassion. His power to deliver us is attached to His compassion. His ability to reverse any situation is attached to His compassion. Be ready for a week of new mercies every day. Be ready for a week of compassion and forgiveness every day. Expect God’s mercies to usher you into the next level of your life. Expect Him to shower you with grace and with heavenly blessings. Expect the unexpected. Expect God’s mercies to bring a fresh awareness of His presence in your life. God has mercy on you and He is going to prove it this week. 

I love the idea of new mercies every day. The new mercies provide new beginnings every day. It’s a brand new start every day. If yesterday wasn’t that great, today could be the day. Today is the day when new mercies will produce new opportunities and new openings. With God’s new beginnings the options are endless. God can open door after door, day after day. He is a detailed God and His doors are specific. He can open doors that you had no idea existed. He can open doors that you thought were reserved for other people. This week you will have seven new beginnings. Seven days of renewed mercies that could steer your life in directions you had never explored. Sometimes God’s blessings look like uncharted territories that are so outlandish that we don’t believe we can ever go there. I am here to tell you that with the Lord no land of blessings is too far for you. With the Lord there are no mountains too high and no valleys too low. New beginnings mean new places in the region of peace, love and joy. 

God is a God of surprises and with His great compassion you just never know what His blessings are going to look like. I started praying recently asking God to surprise me the way He sees best and I confess that I am open to whatever He wants to do in my life. I am open to His new mercies and to His new beginnings. Embracing new beginnings can be difficult at times but if we trust the Lord with everything we should trust Him with new beginnings as well. I suggest you enter this week prayerfully with new beginnings in your heart and with an open mind that supports God’s will. I trust and believe that God has blessings for you that are going to change your life one day at a time. I believe that God has absolutely no intention to stop blessing you every day and you should get on board with this truth. Praise Him and thank Him for this week’s mercies and for new beginnings. God’s plan for you life contain more mercies than you could ever count. Enjoy your week!
Suggested reading: Lamentations 3:22-23; Psalm 86:15; Luke 1:50

The importance of trust 

Trust is the firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability or strength of someone or something. There are a few people outside of my family that I trust completely. However, I am more and more aware of the need to trust God above anyone else. People have asked me how I could trust in someone I don’t see. I trust in Him because thanks to Him I can see. Thanks to Him my eyes have been open to the truth. Thanks to Him spiritual blindness doesn’t have a hold on me anymore. Once I made up my mind that I was going to trust Him, I felt like I was finally living. Trusting Him has amplified my spiritual senses and my natural senses. He is the reason why I am here today and the reason why I can stand my ground and enjoy this life. I trust Him more now than I used to. There are different degrees of trust and our goal in life is to reach the highest level of belief in Him. We should go from light belief to stronger belief to firm belief in Him. Why is it so important to trust God? Let me share what I have learned. 

If we look at God for who He is, we understand that He is powerful and almighty. The other amazing thing about God is that He knows everything. I think it is primordial that we remind ourselves of that truth. God knows the beginning and the end. He knows everything about you and me. He knows the number of our days and He knows what will happen every single day of our lives. He knows what will take place in our lives next week at 3:30 pm on Saturday for instance. He knows how many times we will sneeze in our lives. He knows how many people we will ever meet. He knows every detail to come and every detail from your past. Since we have a relationship with Him we need to trust that He will do what’s best for us in the future. We need to trust Him with our future. Let’s trust Him with tomorrow. Let’s trust Him with the rest of this year. Let’s trust Him with our lives. 

As we face difficulties, we can look at them as challenges that will help us develop our trust in God. He said He would deliver us and that no weapon forged against us shall prosper so let’s make that our foundation for trust when times are tough. It can feel like a real battle when we have to trust and things look like they will never change. However, God will honor our trust. He is faithful. Let’s hang in there and trust that eventually we will get the results we have been waiting for. Trusting God for ourselves is also very important because once we have the confidence that He always comes through for us we can trust that He will bless and protect our loved ones. We will trust that whomever we are praying for will be blessed. We are serving the Lord and we are serving people for Him. It’s easier to serve when you completely trust your Master and you know He has your best interest in mind. Let’s not rely on our thinking and on our mind but let’s lean on God and trust Him more than ever. 

Suggested reading: Joshua 1:9; Psalm 9:10; Psalm 56:3